Lion’s Den: Saturday College Football Cookie Toss

The Lion is Tossing Cookies on the Golf Course TodayThe Lion is hurting bad today after he passed out face down on my floor last night and called some dinosaurs.  He’s golfing under the influence now, but before he drank himself retarded he had some thoughts on this weekend…

One Mississippi, Two Mississippi…

The Lion really has no beef with the state of Mississippi. Ole Miss has some of the best tailgates in the world down in the Grove, where Game Day is broadcasting from this Saturday for the first time. Every touch football game Dazzle plays in requires the above count, (no wonder he throws for 7 tds a game), indeed Mississippi is synonymous with football. The Game Day crew is there for good reason. Saturday happens to be the biggest day of football in the state this century. October is here and as the Lion promised, the games pick up. Cupcakes start to drop off the schedule as Conference Play Begins. We have 5 matchups between ranked teams. The Lion is going to pick all of them for you, along with some of his other favorite bets of the week. Just a reminder, I’m 27-18 against the spread.

FAVORITE BET OF THE WEEK: USC -11.5 at home against ASU: After stumbling at BC a few weeks ago, USC has righted the ship. It’s clear that this team is extremely talented, and the key is just for them to remain focused. I expect them to have revenge on their minds. ASU embarrassed the Trojans 62-41 trouncing in Tempe last year. It was so bad Lane Kiffin was fired when the team landed back home in Los Angeles. I got to watch the Sun Devils up close and personal last week, and while they are a talented offense even with backup QB Mike Bercovici at the helm, their defense is atrocious. USC’s hurry up offense will put even more pressure on this already overworked unit. Bercovici is making his first road start, this could get ugly really quick. PICK USC -11.5

Bonus Favorite Bet: Tennessee -1 at home v. Florida: Tennessee is still underrated by the public. Probably because they are 2-2. The Lion has seen UT play Oklahoma and Georgia tough, covering the spread both times. I have said over and over that the Vols are on the rise under Butch Jones. Florida on the other hand is really not good. They were lucky to stay in the game against Bama due to Tide miscues. I do not expect UT to come out flat. There was a period of time that this was the battle for the SEC. It’s still a bitter rivalry even though the Vols have lost nine straight. For some reason people still think Florida is good. Will Muschamp’s opponents have covered the number at a better than 60 percent clip since he arrived in Gainesville. Vols break the losing streak. The line is moving toward UT as I write this, it will probably be -2.5 or 3 by gametime. PICK UT -1.

FAVORITE DOG OF THE WEEK: Georgia Tech +1.5 at home v. Miami. Ok, I was wrong about Miami last week, but they didn’t win that game because they were good, they won because Duke crapped the bed. Miami is an undisciplined team that will be befuddled by the Triple Option of the Yellow Jackets. As you will see, this trend continues, although less dog heavy than earlier weeks.

GAMES OF THE WEEK

Big 12: No 4. Oklahoma at No. 25 TCU +5.5: Oklahoma is very battled tested this season and may be the number one team in the country. They have covered every game ATS. I keep waiting for a let down game, and this could be it. Four of the past five games between these two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less, including last year’s 20-17 Sooners victory in Norman. TCU hasn’t played nearly as tough as schedule as the Sooners, but they do have the 2nd ranked defense in the country in both scoring and total defense. Since it’s a lower scoring game I expect it to be close. For some reason the line has dropped to 5. This tells me to go with the Horned Frogs and that D. If I was a true degenerate I would hedge my bet by taking the Oklahoma money line or taking the under, because I do think OK will win by a field goal late, because they are looking ahead to the Red River Rivalry game against Texas next week. PICK TCU +5.5

BIG TEN: No. 19 Nebraska at No. 10 MSU -7. This game is actually an awesome match up. Husker RB Ameer Abdullah just might be the Heisman front runner with his nation-leading 833 rush yards after only 5 games. He is going against that vaunted Sparty D that is only allowing 78 per game. Last year, Abdullah and his teamates ran for 182 against a Sparty D that was only allowing 43 per game at the time. I watched the game closely last year, and the Huskers should have won at home in Lincoln, except for the fact they turned the ball over 5 times. So do I have the Huskers this weekend? Not so fast. MSU is extremely underrated by the public because of the Oregon loss, which I don’t think is really fair. The reason they are underrated is because their offense is actually good. QB Connor Cook has really developed into a nice QB, putting up better numbers than current NFL starters Stanton and Cousins. Cook is completing 69 percent of his passes, with a 9-2 TD-to-INT ratio. Not too shabby. The Huskers haven’t stopped anybody, and they won’t stop MSU. I like Sparty and the over. PICK SPARTY -7.

No. 14 Stanford at No. 9 Notre Dame +2. The Lion went big on his squad last week and they came through despite committing 5 turnovers. Stanford meanwhile has been squeaking by. The media will be talking about how the Cardinals want revenge for the goaline stop by Teo in 2012. Stanford is scary on Defense. They have the number one ranked defense in the country, allowing just 198 yards and 7 points per game. As and ND fan I am worried about this game. However, I am not going to go against them here. The Irish are getting points in this one, despite the fact that they are on a 15-1 run at home and Everett Golson is a perfect 14-0 as a starting quarterback in the regular season. While the media focus is on Everett, the sneaky little secret about the Irish is that their defense has played really well. It hasn’t given up more than 17 points this year, and during non garbage time the D has played even better. Last week was the best effort I have seen yet. I think the offense got the bloopers out of its system and will give an inspired effort and win this game outright. PICK ND +2

SEC BARNBURNER 1: No. 15 LSU at No. 5 Auburn -7.5: This is the battle of the Tigers. The Bayou Bengals seem to have the number of the Tigers from the Plains. LSU is a young team getting better each week, and may have figured out their QB situation finally after the shocking loss at home to Miss St. Still, I have to roll with Auburn, my pick to win the title. They will be looking to avenge their only regular season loss from last year. I love Central Pa’s own Cameron Artis-Payne at RB for War Eagle. LSU has not been good against the run, as evidenced by Wisconsin and Miss St. Both averaged over 6 yards per carry. Auburn will run it all day. Auburn comes in 4-0, but after compiling a record 13-game ATS win streak, they failed to cover the past two weeks. Auburn’s defense is a little underrated, and will give freshman LSU QB Brandon Harris fits in his new start. This is not your daddy’s LSU team and I think Auburn goes back to covering. PICK AUBURN -7.5

SEC BARNBURNER 2: No 6 Texas A&M at No 12 Miss St -2: The hype is surrounding the Bulldogs this week. Especially on former FL offensive coordinator Dan Mullen and his new Tebow, Dax Prescott. Dax is the latest Heisman candidate, averaging 336 total yards per game, with 14 total touchdowns. The Bulldogs had a bye to prepare for this game and they will come out fired up. Texas A&M had to pull out a come from behind victory out of their asses against Arkansas last week. Kenny Hill showed me something by throwing for more than 200 yards and 3 TDs in the fourth quarter and overtime. I think he will come out and take advantage of a Miss St. secondary that made UAB look good a few weeks ago. Again, I think the public has overreacted to the Bulldogs win at LSU. This is not your daddy’s LSU team. PICK A&M +2

SEC BARNBURNER 3: Alabama at Ole Miss +5.5. Ole Miss has some of the best players on the field in the game for the first time ever. WRLaquan Treadwell, DE Robert Ndwenke, both have NFL futures. Ole Miss also has veteran leadership on offense in Bo Wallace and on D in All American S Pruitt. They will be all geeked up for the game with ESPN visting. I don’t think they have add chance to win though, and here is why. Wallace’s entire career has been marred by turnovers, and he has six interceptions already this year (33 total in his career). Alabama is coming off a bye, and you know Saban has prepared his squad for Ole Miss. Bama finally has settled in with Blake Sims at QB. The best player on the field is Bama WR Amari Cooper. I also am a huge fan of the Tide’s ball hocking safety Collins. They will come out fired up and shut down Ole Miss and win its 11th game in the row against the Running Rebels. Bama is actually in a situation where it’s almost an underdog for this game. I have learned my lesson about betting against the Tide when the hype is on the other team. I am going to stick with the favorites here. PICK BAMA.

Enjoy.

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