Yes, I’m back. After ending last year with seven consecutive weekends with a winning record (a 21-8 record against the spread), I’m ready to open up the 2011 season with a handful winners for you. As you would expect, I’m using the betting lines of the truthful Danny Sheridan… Wait a minute, should we be concerned this guy is setting lines? I’m dedicating this week to Clay Travis who seems to be doing everything in his power to bring down the SEC one team at a time. He’s got great website, but has brought TMZ to the SEC and should be public enemy #1 in the South. Enjoy, and feel free to send me a million dollars on Sunday.
Lock of the Week: South Carolina -20’ vs. East Carolina. The Ol’ Ball Coach has finally done what he showed up in Columbia to do: compete for SEC titles. Huge strides have been made in the land of Sandstorm, and USC returns nearly 80% of its production on offense and eight of their top ten tacklers. Their schedule sets up beautifully with MSU and Ole Miss from the West, and a win in Athens should seal the East for the Cocks before week three. The Cocks offense should be in mid-season form, and they play arguably the worst defense in C-USA. Cocks cover big.
Oregon -1 vs. LSU. A few weeks ago I would have rolled the dice with the Tigers, but it’s been a bad start in The Rouge. Has the luck finally run out for Les?
Boise State – 3 vs. Georgia. The East is wide open and they’ll be playing for Richt with the friendliest SEC schedule. Depth issues and inexperience on the line will hurt, so the youngsters must be ready to play on snap one. A rare SEC “Dawg” in an out-of-conference game, the Dome should be jacked and we don’t do blue turf in the South. This will look like 2097 since both teams will be playing in their Pro Combat uniforms, but SEC defensive speed simply doesn’t change regardless of the year. Dawgs cover and week 2 against the Cocks in Athens makes or breaks their season. If the Dawgs open 2-0, they should be 7-0 when they play the Gators and a return trip to Atlanta in December is very possible even with a loss to the Gators.
Alabama -36’ vs. Kent State. The back seven of Bama could make for one the best defensive team’s college football has ever seen due to talent, coaching and poor QB play (not you, Tyler Wilson) in the West. With Penn State in Week 2 Bama keeps things simple on offense and rests their players early. Expect some late points from Kent State and a cover.
*In 2010 Bama ranked nationally in the following defensive categories:
- 5th in total defense (286 ypg)
- 10th in Rushing Defense (110 ypg)
- 13th in Passing Defense (176 ypg)
- 3rd in Scoring Defense (13 ppg)
Mississippi +3 vs. BYU. I like where BYU is headed. I don’t like where Ole Miss is headed. Consecutive trips to the Cotton Bowl seem like years ago, and Nutt’s time in the Grove could be coming to an end. A BYU victory and cover doesn’t help Nutt’s cause.
Auburn – 22 vs. Utah State. Some QB combination will put up big numbers in Malzahn’s offense – obviously – but it took a player like Cam Newtown to win several close games last year. With Newton gone I can’t see Auburn winning more than seven games when Eastern foes are at South Carolina and Georgia. But they score enough to cover against Utah State. Shouldn’t this line be higher, Sheridan?
Florida -34’ vs. Florida Atlantic. I hate taking favorites with big lines in early season games, but it’s a new regime in Gainesville and Muschamp wants to welcome back John Brantley to the college football world. Buttoned up on offense, the Gators still manage to cover the 34’ line.
Arkansas -39’ vs. Missouri State. Bobby Petrino is never one to lay off the gas, and Tyler Wilson goes big as the Hogs cover.
Texas A&M -16 vs. SMU. Why not. Let’s welcome the #8th ranked Aggies to the SEC with a cover against the Ponies.
Tennessee -28 vs. Montana. How can the Vols NOT cover this?
Off the board? Vandy, of course.
Recap: USC // Oregon //UGA // Kent State // Florida // BYU // Auburn // Arkansas // A&M //Tennessee