For many people, moving through October and into November is a sign that winter is fast approaching. And in northeast Ohio that puts one word most prominently in people's minds - cold.
Well players, if you haven't figured it out already, The Lead Man's calendar reads a bit differently. In a Lead year it's a simple formality to cruise through the month of Locktober right into the unseasonably hot month of Stovember - a month in which Lead likes to allow his selections to warm until they are a juicy shade of green. This year is following suit as Lead continues to blow through college football Saturdays like an Alberta clipper over the Great Lakes. He has 8 winning weeks, 1 losing week and one draw to date this season, including a 3-1 mark since coming aboard theclevelandfan.com. When you consider the fact that LP posted a 9-3-2 record last college football season, it leaves little doubt as to why the Lead Man is widely considered to clearly be the number one sports handicapper in the 440.
And players, please allow Lead to make one thing clear - he isn't going to proceed through coming Lead years without you. Lead has been inundated with e-mails, many of a congratulatory nature in regard to his deal with theclevelandfan.com, but also many expressing a feeling of trepidation. Some people justifiably fear that this might be the first step toward Lead becoming a national (if not global) handicapping icon, thus reducing some of their access to LP.
A common question is, "How long before you start charging for your locks?"
Players, Lead is no hump. He is as honest as the day is long. You can trust him with your wife, your daughter AND your dog. Understand that the reason other less successful cappers are requesting you call for a pick, or want you to pay for a secured password to access a pick online, is so they can split their picks on the game and hoodwink half of their callers and customers.
This is not how Lead operates. Each week, for two years, Lead has posted his picks on a public forum for all to see, laud, critique, and most succinctly - leave people astonished at their accuracy. The fact that Lead is now exposed to a larger audience changes little. He has nothing to hide. Hard work and loyalty is what the Lead Man is all about, and when you go to war on a college football Saturday, rest assured, LP is in the foxhole with you, and he's got your back. No post Halloween tricks loyal Lead followers, simply another year of treats, courtesy of the Lead Man. On to this week's picks;
The Aztecs of San Diego State travel to Sin City this weekend to take on the UNLV Rebels. These are two teams on opposite sides of the spectrum. San Diego State is showing heart and UNLV is displaying no desire to salvage what dignity they have left as the season winds down. The Aztecs found themselves down by 3 touchdowns last week against Wyoming, but QB Kevin O'Connell refused to allow his troops to roll over as they battled back to victory. They still have a faint hope for a post season berth, so look for that effort to continue this week. UNLV on the other hand has lost 5 in a row, and it's becoming clear that they'd rather be tossing dice rather than footballs. Injuries have also taken their toll as top defender Beau Bell is banged up and the team never recovered from the loss of starting QB Rocky Hinds early in the campaign. How can you compete in the Mountain West without your Rocky?
San Diego State +3 is the play.
Let's look at another dog. The Owls of rice swoop into Gerald Ford Stadium in Dallas Texas to face the SMU Mustangs. The air will be filled with footballs Saturday as these two pass defenses are so poor President Ford, in his current state, could probably throw for three TD's. Rice gained over 550 yards last week and they are facing a D which gave up 552. On the other hand, Rice's porous defense gives up over 500 ypg, so when you add it all up there is going to a ton of scoring at The Mustang ranch. The value lies in the fact that Rice is getting 6 points. That's too many.
Who, Who, Who is going to stop the Owls? Not SMU. Rice +6
Boise State makes a run to Logan Utah Saturday afternoon to take on the winless Utah State Aggies. This one should be over early as Boise still has their eyes fixed on a major bowl game while Utah State is owner of the 2nd longest losing streak in the country. The Aggies are giving up 448 ypg and 35 points a game on defense, and when you consider the fact that Boise QB Taylor Tharp is really coming into his own and RB Ian Johnson is getting healthy, this looks to be real bad timing for Utah State. Look for Boise to score early and often, with Ian Johnson impressing the cheerleaders again with a big game on the ground.
Boise State -24
The Colorado State Rams back doored the Lead Man last week with a late DEFENSIVE touchdown against BYU to blow the cover. To that point in the season Lead bettors were a perfect 3-0 wagering against CSU. Let's try to make it 4-1 as the Lobos of New Mexico host the Rams in this Mountain West conference battle. New Mexico is coming of an embarrassing loss to TCU and look to make amends this week. CSU can't stop the run and New Mexico's Rodney Ferguson looks to have a big day. New Mexico should also be able to pressure the passer as the Rams have some issues on the offensive line. This game is in Albuquerque, and New Mexico plays much better at home. No loss for these Lobos.
New Mexico -9
Lead has wagered so much against Duke he's out of material. Annoying point guards, a whining coach, Lacrosse parties, African American strippers, crooked defense attorneys. He's pretty much covered it. Problem is, Duke Football is so poor they are worth wagering against again this week. Last Saturday Lead had you in the clubhouse at halftime with an easy Clemson cover. This week look for Georgia Tech to treat Duke University in the same fashion Carlos Boozer treated the Cleveland Cavaliers; rudely. Duke has lost 15 straight at home and 23 straight in the conference. It doesn't get much worse than this. Go with the rambling wreck, instead of the plain old wreck. Georgia Tech -14.
Lastly, one game you may need to do a little research on Saturday morning. San Jose State hosts New Mexico State Saturday afternoon. San Jose State's secondary is thin and their best player, CB Dwight Lowery, has a bruised right calf. The decision of whether or not he goes looks to be made late in the week. Lowery is a difference maker and was one of the nation's leaders in interceptions last season. The line is favoring San Jose chiefly because New Mexico State is winless on the road, however, gun slingin' QB Chase Holbrook is hitting his stride and if Lowery is out New Mexico State can win this game outright. Keep Tabs on this one players.
If there is No Lowery, wager New Mexico State +4.
Want to know the steam on any of this weekend's match-ups, shoot The Lead man an email...