Formal notice: I am officially changing the name of this serial post to Bet the Board. I think it sounds better.
I went 5-5 last week. It was not pretty. This week bodes poorly as well as the games are interesting, but the lines are better. The decisions were harder this week going into the weekend. As always, I feel that these picks are positively bulletproof; and the Titanic was unsinkable. As always, I hate your team SO MUCH!
We soldier on!
Washington +17 at USC
The Huskies are 2-2 and are not a particularly compelling team. However, USC has not been particularly compelling either. What’s more, they’ve been all over the map. Washington has kept both of its losses close, but they have not been tested by USC. Still, I like the Huskies to beat the spread. With the game tape Petersen now has from Stanford, I think 17 points is way too many to lay on USC, but I still think they win by two scores.
Oklahoma at Texas (Under 61.5)
Ah, the Red River Shootout; no, I will not call it the “Rivalry” or the “Showdown.” This used to be the biggest game the Big XII could muster every year. Now, it’s just another chance for Texas to show how much destruction Mack Brown wrought in his last few seasons. Strong will be picking up the pieces as long as people are willing to put up with him in Texas. That said, the spread is 17 points and I haven’t decided whether I think Texas is going to score more than twice. I just don’t think Texas will score to push the total, and I don’t see Oklahoma pushing into the high 40s to bust the line. Take the under here.
Duke -10 at Army
I stand by my assessment of Boston College’s defense. That assessment is that they are quite excellent, and they are just paired with the abomination that is BC’s offense. I don’t see Duke being held out of the end zone again. Couple that with the fact that Army is just terrible, and you have a very sympathetic line to the favorite. Lay the points. I think Duke wins big.
Maryland +32 at Ohio State
This is one of the lines I’m not particularly thrilled with. I think Ohio State cruises, but I’m not thinking they cruise by 32+. Maryland is atrocious, and will lose sloppy and big. However, I think it will take more than a week to fix the Buckeyes’ struggles. And, of course, as I’m writing this, it just broke that Edsall will not be back. So, Maryland may lay down and die, or they’ll rally. Regardless. I didn’t think 32 points was a reasonable margin of victory. But, we shall see. Ugh.
Virginia at Pittsburgh (Under 46)
This line is predicated on the idea that the game won’t be a shootout and the winner will score in the low 20s. Virginia has a very good defense and Pitt only scored 17 on Virginia Tech, another pretty good defense. I don’t expect UVA to score too many points in general because their offense is abysmal. Additionally, Pitt is hamstrung by the loss of key skill players for the season, so it won’t be a runaway. I like the under here, especially because the spread isn’t particularly attractive.
Georgia -2.5 at Tennessee
I took this line before Tennessee dismissed stellar wideout, Pig Howard. I like this pick even more now. Tennessee is a dumpster fire and it’s only getting worse. They are melting down like Chernobyl and now Georgia comes to town, and they’re pissed after being handed their asses by Alabama. Georgia is going to come in like a buzz saw and just cut the Volunteers to ribbons. I’m not sure UT can hang in this game, much less come close to covering the spread.
Navy +14 at Notre Dame
So, Notre Dame is far better than I gave them credit for at the beginning of the season, but their impressive wins are falling apart as the teams they beat continue to lose games. Additionally, the Irish are hobbled by injury. Now, they host the Midshipmen in one of the more enjoyable annual games in college football. Navy is spectacular at executing, however, due to the Navy’s conditioning requirements, the football team is undersized at the “Big Uglies” positions. Notre Dame is not. I think Navy will be successful, but I think they’ll fall just short. But, there’s no way they lose by two TDs.
Miami +10 at Florida State
So, this series has historically been incredibly close. Additionally, Florida State has look pretty average this season. Miami has looked below average for much of this season. But, I’m relying on the rivalry to make this a close one. I think FSU wins the game, but I think Miami finds a way to put a decent game together. To the outside observer, you have to think that Golden is coaching for his job at this point. Maybe that gives the Canes additional motivation.
TCU -8.5 at Kansas State
TCU beat Texas like a rented mule last weekend. Kansas State is not Texas. Bill Snyder’s team is incredibly well-disciplined and they are one of the only teams in the Big XII that’s capable of fielding a coherent defense. TCU finally has to go on the road against a well-coached team. There’s no question that Gary Patterson will be outcoached this game, the question is: can TCU out-athlete KSU to the tune of 9 points or more? I’m not a believer. TCU hasn’t shown it can dominate an opponent on the road, winning each of its two away games thusfar by less than a touchdown.
Florida -4 at Mizzou
Mizzou has been Florida’s nemesis that past two seasons. No other team, not even the Seminoles from ’13 and ’14, eviscerated the Gators for double digits like Mizzou has the past two seasons. Moreover, Florida gave up the superfecta of return TDs (punt return, kickoff return, interception return, fumble return) to the Tigers in the Swamp on homecoming. You’re not going to beat a team spotted 28 points. Mizzou has been regularly in the hunt for the SEC East and represented the east in the SEC Championship Game the past two seasons. Florida has adopted a mentality of taking the crown from the champs, and that’s exactly what Mizzou is. Florida has played its best football over the past 65 minutes of gametime. In order for the Gators to continue moving forward, they must beat a scrappy divisional opponent on the road. The opportunities are there, Florida is Mizzou’s homecoming this year. Lay the points, take the Gators.