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    Gene Menez

    DE-GENE-RATE

    Sports Illustrated's former college football editor, Gene Menez specializes in college sports and horse racing. During his 14-year tenure at the magazine, he served as a reporter and editor, covering an array of sports and providing handicapping analysis of horse racing's Triple Crown. In the 2015 Kentucky Derby, Menez accurately gave out the superfecta (American Pharoah, Firing Line, Dortmund and Frosted), which paid $1,268.20 for a $2 bet. In the '17 Derby, he nailed the winner (Always Dreaming) and hit the Pick 4, which paid almost $6,900 on a $1 bet. Menez has continued to supply winning horse picks since joining SportsLine in 2019. For Gene Menez media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.

    @genemenez

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    Gene's Past Picks

    Jan 09 2024, 12:30 am UTC
    League
    Washington
    13
    @ Michigan
    34
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    +70
    2-1 in Last 3 WASH ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    There are two main reasons why I think the Wolverines win and cover. First, I trust them to get more consistent pressure on Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. than Texas did in the Sugar Bowl. Michigan, which leads in the country in both total and scoring defense, sacked Alabama's Jalen Milroe six times in the Rose Bowl, and, while I don't expect near that number against Penix, the Wolverines have the ability to make Penix uncomfortable. Second, Texas averaged 6.4 yards per rush against the Washington defense but didn't stick with the run enough. I expect Michigan to have similar success against the Huskies' defense on the ground but, unlike Texas, stick with the running game all the way to the national title.

    Pick Made: Jan 08, 9:16 pm UTC
    Jan 02 2024, 2:00 am UTC
    League
    Texas
    31
    @ Washington
    37
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 TEXAS ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    Texas ended the season playing its best ball of the season. Can we say that about Washington? Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and his receivers figure to have a big game against the Longhorns' pass defense, which is Texas' biggest weakness. But the Longhorns' advantage over the Washington defense is even greater; I can't see the Huskies stopping either the Texas running or passing game. In the end, I trust the Longhorns' defense to get a key stop against Washington more than I trust the Huskies' defense to get a key stop against Texas. Longhorns win, something like 37-30.

    Pick Made: Jan 01, 4:04 pm UTC
    Jan 02 2024, 2:00 am UTC
    League
    Texas
    31
    @ Washington
    37
    +285
    3-1 in Last 4 CFB O/U Picks
    Analysis:

    Much has been made about Washington's advantage over Texas' secondary, which is significant. But I think the Longhorns' offense has an even bigger edge over the Huskies' defense, which ranks 90th in the country in total defense (396.9 yards per game). Also, both teams' offensive playmakers have had a month to get healthy, and I expect you'll see big plays on the Superdome turf. I won't be surprised if the offenses start slowly as they find their rhythm after a month off, but I expect both teams end up in the 30s. Two units on the Over.

    Pick Made: Jan 01, 3:48 pm UTC
    Jan 01 2024, 10:00 pm UTC
    League
    Alabama
    20
    @ Michigan
    27
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    Analysis:

    I'm not a believer in the teams Michigan has beaten this season. Ohio State was the best of the bunch, but Alabama is far more battle-tested than Michigan and is coming off a win over arguably the most talented team in the country in Georgia. The Wolverines's defense, which has built its reputation on stopping offensively challenged teams, also hasn't seen a dual-threat quarterback like the Tide's Jalen Milroe. His running ability will force Michigan to devote a defender to spy or risk giving up chunk yardage on scrambles and designed QB runs. Milroe will be the difference in Alabama winning the Rose Bowl.

    Pick Made: Jan 01, 3:10 pm UTC
    Dec 05 2023, 12:30 am UTC
    League
    Boston
    112
    @ Indiana
    122
    Analysis:

    The Pacers don’t stop anyone. This game should be high-scoring, but I just can’t see Indiana outscoring the best team in the East. The Celtics score at will.

    Pick Made: Dec 04, 11:19 pm UTC
    Dec 02 2023, 9:00 pm UTC
    League
    SMU
    26
    @ Tulane
    14
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    Analysis:

    The loss of quarterback Preston Stone is a huge one for SMU. Stone ranks 10th in the country in passing touchdowns (28) and 15th in passing efficiency (161.3). That kind of production isn't easily replaced. Meanwhile Tulane's only loss this season came against Ole Miss, a game quarterback Michael Pratt missed. The Green Wave are playing for a New Year's Six bowl game, so I expect their best performance.

    Pick Made: Dec 02, 3:27 pm UTC
    Dec 02 2023, 9:00 pm UTC
    League
    Georgia
    24
    @ Alabama
    27
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    Analysis:

    Georgia's problem this year has been boredom. When the opponent hasn't posed a threat, the Bulldogs have looked merely very good. But against ranked opponents, Georgia has been great, winning by 27.5 points per game. Boredom won't be an issue today against Alabama. Also, I expect the Bulldogs to force Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe to make throws that he doesn't want to throw. Give me two units on Georgia.

    Pick Made: Dec 02, 2:51 pm UTC
    Dec 02 2023, 5:00 pm UTC
    League
    Oklahoma State
    21
    @ Texas
    49
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 TEXAS ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    This is an awful matchup for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys turned around their season once they were able to effectively run the ball. But Texas, led by Outland Trophy finalist T'Vondre Sweat, allows just 85.0 rushing yards per game (No. 3 in the country). On the outside, Oklahoma State lacks a receiver who can beat the Longhorns defensive backs downfield. Meanwhile Texas' potent running game faces a Cowboys defense that coughs up 172.0 rushing yards per game (102nd in the nation). The Longhorns also own a huge edge in special teams. With Texas looking to impress the CFP selection committee and wanting to make a statement in its final game in the Big 12, the Longhorns roll in a big way.

    Pick Made: Nov 27, 3:35 am UTC
    Nov 25 2023, 8:30 pm UTC
    League
    BYU
    34
    @ Oklahoma State
    40
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    +80
    2-1 in Last 3 OKLAST ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    BYU has struggled to score on the road, averaging 8.0 points a game in its last three road games. The Cougars also have trouble stopping the run, ranking 109th in the country (177.3 rushing yards allowed per game). That bodes well for Heisman Trophy contending running back Ollie Gordon II, who leads the country in rushing (128.5). With a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game in sight, the Cowboys roll.

    Pick Made: Nov 25, 4:36 pm UTC
    Nov 25 2023, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Colorado
    17
    @ Utah
    23
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    Analysis:

    I realize the Utes may be without some key defensive players, but the defense should still be able to slow down a Colorado offense that scored just 14 points at Washington State last week and may be without quarterback Shedeur Sanders. Also, the Buffaloes (4-7) have nothing to play for with bowl eligibility out of reach. I'll take Utah.

    Pick Made: Nov 25, 4:16 pm UTC
    Nov 25 2023, 1:30 am UTC
    League
    Oregon State
    7
    @ Oregon
    31
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    Analysis:

    I think the Ducks have had this game circled since Oregon State upset them last season to knock them out of the Pac-12 Championship Game. Oregon also has a defense to slow the Beavers' rushing attack, ranking 10th in the country (96.2 rushing yards allowed per game). Finally, Ducks quarterback Bo Nix could use a big performance to add to his case to win the Heisman Trophy. I don't expect Oregon to let off the gas. Ducks cover.

    Pick Made: Nov 24, 4:51 pm UTC
    Nov 18 2023, 9:00 pm UTC
    League
    Oregon
    49
    @ Arizona St.
    13
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    Analysis:

    The Ducks obviously have the firepower to blow out the Sun Devils and cover. But Oregon still has some big games on the horizon (rival Arizona State and potentially a Pac-12 Championship Game), so I don't see the Ducks keeping the foot to the floor all 60 minutes. Also, the Sun Devils have played well the second half of the season, and coach Kenny Dillingham, who was Oregon's offensive coordinator last year, knows the Ducks' offense and personnel as well as anyone. He will have Arizona State prepared to play. Give me two units on the Sun Devils.

    Pick Made: Nov 18, 5:11 am UTC
    Nov 18 2023, 8:30 pm UTC
    League
    Baylor
    17
    @ TCU
    42
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    +500
    3-0-1 in Last 4 BAYLOR ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    The Dave Aranda era at Baylor could be coming to an end very soon. The Bears have lost three in a row and looked lifeless in a 34-point loss at Kansas State last week. Meanwhile this is a get-well spot for TCU, which played tough in a three-point loss to No. 7 Texas last week. Give me two units on the Frogs.

    Pick Made: Nov 18, 4:48 am UTC
    Nov 12 2023, 3:30 am UTC
    League
    USC
    27
    @ Oregon
    36
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    Analysis:

    The Ducks still have a lot to play for. Ranked No. 6 by the College Football Playoff committee, Oregon knows that style points could be crucial come December. The Ducks, who rank second in the country in scoring (45.5 points a game), have a juicy matchup against a nonexistent USC defense that ranks 121st in the country (34.5). The Trojans have lost three of their last four, and all of their goals this season have been lost. Give me two units on the Ducks.

    Pick Made: Nov 11, 3:51 pm UTC
    Nov 11 2023, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Baylor
    25
    @ Kansas State
    59
    +170
    2-1 in Last 3 CFB Picks
    +600
    3-0 in Last 3 KSTATE ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    This is a bounce-back spot for the Wildcats. They nearly pulled off an upset last week at Texas. Now they return home, where they outscored teams 82-3 the previous two weeks. Baylor ranks 119th in the country against the run (187.3 yards allowed per game), which bodes well for a relentless Kansas State running game. The Wildcats roll. Two units.

    Pick Made: Nov 11, 7:04 pm UTC