The Otter Room’s Weekly Football Picks

Started tarted off 7-4-1 last week – don’t let us get hot out of the gates.

UConn vs. #21 USF (-17)

South Florida hasn’t hit their stride yet and a matchup vs. UConn is the perfect medicine. The Huskies struggled to beat Holy Cross a week ago and the game was moved up to 10:30 AM to accommodate USF’s travel plans around Hurricane Irma, so won’t exactly be a hostile atmosphere in Hartford.

Iowa State (+3) vs. Iowa

You don’t just walk into Jack Trice Stadium and expect to come out with a W. Iowa has been by far the better program over the last decade, but the battle for the CyHawk always comes down to the last minute. Hard to go against a home underdog in a rivalry game like this.

Northwestern vs. Duke – O/U 55 – OVER

The line is Northwestern -3, but it was hard to gauge the Wildcats after a sub par performance vs. Nevada a week ago and you never know how an opponent will react entering the late morning sleepy atmosphere at Ryan Field. Not confident in who wins, but am confident in both offenses.

#8 Michigan vs. Cincinnati (+34.5)

Michigan may be the best team in the Big Ten, but those are too many points to give one of the more consistent programs in the AAC.

#9 Wisconsin (-32) vs. Florida Atlantic

The Badgers slept through the first half of their first game against Utah State. No doubt they have heard about that all week and will come out with some fire against an FAU squad that had no answers for Navy’s running game in week one.

North Carolina (+10) vs. #17 Louisville

Neither team looked sharp in week one. Louisville was able to escape with a win against Purdue, while the Tar Heels fell to Cal at home. UNC has their backs against the wall and cannot afford an 0-2 start. The Heels lost a lot of talent to the NFL last season, but 10 points is too many to give in a road game against a desperate team.

Kansas (-5.5) vs. Central Michigan

The Jayhawks are starting to make progress in year three of head coach David Beaty’s tenure and Central Michigan needed triple overtime to escape with a win vs. FCS opponent Rhode Island last week.

Oregon vs. Nebraska – O/U 70 – OVER

Big Red Nation was not pleased with the opening act of Bob Diaco’s tenure as defensive coordinator as Arkansas State went up-and-down the field against the Cornhuskers last week. While Oregon does not play at as a high of a tempo under Willie Taggart, the Ducks still boast an explosive offense and Autzen is one of the toughest places to play in the country. Nebraska is also capable of putting points on the scoreboard behind highly-touted transfer Tanner Lee.

#3 Clemson vs. #13 Auburn – O/U 53.5 – OVER

In the battle of the Tigers, both teams boast powerful offenses, but both defenses are still unproven. Clemson has a talented, but inexperienced defense and Auburn’s defense has reported to be much-improved from a season ago. However, that is all hearsay at this point and both teams are facing a different kind of athlete on offense than they saw in week one (Georgia Southern and Kent State).

Missouri vs. South Carolina (+2.5) – O/U 71.5 – OVER

This game will boast the two best quarterbacks in the SEC. Both Drew Lock and Jake Bentley had outstanding performances in week one. The difference? Bentley did it in a neutral site game vs. NC State and Lock put up his big numbers against Missouri State at home. The Gamecocks actually showed the ability to stop some people on defense, while the Tigers defensive unit allowed 35 points in the first half against their in-state FCS foe.

#2 Ohio State vs. #5 Oklahoma – O/U 65 UNDER

All the press this week has been around both of these teams’ quarterbacks and offenses, but there is plenty of talent of both defenses. J.T. Barrett and Bakery Mayfield don’t always put up the biggest numbers in big game, so don’t expect the shootout many are predicting.

#6 USC vs. #14 Stanford (+6)

I conceded this is ripe for a sucker bet, but it is too good to pass up. The Trojans looked out of sorts, especially defensively, against Western Michigan and Stanford plays the type of physical football that is often USC’s kryptonite.

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