Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week 3 football picks

Each week, sports editor Mark Podolski picks five games, four against the spread: one high school, two college and two NFL.

A rough 2-3 week last week put my overall record at 6-4 entering Week 3, so there is some work to do. Here we go:

HIGH SCHOOL (No betting line, of course.)
Cuyahoga Heights at Kirtland: This game has been one of the best small-school rivalries in northeast Ohio for a while. Last season, the Hornets traveled to Cuyahoga Heights and escaped with a narrow victory. The two teams met again in the Division V playoffs and the Hornets handled the Redskins, 31-10. Cuyahoga Heights lost some good players off last year's squad but still has a solid nucleus, but Kirtland seems to be on a nice roll. PICK: Kirtland 30, Cuyahoga Heights 20

Colorado (+15) at Ohio State: True freshman Braxton Miller was named Ohio State's starting QB on Thursday, so at least there is a sense of direction for the team, especially on offense. Still, there is plenty to be concerned about if you're betting on this game. Miller will surely make "freshman" mistakes and the offense, in general, has nothing to hang its hat on. Colorado is just 1-2, coming off a rivalry win over Colorado State, and averaging 27 points per game. PICK: Ohio State 21, Colorado 10

LSU at West Virginia (+6): Speaking of offenses, West Virginia can score points in minutes, but don't forget what the LSU defense did to the vaunted Oregon offense to start this season. Until I see a team score in bunches against the Tigers, I'll go with Coach Les Miles and Co. PICK: LSU 26, WVU 14

Miami (+2.5) at Browns: The Browns fixed a lot of their problems from the season-opening loss to the Bengals to the win last week at Indianapolis, while the Dolphins are 0-2 with losses against quality opponents New England and Houston. Miami is a desperate team and have traditionally performed well on the road. The Browns have been known to follow good wins with a clunker loss, but perhaps times are changing by the lakefront. In Vegas, I'll still take the Dolphins. PICK: Browns 24, Dolphins 23

Green Bay at Chicago (+3.5): The Packers are 2-0, while the Bears are 1-1 after losing big in New Orleans. Drew Brees and his receivers looked good against the Bears secondary last week. Expect the same from Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay receivers. PICK: Green Bay 31, Chicago 24

- Mark Podolski


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