By Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
Weekly Record 6-3-2, Overall Record 40-24-2
MR. Over/Under: Chargers -12 over Arizona
After losing to the Broncos by a point last week, due to their kicker, the Chargers are home to Arizona, who lost to the Raiders last week. The Chargers beat the Raiders by 16 and 14 points this year. Since the spread is 12 and the Chargers beat the Raiders by more than 12, twice, the Chargers should be able to score at least 30 and cover.
Man in Stripes: Pitt -3 Denver
Huge comeback last week for Big Ben and company. The win gives them six wins in a row. Antonio Brown has been on fire. Broncos coming off an upset win at the Chargers, but I don’t put a lot of stock in that. The Broncos should have lost, the Chargers blew it. Case Keenum has been just ordinary. Steelers have it rolling. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
Mono: Florida State +6.5 over Florida
FSU is one of those teams that need to win this week in order to become bowl eligible. FSU is coming off their best performance of the year an upset win over Boston College. Florida started off the year hot but they haven’t been playing their best ball recently. A win over Idaho last week doesn’t impress me. Florida could win this outright but will keep it close.
Slick: Detroit +3 over Chicago
Going back to the Lions again this week. Bears should be without Trubisky. I love the spot the Lions are in. Lions are playing better shown last week with their outright win over a good Carolina team. I love the Lions on Thanksgiving getting points on a short week where they don’t have to travel against a back-up QB.
Mr. Brutal: Ottawa +4 over Calgary
This is the oldest football championship in the world. It started in 1909 and has only missed being played for four consecutive years during World War One ( Most of the players were fighting in trenches in northern France and Belgium. In World War Two a lot of replacement, part-timers who were either too old or young for military service filled out rosters ). The Grey Cup is the second oldest & second heaviest continuously awarded trophy in major team sports after the Stanley Cup.
This is Calgary’s fourth Championship game in the last six years. It is also their third appearance in a row, none of which they have won despite being a heavy favourite in each game. Their only win in that six year streak was four years ago when they eked out a 20-16 win over Hamilton in Vancouver.
Ottawa defeated Calgary 39-33 two years ago in Toronto in a major upset. This game is seen as a rematch of that unexpected result where the 11 point underdog Redblacks pulled out the win. This season Calgary did beat Ottawa twice: In Calgary they won 24-14 during week three back in July, and two weeks later in the nation’s capital, they repeated, winning 27-3. However QB Trevor Harris was knocked out of that game early for the Redblacks and these games were also very early in the year.
We don’t trust Calgary who continually have trouble late in the year in these big games despite their usual talent edge. As outlined comprehensively in last week’s pick, the Stampeders did not end the year well, but unfortunately they did beat the Blue Bombers 22-14 in the Western Final, beating our Stone Cold Lock pick by one lousy point late in the game!
Ottawa routed the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 46-27 in the Eastern Final in a game that was never in doubt and whose final score flattered Hamilton. This allowed Ottawa to float through the second half and rest starters for this week’s game.
The game is in Edmonton, it’s late November and there is no dome, so weather could be a factor ( Edmonton is the most northern latitude city on the planet with a metropolitan population over a million people [ 1.3 million ] ). The Redblacks finished this year playing their best football and match up well with the Stampeders. They are a far better overall team than the one that beat Calgary two years ago. The Stampeders on the other hand, are probably not as talented as their team from two years ago.
This game could come down to a field goal in bad conditions. If it does, that favours Ottawa. Their kicker, Lewis Ward passed Indianapolis Colts’ kicker Adam Vinatieri’s record this season by hitting his 45th straight field goal, many in bad, windy and even snowy conditions.
Ottawa wins ( or covers ).
Bob Gaughan: Michigan -4.5 over Ohio State
If Jim Harbaugh is ever going to beat Ohio State then it’s going to be this year. If he can’t win this year then Michigan should let him go. I’ve watched Ohio State after their loss to Purdue. In previous years after a loss they’ve responded with vengeance. This year they have shown real problems. The defense isn’t as strong and I don’t believe they have a running game. Michigan has a better offense and defense.