LEO’S LOSERS – WEEK 8
By Leo Haggerty

Ok, I’m in a rut.  For the past two weeks, I’ve been winning but not a lot and I got to get better in a hurry.

Week 7 was the same old, same old.  Finished in the black but not a whole lot in the black.  I remind myself that it’s definitely better than wallowing in red ink but I need to improve.

Leo’s Lock lost big time (5-2) and I still cannot believe a Mark Dantonio-coached team gives up over half-a-hundred points in East Lansing.  That cost me two bills. Leo’s Losers was a respectable 3-2 (19-16 overall) with two NFL dogs winning to carry the day.  Finished at a plus $175 there.  Finally, Leo’s Others was a respectable 6-4 (41-29 overall) and that deposited $60 in the bank.

So, after the dust has cleared, I can add a paltry $35 to the pot.  That’s a seven-week total of $865 to the good side of the ledger.

There are some very interesting matchup for Week 8.  My picks are below and looking to “kick it up a notch” this week.

And, as Steve McGarrett says, “Book ’em, Dano.”

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LEO’S LOCK

Cleveland (+9 1/2) loses to CINCINNATI

Again, I don’t like to pick the NFL for my Leo’s Lock but this one seems like a no-brainer.  The Browns are 0-for-2016 and their quarterback situation is in shambles due to injuries to multiple players under center.  The Bengals are smarting after hanging tough with the Patriots for most of the game last week  Cincinnati should “be of ill-humor” on game day especially with an AFC North opponent in the other color uniform.  Cincy QB Andy Dalton has a field day at Paul Brown Stadium and WR A.J. Green is the recipient of that success.  The ‘Nati, 31-17, in a runaway.

LEO’S LOSERS

NCAA

TEMPLE (+6 1/2) loses to South Florida

This one pains me because I’m a Philly guy but the game will come down to one aspect and that’s speed.  USF torched the Owls last year in Tampa and the Cherry & White will be looking to avenge that lost at The Linc.  The Bulls “Gulf Coast Offense”, led by QB Quinton Flowers and RB Marlon Mack with a excellent supporting cast, score points in bunches.  The Owls will hang tough but the South Florida speed on offense will carry the evening.  USF, 48-28, in an offensive slugfest.

Texas Christian (+6) loses to WEST VIRGINIA

Normally, a Gary Patterson-coached team is a very good defensive unit.  Not this year.  The Horned Frogs are having to score lots of points because they’re giving up a bunch.  Here’s the rub this week.  The Mountaineers can not only score but they keep teams off the scoreboard as well.  Plus, the game is in Morgantown and it looks like it’s going to be wet and cold.  Not something Texas teams are accustomed.  WV, 52, 30, in a blowout.

NFL

PHILADELPHIA (+2 1/2) loses to Minnesota

For the life of me, I can’t understand why the undefeated Vikes are only a 2 1/2 point favorite.  Philly’s defense has been exceptional but the Birds have had trouble with offensive consistency the last couple of weeks.  Defense is the forte of The Purple People Eaters is.  HC Mike Zimmer has the Twin Cities defense operating at a playoff level and QB Sam Bradford makes a return to The City of Brotherly Love playing the best in his career.  Don’t look for Minnesota to show any of that love to Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz.  Minnie, 24-13, with a late score.

NEW YORK JETS (Pick) loses to Baltimore

I know the Jets are at MetLife this weekend but that’s the only positive. The Green & White are going to dust off QB Geno Smith and see if he can avoid throwing red zone interceptions like his predecessor Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Should be a lot of rust on #7 and Bay Area Crew is counting on that.  Don’t look for the Ravens to get plucked back-to-back by the New York duo.  Baltimore, 27-10, with a couple of big Jets turnovers leaning to short field scores.

MIAMI (+3) loses to Buffalo

This is a put-up-or-shut-up game for both teams.  For the Bills, are they for real?  They are currently 4-2 and have been the only team to beat the Brady-less Patriots and some other bottom-feeders in the NFL.  For the Fish, was last week’s beat-down of Pittsburgh a Dolphins win or a Steelers loss?  Miami played well but the Steel Curtain Guys, without Big Ben, are a shadow of their former self.  I see RB LeSean McCoy putting up a big number at Sun Life Stadium.  Buffalo, 19-17, with a late FG.

LEO’S OTHER

NCAA

BOSTON COLLEGE (-4 1/2) loses to Syracuse

CONNECTICUT (+3 1/2) loses to Central Florida

ARIZONA STATE (+7 1/2) loses to Washington State

Memphis (-2 1/2) loses to NAVY

KANSAS STATE (-2 1/2) loses to Texas

UCLA (-7) loses to Utah

Mississippi (+6) loses to LSU

NFL

Oakland (+1) loses to JACKSONVILLE

SAN FRANCISCO (+2) loses to Tampa Bay

ARIZONA (-2 1/2) loses to Seattle