If I keep losing, we’ll have to change the name of this column to, “The picks that Kevin Wheeler is making that you should bet on.”
I’m now 10-13-1 and I have put myself in quite the hole. Don’t worry though, as Jeff Fisher always says following a loss: “We’ll get this fixed.”
Then he would. He always fulfilled promises. I will, too.
NFL Week 7
Giants @ Rams
It makes me sick to do this but I know the Rams and I know Fisher: Bet against them when expectations are high, bet on them when they’re an underdog when nobody is looking.
Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers and William Hayes are all banged up for the Rams and two years ago Odell Beckham Jr. waltz into the Edward Jones Dome and set the turf on fire (see what I did there?).
There’s no way the Rams should win this game in London but they will, because it doesn’t make sense. And because they’re the Rams. I expect a surprisingly high-scoring game that comes down to a field goal either way.
Wheeler: Giants -3
Stalter: Rams +3
Patriots @ Steelers
The Steelers are coming off an ugly loss, they don’t have their starting quarterback, and they’re playing the best team in the NFL. Blowout city, right? The Steelers actually have a winning record of 11-9 without Ben Roethlisberger in the lineup. That’s not to suggest they don’t need Big Ben, but it goes to show you that Mike Tomlin’s teams don’t roll over when their starting QB doesn’t suit up. Le’Veon Bell has had over 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his three games this year and both he and Antonio Brown both have 20 games since the start of 2014 with at least 100 yards from scrimmage, tied for third most in the league. Give me a ticked-off Steelers team that was embarrassed last week in Miami, playing at home against the best measuring stick in the NFL.
Wheeler: Patriots -7
Stalter: Steelers +7
Buccaneers @ 49ers
Jameis Winston has 10 turnovers in five games this season and his turnover-per-game-average of 2.0 is the highest by any player with multiple games played. Tampa Bay has also allowed 142 points this season, which is the fourth most in franchise history through five games. The Niners aren’t exactly the picture of dominant football, but they’ve won four of their last five games versus the Bucs, who are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games in San Francisco.
Wheeler: Bucs PK
Stalter: 49ers PK
College Football Week 8
N.C. State @ Louisville
Lamar Jackson leads the FBS with 30 touchdowns this season, with 15 coming through the air and 15 coming on the ground. With the Heisman contender under center, Louisville has averaged an FBS-best 52.3 points per game this season and leads all teams with a 93.8 offensive efficiency mark according to ESPN.com. N.C. State is 0-7 against AP ranked opponents under Dave Doeren and has surrendered an average of 41.4 points in those games. Yes, the Wolfpack beat Notre Dame in a monsoon (with the help of Brian Kelly’s decision making) and yes, the Wolfpack should have beaten Clemson last Saturday on the road. Still, Jackson and Co. are due to blow someone out again and it comes today when the Wolfpack’s defense is on the field too long because the offense can’t move the ball on that stout UL defense.
Wheeler: N.C. State +19.5
Stalter: Louisville -19.5
TCU @ West Virginia
The Mountaineers are better than people think. They’ve limited three opponents to 17 or fewer points, including an explosive Texas Tech team in Lubbock last Saturday. Kenny Hill succombed to good defenses while playing at Texas A&M and he’ll face a good defense in Morgantown on Saturday. On the other side, WVU quarterback Skylar Howard has also been highly accurate, completing passes at a 66.1 percent clip and also providing big plays with his legs. I’ll gladly lay the points.
Wheeler: TCU +6
Stalter: West Virginia -6
North Carolina @ Virginia
The Tar Heels are coming off a big, emotional win on the road after beating Miami 20-13 as a 6-point underdog last week. Do you know what happened the last time UNC came off a big, emotional win on the road? The Tar Heels lost outright to Virginia Tech at home 34-3 after upsetting Florida State the week prior. Granted, the H
Wheeler: North Carolina -10
Stalter: Virginia +10