Saturday, September 23, 2017
NC State vs. Florida State (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 13.0/-109 NC State Pick Title: 9 Star ACC Road Grabber (WIN)
This is more of a call of rustiness than of rest for these Seminoles. This game will feature Florida State throwing in true freshman QB James Blackman against DC Dave Huxtable's 4-3 scheme that has 8 starters back this season. If DeAndre Francois was behind center, the Seminoles' offense would have a confident swagger to it. You could practice several weeks (this is the 1st game for Florida State since their loss to Alabama) & there's no substitute for GAME experience. That's what we're banking on. With everyone intact last season, NC State battled the Seminoles to the wire in a heart-breaking 24-20 come-from-behind defeat. My bottom line says we have revenge, line value (NC St. 0-3 ATS this year) & 9 offensive starters back including QB (Ryan Finley) whose proved he can move the sticks (589 yards passing the last 2 weeks & a nifty 6/0 TD/INT ratio) all on our side. History also tells us the Pack' is a no-denying 12-3-1 ATS in this series. Let's make way to Doak S. Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee to hop all over the NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK (buying to a key + 14 1/2 @ -159) as my 9 Star ACC Road Grabber!
San Diego State vs. Air Force (NCAAF) - 7:00 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 3.5/-115 Air Force Pick Title: 9 Star Mountain West Surpriser
EVERYONE (except us) will be drinking that Aztec Kool-Aid this week after they've stunned PAC-12 entries Arizona State & Stanford in back-to-back weeks. 7th- year HC Rocky Long hasn't done too bad job since taking over the reins here (57-26 overall & 3-0 this year). But what really stands out in this matchup is what went down in the last meeting of this series. Let's go back to the 2015 season's Mountain West Conference Title when these 2 met right @ this same venue. There were 5 lead changes along with 4 ties throughout with SD State connecting on a game-deciding 46-yard FG. Air Force wound up @ mid-field as time ran out on the short end of a 27-24 decision but covered @ +6. My bottom line says that HC Troy Calhoun should have his Falcons playing loosy-goosy & in full stride to execute their patented option football to the fullest. San Diego State just can't top what they did last week which makes "The Force" a dangerous opponent & live dog. Remember, despite being 3-0 SU, these same Aztecs lost their CAREER rushing leader to graduation last year. Yes, gone is Donnel Pumphrey (drafted by the Eagles in the 4th-round) who rushed for 2,133 yards last year & an amazing 6,405 for his career. RB Rashaad Penny & Co. will have some pretty big shoes to fill for the whole season. Let's trek with confidence to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego to play the AIR FORCE FALCONS as my 9 Star Mountain West Surpriser!
Florida vs. Kentucky (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 2.5/-106 Kentucky Pick Title: Mike's 9 Star Barking Out Loud Dogger (WIN)
Guys, I feel this is FINALLY the year! Yes, it's been a loss in this series for Kentucky 30 consecutive times (longest active streak in the FBS that may go back to when Lindbergh first soloed the Atlantic)! Actually, it was a 10-3 KU win in 1986. Despite last year's 45-7 blowout loss @ Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, 3rd-year Florida HC Jim McElwain (previous HC @ Colorado State from 2012 thru 14') had a big scare @ this venue in his inaugural season when the Gators had to intercept a Patrick Towles pass in the waning moments to seal a 14-9 nail-biter. What I like about this game is how DC Matt House has vastly improved the Wildcats' "D" to compete with this Florida entry. It helps tremendously to have back 9 defensive starters including their 2 leading tacklers in WLB Jordan Jones & SS Mike Edwards who combined to register 209 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks, 12 TFL's (Tackle For Losses), 3 INT's & 9 QBH (Quarterback Hurries). On the flip side of the coin, look for the Gators to come down to earth after their highly improbable 26-20 win over Tennessee last week when QB Feleipe Franks connected on a 63-yard "Hail Mary" TD pass to Tyrie Cleveland as time expired. This offense is more smoke and mirrors since that was only their 4th time in the past 11 tries they've topped the 20-point mark. After the Wildcats cruised it in neutral the 1st 2 weeks in wins over Southern Miss & Eastern Kentucky, they kicked it into hyper drive when they rolled in to South Carolina for their SEC opener & went out with an impressive 23-13 win (out-rushed SC 184-54) as a dog to post a 3-0 record (1st time since 2010). My bottom line says they seem to play their best in the dog role. However, this time they have Florida in their back yard with a stingy defense. In the numbers, we can't ignore the fact that McElwain-coached teams have only gone 11-14 SU on the road in his career. Sorry history buffs, the historical trends have been thrown out the window here. Let's make way to Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington to play HC Mark Stoops & his KENTUCKY WILDCATS (buying to + 3 1/2 @ -146) as my 9 Star Barking Out Loud Dogger!
NOTES Still burning about Air Force who outplayed San Diego State but still got edged. We were teetering with taking the Falcons @ 4 1//2 but stayed firm & it cost us a perfect Saturday. Get ready for our 3rd winning weekend in a row in CFB where we hit 60% last year!
2017-18 Overall CFB Seasonal Record: 8-9-----47% & Rising after a rough start