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Charles Jay’s Six Pack

AIR FORCE at SAN DIEGO STATE
CLEMSON vs. NORTH CAROLINA
MICHIGAN STATE vs. IOWA
HOUSTON at BUFFALO
BALTIMORE at MIAMI
DALLAS at WASHINGTON

College And NFL Plays For the Weekend

Mountain West Championship

AIR FORCE at SAN DIEGO STATE

Line: San Diego State -6.5 / Total: 49

Does San Diego State start behind the eight-ball here? Well, they have to go with redshirt freshman Christian Chapman at quarterback, and he has very little experience. Still, this is a team with a running attack (behind top-notch duo Donnel Pumphrey and Chase Price) that is going to be very hard for Air Force to stop, and the Aztecs have been one of the nation’s best at slowing down ground attacks (2.3 ypc allowed in the conference). And on top of that, coach Rocky Long has been dealing with all variations of the Falcons’ option – and we might add successfully – for years. SDSU has the best turnover margin in the country at +20. Jay’s Play: SAN DIEGO STATE

ACC Championship (at Charlotte)

CLEMSON vs. NORTH CAROLINA 

Line: Clemson -4.5 / Total: 67

There is much to be said about the Tar Heels’ hiring of Gene Chizik as defensive coordinator, as he has upgraded this unit a great deal. These guys have been very stingy against the pass (allowing less than six yards an attempt) but also have struggled a bit against the run, where they have allowed 4.7 yards a pop. This may be Clemson’s opening, with capable people like Wayne Gallman and dual threat quarterback Deshaun Watson. And the Tigers are tops in the nation defending on third down (only 24% conversions). That could cause a headache for North Carolina QB Marquise Williams, who has problems reading complicated looks. Has UNC’s level of opposition been all that good? Jay’s Play: CLEMSON

Big Ten Championship (@ Indianapolis)

MICHIGAN STATE vs. IOWA 

Line: Michigan State -3 / Total: 51

Mark Dantonio insists that his team is playing its best football down the stretch. He may be right; when you can go into Columbus without your star quarterback (Connor Cook, who could be the first QB selected in the draft) and beat undefeated Ohio State, allowing the vaunted Buckeye offense only FIVE first downs, you rate up there with anyone in the country. Iowa has not proven itself against any competition like that, and the Hawkeyes might not be able to get too far on the ground against a Spartan stop unit that can stack the box and make CJ Beathard beat them. Jay’s Play: MICHIGAN STATE

Pro Football

HOUSTON at BUFFALO 

Line: Bills -3 / Total: 41.5

The word has been swirling around all season that the people on the Bills’ defense just aren’t all that comfortable with the schemes Rex Ryan and his staff have installed. The proof is in the pudding, as this Buffalo stop unit does not resemble the one Jim Schwartz put together last season. Tyrod Taylor has shoulder problems, but he’ll play. We’d rather side with this surging Houston club that now has veteran Brian Hoyer back at quarterback and sports the NFL’s best third down defense. Jay’s Play: HOUSTON

BALTIMORE at MIAMI 

Line: Dolphins -3.5 / Total: 42

The Ravens are like a skeleton crew compared to what started the season, and the comeback of Matt Schaub was signaled quite appropriately last week with a “pick-six,” but one thing this has not done is quit. In fact, if not for a bad call (which the NFL admitted to) in a game against Jacksonville, they would currently be on a four-game winning streak, all happening after playoff hopes were more or less lost. Meanwhile, the firing continued in Miami’s dysfunctional situation, as offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is now gone. The new man, Zac Taylor, is going to get Ryan Tannehill more involved in game-planning and audibles. Is that a good thing? Jay’s Play: BALTIMORE

DALLAS at WASHINGTON (Monday) 

Line: Redskins -4 / Total: 41

The Cowboys received a glimmer of hope when Tony Romo came back and directed the team to a victory in Miami, but that has now disappeared, and we are back to Matt Cassel. Remember that Dallas has not won any game that Romo hasn’t started (0-7 so far), while the Redskins have demonstrated a real home field advantage in Landover, winning five of six games, which has propelled them to a tie for first place in the NFC East. Kirk Cousins has been very effective at FedEx Field, completing over 70% of his passes with a ratio of eleven TD passes to just two interceptions. Jay’s Play: WASHINGTON

(Charles Jay is a gaming professional, content specialist and sports handicapper. He offers his special commentary in the 2015 Sports Betting Guide –http://2015sportsbettingguide.com/)

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