Quick takes from the four completed college football games over the last couple of nights:
Florida State might have been mildly fortunate to get the win and cover at Louisville. But the fact remains the Seminoles don’t rattle when they fall behind. Once they get rolling, they’re awfully tough to stop. The ‘Ville got completely run over in the second half after leading 21-0. From that point on, FSU 42-10. They’re not as dominant as last season, but the ‘Noles appear playoff bound and won’t be an easy out.
Georgia Southern did whatever they wanted to in disposing of outmanned Troy, and this one was actually more lopsided than the 42-10 tally. The winners won the stats by an enormous margin. The Larry Blakeney farewell tour at Troy basically netted one big effort against New Mexico State and the Trojans are pretty much mailing it in at this point.
Cincinnati rolled to a 31-14 win at Tulane, benefiting from a few very big plays. I have no idea what Tommy Tuberville’s strategy was late in the first half, and that might have let the Green Wave into the game for a bit as it turned out. But Cincinnati was clearly the superior squad and in actuality Tulane was worse than I thought they’d be.
Memphis got off to a sluggish start against Tulsa. But the Tigers eventually cranked up their running game and that was pretty much curtains for the Golden Hurricane, who aren’t much at stopping the run. One has to think the Bill Blankenship leash at Tulsa is getting pretty tight.
A 1-1 split here on Friday, with a Suns win in hoops and a Predators loss on the ice. Final ledger for the month of October was +16.0 net, and that’s five straight winning months.
The November special is two months for the price of one. This offer will be in effect the entire month, so subscribers will receive the two full months from whatever the starting date is. All plays are included, there are no surprise extra fees for supposedly stronger games. The offer has not been updated on the “buy now” tab, so for payment instructions, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s also how to find out info on my net winners program for those preferring to pay strictly based on actual performance.
One college and one NFL play already posted for this weekend. Today, I’ll try and snare a winner from tonight’s NBA slate.
11/1 04:05 PM NBA (505) TORONTO RAPTORS at (506) ORLANDO MAGIC
Take: (505) TORONTO RAPTORS -6.5
I’ve always felt that getting to view teams early in the season is necessary if one wants to get a true feel for what they have. So even though, for my own personal tastes, I’d rather watch the NHL than the NBA, I’m trying to catch as much pro hoops as possible out of the starting gate. The early views are the key for me in sizing up tonight’s clash between Toronto and Orlando.
The Raptors went wire to wire in their opening win over Atlanta. The Hawks did make it interesting right near the finish, but this was a game Toronto pretty much controlled most of the way. Toronto is not good enough to make a serious run at the top of the Eastern Conference, but they do appear to be a pretty good basketball team that should have little difficulty making the playoffs.
As for the Orlando Magic, the only way they’ll be near the court come the post-season is if someone buys the guys on the team some primo tickets. This is one weak entry. I watched the Orlando loss at New Orleans, and if all you saw was the final score, you might not have any idea of how lopsided the game really was. Had the Pelicans made a few of their outside shots, or not managed to somehow shoot less than 50% from the foul line, this would have been a 30 point loss for Orlando.
The Magic also lost their second outing of the season as they were defeated by the Wizards. I’ll give Orlando credit for making it interesting late, as they slashed a big Washington lead to just a deuce inside the final minute before succumbing by seven.
The one most alarming weakness for the Magic is at point guard, where rookie Elfrid Payton is simply not close to being ready just yet. Payton is going to get turned over on a regular basis, and at least for the time being, it sure looks like the game is moving too fast for him. I think he’s a talented player who I really enjoyed seeing at the college level. But Payton is going to get overmatched frequently in his first trip around the league, and I think Kyle Lowry eats him up tonight.
My sense is that Orlando might be even worse than projected, and I don’t know anyone who thought very highly of this team prior to the start of the season. Toronto is the superior team, and with this being the first road game for the Raptors, I would imagine it will have their full attention. Road chalk often is a pretty good bet in the first handful of days of the season, and they’ve done well out of this year’s starting gate. My guess is that if these teams were to meet on this court a couple weeks from now, we’d probably be looking at Toronto being perhaps as high as -9. Thus, the page for this game isn’t bad at all, and I’ll recommend laying it with the Raptors.