Skinner’s Winners: Week 4 picks
Good morning, fellow football obsessives! I hope your Friday night treated you well, leaving you properly rested for a weekend full of watching grown men in elastic pants and plastic protective gear run into each other at full force.
My last two weeks have put me back to a respectable 6-8-1 record after my Three Stooges-esque Week 1 performance. I’m looking to get my head above water this week with the first official week of conference play that has huge implications on the postseason picture. Strap in, ladies and gentlemen! We are in for another unpredictable weekend of over-consumption of every kind.
Thanks to a great suggestion from a coworker of mine, I am introducing my first “lock of the week” this weekend, letting you know which pick I feel the best about of the five I choose every week. Enough of the babbling, here are my five picks for the weekend:
Texas A&M @ Alabama (-26) - 12:30 p.m. MST - CBS
This is the most intriguing line of the entire weekend for me. Alabama is coming off of a Braveheart-like public execution of Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi last weekend.
The Aggies, on the other hand, went toe-to-toe with Clemson in their second game of the season, as they failed to convert a late fourth quarter 2-point conversion attempt that would have forced overtime against the AP Top-5 Tigers.
I understand that this game is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and that Bryant-Denny Stadium is the last place any college team wants to play a game of football, but I think this spread is a little too big, as I see Jimbo Fisher and his new team losing by four whole touchdowns. I'm taking the Aggies and the +26.
Arizona (-6.5) @ Oregon State - 1:00 p.m. MST - Pac-12 Network
After the worst start to a season imaginable, Arizona has a chance to shift the narrative surrounding the program — slightly — with a tough road win in Corvallis, trying to get their feet under them before the Wildcats get to the heart of their Pac-12 schedule.
I think Arizona found some offensive confidence against Southern Utah and the Wildcats will need all of it on Saturday, as Arizona’s defense continues to be the teams ball-and-chain. I expect this game to be a complete shoot out, and I think Arizona has the better weapons. I’m begrudgingly taking Arizona and the points.
Stanford (-2) @ Oregon - 5:00 p.m. MST - ABC
What has become the Pac-12 North semifinal is one of the best college football matchups every single year. Power versus speed, big verses little, flashy versus traditional. The two teams, who are on complete opposites sides of the spectrum from each other in almost every aspect of the game, turn into the football version of yin and yang.
Perfect harmony and balance is achieved when these two meet, displaying for everyone watching the uniqueness of college football and the different approaches programs can take to achieve and sustain success, just like these two schools. I’m torn, but I think David Shaw's experience in this series is going to be the difference and, coming off of a win against USC, this team is rolling. I'm taking the Cardinal in Autzen.
Arizona State @ Washington (-17) - 7:30 p.m. MST - ESPN
This is my lock of the week. Herm Edwards is taking his Sun Devil squad up to Seattle against a top-10 team after losing a heartbreaker against San Diego State on a controversial call on the last drive of the game.
Having your bounce-back game against this Huskies team is as tough a task for any team, especially a first-year coach, who lives off of emotion and motivation. I just don’t see Herm being able to get his guys ready in just five business days and I think this night game in Husky Stadium is going to get really ugly. Washington all the way, and by a TON.
New England (-6.5) @ Detroit - 5:20 p.m. MST (Sunday) - NBC
After a loss to a Jacksonville team that treated their Week 2 matchup like the Super Bowl, the Pats face former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their bounce back game.
RELATED: Skinner’s Winners: Week 3 picks
The Hoodie probably knows what Patricia is thinking at all times and with him employed by the Patriots mere months ago, I think Belichick will have zero problems against a team that gave up 40+ points to Sam Darnold in Week 1. Oh, and Josh Gordon will be playing for New England. Just a minor addition.
This should be over by halftime. Pats all day.
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