5 Best College Football Predictions Against The Spread Rivalry Week Friday

5 best predictions for this week’s college football slate. What appear to be the best bets and picks for the Rivalry Week games on Friday?

5 Best College Football Predictions Against the Spread Rivalry Week Friday

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Welcome to Rivalry Week – that bittersweet time when the biggest and most fun games kick in right when the season is about to end.

We already had one big game – and, to be honest, I’m sort of shocked Ole Miss lost it – with Mississippi State taking the Egg Bowl, but that feeds into the Friday version of the 5 Best Predictions Against the Spread.

You have to adjust for the curve.

Because of all the big games I’m breaking this up with five of the best-looking predictions against the spread for Friday, and then five more will crank up on Saturday morning.

Fair warning: 1) there are only 13 games on Friday, so nailing five of these is a statistical uphill climb, but I’ll do it (I hope), and 2) the Mountain West has been a bear this year to figure out against the spread, and it’s not just me who had problems with it.

So, of course, in the weirdest and most emotional week of the year, I go big on three games in the weirdest conference to pick, starting with …

Click on each game for the game preview

5. New Mexico at Colorado State

POINT TOTAL 35
PICK Over

All you’re looking for is 20-16. The point total on this is just too obscene to blow off, but it actually makes sense – and was nicer at 34.5.

What happens when two bad teams play each other?

Sometimes one side turns out to be really bad, and the result is a beating – like New Mexico State beating New Mexico 21-6. Sometimes the two teams are really bad and they play a really bad game – like Colorado State beating New Nevada 17-14.

And sometimes the two bad teams put together something shockingly entertaining.

Here’s the thing about Rivalry Week that gets blown off – this is it for a lot of teams.

Forget the rivalry aspect, some of these teams just want to go into the sunset with something happy after a long, rough season. That means both sides empty the playbook to do anything to get the win.

Coaches take more chances, because why not? More fourth down attempts, more trick plays, anything – this is it.

Here’s the issue with that when it comes to New Mexico going to Colorado State – neither team can score.

Colorado State has yet to hit 20 points this season, and New Mexico get past 14 just three times and once was a 41-0 win over Maine.

Again, though, these two teams are equally lousy.

New Mexico will allow more than 20 points in this. Colorado State should give up around 14-to-17.

Staying in the Mountain West …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against the Spread No. 4: Utah State at Boise State

4. Utah State at Boise State

LINE Boise State -17
ATS PICK Utah State

Here’s the other funky thing about Rivalry Week – sometimes one side has bigger fish to fry.

Utah State has been solid.

It pulled up out of the ugly 1-5 nosedive to start the season to win five out of its last six games to get bowl eligible. Granted, it beat Air Force and four uggos to do it, but it pulled it off. Now it’s time to cement a bowl appearance with a seventh win, close out strong, and possibly beat the eventual Mountain West champion.

I have to be more careful when I say teams don’t care or a game doesn’t matter. Of course Boise State wants to win this. As Herm said, you play to win the game, it’s on a nice roll of six straight Mountain West wins, and it would like to go off to the conference championship game with some momentum.

Oh yeah, the Mountain West Conference Championship. Boise State is already in, and it’s hosting.

That means 1) this is sort of Senior Day, but not really since there’s one final home game to play, and 2) nah, this game doesn’t matter all that much. What does matter is Boise State being healthy and ready to roll in a short week with the bigger game coming up on Friday.

That, and again, Utah State is playing well, Boise State doesn’t have a realistic shot at the New Year’s Six bowl game, so all can be forgiven if the coaching staff doesn’t want to show Fresno State anything interesting.

Boise State should win this, but the 17 is too rich.

Fine, since I’m Mr. Mountain West, here’s the other conference game …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 3 Wyoming at Fresno State

3. Wyoming at Fresno State

LINE Fresno State -15
ATS PICK Wyoming

Take all of the bull-muffin analysis I just spewed about Boise State already being in the conference championship and apply it to Fresno State.

Wyoming doesn’t really need this game, but it can lock in the No. 2 spot in the Mountain Division if Utah State loses to Boise State earlier in the day. It already has seven wins – which all but locks it into a bowl game – and it’s not Senior Day or anything like it is for Fresno State.

However, again, it’s a short week to play a conference championship, and Fresno State has to travel, too. That, and Wyoming has a style that might make this interesting.

The Cowboy offense has all but blown off the forward pass, but it’s good on the ground, it’s going to get physical, and Fresno State hasn’t exactly dealt with a bunch of killers in its six-game Mountain West winning streak.

It needed a miracle to get by San Diego State at home, struggled at UNLV, and and slipped by San Jose State.

Wyoming got rocked in Week 0 at Illinois, but it was able to win three road games and lost at BYU by 14.

Again, like Boise State, Fresno State should win its game before the bigger game, but it’s going to want to get in, get it done, and get out healthy.

It’s not going to pull out all the stops.

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 2 Arizona State at Arizona

2. Arizona State at Arizona

LINE Arizona -3.5
ATS PICK Arizona

I obviously work in the college football space so I’m not supposed to say it, but … sometimes the whole rivalry thing is a flaming bag of overrated hoo-ha.

Rivalries might focus teams a little more because of what’s at stake, and the fans certainly care a whole lot about coming up with the win over their annoying friends and acquaintances, but it’s still about who can block and tackle better.

Arizona is better than Arizona State this season – and if there’s the demon of a 70-7 loss a few years ago in the equation, that matters, too.

That’s what happened the last time Arizona State came to Tucson. It was 70-7, and only because Arizona State didn’t want it to be 84-7, or even worse. If it’s possible to win by 63 and show mercy, ASU did it, Sun Devil fans, though, are more than happy to keep bringing that up as a part of the five game losing streak.

Arizona had turnover issues in last week’s 31-20 loss last week to Washington State, but it’s playing better overall. If the offense gets going like it’s supposed to, winning this shouldn’t be a problem against an ASU defense that’s been hammered on by everyone but Stanford.

Outside of the 15-14 loss to the Cardinal, the other eight Sun Devil defeats were by nine or more.

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 1 Florida at Florida State

1. Florida at Florida State

LINE Florida State -9.5
ATS PICK Florida

Two huge warnings before diving in. 1) This was my “go with your first answer” pick. When this first came out I thought it was a misprint, so I sure might be missing something obvious, and 2) Florida is mega-flaky.

Here’s my biggest issue with the spread being so high – it’s not like Florida State has ripped through a slew of killers.

The College Football Playoff committee is certainly loving on the Noles, but this four-game winning streak came against Georgia Tech at home, on the road against a weak Miami, on the road against a decimated Syracuse – at least in some areas – and at home against Louisiana from the Sun Belt.

It lost to Wake Forest by ten, lost at NC State, lost to Clemson. Yeah, it’s the team that beat LSU, but that was just as the season got started and it took a minor miracle to hang on for dear life.

I’m not saying Florida State is bad – far from it – but that’s a big, big spread against team with Florida’s firepower.

Can the Gator D come up with a third down stop again the FSU running game? Probably not. Can the Gator O sputter and cough too much like it did in the weird 31-24 loss at Vanderbilt last week? Absolutely.

Does Florida have the ability to rise up and rip the roof off Florida State like it did in the 38-6 win over South Carolina? Yeah.

+285 on the Moneyline isn’t totally insane if you lean Gator – I think FSU wins – but it’s Rivalry Week. Giving up 9.5 is too much.

And if it’s not, I’ll be right here to take my lumps as I return tomorrow for the 5 Best Predictions Against the Spread for the Saturday games.

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Story originally appeared on College Football News