GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 PIGSKIN PICKS: 45-31 ATS...59%
NFL 15-14 - NCAA 17-10 - Teasers 13-7 - Happiness 76-0
To skip to my ATS BULLS/LAKERS Preview...TOUCH ME HERE
While I’ve been on fire in the MAC of late, tonight’s N.Illinois/Kent St. tilt just doesn’t jump off the page at me like usual…especially since it won’t be televised. Kent St. (+3) has a ridiculous duel rushing attack with QB Julian Edelman (1095 yards, 6.2 avg, 13 TD) and 5-5 Jr. Eugene Jarvis (’07 stats: 1669 yards, 6.0 avg, 10 TD).
While Jarvis missed plenty of action during the opening of MAC play and is the main reason the Golden Flashes season has been a disappointment, his return has sparked the (3-7) squad, highlighted by last week’s phenomenal 221 yard performance (185 rushing, 36 receiving). Even against the stout Husky D, I expect more of the same.
On the flipside, after a slow start & adjusting to a new headmaster, N. Illinois (5-5) has finally shown signs of life on offense as the underclassmen have stepped-up their game. Last week against conference leading C. Michigan, the Huskies outscored the Chippewas 27-7 in the second half before losing in OT. Tonight, they face a horrible Kent St. defense that has allowed an average of 35 ppg ova their last seven contests. Lucky for them & possibly the ova tonight, the Golden Flashes usually keep pace as they've averaged 31 ppg ova that same span. While the ova/unda at 50 seems enticing, the Huskies D has been extremely solid & the cold weather tonight might slow things even more. As a result & without further ado, I give you a brand new Greggy G segment…
TEASING THE MAC WITH BALLERS FROM THE ASSOCIATION
N. ILLINOIS HUSKIES @ KENT ST. FLASHES (teased OVA 44)
CLEVELAND CAVS (teased -2) @ NEW JERSEY NETS
Call me a BEEATCH if you like (just like Denise Richards, I don't care what other people think), but I’ve decided to tease the Unda (44) with the Cleveland Cavaliers (-2) at New Jersey. The 8-2 Cavs look determined early-on to prove their the Beast of East and have the luxury of Bobby Simmons & Jarvis Hayes trying to stop King James tonight. Speaking of Bron-Bron, you think he’ll be pumped to showcase his skills for the fans he’ll be playing for in a few years (80% chance partial owner Jay-Z is the front-row 2night)?.
The Nets on the other hand, besides the rapidly aging Vinsanity, they’ve completely retooled their roster (clearing space for the King's arrival) and are still trying to figure out how all their pieces mesh (Devin Harris, Yi Jianlian, Keyon Dooling, rookies Brook Lopez & Ryan Anderson, etc.). I could go on, but I have a Bulls/Lakers ATS Preview that seems to good to be true!
CHICAGO BULLS @ LOS ANGELES LAKERS (-13)
Everyone knows I’m a Laker/Kobe hater & a passionate Bulls fans, especially following the 2004 incident when “Da Bull” (cousin of Benny the Bull) was arrested for selling glaucoma medicine, but that should give you even more solace in my ATS selection of the Zen Master. After last season’s Finals defeat, Kobe seems even more determined to prove he can win it all without “How does my azz taste?” O’Neal & continues to make his teammates feel like he really likes them.
While a double-digit line is always scary in the NBA, no matter how they downplay it, Kobe & Phil would love nothing better than to embarrass the Bulls. Jackson for obvious former employee reasons and Kobe because his ego needs everybody to know he’s not second fiddle to anybody…even MJ. In addition, the Lakers are coming off their first loss of the season, a somewhat embarrassing Friday Night televised contest with the Pistons, and should be itching to regain their mojo.
As for the Chicago Roses, while Vinny Del Baio has loosened the reigns for the guard-oriented squad, the Bulls have only hit the road three times this season (0-3) and are headed on the dreaded 7-game Circus Road Trip. Especially with their 20 year-old star getting his first experience of the Lake Show atmosphere, I expect the speedster & their virgin coach to be more nervous than newbie actresses on the set of Fetish Factory 4 (BTW, great performance by Tiffany Taylor in that one)
Throw-in a frontcourt that doesn’t have anybody to handle Bynum & Gasol, let alone Kobe the Great, and I expect the Lakers to win by at least 20 with a deep bench and confidence at home. As for a little cherry to pop…I mean cherry on top, in LA’s seven victories thus far their average margin of victory is almost 18 ppg! What else you need Homeboys?...Lakers by 22-28 points