Last week we went 6-7 after going 0-2 on Thursday and Friday. Here are the five things learned last week:
1. Half points are fickle. On Saturday night Washington and NC State covered by a half point. Though last week the half point supported our point of view, it is sure to even out over the course of time. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen this week.
2. Betting on Penn State was a horrendous decision. Picking them to win outright was an even worse decision. Don’t get over confident in your ability to pick upsets in college football.
3. Kliff Kingsbury finally coached a game in which he didn’t cover the spread. However, when you get a team you like you should continue to ride them for as long as possible.
4. Betting on the Pac 12 is fun and easy. The last two weeks we have gone 7-1 picking Pac 12 games and are 19-11 on the season. That results in a win percentage of 63.3. On the season as a whole we are hitting on 54% of our picks. The Pac 12 will be more prominently featured this week.
5. Betting against Alabama is never a smart decision. No more of that.
On to this weeks events!
Washington St. +11.5 v. Arizona St.
It is a known fact that the Cougars are going to air the ball out against Arizona State. Connor Halliday and the rest of the Cougars offense is going to try to extend ASU’s defense and take advantage of the young Sun Devil’s defensive back field. The question is whether Washington State’s defense is going to be able to slow down Taylor Kelly, the Sun Devil’s QB, and Marion Grice, the Devils RB. Playing in Pullman, especially in the cold, favors the Cougars immensely. Look for Halliday to move the ball with ease and trade score for score with the Sun Devils. The Cougars probably won’t win this one, but it’s going to be close.
Prediction: Arizona St. 48 – Washington St. 40
Oregon St. -4.5 v. U$C
This should be the strongest play of the weekend. Oregon State, despite it’s loss to Stanford and relative offensive inefficiency, should be able to trample the Trojans. While U$C’s defense has been strong all season, especially last week against Utah, they will not be able to slow down Sean Mannion and the Beavers offense. U$C has had trouble recently playing in Reser Stadium and doesn’t have nearly the talent on either side of the ball that they once had. The Beavers defense hasn’t really played all season, but on Friday night that won’t matter. U$C comes in with one of the worst offenses in the Pac 12 and simply don’t have enough talent to compete score for score with Oregon State.
Prediction: Oregon St. 31 – U$C 17
Northern Illinois -23.5 @ UMASS
This line couldn’t be high enough. For some reason Vegas believe there is only a four score difference between these two teams. Northern Illinois and star QB Jordan Lynch are 7-0 and their only two losses in the past two seasons have come against Iowa, by 1, and Florida State, in the Orange Bowl. UMass is 1-7 and averaging a pedestrian 10.6 points per game. Moreover, they are 1-3 at home and are giving up 18.9 PPG. Scratch making Oregon St. the biggest play of the day. Northern Illinois is the lock of the day. Maybe the year. Maybe the century!
Prediction: Northern Illinois 52 – UMass 10
Rutgers -13.5 v. Temple
Both Temple and Rutgers come in sporting some of the worst defenses in college football. This clearly favors Rutgers. Not only are the Scarlet Knights playing at home, they have one of the finer offenses on the East Coast, averaging 32 PPG. Temple is another 1-7 team that is desperately trying to find their identity. This is the perfect opportunity to exploit a team like Temple. Rutgers should be favored by more than two touchdowns. Easy pick. Go with Rutgers. Plus, everyone knows how much I love Rutgers! Last season when picking Rutgers we were 9-1. Thanks again!
Missouri -11 v. Tennessee
Last week Missouri experienced its first loss of the season in soul crushing fashion. Blame the kicker, blame the offense, blame whomever you want. It doesn’t make the loss any less crushing. You can go through all of the statistics you want for this game but it won’t mean much. In order to pick Missouri you need to determine if you believe Mizzou can bounce back from that loss and move forward. Clearly the Tigers are the more talented team and have home field advantage. But can the Tigers move past last week and get back to playing their dominant brand of football? In short, yes.
Prediction: Missouri 38 – Tennessee 24
Georgia -2.5 @ Florida – in Jacksonville, Florida
Both teams come into the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party having lost its last two games. First off all can we applaud the nickname for this matchup?! The World’s LARGEST Outdoor Cocktail party? That’s pretty freaking awesome, even if it is in Jacksonville. What’s the over/under on how many more people attend this game than a normal Jaguars home game? 20,000? 30,000? I’m going with 27,500. Anyways, it looks as if Todd Gurley is going to play in this game for the Bulldogs, which makes this pick pretty easy. Gurley and Aaron Murray are 4-1 when playing together this season. Florida has lost eight starters for the season and are a team in disarray. Georgia takes this one.
Prediction: Georgia 34 – Florida 20
Arizona -16 @ Cal
The Golden Bears are a wreck. Sonny Dykes, the Cal Head Coach, will be the first to admit this. While the “Bear Raid’ offense has found some success this season, and might this week against the Wildcats, the Bears defense hasn’t played a down all season and is giving up 44 points a game. Arizona, meanwhile, comes in averaging over 36 PPG and have one of the best offensive assets in college football, KaDeem Carey. Look for the Wildcats to run the ball all over Memorial Stadium and to come away with another Pac 12 victory.
Prediction: Arizona 56 – Cal 21
Miami +22 @ Florida St.
Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee will be rocking on Saturday. College Gameday visits Florida State this weekend to cover the game of the week. Miami rolls into Florida State with an unblemished record and are ranked seventh in the BCS. Could this be Miami’s true coming out party? Can they spoil the magical Florida State run this season? Will Jameis Winston have his Heisman moment? There are tons of questions and storylines going into this one. As for the game, Miami is a 22 point underdog and for good reason. The Hurricanes have barely survived games against North Carolina and Wake Forest the past two weeks, only to be saved by last minute drives to preserve their undefeated record. It ends this week, but not before Miami gives FSU one hell of a fit.
Prediction: Florida St. 44 – Miami 28
Michigan +6 @ Michigan St.
Everything is on the line in Lansing this Saturday. Both the Wolverines and Spartans have one loss and control their own destiny in the Legends division of the Big 10. The Spartans come with one of the best defenses in the country, while Michigan sports a fantastic offense that, when clicking, can score at will. So which side of the ball will win out? In college football, unless you’re playing Alabama, offense usually beats defense. For that reason alone Michigan is the safer pick. While they are the more volatile team, they also have the highest upside and their “better” is way better than Michigan State’s “better”. Does that make sense? Oh, well. Still, take the Wolverines.
Prediction: Michigan 28 – Michigan St. 24
UCLA -27 v. Colorado
UCLA is injured. UCLA is coming off losses to Stanford and Oregon. However, UCLA is playing Colorado. UCLA is playing in the Rose Bowl against one of the worst defensive teams in the country. Bruins win this one in a route.
Prediction: UCLA 52 – Colorado 17
Auburn -8 @ Arkansas
Auburn has flown up the standings and will probably crack the top ten of the BCS if they win this game in Fayetteville. The Tigers are riding a four game winning streak into this matchup, while Arkansas, under new coach Brett Bilemma, has lost five consecutive games. Not as easy to win in the SEC huh big fella? While Auburn probably isn’t as good as their number 11 ranking, they are a solid team that makes plays in crucial moments and knows how to close out a game. The Tigers should dominate this one from start to finish.
Prediction: Auburn 30 – Arkansas 17
Utah St. -23 v. Hawaii
Hawaii has yet to win a game this season and now they have to travel all the way from Hawaii to Utah for this matchup. Meanwhile, the Aggies have one of the most electric QBs in college football, CHUCKIE! Chuckie Keeton is an electrifying dual-threat QB that should decimate the Rainbow Warriors. 30 points wouldn’t have been a high enough line for this one.
Prediction: Utah St. 59 – Hawaii 20
Texas Tech -2.5 v. Oklahoma State
Never bet against Kliff Kingsbury. NEVER! Even if it didn’t prove to be a fruitful bet last weekend, it should this weekend. While the matchup against Oklahoma State is no less daunting than the matchup against Oklahoma, the Red Raiders now possess the home field advantage and should find comfort in Lubbock. Oklahoma State has been riding a wave of success into this game and have gotten back to what has made them so special over the past couple of seasons. Their combination of passing and defense makes them a difficult opponent. That being said, the Red Raiders should be able to slow down the Cowboy attack and counter that with an impressive offense that almost pulled off the upset last week in Norman. Look for Kingsbury to have his guys riled up and ready to roll on Saturday.
Prediction: Texas Tech 34 – Oklahoma St. 30
South Carolina -13 v. Mississippi St.
Last week South Carolina pulled off the stunned in Missouri and crushed the dreams of the Tigers. This week they take control of their destiny in the SEC East by putting a beating on an underwhelming Mississippi State team. Connor Shaw looked amazing in the final quarter in Columbia and should continue to play at that level as he gets healthier. Also, look for Jadaveon Clowney to have a huge day and dominate the line of scrimmage.
Prediction: South Carolina 37 – Mississippi St. 13
Last Week: 6-7
2013 Season: 58-49-1
2012 Season: 57-39-7