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Smooth’s Football Picks – Super Bowl 51

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After 6 months of training camp, hard knocks, torn limbs and broken hearts, we’re down to the final two teams. One looks to join an elite club of 5 Super Bowl championships, the other looks at a possible dynasty in the making.

Super Bowl 51
NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas

All odds are courtesy of Oddshark.com

Sunday February 5th
Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots
Line: Patriots by 3

Here’s our complete analysis of the game.

Offense: Both teams are high powered. Overall, Atlanta was 2nd, New England was 4th.

Quarterbacks: Tom Brady has done this before. It’s his 7th Super Bowl. He stands to gain a 5th ring if he wins. He’s been nothing short of perfect since coming back from suspension in week 5. 3,500 yards passing 28 TD’s and only 2 INT’s. Matt Ryan has finally come of age. He’s justifies being picked MVP with spectacular numbers. Nearly 5,000 yards passing 38 TD’s and only 7 INT’s during the regular season. However, based on experience, we have to give the edge to Brady.

Advantage – New England

Running Backs: Both teams are at the top 10 in rushing, Atlanta was 5th, New England was 7th. The Falcons’ Devanta Freeman runs the bulk of the snaps, nearly 1,100 yards rushed and 11 TD’s. Tevin Coleman was a nice option with 520 yards rushing and 8 TD’s. For the Patriots, it’s LeGarrette Blount. The big bruising back rushed for over 1,100 yards and a league leading 18 TD’s. We call this match-up at “all square”.

Edge – Even

Recievers: Both teams have spectacular air attacks. Atlanta was 2nd, New England was 5th. Julian Edelman leads the Patriots with over 1,100 yards passing and 3 TD’s. Free agent signing Martellus Bennet was a great pick up in place of the injured Rob Gronkowski, he had 701 receiving yards and led the receivers in TD’s with 7. Chris Hogan was a great replacement for Danny Amendola when he went down, 680 yards and 4 TD. For the Falcons, Julio Jones leads the way with over 1,400 yards receiving and 6 TD’s. Mohamed Sanu was a great second option for Ryan with 653 yards receiving and 4 TD’s. We give the slight edge to the Falcons because of the rank.

Edge – Atlanta

Offensive Line: The New England O-line has given up 4.2 sacks per game, good enough for 6th overall, meanwhile, Atlanta’s O-line gives up 6.4 sacks per game, putting them at 24th in the league. A pretty easy pick on this one. Give the edge to the Patriots.

Edge – New England

Defense: New England takes the advantage with the 8th best defense overall. Atlanta was 25th in the league.

Defensive Line: The Falcons go with Brooks Reed, Johnathan Babineau, Grady Jarrett and Tyson Jackson. Not many sacks among them during the regular season, but they were outstanding in the NFC Championship. The Patriots Go with Alan Branch, Trey Flowers, Malcom Brown and Jaabal Sheppard, with Chris Long. They have over 20 sacks among them, give them the edge.

Edge – New England

Linebackers: Ron Ninkovich, Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy have been the playmakers all season. The leader for the Falcons is Vic Beasley Jr. leading all players with 15 ½ sacks this season. Deion Jones leads all players with 106 sacks this season. The Falcons get the edge in this category.

Edge – Atlanta

Secondary: The Patriots secondary have been solid all season with all four starters at the top in tackles. Malcom Butler leads the team in Interceptions with 4, Logan Ryan and Patrick Chung are 1-2 in tackles. As for the Falcons, free safety’s Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen have over 90 tackles each this season. Giving the edge to the Patriots.

Edge – New England

Special Teams: The Patriots Stephen Gostkowski is 27 for 32 in field goals, going 9 for 19 from 40+ yards. Ryan Allen has a 44.7 average on punts. Cyrus Jones and Julian Edelman don’t have any punts or kickoffs returned for TD’s. The Falcons Matt Bryant has been spectacular on kicks going 34 for 37 and 6 for 8 in kicks from 50+ yards. Matt Bosher is 46.8 yards on punts. Eric Weems takes returns in punts and kicks. His best long was for 73 yards.

Edge – New England

Coaches: Dan Quinn was brought in two years ago by owner Arthur Blank to get the Falcons over the hump. He’s got experience winning a Super Bowl with Seattle, so he knows how to win the big game. As for Bill Belichick, he’s got 5 Super Bowl rings (). He’s been on top for the last 15 years with New England. A sixth one would put him above Lombardi, Walsh and Noll as the greatest coach of all time.

Edge – New England

Intangibles: As a native New Yorker, it’s killing me that Boston continues to win championships. Since 2001, the city has three world series, 4 super bowls, an NBA title and a Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, Atlanta has been known for choking in the big games. Their only championship was back in 1995, when the Braves won. Who knows? Maybe this is the year….maybe.

Edge – New England

Analysis – This has all the makings of a shootout. It could be one of the highest scored Super Bowls of all time. If the Falcons are gonna win, they’re gonna have to get out in front first, and stay in front. Matt Ryan has the offense to do just that. They just need to look at how the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl 42 to figure that out. Keep the possession away for the New England offense, put pressure on Brady and you win. But Belichick has been in these games plenty of times. Brady has, as well. They’ve been too good for too long, and they look like history will be on their side.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (37-35)

Now with all of our picks past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblers anonymous dot org.

And that’s our Super Bowl Pick as well as our final report of the NFL season. Thanks for tuning in and we hope you’ll tune in next season.

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Smooth’s Football Picks – Championship Weekend 2017

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It’s championship weekend. The top four teams survived this far and now are one win away from the Super Bowl. Who will make the grade? It’s anyone’s guess.

All odds courtesy of oddsshark.com

Sunday, January 22nd

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NFC Championship
Green Bay at Atlanta
Line: Falcons by 4½

Their last meeting was in week 8. It was a shootout with the Falcons winning narrowly 33-32. It’s gonna be a much tighter game this time around. The Atlanta defense has gotten stingier, disposing of Seattle last weekend giving up 208 total yards getting 3 sacks and intercepting Russell Wilson twice. Matt Ryan on the other hand, has proven why he should be named MVP of the league. With nearly 5,000 yards passing and an incredible 38/7 TD/Interception ratio, he stands to exploit the Green Bay secondary. Look for Devonta freeman to light up the Green Bay defensive line. And of course there’s the receiving corps, lots of options out there. It should be a cake walk being at home, right? Not so fast!

Since their loss to Washington in week 11, Green bay has been on a tear for the last two and a half months. Aaron Rodgers has thrown for over 4,400 yards 40 TD and only 7 interceptions during the regular season. Last week he got off to a quick start against Dallas 355 yards passing 2TD’s and was instrumental in the final drive to win the game. Using Ty Montgomery after the loss of Eddy Lacy has been very beneficial. Christine Michael also has helped. However, the loss of Jordy nelson is crucial and with Randal Cobb returning, it’s essential to keep the air attack going. The big question mark will be the Packers secondary. During the end of the game last weekend, they struggled against the Cowboys receivers, allowing 18 points in the second half. They can’t do that against the Falcons offense, or else it’s gonna be an ugly game.

As we said before, the Packers were our pre-season pick. If the game is close, which I anticipate, they can take it.

Smooth’s Pick – Green Bay (24-21)

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AFC Championship
Pittsburgh at New England
Line: Patriots by 5½

New England has been on a mission since day one of training camp. And once they were able to get three of four wins during the regular season, well just put the ball in Tom Brady’s hands and he’ll make it work. What’s been impressive has been Brady’s accuracy. 28 TD’s 286.2 passing yards per game this season and only 2 INT all year long. However, the Houston Texans were able to frustrate him enough to put a scare in Patriots fans, getting picked off twice in the New England victory last week.. LeGarrette Blount has also been a huge factor in offensive attack finding the end zone 18 times. The acquisition of Martellus Bennett has been beneficial to the receivers. What‘s also been really been impressive has been the Patriots defense. Trey Flowers and Chris Long have 11 sacks between them and Malcom Floyd leads the team in INT’s with 4.

The three headed monster of Ben Rothlisberger, running back LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown will need to find the end zone, unlike their win verses Kansas City last weekend. With Bell, they can control the clock with the run game. The last time these two teams met, “Big Ben” was on the sidelines nursing an injured knee in a 27-16 loss to the Patriots. It will be a different outcome this time around, for sure. Here’s an ugly stat. In 4 games at Gillette stadium, New England has won all four verses Pittsburgh. In fact the only win the Steelers have verses New England was in 2008 and Matt Cassel was the QB. Winning ugly is what the Steelers is going to have to on Sunday.

We also picked the Steelers in the pre-season, and we’re going to stick with them, even though winning Foxborough will be tough. Stats are meant to be broken.

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (27-23)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblers anonymous dot org.

And that’s Championship week on smooth’s football picks. We’ll be back in two weeks with our extensive analysis and Super Bowl pick. Hope to see you then.

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Smooth’s Football Picks – Divisional Playoffs

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We’re down to the final 8. Four teams survived to keep their Super Bowl dreams alive. Now they have to take on the top two teams and keep their playoff hopes in check.

All odds courtesy of oddshark.com

Saturday, January 14

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Seattle at Atlanta
Line: Falcons by 5

The Seahawks finally found their offense at the right time, easily beating Detroit last weekend. Now they have to travel to the ATL in the final game being played at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons got a much needed rest and they look to break their playoff jinx. They’ve only been successful once in the playoffs since 1999, that’s when they went to their only Super Bowl appearance, but Atlanta haven’t had much success since. Matt Ryan is looking to break that streak after having an MVP-type season. The Seahawks have experience in the playoffs and despite being the underdog, their defense is able to shut down Atlanta’s high power offense. But for Seattle to win, they’ll need a monster game from Russell Wilson, otherwise its curtains.

Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (24-21)

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Houston at New England
Line: Patriots by 15

The Texans took advantage of home field after disposing of Oakland to move on to the next round. But now, they have a tougher challenge. To travel to Foxborough, where they didn’t have much success the last time around. In fact, they were shut out by the Patriots 27-0 in week 3. Tom Brady has a chip on his shoulder and would love to prove his naysayers that he can win without resorting to cheating. If the Texans want to win this game, they’re gonna have to stop Tom Brady. Don’t give him time to pass. A low scoring game will be beneficial to Houston. But with so much trouble on the road all season, this game could get ugly by halftime.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (44-10)

Sunday, January 15th

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Pittsburgh at Kansas City
Line: Chiefs by 1½

This is about as evenly matched as you can get. The Chiefs are looking for revenge for being clobbered by the Steelers 43-14 in week 4. In that game, they were their top pass rusher, Justin Houston. The four-time Pro Bowler and 2014 sacks leader is expected to be back in the lineup, look for a tougher go this time around. Ben Rothlisberger will play despite walking with an air-cast after last week’s win verses Miami. He’ll need to be at 100% percent to go against the Kansas City defense. The Chiefs are tough at home, only losing once this season. This game may be a pick ‘em by game time, so it’s anyone’s guess. We’re going for our pre-season pick.

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (27-24)

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Green Bay at Dallas
Line: Cowboys by 4½

The Packers started off slow and finally gained steam to knock off the Giants last weekend. It was like that all season. After a 4-6 start, Green Bay bounced back by putting together seven straight victories. They can’t afford to do that this weekend in Dallas. Aaron Rodgers is getting hot at the right time. He should be able to put up big numbers verses the Cowboys defensive secondary. The big story will be, how will the Dallas rookies handle the pressure? Dak Prescott and Ezikiel Elliott have been lights out all season, and if they get out front early, it could be a long day for the Packers. This game will eventually be about whether Dez Bryant holds onto the ball after catching it. The Packers were our pre-season Super Bowl pick, and we’re still going with them.

Smooth’s Pick – Green Bay (31-28)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblers anonymous dot org.

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Smooth’s Football Picks – Wildcard Weekend

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The NFL playoffs are in full swing. After 5 months over 200 games and plenty of excitement. It’s now down to 12 teams, for of them, New England, Kansas City, Dallas and Atlanta will enjoy a 1st round bye. The rest will battle it out to keep their season going.

Before we tell you who out picks are, let’s tell you how we did last weekend and for the season.

Head to Head: 14-2
Against the Spread: 10-2-4

Final Season Stats

Head to Head: 152-102
Against the Spread: 110-102-43

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

Saturday January 7th

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Oakland at Houston
Line: Texans by 3½

 

With the problems on both teams, this match-up could be a coin toss. The edge goes to the Texans because of home field advantage. But for the Raiders to win, they’ll need a big time performance from the defense and a stellar performance from their 3rd string QB, Connor Cook, a task that may be too much for the silver and black.

Smooth’s Pick – Houston (17-13)

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Detroit at Seattle
Line: Seattle by 8

 

Century Link Field is one of the hardest places for opponents to play in. it’s loud. It’s hostile and it’s the perfect place if you want home field advantage. That makes winning even tougher for the Lions. Unless Matthew Stafford has a monster game against the Seahawk Secondary, this may be a cakewalk for Seattle.

Smooth’s Pick – Seattle (24-12)

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Sunday January 8th

Dolphins at Pittsburgh
Line: Steelers by 10

 

There’s a reason why the point spread is so large in this game. Miami doesn’t do well in mid-winter games. But the Dolphins may get a reprieve as it will be mostly sunny and in the 40’s. Their only hope is to give the ball to Jay Ajayi and keep Ben Rothlisberger’s offense off the field as much as possible. But I don’t see that happening. The Steelers were our pre-season pick to go to the Super Bowl, we’re not changing just yet.

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (37-10)

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NY Giants at Green Bay
Line: Packers by

 

This is the game of the weekend. Earlier this year, Green Bay beat the Giants 23-16. In that game, Rodgers had 259 yards passing and threw two interceptions. The big difference will be Eli Manning. He’s been in big time games before, including two at Lambeau Field and won both. I’m a firm believer of defense winning championships. And as much as the Packers have been hot and were our pre-season pick, the Giants defense is also getting hot, as well.

Smooth’s Pick – NY Giants (19-17)

With all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblers anonymous dot org.

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College Football Championship Game 2017

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The final college football game of the season seems like déjà vu. Same teams, will it be the same out come? Before we tell you who our selection is, let’s see how we did in our college bowl picks.

College Bowl Results

Head to Head: 26-13
Against the Spread: 18-13-8

Odds Courtesy of Oddsshark.com

College Football Playoff Championship Game
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida
(1) Alabama vs. (2) Clemson
Line: Alabama by 7

Analysis:

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Clemson steamrolled over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl 31-0. Junior QB Deshaun Watson had a solid game, throwing for 259 yards and 3 TD’s, two of those were rushing TD’s. Now they’re looking for redemption. In last year’s championship game, the tigers came up short in a stinging 45-40 loss to Alabama. Senior Wide Receiver Mike Williams didn’t play in that game, but will be the difference maker this time around. The Tigers defense only allowed 88 yards rushing last week and got 3 sacks on Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett. Freshman defensive end Clelin Ferrell dominated in the Buckeyes’ backfield for much of the game, and the Tigers secondary clamped down on the Buckeyes receivers even when quarterback J.T. Barrett had time to throw. Deshaun Watson and Co. are trying to bring home a national championship to Clemson for the first time since 1981.

Bama.pngAlabama got a quick scare when Washington scored first. But the Crimson Tide cruised into overdrive, scoring 24 unanswered points to beat the Huskies in the Peach Bowl. Sophomore running back Bo Scarborough ran roughshot on the Washington defense, rushing for a career high 180 yards and 2 TD’s. True to form, the Alabama defense allowed minimal yards on the ground. 44 yards to be exact, 1.5 yards per carry. Reuben Foster, Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, a group of premiere pass rushers and playmakers in the secondary. Simply put, this team looks unbeatable. Alabama looks to win its second championship in a row and its 3rd in 5 years. Plus, go undefeated for the second year in a row, an incredible task for an NCAA Division 1 football program.

Prediction – Head coach Nick Saban has possibly the best class in Alabama history. The team allows very few mistakes. But if there’s an opening, as they did in last week’s game, it could lead to a possible Clemson upset. Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney will have his team ready, and I can see the Clemson defensive front causing issues for ‘Bama’s OFFENSIVE Line for the duration of the game.  But as good as the Tigers have been all year, I just can’t see that happening. A big play by the Tide defense is the difference, however, and it allows Saban and crew to score the win.

Smooth’s pick – Alabama (35-27)

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Smooth’s Football Picks – Week 17

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Week 17 and most of the playoff slots have been determined except two in the NFC. Those teams in the playoffs are still jockeying for positions, hoping they can either get a first round bye, or home-field advantage thru out the playoffs.

Last Week’s Results

Head to Head: 9-7
Against the Spread: 9-7

Season to Date

Head to Head: 138-100
Against the Spread: 101-100-39

All odd courtesy of oddsshark.com

All games take place on New Year’s Day
Sunday January 1st, 2017

New England at Miami
Line: Patriots by 9½

The Patriots can clinch home field thru out the playoffs with a win. As for Miami, they need to win and a Kansas City loss for a 5th seed in the wild card. The Dolphins run game is the equalizer in this matchup. If they can keep Tom Brady off their field enough time, they could pose an upset.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (21-17)

Oakland at Denver
Line: Broncos by 1

The Raiders will have to go forward without Derek Carr, Matt McGloin will attempt to do what another former Raider did Jeff Hostetler when he was with the Giants, win a Super Bowl. McGloin did start 6 games with the Raiders in 2013. The Broncos will be a tough ‘w’ to get.

Smooth’s Pick – Denver (23-21)

Kansas City at San Diego
Line: Chiefs by 5½

The Chiefs can clinch the AFC West and a 1st round bye with a win and an Oakland loss, but they’ll have to do it on the road in San Diego, which may be the Chargers final game at Quallcom Stadium. There’s talk of the Bolts moving back to LA to share the new home with the Rams. This game will be tough for both teams.

Smooth’s Pick – Kansas City (17-13)

New Orleans at Atlanta
Line: Falcons by 6½

Atlanta needs this game to gain a first round bye. They can also get it with three other scenarios involving a Falcons tie and Seattle and Detroit to either tie or lose. It won’t be easy on the road in New Orleans, as the saints look to finish strong.

Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (34-28)

Seattle at San Francisco
Line: Seahawks by 9½

Seattle clinches a first round by win and an Atlanta loss or a tie, an Atlanta loss and a tie in the Green Bay/Detroit game. This game may figure to be an easy “w” for Seattle, and probably Chip Kelly’s last game for San Francisco.

Smooth’s Pick – [Lock] Seattle (23-14)

NY Giants at Washintgon
Line: Redskins by 7½

Washington’s slim playoff hopes depend on a win verses the G-men, a Green Bay loss and a Tampa Bay loss or tie. What can’t happen is a GB/Det tie. Head coach Ben McAdoo has stated he will start his first squad for this game, making the point spread generous to Washington.

Smooth’s Pick – [Upset Special] NY Giants (24-21)

Carolina at Tampa Bay
Line: Bucs by 6

Tampa Bay needs a miracle. They need a win, a Washington win, and a Green Bay loss. The Bucs would get the 6th seed based on strength of schedule over Green Bay. It won’t be easy. They take on a Panthers team that is looking to even their disappointing season.

Smooth’s Pick – Tampa Bay (28-26)

Dallas at Philadelphia
Line: Eagles by 4

The Cowboys will probably sit most of their starters. They clinched home field thru out the playoffs. The Eagles will most likely take advantage.

Smooth’s Pick – Philadelphia (30-24)

Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Line: Steelers by 6

Pittsburgh also wrapping up the 3rd seed and will look to try and protect their big guns for next weekend. This makes the spread less than what it should be verses a weaker opponent.

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (31-17)

Buffalo at NY Jets
Line: Bills by 3½

The Bills just fired the Ryan brothers, they’ve sat their starting QB and will have to try and somehow get to .500 against the lowly Jets, who will have to regroup after a poor campaign.

Smooth’s Pick – Buffalo (28-13)

Jacksonville at Indianapolis
Line: Colts by 4½

Disappointing seasons on both teams, the Colts were supposed to contend but floundered. The Jaguars also flopped this season and will have to regroup with a new head coach and the draft.

Smooth’s Pick – Indianapolis (24-16)

Chicago at Minnesota
Line: Vikings by 5

What should have been a promising season with Teddy Bridgewater turned into a disaster. Sam Bradford will compete for the job next year. Chicago probably will part ways with John fox after a disappointing season.

Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (20-18)

Houston at Tennessee
Line: Titans by 3

Tennessee had their chance last week and failed. They have to regroup next season with a healed Marcus Mariotta. The Texans need to get their QB problems settled before wildcard weekend, otherwise, they could be 1 and out.

Smooth’s Pick – Tennessee (30-14)

Baltimore at Cincinnati
Line: Bengals by 2½

This could be the “swan song” of Marvin Lewis after 14 years as Cincinnati’s head coach and another disappointing season. Baltimore looks to the future many stars, like Steve Smith will call it a career.

Smooth’s Pick – Cincinnati (19-14)

Arizona at LA
Line: Cardinals by 6

A disappointing season as Arizona will say goodbye to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald after 14 years. The Rams also look to the future as they will have to look to the draft and next season.

Smooth’s Pick – Arizona (34-12)

Green Bay at Detroit
Line Packers by 3½

This is set up to be a knockdown, drag out fight for all the marbles. The Packers are riding a 7 game win streak. The Lions have lost 2 straight and can’t afford to lose another. Look for this final game of the regular season to be a thriller. Last time these two teams met, Aaron Rogers lobbed a hail Mary for the win. Look for something similar.

Smooth’s Pick – Green Bay (24-21)

Now with all picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblers anonymous dot org.

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2017 College Football Playoff Picks

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The College Football Playoffs take place on New Year’s Eve. The top 4 teams selected by a selection committee will take part to determine who will be College Football’s national champion.

All odd courtesy of oddsshark.com

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Sat, Dec 31
Playstation Fiesta Bowl
(3) Ohio State vs. (2) Clemson
Line: Ohio State by 3

This is Clemson’s 12th straight season playing in a bowl game. They lost last year to the eventual National Champion, Alabama. The Tigers got to the playoffs by winning the ACC championship over Virginia Tech. Their lone loss was against Pitt back in October. But aside from that, the Tigers look solid. They’re led by Junior QB Deshaun Watson. He threw for over 3,900 yards, 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions this season for Clemson. He was also the team’s second-leading rusher with 529 yards and six scores. Wayne Gallman is their big running back, he ran for over a 1,000 yards. On the receiving end, Mike Williams is the go to guy, he has nearly 1200 yards and 10 TD’s. On Defense, the Tigers are led by Linebacker Ben Boulware with 105 tackles. Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins led all players with 8 sacks.

As for Ohio State they’ve steam rolled through competitors on their way to a Big-10 championship. The Buckeyes won five straight games. Their only loss this season – a 24-21 nail biter to Penn State on Oct. 22. The player to watch is QB J.T. Barrett, he has done it all for Ohio State this season. The sophomore has thrown for over 2,400 yards, 25 touchdowns and five interceptions and is the team’s No. 2 rusher with 847 yards and nine touchdowns. Mike Weber is their main back he rushed for nearly 1100 yards and scored 9 TD’s. Overall, Ohio State has rushed for 3,100 yards and 33 touchdowns this season. None of Ohio states’ receivers have over 1000 yards among them, but their best guys are Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown, each have 7 TD’s apiece this season. On defense look for Raekwon McMillan, the junior led the team with 78 tackles. Junior Defensive end Tyquon Lewis leads the team with 7½ sacks

The Buckeyes have won eight National Championships; Clemson has just one. Ohio State have never beaten Clemson; their most recent matchup was a 40-35 Clemson win in 2014. The Tigers defensive lineup is much bigger than the Buckeyes front 5 and that may make all the difference. Head coach Urban Meyer has his hands full and will have to get a rabbit out of his hat to solve this problem.

Smooth’s Pick – Clemson (37-22)

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Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
(4) Washington vs. (1) Alabama
Line: Alabama by 14

Alabama is in search of its second National Championship in a row and fourth in the last six seasons and its 16th overall. The Crimson Tide has won 25 games in a row since losing to Ole Miss on Sept. 19, 2015. Ironically, Ole Miss gave them their only scare this season, with Alabama winning, 48-43 on Sep 17. They’re in the midst of their 12th undefeated season. They’re led by Jalen Hurts. Alabama’s freshman quarterback sensation threw for nearly 2,600 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season and was second on the team with 841 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. Sophomore running back Damien Harris is Alabama’s other ‘threat on the ground, He rushed for nearly a 1,100 total yards and scored 4 TD. Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart is questionable for the game with an undisclosed injury. If he does play, he’s a threat in the air with 800+ receiving yards and 7 TD’s. The crown jewel of Alabama is the defense. The Crimson Tide is #1 in the country, giving up an astonishing 63.4 yards a game on the run. They’re led by senior linebacker Reuben Foster with 94 tackles and 4 sacks. Seniors Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams are tied on the team with 8½ sacks.

Washington is in search of its second National Championship since; The Huskies have won three straight games since losing to then-No. 20 USC on Nov. 12. They took the Pac-12 championship by beating Colorado 41-10. Sophomore sensation Quarterback Jake Browning had a tremendous season for Washington, throwing for over 3,200 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sophomore running back Myles Gaskin, a big beneficiary to Browning’s success, grabbing over 1,400 total yards and 11 TD. Wide receivers John Ross and Dante Pettis have 17 and 14 TD’s among them respectfully. On Defense, Washington is ranked 11th in the country, giving up 361 total yards. Junior linebacker Azeem Victor leads the team in tackles with 68. Senior linebacker, Psalm Woo-ching leads the team with 6 sacks.

Washington has never beaten Alabama (0-4), with the most recent loss coming at the 1986 Sun Bowl. This is a monumental task for the Huskies. They have a solid offense and have the potential for keeping the Alabama offense off the field. But defense wins championships, Alabama may be the defense that keeps them out of the championship game.

Smooth’s Pick – Alabama (44-17)

Now with all picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblers anonymous dot org.