Junkyard Dog of the Week

Welcome back to the place where THE Junkyard Dog in College Basketball gets awarded, on a bi-weekly basis. Yes it’s a weekly award presented bi-weekly, befitting the junkyard dog that surely isn’t constrained to the rules of conventional wisdom. A brief synopsis of the definition of Junkyard Dog is in order, in case you missed our first award ceremony. The Junkyard dog is tough, nasty, gritty, first to the floor and most importantly never going to back down from any person, moment, or opportunity. It’s not the guy who scores the most points, or who makes the highlight reels, it’s the guy whose impact is felt via his passion, physicality and willingness to lay it all on the line for a W.

Our inaugural winner was Auburn’s KD Johnson, and joining him on this illustrious list of Junkyard Dogs is Houston’s J’wan Roberts. Roberts is a name many folks might not recognize, as he’s not even a starter for Houston this season but his relentless effort defensively and on the offensive glass has been huge for Houston and their competitiveness early on this year. He’s averaging 3.4 offensive rebounds and his award winning moments came in what was one of the best games of the season thus far against Alabama. He had 9 OFFENSIVE rebounds, and was an absolute nightmare for Alabama’s frontcourt off the bench. His energy and relentless pursuit on the glass, and physicality as an interior defender, is huge for Houston. It’s important to note that Roberts is not the tallest guy on the floor, at only 6’7” Roberts
was outmatched from a physical perspective by Alabama’s bigs, at 7 ft and 6’8” respectively. In fact, those 2 had two TOTAL rebounds. Much of the defensive glass work for Bama was accomplished by their guards, as the bigs were too busy getting tossed around by Roberts and Co. And while the Cougars fell short on a controversial missed goal-tending call, much of the reason Houston was in that game was due
to their offensive rebounding, getting 21 total. Coach Kelvin Sampson mentioned Roberts’ efforts post-game, calling him their best offensive rebounder and crediting him for “playing like a warrior tonight.” All you need to know.

If you watched the game Roberts would have been a clear stand out, as he was always around the ball when a shot went up and missed. That consistent effort is often contagious, and that impact is immeasurable and a defining characteristic of a Junkyard Dog. While he is not going to be a guy who wins game MVP’s or makes All-Conference teams, his presence and skill set directly, and indirectly, impact the Houston program in a positive way. He’s a guy every coach wishes he could have, and the type of player Sampson has been bringing into this program as he’s built the culture that is Houston basketball. If Houston goes on a major run this postseason many will talk about guys like Marcus Sasser and Kyler Edwards, and deservedly so, but the foundation that allows guys like them to shine is shouldered by a guy like J’Wan Roberts. And it is for those reasons he is being given the highest of honors, the Junkyard Dog of the Week. Do yourself a favor and watch a Houston game if you haven’t
and keep your eye on this guy to see what it looks like to play the game with a Junkyard Dog mentality. And come back next week (2 weeks from now) for the next ceremonious written presentation of the Junkyard Dog of the Week award. Until then, happy gambling

Junkyard Dog of the Week


Welcome to the inaugural Junkyard Dog of the Week award, where 5-star bets recognizes the grittiest weekly performer in college basketball. What I love about college hoops is the passion and intensity so many guys play with at this level, and there are just some guys who no matter the moment, no matter the opponent, are going to outwork you every possession. The Junkyard Dog it tough, nasty, gritty, first to the floor and most importantly never going to back down from any person, moment, or opportunity. This award is not for the guy who scores the most points, or who makes SportsCenter’s top-10 highlight reel, it’s for the guy whose impact is felt via his passion, physicality, and willingness to lay it all on the line for a W. This week that man was Auburn’s KD Johnson. KD averaged 16 ppg in Auburn’s 3 games last week, but as I said that stat alone is irrelevant. What has him here was in part, his 14 steals in those 3 games, as well as his knack for relentlessly attacking the basket despite being undersized and taking on opposing teams big men with extreme physicality and a soft touch. Not only that, he consistently took the ball in key moments, rising to the occasion to hit huge buckets for Auburn. Take a look at this game tying bucket to send the UConn game to OT.

And if you needed even more evidence this dude is a dog, check out these clutch plays, but more importantly the passion and intensity he plays with.

So congratulations to KD on taking home the 1st of many Junkyard Dog OTW awards to come, and if for no other reason go find an Auburn game and watch this kid compete. Within 5 minutes you’ll be enamored by his relentless motor and fearless approach to the game of basketball. Every Coach wishes he could have 5 guys like this, most are lucky to have 1. Bruce Pearl and Auburn are lucky to have a guy like this leading such a talented group. Look out for Auburn and look out for next week’s winner.

CFB Week 11 Card

*Texas A&M (-2.5) @ Ole Miss: The Aggies are back to playing like their pre-season top-10 ranking suggested they would, and Ole Miss has been skating along. The Rebels have been overvalued almost all season long, don’t play any defense and their “vaunted” offense behind Matt Corral has been uninspiring the last few weeks. Give me the team that wins in the trenches on both sides of the ball, and look for the Aggies to slowly pull away in this one behind that rushing attack and a stingy defense. Cash it.  

Baylor (+5.5) vs Oklahoma: Oklahoma has been struggling all season long against inferior opponents and here they get their best test yet by far. Yet and still, they are a 5.5 point road favorite, disgusting. Give me the home dog to cover the points and give Oklahoma its biggest scare yet, but I would stay away from the ML as the Sooners will likely still pull this one out, just look for it to be close all the way. Baylor will be able to score with them and get enough stops for it to be close. Cash it.  

Purdue (+20.5) @ Ohio St: Way too many points. The Buckeyes very well could be the 2nd best team in the country, but Purdue has one of the best passing attacks in college football and against this weak defense will put up points. No only that they have a stingy defense that is capable of getting enough stops to keep this one close. The Buckeyes win this game but Purdue has too much talent to let this one get away from them, and they still are in contention to win the Big 10 West, so they’ll be up for this one. Cash it.  

Arkansas (-2.5) @ LSU: Arkansas has legitimate talent and an offense that is just too dynamic for LSU to slow down, especially with where they are this season. LSU is coming off a near miss against Alabama and getting too much love for that with this line. The Razorbacks are hungry for SEC wins, and have a chance to climb back up the rankings heading into their showdown with Alabama next week. Sam Pittman keeps building momentum at Arkansas with this win. Cash it.  

Auburn (-5.5) vs Miss St: Miss St is just ok, and Auburn’s D is good enough to slow down their one true threat in the passing game. I love how Bo Nix plays at home and this Auburn team has found a running game to compliment him. Auburn should dominate this game and continue to build the anticipation of their showdown with Alabama in a couple of weeks. Bo Nix at home is a sure thing, especially against this weak D. Cash it.  

ND (-5.5) @ Virginia: ND is quietly sitting at 8-1 with their only loss coming against undefeated Cincy and they get a Virginia team that can’t stop a nose bleed. Virginia’s QB Brennen Armstrong might not play, which would make this game unwatchable, but even if he does he’ll be hobbled and ND’s offense will score 40 points in this one. Look for Kyren Williams to have a monster day and for the Irish to continue to sit pretty with only 1 loss. Cash it.  

CFB Week 9 Card

ND (-3.5) vs UNC: UNC is 0-2 away from home and their D is horrific, which will help mask the deficiencies of this ND offense. The Irish are improving on the defensive side, and have quietly been rolling since the loss to undefeated Cincy. They have pivoted to focus more on running the ball, Kyren Williams is rolling, and the Tar Heels can’t stop a nose bleed. Look for Williams to have a massive day and for ND to roll offensively. The Irish should get enough stops to win this one comfortably. Cash it.

Iowa (ML) @ Wisconsin: But…but…but Iowa lost to Purdue who immediately got trounced by Wisconsin, how could you possibly…hold up a sec, allow me. The Hawkeyes got drunk on their own Kool-Aid and laid an egg against an inferior team, so what? They’re back off the matt and still the same vaunted defense that has made opposing QB’s look silly every other week, and who do they get to see this week? Graham Mertz. Mertz is pathetically bad, even Badger fans know it. If you can contain the run, which Iowa can, he will just give you the ball 3-4 times and Iowa is elite at taking advantage of bad QB play. Hawkeyes roll thanks to Mertz and establish themselves as the Big Ten West fave. Cash it. 

Auburn (-2.5) vs Ole Miss: Bo Nix has this Auburn offense rolling and they get one of the worst defenses in the SEC coming to town to continue this run. Nix has had his issues, especially on the road, but he gets to face a terrible defense and at home under the lights he has shined in his career. With Corral clearly compromised and Auburn’s defense much better than Ole Miss’ I see Auburn controlling this one. The win @Arkansas may have me overreacting but I’m loving what the Tigers are doing. In Bo we trust. Cash it. 

Kentucky (-2) @ Miss St: Tough road game here for the Wildcats but UK has been underrated all year imo, and Miss St is just not great. Kentucky is built to win these games, with a great defense and a strong running game behind Chris Rodriguez Jr, I think they win a really close battle here. At the end of the day give me the team that gets stops and controls the line of scrimmage in these matchups, and 2 points is too low. The Bulldogs will need more than 70k cowbells to win this one. Kentucky ugly but decisively. Cash it. 

W. Virginia (+7) vs Iowa St: Iowa St is coming off of one of the biggest wins in the programs history, a natural let down spot. The Mountaineers are by no means better than Iowa St, but this is a trap game and WV is always frisky at home. This is purely a bet on the hangover from the Cyclones and in the end I think they win the game late but 7 points is a lot to cover on the road after that kind of win. Hungry dogs run faster, especially at home. Cash it.

UCLA (+6.5) @ Utah: DTR looks like he’s going to play for the Bruins, and off a tough loss to a great Oregon team I see no reason to think they take a beating from the Utes. Going to Utah is one of the more difficult trips in college football, but this UCLA offense is electric and they are battling for the Pac-12 South. Utah is getting love based on who they’ve historically been, a defensive juggernaut, but the 2021 defense is porous and I expect DTR and company to tear right through em. Sprinkle the UCLA ML but love the 6.5. Cash it. 

Wake (-16.5) vs Duke: Duke is terrible. Their last two road games they were beaten by 48 and 31 and now they get undefeated white hot Wake Forest. The only trepidation here is Wake’s defense, but Duke only put up 7 total points in those two games against really bad UNC and UVA defenses, so I’m not concerned. This is truly a shit-pumping in the making as Wake has one of the most explosive offenses in the ACC. It’s alot of points but the Demon Deacons should be covering by halftime. Cash it. 

CFB Week 7 Card

Season Record: 14-8-1 (+5.6u)

Nebraska -3.5 (Lock): Nebraska heads to Minnesota after a heartbreaking loss to undefeated Michigan on a go ahead FG with a minute left in the game. I love where the Huskers have gone since the Week 0 loss to Illinois, as they’ve lost 3 games but all to undefeated teams and every game was a slugfest that they had a chance to win. Minnesota has been mostly in shambles this season, including a loss to Bowling Green and I truly think Nebraska is going to walk in there and heir their frustrations. Nebraska has been playing as good as any team in the 15-25 range they just haven’t been able to seal the deal. This is way more lopsided a matchup than people are looking at it. Cash it.

Oregon -13.5: The Ducks have had 2 weeks to chew on that tough loss on the road to Stanford, and you know their blood is boiling and they’re itching to prove they haven’t gone anywhere. Cal is the unfortunate twig house in the path of a hurricane in this one and the Ducks should go under the lights on a Friday night and win this by 3+ TD’s. I think this Oregon team has a legitimate shot to still run the table the rest of the way and play themselves into the playoff with that win over Ohio St, and they know it too. Every game has more urgency and we’ll feel that urgency on Friday night. Cash it.

UCLA – ML: The Bruins have been pretty damn good this season and Washington has been very mediocre, so I’m not sure why UCLA is a dog in this matchup but I love them to take care of business in this one. The thing that does worry you is that they welcome in Oregon next weekend, but you know Chip Kelly has been driving home that next week will mean a whole hell of a lot less if they lose this one to Washington. With only 1 Conference loss thus far the Bruins are not out of it in terms of a Conference Championship, so the motivation is still there. Cash it.

TCU +13.5: TCU’s offense is dynamic and I’m really betting on Oklahoma having a let down game after that emotional come from behind victory over Texas last week. Not to mention they have a QB controversy on their hands which adds to the emotional toll heading into this game and TCU under Gary Patterson have always gotten up for the big ones against Texas and OU. I definitely think Oklahoma wins this game but I think TCU punches em in the mouth early and is able to hang around in a very high scoring game. Cash it.

Arkansas -3.5: I’m still riding Sam Pittman and Arkansas and definitely do not buy into the narrative that they are overhyped, if anything I think they are still underappreciated. This offense is dynamic, see 51 points last week, and while the defense has been suspect Auburn is not anywhere near as explosive as Ole Miss. I like Arkansas in their home stadium again to enact a little revenge against a team who beat them last season on an officiating blunder. Also, fading Bo Nix on the road is just a winning strategy regardless of the matchup. Cash it.

Michigan St -4.5: This is a disrespectful line for Sparty, and while I understand the “trap game” thinking, I just don’t see a team who is so fundamentally sound and so consistent in the trenches to lose a game to an inferior team playing with their backup QB. Kenneth Walker is going to rack up another 200+ yards and Sparty will slowly wear down this Hoosiers team and win by double digits. IU just isn’t who we thought they would be, and without their dynamic QB is going to have major struggles on both sides of the ball. Ride this one if not for anything above at least for the potential undefeated matchup next weekend with Michigan. Cash it.

CFB Rankings (Week 6)

6.Oklahoma State5-0
9.Penn State5-1
11.Ohio State5-1
12.Ole Miss4-1
13.Michigan St6-0
14.Wake Forest6-0
15.Notre Dame5-1
16.Coastal Carolina6-0
17.Arizona St5-1
21.NC State4-1
22.Texas A&M4-2
24.San Diego St5-0

CFB Week 6 Card

Texas +3.5 & ML: Oklahoma is favored in this rivalry game and what I’ve seen from them gives me zero confidence they can beat this Texas team that has been rolling as of late. We dismissed Texas after they went on the road and lost to Arkansas, but how bad does that really look now? Oklahoma has struggled with the likes of Nebraska, Tulane, and K-State in recent weeks and Texas has been dominate since moving to Casey Thompson at QB. This should be a shootout, but I love Texas at +3.5 and I’m on the ML as well. Bijan Robinson goes off. Cash it.

Arkansas +6.5: Call me a sucker but I still love what Arkansas has rolling with Sam Pittman, even after watching them get drubbed by Georgia. Georgia is the best team in the country and is a nightmare matchup for what the Arkansas’ strengths are, but the good news is Ole Miss is the antithesis of Georgia. Arkansas will be able to run the ball and burn the Rebel D on play action, it’s bread and butter and Ole Miss offensively is not a ground and pound team like Georgia. Arkansas has the athletes on the outside defensively to slow Ole Miss down and make this one go down to the wire. 6.5 is way too many points. Cash it.

Louisville -2: This line is a head scratcher which worries me but I really think Louisville wins this pretty handily. This Virginia defense is atrocious, they just lost to Miami who is terrible and now they face one of the more dynamic QB’s in the country in Malik Cunningham. Neither defense is that great but Louisville’s offense is more dynamic and they impressed me last week taking Wake Forest down to the wire on the road. The home team and the better team only laying 2 points? Cash it.

Iowa -2.5: The game of the week in CFB as #3 Iowa takes on #4 Penn State and I love the Hawkeyes to win in an ugly punt fest. Iowa’s defense has been making QB’s look like dog shit all season, most notably media darling Brock Purdy in Week 2. I don’t think Clifford will fare any better and I look for that defense to turn over Penn St 3+ times once again and give the offense enough short fields to be able to take care of business this week. This is the best defense Iowa has faced but until they face a QB that can sling it around and take care of the football I will be hammering them. Cash it.

Nebraska +3.5: This is a dangerous game for Michigan as Nebraska has continued to look better and better every week. The Huskers lost inexcusably Week 1 to Illinois, but since then they have dominated the teams they should and were close to taking down 2 ranked, undefeated teams in Oklahoma and Michigan St. I am not sold on Michigan and think this is a monster game for Nebraska’s program. I love home dogs, especially when it means a little more. Had to talk myself down from the ML here but 3.5? Cash it.

CFB Top-25 (Week 5)

5.Penn St.5-0
7.Oklahoma State5-0
11.Michigan State5-0
14.Ohio State4-1
15.Notre Dame4-1
16.Ole Miss3-1
17.Wake Forest5-0
18.Coastal Carolina5-0
20.Arizona St4-1
22.NC State4-1
24.San Diego St4-0

NFL Picks Week 4

Week 4 NFL Picks 

Buccaneers –6.5: Tom Brady heads home to face an inferior Patriots team. Regardless of all of the storylines and all of the pageantry that will happen the Bucs are miles better than the Pats and Brady is motivated coming off a loss. This will be a blowout and ultimately mean nothing for the Brady vs Belichick debate. Cash it. 

Steelers +6.5: This is too big of a spread for a good Steelers team that will be desperate for a win. They have issues but the defense will be better with Watt back and Rodgers’ achilles heel is a front 4 that can get after him quickly. Look for it to be low scoring and the Steelers to hang around, cover but ultimately lose. Cash it. 

Colts ML: Simply put the Colts are much better than the 0-3 record shows, as they’ve played 3 good teams who likely end up in the playoffs. The Dolphins are reeling and are a good test but these Colts will not go 0-4. Hungry dogs are the most dangerous in the world of sports. Wentz gets his first dub as a Colt. Cash it.  

Chargers –3.5: The Raiders are overvalued at this stage at 3-0 and the Chargers have proven to be able to beat the best, and on the road at that. Now they come back home to take on an undefeated division opponent. Expect Herbert to go wild and the Chargers to pull away in a high scoring high action Monday Night thriller. Cash it.  

CFB Picks Week 5

CFB Week 5 Card:
Record: 8-3 (+5u)

Arkansas +18.5 (1.1u): This is as disrespectful of a line as I’ve ever seen. Arkansas has two outright
wins over ranked teams as an underdog, both by double digits. They have an explosive offense, a
defense that flies around and Sam Pittman, who clearly has changed the culture to embody the blue
collar nature of the state of Arkansas. Georgia’s best win? 10-3 over Clemson, who might not even be the 3rd best team in the ACC. This will be a dog fight, an incredible game and will be the easiest win of the weekend. Georgia wins late but Arkansas is a legitimate top-10 team. 18.5 is absurd. Cash it.

Texas -5 (1.1u): Too many people on TCU. Texas was dismissed too early after a loss to Arkansas, how
does that look now? Texas is a top-25 team and will put up 40+ on this pathetic TCU defense. I don’t love road favorites but Texas is getting ignored all because they lost to a top-10 team on the road. Love Bijan Robinson, Thompson is the guy and Sarkisian has things rolling. Cash it.

Kentucky +8.5 (1.1u): Florida is going to get everything Kentucky has, similar to Alabama heading to the
Swamp a couple of weeks ago. Great teams win this game but to expect Florida to waltz in there and win
a game like this by 9 or more is asking a lot. Kentucky’s D is solid enough, and they have one of the best
rushing attacks in the SEC led by Chris Rodriguez Jr. I love home dogs, and especially when it’s a
chance for a team like Kentucky to make a statement. Sprinkle the ML if you’re feeling frisky but 8.5?
Cash it.

Oklahoma St -3.5 (1.1u): This is tough one but I think the Cowboys are better on D and better in the
trenches. Both teams can run the ball, Baylor especially, but the Cowboys have been very effective in
stopping the run. If they can force Baylor into 3 rd and longs I don’t like Bohannon’s ability to make big
plays. They are also getting a lot of love from last week, when largely the game was won on a kickoff
return. Not buying Baylor. Cash it.

Kansas St +10.5 (1.1u): Purely a bet against an overvalued Oklahoma. They barely beat Tulane,
Nebraska and W. Virginia at home. K-State is better than all of them it it’s on the road. The line has
moved heavily towards Oklahoma, so you might be able to get 12.5 on this. Oklahoma does not deserve
to be in the top-10 and should be on upset alert. Another huge home dog. Cash it.

Rutgers +15 (1.1u): I’m riding home dogs this year and here’s another one. They played Michigan very
tough and covered easily last week. Ohio State’s D is still a problem, and when you can’t get stops it’s
hard to win by 3 TD’s. Schiano clearly has something going in Jersey and this is a chance to get them on
the map. Not the same old Rutgers we’re used to seeing get steamrolled. Cash it.