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Picks are generally graded on a 1-3 Unit ("U") scale, with 3U being highest confidence level.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

College Football for 9/16

I don't love anything on tonights board so I'm just going to stick to tomorrow for the plays.

Michigan -23 vs Air Force 1 unit

Michigan hasn't necessarily dazzled me offensively so far this year, but their defense has been fantastic.  Neither Cincinnati nor Florida got over 200 total yards against them and they've already got 10 sacks on the season.  Michigan should have plenty of speed and be disciplined enough to stop the Air Force option attack and this should be a good week to get Speight and the offense rolling.

Iowa State -10.5 at Akron 1 unit

Akron was shut out in their opener against Penn State and Iowa State is in a bounce back spot after a tough OT loss to their in state rivals last week.  I look for the Cyclones to put up 40 or more for the third consecutive week which should be plenty to cover this number.

Nebraska -12.5 vs Northern Illinois 2 units

The Huskers are another team in a bounce back spot this week.  After giving up 42 to Oregon in the first half last week the defense decided to show up and shut out the Ducks in the second half.  Tanner Lee should look much better this week after a 4 pick effort last week and the friendly confines will propel the Huskers to a big win.

Notre Dame -13 at Boston College 2 units

Continuing the theme of teams that suffered a close loss last week here.  Notre Dame needs to win big to get some confidence back after yet another close loss for Brian Kelly.  Boston College has done nothing offensively so far this season, they've thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, have no rushing touchdowns, and their leading rusher is a wide receiver.  The Irish will bring the hammer this week and win by 3 scores.

Florida -4 vs Tennessee 1 unit

Florida's offense didn't look good week 1, but as I said earlier, Michigan may have one of the best defenses in the country.  Tennessee got a win last season in this matchup when they put up 35 points in the second half and the Gators defense should remember that well and be ready for some payback in the Swamp.

Penn State -37 vs Georgia State 1 unit

Georgia State gave up almost 6 yards a carry to FCS Tennessee State in their opener this year.  They've got a first year head coach, they have no offense to speak of, and they have to travel to happy valley and play under the lights.  The Nittany Lions should pitch a shutout here and Barkley is going to run wild yet again.  He's averaging over 9 yards a carry right now and after tomorrow night he may find himself over double digits.

Kansas State -3 at Vanderbilt 1 unit

I love Bill Snyder in these early season games.  Vanderbilt has struggled to run the ball so far this season and if Kansas State can make anyone one dimensional it doesn't matter who they are playing, that team is in trouble.  This will be the toughest test either of them has faced so far in a young season and it should be a fun one to watch!

Louisville +3 vs Clemson 1 unit

At some point Louisville is going to have to win big games like this if they hope to be taken seriously as national title contenders.  Last season they lost this matchup and despite Lamar Jackson putting up nearly 300 passing and over 150 rushing.  He's the focal point of the offense again and is still a joy to watch, let's see if he can put the Cardinal's on his back for a big win under the lights of Papa John Stadium.  I think it's set up as a crowd favorite blackout game as well which always makes for an entertaining atmosphere.

Best of luck to all!

Monday, September 4, 2017

College Football For 9/4

Well, it was a valiant effort for UCLA last night scoring 28 in the fourth quarter to get the win but unfortunately it was too little too late for the cover.  Va Tech pulled through for the Musketeers though giving us a wash of a day more or less, -.1 units, and leaving the season at 12-5, +5.4 units.  It's the last day of this fun five day stretch, let's go 2 for 2 tonight and end this weekend strong!

Tennessee -3 vs Georgia Tech (1 unit) 8:00
Under 55.5 (1 unit)

Two fairly veteran teams squaring off in this one and while it's technically a neutral site game it's virtually a home game for Georgia Tech but I'm going with the Vols tonight.  Tennessee should have a great offensive line and solid running backs behind it.  Getting rid of Dobbs might actually be an improvement for them, he disappointed more than a few fans at times last year.  Everyone knows that Georgia Tech will come in with the option offense ready, but with an entire offseason to prepare his team and 7 defensive starters returning Butch Jones should be ready for this challenge.  The under is a pretty basic philosophy for me; first game of the season, two vet defenses that gave up less than 30 a game last year, and both teams have new QB's this season.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

College Football for 9/3

4-3 yesterday thanks to Alabama and a USC second half that were posted on Twitter, so that makes three positive days in a row to start the season!  There isn't much action today, but there are two games tonight and I like something in both of them so let's have some fun and keep things rolling!

Virginia Tech -4.5 vs West Virginia (1 unit) 7:30

The Hokies bring back 7 guys on a defense that only allowed opposing QB's to complete 50% of their passes for about 200 yards per game last season.  West Virginia will have a new QB and Grier is very talented, but they lost their top two WR from last season and we don't often see all that new blood gel early in the season. 

UCLA -4.5 vs Texas A&M (1 unit) 7:30

UCLA is loaded offensively this season with Rosen back at QB and almost all of their top WR's and RB's back again.  A&M should have a solid defense this year but I think Rosen and company will be too much for them in the Bruins home opener.  

Saturday, September 2, 2017

College Football for 9/2

3-1 last night, losing the 2 unit play killed most of the profit but +.8 units is better than nothing and we're off to a 7-1 start for the season overall!

Iowa/Wyoming under 52 (1 unit) 12:00

Iowa comes in with major questions at both QB and WR.  With a much tougher slate of opponents to come later this season I don't expect the Hawks to show much unless they have to, meaning they will run the ball and try to play defense.  Wyoming features one of the best, if not the best, QB's in the nation with Josh Allen and while we all know how talented he is I think the Iowa defensive line is going to get some pressure on him and wear down the Cowboys offensive line meaning not much scoring and probably a couple turnovers.

South Carolina +6.5 vs NC State (1 unit) 12:00
South Carolina/NC State under 53 (1 unit)

NC State has some higher expectations on offense this season since they return 9 starters on that side of the ball, but South Carolina should make a jump forward this season.  Muschamp is in his second season for the Gamecocks and they return 10 starters on offense.  The defense improved last season and should be better again this year.  It's also a neutral site game, so I don't see that much of an edge for NC State today.

Florida +5 vs Michigan (1 unit) 3:30

Yes, I know Florida has some minor suspension issues.  Michigan is almost completely starting fresh this season, they have 4 guys back that started on offense and only 1 on defense.  While that can be a good thing, Harbaugh is getting his kind of recruits now on year 3, it doesn't always come together in the first game of the season.  Florida should be much better on offense this season and Feleipe Franks should bring a jump to the QB play.  I think we see a close first game here where a field goal could decide things either way.

Troy +10 at Boise State (1 unit) 3:45

Troy returns 8 offensive starters and an ungodly 98.7% of their offensive production from last season.  Boise State hasn't even sold out their stadium this week, last I heard it was somewhere around 10k short of a sellout, meaning that the fans probably aren't too excited about this years team. 10 points is a lot to cover in an opener against a veteran team so I'm taking the Trojans here.

Friday, September 1, 2017

College football for 9/1

It's great to be back for the 2017 season!  We kicked things off last night via Twitter and went 4-0 when THE Ohio State University finished strong.  As a reminder, all my picks are on a 1-3 unit scale based on confidence in the pick.  You can also follow me on twitter (@jtrottersluck) or feel free to leave any comments below, it's always fun to interact with all the musketeers.  If you like what you read please share this page with a fellow degenerate, everyone's welcome here!

Colorado -3 vs Colorado State (1 unit) 8:00 eastern

Colorado lost a lot on defense and their career passing leader at QB, but they do still return 9 offense starters.  I think this line is low because of Colorado State's performance last week when they put up 58 points against Oregon State but the Beavers don't look likely to be a bowl caliber team and have another weak defense.  The Buffaloes are 7-2 lately in this series with the wins coming by an average of 16 points.  I expect Montez to have used the off season well and be prepared to lead his team to win to start their season right.

FAU +9.5 vs Navy (2 units) 8:00 eastern

Maybe I have Lane Kiffin fever, but I like the Owls tonight.  They return 9 starters on offense from a team that averaged 26 ppg and 8 on defense.  While the defense was atrocious last season, Chris Kiffin comes in with experienced players to work with and should be improved.  Navy only returns 5 starters from last seasons defense.  That defense allowed 31 ppg and let opponents complete nearly 65% of their passes.  If Kiffin opens things up a little tonight th Owls should keep this one close.

Northern Illinois +3.5 vs Boston College (1 unit) 9:30 eastern

Northern Illinois is potent in their home openers winning 14 of their last 17 including 8 in row at one point.  They always have a good offense and have averaged over 31 ppg the last 7 years, over 38 in four of those seasons.  The BC defense allowed 25 ppg last season and doesn't look to be much improved this year.  I love having the hook here and I'll probably put a touch on the Huskies at +155 as well.

I had some leans on the rest of the board but didn't play them, for the curious minds out there I leaned Eastern Michigan, Washington, and Wisconsin.  I didn't like the travel for Washington despite the poor quality of their opponent, Wisconsin QB play scares me but I know they'll run the ball well as always, and I just don't know what to make of Eastern Michigan this season yet even though they looked to be a much improved team last season.

BOL to everyone tonight!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Jay's Baseball Picks for 7/6

It's been quite awhile since we had some picks on the site, and since I've made any baseball picks, but today's as good a day as any to get things moving again.  If you weren't following along on Twitter, I made my last pick on 5/16 and I've updated the spreadsheet where I've kept track of each pick I've made this baseball season.  For the season I'm +6.16 units.  All plays are 1 unit.

As a reminder, you can (and should) follow @FTMSamSays for his baseball picks, he really is the baseball expert and the reason this wonderful site exists in the first place.

Tigers -118 vs Giants 

Sanchez only has 4 starts this season, all no decisions, and his ERA isn't great but he has kept the Tigers in the games he pitched for the most part.  The Giants got a win last night and as one of the worst teams in baseball I'm not seeing them win 2 in a row on the road.

Phillies +103 vs Pirates 

The Phillies can split the series and Hellickson has pitched fairly well this season and historically has done well against the Pirates.

Monday, May 8, 2017

NBA Picks 5/8

2U Warriors -8.5 (-110) – 9PM EST

The Warriors lead the series over the Jazz 3 games to none and go into tonight looking for the sweep. In the other 3 games this series, none have been decided by less than 10 points, so despite this being an elimination game for the Jazz in Utah, I expect that trend to continue.

2U Warriors/Jazz Over 206.5 (-110) – 9PM EST

The 3 games played thus far this series have yielded point totals of 200, 219, and 193. Pretty low scoring considering the tremendous offensive talent on the Golden State side of the basketball. With defending MVP Steph Curry, former MVP Kevin Durant, and fellow splash bro Klay Thompson, the Warriors are essentially unstoppable despite playing against the best defense in the league. I anticipate this game looking more like game 2 then games 1 and 3, which means a big scoring output for the Warriors. Offensively, while not very good, the Jazz have been consistent and I expect that consistency to continue today as well. I see this game as a 115-100 blowout win for the Warriors as they coast to the Western Conference finals.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

NBA Picks 5/4

As a small disclaimer, I am making basically the same exact picks that I did on Tuesday – although the lines are different

1U Celtics +5.5 (-110) – 8PM EST

Celtics go into this game up 2-0 in the series and coming of a phenomenal 53 point performance by Isaiah Thomas. He outplayed John Wall who was in a zone dropping 40 points of his own to pair with 13 assists. I’m not sure what Wizards team will show up tonight, will it be the team that has blown 10+ point leads in both games in Boston, or will it be a team on a mission eager to win their first game of the series – now on their home court. One thing I do know though, is that Thomas and the Celtics brass have showed nothing but guts this series, so I fully expect the game to be close and come down to the wire, which is why I think the Celts will keep it within 5.5.

2U Jazz/Warriors over 204.5 (-110) – 1030PM EST

One Tuesday I thought there was no chance this game went under 206.5. The game was basically right on pace to just barely go over through 3 quarters, then I went to sleep and missed a hard fought but low scoring 4th. The game ended up just hitting 200 points in a game where the Jazz pace really hurt the scoring output of the Warriors. The Warriors did have flashes though, and that 200 point number occurred despite one of the most boring first 8 minutes of a game I’ve ever seen. Tonight, I expect the Warriors to get off to a hotter start then in game 1, as they’ve clearly seen that the Jazz can at least make things tough for them. The Jazz, I don’t really know what to expect. We might have seen their best defensive game this series in the 1st contest, but can their offense improve – that’s the big question. Tonight I anticipate a much better performance for Jazz forwards Joe Johnson and Gordon Hayward though, which should help creep the 94 they scored in game 1 closer to about 100 points. I also expect to see better games from Durant, Curry, and Klay tonight for the Warriors which will allow them to build on the 100 points they put up Tuesday. Going to go with the same score prediction as I had (and was wrong with) the other day, 112-100 Warriors.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

NBA Picks 5/2

Last Night: 2-0 +3U
Cavs smoked the Raptors and the game went over 208.5

1U Celtics -5 (-110) – 8PM EST

I’m not completely confident that the Celtics are going to win this game, but I figure might as well ride a 5 game winning streak. After a tooth aching bad start on Sunday’s game, the Celtics bounced back in the final 3 quarters of the game and got an astounding comeback win. IT4 was good as always with 33 points, but what really put the Celts over the edge was the hot shooting of Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, and the all of a sudden consistent play of Al Horford. There is no one on the Wizards that can contain Thomas, and just in general, the Wizard defense is not all that good. While I don’t see Jae and AB having the games they had Sunday, they will still perform well and the team will have no issue scoring points. The big X factor for the Celts will be how they defend John Wall and Bradley Beal…if they can contain those 2 guys, they should win the game easy and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

2U Jazz/Warriors over 206.5 (-110) – 1030PM EST

This over was a pretty easy choice for me to pick. While the Jazz had the best scoring defense in the NBA for the regular season, their playoff performance defensively has been slightly worse. Granted they played a good offensive team in the Clippers in round 1, but the Clips were also without Blake Griffin for a few games. The one stat that really jumps out to me though about the Jazz, that directly relates to this series, is that they were 17th in the NBA in 3 point percentage against. Playing the Warriors, that will really come to bite them in the points allowed category, as the Warriors are the best 3 point shooting team in the NBA. The Warriors also don’t play a ton of defense so the Jazz should be able to put up some points of their own. My prediction tonight is for a big game by Steph and Klay for the Warriors, and a big game by Gordon Hayward of the Jazz – which will result in a good scoring output for both squads. Score prediction 112-100 Warriors.