ESPN Streak for the Cash PIcks and Analysis-December 31

Zach Mettenberger (8) leads the LSU offense against Clemson tonight in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. That’s just one of the 18 Streak for te Cash picks in a great day of sports games all day long. Photo by Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the last day of the year and of this month’s Streak for the Cash period so it’s time to get your picks locked in before the ball drops and our streaks reset at midnight. Fortunately, thanks to bowl season there are plenty of picks today with 18 total options on the board from college football, college basketball, and the NBA. I ran short of time and my full-time job had some major projects come up around the holidays, so I was unable to get full preview posts done for all the bowl games. Here, though, are my picks for today with a quick reason why I’m picking the way I am and how confident I am in that pick.

Streak Picks for 12/31

Nov 24, 2012; Winston Salem, NC, USA Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Jordan Rodgers (11) looks to pass the ball during the second quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB

12:03- Vanderbilt winning Margin or tie: I’m fairly confident that the Music City Bowl will go to the school based in the same city as the bowl, Nashville. When you add in the fact that the opponent, NC State, has an interim coach not because he moved on to a better job but because they fired him-I don’t think this one will be close. It’s the first of the two SEC-ACC showdowns and I always would lean SEC. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

12:04- Cincinnati: Cincinnati tries to bounce back from its first loss of the year as they travel to Big East rival Pittsburgh. Pitt has played one ranked team to date and lost by five to Michigan who were then ranked fourth. If the Bearcats came in undefeated, I’d think this was their first loss, but I don’t think they’ll lose two in a row. The Big East may be a punchline in some ways, but in basketball its unmatched. This game will be a great reminder of that as both teams open conference play. Confidence Meter: 2 1/2

2:03- USC Wins by Double Digits: I did get to write a preview for this one which you can read by clicking hereConfidence Meter: 5

3:00- Memphis Grizzlies: Memphis dropped a pair of games before bouncing back and beating the Nuggets on Saturday. Indiana lost on Saturday for the first time in four games as they fell to the Hawks. These two defense-first teams are sure to play a close, tightly-contested ballgame, but I think in the end the fact that the Grizz have Rudy Gay and the Pacers are still without Danny Granger makes the difference. Confidence Meter: 5

September 1, 2012; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Tobais Palmer (4) runs after a catch and avoids the tackle by Tulsa Golden Hurricanes defensive back Byron Moore (3) in the first quarter at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State 38 Tulsa 23. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

3:33- Iowa State Cyclones: The Liberty Bowl in Memphis features a matchup of natural disasters as the Cylones take on the Golden Huricane of Tulsa. If you’re making this pick, don’t look at just the records. Remember Iowa State plays in the Big 12 and Tulsa in Conference USA. They actually played each other at the beginning of the year and ISU won by 15 38-23. Tulsa comes in have lost two in their final five and beating UCF twice by narrow margins to get the C-USA championship. However little momentum they may have, Iowa State has even less after stumbling in five of their last seven. They did get nice wins this year over Iowa, then #15 TCU, and Baylor. Tulsa’s best win probably came against Fresno State who they beat 27-26. Take the team with the stronger schedule if you decide to pick this one. Confidence Meter: 3

4:05- Indiana by double-digits: The Hoosiers open their Big 10 schedule with a trip to Iowa who comes in 11-2 and undefeated at home. They haven’t played great competition yet, but with conference play that’s about to change. Indiana lost here last year and will be out to make a statement. They’ve won their three games since getting knocked off by Butler by 34 or more and should be able to get this win by at least 10. Confidence Meter: 4

 

Dec. 28, 2012; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos (4) gets by Baylor Bears forward Cory Jefferson (34) for a basket during the second half at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs would go onto beat the Bears by a final score of 94-87. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

6:00- Gonzaga: The Zags go on the road to take on Oklahoma State in a matchup of ranked teams. OSU has surprised some people and have climbed to #22 with a signature win over then-#6 NC State and some nice wins at home. Their loss came in their only true road game at Virginia Tech where they lost by 10. Gonzaga has opened the year well too and is coming off a nice win over Baylor  their last time out. Their lone loss can to then-#13 Illinois. This will be their second true road game and should be a good test for them. Gonzaga currently ranks in the top ten in the nation in field goal percentage and points per game which could be problems for the Cowboys who average 12 points per game less and shoot 10% worse.  Confidence Meter: 6

7:33- LSU: Both these teams wanted to get to a BCS bowl but failed in their attempt to get back to avenge last year’s disappointing losses. Clemson was crushed last year by West Virginia and LSU lost to Alabama in the championship. Someone will end this year much happier after tonight’s nice matchup in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  It’s an interesting contrast since Clemson has a top offense and LSU has a top defense. However, LSU’s offense will be the key in this one, and since they’ve played better late in the season I’ll go with Les in the matchup of the two Tigers in the Georgia Dome. Confidence Meter: 7

December Results

Yesterday’s Picks: 7-4

December Total:127-111-1

My Entry (most confident picks): 51-43-1

Current Streak: W2

Longest Streak of the Month: W7


Topics: Bowl Picks, College Basketball Picks, College Football Picks, NBA Picks, Streak For The Cash Picks

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