Last year: 91-19 straight up, 42-57 against the spread
This week, so far: 2-0 straight up
Well, after going a respectable 42-36-1 against the spread in 2011, I stunk it up in that regard last year. I did improve my straight up picks, which is a minor miracle considering that my 2012 preseason predictions were easily my worst ever. Hopefully I'll whip the in-season ATS picks back into shape.
Per usual, the spread lines come from the Yahoo! pick 'em game (plug plug, it's not too late to sign up). Games are listed in chronological order by kick time.
Florida (-23.5) over Toledo 34-13
Until I see this offense show progress, I'm not taking the Gators to beat anyone but Kentucky by 24 or more points (just based on recent history). Not even Georgia Southern, which runs a funky offense and comes the week before FSU.
Texas A&M (-27) over Rice 56-10
I might predict 70 points if Johnny Manziel was going to play more than a quarter, which he probably won't.
Oklahoma State (-12.5) over Mississippi State 38-20
I just hope the Bulldogs can keep this interesting for a half. OSU is better than what the rankings are giving it credit for, and MSU is just plain overmatched in this one.
Arkansas (-10.5) over UL-Lafayette 40-33
This one has some real shootout potential, and it's a good idea to take the points in a shootout. Arkansas could cover by pulling away late, but this won't be a blowout from the first snap.
Alabama (-20) over Virginia Tech 42-9
The only limit in this game is the pressure imparted on the gas pedal by Nick Saban's right foot.
Auburn (-15.5) over Washington State 38-30
I can see this one being high scoring just like with Arkansas-ULL, so I'm taking the points here too. Even given the big talent advantage that Auburn has here and with Wazzou being so far from home, the line seems a bit high. AU is in its first-year coach transition period, whereas WSU is in its second year bump under Mike Leach. Auburn should win by a score or two, but not by more than that.
Kentucky (-4.5) over Western Kentucky 20-17
Once again, I'm taking the points in a new coach's first game. I really don't know what UK has going for it this year, so I'm being conservative until I know a bit more.
Clemson (+1.5) over Georgia 34-32
This one will be entertaining and a bit high scoring, but it won't be a shootout in the 80s for total points like you might have heard in a few places. In Athens or a neutral site I'm taking Georgia, but in The Other Death Valley, I'm going Clemson.
LSU (-4.5) over TCU 27-17
This game is likely to be ugly, but I do think LSU will pull away late and cover. This is a huge test for Cam Cameron's new offense right off the bat.
Tennessee over Austin Peay 42-10
Missouri over Murray State 62-17