Each week, The State News’ degenerates who are 21 and older will be helping you try to earn some money with three picks of their own. Each week, we will update our records from the last week, so you can see who is really helping you cash in.
Two of our experts have separated themselves from the bottom, can Eli climb back? It'll take a bit more as the experts take on one college basketball future bet and two football picks.
Eli McKown, Sports Editor (5-7)
The Boilermakers were my only saving grace last week, but I know I’m ready to bounce back and take the top spot back in the standings.
Texas to win the National Title (+1500)
Texas may not be back on the gridiron, but they’re back on the hardwood.
Texas Head Coach Chris Beard is a fantastic basketball coach and with impact transfer senior guard Marcus Carr, senior Andrew Jones finally healthy after his battle with leukemia and an extremely talented roster, I love this squad to win the Big 12’s second consecutive title.
UTSA (-11) vs UTEP
The Roadrunners have yet to let me down this year, I don’t expect any different after the College Football Playoff Committee left the best team in the nation outside the top 25. I mean seriously, how can you not rank an undefeated team?
Ohio State (-14.5) vs Nebraska
It’s simple in this one really.
Ohio State is a good football team. Nebraska is not. I could care less if it is on the road for the Buckeyes, Nebraska Head Coach Scott Frost may not coach another game in Lincoln after this game is finished.
Jared Ramsey, Football Beat Reporter (6-6)
I went 1-2 in my picks and 0-1 in real life for football last weekend. Outside of covering the MSU game, it was a forgettable sports weekend for me that only brought pain. Hopefully, I can do better betting this weekend and I know I won’t lose another game in real life.
Duke (-1) vs Kentucky
Let’s start with some hoops.
Duke is coming off one of its worst years ever in its storied history. Forward Jalen Johnson wasn’t a good fit and Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski couldn’t figure out a solution. This year, the Blue Devils are retooled with a new crop of starlets ready to rebound from last year’s atrocity. There is no way that Duke is bad in Coach K’s farewell tour and I think that starts with a win over Kentucky in the Champions Classic on Tuesday.
Ole Miss (-9.5) vs Liberty
This line is scary without a clear diagnosis on the injury to Ole Miss junior quarterback Matt Corral’s ankle. The last time we saw him, he was dragging his leg like a sack of potatoes on the ground as he limped off in defeat against Auburn. It was a sad sight for one of the best and most fun players in college football, and I hope he is okay.
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And I really hope he is okay by Saturday because this is gonna be a fun football game and it deserves Corral. Liberty Head Coach Hugh Freeze is returning to Oxford after being fired four years ago for breaking nearly every NCAA recruiting violation in the book as Ole Miss’ coach. It should be a fun reunion between Mississippi and Freeze that ends in a comfortable Ole Miss victory.
San Diego State (-7) at Hawaii
I let everyone in on a lock on fading Hawaii on its trip to the mainland for a game during the day. It was a blowout so I hope people put the bet down and enjoyed their Saturday. This week, we are going back to Hawaii football, it’s a beautiful drug that I cannot quit. The Rainbow Warriors are returning home to play its first game in front of a full capacity crowd since building a new stadium two years ago against a powerhouse in San Diego State.
The Aztecs enter the game at 7-1 and ranked 24th in the premiere 2021 College Football Rankings. San Diego State has dominated its foes by pounding the football on the ground and playing staunch defense. It’s been beautiful to watch and I can’t wait to see the Aztec power in full force against the Rainbow Warriors Saturday. The game kicks off at 11 p.m. EST, so have some fun with this amazing nightcap. San Diego State by 17.
Sean Reider, Sports GA (6-6)
Last weekend, East Lansing was a place of pure joy, overexcitement and complete chaos. No doubt in my mind that the rampant celebrations seen in and around campus were inspired by a now-legendary, borderline improbable comeback: me going 3-0 after posting an 0-3 record last week.
And if we’re being completely honest, I didn’t know the fates of any of my picks until groggily checking my phone on Sunday morning. Regardless, I’m back to .500, motivated to keep the streak rolling and feeling good about the board this week.
Arkansas (+425) to win the SEC (CBB)
Bounce back Kentucky (+225) and reigning conference champion Alabama (+255) are the only two teams ahead of the Hogs odd-wise and I understand why ... and yet, I’m still a little surprised. No doubt Arkansas lost a considerable amount of production from last year’s Sweet Sixteen squad but a new flow of intriguing transfers and returning talent make me feel that Arkansas Head Coach Eric Musselman’s third year is being a little underrated.
Take advantage of the higher number and ride the Hogs.
Pitt (-21) vs Duke
Let’s have a quick chat about Duke. They’re one of only two ACC teams without a conference win (Boston College is a little bit more of a head-scratcher), let up a league-worst 33.3 points per game and their only wins are against FCS North Carolina A&T, typically bad Kansas and an awful Northwestern team. The Blue Devils outright STINK and have barely shown a pulse since the start of conference play.
And yeah, I know Pitt lost to Miami last week. But they’ve covered 75% of their games this season and besides, there’s always gonna be some bumps on the road to a title in the random spinning wheel that is the ACC Coastal Division. Lay the points and expect Heisman candidate senior quarterback Kenny Pickett and a sound Pitt defense to feast on the utter train wreck that is Duke.
Auburn (+5) vs Texas A&M
Only eight games into his tenure at Auburn and Head Coach Bryan Harsin has the Tigers back to what they’ve done best over the years: spoiling seasons, creating chaos and generally mucking up the SEC. After last week’s win over Ole Miss, Auburn controls its own destiny in the SEC West and winning out would all but guarantee a biblical Iron Bowl matchup with Alabama for a spot in the SEC title game.
Now, do I think Auburn will beat Alabama? Not right now. But they’ve turned a corner on both sides of the ball (cough, Bo Nix is back, cough) and are more than worthy to ride in what should be a dogfight of a game against an Aggies squad that’s found some new life of its own since they knocked off Alabama.
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