Thursday, October 27, 2011

Week 8 football picks

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

Another less-than-sparkling week (2-3) puts the season mark at 19-15, so let's try to turn this around.


Lake Catholic at Avon: Coach Mike Bell's program was looking at a Week 10 bye before the two school's agreed on this matchup, and what a matchup it should be. Avon is the No. 1-ranked Division II team in the Associated Press state poll. Win or lose, this should be a great test for the Cougars entering the Division III state playoffs next week. Right now, advantage goes to the home team. PICK: Avon 21, Lake Catholic 17


Wisconsin at Ohio State (+7.5): The Buckeyes are a difficult team to figure this season, and this matchup only adds to the confusion. How much improvement has QB Braxton Miller made during the off-week? How upset will the Badgers be after last week's heartbreaking loss to Michigan State? PICK: Wisconsin 27, Ohio State 17.

Stanford at USC (+7.5): Andrew Luck and Stanford have won a NCAA-record 10 straight games by 25 points or more. The streak stops at the L.A. Coliseum, but the Cardinal remain perfect on the season. PICK: Stanford 41, USC 28


Browns (+9) at San Francisco: Coach Jim Harbaugh has the Niners playing well, and while Coach Pat Shurmur's Browns aren't flashy, they are 3-3. Expect a tight, defensive game, but the Browns, as usual, will struggle to make big plays on offense. PICK: San Francisco 24, Browns 13

New England (+3) at Pittsburgh: After a slow start to the season, the Steelers have found their stride, but the Patriots have had Pittsburgh's number over the years. Toughest game to call this week. When that's the case, go with the home team. PICK: Pittsburgh 31, New England 27

- Mark Podolski


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