Pigskin and pony prognostication is not an easy business. But hey, who wants slam dunks anyway? Where’s the challenge in picking the easy ones? I figure if I go out on a limb and it breaks, who cares. I am just the same idiot I have always been. But if I ever get one right…

Our football picks begin in the SEC because we love them good ole Southern head knockers. Each week in this league brings on another rival and another titanic match up. Like Tennessee coach Butch Jones told me this week, “there is no replacement for experience when teaching the killer instinct it takes to win these “big” games. So since we are talking Butch let’s start with Tennessee at Florida (-3). The Big Orange has struggled when it comes to wrestling Gators. Since 1990 Florida is 19 up and 6 down against the Volunteers and last fell to Tennessee in 2004. It was 2003 when Smokey last went into the Swamp and emerged victorious. So, what does all that tell us?… Take Tennessee…Huh? It is the law of large numbers. The Vols are due and this is a fairly talented bunch that can run the football. Florida has a first year coach in Jim McElwain and only 4 returning starters on offense.

Next up is Arkansas versus Texas A &M (-3) in Arlington, Texas. The Aggies have been very impressive in getting off to a 3-0 start while averaging 46 points per game. Coach Kevin Sumlin has 8 returning starters on each side of the football and the offensive line is solid. Arkansas, on the other hand, has stumbled to a 1-2 beginning and lost to Toledo and Texas Tech in the past two weeks. The line looks awfully low so that means one thing…Soooeeyyy!- Take the Hogs and the points. In covering this league since 1994 the one thing I have learned is take nothing for granted. The Razorbacks are physical and they too have a lot of returning experience. Arkansas in a thrilla!

Now, on to the ponies. Santa Anita opens it’s September meet with a card that features six stakes races. This makes for an outstanding opportunity for money to exchange hands. Which way it goes is the key.

The 5th race at Santa Anita is the mile and a sixteenth Frontrunner Stakes for two year old males. Most of the entrants prepped at Del Mar with some running in the 7 furlong Del Mar Futurity. They will all be stretching out a bit here and chasing likely post-time favorite Nyquist. We are going to take a shot here and take the 7 horse, Swipe, across the board. This Keith Desormeaux trained son of finished second to Nyquist last out at Del Mar. The added distance should help and hopefully we can Swipe some greenbacks here.

There are a plethora of other opportunities at the Great Race Place, but let’s focus on the ninth race. The mile and a quarter Rodeo Drive Stakes looks like a great opportunity for a Doug O’Neill trained filly named Sharla Rae. Breaking from post 9 and listed ay 8-1 on the morning line, this three-year old daughter of Afleet Alex is fresh off a win in the grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and should offer good value across the board.

So there you have it. And we once again say if you wager using my advice…GOOD LUCK!!!