National Football League

Fading Kevin Wheeler Part II: Stalter’s College and Pro Football Picks

The “Fading Kevin Wheeler” series is off to a…well, an even start.

Jameis Winston threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s 37-32 loss to LA Sunday.

Two of the underdogs I picked won outright (Bills and Auburn) and Baylor scored just enough to cover versus Oklahoma State. But Georgia got smoked (Wheels was right on to doubt the Bulldogs after their come-from-behind victory versus Mizzou the week prior) and the Giants folded in the second half versus the Redskins (one of Wheeler’s underdogs that won outright).

The turning-point game? Ravens and Jaguars. I had Jacksonville +1 and Wheeler had Baltimore +1. The Jags led late and then did Jaguar-like things in the closing minutes to blow the game in the end.

Me vs. Wheeler, all tied up at 3-3.

With Kevin’s picks now up, here are the three NFL and three college games I’m fading him on this weekend.

College Football Week 5 Picks

 Stanford @ Washington, Friday Night

The Huskies have lost eight of the last nine meetings with the Cardinal, which is why tonight is huge in Seattle. This game tonight is the biggest game at Husky Stadium in two decades and Washington has an opportunity to prove that Stanford at least has company now atop the Pac-12. Both of the Cardinal’s starting cornerbacks, Quenton Meeks and Alijah Holder, are out with injuries. One of the most improved aspects of Washington’s offense this season has been a dramtic improvement in the passing game thanks to sophomore quarterback Jake Browning’s development and the comeback of John Ross III, who was previously hampered by two knee injuries. This is a statement game for Washington and I like the Huskies to prevail. I just hope the hook doesn’t bite me in the end.

Wheeler: Stanford +3.5

Stalter: Washington -3.5

Wisconsin @ Michigan

Wisconsin’s victories over LSU and Michigan State were head-turning, but the Tigers have since lost to Auburn and subsequently fired Les Miles, and the Spartans’ win at Notre Dame looks less impressive since Duke accomplished the same feat last Saturday. The Badgers are more battle-tested than the Wolverines to this point in the season but Michigan will boast the best offense that Wisconsin has faced to date. While the Badgers’ defense is outstanding, can Wisconsin’s offense keep pace?

Wheeler: Wisconsin +10.5

Stalter: Michigan -10.5

Tennessee @ Georgia

I’m shocked Wheeler took the Bulldogs after correctly fading them a week ago versus Ole Miss. Tennessee finally got the Florida monkey off its back last week as offensive coordinator Mike DeBord opened up the offense more for Joshua Dobbs. That second-half performance versus the Gators is exactly what this underachieving Vols’ offense needed. Tennessee is a perfect 4-0 against the spread in the last four meetings between these two teams and is 5-1 ATS in its last six games in Athens. This feels like a trap game but I’ll roll the dice on the significantly better team.

Wheeler: Georgia +3.5

Stalter: Tennessee -3.5

NFL Week 4 Picks

Lions @ Bears

Speaking of trap…82% of public money is on Detroit in this matchup. For three straight weeks the Bears have played like crap on offense and now bettors only have to lay a field goal on a Lions team that is 1-2 but has been more competitive than their opponent on Sunday. In the NFL, nothing is ever as it seems and even though the Bears have struggled, I’m confident they get their first victory at home this weekend against a Lions team that remains banged up (and burns public bettors in the process).

Wheeler: Lions -3

Stalter: Bears +3

Broncos @ Buccaneers

This is another trap game, with 84% of public bettors laying only a field goal with the defending champs coming off an impressive victory in Cincinnati last week. Why wouldn’t you take the Broncos, especially after the Bucs laid an egg versus the Rams last week at home? Following three straight impressive performances versus the Panthers, Colts and Bengals, the Broncos could be primed for a letdown. Oddsmakers don’t make mistakes and this one feels to easy: Bet against the trap.

Wheeler: Broncos -3

Stalter: Buccaneers +3

Giants @ Vikings

I’m now a beleiver of Minnesota after the way they trashed Cam Newton and the Panthers last Sunday in Charlotte. The Vikings defense has given up just 40 points (13.3 per game, third in the NFL) and 4.4 yards per play (Which ranks first). They’ve also produced 15 sacks (first), five interceptions (tied for second) and have nine takeaways on the year, which is the second-highest in the NFL. Sam Bradford has also been passable despite not having a running game to lean on. People keep betting against the Vikings and they keep burning everybody. Minnesota is now 36-15 against the spread in its last 51 games overall and is 23-8 ATS in its last 31 games versus NFC competition.

Wheeler: Giants +5

Stalter: Vikings -5

Season Record Fading Wheeler: 3-3 (.500)

More: Your Friday Football Fix and Picks (Plus A Thought on MLB Instant Replay)