4-3 last week moves us 21 over .500 for the season -- 21. Hit me! Fun weeks these next couple -- a smorgasbord to choose from. There is no 'g' at the end of that word, by the way. I hear people say "smorgasborg" and I just want to help.
Duluth Trading Cure Bowl
No. 25 UTSA (-1, 54.5) vs. No. 24 Troy
Friday, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN, Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Van Pelt's pick: UTSA -1
Let's start with Troy-UTSA. This is a really good game and a tough one to pick but then I ask myself, who is America's premier Sun Belt tout? And I recall the answer is ME. So, we will say meep meep and shout to the Triangle of Toughness and take UTSA in this very good matchup.
SVP: 4-0 all time when picking UTSA
Rice vs. Southern Miss (-6.5, 46.5)
Saturday, 5:45 p.m. ET on ESPN, Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
Van Pelt's pick: Rice +6.5
Once again, I lean into my vast treasure trove of Sun Belt data to back Rice in the Owls' matchup with Southern Miss.
SVP: 5-2 all time when picking C-USA teams in a bowl game
New Mexico Bowl
SMU (-4, 65.5) vs. BYU
Saturday, 2:15 p.m. ET on ESPN, University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Van Pelt's pick: BYU +4
We are going to take the points with BYU against SMU. This one could go really wrong, because SMU could score 50. But... we'll see, right?
SVP: 3-1 all time when picking BYU
NFL Week 15
Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings (-4, 47.5)
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
Van Pelt's pick: Colts +4
OK -- let's get to the NFL portion. I continue to be amazed at how Vegas treats Minnesota -- giving only 4 to the four-win Colts. Sure -- OK. This is a bozo the clown game. Just like Carolina last week at Seattle when I asked you: You're not a bozo, are you? Are you a bozo? Colts plus only 4.
SVP: 3-1 all time when picking the Colts
Philadelphia Eagles (-9, 48.5) at Chicago Bears
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET, Soldier Field, Chicago
Van Pelt's pick: Bears +9
Chicago is off a bye and Philadelphia is just a runaway train. Bears have lost a bunch but kept them close and we are banking on that again. Gimme -- at Soldier Field
SVP: 2-3 all time when picking the Bears
Dallas Cowboys (-4, 47.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET, TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Van Pelt's pick: Jaguars +4
We will take the candy and the Jags as well against the Cowboys last seen squeaking past the Texans giving like 17. Feels like a close one and we like Jackson De Ville because he loves to party and loves America.
SVP: 5-3 all time when picking the Jaguars
Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers (-3, 46.5)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Van Pelt's pick: Titans +4
Tennessee is leaking oil -- can't beat anyone. Chargers getting healthy and just beat Miami. Just a 3-point favorite though. I get people don't see the board the same as I do, you either get it or you don't -- Titans.
SVP: 12-8 all time when picking against AFC West teams
Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5, 44) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, 4:25 p.m ET, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Van Pelt's pick: Buccaneers +3.5
And, finally. Tampa Bay is just wretched on offense. The Bucs have won some games that required sorcery, magic and witchcraft. Cincy, meanwhile, is one of my favorite teams. Love Burrow, they're going to be a tough out in the playoffs and they are laying just 3½. Wow. You know what to do here, yeah? That's right. Bucs plus 3½. How? Who the hell knows. But somehow.
SVP: 0-5 all time when picking against the Bengals