June 21, 2024

When we bid farewell to 2023, I won’t be sad. Our house caught on fire Easter Sunday — that wasn’t awesome. But compared to the calamity that has been this segment — a minor flesh wound.

Last couple of years, we ran our mouths and enjoyed the winning A LOT, and guess what? When we do it again next year, we will do the same thing, because it’s difficult to do. Took the same approach this season, but with lousy outcomes. I always say be optimistic because it costs the same. But the price of optimism, in the “Winners” portion of the show, has gotten expensive. Nevertheless. .. we trudge onward with these beauties.

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Friday’s pick

Pac-12 Championship


No. 5 Oregon Ducks (-9.5, 65.5) vs. No. 3 Washington Huskies
8 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN3, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas


Van Pelt’s pick: Washington +9.5

Let us begin in the Conference of Champions Friday in Vegas. When the games are being discussed this week, this one is being talked about like it’s over. Not a soul has given Washington a chance. I will. Dogs plus a good-sized number is a take for me.

SVP: 4-3 all-time when picking Washington


Saturday’s picks

SEC Championship


No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (-5.5, 55.5) vs. No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide
4 p.m. ET, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta


Van Pelt’s pick: Alabama +5.5

It just dawned on me that I didn’t give out GPG games this year. Maybe that’s been the issue. But if Alabama is being given some candy, it must be taken on general principle, and we shall.

SVP: 4-1 all-time when picking the SEC title game

ACC Championship


No. 14 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 4 Florida State Seminoles (-2, 46.5)
8 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN3, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.


Van Pelt’s pick: Louisville +2

Not the ideal spot to take Louisville, as this number has been shrinking, which means we are getting a lousy number relative to where it began. Also, Florida State knows it needs to show off a bit to be sure they get a spot at the table. That said — on the Cards.

SVP: 4-2 all-time when picking Louisville

Big Ten Championship


No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (-22, 34.5) vs. No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes
8 p.m. ET, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis


Van Pelt’s pick: Iowa +22

This makes me laugh because I knew I would do it. Steve knew I would do it. We’ve done it the last couple Big Ten title games and it hasn’t worked once, but it’s been CLOSE. Let’s take Iowa to not get debacled. Ugly it up Hawkeyes — you excel at that. That’s all I ask.

SVP: 5-2 all-time when picking Iowa

Sunday’s picks


Detroit Lions (-4.5, 46.5) at New Orleans Saints
1 p.m. ET, Caesars Superdome, New Orleans


Van Pelt’s pick: Saints +4.5

‘Bout that time of year when we start taking some Sunday lines, and a couple home ‘dogs are appealing. New Orleans at home against a Detroit team who is struggling a bit on defense — we like the Saints plus.

SVP: 2-0 all-time when picking Saints as an underdog


Kansas City Chiefs (-6, 42.5) at Green Bay Packers
8:20 p.m. ET, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis.


Van Pelt’s pick: Packers +6

Also on Green Bay at home vs. Kansas City getting less than a TD. Back end of the NFC is wide open. Not sure the Packers can win it, but a close game is likely in my mind.

SVP: 8-2 all-time when picking Sunday Night Football games

So that’s six games. I don’t know what else to say about them. There they are. OK, good talk.

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