Week Five Edition
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Last Week: 2-3 (.400)
2017: 18-13 (.580)
*Total: 90-72-2 (.550)
*Total dates back to last season
Home team in italics
#8 TCU (-13) over #23 West Virginia
There’s a lot to like about the Horned Frogs. Of course, they recently upset a highly-ranked Oklahoma State team on the road. But let’s not forget about another one of their impressive performances this season: a 28-7 win over Arkansas in which they held the Razorbacks to just 265 yards of total offense. West Virginia, meanwhile, is shaky defensively, having just allowed over 30 points to a lousy Kansas team. I’ll swallow the points and take a superior TCU side.
Florida State (+3) over #13 Miami
Sure, the Seminoles have had a dramatic fall from grace since entering the season as a contender to reach the College Football Playoff. And yes, after losing quarterback Denndre Francois to injury, their offense doesn’t inspire much confidence. Nonetheless, I’m putting all of my chips in the Florida State pot. The public is drastically overrating a 3-0 Miami team coming off a blowout win over Duke. Not Duke basketball. Duke football. The Hurricanes, who haven’t played anyone of note, simply do not deserve 82% of the public’s support, particularly against a Florida State team that is still ranked ahead of them according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. Bet against the public and take the Seminoles.
LSU (+3) over #21 Florida
In terms of betting, here is all you need to know when it comes to this matchup: despite 74% of the public backing the ranked Gators, the spread has dropped from -6.5 to -3.5. In short, sharp money is hammering LSU, even after it was upset by Troy last weekend. The Tigers should benefit from the return of running back Derrius Guice and top a Florida team that has trouble scoring.
#1 Alabama (-26.5) over Texas A&M
Would I normally bet on a 26.5 point favorite? No. But Alabama has outscored Power-Five opponents this year 149-10 this season. I’ll repeat: 149-10! Texas A&M isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t have a very good defense, nor do I expect its offense to do much of anything against the Crimson Tide’s outstanding defense.
Oregon (+2.5) over #11 Washington State
Hopefully Washington State’s fans enjoyed last week’s upset over #5 USC. The Cougars must travel to Eugene this Saturday to play an Oregon team averaging nearly 50 points per game. Even though Washington State’s offense is terrific as well, its defense leaves a lot to be desired, as it ranks just 62nd in the country in opponent points per play. The eleventh-ranked Cougars will have a letdown performance and fall to the underrated Ducks.
#20 Utah (+5.5) over Stanford
The Utes, who are home underdogs in this matchup despite playing an unranked opponent, rarely get the respect they deserve. Even though Stanford has an above-average offense, Utah’s defense ranks 10th in the nation in opponent yards per play. The Cardinal defense, in contrast, is just 90th. I’ll take Utah to not only cover on its home turf, but win this game outright.
Game of the Week
#7 Michigan (-10.5) over Michigan State
Even though they lost starting quarterback Wilton Speight last week to injury, I have enough confidence in new starter John O’Korn and the Wolverines to pick them to cover the spread against one of their main rivals. Main reason why: Michigan’s defense is tremendous. It currently leads the country in opponent yards per play and is 5th in opponent offensive points per game (which negates touchdown’s scored by the opposition’s defense). Simply put, I doubt Michigan State’s offense, which ranks just 82nd in the country in points per game (24.5), will have much success against this stellar unit.