So far, Hlastradamus has been Hlastradoofus. He has started as slowly as Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi, but needs to prove he has Stanzi’s ability to shift gears and get things straightened out.
Yes, the prophet was 2-3 last week to go to a woeful 3-7 vs. the spread. But the fog is lifting. He feels like it’s winning time. So here comes some good ones:
(Lines are courtesy of the Las Vegas Hilton as of 4 p.m., Thursday)
1. Iowa -4 vs. Arizona. The Hawkeyes, Hlastradamus feels, are equipped to defend their home turf against the Pac-10 visitors. When push comes to shove, Arizona sophomore quarterback Matt Scott will find making his first road start in an environment this noisy against a quality defense will lead to trouble. This game may come down to the wire, but it’s Iowa’s day.
By the way, the spread dipped from 5.5 points to 4 within a six-hour span on Thursday.
2. Minnesota +14 vs. California. Hlastradamus respects Cal very much and is less taken with the Gophers. But this is a lot of points for a visitor making the two time-zone trip, and Cal got derailed at Maryland last fall. Minnesota will be plenty gung-ho in its new outdoor digs, enough so to handle the 14-point cushion it’s getting.
3. Kent State +3.5 vs. Iowa State. Kent State isn’t good. But MAC teams historically play like madmen when they have their rare chances to host BCS conference teams. Just ask Colorado, which was beaten from pillar to post at Toledo last Friday.
4. Texas -18 vs. Texas Tech. That’s a bunch of points, yessirree. But Hlastradamus isn’t sure Tech will stop Texas’ offense on a single series. The Longhorns will not only be revenge-motivated, they’re national-title motivated. That means stomping on teams, and the Horns will use Tech as an example. But mainly, this is payback for the Red Raiders’ win in the Game of 2008.
5. Oregon State -1 vs. Cincinnati. Normally, the prophet keeps this Big Ten/Big 12 related for you peeps. But this is his Game of the Week. Cincinnati makes a big leap in class this week, going on a long trip to play a dangerous Pac-10 team. The Beavers will win, and so will you if you heed the high priest of pigskin.
Have a nice day.