Gold Lot Sports - Our Non-Expert Picks for the Steelers, Pitt, and More

Last week the Gold Lot Sports picks went 3-3.  We were 3-0 on spreads, but unfortunately we were 0-3 on Totals.  No Totals this week so let's see how it turns out.  Remember to always gamble responsibly. 

Brian Torchia - 2021 Overall Record: 2-1 (2-1 NCAA, 0-0 NFL)

Kansas vs. Coastal Carolina - Coastal Carolina -25

For the second week in a row, a Friday night college football game caught my eye.  Quite possibly the worst Power 5 college football team in the country, Kansas travels to take on Coastal Carolina tomorrow night.  The Jayhawks are coming off an emotional game that saw them score a touchdown with 1:10 left to capture a big 17-14 win, leading to the fans storming field... against an FCS team.  The Jayhawks faithful gathered on the field to celebrate beating South Dakota despite being favored by 11.5 points.  

On the other side, Coastal Carolina is looking to build upon their great season last year, where they finished the regular season undefeated.  Last week, they took down the Citadel in a convincing 52-6 win and I'm expecting a similar outcome this week.  The Chanticleers have their sights set on a New Year's Day bowl this year and what better way to earn a spot than defeating a Power 5 school on national television under the bright lights.  This is the perfect spot for Coastal Carolina to build their resume by running up the score with everyone watching.  Coastal Carolina -25.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills - Steelers +6.5

This play has more to do with the numbers than it does the teams on the field.  All offseason, the media praised the Bills for their incredible 2020 season and talked about how they expect much of the same out of them again this year.  On the other hand, this same media also talked about tempering expectations for the Steelers this year and how this could very well be the season the team finally took a step back. 

Yet, this line is only 6.5, even with Buffalo playing at home in front of the infamous Bills Mafia.  Not even a touchdown for the almighty home team against the sputtering Steelers?  Something seems fishy here.  Not to mention, by this line staying under a touchdown, the books are begging the public to bet Buffalo.  I'm not taking the bait... Steelers +6.5.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans - Houston +3

Last week, I gave out a play that felt gross (Florida State to cover against Notre Dame) but ended up being a winner. Hopefully we have another one of those on our hands with this game.  What if I told you that you could get a home underdog in a division game going against a rookie head coach and rookie quarterback?  Your eyes would probably light up, until you found out that team was the Houston Texans.  

Sure, the Texans are the favorite to finish with the worst record in the league this year but what makes Jacksonville so special to be favored on the road in this situation?  They had the first pick in last year's draft for a reason.  Trevor Lawrence is likely to be a special quarterback in this league one day but I'm not expecting that day to be his very first game.  I also don't believe Urban Meyer has the chops to cut it as an NFL coach.  Tyrod Taylor is no stranger to commanding offenses of poor teams and I think he'll be just fine in this spot against a subpar Jaguars defense.  Houston +3.  

Antonio Wolfe - 2021 Overall Record: 1-2 (1-2 NCAA, 0-0 NFL)

Pitt Panthers at Tennessee Volunteers - Pitt -3

As a Pitt fan, I have been disappointed a lot.  So much so, I don't bet on Pitt.  Ever.  So this one is special.

I originally looked at Pitt's schedule and saw this game as a loss.  The Panthers just don't go on the road against a nonconference Power 5 opponent and win very often.  However, then I dug deeper with my Pitt Football Week 2 article.  Plain and simple, the Volunteers are not a good football team.

In the offseason Tennessee was brutalized by the transfer portal and the NFL draft.  They lost their starting quarterback, two top rushers, top two tacklers, sack leader, and top cornerback.  They are returning just 12 starters from last season.  Also, their new transfer quarterback, Joe Milton III, was nothing special in his three seasons at Michigan.  In fact, after earning the starting job in 2020, he was benched halfway through the season.

I would be comfortable taking Pitt up to -5.5 if you want the positive odds with an alternate line.  I think Pitt at -3 is a no-brainer.  I'd consider it a lock.  Please don't let me down.

Washington Huskies at Michigan Wolverines - Washington +7

We're going to take a note out of Brian Torchia's book for this one.  While Washington is coming off a bad loss against a Big Sky opponent, the Montana Grizzlies, Michigan has the opposite momentum.  The Wolverines beat up on Western Michigan 47-14 and everyone is raving about the potential of quarterback Cade McNamara.  Plus the game is in the Big House in Ann Arbor.  

With four home games to start their schedule, the Wolverines don't even have a road trip to be concerned about.  They should be totally locked in.  So why is this line only 7?  All of the optics would say that Michigan should win this game handedly.  If Montana can beat the Huskies on the road by six, surely Michigan can hang a double digit deficit on them at home.  So what does that 7 point line tell me?  The books are begging you to take Michigan.  They zig, we zag and take the Huskies at +7.

Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders - Raiders +4

I already liked this to be a close game.  This is the first regular season game where Raiders' new Allegiant Stadium will have fans.  It has been a long awaited day for owner Mark Davis, and in a city like Vegas, I expect it to be a spectacular show.  Plus, all this on Monday Night Football.  

Those factors taken into account would already lead me to believe it will be a closer game than four points.  However, the Ravens had potentially the worst practice in the history of the NFL on Thursday.  After already losing starting running back J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending injury, backup running back Gus Edwards and cornerback Marcus Peters joined Dobbins on the 2021 torn ACL list yesterday.  It's terrible luck for the Ravens and I'm not sure I have seen anything like it before.

The Ravens cannot survive a season where they have to rely mostly on Lamar Jackson to throw the ball.  When they have a balanced offense they are lethal.  Potentially, they get balanced by their third or fourth game.  However, they do not have the time this week to figure that out.  I like the Raiders getting 4 at home.

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