Take It To the Bank — College Football Saturday!

It’s been a long couple weeks.

I didn’t do so good for most of ya a couple weeks ago.  I had to go into hiding.

You don’t believe me? Here’s an email our esteemed Mr. Banks got:

Dear Louie:
I cannot believe that a simp like you who lives in Vegas went only 1-4 or 2-4, depending how you look at your parlay win. What a joke.  And you get paid for this? And people follow your advice?? It’s terrible!  A blind, one-nut monkey could do better than you. A blind one-nut monkey probably HAS done better than you.

A concerned citizen

Well, Mr. Concerned Citizen, let me tell you something: I’ve got both balls, but I had to have my prostate removed back in ’77 after a long weekend with Cybil Shepherd. Not that that has anything to do with anything, I’m just saying.

And this week, this is what you’ll all be saying: How are you so lucky, Louie?? [Read more…]

Take It To The Bank, College Football Week 3

So I was sitting at the book at the Las Vegas Hilton over the weekend, and it was just like old times.


“Hey, Louie, what’s cracking?”


Now, maybe I groped that woman, maybe I didn’t. I’m an old man, and my mind ain’t what it used to be.

I do know, and I can say with absolute certainty…that those puppies were real. True story.

Now look, I don’t objectify women, but if they decide to come up to me, on a day where I am undefeated and making moneywell…I guess that money can be used as bail money too, huh?  Who’s with me?

I still got out with a slap on the wrist. Looks like fortune smiled down on ol’ Louie.

Maybe you can be just like me, Lucky. Heaven knows I was last week, now your chance to be Lucky like me. [Read more…]

Take It To The Bank, College Football Edition

Hey, last year’s last year.

This is the year you want to tune in.

This Sports Bank, they got a pretty smart guy runnin’ this thing. They saw the terrible job that that Chicagoan guy did picking games last season and they turned to a grizzled veteran to make the picks. That Paul Banks guy, he knows.  He knows.

He went out to Vegas to find the best, and he’s got him.

Now, yeah, maybe I’ve been on hard times lately…and that public drunkenness charge was trumped up because one time I told a story about a client that our now-mayor Oscar Goodman was defending…you know, a “good ol’ boy,” and voila! Now he finds any reason he can to get me throw me in the slammer.

I sure am glad Mr. Banks came out here and bailed me out of the hoosegow though. Anyways, I’m Lucky.  You listen to me, you’ll be lucky too. [Read more…]

Take It To The Bank! CFB Week 9

By Paul Schmidt

“I love my Idaho Vandals.  This is a ridiculous line.”

Well…it certainly was.  Should have been about twice as big…that was, however, one of the year’s silliest football games, with Nevada racking up nearly 500 rushing yards, and scoring 70 points in winning a 70-45 score-fest last weekend.

Just an all-around wild game…and also the only game I lost last week.  Although, I have to admit, that one line about loving Idaho…well, it makes me look like an idiot without an explanation.  See, I love EA Sports’ College Football games…and I try to find a really awful team to play with in dynasty mode, to make things more difficult, and I usually can win a national title with them after three or four seasons. So I’ve got a little affinity for the Vandals.

OK…that doesn’t make me sound like any less of an idiot.

This week, there’s some really, really tough games. But you’ve got to stick to what you believe.

As always, these are the lines from the Harrah’s Casinos in Las Vegas.

Central Michigan (+5.5) at Boston College
I believe that Dan Lefevour should be a Heisman Candidate because he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. I believe that Boston College isn’t that good.  And, finally, I believe that I love my Chippewas. Pick: Central Michigan +5.5

Cincinnati (-15.5) at Syracuse
I believe the Bearcats are the best team in the country you don’t know about.  I believe Greg Paulus is a wang. Pick: Cincy -15.5

Michigan (-7) at Illinois
I believe Illinois is one of the worst teams in the country.  I believe Michigan is pretty good, and that laying only seven points is a terrible insult to them. Pick: Michigan -7

Michigan State (-3.5) at Minnesota
I believe that Minnesota doesn’t have much to play for after losing Eric Decker. I believe that Michigan State’s best football is still in front of them.  I believe that Adam Weber is an overrated QB. Pick: Michigan State -3.5

Last week: 3-1
Season Record: 18-12-2

Take It To The Bank! Week 7 NFL!


By Paul Schmidt

So, let’s forget what happened last week.  That’s right, we’ll just forget it.  0-4?  Oh and Four????  What????  Three of my picks outright lost, and the fourth, Jacksonville, barely snuck out a win.  EPIC FAIL.

On the plus side, I’m still over .500, and that’s a good thing…

On to this week’s picks, with lines courtesy of Harrah’s casinos in Las Vegas…

Indianapolis (-14) at St. Louis
The Rams proved they could be frisky last week.  Don’t look for that to continue this week. Pick: Indy -14

Chicago (PICK) at Cincinnati
I don’t put a lot of stock in Ced Benson as a premier NFL running back, but I do believe that a lot of the Bears want to smack him in the mouth this week.  Also, this is a pretty good value pick here, as Cincy’s secondary isn’t all that good, and Cutler should be able to pick this team apart. Pick: Chicago (PK)

Green Bay (-9) at Cleveland
I don’t particularly like this Packers’ offensive line.  I don’t know that Cleveland can necessarily take advantage of that, but if they can contain Ryan Grant even a little today, I think that Derek Anderson can keep this team in the game. Pick: Cleveland +9

Philadelphia (-7) at Washington
Well, let’s sum up Washington: They’re starting Jason Campbell again this week after benching him last week, playcalling on offense has been taken away from Jim Zorn by the team’s owner, everyone on the team has the flu, and then there’s that awful chlamydia outbreak. 

And here’s the kicker: Only ONE of those things isn’t true…I’ll lay the points, please! Pick: Philly -7

Last week: 0-4
Season Record: 13-11

Take It To The Bank, Week 6 NFL!


By Paul Schmidt

The first five weeks of the NFL season…I won’t say they have been a gambler’s paradise, but I will say that Vegas has been taking a bath. The biggest reason is how bad some of these NFL teams are.

To wit: Jacksonville is one of the worst teams in the NFL this season. Last week, they got blown out on the road, 44-0.  This week, they come home, and they are favored by 9.5 points at home against the Rams. 

This is a Jaguars team that might win only 5 games this year, and they could be picking around 8th, 9th or 10th.  That many teams are worse than them, and might win less than 5 games.

That’s just the kind of season it is in the NFL this season: Just a ton of terrible, terrible teams means that there will be a ton of teams winning a lot of games.  Sort of a haves-and-have-nots situation.

That’s led to a situation where the Vegas just can’t make the lines high enough to keep people from betting on the favorites. That’s how you have a situation where awful Jacksonville is laying 9.5 points at home against the putrid Rams…

My point?  Let’s be careful out there this week.

St. Louis (+9.5) at Jacksonville
And yes, given all of that…the Rams still are really, really bad. Really bad.  Pick: Jacksonville -9.5

Baltimore (+3) at Minnesota
Thoroughly enjoying the Brett Favre experience (vomit). Being able to gamble on him and win is great (gag).  I can’t wait to do it again this week (barf). I hope Ray Lewis hits him so hard his legs fall off and he can’t play football again. Pick: Minnesota -3

Philadelphia (-14.5) at Oakland
One of these times these big underdogs is gonna finally get enough points that they can cover…I just don’t think it’s Oakland this week. Pick: Philadelphia -14.5

Buffalo (+9.5) at New York Jets
Buffalo is just as bad…except no one seems to know. I’m not sure why no one knows this, but they don’t.  Trent Edwards is horrible, T. O. doesn’t give a crap (BEARS, PLEASE DON’T TRADE FOR HIM) and the offensive line isn’t very good, so they can’t open up holes for two pretty talented running backs.

The Jets, meanwhile, are pretty good.  Not convinced about Sanchez’s diety yet, but I really do like their defense.  They’re going to make it too hard for the Bills to score any points and keep this one close. Pick New York Jets -9.5

Last week: 2-2
Season Record: 13-7

Take It To The Bank! Week 5, NFL Edition!

By Paul Schmidt

Last week, I bragged about how well I was doing with my NFL picks.  I said EVERYONE should listen to me.  I even went so far as to demand from my wife that she should start betting all of my games if I went 4-0 again.

If you read that last paragraph and didn’t understand that I probably REALLY pissed off the gambling gods, well, then you haven’t gambled enough. 

I went 2-2, which was respectable, but it wasn’t real good, regardless. I made the indefensible move of wagering on a TERRIBLE Washington team laying a ton of points…and I guess not knowing that Buffalo was awful, despite every Buffalo fan I know telling me how bad they were.  Just dumb.

So coming into this week, I realized I’d have to just go with what I knew from the first four weeks, and I do feel like, I, and really all of us, know quite a bit at this point.  Hopefully…it will be reflected in my picks.

This week’s lines seem a little goofy.  I actually had trouble picking the 4 games I officially wanted to bet, because I really didn’t mind almost every single game.  I can’t remember that happening in the last few seasons. Also, you’re going to see some of the highest lines that I’ve seen in a few seasons, which should make for some fun wagering.

Here’s my four Week 5 games:

Minnesota  (-10.5) at St. Louis
This line is what really got my toes a-tappin’.  I thought this would be the biggest line of the week, and it’s not close.  Look, I think Brett Favre is just as overrated as everyone else…but he’s absolutely in the zone now.  And while I typically HATE teams coming off the short week (one less day to heal and prepare for the next game), but this is the Rams.  They are the worst team in the NFL.

And when you think about it…that’s saying something with a team like Oakland out there on the board to say that about…Pick: Minnesota -10.5

Oakland (+15.5) at New York Giants
I’m not all that sure I can remember seeing a line higher than 15.5…perhaps during the crazy New England run two years ago, but I can’t be sure.  I think I remember a 17 point one then…but the fog of old age is setting in…

Look, this Giants team does nothing spectactular, but they find ways to blow you out.  They’ve won every game this year by double-digits, and that certainly won’t stop this week.  And this week, it’ll be cold and miserable in New York, and that great Giants defense has GOT to be licking their chops to take on JaMarcus Russell this week. 

Russell is closing in on being historically bad, and this might be the week that gets him there. Trust me, I know that this is a lot of points to lay, but I think we’ll get there with room to spare with New York pitching a shutout. Pick: Giants -15.5

Tampa Bay +15.5 at Philadelphia
This Philly team is just a little bit scary. I think they are really good, but I think at this point they might be starting the wrong QB.  McNabb, if not 100% healthy, just isn’t better than Kevin Kolb.  It’s a sad thing to say, but I think it’s true. 

Westbrook looks like he is going to play for Philadelphia, which is good for them, but he’ll be spltting time with LeSean McCoy, so, once again, I think they just might be keeping their best option on the bench part of the time to assuage the veteran. 

See, the above is my problem with the Eagles…their young guys might be the best guys they have, and they aren’t getting them the proper amount of PT.  For that reason, and for the friskiness of the Bucs last week with Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson at QB…well…

And yes, I’m ignoring how horrible the Bucs run defense is.  It’s awful.  I am going on a limb and saying that it won’t matter this week. Pick: Bucs +15.5

Atlanta +2 at San Francisco
Apparently folks aren’t down with the 49ers yet. 

I was sold after they should have beaten the VIkings on the road.  That was a flukey loss.  I’m not really convinced on the Falcons and Matt Ryan yet…and I know, I know, I have a season and a third of evidence saying Matt Ryan is one helluva QB.

But something keeps nagging at me. I think he has a propensity for laying a stinkbomb, and this is a really good Niners defense, helmed by Patrick Willis — my darkhorse pick for Defensive Player of the Year in the NFL.  He is just a beast. And with that defense and an offense that just doesn’t make mistakes, especially at home…well, I just think this is the strangest line of the day.  Niners roll. Pick: San Francisco -2

Last Week: 2-2
Season Record: 11-5

Take It To The Bank, Week 5 CFB

By Paul Schmidt

Welcome back to week five of my fearless prognostications!  Lots of good last week, and let’s face it, I was due.  Even though my Illini let me down (and by let me down, I mean gave me a swirly for roughly 3 and a half hours), I was able to come up with an over .500 week, and a win against my competitor, Peter Christian. 

Granted, I received a luck-of-the-Irish push from the Houston Cougars, but a little luck never hurt anyone. 

So coming off a solid 2-1-1 week, I’ve decided to bring in someone special for this week’s competition, someone who…well, if I don’t win this week, I think that I’ll just let her make the picks the rest of the season.  That’s right, her…this week’s guest is my Mom.

As for her gambling resume, she doesn’t really have one outside of NCAA bracket pools and participating in a weekly NFL confidence pool. In fact, I explained point spreads to her prior to her making her picks — though to her credit she pretty much knew what was going on there.

On to this week’s games!

Penn St.(-7) at Illinois
 (MOM) The pundits, with good reason, have all picked Penn St.  I will go out on a short skinny limb and say Illinois will win or at least fall within their 7 point spread on Sat.  I’m of the opinion Penn St. is overrated and Illinois and their coaching staff will come out of hibernation this weekend.  Plus, I NEVER bet against “My Team”!  ILL!  Pick: Illinois +7
(Paul Schmidt)
Sigh…I-N-I.  Is Penn St. overrated?  I don’t know…Iowa’s defense was just unbelievable last Saturday, so I don’t know that that is an accurate measure.  However, after last week’s debacle, there’s no way I’ll be able to pick them ever again.  Personally, I think an angry, angry Penn State team rolls this week. Pick: PSU -7

Northwestern at Purdue(-7)
I like Northwestern.  I’m not sure why except I think they have the better personnel.  They can win this game easily if they just stop with all the mistakes. That’s the real question, whether they can get it all together. Pick: Northwestern +7
Northwestern is quickly moving into Illinois territory with the inconsistency they are playing.  How one of the nations’ best defenses returns almost everyone and then plays as badly as they have this season is mystifying to me.  Make no mistake, this is a must-win for the Wildcats, but Purdue isn’t as bad as people think.  They looked really good against Notre Dame last week, and while that might not be a glowing review, I think it will be enough to cover at home. Pick: Purdue -7

Central Michigan (-8) at Buffalo
DAH!  Central Michigan all the way. A great “D”  that wins games add a prolific quarterback and you’ve got the Central Michigan Chippewas. Pick: Central Michigan -8
I love my Chippewas.  I love Dan LeFevour.  And one thing my mom didn’t add, Buffalo is awful.  Temple routed them last week.  ‘Nuff said.  Pick: Central Michigan -8

Toledo(-4.5) at Ball St.
 Ball State will be desperate to win their first game this weekend. But their inexperienced cornerbacks will not be able to contain Toledo’s quarterback. It looks like Toledo will come out on top of this contest as Ball State is no match….what a difference a year makes. Pick: Toledo -4.5
That right there might have been the most in depth, and best, analysis of a MAC team ever posted on this website.  Ball St. is really, really bad this season.  And let’s not make Toledo sound like world-beaters, either.  But they’ve got a really good offense that can put up points, and in a worst-case scenario will simply outscore the Cardinals to cover the way-too-small spread here. My thought is they win by 20 at least. Also, with Ball State’s most famous alumnus in hot water this week, you know that’s not a good sign…Pick: Toledo -4.5

Last Week: 2-1-1
For the Season: 7-8-1

Take It To The Bank!! Week 3, NFL Picks!


By Paul Schmidt

Welcome back to the most exciting part of the weekend!  Actually, I wrote these earlier, and I thought I posted it.  But I didn’t.  Everyone come see how smart I am!!

Last week was a GREAT week…4-0 for the week!  I was due to pick something right eventually, right? 

In all seriousness, I do hope that the last couple of weeks, that you got out and made a little money yourself, because these first couple of weeks of the NFL season are typically the easiest to work with.  The books don’t REALLY have a feel for the teams yet, and that provides all of us with opportunities!

Of course that means that this week there will be LESS opportunity right?  That this week, the powers that be will be getting a handle on things?

Well, not so fast, my friends (channelling my inner Lee Corso!)…This week’s lines present a whole lot of opportunity, which is somewhat surprising.  Usually, when a line looks too good to be true, it probably is and should be sending off gambling alarms that yell, “Danger!  Danger!” in your head.

But this week…maybe we’re getting just one more week of value before the other foot drops.  As always, these are lines from the Harrah’s Casinos in Las Vegas.

Chicago -2.5 at Seattle
Ladies and gentlemen, the Seneca Wallace era!  Look, I don’t typically advocate wagering on the team you pull for, but any time you have a chance to bet against Seneca Wallace, even at home Qwest Field where the Seahawks have an insane home field advantage, you have to do it.
Pick: Chicago -2.5 

Tennessee +2 at New York Jets
I’mabigfan of the Titans.  They’re typically my go-to team after the Bears go away for the season, mainly because…I like the uniforms.  Yes, I’m a woman.

But the greater force at work here is that this is a better football team than we’ve seen this season.  Their defense is better than this (though not as good as last season, it should be mentioned).  Their offense is, as we saw last week, extremely capable.  And this is absolutely a must-win game for them.  This should be an outright win for the Titans.
Pick: Tennessee +2

San Francisco at Minnesota -6.5
I’ve seen this line as high as 7 points, which seems odd for a team that is playing as well as the 49ers are.  The Niners defense has been outstanding, and the offense in the hands of Shaun King has been far better than anticipated.

Meanwhile, Minnesota has not been tested yet, playing two of the worst teams in the NFL in the first two weeks of the season (Lions and Browns) and we still don’t really know what Brett Favre is going to do against a legitimate NFL offense.  This week we get to find out.  And herein is my upset special of the week.  Go nuts on the Niners, bet that money line!!
Pick: San Francisco +6.5

New Orleans at Buffalo +6
The #1 gambling rule of the 2009-2010 NFL season stays in effect:  Do not ever, ever bet against Drew Brees.  In fact, if you’re not wagering on him, you’re missing out. 

I’m not impressed with Buffalo’s defense at all — it’s at least on par with New Orleans’. And therein lies the rub – No one’s offense is as good as the Saints’ and Buffalo is going to be forced to play catch up this week.  The only hope for the Bills is that Fred Jackson goes off early and often, and even if he does, it may not be enough.
Pick: New Orleans -6

Last Week: 4-0
Overall: 6-2

Take It To The Bank!!

By Paul Schmidt

OK, sports fans, welcome back for week three of college football!  This week is marked with…well, not a ton of marquee matchups.  It’s kind of a dull week after going through the games.  That doesn’t mean you can’t make money though!

You know, unless you listen to me….ouch.  1-3 last week?  3-5 for the season? Man.  That’s just depressing.  However, the MAC love I’ve been proposing…it paid off last week if you went with it! 

Let’s take a look at this week’s games, including a pretty consistent foray into marquee games…

Florida -30, at home against Tennessee
I think at this point everyone knows the story…on National Signing day last year for college football, Tennessee’s new head coach Layne Kiffen thought it would be a good idea to call Florida and their head coach Urban Meyer a bunch of cheaters and send in reports to the NCAA.

It probably would have helped if anything Kiffen alleged was actually true.

Meyer and his team have been pretty tight-lipped about this game, but make no mistake…Florida could hang 100 on them.  And Florida’s defense is going to be ready to absolutely tee off on the Vols.  I’d go as far to say that this is an iron-clad lock this week.

Iowa -4 at home against Arizona
I’m not a huge fan of this Iowa offense, which had trouble scoring points against Northern Iowa, for heaven’s sake.  And Arizona’s D is for real, which is saying something because they are in the Pac-10…for instance, they shut down my Man-Crush, Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan, completely, and he put up 350 yards of passing against Michigan State in their upset win last week.

However, I think Arizona’s is comparably awful when compared to their defense.  And Iowa’s D is better than Arizona’s. 

And finally, there’s this.  Generally, if teams are viewed as equal, you’ll see the home team as a three-point favorite. Are we really to believe that Iowa is only one point better than Arizona on a neutral field?  Color me skeptical while I lay the points.

Texas -18.5 at home against Texas Tech
Two words — “Revenge Game”.  The Red Raiders should be wildly overmatched in this one, as a whole new of position players get used to starting.  This is Texas’ first marquee matchup of the season and want to make up for their one mistake last year.  Look for this one to get ugly.

Washington +19 at home over USC
You know…I don’t have any other reason for this other than a hunch.  I love Jake Locker.  I think he’s a great QB.  The chosen one, Matt Barkley, is hurt and not playing (and if you noticed that this was up a little later on Friday, the reason is that I was waiting for this particular bit of information). There probably will be a little bit of a let down after last week’s HUGE road win against Ohio State.

Again, I’m not saying the Huskies will win.  But I think that the other foot finally drops for USC this week, and that Jake Locker is a great enough athlete that he can overcome an amazing USC defense.

Good luck this week!

Last week: 1-3
For the Season: 3-5

Take It To The Bank! Week 1 NFL Edition!


By Paul Schmidt

Yes, it’s the most gambled on sport in the US.  Yes, there’s guys telling you what to bet on everywhere. The difference between them and I?  I’ll be right.  And I’m funnier.  And better looking.

Every week I’ll be picking 4 NFL games to wager on via the point spread, and the reason why as well.  It’ll be the tastiest matchups I can find.

Week 1, just like in college football, is the best week to put together a good run against the sports book (or…your bookie…ummm…not that I condone that), so tune in early on!

Kansas City +13 @ Baltimore

For one, it’s time to dispense with the idea that there’s some kind of home field advantage for most NFL teams to work with.  There really isn’t any more, whether it’s due to fans being sick of paying the exorbitant NFL prices and staying home (thus giving the seats to less vocal and hardcore fans) or because the new stadiums jsut are too acoustically sound to create a noise advantage (remember, many of these arenas make a looooot of money on concerts now), the fact is that teams win just as much at home as they do on the road.

In fact, when you factor in road underdogs, they beat the spread last season something like 250% of the time.  That’s a fact!

I like this Chiefs team…they have some very good offensive talent, and even if Matt Cassel can’t go, Tyler Thigpen is better than you think.  They have some solid players at the skill positions on both sides of the ball, anda even if they’re offense has trouble scoring, does anyone have THAT much confidence in the Ravens’ offense to win by two touchdowns?

Detroit +13 @ New Orleans

See above.  The difference is that the Saints DO get a boost from the Superdome, but that won’t help that their defense is still pretty crappy.

If you really are a betting man, I’d parlay Detroit with the “over” for this game, which is only 48.5.  One thing I can tell you to count on for sure is that there will be a TON of points on the board in this game.

San Francisco +6 @ Arizona

Starting to see a trend here?  I like the 49ers to win this game outright.

Why, you say? The Cardinals were the Super Bowl rep from the NFC last year, you say!  Well, the Super Bowl loser for the past 304 seasons haven’t made the playoffs the next year.  Seriously.  Look it up!

I think this is the start of the fall for the Cards, and there’s a reason why I drafted so many of them on my fantasy teams.  Because I don’t think they are going to be very good.  Wait…those don’t go together…

In all seriousness, Frank Gore will have a good game, his backup Glen Coffee should contribute, and I like the 49er WRs even without Michael Crabtree in the fold.

Green Bay -3.5 at home, over Chicago

I have some serious issues with the Bears defense.  I’m not a fan.  I think that Aaron Rogers will totally be able to exploit the Bears secondary, which didn’t look that good all preseason.  Now, I’m certainly not saying that I don’t think the Bears won’t score, I just don’t think they’ll score enough — I like the Pack’s D just a hair better than I like the Bears’.

Again…if you’re looking for a sweet parlay, I’d take a peak at the Pack and the over in this game, as it’s only 46.5.  That seems ridiculously low, and I’d expect that they could blow by that by halftime.

Week 1, it’s always fun!  Good luck, happy betting, and as always, be careful out there!

Take it to the BANK!

By Paul Schmidt

Week one is in the books, and I came away relatively unscathed. 2-2 for the week, both on late covers from MAC teams.  The MAC is frisky!  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!

However, last week there were some stumbles.  Apparently Michigan is gonna be pretty good. And Oklahoma State, despite all my protestations, may actually NOT be overrated.  I can admit my mistake.  I’M A MAN! I’M THIRTY-ONE!

Anyway, the theme for this week is…well, why do I need a theme?  Just looking for winners, and as always, comments/harassment/challenges to my manhood are welcome!

Louisiana Tech +7.5 at Navy
I was looking forward to this line just as soon as the Ohio State/Navy game wrapped up last week.  Navy’s not as good as they showed last week, and Louisiana Tech is probably a lot better than you think.  They’ve got a very solid offense, and an underrated defense.  They nearly took the lead in the second half on the road against Auburn last week, but and interception near the end zone and then two plays later a 93-yard touchdown pass pretty much turned all the momentum around and keyed Auburn on to victory.

Point being, expect Navy to take a small step back this week, and expect Louisiana Tech to take a small step forward and cover this spread (and maybe, MAYBE have a chance to win outright).

Central Michigan +14.5 at Michigan State
I love me some Chippewas!  One of last week’s winners makes a return appearance this week.  Arizona’s defense was up to the task in the desert last week, but Central Michigan’s defense was far more stout than I could have anticipated, allowing just one touchdown and four Alex Zendejas field goals to a fairly solid Wildcat defense.

I’m a little worried about the lack of offense from the Chippewas running game, and all-around from Dan LeFevour in general, but I am confident that they can turn it around in Eas Lansing, a much shorter trip than Tempe, especially given that they will face a far less stern test on defense.

North Carolina -5 at Connecticut
It only took six games, but I’ve finally picked a favorite. I like this North Carolina team. Maybe not as someone at ESPN who actually picked them to win the national title, but they’re a really good team and I think it’s pretty possible they could surprise and win the ACC. It’s also a stronger conference than you think this season.

Connecticut struggled on the road at Ohio last week with turnovers (though the did have the game in hand in the fourth quarter regardless), and that in itself is reason enough to doubt the Huskies this season. Should be a fun game though, as the new facility in Storrs is a great place for a game, and it’s always fun to see a football game involving traditional basketball powers.  It’s like they don’t know exactly what was going on in the game.

Northwestern -18 at home over Eastern Michigan
I can’t really believe that I’d condone wagering on the Purple Wienies from Evanston…but consider this.  Their offense is clicking, they’re at home, and they’re playing a team that just lost — at home — by two touchdowns to Army. 

This shouldn’t be closer than 30 points.

Last Week: 2-2
Season Record: 2-2