I went 12-13 in a difficult week with many top teams falling. I guess I should feel good hitting around .500 this week since I know some people who wiped out this week.
The College Football Playoff is currently a mess. There are a few too many scenarios in which teams that may not make their own conference championship games, could end up in the playoffs.
We at ‘America’s White Boy’ pick against the spread for all the big college football games on Saturday (November 19th, 2016) and a few Thursday games. We also pick five extra games as a bonus.
USC at UCLA (+12) – My pick is USC Trojans
I think last year’s man crush UCLA QB Josh Rosen has been usurped by USC QB Sam Darnold. I can’t say enough good things about Darnold. Rosen injured his shoulder over a month ago, so they will not battle against each other this year. UCLA has struggled since QB Mike Fafual took over. He turns the ball over a lot and has a 9/10 TD to INT ratio. USC has ballhawks in their secondary and will make Fafual work for completions. This isn’t UCLA’s year and I think USC will cover on the road.
Oklahoma at West Virginia (+2.5) – My pick is Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma needs to win out to have a shot at making the College Football Playoff. OU QB Baker Mayfield has had a pretty nice year and the Sooners have rebounded nicely after two early season losses to Ohio State and Houston. I do worry a little about West Virginia’s defense being better than Oklahoma’s average defense and well-below average secondary. WVU QB Skyler Howard is coming off a three interception game against Texas. He will need to do a little more damage in the air if the Mountaineers want to spoil Oklahoma’s postseason plans. I think the Sooners squeak by with a cover, but it could be another high scoring affair.
Stanford at California (+10.5) – My pick is Stanford Cardinal
I had a flirtation with Cal early this season, but it ended after seeing them get railroaded by USC’s running game. I still like Cal QB Davis Webb and think he has a future beyond college, but he needs his defense to step up. Unfortunately for Webb, they face Stanford megastar RB Christian McCaffrey. It hasn’t been a smooth season for McCaffrey, so he clearly accepts the opportunity to pad up his stats. I don’t think the Golden Bears will stop Stanford’s ground game. I’m taking Stanford to cover on the road.
Indiana at Michigan (-23.5) – My pick is Indiana Hoosiers
This game opened up at Michigan -28, but was quickly bet down. Remember, Indiana took Michigan into overtime last season. Indiana did graduate some players key in that game, so I agree with the bettors here. The line opened way too high, especially after Michigan laid a goose egg against Iowa. Indiana has played a lot of teams hard and play a style that tires out defenses. Michigan should win this game, but I have to take the points here.
Washington State at Colorado (-4.5) – My pick is Washington State Cougars
Washington State isn’t getting much respect on the national stage. They have won every Pac 12 game this season, but has games against Colorado and Washington left on their schedule. WSU head coach Mike Leach seems to have the same kind of combo he had for a season or two at Texas Tech. He has an explosive passing attack with QB Luke Falk, but he actually has a semblance of a defense. Leach hasn’t had that luxury in many years. Colorado has a better overall defense, but this could turn into a battle. I like the points in this game and could lay a few jellybeans on the upset moneyline.
Virginia Tech at Notre Dame(-1) – My pick is Virginia Tech Hokies
Okay, I realize Notre Dame smoked Army 44-6 last week, but how are they actually favored against Virginia Tech? The Hokies won six of their last seven games before running into the awkward offense of Georgia Tech. Va Tech just can’t stop the triple-option, so I wouldn’t look into that result too much. The Hokies have been a very solid road team and Touchdown Jesus shouldn’t intimidate them. I really can’t put a single penny on the Irish in good faith, I have to take Tech in this game.
Oregon at Utah (-14.5) – My pick is Utah Utes
I’ve bashed Oregon a lot this season and it has been warranted. They are 1-8-1 ATS and I don’t see them covering this game. Bettors are putting money on the Ducks solely based on reputation. Utah is a very good team and I have they should run up the score on Oregon.
Florida at LSU (-13.5) – My pick is LSU Tigers
This game will feature two quarterbacks that were once teammates for two years on Purdue teams that went 1-11 and 3-9…and now they are now both starting quarterbacks for bowl-bound SEC teams. Florida QB Austin Appleby and LSU QB Danny Etling should be the answer to some weird Purdue-specific trivia question. Anyways, LSU magically found an electric running game after firing head coach Les Miles. We knew about RB Leonard Fournette, but RB Derrius Guice has been a nice surprise. He had success in a limited role last year, so it’s nice to see him keeping up after seeing an increase in carries. I don’t think Florida can stop LSU’s ground game, especially if Fournette suits up (he’s dealing with an ankle injury). I’m taking LSU to cover.
Ohio State at Michigan State (+22) – My pick is Michigan State Spartans
Ohio State has some animosity towards Michigan State due to how Sparty upset them last year. This is an important game for them and they will not be looking past them and towards Michigan next week. Ohio State smoked Maryland and Nebraska by the score of 62-3 in back-to-back weeks. Michigan State is having an off-year, but Ohio State hasn’t beaten Michigan State by more than 22 points in nearly a decade. I know a decade’s worth of historical data isn’t as important in college football when it comes to betting, but MSU head coach Mark Dantonio has always play the Buckeyes close, I have to take the points.
Georgia Southern at Georgia State (+2.5) – My pick is Georgia State Panthers
This is when we pick a game with smaller conference teams. This isn’t exactly a battle between two football powerhouses, but I think there is value here. Georgia State hasn’t played very well this season, but QB Conner Manning did throw for over 400 yards last week in a loss to Louisiana-Monroe. They need another big game from Manning against Georgia Southern. Neither team is very good at running the ball nor stopping the run. I think this game will be won in the air and I give a slight nod to Georgia State, so I’m taking the points.
Missouri at Tennessee (-16) – My pick is Tennessee
Louisville at Houston (+14) – My pick is Houston
Arizona State at Washington (-27) – My pick is Arizona State
Arkansas at Mississippi State (-2.5) – My pick is Arkansas
Oklahoma State at TCU (-4.5) – My pick is Oklahoma State
Wisconsin at Purdue (+28) – My pick is Wisconsin
Miami (FL) at NC State (+3) – My pick is Miami (FL)
Buffalo at Western Michigan (-35) – My pick is Buffalo
Temple at Tulane (+15) – My pick is Temple
Navy at East Carolina (+7.5) – My pick is Navy
Memphis at Cincinnati (+7.5) – My pick is Memphis
UNLV at Boise State (-28) – My pick is UNLV
New Mexico at Colorado State (-4.5) – My pick is New Mexico
Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic (+8) – My pick is Old Dominion
Middle Tennessee at Charlotte (+4) – My pick is Middle Tennessee
Sweetbob’s college football picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.