Welp, if you faded me last week, you lost money – something about a blind squirrel and a nut, but that means I am due to return to the mean this week. Last week we went 5-4-1, below are this week’s picks.
I may have gotten carried away with the picks last week and had more of a dissertation under each pick, so look for more short and sweet explanations accompanying the picks. If you wanna get deep, tweet at us.
Buffalo vs. New England (-6.5)
The only loss the Patriots have suffered this season was to the Bills at home with Jacoby Brissett behind center. You think they will have an upgrade at QB some revenge on their minds Sunday? New England wins big.
Pitt (+4) vs. #25 Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech is a tough team to get a read on. They look like an ACC contender in the route of North Carolina a few weeks ago, but then fall to Syracuse the following week. They even can be Jekyll and Hyde in the same game as witnessed when they dominated Tennessee in the first quarter to the tune of a 14-0 lead before falling 45-24. Pitt is a sneaky good team and can vault themselves into the ACC race with a win Thursday. The Panthers’ two losses came on the road at Oklahoma State and by one point at North Carolina. Look for Pitt to control the clock behind the running game of James Conner on the way to a win in a low-scoring affair.
USC (-16.5) vs. Cal
USC was written off after early losses to Stanford and Alabama, but the Trojans are starting to find their groove and will factor in the PAC 12 South race. As mentioned in last week’s picks, Cal has no defense and Juju Smith-Schuster and the entire Trojan offense will have a field day.
Utah St. vs. San Diego State (-6)
Aztecs running back Donnel Pumphrey is the best player in the country you have never heard of and the only home field advantage the Aggies have to offer is altitude, so look for San Diego State to cruise. The Aztecs are arguably the best non-power five team in the country could very easily be a contender for a New Year’s Six Bowl, but they lost to South Alabama a few weeks ago as they forgot the golden rule…you don’t just walk into Ladd-Peebles Stadium and expect to come out with a W.
Wake Forest (-6.5) vs. Army
Army got off to a 3-0 start, but have faltered of late including a home loss vs. North Texas last week. Wake Forest has been one of the surprise teams in the ACC and if they were to beat the Black Knights, they would be bowl eligible. This line seems too low, which gives me some hesitation, but pull the trigger on the Demon Deacons.
#17 Utah (+10) vs. #4 Washington
This game will be Washington’s toughest test do date as the Huskies travel to Salt Lake City and the toughest home field in the PAC 12. Utah is coming off a high-scoring road win at UCLA and have one of the best running games in the nation. Saturday will be a proving ground for the Huskies defense, which has yet to be seriously tested. If the Huskies can clear this hurdle, they will not have another serious challenge until the Apple Cup vs. Washington State. The Utes keep it close throughout and make enough plays to pull out the outright win in the fourth quarter.
#6 Ohio St. vs. Northwestern (+26.5)
After falling to Western Michigan (not bad) and Illinois St. (really bad) to open the season, Northwestern has turned the year around and can salvage a decent bowl game with a strong finish. Ohio State’s offense has not been the same since dismantling Oklahoma earlier in the year. Those struggles came to a crescendo in last week’s loss at Penn State. The result of this game will never be in doubt, but look for a sluggish Buckeye squad to sleepwalk to a win, but no cover.
Oregon vs. Arizona State, Over 78
The same logic applies here that applied to the Oregon-Cal matchup last week. Neither one of these teams has a defense and both offenses are capable of putting up big points – a recipe an easy over.
Indiana (-5) vs. Maryland
Although Michigan State is a far cry from its form of the last few years, Maryland’s victory over the Spartans last week was the biggest for the program since joining the Big 10. Indiana is far from a good team, but they have a capable offense and the sleepy atmosphere in Bloomington is ripe for a Terp letdown.
#16 Oklahoma (-40.5) vs. Kansas
The Sooners put up 66 last week at Texas Tech. Now they are home and they are hosting Kansas….that pretty much says it all.
Ole Miss vs. #15 Auburn (-4.5)
Auburn’s offense is rolling and starting to look like the Nick Marshall-led attack that catapulted the Tigers to the National Championship game in 2013. War Eagle put up 56 points against Arkansas a week ago and shows no sign of slowing down. Like a few other prominent blue bloods in the sport, Ole Miss’ season has gone down the drain. All four of their losses are to ranked teams (Florida State, Arkansas, LSU, Alabama), but at 3-4 and pending NCAA sanctions on the way, it is safe to question the mentality of Hugh Freeze’s team.
South Carolina vs. #18 Tennessee (-13.5)
After a brutal stretch of Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M, and Alabama, the Volunteers received a much-needed bye last week. South Carolina’s offense is the worst of any power five school. Williams-Brice is still a tough place to win, but this will be a “get well” game for Josh Dobbs and company.
#9 Texas A&M vs. New Mexico St. (+43.5)
Alabama beat up Texas A&M last week and those effects will manifest themselves in the Aggie Bowl this week. Look for A&M to start slow, but the Aggies from New Mexico State will keep it within the number.
Arizona (+6) vs. Stanford, Under 49
As stated last week, Stanford stinks. They scored three offensive points at home vs. Colorado which led David Shaw to find time some time between bitching and moaning about officiating to make a change at QB. Even with the change, Stanford as a road favorite is stunning. Take Arizona in a close contest.