Thursday, December 29, 2016

Vindy's Picks 2016-17 Part III

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (AP)…It wasn’t over when the Vegas Vindicator finished Election Night in a third-place tie with Jill Stein. It wasn’t over when the Electoral College confirmed Donald Trump’s win on December 19. Quoting a Yogi Berra-Game of Thrones mash-up, the Weber Kid quipped, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s Hodor.” Supporters of the world-famous forecaster have besieged outgoing-Vice President Joe Biden with phone calls, texts, e-mails and social-media comments to not certify the Electoral College outcome, clamoring to see their hero occupy the key-seat in the West Wing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Vindicator, who ran on the “Peace thru superior parlay-power”-platform, hopes that Biden, hailing from Delaware…Weber’s old stomping-grounds… in his role as President of the Senate, will throw the red challenge-flag, even at the cost of not only da’ challenge, but da’ time-out as well.
A 2-5 start to Part II beckoned us to recruit currently-suspended Duke-hoops Junior-guard Grayson Allen to trip the bookies as the forecast started to go south. A perfect 4-0 result on December 28 gave us life, but a 0-2 tally (with Colorado-Okie State just underway as we go to press) leaves us at an unsatisfying 6-7 on the “fortnight”. Comin’ to ya during a sleep-over at the local IKEA, it’s…
(More toxic than water in Corpus Christi!)

DEC. 30
Georgia (+1 ½) over Texas Christian: LOCK OF DA’ “WEEK”. Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill hasn’t been all that profitable fer the Frogs, putting 15 TD-passes and a Baker’s Dozen picks in the history books. Joja’ s won and covered three of last four post-season efforts, including touchdown-victory over da’ Alma Mater in last year’s TaxSlayer Bowl. UGA FR QB Jason Eason   served up 14 scoring-throws, sending just 8 to the wrong-colored jersey. Joja’ had unremarkable 4-4 SU in unremarkable SEC East. Still, Aggies won 24-23 at Kansas…Bulldogs 27 TCU 16

North Carolina vs. #16 Stanford (“under 54 ½): Cards’ new supporting-cast has had a whole season to get in-sync with RB Christian McCaffrey on offense. SU has won 3 of 4 nonconference tilts each season since 2011 and has already recorded the hat-trick thus far in 2016, besting K-State, Our Lady and Rice by 13, 7 and 24, respectively. Stanford has seven games “under” this total altogether on da’ campaign. We foresee UNC, who boasts a pair of outright victories over FCS clubs, movin’ da’ ball, but coming away with three-pointers instead of sixes…Trees 27 ‘Heels 19

South Alabama (+14) over Air Force: First time since 2010 that all three service-academies play in the bowls. Flyboys went 0-fer-five against the number givin’ double-digits in 2016…Pilots 30 Jags 23

#24 Nebraska (+6) over Tennessee: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. Both sides looking to end the year on a higher-note after poor-showings in regular-season finales. SEC East has been a major disappointment (nice-improvement of Vanderbilt, who took out Rocky Top by 11 in aforementioned finale, notwithstanding). Vols have lost a single non-conference game in each of the previous three seasons and haven’t dropped one in four tries thus far. Huskers are equally adept, going 3-0 to-date and 11-4 coming into this season. NU has been betting-gold in the post-season of late, winning two of three outright and beating the spread in all three, getting points in the whole trio. Huskers could hit 10 dubyas for first time since 2012 with the victory…Corn Flakes 29 Vols 23

#6 Michigan (-7) over #10 Florida State: For all his exploits, ranging from a Spring-training game stint as first-base coach for the Detroit Tigers to climbing a tree with a recruit, Jim Harbaugh’s team didn’t quite meet betting-public expectations (Sports Illustrated asserted ESPN’s David Purdum noted the Wolverines grabbed more preseason wagers than any other club to win da’ National Title, dropping the odds from 15-to-1 to 7-to-1. Still, the Orange Bowl ain’t a bad launching-pad for 2017 campaign that will see him have all of his signees on the field. “Uncle Mo” seems to side with da’ Noles, who posted four consecutive triumphs to close out the regular-season, while Big Blew was on the wrong-end of the final score in two of last three and have been the wrong side ATS in 6 of last 7 games decided by a TD or less, but Wolverines trashed Florida off defeat by Ohio State in 2015…Michigan 37 FSU 24

DEC. 31

#19 Louisiana State vs. #15 Louisville (“under 59”): Second-choice fer “lock”. Eighteen of combined two-dozen culminated as “under” this total. From 2009 thru 2012, Heisman Trophy-winning teams won and covered each of their post-season contests. The outright-victory trend continued since 2013 with qualifying-squads winning 3 outta’ 4 (two of those gained by last season’s Bama’s National Champions), but tanking against the line in 3 outta’ 4.   Heisman-also-ran RB Leonard Fournette will be absent for this contest in order to “focus on the NFL”???!!! Love him or hate him for that decision, we respect the honesty…LSU 26 Da’ Ville 16
TAXSLAYER BOWL (@ Jacksonville, FL)

Kentucky vs. Georgia Tech (“over 61 ½): Bees 38 Wildcats 34

#1 Alabama (-14) over #4 Washington: First semi-final fer the CFP Championship. Tide gains nothing but psychological-edge with big win here vs.  UDUB, needing no style-points, just more points on the board at the end to vie for third national title in six years against Buckeyes-Tigers victor. Having a freshman under center means little because freshmen that start in Tuscaloosa play at upperclass-experience levels. ‘Dogs QB Jake Browning and his merry-band of receivers line-up across from best defense they’ve faced, while many of ‘Bama’s players have experienced play-offs/BCS outings before. Packiderms grudgingly-allowed 34 total points over final five and 58 over last seven tilts. Sled Dogs have zero margin-of error. Cher will perform at halftime with the Huskies’ band and sing….”If I could turnnn-back Tiiiiide…”…Alabama 42 UDUB 24

#2 Ohio State (-3) over #3 Clemson: Gridiron sports-betting version of the “ugly sweater” contest. Collectively, the Buckeyes and Tigers beat the spread 4 times in last 15 joint--tries. Clemson has walked off the field in victory four times in last five bowls, winning ATS in all of ‘em. State won and covered each of last three bowls and topped all three ranked-opponents on the year (though covered just once). Winner faces Peach Bowl-victor for the National Title. Heisman-bridesmaid Deshaun Watson was quoted as saying “I’m the best player in the country.” Nothin’ wrong with a little self-confidence, but there’s gonna’ be a QB on the other sideline vying to out-perform him and a defense across the line-of-scrimmage wanting to eat his lunch given that bulletin-board material!...Buckeyes 29 Clemson 24
JAN. 2

#20 Florida vs. #21 Iowa (“under 40 ½): Gators come in on crutches, having lost 3 of last 4 and are still prone to nightmares over last season’s Citrus Bowl 41-7 pasting by Michigan. Iowa ended regular-season on three-game win-streak, including the defeat of said-Wolverines and can-of-whoop-ass on Nebraska, yielding 26 total points over that span, and limited 6 of 9 Big Tent-Peg opponents to 17 or less. Birds already had a dozen victories this time last year and will add a 9th to this season’s win-tally…Hawkeyes 17 Crocs 13

#8 Wisconsin (-8) over #12 Western Michigan: Badgers have had far too much time to  about  major-collapse vs. Penn State in the Big Tentacle Conference Championship and will look to score early-and-often vs. Western Michigan, who had a great year, but permitted a lotta’-points-against in conference play. Wisky faces first non-Power Five squad since 21-19 loss to upstart Horny Toads in 2010 post-season, who joined the Big 12 a couple seasons later.  Broncos have beaten the line six times in as many chances vs. ranked-opponents, but WMU’s only Top 25 foe in 2016 was fellow-MAC’er Northern Illinois and shows 2-4 ATS record vs. B10 in past four years, with the four losses coming by 9 or more. Badgers are covering two of every three non-conference games over the last four campaigns…Varmints 34 Westy 17

#5 Penn State (+7) over #9 Southern Cal: UPSET PICK OF DA’ “WEEK” #2. The veteran-readership knows from experience that we don’t back the Lions in a ‘dog-role on the money-line lightly. Selection of the Alma Mater to win outright here isn’t just alum-loyalty or false-bravado. We truly believe the Lions have the talent, RB Saquon Barkley #22 in rypg at 100.2 with 16 scores and #14 QB Trace McSorley at 258.5 ypg and 25-5 TD-to-pick ratio,  to take out the Trojans…and gettin’ almost a full touchdown to-boot is a bonus. Meanwhile, a closer-look at Troy’s eight-game win-streak reveals two victories over teams with winning-records…by 4 at home vs. 10-win Colorado and 12-win Washington. Much respect for those dubyas. The remainder came vs. two clubs with five wins, three squads with four wins and 3-win Arizona. If the lengthy lay-off hasn’t impacted the Happy Valley momentum and Lions’ special-teams don’t revert to early-season form...WE ARE 24 USC 20

#7 Oklahoma (-3) over #17 Auburn: War Eagle has toppled 16 non-SEC opponents in 19 opportunities over the past four seasons. Three of those victories came against nobody-special this year but a 19-13 home-loss to CFP #3 Clemson is respectable. That said, Auburn lost by 13 to A&M, 7 at Joja’ and 18 in the Iron Bowl. Boomer Schooner, after an auspicious 1-2 beginning, tore a swath a mile-wide through the entire conference slate behind QB Baker Mayfield. Oklahoma has lost badly to Clemson in each the last two post-seasons. They face a different group of Tigers here…Sooners 42 Aubie 36

BTW, when Vindy got the results of the Electoral College vote, it was not “how Antonio Brown must feel when he’s dancing in the end zone.” In related news, Vindy stated he’s also in-line for the recently-vacated honorary United Nations Ambassador of Empowerment for Women & Girls after the sudden ouster of Wonder Woman!

As part of his New Year’s resolutions, Vindy will be purchasing a Pokemon-gym membership!
Da’ Big 12 is looking into getting’ a channel on the telly dedicated to its own conference (last of the Power Five to do so). Found somewhere on your TV Guide between Shakespearean-fare Big Twelfth Night and season holiday programming called the Big Twelve Days of Christmas!

If an infamous Game of Thrones marriage-sequence had been filmed in Lincoln, Nebraska, would it have been known as the “Big Red Wedding”???!!!
Donald Trump during his campaign said he “plans to drain Da’ Swamp”. We wonder how the folks in Gainesville feel about that!

Vindy’s Picks…a world-leader in fake news!
Is it wrong that while we watched Ben Hur on Christmas Day, a particular scene of horse-drawn chariots circling the track to take their starting-positions just-ahead of the beginning of the race made us of think of the grounds-crews that cover the baseball-diamond with tarp during rain-delays?! And that the subsequent race-sequence flashed-us back to Danny Zuko beating Leo Balmudo on “Thunder Road” in Grease???!!!

Bizarre random thought…would a film about the Marines’ bowling team be entitled “Full Kegel Jacket”???!!!
“Locked in a Box?”:  Maryland-Boston College unexpectedly soared “over” the 44-point total, moving us back to 8-8 (.500).   

Black Shirt: The coveted-undergarment is gladly bestowed upon Texas A&M QB Trevor Knight for the pass that fell short on a late 4th-and-8 conversion try, preserving our Kansas State (+3) upset pick of da’ week!
Shoppe Talk: Da’ Iggles of Boston College (0-4, .000) hosed us for the fourth time in as many chances, while Wazzou betrayed the Picks for a fourth-consecutive outing after opening the year at 2-0 (.333).

Vindy’s Bowl Predictions Part III Best Bets:       Last Week:  2-1 Season: 41-42 (.494)
Georgia-Texas Christian “under 49 ½”, Stanford -2 over North Carolina, Michigan-Florida State “over 51 ½”, Weeziana State -3 over Louisville, Iowa +3 over Florida 

Don’t touch that dial. We’ll back by January 8 with our pick for the National Championship game, annual bowl- recap and…leftover “hash”!!!! (And there’s no app for ‘dat!)

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