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Benny's Picks Week 11
by Ben Tompkins,posted Nov 7 2013 12:00AM
After posting these projections for the past 10 weeks to my personal website, www.bennyandthe-jets.com, this is the debut of Benny’s Picks on WLXG.com. With a new platform to consume my predictions, I’ve dedicated much more time and consideration into this week’s picks. Through the year, I’ve been 27-25-2 with my picks, and I’m looking to cash in on some of the teams I’ve taken in the 11th week of college football play.
Pick #1: Baylor -16.5
Can anyone slow Baylor down? No matter how big Vegas has set the spread, Baylor is 7-1 against it, including a perfect 5-0 at home ATS. Don’t get me wrong, Oklahoma is a solid team, but don’t be fooled by their record. Sure, the Sooners are 7-1, but three wins came over scrubs and another three against real competition were decided by nine points or less. Both teams are neck and neck in total defense, Baylor allowing two more yards per game than Oklahoma with 316 and 314, respectively. The difference? Baylor is hanging 718 yards and 64 points per game.
Pick #2: Mizzou -14
Here’s a no brainer: An 8-1 team ATS that is averaging 500 yards of total offense, 40 points per game and has outscored SEC opponents (including Georgia, Tennessee and Florida) 183-101, comes into Lexington, Kentucky where the Wildcats are giving up 27 points and 421 yards per game. Who do you take?
Pick #3: Florida Sate -35
Normally I stay away from the big spreads, but seven of No. 2 ranked Florida State’s eight wins have been decided by margins of four touchdowns or more. Wake Forest is averaging 19 points per game and their record includes losses to Boston College and Louisiana-Monroe. Factor in that Wake will be without ACC-leading wide receiver Michael Campanaro, who has compiled 803 yards on 67 receptions, and we’ve got ourselves a blowout.
Pick #4: Texas A&M -19
Mississippi State’s four wins have been against Kentucky, Troy, Alcorn State and a one-point victory over Bowling Green State. Faced with real competition, the Bulldogs have failed to score anymore than 26 points, and they are 1-4 ATS in their last five games. A&M has struggled to win big this year against SEC opponents (19 points or more being big), but something tells me that with the push for BCS standings and Heisman voting, Johnny Football goes out and has himself a day.
Pick #5: LSU +12.5
While I like Bama to win the game, history shows that this highly anticipated faceoff won’t be won candidly. The last four matchups have evenly been won twice by both teams, and outside of the Tide’s 21-0 National Championship win in 2012, the games have been won by deficits of three, three and four. The Tigers have lost twice this year, but both games were lost by a field goal’s total. LSU is outgaining the Tide 480 to 462 in total offense and scoring only a point less per game on average than the dynasty that Nick Saban has built. Add in that Alabama is 1-5-2 ATS at home while facing LSU, and ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a ballgame.
Bonus Pick: Nebraska +6.5 Bonus Pick: Houston +11
Ben Tompkins is an intern and contributing writer for WLXG ESPN Sports Radio 1300. Follow him on Twitter @bennytomp18 and like his page on Facebook, Benny & The Jets.
April Lancaster's night at the race: She was front row and center at the Quaker State 400 where Brad Keselowski got the win. ÂÂÂ Take a look at these up close and personal images she had just a few inches away from the track. ÂÂÂ