Sometimes there are weeks when I can get all the writing I want done. Then, there are weeks like this one. I’ve had the BTB picks done for days, I just haven’t had any time to write them up. I had 11 for you this week, but since we didn’t get this up on time, I’ve removed the GT-VPI pick (took the Hokies +3.5; why in the world was GT favored?!). So, here are the ten best picks I could muster this week. I actually got a Thursday night pick right last night, so you know we’re going undefeated into the weekend.
Let’s Bet the Board.
Florida vs South Carolina (under 46)
The Gators travel to Columbia to take on the beleaguered Gamecocks in a game where Florida has everything to lose and Carolina has nothing to lose. Yeah, it’s one of those games. If the Gators win, we’ll say it’s because they were supposed to. If they don’t, it’ll be because they got trapped. As a fan, I’m worried about this game. It took a late strip and recovery by Tennessee to escape Carolina last weekend, and I think Tennessee would win if they played Florida again. Still, I don’t know how Florida is going to be all that productive on offense. I think 24 points wins this game. I’ll risk it on the under.
Texas +7.5 vs West Virginia
Earlier this year, I totally expected West Virginia to shock TCU. I was very wrong. West Virginia is pathetic on defense and they don’t really have it this year on offense. West Virginia’s offense is so bad–how bad is it?!–it’s so bad that it made TCU look stout on defense, which is not even remotely true. I don’t expect West Virginia to really show up for this game as it does not really have implications. Texas still has to win two to make a bowl game. I think Strong has them ready to play, and I don’t see the Mountaineers winning by more than a touchdown, assuming they even win.
Georgia vs Auburn (under 51)
Auburn is such a weird team. They’re reminiscent of Ole Miss last season with Good Bo/Bad Bo Wallace. They’re capable of being good, but also capable of being really terrible. Georgia is just devastated on offense and there does not appear to be a solution. A reminder: the Bulldogs have scored 39 total points over their last three games; and, in two of those games, Georgia was held to the single digits. I think Auburn wins, but I don’t think there’s any way Auburn wins so big that the over is in play, and I don’t think there’s any chance both teams score in the mid-twenties.
Notre Dame -27 vs Wake Forest
I am absolutely one of those people who think it is utterly absurd that the Irish are in the top 4. But, none of that matters, since they are going to get beat by Stanford to close the season. That said, they take on lowly Wake this weekend, which might as well be a bye week. And, man, if Wake managed to upset ND, I would be thrilled losing this bet. But, there’s no chance of that and I think the Irish are just two or three speeds better than the Deacons. 27 is a lot to lay on anyone in November, but the smart play is to lay it here. I just don’t know how Wake can score or stop the Irish. This doesn’t go well. ND covers in a blowout.
Alabama vs Mississippi State +7
I am betting on a hangover game. I’m taking the Bulldog cover here, not because I think they’ll have any chance to really win the game. I simply think that Alabama only wins by four or so, but dominates Mississippi State physically. I think this one is low scoring, maybe a 20-14 final. But Dak Prescott is too good to let this one get to be a runaway, and Alabama’s defense is too good to let MSU win the game. Bama has more upside and could win in a blowout, but that’s just not how I see this one going after Alabama caved LSU in last week. If Henry has a good game, it’ll be hard for anyone else to win the Heisman. Take the points since Bama is on the road, but this could go either way.
Oklahoma State -13.5 vs Iowa State (over 63.5)
The Cowboys are coming off a great “upset” win over TCU. Iowa State is just bad. They’re not as bad as they used to be. But, they’re bad. OKST is one of the best teams in the Big XII and they’ll be looking to keep it rolling. I would call this a hangover game, but I presume that Gundy is pissed off about the lack of press due to the national media slurping TCU and Baylor. I think OKST comes in and runs the Cyclones out of their own stadium. I’ll gladly lay 13.5, I think the win margin is big. And, because defense is optional in the Big XII, this will be a barn burner. So, I’m taking the over too. Parlay them if you’re feeling brave.
Kentucky vs Vanderbilt (under 38.5)
Hello, Darling. Taking Vandy on the under has been especially good to me this year. I have yet to miss on it. Vanderbilt can’t advance the ball, but they can sure defend it. Kentucky has been the Kentucky of old for the past month. Neither team has scored particularly high. And now, they’ll play in what is easily the SEC East’s least anticipated game of the season, every season. This is my lock pick of the week. There is no way both of these teams combine for 39+ points. It’s just not possible.
Arkansas +8.5 vs LSU
The Hogs come off a ridiculous win at Ole Miss and head into Death Valley at night to play an LSU team that just got exposed by Alabama. Sure, Arkansas looks like a crappy team. And sure, LSU learned how they’re vulnerable. But, look at Arkansas’s offensive stats this season. There is not any cogent explanation as to why they haven’t won more games. Their record belies the quality of team. With LSU reeling, Arkansas has a great opportunity to land a knockout blow for the Golden Boot. I’ll take the points here. An Arkansas win outright would not be shocking either.
Oklahoma vs Baylor (over 77)
This total isn’t nearly as ridiculous as the TCU/TTU game, since Oklahoma actually plays defense most of the time. Still, it’s the Big XII and a relatively low point total for a Baylor team that has been prolific on offense all season and an Oklahoma team that can also put up points with the best of them. I think the Sooners deal Baylor their first loss, but the total was far more compelling than the spread. I’m actually excited for this game. And, if you like offense, I invite you to tune in. Lots of points, definitely more than 77.
That’s all folks. Your blueprint for going 10-0 this weekend. Happy hunting.