"Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it."
SyrusIt's the most wonderful time of the year - that comfortable chill in the air, the leaves changing color, the king of all sports underway and to top it all off the Lead Man providing his followers a fine ancillary income. And in these economic times, what a welcome sight the Lead Man's return is.Yes players, even though you haven't heard from him in a while, you can rest assured LP has not cooled off from his 3 year documented heater. He has, before your very eyes, consistently laid waste to the 52.4% number needed to defeat the vig, hitting over 60% of his selections in 2006 and 2007, and falling just short of that mark last season. This year would appear to be yet another banner year for the Lead Man. The Leadquarters is firing on all cylinders, with its staff unearthing and crunching its largest amount of data to date. While personally the Lead Man has managed to avoid many of the off-season pitfalls that seem to befall those associated with the great game of football; Lead avoided being shot in a strip club and was careful not to cross any major thoroughfares in the vicinity of Donte Stallworth after parties. He is season opening fresh, his faculties keen. So players, grab the remote, fire up the deep fryer for those wings and tell the wife to hit the bricks because the Lead Man is bringin' over a 6 pack - a 6 pack of winner that is. On to the picks:School is back in session and the Lead Man is looking at the same thing many of your kids are this time of year - chalk. Let's look at some early season favorites.
Do you know the way to San Jose? Lead Man hopes the bus driver for the Utah does, because the only thing stopping a Lead Man trip to the window in this tilt is Utah not finding their way in to Spartan Stadium. There is little question about Utah's high powered offense, especially after JUCO transfer Terrance Cain stepped in and took over the reigns, leading the Utes to over 500 yards of offense last week against Utah State. But a key in this match-up is Utah's D. LP feels they are a little undervalued. Sure they coughed up 17 points to Utah State last week, but most of those points were a result of Utah turnovers and one huge 96 yard TD run. San Jose gave up 600 plus to USC last week. Look for the Utes to score and score often and extend their Lead Man like winning streak-which is the nation's longest. Utah -13.5.
Let's hope the Pirates of East Carolina aren't looking to pillage teeth and bars of soap this Saturday, because if that's their goal, certainly Mountaineer field is the wrong venue. In the nation's only stadium in which a tie is NOT like kissing your sister West Virginia hosts East Carolina. East Carolina is coming off a win against Michigan killer Appalachian State. However, this App State team was decimated by graduation, or as Lead Man likes to accurately call it, decimated by many of their better players having no more eligibility left. In any event, an East Carolina team that lost several players from last season itself was only able to muster 320 total yards, and they were very sloppy in doing so. They are going to have to clean up their act quickly, and on the road at WVU isn't where that's going to happen. Look for QB Jarrett Brown and tailback Noel Divine to play the cleaner game this weekend as WVU wins the turnover battle and covers the number. WVU -6.5
Alumni Stadium is the site of Boston College's next defensive clinic. Sure it was merely Northeastern who fell victim to BC last week, able to only muster 130 yards of offense, but the Lead Man isn't so sure this weeks opponent, Kent State is going to be able to get off the egg themselves. Kent has quarterback issues, and you just can't be one dimensional against BC. Look for the Eagles to again, as they did last weekend, be able to play a comfortable game, free of turnovers, and not putting their new QB, Dave Shinskie, in tough positions. For Kent to have any hope, tailback Eugene Jarvis is going to have to come up big, and considering he barely mustered up two yards a pop against Coastal Carolina last week, the odds look long. Look for BC to keep pounding away and pull away big in the second half. BC -20.
If you had to pick one city in America where you are most likely to see beaver this weekend, it would have to be Vegas. Well, The Runnin' Rebels of UNLV are going to catch more than a glimpse as the Oregon State Beavers bring the wood to Sam Boyd Stadium Saturday night. The hundred degree game time temperature surely is not going to cool off a very efficient Beaver offense. And while Omar Clayton and company will score some points, this is a match-up game. A good OSU offense vs. a UNLV defense that has some issues. Oregon State -7.
In the NFL look for the Saints to take advantage of a Lions team that is not only poor but that is also going through a major transition with over 30 new players on the roster. The Saints defense has some questions, but at the very least you can bet Gregg Williams will be aggressive and not allow rookie QB Matt Stafford to get comfortable. As far as the Saints offense goes, they've been tearing it up all pre-season, and Drew Brees appears to still be on top of his game. Grab this one while it's still under two TDs. Saints -13
Staying offensive, let's look at the Colts against a rebuilding Jaguar D. If any QB is going to come into game one in mid-season form it would be Peyton Manning. The Colts O-line should be able to protect here, and while the Jags like to come with a variety of blitzes out of that 3-4 defense, they'd better get there or it's going to be a long day. On the other side of the ball, LP isn't so sure the Jags can keep David Garrard clean with two rookie tackles up front. Look for the Colts to cover the TD on the road. Colts -7.
Best of luck players.