People always ask me what I think about this line or that line so I figured why not just make a weekly post giving my picks. I have two college picks and three NFL games for you this week. Remember I do not use a crystal ball nor am I (or Skyboxtalk) responsible for your financial negligence so please wager responsibility.
Vanderbilt Commodores at Northwestern Wildcats (+3.5)
These two brainiac schools aren’t traditionally known for their prowess on the gridiron but things are beginning to change. Northwestern survived Syracuse despite allowing Syracuse to come from 22 points down to take the lead with just under three minutes left. QB Kain Colter sustained a rib injury but vows to play Saturday, although backup Trevor Siemian looked pretty good replacing him. James Franklin, head coach for the Commodores, seems to really be making a culture change in Tennessee. Vandy gave ninth ranked South Carolina all they could handle last week. If not for a missed PI call, Vandy might have pulled the upset. I expect Jordan Rodgers and the Vandy offense to look a lot better against the Wildcat defense. Take Vandy but buy the hook and lay the 3 points.
Georgia Bulldogs at Missouri Tigers (+2)
This has all the makings of a great game. This is Missouri’s first game in the SEC and they have been talking like they want to prove they belong. Last week Mizzou put up 62 points. Sure it was a FCS opponent but they were rolling, then again maybe all the talking is just a case of false confidence from beating up on the little guy. Georgia didn’t look as good as you thought they should against Buffalo last week. They didn’t look bad in the 45-23 victory but they didn’t cover the 37-point spread either. Mainly because they are so depleted. Between injuries and suspensions Georgia is missing a lot of key players especially on defense. The freshman RBs filled in very well and the Georgia receivers looked like standouts. Home field may come into play here. Expect Faurot field to be rocking for this night game. At the end of the day, Missouri is going to have to show me something. Take Georgia and give the 2 points.
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs (+3)
People are really high on the Falcons this year; I am not one of those people. They might have the best WR tandem in the league but the guy throwing the ball still has something to prove. Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner aren’t getting any younger and that defense is middle of the pack at best. Kansas City is coming off an injury-riddled season but still showed flashes last year. I like the 1-2 punch of Charles and Hillis against that Atlanta run defense. If Matt Cassell can make the throws he has weapons in Bowe, Breaston, and McCluster. Home field advantage is what really swung me. Kansas City is great at home and Atlanta is not so great away from the Georgia dome. Take Kansas City and the 3 points here.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-3)
Seems like everybody is waiting for the Jets to implode. Mark Sanchez doesn’t seem to be getting better, Tim Tebow was brought in to do who knows what, Shonne Greene isn’t much at RB, Santonio Holmes can’t shut up. They are just a mess all around…on offense. Look for the Jets defense to return back to that top 5 form they were known for under Rex Ryan. The additions of Landry and Bell at the safety spots will be huge. Honestly the Jets will need a top defense if that offense will be as inept as it looked in the preseason. The Buffalo Bills are a bit of an enigma. They started hot last year, suffered some injuries, and drastically fell off. They made huge upgrades to the defense in the off-season. Fred Jackson should be healthy and CJ Spiller should become a bigger part of the offense. The Bills will only go as far as Ryan Fitzpatrick takes them though. I think Buffalo is poised to make some noise in that division beginning this weekend. I like the Buffalo and take 3 the points.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-5)
This is your classic unstoppable force (Packers offense) versus the immovable object (49ers defense) matchup. It could also be the NFC championship preview. The “experts” expect a lot from both of these teams this season and I don’t disagree. The 49ers made moves to improve their offense in free agency. Just the possibility of Randy Moss being motivated enough to be Randy again is keeping D coordinators up at night. Alex Smith is the wildcard. How will he follow up his magical season last year? Sunday will be a good test. Although Green Bay’s defense was last in the league that is a little misleading. Often playing with a large lead, the Packers defense played more bend but don’t break defense. The defense led the league in takeaways and the secondary is very opportunistic. The real problem last year was pass rush. Rookie Nick Perry will have the huge responsibility of helping Clay Matthews terrorize QBs. So ask yourself if these two teams are so evenly matched why isn’t the line closer? Because Vegas isn’t dumb. This will either be a last second FG game or a double-digit blowout by the Packers. I believe the latter. Take Green Bay and give the 5 points.