Stone Cold Locks are back! This is my favorite weekly segment of the entire year, I feel the locks buzz coursing through my veins! Let's review how I've done since I started this segment 3 years ago...
Locks record year by year:
2022: 64-52-3 (55%)
2021: 69-61 (53%)
2020: 37-37 (50%)
As for today, I’ve only got 3 – this will usually be a lengthier blog post. No NFL until next week, so I’m going all college and in my experience, week 1 is usually best served as an observation week in CFB – but I’m A) Too Excited and B) I actually really like some of these lines.
West Virginia (+20.5) @ Penn State- I’ll take the points here with West Virginia and this is a pick just based on styles and a rule change more than anything else. The Mountaineers want to run, run, and run some more. And if they’re even moderately successful at controlling the clock, they’ll be in this game, or at least within 3 touchdowns. Penn State has done a really good job recruiting corners over the years, their strength lies within their pass defense, but WV doesn’t want to throw. Plus, you have to start factoring in this new clock rule, no stoppage on first downs until the game reaches the 2 min mark. Give me the ground and pound team against a below average run defense to quiet the crowd at Happy Valley. WV +20.5, lock it up!
UNC @ South Carolina OVER 64.5 points- I went back and forth and back and forth on this one with who I think is going to win the game. Eventually I landed on South Carolina, but sometimes you just have to bet the obvious and stop yourself from overthinking things. The one thing we know for sure about these teams is that they can score. Spencer Rattler and Drake Maye are 2 of the best QB’s in the country and neither team has a very good defense. UNC returns a bunch of defensive starters, which sounds nice, but is it? They ranked 102 on defense last year with these players. And on the flip side, South Carolina lost a couple of DB’s that got drafted. Prime-time game, great QB’s, bad defenses, they can’t set this line high enough. OVER 64.5 points scored, lock it up!
FSU (+2) vs LSU @ Camping World Stadium- The main event of the weekend. This is going to be so good. The number here is really irrelevant but I’ll happily take the 2 point cushion with the Noles. I’ve had this game circled since March. I knew I would be on Florida State, this program is ripe – like a big juicy grapefruit. All the key positions- QB, WR, DE – all perfectly seasoned through years of CFB, they’ve been getting better year over year, and now its their time to show out. LSU is good, but FSU is just a better version. They dominated this game last year for about 90% of it, but LSU hung around, ultimately FSU got the win. I know LSU has had payback on their mind, but this Orlando crowd is going to be firmly behind FSU. Plus, no Maason Smith on the defensive line for LSU, he’s a stud, and that’s a really big deal. FSU WR’s make the difference in this one. Florida State wins and covers, lock it up!