After last week’s college football snooze fest, we have a lot of good games on Saturday. After Saturday, the college football landscape will be less muddy. The good teams will be known and the pretenders will have money left on their night stand.
Will Wisconsin ruin Ohio State’s national championship aspirations? Can Notre Dame hold off Oklahoma? Which SEC powerhouse will win the LSU/Georgia game?
We answer those questions and pick all the big college football games on Saturday…we also sneak in a few smaller games in the MAC and Mountain West conferences.
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (-7) – My pick is Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech is 3-0 against the spread this season. Va Tech is the exact opposite with a 0-3-1 record against the line. In last week’s post, I said to always avoid the Hokies early in the season since the public and Vegas always view them high. The value will diminish when the market corrects itself, but it has not happened yet. Georgia Tech was a one-point dog at the open, but it has been bet up to seven points in the Yellow Jackets’ favor. I watched both team’s games last week and I feel good with my pick. Va Tech needed a blocked punt and blocked field goal to squeak by Marshall last week and Georgia Tech ran all over North Carolina. Give me the Yellow Jackets in this game.
Oklahoma at Notre Dame (+3.5) – My pick is Oklahoma
The Sooners go into South Bend looking for revenge. The Irish shocked them last season and ruined their season. Oklahoma comes into the game undefeated, but has yet to face a challenging opponent (I don’t count West Virginia). The Irish have looked mediocre at times. It is hard to bet against Notre Dame as a dog at home. The Sooners are good, but we don’t really know until Saturday. I still think the Sooners will cover in a fun game.
LSU at Georgia (-3) – My pick is Georgia
Ugh. This one makes my brain hurt. Betting on a game between two top-tier teams in the SEC can be risky. The SEC is always loaded and the talent-level is so high. I love LSU, but I’ve watched Georgia rebound from their opening game loss at Clemson. The Bulldogs are looking like the preseason top-5 team everyone predicted would show up. LSU has won the last two games, but got a lot of breaks in last year’s game. They only had 30 yards passing, but benefited from Aaron Murray’s interceptions. I don’t think Murray will be as reckless with the ball on Saturday. Give me Georgia to cover in a close one.
Mississippi at Alabama (-15.5) – My pick is Alabama
Another SEC battle? This line is right where it should be. I don’t think it will move much, since Ole Miss is also 3-0 going into the game. Their wins are a little inflated, since I think little of Texas and Vanderbilt. Alabama is the real deal and they’ll cover at home against Ole Miss.
Toledo at Ball State (-2.5) – My pick is Ball State
Like I said last week, I’ve done very well with Ball State bets. They’ve covered the spread in 7 of the last 10 games and are 3-1 this season. Akron is no pushover. They are 2-2 on the season, but their two losses came against major programs (Missouri & Florida). This game will be close, but we all know that the only certain bet in the MAC is to bet the over (currently 66.5). Give me Ball State to cover the spread at home.
Iowa at Minnesota (+1) – My pick is Minnesota
Have you noticed a trend? I love a lot the home teams this week. Minnesota and Iowa have both looked good this season. Not many people would not have thought both teams would be in the running to win the Legends division of the Big Ten. The line started as a pick’em, but has been bet up towards Iowa. I like Minnesota and I could even see them winning by double-digits.
Central Michigan at NC State (-23.5) – My pick is NC State
NC State has a decent team this year, but I had to think hard about this one. MAC teams are often devalued when facing big programs. Central Michigan isn’t the best team in the MAC, but they’re in the top-third. NC State will win this game and barely covers.
Wisconsin at Ohio State (-6.5) – My pick is Ohio State
As much as I hate the co-starting quarterbacks situation Urban Meyer announced, I still like Ohio State to cover at home against Wisconsin. I like Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton, but I hope Meyer plays them without damaging the confidence of either player. He had a situation with Chris Leak and Tim Tebow, but it was a 90/10 situation, with Leak still considered as the starter. Wisconsin bounced back from a 4th quarter officiating error against Arizona State and smoked Purdue last weekend. The Badgers will play in a decent bowl this season, but Ohio State is just at another level right now.
Arizona at Washington (-9.5) – My pick is Washington
This line opened out as a touchdown, but is going up and may end up closer to 13 by game time. Arizona smoked Washington 52-17 last season, but the game is played at Husky Stadium on Saturday. Rich Rodriguez is starting to get guys at Arizona to fit his offense, but he’s not quite there yet. The Pac-12 is one of the toughest conferences in the country and we’ll know by December where he’s at with this team. I think Washington is a smart play, but get at this line early.
Stanford at Washington State (+10) – My pick is Washington State
I like Stanford this year. They were my preseason pick to win the Pac-12. I haven’t had much luck betting on them so far and I don’t like the ten point spread in this game. This season, Stanford is 0-2 against the spread when they a double-digit favorite. Washington State isn’t a team you want to snooze on. They have a win against USC on the road and two cupcake wins against Idaho and Southern Utah. WSU’s Mike Leach has a knack for making games close when they are expected to be trounced.
Miami at South Florida (+18.5) – My pick is Miami
USC at Arizona State (-6) – My pick is USC
Navy at Western Kentucky (+3) – My pick is Western Kentucky
UConn at Buffalo (-1) – My pick is Buffalo
Air Force at Nevada (-10) – My pick is Air Force
Fresno State at Hawaii (+18.5) – My pick is Fresno State
*These picks are for entertainment purposes