By Nikolas Holmes
Hello sports fans, and welcome back to Nik’s Picks for Week 13. We went 7-3 ATS last week putting us at 43-36-1 on the year. Here’s how the ish went down in Week 12:
Let’s start off by giving Arkansas a slow clap for earning its first conference win in two years! The Hogs got it done against a beat up LSU team and if they keep up this momentum ,they may even end up with, dare I say, two conference wins by the end of the year. Hell is freezing over, cats and dogs are living together and Arkansas got two votes in the AP poll.
Florida State covered against Miami and earned its 26th straight win. The ‘Noles battled back from a 16-point deficit by playing a dominant second half on both sides of the ball. You know the FSU hatred is reaching uncharted territory when the vast majority of the country is actually rooting for Miami, which is like pulling for Russia in the Winter Olympics.
Mississippi State got a late cover against Alabama, but that game wasn’t as close as the score indicated. ‘Bama has found its identity and when they open up the offense, they can beat you with any of their future NFL playmakers, including Biletnikoff Award lock Amari Cooper. Mississippi State might be in trouble in a couple of weeks against Ole Miss and even more trouble if Dan Mullen bolts for Florida.
Melvin Gordon is a baaaaaad man! He eclipsed LaDanian Tomlinson’s NCAA record for rushing yards in a game, but he actually reminded me of a different, very accomplished running back: Bo Jackson from Tecmo Super Bowl. B Button, B Button, B Button, Wisconsin wins big, repeat.
Ohio State beat Minnesota in another one where the score didn’t do the Buckeyes justice. The weather in Minnesota was nasty. I half expected Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch to come out fighting White Walkers and Wildlings at halftime. Ohio State will have to make up for lost style points this week against Indiana in The Shoe.
Georgia Tech steamrolled Clemson. Deshaun Watson left early with an injury but the Tigers may have actually been better off fielding 10 players. Cole Stoudt threw as many interceptions as completions which makes it really hard to win. Good thing we took Tech and the points.
Georgia ran right through Auburn but lost Todd Gurley for the year after he tore his ACL. Godspeed, Todd. Georgia will still be a tough draw in the SEC Championship Game and could totally flip the playoff picture on its head if they take it.
Week 13’s “Big Beats, Hit Streets, See Gangsters Roamin’ and Parties Don’t Stop ’Til Eight in the Mornin’” Picks
No. 12 Kansas State vs. West Virginia (-2.5)
Thursday night kicks off with some Big 12 action. Both of these teams are coming off a bye after a loss. Kansas State is 2-0 ATS the last two years against West Virginia and the Wildcats are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 road games against Big 12 competition. It’ll be a cold night in Morgantown so I like Bill Snyder and the Wildcats to pound the ball and keep the mistakes to a minimum. Take the points.
Pick: Kansas State (+2.5)
North Carolina vs. No. 25 Duke (-6)
Tobacco Road will be rowdy Thursday night, but we’re not talking about basketball. Duke is coming off a tough loss to Virginia Tech while UNC edged one out against Pitt. The Blue Devils have won two straight in the series but the Tar Heels have won eight of the last 10. However, Duke is 6-4 ATS in those games.
UNC has the 125th ranked scoring defense and hasn’t given up fewer than 27 all year. I think it may be sloppy coming off a short week, but lay the points and watch David Cutcliffe’s offesne dissect the Tar Heels D.
Pick: Duke (-6)
Minnesota vs. No. 21 Nebraska (-11)
Nebraska started out hot last week against Wisconsin, then blew it. The Cornhuskers are just 1-4-1 ATS at home against Big Ten teams in their last six, while Minnesota is 4-1 in its last five road conference games. This game will come down to Nebraska’s fifth-ranked home rushing attack vs. Minnesota’s 19th-ranked road rush defense. It’s a noon game and it will be cold and windy in Lincoln. Take the points.
Pick: Minnesota (+11)
No. 14 Wisconsin (-9.5) vs. Iowa
Iowa has been stumbling along all season but has gone 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings in this series. The Hawkeyes have historically played Wisconsin close in Iowa City, but dropped the last two SU and ATS to the Badgers. Everything tells me that Melvin Gordon and the boys will run circles around the Hawkeyes, but I’m going to take the home team and the points in this Big Ten rivalry.
Pick: Iowa (+9.5)
No. 15 Arizona vs. No. 20 Utah (-4)
Utah is 8-2 ATS this season but Arizona is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games in the series. Utah hasn’t been as good at home this year as usual, but has played everyone close with the exception of Oregon. These teams are very evenly matched on both sides of the ball and Arizona has had some success in Salt Lake City, winning outright in two of the last three. I’ll take the road underdog and the points in this one.
Pick: Arizona (+4)
No. 8 Ole Miss (-3) vs. Arkansas
Both of these SEC West teams have been able to cover a lot this year and Arkansas is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games in the series. Ole Miss should be rested after a cupcake and a bye week while Arkansas is coming off its biggest win in two years. The Rebels have the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense but will be going up against a massive offensive line.
If Ole Miss gets caught looking ahead to its big Egg Bowl matchup next week, Arkansas can jump on them early. I think Ole Miss beats Mississippi State next week, but every week is Arkansas’ biggest week at this point. Give me a focused home underdog.
Pick: Arkansas (+3)
Louisville vs. Notre Dame (-3.5)
Notre Dame is such a sinking ship that even the band has quit playing. You have to wonder if Brian Kelly has lost the locker room after going 1-3 SU in their last four. Louisville is coming off a bye but lost its starting quarterback, Will Gardner, during a win against Boston College. The early money is on on the Cardinals but I’ll take the Irish to bounce back after an embarrassing loss last week.
Pick: Notre Dame (-3.5)
Boston College vs. No. 1 Florida State (-19.5)
This game was one of Florida State’s closest last year — they only won by 14 in Chestnut Hill. Vegas is double-dog, triple-stamp, no-erasies daring you to take FSU with this line. That’s just way too many points to lay for a team that has yet to play four quarters. The ‘Noles haven’t been covering all year with big spreads and the Eagles are 4-2 ATS in the last six games in this series. BC is giving up only 46.5 rush YPG on the road this year, which is the best in the nation.
Even if the ‘Noles do get up on the Eagles, I expect Jimbo Fisher to rest some starters with the Gators coming to town next week. FSU wins by two touchdowns, but take the points.
Pick: Boston College (+19.5)
No. 19 Missouri vs. Tennessee (-3.5)
Both of these teams are 6-4 ATS on the season and Missouri has won two in a row against Tennessee. The Tigers have been on a tear since getting stomped by Georgia and have won their last four SU. Tennessee has been battling it out with most teams but has struggled against the elite teams. The Vols are fighting for bowl eligibility while Mizzou still has a shot to win the SEC East.
I like where Butch Jones’ team is heading and this is their last game of the year in front of 100,000 “Rocky Top”-singing fans in Neyland Stadium. Lay the 3.5, root for the home team and hope we get another shot of Smokey holding it down on the sideline in his orange snuggie.
Pick: Tennessee (-3.5)
No. 24 USC vs. No. 11 UCLA (-3)
We’ve seen both of these teams play at an elite level, but also sink to lesser competition. UCLA has won two straight games in the series and is 6-4 ATS in the last 10. I think this game will be a slugfest. Both teams still have a shot at the Pac-12 South title and this game goes a long way in recruiting.
The Trojans cannot drop three straight to their hometown rival and I’m sure Steve Sarkisian is putting that bug in his team’s ear. Depth late in the season may be an issue for USC but I think they take the 14-mile bus ride up the 110 and beat UCLA in a close one at the Rose Bowl.
Pick: USC (+3)
- Kansas State (+2.5) vs. West Virginia
- Duke (-6) vs. North Carolina
- Minnesota (+11) vs. Nebraska
- Iowa (+9.5) vs. Wisconsin
- Arizona (+4) vs. Utah
- Arkansas (+3) vs. Ole Miss
- Notre Dame (-3.5) vs. Louisville
- Boston College (+19.5) vs. Florida State
- Tennessee (-3.5) vs. Missouri
- USC (+3) vs. UCLA
Week 12 record: 7-3
Season record: 43-36-1
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.