Stone Cold Locks
By Bob Gaughan
2020 record 36-33-3
2019 Record 62-41-2
2018 Record 72-50-3
Mr. Over/Under: Cleveland -4 over Giants
Last week I broke one of my “Cardinal Rules” of betting. I went with New Orleans playing against a first-time NFL starting quarterback at Philadelphia. Unless it’s a 4th, 5th or 6th string quarterback, such as what Denver had to do a couple weeks ago, I highly recommend never betting a game in which one of the NFL quarterbacks is starting his first game. Interestingly enough, the 2-teams with the worst cover record this year, Dallas and Philadelphia not only covered last week but both won. However, they still remain with the worst cover records this year.
Two teams, that are not division leaders in the AFC, Cleveland & Tennessee have 9-5 records and two teams Miami & Baltimore have 8-5 records. With only 3 wild card spots available, each game is critical for these teams. The game that caught my eye this week is Cleveland playing the Jersey Giants. In their last four games, Cleveland has averaged 33 points, scoring more points each week. In their last four games, the Giants have averaged 18 points, scoring less points each week. Although Cleveland’s defense still needs help, their offense is superior to the Giants. I like the Browns.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: It’s time for Gov. Cuomo to “Take a Stand” and remind the NFL that there is only ONE NFL team in New York State. It’s time for the Governor of New York State to DEMAND that the Jersey Jets and the Jersey Giants not be allowed to insinuate that they play in or represent New York State. When the Boston Patriots moved to Foxboro, they changed their name to New England. When teams like the Raiders, Cardinals, Rams & Oilers moved out-of-state, they changed their location names. It’s time for the Giants & Jets to do the same.
Man in Stripes: UB -13 over Ball State
It’s going to be ugly in the motor city in the MAC title game on Friday night. Over the last three years UB is the number one team against the spread in Division 1 by hitting over 70 percent of their games. They are 5-0 and winning the five games by an average of 30 points. Jaret Patterson should get some Heisman votes this year. Patterson has run for 1025 yards and 18 TD’s in only five games. An amazing season going up against a suspect Ball State defense who’s top running back has opted out. It’s a name your score game. Lay the points and enjoy starting out this Championship weekend with a win.
Mono: Cleveland -4.5 over Giants (Double Down)
Baker and the Browns are coming off a loss on Monday night in a game many are talking about as the game of the year. If it weren’t for Superman Lamar Jackson the Browns would eyeing a shot at the division title. Instead of playing the Steelers for the division next week they need to keep their one game lead on the Ravens. The Giants are still in the race for the east but Daniel Jones is a question to play and Jason Garrett will not be calling plays. I expect the Browns to take care of business 27-14.
Brutal: UB -13 over Ball State (Double Down)
UB’s smallest margin of victory was 19 in the first game of the year. The Bulls are to the MAC like Ohio State is to the Big 10. UB is just rolling through the conference. I think Ball State is a year ahead of schedule. They have a good offense but their defense is suspect. Last week they gave up 159 yards rushing to Western’s top back. After losing to Miami-Ohio the Cardinals have won five straight. Some of those wins have been unimpressive. They beat Northern Illinois by 6, Eastern Michigan by 7, and Toledo by 3. The Bulls remember two years ago when they blew the MAC title game. UB is hungry and will play for 60 minutes in this one.
Bob Gaughan: Iowa State +5.5 over Oklahoma
In September I bet Iowa State to win the Big 12 title. Still going with that pick. Iowa State hasn’t won a conference title since the year Fenway Park opened up. Yes that’s 1912. Oklahoma has won six straight but they didn’t impress me last time out in a win against Baylor. People are against Iowa State for the way they are ranked by the college football committee. This will be a motivated team with something to prove. They have an outside chance to make the playoff. Bottom line is if you have watched these two teams all year there is no way that the Sooners should be giving the Cyclones over a field goal. I feel Iowa State has an under-rated coach and quarterback. I’ll take Iowa State to win this game outright.