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Fading Kevin Wheeler Part IX: The ‘Fade Me’ Edition

Anthony Stalter Featured-2

Bad news for me: I’m now 18-28-1 while attempting to fade Kevin Wheeler on the year.

Good news for you and Wheeler: I’m 18-28-1 while attempting to fade Kevin Wheeler on the year.

Anthony Stalter-2
101ESPN’s Anthony Stalter

Head to Vegas, fade my picks at a sports book of your choosing, and you’ll be picking out that dream car in no time.

College Football

Clemson @ Virginia Tech

People haven’t been impressed with Clemson all year, presumably because the Tigers have played in a lot of close games. Things changed for a second when Clemson beat Lamar Jackson and Louisville in early October, but then that good will was used up by the time Dab Swinney’s team lost to Pittsburgh in mid-November. Regardless of public perception, the Tigers are peaking at the right time.

Over his last four games, DeShaun Watson has completed 75.5 percent of his passes for 1,298 yards with 12 touchdowns. Virginia Tech’s defense has been outstanding this season but over their last three games, the Hokies gave up 30 points to Georgia Tech in a 30-20 home loss, 31 points to a bad Notre Dame team in a come-from-behind 34-31 win in South Bend, and crushed a horrible Virginia team 52-10 last week. Ten points feels like a lot to lay on a team that has played in so many close games but a closer look at the numbers suggests that Clemson is playing better now than at any point this season.

Wheeler: Virginia Tech +10

Stalter: Clemson -10

Temple @ Navy

Navy is a f@%king juggernaut right now. They rank 28th in the nation in total yards per game, are second in rushing, and are 11th in points scored, averaging 41.7 per contest. So lay the small amount of points and watch the Midshipmen roll on their home field today, right? Here’s the problem: Temple is a beast defensively. The Owls are allowing just 273.8 yards per game, which ranks third in all of college football. They’re also 2nd in passing yards allowed (145.8), 26th in rushing yards allowed (128.0), and 11th in points allowed (17.8). Temple doesn’t possess the most explosive offense, but Navy isn’t exactly stopping anyone either. At this time of year, I’ll side with defense.

Wheeler: Navy -3

Stalter: Temple +3


Dolphins @ Ravens

Miami is the hottest team in the NFL right now but the Dolphins have also been living on the edge over the last two weeks. They rallied to beat the Rams in Los Angeles two weeks ago (pleasing many football fans in St. Louis in the process) and needed a goal line stand last Sunday at home to beat a brutal 49ers team. On Sunday they’ll take on a Baltimore team that owns the No. 1 run defense in the league. The Ravens are also fourth in points allowed and second in total defense. I don’t trust Baltimore’s offense to make things easy and I hate the hook attached to the spread, but Miami is due for dud performance.

Wheeler: Dolphins +3.5

Stalter: Ravens -3.5

Bills @ Raiders

The Raiders are only laying three points against an average Bills team? This line feels like a trap. Call it a hunch, but I think Buffalo’s ground game takes over and the Bills hang with Oakland, which is coming off an emotional tug-and-war with Carolina a week ago. Plus, we don’t know how much the thumb injury will affect Derek Carr and Rex Ryan’s teams always seem to play up and down to their competition. I’ll roll the dice with the Bills.

Wheeler: Raiders -3

Stalter: Bills +3

Colts @ Jets

This is another game that feels like a small trap but I like taking home dogs, so this works either way. Ryan Fitzpatrick outplayed Tom Brady for stretches in the Patriots’ win over the Jets last Sunday in East Rutherford. In the end, Fitzpatrick was Fitzpatrick, losing a fumble while trying to drive the Jets down field for a game-winning score, while Brady was Brady, actually leading the Patriots to a winning score, but the Jets played well nevertheless. The Colts, meanwhile, are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games versus the Jets and are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven road games against New York.

Wheeler: Colts -2

Stalter: Jets +2

More: Wheeler – Your Friday Football Fix and Picks: NFL Week 13 and College Championship Edition