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Giving Away Money: Championship Week picks against the spread to enhance your filthy lucre

Stick it your man with these picks against the points.

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">CFP National Championship presented by AT&amp;T - Alabama v Georgia


Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When last we met fully, I was all healthy and had my typing hands and shoulders and stuff. That night of the glorious LSU beatdown, GAM had a good showing — 7-4-1. The following week, I only picked one game for you (Buffalo).

So, now that I’m a bit more on the mend, we can get back to making some money on this last week of action (yes, yes, I know Army-Navy, Bowls, etc.). Here’s where we stand:

Last Week(s): 8-4-1

Season: 71-48-2

What went right: You’ll have to look these up or remember them, but all three of the shootouts went way, way over (two went over 100): Memphis-East Carolina, UMass-Liberty, Purdue-Iowa. Buffalo — almost always Buffalo. ‘Bama and Clemson big (over LSU and Louisville). Duke +10 at Miami not only covered but rolled the ‘Canes on the road straight up. Fresno State destroyed UNLV on the road.

What went Wrong: A few chokes in the SEC — Ole Miss vs. Sakerlina, A&M at Auburn (pushed, not a loss). Houston, the mortal lock of the week, saw their starting QB get hurt, Ed Oliver get hurt, and then flat out lose to SMU. Wisconsin looked awful at home vs. Rutgers.

Here are this week’s spreads. So, let’s make you folks some money — and I have this year, gotta’ give the devil his due. But, as importantly, let’s save you some money too. Fortunately, this last week has some outstanding value. I’ll just pick all the games this last week:

Not with a 10’ Pole and Your Money:

I know, I know — Oklahoma tends to romp in the B12CG, and few things have slowed down this offense. But, this game is generally really close and Tom Herman lives to ruin Oklahoma seasons. I don’t think Texas gets the outright win, but I wouldn’t bet against the Horns not covering +7.5 either. But, if you must and because I promised to pick them all, gun to my head, I’ll take the Sooners something like 51-42.
So too should you lay off of what is going to be an outstanding Mountain West CCG. Fresno State has destroyed nigh everything the past two years, except for the Boise State Broncos. They just haven’t figured that one out yet. And, on the road, while they’re capable of winning, I don’t think they escape the Smurf Turf either, and BSU covers -2.5

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">Texas A&amp;M Aggies v Texas Longhorns


Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

I feel pretty good about these

Cal and Stanford are going in different directions. Justin Wilcox is starting to get some nice stuff going in Berkeley. When two rivals meet, and one is disappointed while the other wants a valedictory on a good year, take the hot team. For a Trees team that was bandied about as a playoff contender, this has been a real turdburger. It helps this one is at Cal...and that they have a better defense. Take the Bears.
Virginia Tech -4 12 vs. Marshall — The Hokies did everything in their power to lose the Commonwealth Cup last week, and then they remembered they invented Beamer Ball and they can power the football. They’ll win with the same formula this week against the Thundering Herd, who have not matched up well against P5 talent lately. Hokies at home and to a bowl to save their season.
Pitt + 27 12 vs. Clemson — The Tigers should roll the Panthers on paper. But, CU hasn’t exactly dominated teams in the ACCCG. DYK: Pitt is 4-0 all-time against Top 2 teams, and has beaten Clemson twice in that situation? I don’t think that happens, but I do think the Panthers muck this one up and cover four touchdowns.

Gimme these!

Northern Illinois travels to Buffalo to face the red hot Bulls. UB may not light this defense up, it’s a good one for the MAC. But, UB will cover -4 12 at home.
NCSU -23 vs. East Carolina — this was always going to be a tough one for a bad Pirates team. But, firing their coach today didn’t make the trip to Raleigh any easier. Onward and upward, Wolfpack big.
Alabama - 13 12 vs. Georgia — This is a very good Georgia team. Alabama has played, and smacked around, some very good teams this year. The Dawgs defense isn’t in the same caliber as LSU, Auburn or Mississippi State though. This is a transcendent offense and I’m stunned the line isn’t closer to 17. Alabama beats another team by 22 or more, call it 38-16. Take that, 1888 Yale.
Ohio State -14 vs. Northwestern — I know OSU has looked blah throughout most of the season, but if last week taught us anything, it’s that one-dimensional teams with a good defense are no match for pure talent. And, by the crootin’ rankings, no one outside of Tuscaloosa has recruited better over the last decade. Speed kills, and so will the Buckeyes.
Akron at South Carolina -29 12 Muschamp needs to go out with a bang to make his final case for the Belk Bowl or Texas Bowl — No one wants to wind up in Shreveport or Nashville or Birmingham. Cocks stick it to the Zips to end an illusory 8-4 season, like 56-13 bad.

A bit of a stretch, but...

Appalachian State -17 12 is at home against the reasonably disappointing ULL Raging Cajuns. This is a gross mismatch that the Mountaineers will win. The only question is if they cover. Let’s say the ‘Eers cover.
Memphis + 3 12 at UCF — One team has plagued the Knights the past two seasons: the Memphis Tigers, who have been able to run at will. Only McKenzie Milton’s heroics have kept the Tigers from being defending AAC Champs. No Milton, with a replacement hitting 48 % of his passes, and a defense that still can’t stop the run is a bad formula. Memphis with the upset, or at least covering the field goal-and-hook.
UAB + 3 12 at MTSU — The Blue Raiders destroyed the Blazers two weeks ago. And, while it’s hard to do that to the same team twice, they don’t need to: MTSU just needs to win. And, win they shall. It’ll be closer, but MTSU takes this one by a touchdown or so.
Utah + 5 12 vs. Washington — Water is wet, the sun rises in the East, and these two teams play incredibly boring football. They’ve split their last two meetings, but the last three have all been by razor-thin margins. This one should be no different. Ask me which Utah team shows up, and that’ll tell you the winner; October Utah is better than Washington has been all season. Let’s say for giggles they are again. Take the Utes. Maybe they’ll win straight up; maybe they’ll lose 21-17. They should cover. This is easily my least confident pick of the week.

Thanks for playing along this week! We’ll be back next the next few weeks with the bowl game spreads. May the odds ever be in your favor.

And, please, take the poll. This feature takes a helluva lot of time to write, and I want to know if it’s worth repeating it going forward. If you folks get enough out of it to justify doing so, we will.


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