Ok, some quick housekeeping. I’m going out of town this weekend to New Orleans (yes, on purpose). With all the sights and sounds and eats in NOLA, I won’t have all that much time to tweet or write. I have left Caleb in charge out of necessity and desperation. As you may have gathered yesterday, there is not a post about the new playoff rankings this week, that will come back around next Wednesday. Still, I have had time before leaving to make my picks against the spread and totals this weekend. I may be done with work for the week, but due to my magnanimity, I have written down my picks for the week so you can maybe win your house back!
So, let’s head into the weekend with Bet the Board.
Memphis vs Temple +1.5
After being dealt two losses in two weeks, both of these teams look to get back on the horse and salvage any semblance of a season. Temple is hosting the Tigers, and is a home underdog. However, we only have a 1.5 point spread. I’ll gladly take points on the home team when it’s this even. Also, is there any doubt Justin Fuente, Memphis’s coach, is interviewing for other jobs. You’re crazy if you think that teams with vacancies wait until the end of the season. I can all but guarantee that Fuente’s agent has been contacted by both USCs at a minimum. I can’t imagine he’ll be fully focused on the game now that his Tigers have two losses and no longer control their conference destiny. Temple is looking to bounce back from an inexplicable loss to USF. I like the Owls in this game outright, so give me the points for sure.
North Carolina vs Virginia Tech +6.5
Football is a strange game. It’s stranger than basketball, but not quite as strange as baseball. Virginia Tech goes home for Frank Beamer’s last game as coach of the Hokies. They are wearing special uniforms, and will have sold out the stadium. North Carolina is making a run at the ACC. Blacksburg is a tough place to play, even if you toss out all the other ethereal stuff associated with this game. Add that in, and I don’t see how VT loses by a touchdown or more. Anytime players are adequately motivated (such as: playing for a lovable coach in his last home game), strange things can happen. I’m not necessarily willing to take VT outright since UNC is a good football team, but I would not be at all surprised if they won. VT has played pretty well down the stretch and Brewer is finally back in the offense. Take the points.
Florida Atlantic +31 vs Florida
Here we go again, I’m taking sides against the family. Listen, Florida should outclass FAU all over the field. But, these players for the Owls were pretty good high school players in Florida. Additionally, the Gators still insist on having Treon Harris in a passing role, and I just don’t think a team schemed that way will be able to beat anyone by 31 points or more. Florida also has several defensive players out for this game as they rest up for FSU and Alabama, so FAU may score a couple times. I just don’t see the Gators lighting up the scoreboard. Expect lots of running, but not necessarily a lot of points. I think Florida wins easily, but take the points here. It’d be silly not to.
Georgia Tech vs Miami
This game does not have a spread and both teams have looked pretty abysmal this year. Miami has fired its coach and has been playing fiery football since. The Jackets beat FSU on a miracle and then proceeded to fold against Virginia Tech. The Jackets have quit on this season and with them being eliminated from bowl consideration last week, they no longer have a single thing to play for, except maybe the rivalry against Georgia. GT will not show up against Miami, and they’re on the road. That is enough for me to take Miami in the pick’em.
LSU vs Mississippi -4.5
Reports surfaced this week that Les Miles is coaching for his job against Ole Miss this week. If that’s true, Tiger fans have taken the mantle of most delusional SEC fanbase square off the shoulders of Florida fans. Get a grip, people. Miles doesn’t need to go anywhere. That said, LSU has been mathematically eliminated from the SEC West race, while the Rebels have not. A loss to LSU this weekend would crown Alabama, but if Ole Miss wins, and Alabama loses the Iron Bowl, Mississippi is going to Atlanta. They have more to play for than LSU and are the home team. I like the way the Rebs have played down the most recent stretch. I think they win by a touchdown and deal LSU their third straight loss. Lay the points.
Baylor vs Oklahoma State
There is no line in this game either. In a straight up game, I like the Cowboys. I think they are the better team and Baylor’s loss last week shows that the Bears are not anywhere close to complete. Heads up, I just don’t see how they win this game. Corey Coleman will get his touches and light up the stat sheet, but Baylor cannot throw him the ball every play. The Bears simply are not versatile enough to beat teams that play decent defense. The Cowboys were scared by Iowa State, but adjusted. That wake up call came a week too early if you’re a Baylor fan. Now, OKST will be focused on the game and ready to go. And, if OKST can manage to play some semblance of defense, they’ll win this one.
Mississippi State +3.5 vs Arkansas
This is a pretty even game. The only reason Arkansas is favored is because they are the home team. Now, Arkansas has improved as the season has gone on and they’ve been a pretty good team with pretty awful luck the whole season. Now, they get Dak and the Bulldogs at night. I like Mississippi State to win this game outright. Arkansas stole one last week, and I think Mullen’s team matches up very well with Arkansas. This may be the best game of the weekend (the rest of the country is playing cupcakes). I think you have to take the points, Mississippi State just has better personnel. They should win outright.
Texas A&M vs Vanderbilt (under 40.5)
You knew it was coming. Last week, I got the win on the Vandy under by half a point. The fact that it managed to hit the under based on how the game closed is even more miraculous. Still, Vandy is undefeated on the under this year, and A&M is a dumpster fire right now. This is also the first total in the 40s for Vandy in over a month. It’s too good to pass up. I’m betting that Vandy’s “offensive explosion” was nothing more than a fluke against a really awful Kentucky team. I don’t see it happening again. Take the under, it’s a lock (I hope).
Boston College vs Notre Dame (under 42.5)
BC still has a very good defense and a morbid offense. Notre Dame has a pretty good defense and an average offense. I think this is a defensive struggle that Notre Dame wins, but I don’t see both teams scoring in the twenties and I don’t think the victory margin will be huge. Take the under here solely on the fact that BC can play great defense. You know they won’t really score. So, the only thing you have to worry about is Notre Dame winning by 5 touchdowns. Like I said, you’re good. Take the under.
USC vs Oregon (over 71.5)
Breaking: Oregon actually a pretty potent offense when Vernon Adams is healthy. That shouldn’t shock anyone, and it also shouldn’t be shocking that an offensive system like Oregon’s is completely athlete dependent at the QB position. Now that Adams is 100%, look for Oregon to put up the points that they have been missing at times this season. Also, Oregon has only held one opponent to less that 4 touchdowns all season. Do you really think the Trojans are going to get added to that list? Me neither. I think this game is a 45-35 final. Feels like an easy over to me.