You know all the times before when I’ve said how crazy the prior week has been? Yeah, that was hyperbole. This week has been insane. So much news, little of it good, broke this week about college football. Florida’s Grier suspended, Spurrier resigns, Sarkisian placed on leave then fired, Edsall fired, Florida DB dismissed for pulling a gun on his pregnant girlfriend, and there are still other stories I’m forgetting. As with any week of big news, we’ve seen the lines for this weekend’s games move all over the place. As always, the lines below were what I pulled at time of writing–they may have moved since. I went 8-2 last week and got a bonus win by taking Baylor to cover. So, here’s to duplicating that result!
Let’s Bet the Board.
Iowa at Northwestern
The Hawkeyes finally get to play someone of substance in Northwestern this week, and I’ve believed for awhile that Iowa has been underrated. This line was a pick’em when I looked at it and home field is usually worth about 3 points, making Iowa the favorite on a neutral field. Northwestern got exposed last week, I think Iowa handles business on the road this week.
Pitt +2.5 at Georgia Tech
The Panthers roll into Bobby Dodd this weekend to try and atone for the embarrassing loss to the Jackets last year. Pitt’s offensive ineptitude spotted Tech 28 points. Georgia Tech has lost 7 running backs to injury this season. They’re playing walk-ons in a 95+% run offense. Not a good sign. To make matters worse, teams have been able to commit 9 to stop the run because Tech has no vertical passing threat to keep the defense honest. Pitt has looked impressive the past couple of weeks–impressive, that is for a middling ACC team. Take the points. Pitt wins this game outright.
Alabama -4 at Texas A&M
This is a precarious line. Alabama bulldozed Georgia, which looks less impressive after Tennessee beat the Dawgs. But, Chubb was out against Tennessee, so Alabama may be as good as advertised. Meanwhile, A&M has looked very impressive and drew Alabama at home. I think Kyle Field is rocking and the Aggies beat Bama outright. Take the points.
Georgia -16 vs. Mizzou
So, Nick Chubb is out for the year. Georgia has a very capable backup in Michel, so don’t expect a complete implosion. However, there’s a reason that he wasn’t starting. 16 points is way too many to lay on the Bulldogs. Georgia wins, but there’s no way they cover.
Boston College +15.5 at Clemson (under 36.5)
Boston College lost to Wake Forest 3-0. If you can’t score on Wake, what makes you think you can score on Clemson? Meanwhile, Boston College quietly has one of the best defenses in the ACC, maybe nationally. Clemson is very good on offense and Watson finally seems to be settling in. I think Clemson easily controls the game, but I’m not sure it’s going to be high scoring. 36 is low, but both defenses are stout. Risk it on the under.
Kansas -31 at Texas Tech
We will be arguing into next year about who the best team in the Power 5 is. What we won’t disagree on is who the worst team is. That award goes to Kansas. The Jayhawks are trash. They maybe play marginally better than how I imagine Cumberland College played when they lost 222-0 to Georgia Tech. Marginally. Whatever the points are, I would lay them here. Texas Tech is a solid team and they are playing Kansas at home. Take the cover. All. Day. Long.
Michigan State +7.5 at Michigan
This could be Harbaugh’s year. They get Sparty and Ohio State at home. I already mentioned in the Sprint Option that I think Michigan is the best team in the B1G. A win over MSU is another step toward that theory becoming reality. I think 7.5 points is based solely on the fact that Dantonio’s team SHOULD be good. I think Blue wins in a blowout. Connor Cook will be removed from post-season awards lists after the Michigan defense gets done with him. Take the cover.
Florida +9.5 at LSU
What a horrible week for Florida! Grier being toasted by the NCAA for a year along with the added distraction of a backup DB getting kicked off the team for a harrowing assault. Florida has been distracted this week. But, if we look at the game, let’s consider the matchup. Florida has a great rush defense. They have an elite pass defense. The defense did not lose anyone major, and still can accomplish its key task of stopping (slowing) Fournette. Strength matches up against strength (LSU OL v. Florida DL); and weakness matches weakness (Gator Offense v. LSU defense). I think it’s a close game even with Harris under center for the Gators. The facts don’t support laying almost 10 points. I hope.
Arizona State +7 at Utah
ASU is a sneaky team and Utah may be in for a hangover game after playing two ranked teams. Utah is an exceptional team, but they’ve lost the element of surprise. I think the Sun Devils will be ready for them, and I would not be surprised if they win outright.
Vanderbilt at South Carolina (under 44)
What is it with lousy teams having great defenses this year? Vandy is another team that couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat on offense, yet they have their crap together on defense. South Carolina just had their legend coach ride into the sunset this week. I’m not sure they win this game, but I definitely don’t think it runs over. Since I have no idea about the winner and loser, I’ll take the under. So should you.
And there you have it. 10 picks that are just like stealing.
You. Are. Welcome.