Last week was ugly.
There were ugly games, which produced ugly spreads, ugly results and ultimately an ugly picks week by me. We went 4-6 last week for our first losing weekend.
But things will be different this week with a great slate of games and some better line options.
Coming into this week, I am 25-15-1.
Here’s are this week’s picks against the spread (remember, for entertainment only):
Miami (17.5) at South Florida, 12 p.m. ET: Every week this Miami team is underrated and every week it proves people wrong. South Florida is not good and Miami has looked strong. If you’re looking for a common opponent, Miami beat Florida Atlantic 34-6 and USF lost to FAU 28-10. There’s nothing to suggest Miami won’t win this game running away.
South Carolina (-7) vs. UCF, 12 ET: This game screams trap game, which is why I’m leaning toward South Carolina. UCF isn’t some unknown commodity. The Knights went to Penn State and won. Had this line been larger it might have been worth a UCF play, but at a touchdown, the Gamecocks will cover.
Purdue (+3.5) vs. Northern Illinois, 12 p.m. ET: Neither one of these teams is very good, but Northern Illinois has been overrated as it’s struggled against some mediocre teams. Purdue coach Darrell Hazell has challenged his team and they’ll respond this week.
SMU (+19) at TCU, 12 p.m. ET: SMU has been hit and miss offensively this year, but this is a rivalry game and one that has been played within a score each of the past two seasons. TCU’s best defensive player, Devonte Fields, isn’t playing and the Horned Frogs offense has been suspect without quarterback Casey Pachall. This could be an outright upset.
Oklahoma (-4) at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. ET:Forget Oklahoma’s losing streak to Notre Dame and the Irish’s home winning streak. These are not the same teams. Oklahoma is the best offensive team the Irish have faced this season and while the Notre Dame defense is good, if the ND offense can’t stay on the field, the Irish won’t be able to keep OU quarterback Blake Bell quiet.
Minnesota (+2) vs. Iowa, 3:30 p.m. ET: Neither one of these teams have been tested this season, but of the two, Minnesota has been better across the board. The Gophers’ win against a decent San Jose State team should have given them confidence going into conference play.
Ole Miss (+14) at Alabama, 6:30 p.m. ET: Ole Miss might not have receivers as good as Texas A&M’s, but they’re darn close and if quarterback Bo Wallace can play consistently, the Rebels can pull off this upset. This year’s Alabama team isn’t nearly as good as last year’s, especially on defense.
Kent State (+2) at Western Michigan, 7 p.m. ET: As much as we all like Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck, his team is just bad. Kent State has played well this season and even put 13 on a decent LSU defense. I have a hard time seeing this as anything but an easy Kent State win.
Texas A&M (-15) at Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET: The Razorbacks don’t exactly have a lot of confidence after blowing a double-digit lead to Rutgers last weekend. And in walks Johnny Football and his high-powered offense. With questions at quarterback and a suspect defense, Arkansas isn’t going to be able to keep up with the Aggies.
Stanford (-9) at Washington State, 10 p.m. ET: Stanford might have stumbled a little during nonconference play, but last week’s game against Arizona State proved the Cardinal are the real deal. The Cougars are playing really well, but they don’t have the personnel to stack up in the trenches or stop the Cardinal running game.
Cal at Oregon OVER 82: This is a huge number, but totally attainable. Oregon will win this game and put up its normal gaudy stats, but don’t discount the Bears and quarterback Jared Goff. The Bears may have gotten beat by Ohio State, but they still put up 34 points. Expect a similar effort here.
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