Welcome back to round two of the new weekly staff pick 'em where the Crimson Slate staff along with a guest picker examine the top games of the week across the NBA, NCAA, and NFL. This is the second round out of ten projected rounds. This week's special guest picker is our good friend Shawn Clynch. Let's check in with the results from last week:
We'll keep a running tally each week of the previous week's results as well as the overall numbers. Without further ado, here are the picks for round two:
Houston Rockets (4-0) at Miami Heat (3-0)
Micah's Pick: Heat 102 – 100
Both teams are off to a great start. While the Heat suddenly find themselves in a world without King James, they seem to be adjusting rather well thus far with Bosh taking over as the #1 option.
Blake's Pick: Heat 101 – 96
So far, the Heat haven’t missed a beat in the “Post-James Era”. Adding a Luol Deng is a pretty high consolation prize. The Rockets are lethal offensively and hard to stop once they get going with Harden, Howard and co. I’ll take the home team in a toss up.
Shawn's Pick: Rockets 102 – 94
How about this for a an early indication of what the NBA Finals may be? This will not be the match up we will see in June, but it's an excellent early season showdown. The Beard for the Rockets will never forget Miami. It was the Heat who shut him down in the Finals a few seasons ago as a member of The Thunder. Harden will redeem himself.
Los Angeles Clippers (3-1) at Golden State Warriors (3-0)
Micah's Pick: Clippers 121 – 114
Two high powered offenses in the western conference. Curry and Thompson have been very impressive thus far for Golden State, but I see the Clippers edging them out here.
Blake's Pick: Warriors 107 – 100
The Warriors are set up to win for a long time with the “Splash Brothers”. As long as CP3 and Blake are healthy, the Clips match up well with anyone. Again, I see this being a toss up and I’ll go home team.
Shawn's Pick: Clippers 106 – 102
Intriguing matchup in the west. I'm feeling Blake and Chris Paul to slow down their Nor Cal rivals. Stephen Curry will drain his share as expected and reach his average of 25.3 ppt, but the Clippers will win.
Baylor Bears (7-1) at Oklahoma Sooners (6-2)
Micah's Pick: Sooners 38 – 31
Oklahoma is 21-2 all time vs Baylor. However, those two losses have come in the last three years. Both Baylor wins have come in Waco though and the Bears have never beaten the Sooners in Norman. Look for the Sooners to continue the streak on Saturday.
Blake's Pick: Sooners 42 – 37
OU played their best at Iowa State. Knight looked unstoppable. Baylor IS unstoppable. Petty and company will score theirs, but I think OU gets the home win and keep their high bowl hopes alive.
Shawn's Pick: Sooners 37 – 28
The Sooners won 21-straight vs the Bears, but have lost 2 of the past 3 against Baylor. The home field advantage will play a major role in this one. No way, Bryce Petty and the Bears leave Norman with a win. OU appears to have repaired whatever was ailing them.
Oregon Ducks (8-1) at Utah Utes (6-2)
Micah's Pick: Ducks 42 – 24
Oregon is in the drivers seat for a playoff berth. All signs point to another Ducks victory.
Blake's Pick: Ducks 44 – 31
Oregon should win this one convincingly. Utah has been really good this year, and will have a rowdy crowd ready to welcome the Ducks, but too much Mariota.
Shawn's Pick: Utes 34 – 31
Salt Lake City is not exactly known as an intimidating college football venue, but it is underrated. I'm placing the Ducks on an upset alert.
Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1) at LSU Tigers (6-2)
Micah's Pick: Crimson Tide 13 – 10
While the selection committee would probably be just fine showcasing these two SEC West teams in a playoff match-up, it will have to do for a regular season showdown. Whoever gets into the endzone twice wins.
Blake's Pick: Tigers 21 – 17
Doesn’t get much better than a showdown of the Titans in Death Valley. A 7 PM game time bodes well for LSU as Les and his crew are nearly unbeatable under the lights in Baton Rouge.. Here’s my “upset” of the week.
Shawn's Pick: Crimson Tide 24 – 20
"Calling Baton Rouge".. Garth Brooks was calling Baton Rouge for a lady friend in that song, but Nick Saban will be calling for bodyguards. The Tiger nation remembers him leaving LSU like it was yesterday. I'm not sure Saban's boys will be treated with southern hospitality, but I do believe the Crimson Tide will play well enough to escape with a win on the bayou.
Kansas State Wildcats (7-1) at TCU Horned Frogs (7-1)
Micah's Pick: Horned Frogs 42 – 28
This match-up has not only heavy conference title implications, but also national playoff implications. Whichever team wins will be primed to win the conference and potentially earn a shot to compete vs the SEC in the playoffs. Big game, lots riding on the line for both programs.
Blake's Pick: Horned Frogs 38 – 34
Here’s your Big 12 Championship game, nearly. Whoever wins this one will have the driver’s seat, so long as OU beats Baylor. Kansas St is really sound, but TCU just finds a way. (Got screwed at Baylor). At home, I think TCU comes out ahead in the end, barely.
Shawn's Pick: Horned Frogs 30 – 24
I'm torn on this one. We'll see if the Horny Frogs are legit or not against a true defense. The winner has the inside track to the Big 12 Championship with a few weeks remaining to play. Ole Cowtown doesn't exactly instill fear, but I do believe Gary Patterson shocks the world by scoring some points.
Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) at Michigan State Spartans (7-1)
Micah's Pick: Spartans 24 – 14
While the Big 10 is clearly down this year, Michigan State is a legit program and should take down the Buckeyes with relative ease.
Blake's Pick: Spartans 30 – 21
I, for one, think Michigan State is the far superior team in this matchup. Ohio St lost at home to VT and should have gotten beat in Happy Valley at State College 2 weeks ago. Michigan State boasts a tremendous defense that I think will keep OSU in check.
Shawn's Pick: Spartans 27 – 21
Yawwwnnnn!! Big 10 football does absolutely nothing for me, but the Spartans do impress me.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1) at Arizona State Sun Devils (7-1)
Micah's Pick: Fighting Irish 27 – 24
Notre Dame should likely be 8-0 heading into this contest, but suffered a tough defeat in Tallahassee a couple of weeks ago. Look for another close game here with the Irish squeaking one out and clamoring for a playoff spot.
Blake's Pick: Sun Devils 37 – 24
Todd Graham is a heck of an offensive mind. Brian Kelly is a heck of a preparer. This may be a great game. If so, ND wins a close one, if it’s lopsided, Arizona State is clicking. I’ll go with the home team.
Shawn's Pick: Fighting Irish 24 – 17
The Fighting Irish never shy away from a challenging schedule. WOW!! On the road again for a national game in Tempe. Todd Graham has a solid Sun Devils team, but Notre Dame gets the win.
Miami Dolphins (5-3) at Detroit Lions (6-2)
Micah's Pick: Lions 28 – 17
While Dolphins have been on a terror of late, the Lions are finally getting healthy with the return of Megatron and Bush. Will the Dolphins defense be able to contain Megatron in his return? I'm not betting on it.
Blake's Pick: Lions 24 – 20
My beloved Miami Dolphins are playing meaningful football in November. This is a huge game for both teams. Detroit boasts the best overall defense in the NFL, but Miami has laid the wood in previous weeks. I hate to do it, but I think a healthy Megatron and the Detroit passing game is the difference.
Shawn's Pick: Lions 27 – 24
Miami is favored by a field goal in this matchup of unpredictable quarterbacks. Stafford can light it up and he and his Lions are at home. Hmmm… I'm torn though, but Motown takes it.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) at Buffalo Bills (5-3)
Micah's Pick: Bills 21 – 14
When in doubt, roll with the home team. Kyle Orton to Sammy Watkins for the win.
Blake's Pick: Chiefs 23 – 21
The Bills, under the leadership of Kyle Orton have played good football. The Chiefs started slow, but are coming around as expected. A healthy Jamaal Charles is key, here. I expect a close one, with a tight finish.
Shawn's Pick: Chiefs 24 – 20
Stingy defenses go at it, but this in Buffalo where weather may be a factor. However, KC has Jamaal Charles. He is probable. But, my decisive factor is Kyle Orton at qb for Buffalo. I don't mean that in a positive way.