Hail Varsity's Brandon Vogel, Greg Smith, Jacob Padilla and Derek Peterson are back to predict the Super Bowl and a handful of basketball games.
Our weekly Friday Forecast is presented by the Gamblers Assistance Program, the Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling and Choices Treatment Center. If you or someone you love has a problem with gambling, call the state-wide help line at 1-800-522-4700.
NFL: New England (-4) vs. Philadelphia
BV: The Eagles have the strength in the trenches to do this, and the Patriots have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Give me the latter. PICK: New England 27, Philadelphia 21
GS: I’m going with my heart and picking the Eagles. But also because they have a great defensive line to get after Brady. PICK: Philadelphia 28, New England 20
JP: I really don’t want the Patriots to win but they’re the smarter pick. I’ll just have to hope Nick Foles can somehow pull off a miracle. PICK: New England 28, Philadelphia 23
DP: I believe in Nick Foles. It’s irrational, but I believe. PICK: Philadelphia 27, New England 26
MBB: Indiana vs. No. 5 Michigan State
BV: The Hoosiers should fare a bit better than the last time against the Spartans (85-57), but this is still too big an ask for Indiana. PICK: Michigan State 84, Indiana 72
GS: Indiana just doesn’t have enough to beat Michigan State here. PICK: Michigan State 81, Indiana 76
JP: This time the Hoosiers get the Spartans in Assembly Hall, but they’re also getting them after facing Purdue and Ohio State back-to-back. Tough stretch for a short-handed Indiana team, who just doesn’t have the horses. PICK: Michigan State 85, Indiana 70
DP: Despite the distractions, Michigan State keeps finding ways to pull out wins. You would think that would end soon, but it won’t end here. PICK: Michigan State 84, Indiana 76
MBB: Texas vs. No. 12 Oklahoma
BV: Excited to watch some basketball in the Cotton Bowl. (That’s not happening? Shame.) Too much offense for Texas to handle here, much like those actual Cotton Bowl matchups. PICK: Oklahoma 90, Texas 77
GS: Upsets seem to happen in the football version of this game so why not here. Trae Young goes nuts but Texas wins. Hello Mo Bamba. PICK: Texas 81, Oklahoma 80
JP: I’m sure NBA draftniks will be tuning in for this one as Trae Young and the Sooners take on Mohamed Bamba and the Longhorns. It will be interesting to see how effective Young can be inside the arc with Bamba and his 7-foot-9 wingspan looming. PICK: Oklahoma 87, Texas 73
DP: OU has lost four straight road games and Christian James seems to be iffy for the Sooners. If he does play, I like Oklahoma. If he doesn’t play, Texas might have a real shot. PICK: Texas 81, Oklahoma 77
MBB: Virginia Tech vs. Miami
BV: Despite picking up a recent win against Boston College, the Hokies are trending the wrong way. PICK: Miami 72, Virginia Tech 64
GS: I think this one will be pretty close but overall Miami is the better team. There is also something about this Hokie team I just can’t trust. PICK: Miami 71, Virginia Tech 62
JP: Miami freshman Lonnie Walker is really starting to figure things out recently and is putting up some big numbers. This should be a fairly competitive game based on what both teams have done recently, but give me the ‘Canes. PICK: Miami 75, Virginia Tech 67
DP: How do you view the Bruce Bowen injury? Is it a blow to the Canes? Or is it a chance for Lonnie Walker to step into a bigger role? I’ll go with the latter, starting with this game. PICK: Miami 82, Virginia Tech 69
NBA: Cleveland vs. Houston
BV: Cleveland is 2-8 over its last 10. That ain’t changing here. PICK: Houston 112, Cleveland 102
GS: Cleveland’s “defense” vs James Harden and the Houston offense? This has blowout written all over it. PICK: Houston 130, Cleveland 115
JP: Cleveland still can’t play a lick of defense and Houston can still play a whole lot of offense. PICK: Houston 118, Cleveland 105
DP: When Cleveland gives up 130, do they blame it on Kevin Love? I need Vegas odds on that. PICK: Houston 128, Cleveland 112
Our picks today are for entertainment purposes only. Between 6 and 8 million Americans meet the criteria for gambling addiction, and many more are affected by another individual’s gambling problem. Don’t gamble more than you can afford and if it stops being fun seek help.
Problem gambling is not a bad habit or a moral weakness. It’s a serious condition. But with help, problem gamblers can put the game in perspective and make decisions to improve their lives.
If you or someone you love has a gambling problem, in Lincoln call Choices treatment center 24/7 at 402-476-2300 or statewide call The Nebraska Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-522-4700. Help is free so call today.