Friday, October 21, 2005

The Wizard and Week 8

After being flogged for a 2-5 week, the man is back with his Magnificent Seven. He is he 27-21-1 (56.3%) against the spread, but if his track record is any indication, expect something good to happen. Selections are in comments.

1 comment:

dawizofodds said...

The Magnificent Seven

Iowa (minus 2.5) – Play Michigan if you want, but the belief here is that this is one of the best values of the year. The Wolverines are an average team playing in Kinnick Stadium, where the Hawkeyes have won 22 in a row. Iowa, as has been its habit, plays poor early in the season and improves dramatically. Note this: Since the start of the 2002 season, Iowa is a sparkling 22-2 in October and November. That is home and away ladies and gentlemen. Iowa (30th nationally in rushing), with improving Albert Young, should be able to run the ball on Michigan (74th defending run). This will only make QB Drew Tate even more dangerous. We could go on, but why? We’ve already scheduled the Brinks truck to stop by early Monday so we can safely make our way to the bank and make a deposit.

Northwestern (plus 11.5) – The Wildcats are in the thick of the Big Ten race and should be raring to go at East Lansing, where the Spartans’ hopes for a Big Ten title are all but over after last week’s loss at Ohio State. Northwestern would be leading the conference had it not been for Penn State’s miracle comeback earlier this month in Evanston. In a game where both teams enter ranked in the top five nationally in offense, give us the points and hoped-for emotional edge.

Indiana (plus 15.5) – We’ve been impressed with the steady improvement of Indiana and it is only a matter of time before it springs an upset. Is this it? Hoosier Coach Terry Hoeppner has pointed to this game. “It’s a good measuring stick for our program.” OK, we are nuts, but not Buckeye nuts. Rest assured Indiana will be firing to the end. There even has been mention of the possibility of QB Powers breaking the Big Ten record of 83 passes in a game. Last week against Iowa, the Hoosiers held the ball for more than 40 minutes, ran 101 plays and failed to cover. But the belief here is that the Buckeye offense, which has struggled to distinguish itself, simply isn’t good enough to cover this number on the road.

Brigham Young (plus 19) – Notre Dame is back, baby. The nation is fawning over the Fighting Irish and Crewcut Charlie Weis’ rebuilding project, which was completed in record time. OK, wake up world, that was a dream. Let’s take off that fresh coat of gloss that has been applied to Notre Dame and see what we have: a pass defense that ranks 114 out of 117 teams. A defense that ranks 101st. Brigham Young ranks 11th in passing. Notre Dame put everything into the USC game. It had two weeks to prepare. The grass wasn’t cut in a month. Officials soaked the field beforehand. Those green jerseys? Oh yeah, let’s wear the green. Every trick in the book, and even in defeat the Irish are being patted on the back. Don’t buy it people! Take the points here. The Irish aren’t that good, and we’ve played them correctly three times against zero defeats. Don’t say we didn’t warn you if you spot the points. Even Crewcut said this week he wouldn’t discuss the USC game any longer. Why? Because the Irish are looking in the rear-view mirror and BYU, which beat Notre Dame last season, is coming straight at them. We can’t wait to see the backpedaling by this parade of columnists who worshiped at the feet of Crewcut after the USC game. Repent your sins!

Alabama (minus 3.5) – The Crimson Tide played possum last week, edging Mississippi, but it’s clear Alabama was looking ahead. This happened earlier when the Tide struggled to a victory at Arkansas, then came roaring back at home to throttle Florida. And this was an Arkansas team still spinning after its 70-17 loss at USC. Granted, the Tide is not the same team without Prothro, but that is one nice defense they have assembled (5th nationally). Tennessee? Well, Fulmer is back playing a guessing game with the quarterbacks. Remember, if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterback (98th in scoring offense). We will roll with the Tide.

Louisiana State (minus 6.5) – It’s difficult to judge what we have in Auburn. The Tigers are 5-1, but the loss was to Georgia Tech, the only team they have played with a winning record (the Wizard doesn't count directional Kentucky as a legit opponent). Meanwhile, LSU has been busy knocking heads with some quality opponents. LSU should have covered last week, but kept turning the ball over. But let’s forget that bitter loss against the spread. We will jump right back on the Tigers – the LSU version – at home.

Nebraska (plus 2.5) – Missouri likes to run (11th nationally) and nobody stops the run better than Nebraska (1st). The Cornhusker offense has been improving and it’s doubtful the defensively challenged Tigers can do much to slow or stop Nebraska.