Buck The Idiot Tipsheet

Hah! You doubted the idiot, didn't you? When I said my prognostications have been wrong anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of the time over the last five or six years, you figured you'd just hang back and have a little look-see. Well, if you'd taken the plunge and bucked the idiot last week, you would have gone 11-4, including a gaudy 8-2 in the ten college games I called. Name me another tipsheet producing those kinds of numbers, not to mention giving away their picks for free.


Among my more idiotic moments from a week ago was calling Vanderbilt to cover the 15 points against Middle Tennessee (they didn't even win the game); and claiming the Pats minus 5 and half against San Diego as my NFL "lock" (the final? 41-17 Chargers).

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, my friends, and that is precisely what I bring to the table when it comes to college and pro football odds. I read the sports pages of at least one and sometimes two or three papers every day, and I spend anywhere from an hour to four hours over the weekend surfing through the surfeit of pigskin shenanigans. Just enough to pretend to myself I know what I'm doing; enough to fall prey to sucker odds laid by bookies and oddsmakers with far more voluminous and private information.

But enough about the process of my idiocy. By now you're all chomping at the bit for my picks for this weekend's games. As is now the custom, here are the choices I honestly consider to be the best bets on ten college and five pro games (including both a college and a pro "lock"), along with a thumbnail explanation.

Record last week: College 2-8 Pro 2-3 Season record 4-11

On to this week...

OREGON plus 10 over Arizona State The Sun Devils suffer a letdown after their near-miss against Southern Cal, something they can't afford against the underrated Ducks.

VIRGINIA plus 7 over Boston College BC finds out the ACC is deeper than the Big East, and that even a non-elite team like the Cavaliers can come up to Chestnut Hill and spring the upset.

FLORIDA STATE minus 21 against Wake Forest Bobby Bowden is finally able to run up the score on outmanned opponents again.

IOWA STATE minus 8 over Baylor Baylor is horrible. ISU is home after nearly toppling Nebraska in Lincoln.

OHIO STATE minus 3 over Penn State Joe Pa nostalgia gets in the way of common sense. No matter how good Penn State's pack of frosh are, they're still playing a superb Buckeyes team that is a bungled quarterback platoon against Texas away from being undefeated.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN minus 2 over Army Betting against Army was my college lock last week, and one of only two college games I hit. Why quit now?

GEORGIA plus 3 over Tennessee Making the Vols field-goal favorites at home is the same as saying the personnel of these two teams is approximately even. The Bulldogs will disabuse everyone of that notion in convincing fashion, winning outright on the road.

CALIFORNIA minus 1 over UCLA The Bears are right behind the Trojans as the class of the PAC-10. No way they should be dogs, even on the road, against a still-unproven UCLA team.

TEXAS minus 14 over Oklahoma The spread is "only" 14 because of the intense history produced by this rivalry. But even if that passion is worth a touchdown, Texas could still cover. The Longhorns are way up in talent and chemistry this year, while the Sooners look more inept than they have in more than a decade

College "lock": CINCINNATI plus 13 over Pittsburgh What's this? Dave Wannstadt is walking through a career-damaging nightmare with a squad that should be on the verge of mutiny and at the very least is seriously questioning itself. And Pitt is still giving nearly two touchdowns?

And five pro tilts...

MIAMI plus 2 and a half over Buffalo Nick Saban prepares his teams as well as any coach in the country. The Bills counter by, er, starting Kelly Holcomb.

SAN FRANCISCO plus 14 and a half over Indianapolis Hard to turn down a home dog getting that many points in the NFL.

GREEN BAY minus 3 over New Orleans The Saints can't cover anybody. With Favre chucking, the Pack will either win or lose by more than 20. I think Number 4 is accurate on Sunday.

CHICAGO plus 3 over Cleveland Lovie Smith has got a much better defense than anything the Browns' offense can muster. Go with the dog in a low-scoring game.

Pro "lock": BALTIMORE plus 1 and a half over Detroit Yeah, the Lions were robbed against Tampa Bay. What are the chances that Joey Harrington keeps his poise enough to avoid multiple errors against a stellar defense two weeks in a row? Slim and slimmer. And the Lions are favored!

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