GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 PIGSKIN PICKS: 52-32 ATS...62%
NFL 19-14 - NCAA 17-10 - Teasers 16-8 - Ladies 84-0
BALL ST vs W. MICHIGAN & NBA PICKS UPDATE...TOUCH ME HERE
NAVY MIDSHIPMEN @ NORTHERN ILLINOIS (-3)
Just like the definition of a "Confident Adult Star" has a picture of Allie Sin (how do you not luv star tattoos giving directions to someone's happy places?), the definition of a "Trap-Game" is whomever plays Army or Navy the week prior to the final Commander-in-Chief's Trophy clash between the two squads. Throw-in President Bush’s announcement that he’ll be in attendance and the fact Navy is halfway to the Trophy after beating Air Force, and my guess is the Midshipmen have no desire to head to the middle of Illinois to play the Huskies.
While Navy’s had a solid season (6-4) following the departures of option-guru Paul Johnson (GTech), they have not gone on the road in well over a month & will be trotting-out their 3rd QB of the season. Last year’s star Sr. Kobe-Tai Kaheaku-Enhada has be hampered by a hamstring injury all season, and while his replacement Sr. Jarod Bryant has been solid, w/ the Midshipmen already scheduled to play in the Eagle Bank Bowl, the new staff believes it's more important to prep for ’09 and will turn things over to So. Ricky Dobbs tonight.
Dobbs is considered to have a much better arm than most that have traveled thru the program recently, but he was only 2 of 8 in their loss to Notre Dame ten days ago & rushed for a measly 27 yards on 13 carries. While Dobbs showed some nice touch a week earlier against Temple, playing under-the-lights in the cold tundra known as DeKalb might be a lil too much to ask…especially considering it seems the Huskies have played every game in this season on a weeknight.
While both Sr. signal-callers may see time tonight and have a bevy of rushing options behind & circling around them, the Huskies run defense is stout and coming off a dominating performance (W 42-14) against a Kent State team ranked 12th in the nation on the ground. The Midshipmen will rely heavily on lil Shun White (873 yrds, 8.4 avg, 7 TD) & FB Eric Kettani (715 yrds, 5.4 avg) tonight, but both were held in check versus Notre Dame and look pretty beat-up from four years of pounding. While they’ll move the chains tonight, look for Northern to stall plenty of Navy’s drives near midfield.
As for the Huskies on offense, under new headmaster Jerry Kill the Huskies have gained momentum over the 2nd half of the season and found a nice duel-threat QB in freshman Chandler Harnish. Last week Harnish was 12-19 for 173 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT and rushed for 117 yards & two more scores. And as mentioned, having started the last three weeks on a weeknight, I expect the underclassman to look even more comfortable tonight. While Northern doesn’t have the superstars at the skill positions, they have plenty of depth and should find a few big plays against the undersized Navy secondary and some holes behind an improving offensive line.
Final Score: MIDSHIPMEN 17 HUSKIES 27
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GREGGY G’S MAC/NBA TEASER MADNESS
W. MICHIGAN BRONCOS @ BALL ST. CARDINALS (teased -5)
Call me a Pussinator for teasing if u like, but I don’t feel like watching a Broncos team w/ a ridiculous QB (6-5 Jr. Tim Hiller 3382 yrds, 33 TD, 6 INT) orchestrate a backend-cover as Ball St. plays prevent late. While Hiller & WR Jamarko Simmons (92 rec, 1100 yrds, 7 TD) might be the most underrated duo in the nation and Sr. RB Brandon West (909 yrds, 5.1 avg, 7 TD) provides some nice balance, the undefeated Cardinals have been battled-tested under the lights the last few and have the luxury of playing in-front of a riled-up home-crowd. In addition, with both teams able to score at will, the defenses will determine tonight’s outcome and I just have a lot more faith in Ball St’s 57th ranked D compared to Western’s 85th ranked squad.
Also, don’t be surprised if the Broncos look a lil shell-shocked w/ the atmosphere tonight, not to mention, they haven’t been on the road since Oct. 18th when they lost to C. Michgan 38-28…the same team Ball St. visited last week and won 31-24. In my opinion, the Cards would have beaten the Chippewas much worse if it wasn’t for the scrambling ability of Do-Everything Dan LeFevour as their pass-rush & coverage was better than the final stats suggest. While Hiller can do damage with the best of them with his arm, he doesn’t have much mobility and might try to force things once he’s under pressure tonight. As a result, Davis & Co. jump-out early & hold-on for a comfortable victory.
Final Score: BRONCOS 27 CARDINALS 37
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (teased -4) @ NEW YORK KNICKS
No matter how nice the trade was financially for the Knickerbockers (if it still goes thru) giving them a better chance to land King James in a couple years, it doesn’t help them stop the best player on the planet tonight. Especially with the grand stage of Madison Square Garden and talk the Cavs weakness is on the road, I’d be shocked if their not stoked to make a big-time statement against D’Antoni’s undermanned ballers…Cavs by 10-16 points