Eight?! Week eight?! I went 5-5 last week. I promise to do better this week. Actually, I don’t. There are a lot of crappy games this weekend. I don’t think this weekend looked as bad in August, but that’s the mania that is college football. Below are ten picks I feel pretty solid on. One is a lockdown sure thing.
Hey, Siri…load up the board!
(Still waiting on real time odds integration for Siri)
Memphis -10.5 at Tulsa
Memphis is the best team in Tennessee and just beat Ole Miss. Granted, that Ole Miss team is far worse than expected. However, Memphis is a solid team. Tulsa…well, Tulsa just isn’t. Laying ten and a half against a 3-3 team that is 0-2 in conference play feels like a no-brainer. Coach Justin Fuente is auditioning for bigger and better things, after all. It’s safe to say he has plans for August. Take Memphis to cover and keep it rolling.
Florida State -6.5 at Georgia Tech
As an alum, this feels like taking sides against the family. But, this is the easiest bet of the weekend. LAY THE POINTS. Georgia Tech is reeling and there’s no recovery looming. Tech is 0-5 in the ACC (technically 0-4, but I’m counting ND) and looking at the schedule, may be 0-9 and cap it off with a loss to Georgia on Thanksgiving. This team is bad, they don’t execute, and they don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground on defense. FSU is bringing a Heisman-finalist (if the season ended today) to town and GT cannot stop the run. Cook is going to trash the Jackets, on their homecoming no less. It’s going to be ugly. Barring a biblical-caliber choke from FSU, there’s no chance that Tech keeps this game respectable. For those of you who are Tech fans like me who read the blog: first, thank you very much for reading, sincerely; and second, I’m terribly sorry. I will be at this game this weekend. God help us. Who schedules homecoming?!
Clemson -6.5 at Miami
This should be a very interesting game. Miami is coming off a pretty impressive win over VPI, and Clemson has finally looked to be in gear offensively. Based on the way the Canes have played this season, I’m not sure they’re up to the challenge of taking down Clemson, despite the fact that they get the Tigers at home. Clemson is going to outcoach Miami, the question is, can Miami dip into its deep talent stable to keep the game competitive and interesting. I think they can, but I still think laying less than a touchdown to the clear ACC favorite is a good move here. Clemson is due to “clemson” a game this season, maybe this is it. And honestly, if Golden beats Clemson, I think his job is safe for another season, much to the chagrin of many Miami fans. Regardless, smarter to lay the points and expect Clemson to come out firing than taking the unknown quantity that is 2015 Miami.
Kansas State +4 at Texas
The 2-4 Longhorns are two horrific late special teams plays away from 4-2. When we consider this, it’s not unexpected that Texas is favored. Kansas State is coming off a browbeating at the hands of a pissed off Oklahoma team that Texas managed to beat the week prior. Texas is a very capable team with some very bad luck. Charlie Strong is going to have them ready to play. Additionally, Texas is back in the DKR for the first time after beating Oklahoma and the crowd is going to bring it. Lay the points. Texas wins by 10.
Tennessee +15.5 at Alabama
The Third Saturday in October is a tremendous storied rivalry in the SEC. What it’s not…is even. Alabama has been taking Tennessee’s lunch money for years. That is not going to change this year. Alabama has been playing like the best team in the country since their embarrassing loss to Mississippi. They have been hanging points in the bunches and have been unstoppable on the ground. Tennessee sure as hell isn’t going to be up to the challenge. 16 points feels like a lot, but Bama is going to shut down Dobbs and Derrick Henry is going to gain close to 200 all-purpose yards. Lay the points. The Tide win big.
Texas A&M +6 at Mississippi
How the hell is Ole Miss still ranked?! No matter. I think the Aggies have redemption in mind and they aren’t going down without a fight. Based on the way the SEC West has played out, this is effectively an elimination game for contention for the divisional crown. It’s unlikely that either of these teams have much of a chance anymore, but the loser of this game is a lame duck. I expect Sumlin to have his guys ready to play and I expect more baffling behavior from Hugh Freeze. Ole Miss is also without defensive standout Robert Nkemdiche, but they do get Laremy Tunsil back. Honestly, I know he’s a good player, but how game ready is he going to be? And, how much help can a tackle be when the other four linemen are patchwork? I’m thinking people are vastly overvaluing his importance. I think A&M wins outright, the points just sweeten the deal.
Virginia at UNC (Under 63.5)
I’m not sure where this line is coming from. North Carolina ranks top 10 in offensive efficiency, and clocks in at top 40 in both total offense and total defense. Virginia is in the basement in these stats, especially on defense. Carolina is going to cruise over Virginia in this game and there’s no way Virginia can score enough points to run the total over. And, let’s face it, UNC is not going to hang 50. Take the under, it’s a much better play than anything have to do with the spread on this game.
Duke +2 at Virginia Tech
The Blue Devils seem to keep finding themselves on the short end of the Vegas money. Week in and week out, they are either not favored enough or underdogs in games they have no business being underdogs in. This game is the latter. Duke will likely win this game outright as VT is just not very good this season, and has been outcoached in a majority of games. The Hokies have lost to Pitt, Miami, and ECU. Duke is definitively better than two of these teams, and arguably better than all three. Cutcliffe’s offense is potent and the Blue Devils have finally started to play some kind of defense. They are fourth nationally in total defense. No way this game goes any way but Duke. Take the points, it’s like stealing.
Missouri at Vanderbilt (under 34.5)
Honestly, this looks like another rehash of BC vs. Wake Forest. Vanderbilt and Mizzou both have solid defenses, and both have a herd of cats running the offense. Vanderbilt has never let me down on an under pick this season. Under 35 points is so low, but I’m taking it. Neither team is going to score too much, and it’s going to be an awful game to watch. Avoid the SEC Network at 4pm, take the under, and collect around 7:30. Mercy, this is going to be awful. So awful.
Utah +3.5 at USC
How?! Utah is the third ranked team in the country, and they are dogs to an unranked conference opponent who is 3-3, with 2 conference losses, and who just fired its coach because he’s a raging alcoholic. Are you kidding me?! I get that the Trojans have depth of athletes that Utah doesn’t have, but the Utes have been playing inspired football. Additionally, this is the first time a team ranked this high has not been a favorite against and unranked team, which is yet further proof that the PAC-12 is a dumpster fire of a conference. Utah is going to come into this game pissed and work USC over. I think the Utes win outright, so I’ll gladly take the points. This is ridiculous.
Those are the picks for this week. Let’s rock it.
(Seriously, take the FSU cover; it’s free $$$)