RebelGrove - Neal's Picks, presented by The College Corner, Week 2
{{ timeAgo('2020-09-17 07:19:18 -0500') }} football Edit

Neal's Picks, presented by The College Corner, Week 2

There she is, the Neal's Picks Money Tree, flush with a little bit of new foliage.
There she is, the Neal's Picks Money Tree, flush with a little bit of new foliage.

NEAL'S PICKS PALATIAL HEADQUARTERS -- We at Neal's Picks entered this season, one in which we are the defending champion, with a strong scouting report on the competition.

We knew Parham, for example, was reeling from the loss of a college baseball season. We knew he'd thrown himself into golf as an escape. We knew this latest Saints playoffs collapse was painful, so painful that he'd walked away from the game for a bit. He was, per our sources, checked out on football for a while.

Berry was too busy trolling message boards to focus on preparing for a season of predicting football games. Berry, an aspiring political expert, was spending more time on Biden vs. Trump than he was Oklahoma vs. Texas.

That left Wright. The sense inside the Palace was Wright would be distracted by marriage. His recent nuptials, we believed, would prevent him from focusing on betting lines. We believed he'd be so busy trying to impress his new wife that he'd lose track of AAC and Sun Belt teams.

We were wrong. We don't know what happened, if we're honest. Did things already get stale? Did Wright neglect his new bride as a result of his affection for Baker Mayfield? Maybe.

Or did we at Neal's Picks underestimate Aleia Segars Wright? Is it possible that Mr. Wright married Mrs. Wright for her football acumen?

Frankly, we think so. So here we are, one week into this season, getting to know a new enemy. Jeffrey's name might be on the picks, but we know the beauty and the brains behind them. This is information we'll take into account as we move forward. We can't complain, either. All is fair, after all, in love, war and Neal's Picks.

On to the picks...

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Standings

Last Week:

Neal McCready: 5-2 overall, 4-3 ATS

Chase Parham: 4-3 overall, 4-3 ATS

Jeffrey Wright: 5-2 overall, 5-2 ATS

Zach Berry: 5-2 overall, 2-5 ATS

Saturday's games

My invitation to the Wright-Segars wedding was rescinded because of something about a pandemic or something. However, here's photographic proof Hugh Freeze was invited. Per sources, this is a photo of Freeze arriving at the wedding, complete with a police escort. I'll remember this snub.
My invitation to the Wright-Segars wedding was rescinded because of something about a pandemic or something. However, here's photographic proof Hugh Freeze was invited. Per sources, this is a photo of Freeze arriving at the wedding, complete with a police escort. I'll remember this snub. (Associated Press)

Liberty (+13) at Western Kentucky, 11 a.m. ESPNU

Neal McCready: As a token of congratulations to Mr. Wright for his Week 1 win, I included a Liberty game. You're welcome, Jeffrey. My back hurts and I'm suddenly craving sweet and sour chicken, Mongolian beef, Moo Goo Gai Pan and some steamed dumplings. Oh, and some sake. Lots of sake. With a splash of lemonade, in a solo cup, of course. Neal's Pick: Western Kentucky 37, Liberty 21

Chase Parham: I'm surrounded by so many jokes that I can't even think straight. I'll just take the points and move on. Parham's Pick: WKU 31, Liberty 23

Jeffrey Wright: One team has already played a game, and the other has a head coach that has spent his summer searching his name on Twitter and DM’ing the #Haters. I’ll bet on the team that has on-field time. Wright’s pick: Western Kentucky 34, Liberty 17

Zach Berry: T-Pig and Co. will take this one, but I expect everyone's favorite coward to back door this one like an after hours call at a nail salon in Tampa. Zach's Pick: WKU 34, Liberty 24

I bet Dana Holgerson would be a fun guest at a wedding.
I bet Dana Holgerson would be a fun guest at a wedding. (Associated Press)

Houston (+6) at Baylor, 11 a.m., FOX

Neal McCready: Dave Aranda is a good-looking man. I don't care what anyone says. Neal's Pick: Baylor 30, Houston 20

Chase Parham: The flexibility with interconference games is pretty cool to see here and kind of spits in the face of the rigidity that's currently in place with football schedules. That Ole Miss-Baylor game would have been fun. Parham's Pick: Baylor 40, Houston 31

Jeffrey Wright: I don’t know how anyone could have an opinion on this game. Houston has almost an entirely new roster and spent the past weeks preparing to play Memphis while Baylor has an entirely new staff with a new scheme. Wright’s pick: Baylor 30, Houston 27

Zach Berry: The long-anticipated Dave Aranda debut is here. And on the shores of the Brazos River I expect he and the Bears to take this one handily. Zach's Pick: Baylor 36, Houston 26

I couldn't find any pictures from Georgia Tech's win over Florida State. Photographers aren't going to get the same access during these unprecedented COVID times (even though all metrics are declining and this is fast becoming one of the biggest government power grabs in American history), so I pulled this photo of mascots. If you can have a fluffy bulldog and a freaking fluffy bee, surely you can make a fluffy shark. Just saying.
I couldn't find any pictures from Georgia Tech's win over Florida State. Photographers aren't going to get the same access during these unprecedented COVID times (even though all metrics are declining and this is fast becoming one of the biggest government power grabs in American history), so I pulled this photo of mascots. If you can have a fluffy bulldog and a freaking fluffy bee, surely you can make a fluffy shark. Just saying. (USA Today Sports)

UCF (-7) at Georgia Tech, 2:30 p.m., ABC

Neal McCready: I thoroughly enjoyed Florida State's Week 1 loss. It just felt right. I have a suspicion Georgia Tech can't replicate the emotion it showed in Tallahassee. Neal's Pick: UCF 31, Georgia Tech 21

Chase Parham: Georgia Tech still looks funny not running the option, and while it won't be as sky high for UCF, the week two improvements will be noticeable -- even more so in a year like this. Parham's Pick: Tech 27, UCF 24

Jeffrey Wright: I love Georgia Tech here. They’re getting points, they’ve already played a game, and I was impressed by Justin Sims despite his throwing two of the worst interceptions that I’ve ever seen. FSU has a better defense than UCF, and the Jackets moved the ball. Wright’s pick: UCF 27, Georgia Tech 21

Zach Berry: I expect Geoff Collins and the Waffle House crew to come back down to Earth this week. Dillon Gabriel will pick up where he left off In 2019, but it's week one for the Knights so the Jackets keep it interesting. Zach's Pick: UCF 30, Georgia Tech 24

I really have no idea why I selected this photo. That's one wild trophy though. It's like the Independence Bowl said, "Hey, look, there's nothing we can do about being stuck in Shreveport and there's nothing we can really do about the revolving door of Poulan/Walk-ons/Chico's Bail Bonds sponsors, but we can by-damn have a big-ass trophy."
I really have no idea why I selected this photo. That's one wild trophy though. It's like the Independence Bowl said, "Hey, look, there's nothing we can do about being stuck in Shreveport and there's nothing we can really do about the revolving door of Poulan/Walk-ons/Chico's Bail Bonds sponsors, but we can by-damn have a big-ass trophy." (USA Today Sports)

Louisiana Tech (+4.5) at Southern Mississippi, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2

Neal McCready: I have a soft spot for the hometown Bulldogs. I can still hum the fight song all these years later. Neal's Pick: Louisiana Tech 27, Southern Miss 23

Chase Parham: Southern Miss looked awful against South Alabama. I don't think Jay Hopson's resignation is a huge deal because of the time of year and the staff still in place, but I can't escape the optics of that opener. I know nothing about La Tech, but that's better than what I saw on the other side. Parham's Pick: La Tech 24, USM 21

Jeffrey Wright: I’m going to bet against the team that let South Alabama throw it all over them and has already fired its coach during a pandemic year. Wright’s pick: Louisiana Tech 24, Southern Miss 21

Zach Berry: I like the combination of Jack Abraham and Frank Gore, Jr., but I like the Bulldogs here to keep it close. Zach's Pick: SMTTT 32, Louisiana Tech 28

Dave Doeren is only a 2.5-point home favorite against Wake Forest. This guy was almost Ole Miss' head coach. You guys should think about that when you're feeling sorry for yourselves.
Dave Doeren is only a 2.5-point home favorite against Wake Forest. This guy was almost Ole Miss' head coach. You guys should think about that when you're feeling sorry for yourselves. (USA Today Sports)

Wake Forest (+2.5) at North Carolina State, 7 p.m., ACC Network

Neal McCready: I'm the one who picks games and hell, I'm wondering why I picked this one. I guess I wanted to make a Dave Doeren comment. Neal's Pick: North Carolina State 27, Wake Forest 23

Chase Parham: We mapped out a path on the podcast this week for Dave Doeren to have been the Ole Miss coach a year earlier than it already happened. Butterfly flapping wings and all, Doeren, Ross Bjork and Matt Luke will always be sort of linked. Parham's Pick: Wake Forest 17, NC State 14

Jeffrey Wright: Again, I’ll just stay consistent and take the team that has already played a game as I think that fact has value. However, I’m completely prepared not to win this bet. Wright’s pick: Wake Forest 28, NC State 24

Zach Berry: Let the Claw cook. Zach's Pick: Wake Forest 30, NC State 28

Sunday's games

As Bears fans, we don't frequently get to go into a game saying, "Man, we have a real edge at the quarterback position today." So when you get a chance to say that, and this week, we do, you do it. Man, the Bears have a real edge at the quarterback position Sunday.
As Bears fans, we don't frequently get to go into a game saying, "Man, we have a real edge at the quarterback position today." So when you get a chance to say that, and this week, we do, you do it. Man, the Bears have a real edge at the quarterback position Sunday. (Associated Press)

New York Giants (+5.5) at Chicago Bears, Noon, CBS

Neal McCready: The Giants' offensive line versus the Bears' front-7. I don't care about quarterbacks. Neal's Pick: Bears 23, Giants 13

Chase Parham: It's a week one overreaction because I don't believe in the Bears despite that opener, but I see no way the Giants look competent this season. Parham's Pick: Bears 20, Giants 13

Jeffrey Wright: If you’re going to keep giving the Giants single-digit points, I’m going to keep laying them, especially when I think about the unspeakable things that the Bears’ defensive line is going to do to the Giants’ offensive line. Wright’s pick: Bears 27, Giants 17

Zach Berry: Can't decide if the Giants are just that bad or Mitch Trubisky is that serviceable now. Zach's Pick: Bears 22, Giants 16

There are rumors Aleia has a thing for Rams coach Sean McVay. I fear this will not lead to division as Jeffrey makes his picks this week, for I suspect even Jeffrey would concede McVay is handsome man running a sensical, creative offense.
There are rumors Aleia has a thing for Rams coach Sean McVay. I fear this will not lead to division as Jeffrey makes his picks this week, for I suspect even Jeffrey would concede McVay is handsome man running a sensical, creative offense. (Associated Press)

Los Angeles Rams (+2) at Philadelphia Eagles, Noon, FOX

Neal McCready: The Rams typically don't do so well when they have to go east, but the Eagles didn't look all that good in Week 1. Neal's Pick: Eagles 24, Rams 20

Chase Parham: Brotherly love must really be a thing because I should hate the Rams with every fiber of my being, but I still pull for them in non-Saints games. It's a problem. Parham's Pick: Rams 27, Eagles 20

Jeffrey Wright: Was I the only person that watched these two teams play last week?!? The Eagles’ offensive line is terrible considering how banged up they are, and the Rams continue to be undervalued. Wright’s pick: Rams 24, Eagles 20

Zach Berry: This one should be fun. Despite an opening week win, I'm leaning Carson Wentz and Philly here. Zach's Pick: Eagles 27, Rams 23

Failed Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, now the offensive coordinator in New England, is determined to by-God run the Tim-Tebow-Is-My-Quarterback offense. This time, however, McDaniels was smart. He got the good Tim Tebow.
Failed Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, now the offensive coordinator in New England, is determined to by-God run the Tim-Tebow-Is-My-Quarterback offense. This time, however, McDaniels was smart. He got the good Tim Tebow. (Associated Press)

New England Patriots (+4.5) at Seattle Seahawks, 7:20 p.m., NBC

Neal McCready: This is a matchup of two of the best football coaches in history. The Patriots are willing to slug it out and Seattle is willing to get nasty too. Damn, this should be a fun game. Neal's Pick: Seahawks 20, Patriots 17

Chase Parham: The lack of a Saints game in Picks is exhilarating. I legitimately sighed out loud when I saw the end of the picks. Parham's Pick: Seahawks 34, Pats 28

Jeffrey Wright: I’m buying all of the #LetRussCook stock that I can, and I think they will score points fairly easily this year. Also, I need to see the Patriots beat someone other than the Dolphins before I trust them against a known entity like the Seahawks. Wright’s pick: Seahawks 24, Patriots 17

Zach Berry: Cam Newton is going to be fun in Foxboro, but I like the more explosive offense this early in the season. Zach's Pick: Seahawks 25, Patriots 20