The college football regular season is winding down and with two games to go, UofA has far exceeded my preseason expectations while ASU is two losses away from matching them. After a 2-2 start, the Wildcats have won 5 of their next 6 with only a loss to conference leading USC on the road as their only blemish.
ASU, on the other hand, has three very impressive wins – Oregon, Washington, and at Utah though all the positives can come undone for Todd Graham if they lose this week and next to rival Arizona.
I’m picking both teams to win this weekend setting up a rare Territorial Cup matchup of two teams with winning records.
As for my Cardinals pick below, don’t hold your breath…
Week 11 NFL Picks
Last Week: 12-2 Straight Up (SU), 7-7 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 92-54 SU, 78-67-1 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; home teams in caps)
PITTSBURGH 30, Tennessee 17 (ATS: Steelers -6.5)
The Steelers are a much better home team than on the road; at the time time, Tennessee hasn’t been nearly as impressive as I had expected this season. I’d be somewhat surprised if this game was close.
Detroit 20, CHICAGO 13 (ATS: Lions -2.5)
A must-win for Detroit – one of many tough games to predict this week but I’ll go with the Lions and their impressive defense to slow rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky.
Jacksonville 26, CLEVELAND 6 (ATS: Jaguars -7.5)
It’s an odd week which means the Jaguars defense will go pig-wild against a hapless Browns offense. Also expect a big game (125 yards and 2 TDs) from Jags rookie RB Leonard Fournette.
MINNESOTA 23, Los Angeles Rams 19 (ATS: Vikings -2.5)
Who would’ve predicted this to be the most important game of Week 11? If the Vikings defense holds the Rams to under 20 points, I’d say the probability of them winning is 95%.
MIAMI 24, Tampa Bay 21 (ATS: Dolphins -2.5)
This game should’ve been played Week 1 if not for Hurricane Irma. In the meantime both of these teams are a mess, so when in doubt, take the home team.
GREEN BAY 20, Baltimore 19 (ATS: Packers +2.5)
I fully admit that I’m making yet another biased pick as a Packers fan. But I’m thinking this is the week Green Bay’s defense plays up to its potential and holds Baltimore’s offense fairly in check. On offense, Brett Hundley must escape the pocket and make plays with his legs for the Packers offense to be most successful.
NEW ORLEANS 34, Washington 24 (ATS: Saints -7.5)
The Saints are arguably the most impressive team in the NFL of late. I don’t see how Washington’s banged up defense will be able to slow down Drew Brees and his stable of weapons on offense in the Superdome.
Kansas City 30, NEW YORK GIANTS 14 (ATS: Chiefs -10.5)
What a debacle the Giants have become. Until proven otherwise, or at least until coach Ben McAdoo gets canned, I’m picking NY to lose out.
HOUSTON 24, Arizona 20 (ATS: Texans +1.5)
This is another shot-in-the-dark pick this week. Tom Savage might be the worst starting QB in the NFL but with Deshaun Watson done for the season, it’s not as if the Texans have much else remaining at the position. Despite major quarterback issues for both teams, I expect this game to be mildly entertaining throughout.
DENVER 23, Cincinnati 20 (ATS: Broncos -2.5)
Two lousy teams but it’s the Broncos who’ve let their fanbase down the most this season. Picking Denver to win one of its final games of the season this week. The Broncos desperately need to start over at the QB position in 2018.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 27, Buffalo 23 (ATS: Chargers -3.5)
I’d say it’s a good proposition that the Bills have more fans show up at the Chargers Carson, CA stadium than actual LA fans. But the Bills defense hasn’t been great of late so look for Phillip Rivers and company to move the ball at will en route to a close win.
New England 31, Oakland 27 (ATS: Raiders +6.5)
The Patriots are playing right now who I thought they were to start the season. I don’t see Oakland’s poor secondary slowing down Tom Brady and company on Sunday in Mexico City.
Philadelphia 30, DALLAS 24 (ATS: Eagles -3.5)
The Eagles are well-rested coming off a Week 10 bye while the Cowboys are down their best playmakers on offense (Ezekiel Elliott) and defense (Sean Lee). A win this week in all likelihood clinches the NFC East title for Philly.
SEATTLE 28, Atlanta 24 (ATS: Seahawks -2.5)
Very interesting Monday Night Football game this week. The Falcons nearly defeated the Seahawks in Seattle last season before knocking them out of the playoffs in Atlanta en route to an NFC championship. Should be an entertaining display of offense with Russell Wilson and company coming out on top of a fairly high-scoring game.
My guest picker this week is none other than my fellow co-host of The Daily Blender with Jeffry O’Brien, Charles Wulf. Being that he’s Ohio born and raised, I don’t think his bold prediction will surprise anyone.
Honestly this is one of the most pathetic weeks of college football games that I’ve ever seen. I know that all of us CFB fans are looking forward to rivalry week on Thanksgiving weekend but this week’s slate is lackluster at best.
Guest Picker Results
Week 1: Adam Green 9-1 SU, 5-4 ATS
Week 2: Mike Muraco 4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS
Week 3: Mike Bauer 8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS
Week 4: Jeff Dean 6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS
Week 5: Arnie Spanier 8-2 SU, 8-2 ATS
Week 6: Jason McIntyre 6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS
Week 7: Dan Manucci 7-3 SU, 8-2 ATS
Week 8: Lauren Joffe 6-4 SU, 3-7 ATS
Week 9: Shane Dale 6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS
Week 10: Shawn Crespin 8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS
Week 11: Tim Montemayor 6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS
Week 12 College Football Predictions
|Eric Cohen||Jon Bell||Steve Malina||Guest Picks (Charles Wulf)|
|Overall (Straight Up):||74-36||69-41||80-30||74-36|
|Overall (Against the Spread):||50-59||49-60||57-52||60-49|
|Last Week (SU):||6-4||3-7||7-3||6-4|
|Last Week (ATS):||5-5||3-7||5-5||4-6|
|Arizona at Oregon (Pick’em)||AZ 41-35||AZ 48-39||ORE 48-45||AZ 45-31|
|ASU (-6.5) at Oregon State||ASU 37-21||OSU 30-24||ASU 34-24||ASU 34-17|
|Michigan at Wisconsin (-7.5)||MICH 20-17||MICH 23-13||WISC 24-20||MICH 21-20|
|Utah at Washington (-17.5)||WASH 33-13||WASH 38-17||WASH 35-20||WASH 35-24|
|UCLA at USC (-16.5)||USC 34-26||USC 41-20||USC 38-21||USC 42-14|
|Cal at Stanford (-16.5)||STAN 27-17||STAN 31-10||STAN 38-20||STAN 31-21|
|NC State at Wake Forest (-1.5)||WAKE 31-27||WAKE 24-21||NCST 31-30||NCST 27-13|
|TCU (-7.5) at Texas Tech||TCU 37-24||TCU 27-16||TCU 44-31||TCU 34-30|
|Mississippi State (-11.5) at Arkansas||MSU 27-20||MSU 38-35||MSU 38-30||ARK 27-24|
|LSU (-15.5) at Tennessee||LSU 26-14||LSU 30-10||LSU 35-17||LSU 20-13|
This Week’s Bold Prediction:
EC: Michigan’s win over Wisconsin this week throws another giant wrench into the College Football Playoff picture. The Badgers’ chances at making the playoff are severely hampered with games at Minnesota and vs. Ohio State in the conference championship game up next. The conference’s ultimate doomsday scenario comes however, if and when Michigan beats Ohio State next weekend with a potential FOUR TEAM TIE atop the Big 10 East Division.
JB: Florida wasn’t even supposed to be in the coaching market until a set of strange circumstances led to the firing of Jim McElwain less than three years into his tenure. If the rumors are true and Athletic Director Scott Stricklin can lure Chip Kelly back to college, it will be the biggest coup since…Florida best Notre Dame for Urban Meyer in 2004.
SM: There is still a lot of meaningful football to be played but last week really shook up the College Football Playoff scene. It is hard to see any of the top teams still competing dropping a game this week but I think we will see meaningful movement. THE Ohio State Buckeyes put together another dominate performance at Illinois to make everyone start to wonder if a two loss team will jump a one loss team. And when I say dominate I mean it. I predict a shut out and that Illinois will not pass the Ohio State 35 yard line the entire game. Buckeyes go for major style points and leave the starters in until the end of the fourth. Ohio State 58 Illinois 0.
CW: ‘Bama wins out, Miami wins out, Oklahoma wins out and the door opens up for Ohio State to win out and if they do so impressively they can make the CFP.
For more thoughts and predictions on these games check out Friday’s Quick Hitters blog.