The culmination of a week’s worth of work lands us right here, took a week off last week, bye week so-to-speak but we are back and we are back with a vengeance! I’m well fed, I’m well rested, and I’m ready to cash some tickets.
(48-25-2) on the season. And this will be my biggest LOCKS WEEK to date! 8 locks, here we go.
UCF (+4) @ Tulane- UCF has been pretty consistently inconsistent this season but one thing they’ve always done well is gotten up for big games. Example- Cininnatti, Memphis, Tulane the first go-round…this team plays well when they need to and I think either QB can get it done. Of course, I like this more if Plumlee plays and plays without restrictions, and I think he will. Teams seeking revenge in a conference title game have the edge historically but not when you involve the spread (23-23 ATS), and that’s where I land on this one. I could see Tulane winning, but they shouldn’t be giving 4 points, its too much. I’ll back the Knights, lock it up.
Kansas State (+2.5) vs TCU- This one will be played in Arlington, so we have our first neutral site pick here. And I’m going back to the ‘revenge well’ here, hard to beat a team twice and KSU has been a monster ever since losing to TCU on October 22nd. Also, keep in mind that game was @ TCU, so they had the home field. Since that game, KSU is 4-1, and winning by a margin of 28ppg! And they’ve faced some good competition down the stretch too. TCU’s been skating by with close game after close game, I think they’ve played with fire too long, I’ll back the Wildcats in this one, lock it up.
Georgia (-17.5) vs LSU- Nevermind the fact that this is basically a home game for the Bulldogs, this is a sneaky revenge spot for Georgia as well. Not against LSU, but in the context of the SEC Championship game. It’s easy to forget, but while Georgia is the defending champ, they’re not the defending SEC Champ, they wet the bed against Bama last year, and you know Kirby Smart is going to be remind his team about how they backed into the playoff last season. If you think 17.5 is too much, consider the fact that LSU just lost to Texas A&M by 15, and the Aggies are terrible. Georgia rolls here. Lock it up.
Giants (+3) hosting the Commanders- Divisional home underdogs, it’s the simplest play in the book for a sports bettor. Now, it doesn’t always cash, and its not always the right side, however…when you can take a divisional home underdog while simultaneously fading an overvalued and overhyped Taylor Heinicke, its music to my ears. Heinicke is 7-0-1 ATS in his last 8 starts, usually the kind of trend I salivate for, but this one is fools gold. The Giants are not an easy out, and they’ve been covering like crazy this season in their own right, 8-3 ATS. One of these 2 teams is a fraud and my money is on the Giants as slightly less fraudulent. Lock it up.
Jags (-1) @ Detroit- Turning point game in Trevor Lawrence’s career, that’s what I saw last week. I was on the Jags for that one, and I’m right back on them here. These two teams are eerily similar and that’s why the spread is what it is, but Jacksonville’s just got a little more talent, and I think better coaching too. Pederson vs Campbell, give me Doug-E-Fresh all day. Here’s a weird trend for ya- teams after facing Baltimore this season: 9-1-1 ATS. Something about the Ravens just sets your mind right. Give me the Jags -1, lock it up!
Titans (+5.5) @ Philly- I have faded the Titans enough this season, its time to cash in on ‘em a little bit. And this is exactly when you want to take the Titans. After a loss, as an underdog of more than 3 points, and going up against a team that can’t stop the run. Its really not any more complicated than that. The Titans cover at a rate of 61% under Mike Vrabel as an underdog. Eagles won’t be able to slow down Derrick Henry, give me Tennessee, lock it up.
Phins (+4) @ SF- I love everything about this game, I can’t wait to see how this one plays out, but to me, I think I follow a pretty simple formula – when you get the classic battle of top offense vs top defense, take the offense in the regular season, take the defense in the post season. San Fran’s been great at shutting teams down recently, but who have they faced? Andy Dalton, Colt McCoy, the broken down Chargers, and the even more broken down Rams. The Phins offense will be like a culture shock to this team, who allowed 44 points in their own building the last time they went up against a top 5 offense. Give me the Phins plus the points, lock it up.
Chiefs (-2.5) @ Cincinnati- This is exactly the spot you want to back Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes as a short favorite against top level competition is a cover machine. And he’s been even better historically on the road (61% cover rate vs 47%). The combo of Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are on a heater in the winter months. 26 straight wins straight up in the month of November and December. That’s ridiculous. I love the Bengals, but they’re stepping in front of a moving freight train here. Chiefs -2.5, lock it up.
Picks I like- USC -2.5, Steelers -1, Vikings -3, Texans +7, Raiders -1, Saints +3.5