Boom! Now that’s what I’m talking about. Last week we finally got the hot hand we’ve been waiting for and came away with a stellar 9-5 weekend that could have been better if Georgia knew how to knock a Hail Mary to the ground on a 4th and 18. Oh well, in this world that is known as collateral damage. Well, I don’t know if it’s actually called that but that’s what I’m calling it.
All lines according to 5dimes.eu
UCF -17 v. Rutgers
The Scarlet Knights are in my heart forever. It is well established by now that Rutgers was 9-1 against the spread when we chose them last season. However, now is the time to officially flip the script. The Rutgers defense, as evidenced by last weekend’s loss against Cincinnati, is beyond horrendous and couldn’t stop the pass if they had lacrosse sticks at their disposal. UCF has one of the best QB’s that nobody has ever really heard of in Blake Bortles. Is the NFL ready for Blake Bortles? The last time UCF had a QB that had this much talent was Daunte Culpepper. In other words, Bortles keeps in some pretty good company. UCF has the home field advantage, is putting up 35.2 points per game and is going against a defense that is allowing 31.4 point per game. This seems to be a fantastic matchup for Bortles and the rest of the UCF offense.
Prediction: UCF 49 – Rutgers 24
Navy +2 @ San Jose State
Whoever planned out the Friday night college football games this season must have been aggressively mixing uppers and downers. Last week we were lucky enough to have UCLA-Washington on Friday night, which turned out to be a very entertaining matchup. This weeks matchup…not so entertaining. Really though? San Jose State and Navy? How is this even a game and why am I subjecting myself to gambling on, watching and/or writing about this game? Do any of you really care? Well, what else are you going to do on a Friday night on the West Coast before you hit the bars? Are you really going to watch the Kobe-less Lakers get demolished by the Warriors?
Let’s make this quick because I’ll never get these seconds back. Navy is going to run the ball down the Spartans throat all game. San Jose State is going to throw the ball all over the place. Navy’s defense is a little bit bitter so they have the advantage in this game despite traveling across the country.
Prediction: Navy 34 – SJSU 28
Kansas State -3.5 v. Oklahoma
Kansas State has been relatively impressive after an early season loss to North Dakota State. The Wildcats are 6-4 and are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games. If you are a “trend-rider” then the Wildcats should be one of your favorite picks of the weekend. Just take a look at the ATS trends for this game, provided to us by Covers.com. Kansas State is basically on fire and Oklahoma is a horrible bet after a straight up win. If you we’re thinking of betting on Oklahoma, as I was earlier, you may want to take a look at these statistics provided by Covers.com:
- Sooners are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following a S.U. win.
- Sooners are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Sooners are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 conference games.
- Sooners are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Sooners are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in November.
- Sooners are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Sooners are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games on fieldturf.
Yea….I’m not betting on Oklahoma.
Prediction: Kansas State 31 – Oklahoma 26
Michigan State -7 @ Northwestern
The Spartans are fresh off a destruction of Nebraska in Lincoln and possess the strongest defense in the country, save Alabama. Michigan State is hot and I always love riding the hot hand. Sparty is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games and are facing a Northwestern team that’s ego, and record, are bruised. Northwestern, who has dropped six straight after starting the season 4-0, is a team that has had it’s heart broken more times than the Buffalo Bills. The Wildcats always seem to be in close games that they find a way to lose in the end. Northwestern is just too broken at this point in the season to compete with the likes of Michigan State. MSU should be able to dominate the point of attack and win this one with ease.
Prediction: Michigan State 27 – Northwestern 10
Florida State -57 v. Idaho
Remember our rules for College Football gambling in 2013? Never bet against Florida State. Does anyone remember how many times I’ve broken that rule? It’s a lot. And I’ve lost. NO MORE! FSU by 80 wouldn’t be a high enough number for this weekend against Idaho.
Here’s another question: Why in the hell is FSU playing Idaho in late November? I understand that all of the SEC schools schedule these cakewalk games at the end of the season as a pseudo bye-week. Maybe there is something to this idea because the SEC has won the last 7 BCS National Championships. I guess if you can’t beat em, join em. That is exactly what FSU is doing. I think it’s a cop out but I’m not the one creating the schedules. Enjoy your cake Seminoles. Help us out along the way, if you wouldn’t mind.
Prediction: FSU 70 – Idaho 3
Duke -5.5 @ Wake Forest
As I stated before, I love riding the hot hand. There may be no team in college football that has a hotter hand than Duke. David Cutcliffe, the Duke Head Coach, has the golden touch with Quarterbacks. Blue Devils QB Brandon Connette has emerged as the third best QB in the ACC, behind Jameis Winston and Tajh Boyd. Wake Forest, despite having the home field advantage, should be a bigger underdog in this matchup. Duke has won 6 straight games and is on pace to win the ACC coastal division and meet FSU in the Championship game. Wake Forest is but a mere fly that Duke must swat away to continue this magical ride. The ride will continue.
Prediction: Duke 31 – Wake Forest 14
Minnesota +16.5 v. Wisconsin
On paper this matchup favors the Wisconsin Badgers, who are easily the more talented team. However, both teams come in 8-2 and riding multiple game win streaks. The Gophers have been one of the most surprising teams in the nation and sport an efficient offense and strong defense. Wisconsin has one of the best defenses in the country; however, the Gophers present a difficult matchup because of David Cobb, the Minnesota RB, who has racked up four consecutive 100+ yard performances. While I do not expect the Gophers to win this one on Saturday, I do believe it will be a competitive game in the 4th quarter. Wisconsin should win, but I like Minnesota to cover.
Prediction: Wisconsin 28 – Minnesota 24
Wyoming -5.5 v. Hawaii
Not much to see here but it’s a very smart bet. Wyoming is at home against a 0-10 team in Hawaii that is traveling around 4,000 miles for this game. While Wyoming hasn’t been particularly impressive at home the season, only going 3-2, they should be able to dominate a horrendous Warriors squad. With the 25th ranked offense in college football, the Cowboys will be able to move the ball at will against a defense that is allowing 36.4 points per contest and that allows 473.3 yards per game.
Prediction: Wyoming 41 – Hawaii 20
Michigan +6 @ Iowa
The reason that Iowa is favored in this game, despite possessing less talent and a worse record, is because the Hawkeyes have owned Michigan over the past four seasons, going 3-1 since 2009. Iowa has a strong defense, allowing only 18.6 points per game, and Michigan has been struggling to put up points as of late. This is going to be a low scoring, grind it out affair. In the end, it should come down to which QB is more effective: Devin Gardner or Jake Ruddock. Gardner is the more talented athlete and his ability to scramble out of pressure should be the difference in the game.
Prediction: Michigan 23 – Iowa 20
Arizona State -2.5 @ UCLA
Taylor Kelly and Marion Grice versus Brett Hundley and Myles Jack for the inside track to the Pac 12 Championship game. In my opinion, this is the second most exciting game of the weekend behind Oklahoma State-Baylor. These teams are so closely matched that it is almost impossible to predict who is going to take this game. Both teams are 8-2, undefeated at home, and 6-1 on grass fields. Arizona State currently leads the Pac 12 South with a conference record of 6-1, while UCLA can overtake the top spot with a victory on Saturday. Both teams also possess a dynamic, NFL caliber defender that should pose troubles for the other teams offense. Will Sutton and Anthony Barr are likely first round picks that should disrupt the offensive flow for the opposing side.
UCLA’s lone losses this season have come against Oregon and Stanford on the road and they were competitive against both squads for a majority of the game. Arizona State has dominated against lesser opponents, but has struggled against strong competition. So who to pick? UCLA looks to have a bunch of cracks that they have somehow sealed by using all-everything athlete Myles Jack, who ran for four touchdowns against Washington while also making five tackles as a linebacker. I just don’t see that as solution as being sustainable against ASU. Taylor Kelly should be able to throw on the young UCLA secondary, which I believe will be the difference coming down the stretch.
Prediction: ASU 44 – UCLA 39
Texas A&M +4.5 @ LSU
If Johnny Manziel wants to become only the second man ever to repeat as the Heisman, this is his shot. He has a national stage versus one of the better teams in the country. Moreover, the Aggies are playing in Baton Rouge, which is one of the most difficult places to perform in the nation. Both of these teams seem to be competing for the same potential BCS bowl appearance, though LSU is unlikely to re-crack the Top 14. If A&M can win out, they have an outside shot at a BCS appearance, in what would be Manziel’s last collegiate game.
As for the game itself, A&M lucked out that this is a day game because it is nearly impossible to win in Death Valley at night. And when I say near impossible I actually mean it is impossible, unless you’re Alabama and even then it’s like a magic trick. The daytime elements should help A&M; however, LSU possess the only defense that stifled Manziel last season. LSU won in College Station last year 24-19 while holding Johnny Football to 276 yards and zero TDs, while forcing three interceptions. So the question is whether or not Manziel can perform against LSU this season? The answer, in short, is yes. He is basically Tim Tebow 2.0. The dude just competes his ass off every game and pulls his team to victory whether they contribute or not. LSU may be able to score with A&M for a while; however, in the end Manziel will be the difference.
Prediction: Texas A&M 37 – LSU 31
Stanford -31.5 v. Cal
Stanford is angry. California is horrible at football. Stanford plays better angry. California still doesn’t know how to play football. Stanford is gunning for a BCS bowl appearance and they are extremely motivated to show the country that last week’s loss to USC was a fluke. California doesn’t actually have a football team. This line couldn’t be high enough.
Prediction: Stanford 42 – Cal 0
Oklahoma State +9.5 v. Baylor
As I have mentioned countless times over the past two weeks on our Field Level Podcast Oklahoma State is going to beat Baylor this weekend in Stillwater and will win the Big 12. There is no question in my mind that this is the week that the Baylor Bears fall. There is no denying that Baylor is one of the best teams in the country and possess the best offense in the nation, along with Oregon. But who have they faced this season that has had any semblance of a defense? The answer is none. T Boone Pickens picked a fantastic year to purchase a defense. The Cowboys are going to need to use every last defender and scheme to break down the Bears offense, but it is possible to do.
College Gameday will be in Stillwater this weekend and the atmosphere in and around the stadium should be fantastic by game time. This game is going to come down to Baylor’s offense versus Oklahoma State’s defense. OK State should be able to score enough to keep them in this game, especially after seeing how Baylor’s defense performed against Texas Tech last weekend. If Oklahoma State can slow down the Bears and keep them to less than 40 points this game should be up for grabs. Can the Cowboys do it? Will the Bears perform when the pressure of winning the Big 12 and completing and undefeated season is on the line? I just don’t see it this weekend. My gut and my brain say Oklahoma State ends the magical Bears run; however, this is going to be an instant classic. Grab some popcorn because this one is going to be a show and a half. Use the bathroom before the game and during the commercials. You’re not going to want to miss a second of this game.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 41 – Baylor 38
Oregon -20.5 @ Arizona
I’m breaking my Ducks gambling cherry with you all this weekend. Sure, I’ve done my fair share of halftime bets on Oregon, but usually stay away from the Ducks because I have a superstition problem. Like really, I have a serious problem. The struggle is very very real.
The Ducks have won 9 games this season and have cleared a 21-point margin in each one of those victories. The line, which is currently 20.5, was originally set at 17.5 until the sharps bet it up. Yet, it is still below the magic Oregon gambling number, which is 21. Arizona is coming off a disappointing loss to Washington State at home and should be ripe for the picking. Can’t go wrong with the Ducks to close any article.
The Ducks still have a ton to play for in this game also. Due to the Stanford loss last week against USC, Oregon is now in the poll position to host the Pac 12 championship and win the Pac 12 North. The Ducks are the favorites to reach the Rose Bowl and still have a VERY outside shot at reaching the National Championship on January 6th. Think I’m crazy? Yea, I am. But let’s just think about it for a second. Alabama still has to play Auburn and the SEC Championship game. Florida State is going to win out, unless Duke somehow beats them in the ACC Championship game (not going to happen). Ohio State still has to play Michigan and Michigan State and could drop either of those games. Lastly, I believe that Baylor is going to lose this weekend to Oklahoma State. So where does that leave the Ducks? Well, if Bama, Ohio State and Baylor lose Oregon will be in the National Championship against FSU. It’s not going to happen but hey, a guy can dream!
Prediction: Oregon 52 – Arizona 21
Last Week: 9-5
2013 Season: 79-70-1
2012 Season: 57-39-7