Rivalry Week is upon us. Oh, and Thanksgiving. I am thankful for you, our readers. I am also thankful for 9-1 weeks like last week. Using this week as a theme, our picks this week wouldn’t fit in the turkey, so we called them dressin’–stuffing is gross, Yankees have got it all wrong, you don’t put anything back up the turkey’s cavity. What is wrong with you people?! Anyway, it’s the special Thanksgiving edition of Bet the Board. So, put on your fat pants, scootch up to the table, and pile it high because we’ve got nearly twice the picks. On a podcasting note, Caleb’s students have started calling us out for not doing enough, so that’s embarrassing. Look for them to resume next week!
Let’s bet the board.
FSU vs Florida +2 (under 43)
Like many of the picks this week, this game is a twofer on both the spread and the total. Florida has played miserably and dropped four spots after its scare against FAU. They should have fallen further. This week, the Gators draw an opponent an order of magnitude harder in Florida State. The Seminoles aren’t great this year, but they’re pretty good. Dalvin Cook is, in my opinion, the most skilled tailback in the country. Now, Cook will go up against the best defense he and FSU will face all year in the Gators–that’s assuming Mac is blowing smoke about the injuries. Georgia Tech held FSU to negligible yards on the ground. Florida will look to duplicate that result. I’m taking the home team in an even game and getting the points. It’s also at night. Additionally, Florida is godawful on offense. Hit the under on this one hard, I think 28 is your winner’s score. I haven’t seen much from Florida to give me hope as a fan since Grier’s suspension, but maybe the rivalry game will change things.
Also, Caleb is an FSU fan. Don’t be like Caleb.
Mississippi -1 vs Mississippi State (over 64)
I like Ole Miss to win this game by more than a point. The Rebels are a better team. That said, Dak Prescott is going to keep the game interesting. Both teams should be able to score easily as MSU is a mess on defense and Ole Miss is coming apart on that side of the ball as well. Both offenses are going to get theirs and this game may come down to who has the ball last. I think it’s a touchdown win for Ole Miss, but I’m a believer in the over, too. Lay the points, take the over.
Duke -4 at Wake Forest (under 46)
I’m sorry, I just don’t understand this line. How in the world is Duke only favored by 4?! I like a Blue Devil cover here because Wake is hot garbage on offense and not really with it on defense either. The Deacons are a bad team. Duke has struggled down the stretch but I don’t see Wake as being a team that keeps it close. I like Duke to win comfortably over Wake. That said, I’m also not sure how Wake will score more than 14 and I don’t think Duke is putting up a score in the 30s. I’ll take this under here easily.
Ohio State vs Michigan -1.5 (over 45)
The over here is pretty easy for me. I think it’ll be a slugfest and both teams scoring in the 20s seems completely reasonable for me. Michigan has a good defense, OSU does not. So, there’s a lot of room to play with on this one. I also think the Wolverines are going to come into this game fired up and ready to go. Ohio State also is looking to respond after its loss to Sparty last weekend. I like Michigan outright and the spread is too tight to risk it on the points for the visitor. Blue cover, over 45.
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State +4.5
If I had a confidence rank, this would be dead last. I took the points because the Cowboys are playing at home and would crush the Sooners’ dreams by winning. But the line has since moved against me and is at 7. I like 7 points more than 4.5, but feel free to fade this one. It’s possible Oklahoma just boat races OK State. Still, I think the Cowboys are a good team and will keep it punch for punch in a rivalry game. But, OKST was my only loss last week. Why the hell did I pick them again?! The Cowboys have the ability to win this game, but I think it’s less than a touchdown win either way. Take the points on the home team.
Iowa vs Nebraska +2.5
Iowa is a fraud. The fact that they are undefeated is more of an indictment of the B1G West than it is a testament to Iowa’s greatness. Who have they played that’s worth a damn? No one. Iowa now takes on a decent Nebraska team in Lincoln. I’ll take the points on the home team as Nebraska played a solid game against Michigan State. I think the Huskers win this game outright and I don’t think it’s close. Iowa is not a playoff caliber team. That notion is just ridiculous.
Miami +6 vs Pittsburgh
So, down the stretch the Hurricanes have managed to put together a squad of decent football players. The team is playing well and feeling pretty good. They wrap the season in Pittsburgh against a very talented Panther team. I don’t know if I’m willing to take Miami outright in this game, but it wouldn’t surprise me. If Pitt wins, I don’t think they do it by 7+. Take the points here, Miami has the athletes, Pitt has the coach. It should actually be a pretty good ball game.
Georgia -5 vs Georgia Tech (under 47.5)
What a difference a year makes. Last year both teams were pretty good coming into this game. This year–for different reasons–both squads are just looking for the regular season to be over. Georgia will be playing in a bowl game, and Tech will have the popcorn bowl. The Jackets pathetic season will limp to a close in Atlanta this weekend–honestly, it’s been begging to be put out of its misery since early October. I like the Georgia cover here since the Bulldogs can pull better athletes than Tech. And, based on last year, the best Tech team in years took overtime to beat an average Georgia team. I don’t see it happening again. UGA will be motivated to retake the State Title, and Tech just won’t be motivated stop them. The Bulldogs are injured on offense, and they have a defense that should manage to stop a hobbled Justin Thomas. I like the under here, even with the Dawgs winning big.
Alabama vs Auburn +13
So, Alabama has basically been a death machine ever since losing a howler to Mississippi. And now, they face Auburn in a game that may finally decide the state of the SEC West. I like the Tide to win the game, but I think the most they win by is 10. Auburn has shown flashes of greatness this year, and they’ll love nothing more than ruining their rival’s shot at a national title. I think they fail, but I also think they keep it interesting. Take the points on the home team. I’m not sure Alabama wins by 14+ on the road in the Iron Bowl.
Notre Dame vs Stanford -3.5
Notre Dame is vastly overrated and is only in the position they’re in because of a close loss to Clemson, and because the Irish are always “supposed” to be good. I think McCaffrey gets his invite to NYC on the back of Vangorder’s defense. Stanford may beat Notre Dame by two scores. I think you lay the points here. Stanford is just a better team. The Irish won’t be able to do anything with McCaffrey and Sanders, and Stanford’s defense is pretty stout. Plus, BC exposed the Irish last week. Cardinal to cover.
Clemson at South Carolina +17.5
17.5 is a lot of points to lay on Clemson. The Tigers, while extremely talented, have been blessed with a pretty insular existence in the ACC this year. Their signature wins are over an overrated Irish team and FSU, who are rebuilding as any sane FSU fan will tell you. Carolina has been garbage on both sides of the ball, but they still have the athletes to play with Clemson. The question here is: is the Clemson preparation and execution worth 18+ points in a rivalry game? I don’t think so. Clemson wins this and controls the game from the start, but I don’t think they cover.
Wouldn’t it be hilarious if they lost?
Texas Tech vs Texas (over 72.5)
Hooray! A meaningless Big XII game could be on your TV on Black Friday! Get excited! Neither Texas or Texas Tech play any semblance of defense, and both teams have shown that they can put up points this year. I don’t think there’s any way the teams are held to the mid-30s. Seems like a pretty easy over to me, unless Texas has another one of those games where they score less than 14… Still, take the over on this total.
Boston College vs Syracuse (under 41)
This is possibly the easiest under of the season. Boston College sucks on offense and Syracuse just canned its head coach. Additionally, BC has an incredible defense and Syracuse doesn’t. I think this is the lowest scoring game of the weekend and I think it’s awful for everyone involved. Don’t subject your family and friends to this, well, definitely not your friends. Family is fair game this weekend.
Vanderbilt vs Tennessee (under 40.5)
Death. Taxes. Vandy unders. These are certainties in uncertain times. Tennessee is the best team Vandy has played in awhile, but this is one of the few times recently that the total has been in the 40s. Tennessee should cruise here, but Vandy’s defense is remarkable. Vandy also cannot really score more than 10 each game–I think its a contractual obligation–and I feel good about Vandy holding UT to under 30. Let’s make the under happen one last time, Vandy!
That’s all of them on their extra-stuffed, gobble-til-you-wobble, roll-me-away-from-the-table glory. I hope you all enjoy your holiday wherever you may be.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Bench Points! 🦃💨🏃🏻