South Florida vs. UConn
Prediction: UConn +2 point spread (September 19th 2012)
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Dominant technical trend in this game finds the S. Florida home-away-from-home Raymond James Stadium to be of little value. Consider the 3-18 ATS home log at a venue where visiting teams are primed to perform at a big time venue. The S. Florida struggles continue under 2nd year mentor HC Taggart. Witness last week’s 49-17 home loss to NC St. in which his Bulls were outgained 589-159. Though UConn was a 38-21 loser to Boise, that 3 TO result for the Huskies was more competitive than the final score, as they were outgained by the Broncos only 292-290. In a low scoring game, favor the underdog Huskies, who are in far better current form and making positive strides under 1st year HC Diaco, the former Notre Dame DC.
Miami Florida vs. Nebraska
College Football Pick: Nebraska -7.5 (September 20th 2014)
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Two storied programs who dominated the 80” and 90’s and faced off in the 2001 Rose Bowl for the National Title square off in Lincoln Nebraska for a night game on national TV Saturday Night. The Huskers last home game was a scare from McNeese State but they bounced back nicely with a blowout road win at Fresno State, my Game of the Year Winner last week, with a 55-19 waxing of the Bulldogs as a 12 point favorite.
There are numerous keys in this game, but one thing is for sure, you will see 2 quality running backs getting the rock in this one, Duke Johnson for the Canes who has yet to live up to full potential, and all world Ameer Abdullah for Nebraska who is a Heisman hopeful. At days end a real key for NU is their aggressive defensive line and getting back All American DE Randy Gregory in this one, is a big advantage for Nebraska as Bo Pelini will send numerous blitz’s at Miami’s frosh QB Kaaya all night in passing situations. A frosh QB in only his second road start in a rare night game in Lincoln is not a positive for the Canes, who had one other night game on National TV, where Louisville pounded them 31-13 and the game was never in doubt.
Nebraska’s defense is a step down from Louisville’s overall in my opinion but better than advertised too, but it is the Husker running game and 3 headed monster with Abdullah, Cross and Newby, which is the best trifecta in the nation at running it including Georgia. Husker QB Armstrong Jr. (who is a dual threat) has 2 weapons at WR in Westerkamp and Kenny Bell, who is one of the best receivers in the Big 10 not to mention both WR’s are huge special teams threats and both already have TD’s on special teams this year. Nebraska’s ability to balance their offense is key here, and while Miami had had Florida AM and Arkansas State to warm up for this one, the Huskers at home are a big step up and are too much for the young QB and suspect defense. Al Golden will have his team ready, there are just too many mis-matches in NU’s favor here including a home field worth 4 points, and there is no love lost at Nebraska for Miami who used to pummel them in big games for years, so expect a near riot atmosphere in Lincoln Saturday Night, and I personally will be one of those fans.
Huskers 31 Canes 20 – GO BIG RED!
North Carolina vs. East Carolina
College Football Pick: North Carolina +2.5 -110 odds (September 20th 2014)
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East Carolina came through for us last week as it was in a great scheduling situation. The Pirates were coming off a loss against South Carolina the previous week. They outgained the Gamecocks in that game but two interceptions by Shane Carden led to the 10 points that South Carolina scored in the third quarter. Take those away and the Pirates could have been in contention for the outright win. Coming into Blacksburg, the Pirates were 10-0 ATS in their last 10 games following a defeat and they added to that once again. Virginia Tech meanwhile defeated Ohio St. the previous week and it was obviously still feeling the hangover. Now East Carolina takes on another big brother and it is actually favored, more than likely based on the win last week. North Carolina is 2-0 with unimpressive wins over Liberty and San Diego St. but the Tar Heels will be a motivated bunch this week as they will be out for revenge after losing to the Pirates at home last season by 24 points. It was the first loss against East Carolina since 2007 and first non-cover since 2001 in this series. The Tar Heels are no joke this season as they have 15 starters back from a team that finished 6-1 over their last seven games following a dismal 1-5 start. North Carolina had a bye week last week so the extra time will be an added benefit. The Pirates are 3-13 ATS in its last 16 games against teams with a winning record while going 3-13 ATS in its last 16 home games following consecutive non-conference games. Play (331) North Carolina Tar Heels
New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Prediction: Under 6.5 runs -110 betting line (September 17th 2014)
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After scoring a total of just seven runs while losing five of their last six games, the Yankees have no business referring to themselves as the “Bronx Bombers”. In fact if they don’t turn things around soon, New Yorkers will likely start calling them the “Bronx Bums”.
Brandon McCarthy will toe the slab for New York tonight, as the Yankees play the final game of a three game set in Tampa. McCarthy (9-14, 3.98 ERA) tossed seven scoreless innings, surrendering just four hits and striking out six in a no decision at Baltimore his last time out. He was very solid in August, and he’s picked up right were he left off in September so far, with a record of 1-0, 1.32 ERA in two appearances.
The Rays will hand the ball to Alex Cobb, who has been on fire of late. Cobb (9-7, 2.75 ERA) surrendered one run on a single hit over 7 1/3 innings in a no decision in the Bronx his last time out. He defeated the Yankees in Tampa a few weeks prior, tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out eight.
Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley and Martin Prado are a combined 1-for-17 with seven strikeouts versus Cobb.
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