Welcome to week 13 of Pick Six, a weekly column where the RTI team plus a weekly guest picker calls their shots on six games. We’ll do our best to pick the most competitive games each week and will focus heavily on the SEC when possible. Spreads are listed and will occasionally be mentioned in the comments. We’ll keep a running tally of records (straight up, not ATS) throughout the year and compare those to how Vegas fared.
Daniel and Houston led the way at 3-3 last week and Daniel maintained his grasp on the lead for the RTI Cup. Reed went 2-4 and guest picker Seth Stokes went 1-5. For the year, Daniel is 46-26, Reed is 42-20, Houston is 41-31, our guest pickers are 40-32 and Vegas favorites are 45-27.
This week’s guest picker is Tony Basilio. You can listen to him from 11a-1p weekdays on the Tony Basilio App, 1040 AM/99.7 FM or TonyBasilio.com.
North Carolina at Duke (-6) 7:30 pm Thursday ESPN
Daniel: Duke had an unexpected setback against Virginia Tech last week, ending their hopes of being an extreme darkhorse for the College Football Playoffs, but the Blue Devils still have a lot to play for. The Tar Heels are looking for bowl eligibility, so they’ll be motivated in this one. But it’s all Duke here. The Blue Devils are at home, have the big coaching advantage and enough talent to win this one comfortable over their in-state rivals. Winner: Duke 34-20
Houston: I guess Virginia Tech is just good enough to pull a crazy upset or two this season, but what a strange loss for a Duke team that was carrying a lot of momentum down the stretch. Can Duke rebound against a North Carolina team that will be playing for their postseason lives? Of course they can…they read General Neyland’s Game Maxims. Duke gets back to playing Tennessee football this week and gets a much needed win over their in-state rival. Winner: Duke 37-21
Reed: The Blue Devils faltered last week but still control their ACC Coastal destiny. A win over North Carolina and Wake Forest and they’ll face Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. The Tar Heels will get bowl eligible with a win – but that won’t happen. North Carolina has the worst defense in the ACC. Expect Cutcliffe and Co. to exploit the porous Tar Heel defense on the way to a big victory. Winner: Duke 42-24
Tony: Though he lost last time out, nobody gets more out of his team than David Cutcliffe. North Carolina’s defense will feel at times like they have a test that doesn’t match the answers beforehand. Get it? I’ll take Duke to cover tonight in this one. Winner: Duke 28-20