Back in July I wrote a piece about where my friends and I should travel on our annual college football road trip. As I mentioned back then, our trip is now in its sixth year. So far we’ve been to Wisconsin, the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville (otherwise known as Florida vs. Georgia), Mississippi, Nebraska, and Alabama (for last year’s epic game against LSU). On my own I’ve also traveled to Michigan, Purdue, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Florida. We definitely had our fun at all those locations, but we’re looking for something new.
After much debate and feedback from the readers, we ended up choosing this weekend’s game which brings Ole Miss to Georgia. It may not be the best football game of the year, but the atmosphere and women are second to none. I figure I only have a few years left before I’m the creepy older guy enjoying himself at a college bar. We’ve got a nice tailgate situation through some family friends, so we’re setting up for a big weekend.
We’re still open to ideas on which bars to drink at and restaurants to grab some good local grub. If you’ve got any suggestions, list them down in the comments section. We want to make sure make the most of our weekend.
Locks of the Week:
Detroit -3.5 over JACKSONVILLE
The Jaguars have played three home games this year and have lost by at least 17 points in each of them. That’s not exactly home-field advantage. Detroit’s offense looked a lot better last week with the emergence of Titus Young as a complimentary threat to Calvin Johnson on the outside.
HOUSTON -10.5 over Buffalo
Buffalo’s faced two good teams this year: New England and San Francisco. They were absolutely drilled in both of those games. Houston’s been pretty good at dismantling lesser opponents. The Texans should be able to do their usual routine of getting out to an early lead with the help of their defense and then increasing the lead with their running game.
INDIANAPOLIS +2.5 over Miami
As previously discussed, the Dolphins are quite frisky and normally I’d like them in any road spot. The Colts, however, are 3-1 in home games and they would’ve been 4-0 if not for a long touchdown in the final minutes against Jacksonville. Last week’s effort in a comeback win on the road against Tennessee was quite impressive from rookie Andrew Luck. Miami’s defense is great at stopping the run, but that won’t matter against the Colts since they don’t run it that well. Miami’s 27th ranked pass defense will constantly be under fire.
Trap Game of the Week:
Baltimore -3.5 over CLEVELAND
I have zero confidence in this pick because of two words: Joe Flacco. Flacco has a 1:2 touchdown to interception ratio on the road as opposed to his 7:2 ratio at home. He’s only also completed 50% of his passes in road games. The reason I’m going with Baltimore is because word is they’re going to focus heavily on the running game coming out of the bye. Cleveland’s giving up 131.6 yards per game on the ground, so Baltimore should be able to come out ahead if they play smart football.
Rest of the Picks:
GREEN BAY -10.5 over Arizona
Arizona may not win more than one game thee rest of the season. Think about what you’ve seen from them over their last four games and then take a look at their schedule. Their best chances at a win are at home against St. Louis or at the Jets, but both of those games will be tough. Their offensive line leads the league in sacks allowed and the Packers’ defense just happens to lead the league in sacks. Their once feared defense was just carved up by Alex Smith of all people. They can’t get to the offseason fast enough.
Chicago -3.5 over TENNESSEE
The Titans’ offensive success in recent weeks has been due to their ability to run the ball. That success ends this week against the league’s best rush defense.
Carolina +3.5 over WASHINGTON
The Panthers came out of the bye week with a little more vim and vigor. Now that they’re a more focused on a power running attack, they should be more consistent on offense. That should allow them to stay within a field goal of a Redskins’ team giving up 28.4 points a game.
CINCINNATI +3.5 over Denver
The Broncos’ offense has been a machine in recent week, but Cincinnati has a decent pass rush and two good corners. I’ll take the home dog coming off the bye week with an extra week to prepare for this offense.
Minnesota +5.5 over SEATTLE
Expect a hard fought, defensive struggle in Seattle this Sunday. Seattle’s awesome home environment should allow them to squeeze out a victory, but they’re not explosive to do it by more than the spread.
OAKLAND -1.5 over Tampa Bay
The Raiders have played pretty well after their bye week. They hung with Atlanta and then won their next two games. I like what the Buccaneers have been doing for the most part this year, but they don’t deserve this much respect in a road game.
Pittsburgh +3.5 over N.Y. GIANTS
Times are tough in the N.Y.C. area and some are a little upset the sports landscape isn’t being canceled or postponed for the weekend. Either way, the Giants will look to give their fans an emotional lift. The Steelers have been playing well the last two weeks and seem to have things turned in the right direction. If they can get enough out of an injured defense, they have a good chance to make this a one possession game or pull the upset.
Dallas +4.5 over ATLANTA
The Cowboys have their backs against the wall. Obviously they don’t completely suck or else Atlanta would be favored by more than four and a half points. The spread indicates that Vegas doesn’t have much of an idea for what’s going to happen on Sunday night. The Cowboys have the pass rush and secondary to slow down the Falcons’ passing attack. They should also be able to put together something on offense. I don’t know what it is, but I feel an upset coming.
NEW ORLEANS -3.5 over Philadelphia
This isn’t exactly the marquee match-up ESPN was hoping for when they put this game on their schedule. Both teams are struggling, but New Orleans has one side of the ball figured out at least. They’ll be emboldened by the home crowd and should put the final nail in the Eagles’ coffin.
This Week: 1-0
Last Week: 5-9