Anyone that climbed aboard Doc’s Sports’ bandwagon last week enjoyed one heck of a ride with a 5-2 record that produced a return of +11 units, or $1,010 on $100 per-unit wagers. We went with Ohio State as our Top Play of the Week. And while it was a shaky start at first, the Buckeyes lived up to expectations by turning on the jets towards the end of the first half and keeping their foot to the floor until the final gun to cruise past Nebraska, 63-38, as 2.5-point home favorites. Urban Meyer’s bunch is clearly the cream of the crop in the Big Ten this season, so it is unfortunate they are ineligible for the postseason. We project that Ohio State could very easily run the table at 12-0 with four tune ups left on the schedule before closing out the season on the road against Wisconsin and at home against Michigan.
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Nebraska remains a team that we just cannot figure out. The Cornhuskers dominated the college football landscape throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, but over recent years they just cannot regain that kind of consistent prosperity they enjoyed back then. Instead of parlaying the gift they received from Wisconsin two weeks ago into another big victory on Saturday night, the Cornhuskers’ defense became unglued after a relatively solid first half. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez continues to prove that he does not have what it takes to rise to the occasion in season-defining games such as this. Costly turnovers continue to haunt him at the worst possible time of the game, and his overall ability to throw the ball is average at best. Maybe he can still develop into a big-time quarterback through the rest of this season into the start of his senior year in 2013, but right now I have lost confidence in anything he does on the field other than run with the ball.
There is a great slate of games on tap this week in the Big Ten Conference, starting with Wisconsin on the road against Purdue as a 2.5-point underdog. The winner of this Leaders Division showdown will have a clear path to the conference title game with Ohio State and Penn State out of the picture. The Badgers took full advantage of Illinois’ issues on both sides of the ball that have made the Fighting Illini my choice for the worst team in the Big Ten this year. It has become painfully clear that Illini head coach Tim Beckman has his work cut out for him to turn this program around. That being said, it still took Wisconsin all four quarters to put this game away, which shows you where this team is this year. Purdue missed an opportunity against Michigan at home last week in a big way, so I will be interested to see how well the Boilermakers respond at home again in a game they cannot afford to lose. Look for this matchup to be one of our possible top picks for this week.
A huge SEC matchup with major BCS implications this week is South Carolina vs. LSU (-2.5) in Baton Rouge. The Gamecocks are coming off a romp of Georgia, while the Tigers may have fumbled away a shot at the national title game with a sloppy loss to Florida. LSU is having major problems this season on offense and could be extremely vulnerable to a second-straight loss this week. This is a golden opportunity for the old ball coach Steve Spurrier to put his team in excellent position to challenge Alabama for the SEC title. The Cocks would still have to get by the Gators on the road the following week, but first things first. LSU is not going to roll over and play dead, especially in front of a prime time audience at Tiger Stadium.
Doc’s tremendous run in the NFL for top plays came to an end last Sunday when Pittsburgh could not cover the three-points at home against Philadelphia. Our home-town Packers are still trying to get on track and have added injury to insult with Cedric Benson, Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, and BJ Raji all nicked up for this week’s game against the undefeated Houston Texans on Sunday night. I have always stood by my claim that injuries are one of the most overrated factors in handicapping a NFL matchup, so I will be sure to keep a keen eye on how Green Bay recovers from this 2-3 start. To me, the Packers’ main problem has been their inability to adjust to opponents concentrating a good deal of their energy on stopping the Pack’s big-play passing attack.
One thing I would like to hang my hat on is Doc’s incredible success this season with our Monday Night Football picks. Through the first five weeks, we are 4-1 with our only loss being Green Bay over Seattle, and that was a game we would have never lost if the regular officials were in place. We will have another selection this week, and I really like the side we are on. In my 41 years of handicapping the NFL, Monday nights have sometimes been a thorn in my side, but not this season with one of the best starts ever.
Doc’s is also extremely proud to announce that we have been able to show a profit in eight of the last 10 weeks of handicapping football, including going 10-3 on Top Plays (5-units or higher). Look for another strong lineup of Big Ten plays this week, and we would love to have you along for another profitable ride. Please feel free contact us at 1-800-356-9182 for all the details.
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