The time is last Sunday afternoon. The player is yours truly, the Lead Man. He's sitting comfortably on one of the Leadquarters fine Italian leather sofas taking in the action. He's in a pleasant mood, as he is already guaranteed of booking a winning weekend, sitting on a sizzling 3-1 record up to this point. Sunday's result can be nothing but gravy to the man who hasn't had a losing weekend in half a dozen weeks. As many of you recall, it's like the Lead Man was looking into a crystal ball as he told you Minnesota would have trouble scoring against Iowa. Sure enough the Hawkeyes put the donut on em'. He informed you that Mississippi State would not be able to keep up with Ryan Mallett's Razorbacks, and sure as the day is long Arkansas pulls away in the second half and darn near hangs half a hundred. He recommended Utah, and they have the 18 point spot covered early. And he also recommended another game. A game he was so accurate in his analysis it was scary. But players, it was a game he lost, and we'll use this tilt as proof why there is really no such thing as a true Lead Pipe Lock.
From last week's Lead Pipe Locks column;
"LP does not believe the Rams will pressure Cardinal QB Kurt Warner enough without the help of the blitz. Warner has made a career off of teams blitzing in that Dome and he should stay hot and do the same on Sunday."
So what happens? Exactly as Lead Pipe said it would. Warner starts out with the hot hand, this elicits a response by the Ram coaching staff to bring more pressure. The result - a 16-19 first half by Warner that has the Cards up 21-3 and streaking past the 8.5 point spread. A LOCK if there ever was one....until....Warner gets dinged right before half.
Enter Matt Leinart.
To be fair, a future hall of famer should suck it up and not let a possible concussion keep him from putting up a few more points for anyone on the chalk last Sunday, so this isn't entirely on Leinart, but the guy trots out there, still with stank on his hang low from the night before, with the most surprised look on his face you could possibly have - like someone just woke him up. I'll bet he looks more alert when Hef invites him to the Mansion. Suprisingly, he actually had the play chart on his wrist and not the wristband to gain entry into Rumpshakers Nightclub. In any event, after watching him scuffle around for the first part on the third quarter, Lead Man knew, that the Lead Man was in trouble. Deep trouble. Or as someone in Matt Leinart's world would say, balls deep trouble. It was about this time in the game Cardinal coach put Leinert on a leash, or "Dilfered" him as we like to say at the Leadquarters. Basically he wasn't going to allow him to throw the game away. The end result - the Cards put up a bagel in the second half, allowing the Rams to come back and cover by a hook.
The moral of the story. Anything can happen. This is why you should always gamble within your means and never believe someone who tells you a game CAN'T lose. As always concerning matters of wagering, your best course of action is just to shade the Lead Man. Sure, it'd be a great sense of accomplishment to build that dream house yourself, but it won't do you any good if it falls over in two years. Step aside and let the rock solid Lead Man build you something that will last. To the picks;
It's rivalry week, however, the Leadquarters has determined that many of the numbers associated with the high profile games are strong. Don't wager just because you can watch it - wager to win
The Red Wolves of Arkansas State welcome the Mean Green of North Texas to ASU field on Saturday. North Texas has been able to move the ball this year, but might be the sorriest defensive squad this side of France. The North Texas recipe for disaster has been to allow that defense to make it as easy and stress free as possible for their opponent. The Red Wolves are not a strong squad, but they will be able to move the ball and limit turnovers. Look for a turnover prone Green offense to not be able to keep up. Arkansas State gets it done at home.
Arkansas State -7
Bowling Green hosts Toledo in this MAC conference tilt Saturday afternoon. The Rockets, much like North Texas, can move the ball, but they are an utter disaster on defense. As far as Rocket disasters go, the 2009 Rocket defense ranks right behind Apollo 13, as they surrender nearly 40 a game. BG is hot, winning three straight, and they are especially hot on offense as the Zips of Akron will tell you after they were torched for 27 second half points in week 12. The Falcons have also covered in 5 of their last 6, and have played well in November for three straight seasons. Look for the Falcons to bust some big plays in the holy Toledo defense, and pull away in the second half.
Bowling Green -7.5
Last, lets take a big dog. As Lead followers are well aware, he is not afraid to fade huge point totals. You have seen him look a 38 point spot in the eye and confidently bet the chalk. Well, this week players, we are going to take the points. Washington State is getting 25 in their inner state rivalry with the University of Washington. Quite frankly, the Leadquarters doesn't feel Washington is good enough to be giving that many points, especially in conference. There is a large trend going around college campuses lately, and that's the extreme effort to rail a Cougar. But in this case the cougars have a few trends of their own which may prevent that from happening.. They are 5-2 ATS on the road, and have that identical record ATS in their last 5 games vs. Washington. Lead usually isn't a proponent of backing really poor teams, but this just in, Washington isn't great shakes.
Washington State +25
Good luck players!! And have a great holiday weekend.YTD RECORD: 25-18-1 (58.1%)