Just for fun, here are my picks and some analysis against the spread for week 2014.
Yes, I know there are more games than listed here. These are my cherry picks.
Washington State +16.5 at Stanford
Wazzu is a wildcard and Stanford is tough, especially on defense. However, I have confidence in Mike Leach. The guy makes adjustments that make a difference. I don’t see the Cougars losing badly. The last 3 weeks, the Cougs lost to Oregon by a mere 7 points, beat a very good Utah squad and put up 59 against Cal.
Fresno State -9.5 at UNLV
UNLV is a doormat and has done nothing to dispel that label. Fresno State puts up points. This is one is as simple as that.
Miami -17 @ home vs Cincinnati
Cincy’s starting QB is out. Miami is making strides and will have no mercy on the Bearcats.
Army pk @ home vs Rice
Army at home is a good bet. Rice doesn’t present a huge problem though they have some talent. Army should have enough in the tank to get by a hard luck Rice program.
James Madison -7.5 over Towson
This one could get ugly. JMU has a prolific quick strike offense that will overwhelm Towson who has struggled to put points up. -7 is very generous.
Charleston Southern +25 at Vanderbilt
Charleston Southern has won several games this season while cracking the top 25 FCS rankings. Granted their wins have not been against SEC-caliber teams but Vandy is struggling this year. I like Southern’s use of an option offense to keep the chains moving. I don’t expect Vandy to lose but I’m banking on Southern being able to make a game of it.
Dartmouth +9 at Yale
Yale’s offensive juggernaut seems unstoppable so long as RB Tyler Varga is healthy. The problem is their defense is a sieve. Dartmouth is usually undependable to cover but this year’s team has a killer instinct. They just might win this one outright and knock Yale down a peg.
Holy Cross +2.5 at Brown
Holy Cross is a good team that has played a treacherous schedule thus far. Brown has proven nothing at all except being error prone and very beatable. Despite home advantage, they don’t qualify as a favorite in this one.
Colgate +4.5 @ home vs Princeton
Princeton has big points capability and is tough to stop when on a roll. Colgate is more of ball control, run first offense. That will work in their favor to chew up clock while their tough D grinds down the Tigers.
Maine +3 at Stony Brook
Stony Brook has had a tough schedule thus far and is coming off a solid win at Towson last weekend. However, Maine is the better team. Look for a talented Maine squad to rebound after playing well but losing to a very strong Villanova team last weekend.
Indiana State +9.5 @ home vs Illinois St
Illinois State has blown out everyone they have faced thus far but Indiana State has not been far behind, winning consistently. The Sycamores are a classic spoiler team, even beating vaunted North Dakota State (twice in different seasons). I like them to cover at home.
Colorado State +2.5 at Nevada
Nevada is a tough home opponent and has won some games this season. Colorado State is no slouch though and will keep this one close as they always do against Nevada.
Wyoming +5 at Hawaii
Though the teams have comparable stats, Hawaii has done absolutely nothing this season while Wyoming is showing a competitive edge. Home field will not be a big deal for Wyo to overcome as they come in fresh off a bye week. Take the points. The Cowboys will win it outright.
Harvard -32 @ home over Cornell
Another blowout looms for Cornell after getting dismantled by Yale last week. The Big Red is punchless. Even if the Crimson take their foot off the gas they will keep scoring.
Sacred Heart -21 @ home over Robert Morris
Sacred Heart is coming off a big win against a ranked Delaware squad and is holding teams to under 60 yards rushing per game. Robert Morris on the other hand has been consistently blown out and has scored all of their points in garbage time. If Sacred Heart smells blood they will run up the score in this one. Their offense has the personnel to do it. Robert Morris isn’t without some ability but Sacred Heart will make quick work of them here.
Prime Time Picks
TCU +8 at Baylor
Baylor is national powerhouse that racks up a lot of points. After beating Oklahoma last week TCU has reclaimed the mantle of dark horse spoiler they usually enjoy. They also traditionally play Baylor very close, sometimes even winning. TCU will be up for this game.
This spread moved from -10 to -8.5 which is kind of small for a Baylor spread The linemakers are showing TCU some respect. Thus far, Baylor has torn SMU, Northwestern State, Buffalo, Iowa State and Texas to shreds. Now they get to play a team that will give them problems.
Alabama -9 at Arkansas
It is a good bet Alabama will rebound after losing to Ole Miss last weekend. It is very unlikely ‘Bama will lose 2 in a row. Arkansas at home won’t be intimidated. The problem is they don’t have the stuff of a quality team and they rarely move the ball effectively. Alabama has destroyed the Razorbacks 142-14 over the past 3 seasons. That pattern will continue this weekend.