That’s a little more like it.
Last week wasn’t the easiest week to pick games but there was some low-hanging fruit you could have taken advantage of. Look no further for proof of that fruit than Kevin, J-Dub and I going a combined 11-4 against the spread. If you have that kind of outing in Las Vegas, you’re telling everyone about it and immediately booking your next trip.
But ours is a season-long adventure. Finding five diamonds in the rough every week is what makes this experiment such a risky endeavor.
Everyone is in plus money on the season so let’s see if we can keep up our hot streak.
Our guest this week is Dr. Milhouse who has been on a real-life tear this season, thankfully bailing out my ill-advised wagers with some shrewd teasers of his own design. Let’s see if he can keep that hot streak now that he’s in the spotlight.
But before we get to him, let me have…
$50 on Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions (-3)
Detroit lost a heartbreaker to Seattle last week on what many Lions fans will tell you was a blown holding call. Before we bury them for this loss, let us not forget this is the same Lions team that handled Kansas City in Week One. The Lions have been stewing about that Seattle loss since Sunday and look to take it out on the 2-0 Falcons. For some reason, this line is only three, I’m guessing because people think the 2-0 Falcons are better than they are. I’m not altogether convinced. No one before this season thought the Falcons would be worth a hill of beans (I still don’t) meanwhile most feel Detroit should contend for the playoffs and their division. Three points doesn’t seem like much to lay at all when the Lions can score at will and this Falcons defense hasn’t seen a team quite this talented. I guess Las Vegas isn’t ready to make Detroit huge favorites quite yet so I’m jumping all over it. Give me the Lions to cover.
$40 on Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-6)
Speaking of the Seahawks, they return home after stealing one in Detroit to host the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are the worst team in a bad division. They’ve only scored 27 points in two games. Two other teams have scored 27 points in two games: the Bengals who normally score that in a half but are hurting more than their star quarterback’s calf and the Raiders who should be scoring more than that behind a veteran quarterback and solid starting running back. The Panthers don’t have those excuses. They’re exactly what we thought they were. They’re middle of the pack defensively and have yet to face an offense like Seattle’s which should open things up this weekend. This line is only six when it should be over a touchdown. Seattle’s offense warmed up to the tune of 37 points against Detroit. They’ll continue that against a Panthers team that is still trying to find its identity. Seahawks cover the six.
$30 on Iowa Hawkeyes (+14.5) at Penn State Nittany Lions
Sometimes life is about hooks. Sometimes life is about streaks. And sometimes life is about irking friends of a particular alma mater. Iowa travels to State College this weekend to face off against the Nittany Lions, alma mater of my arch-nemesis over at The Wife Hates Sports. The seventh-ranked Nittany Lions are 14 ½ point favorites against the Hawkeyes who, like the Nittany Lions, are undefeated and ranked. This is a rivalry of streaks, Iowa winning the last two, Penn State winning the six before that, and Iowa winning eight of the nine before that. Iowa’s offense has woken up this year, but their defense remains stout, which is why, even at night, I’m taking the Hawkeyes. If this spread were 13 ½, I might not touch it but at three scores, with that half point and the opportunity to bet against KP, I’ll take it and run. Iowa covers, even in the white out.
$20 on UAB Blazers (+42) at Georgia Bulldogs
I’ll give you a dollar if you can name the head coach of UAB. Any clue? The head football coach of the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers is none other than Trent Dilfer. His team is 1-2 and not very good. This week they travel to Athens, Georgia to take on the top-ranked Bulldogs. ESPN is giving the Blazers a 1.4% chance of winning this ballgame, and that’s probably high. That’s okay, they don’t have to win. They just need to cover the whopping 42-point spread. Georgia has struggled (relatively speaking) on their quest for a three-peat. South Carolina gave them a scare last week. And while Georgia should easily manhandle UAB, Coach Dilfer might have a few tricks up his sleeve. UAB can score. They’re averaging around 30 points per game, albeit against considerably lesser competition. Even if they score half that, Georgia will have to put up a healthy number to cover the giant spread so I’m taking UAB in the hopes they’ll be able to put up some points and maybe even score a late touchdown for a back door cover. UAB +42.
$10 on Ohio State Buckeyes at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+3)
Here’s my stab for the week. While the Ohio State Buckeyes compete for national championships year after year, this is Notre Dame’s first legitimate shot at a national title since 2018 when they lost to a Trevor Lawrence-led Clemson team that won it all. In other words, this is Notre Dame’s biggest game in five years. If they want to prove they belong in the conversation of the nation’s best teams, they’ll have to do so against the Buckeyes. This Saturday, they’re being given the opportunity: a home game, at night, in South Bend. They’re three-point underdogs. From what I’ve seen so far this season, the talent is there. Talent is always there in Columbus. With all due respect to Coach Prime, this is your game of the weekend. We’re about to find out whether the Irish are for real. I think they are. I’m taking Notre Dame and the three points.
Doctor Milhouse’s Picks for the Week (career 5-5, -$20)
Eagles/Bucs Over 46 – Both defenses are vulnerable over the middle, leaving guys like Otten and Goedert available for big days. Add to that Hurts being himself, and Brown/Smith/Evans/Godwin available for deep plays, and this game should be a fun, high-scoring affair.
Titans/Browns Under 39.5 – The Browns can’t get anything done on offense, the Titans can’t get anything done unless it flows directly through Henry. I don’t see five touchdowns between them.
Packers -2 vs. Saints – Jamaal Williams is out, so the Saints are relying on some amalgamation of Tony Jones and Taysom Hill in the backfield until Kamara’s suspension ends. Meanwhile, Jordan Love may be finding a stride with guys like Doubs and Reed. Packers cover the 2.
Steelers +2.5 at Raiders – Woof, what a Sunday night game this will be. Adams is suspect, Myers may still be out. The Raiders offense doesn’t inspire me to believe they’ll beat the Steelers defense. Steelers may win this straight-up.
Arkansas +17.5 at LSU – After LSU’s flop on Labor Day weekend, they’ve had two cruise control games. Arkansas is coming off a loss at home to BYU where their offense sputtered in the second half. I think Arkansas comes to play. They may not win, but they’ll keep it close enough to cover.
KP’s Picks for the Week
$50: Buffalo Bills (-6.5) at Washington Commanders
In the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” department, I’m looking to Josh Allen and the Bills to carry me with my top lock for the second straight week. Yes, the “Commander-skins” are 2-0, but that’s facing a Cardinals team that many think have a shot at the top pick and a Broncos squad that has yet to find its identity under new head coach Sean Payton. There’s plenty of talent on defense for Washington, but the weather could be sloppy, and I think that favors Josh Allen and a more seasoned offense, as compared to Sam Howell and Washington. There are positive signs to be found with Eric Bieniemy as OC in D.C., but I like the Bills with this line. Josh Allen will make enough big plays against this talented defense that isn’t a Kryptonite like the Jets are. Bills cover on the road.
$40: UAB Blazers at Georgia Bulldogs (-40.5)
A shade over two years ago, the Bulldogs beat UAB 56-7 at home. So while I’m a bit uneasy because of the spread, this is still the #1 team in the country and a defense that is only allowing 8.0 ppg through the opening weeks of the season. Also, UAB has allowed 90 points combined over its last two games facing Georgia Southern and Louisiana. Forty plus points or not, do we really need to say more? I mean, your eyes are just going to get tired reading the additional words. Georgia covers at home.
$30: New England Patriots (-2.5) at New York Jets
For some silly reason, this worries me – and that’s because the Patriots are struggling to open the season. Writing that also gives me a bit of joy. But while that’s a lot to unpack, we must also realize that while the Jets have a strong defense and plenty of weapons all over the field, they still have Zach Wilson running the offense. Through two games, Wilson has a QB rating of 53.3 with 2 TD and 4 INT. Bill Belichick may not have his most talented team, but he finds ways to make inconsistent QB’s uncomfortable – as in “atomic wedgie” uncomfortable. This pick comes down to Wilson not taking the next step, and less praise to Belichick. Patriots cover on the road.
$20: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-5.5)
Seattle and the “12th Man” have already burned me once this season, and that’s not something you say all that often in recent years. While Carolina’s defense has been ferocious and competitive in stretches, the offense has been inconsistent. Rookie top pick Bryce Young is out due to injury, leaving “Red Rifle” quarterback Andy Dalton to take over the offense. Dalton’s QB rating with the Saints last season (95.2) was actually his best mark since 2015. Despite that, this is his first start with the Panthers. The weather forecast calls for a good chance for rain. Add in a raucous crowd and a balanced offense featuring Kenneth Walker III and DK Metcalf, and I’ll take Seattle by a TD. Seahawks cover at home.
$10: Colorado Buffaloes (+21) at Oregon Ducks
I feel like I should be more confident with this pick. I mean, it’s Deion, right? Coach Prime? There are 28,568 articles about the Buffs posted since the season started. That’s not an official number, just a fair guess. Autzen Stadium creates a unique experience, jam-packed with crowd noise. Colorado star Travis Hunter is out for a few weeks. But again, there’s some magic brewing in the land of the Rockies, am I right? It just feels like one of those situations where the Sanders family will find a way to keep this game interesting. It will likely come down to Colorado’s #2 ranked passing offense versus Oregon’s #16 ranked pass defense. It’s still early in the season, so it’s hard to rely on those ranks. Still, give me Coach Prime, Colorado and the points on the road.