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Benny's Picks Week 13
by Ben Tompkins,posted Nov 21 2013 11:49PM
Welcome back to ESPN Sports Radio 1300, Ben Tompkins coming loud and live through your speaker with another edition of Benny’s Picks. The picks have been good to ole Benny Boy lately as the kid’s coming off back-to-back 5-2 weeks. Through 13 weeks, my record stands at 37-29, with two pushes, so I guess you could say I’m doing pretty well. Hey, sometimes better than most is all you have to be. I’ve got some winners picked out for you this week so without any further adieu, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and make that cash money. ROLL IT!
Pick #2: Texas A&M +4.5
Johnny Football dogged by 5? Gimme a break! LSU is a solid team that can hang in there for a while with you, but as we saw in the Alabama game, they fall off. A&M is averaging 578 yards per game of total offense, way too many to lose by anything less than a field goal. As the Jameis Winston plot thickens, the Johnny Manziel narrative seems to be heading towards a familiar chapter. With these final games, he’s got Heisman hopes in the back of his mind and if he can win the season out and have done it with a convincing performance against LSU in Death Valley, how can you not give it to him again? I’ll take the gunslingin go-hard any day of the week.
Pick #3: Baylor -9.5
Now here’s one that I had to think hard about. Oklahoma State hosts Baylor at Boone Pickens Stadium and they’re getting 9.5 points. Here’s what’s tough. OK State is a solid team and has had some nice wins over the past month including Texas Tech and a road victory at Texas, but Baylor is just too much. Their NCAA leading, 684-yards per game offense is 8-1 this year against the spread. Through nine games, there have been seven in which the Bears have scored over 59 points, and there’s been five in which they’ve hung 69 plus. A two possession spread on the road to a tough 9-1 team is a challenge, but Baylor has a lot to gain with dominant performances while they seek to advance in the BCS standings, hot on the feet of Ohio State.
Pick #4: Duke -5
Duke plays 4-6 Wake Forest at Wake, I like Duke in this game. Last week’s win over Miami made a bold statement about this Blue Devil team and I don’t think Wake Forest even with home field advantage will keep the game closer than a touchdown. All Duke has to do is win by two field goals. Wake got blown out last week against Florida State, which is reasonable, but dropped two close games to Syracuse and Miami in the weeks proceeding. Duke has covered 8 of 10 times this season against the spread, but what’s more is that Wake Forest has only covered the spread once in the past five games at home when facing Duke. I’m taking ole Dave Cutcliff and this surging Blue Devil team to pick up the road win by at least a touchdown.
Pick #5: Missouri -2.5
With the return of James Franklin and coming fresh off a bye week, I feel extremely confident that Mizzou will beat Ole Miss by at least a field goal and cover the low spread. First of all, Missouri’s record and against the spread record are the exact same: 9-1. The Tigers have been covering for me all year long and hopefully the buck wont stop now. They’re averaging 492 yards of total offense and 41 points per game, and while Ole Miss is gaining six more yards per game with 498, they’re only posting 34 points per game. Mizzou has been playing stout in the past few weeks, crushing the short-lived Tennessee surge and bullying Kentucky in the week before their bye. Let’s see how far the Tigers can climb this year, I like them by a field goal.
Pick #1: NIU -2.5 WIN ($5) WIN
I open this week with a win, I was quick to pull the trigger on NIU by at least a field goal on Wednesday night. They ended up winning the game against Toledo and easily covering the 2.5 point spread, 35-17. They would have blown Toledo out but their kicker missed like three field goals and kept it much closer than it would have otherwise been. Northern Illinois hit the radar last year and they’ve continued to gain some momentum as they’re undefeated and sitting pretty with a perfect record. Shouts out to the Huskies for an extra five spot.
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