GAME OF THE WEEK: Penn State at Iowa (-2) (O/U 41)
The game of the week pairs to undefeated Big Ten rivals in Penn State and Iowa. The winner of this game will have the inside track to the Big Ten title and more importantly, a bid to the College Football Final Four. I have underrated both teams all year long so I will be tuned in to see what team rises to the occasion in this one. I will take Iowa to cover at home with Tyler Goodson as the ‘X’ factor that leads the Hawkeyes to victory.
Picks: Iowa -2, Over 41
Stanford at Arizona State (-13) (O/U 51.5)
For the life of me, I can’t quite figure this point spread. Stanford upset USC a few weeks back and followed that up with an upset of Oregon last week. What does the Cardinal have to do to earn some respect around here? I would go as far as to say Stanford could win this game outright. As a 13-point underdog, I’m jumping all over Stanford in this one.
Picks: Stanford +13, Under 51.5
Florida State at North Carolina (-17.5) (O/U 64.5)
We predicted in the preseason that this would be a rough year for the Tar Heel offense. In the early going, this prediction has played out as we foresaw. Along the way, however, Sam Howell and North Carolina have found their footing and are hitting their stride at the ideal time to target a wide-open ACC. I’ll take the Tar Heels in this one as they put on a show.
Picks: North Carolina -17.5, Over 64.5
Maryland at Ohio State (-20.5) (O/U 71.5)
Maryland was a huge letdown and lost some of their play-makers in the process. Ohio State, on the other hand, seems to have gotten back on track. I’ll take the Buckeyes in a route as they challenge for the Big Ten title once again.
Picks: Ohio State -20.5, Under 71.5
Virginia at Louisville (-2.5) (O/U 69.5)
If you have caught any of the early ACC action, then you already know that Virginia and Louisville have been two of the more entertaining teams in college football this season. Expect a high-scoring affair in this one. I will take Malik Cunningham and the Louisville offense at home in this one.
Picks: Louisville -2.5, Over 69.5
Utah at USC (-3) (O/U 52.5)
I have been on the wrong side of the USC games on several occasions so far this season. The Trojans are one of the more talented teams in the Pac 12, but they are also one of the more inconsistent teams around. I’ll take one more swing here, believing that the Trojans can make strides to legitimacy.
Picks: USC -3, Over 52.5
South Carolina at Tennessee (-10.5) (O/U 56.5)
The Volunteers have not been an SEC contender for quite some time. I know that the early season has been a disappointment for South Carolina thus far, but Tennessee should not be favored over any team in the conference by more than two scores.
Picks: South Carolina +10.5, Under 56.5
Georgia (-15) at Auburn (O/U 47.5)
There is no doubting the Georgia Bulldogs in 2021. The Bulldogs defense has been ferocious all season long. With their offense catching up, Georgia remains the largest threat in the nation to Alabama. I don’t see how Auburn will keep pace in this one.
Picks: Georgia -15, Over 47.5
LSU at Kentucky (-3.5) (O/U 50.5)
If you were not impressed by the Kentucky Wildcats upset over Florida last weekend–you don’t have a pulse. The Wildcats defense was impressive in shutting down a Gators offense that moved the ball at will virtually all season long. Traveling to Baton Rouge, against an LSU team in turmoil–this feels like a trap game for Kentucky. I’ll take the Tigers to cover at home.
Picks: LSU +3.5, Under 50.5
Oklahoma (-3.5) at Texas (O/U 63.5)
The Red River Shootout has national-title implications this year. Texas has improved dramatically from last season and is in a position to pull off the upset here. Like many others, I have been disappointed in the performance of Spencer Rattler and the Sooners’ offense this year. I will take Oklahoma one more time to rise to the occasion.
Picks: Oklahoma -3.5, Over 63.5
Michigan (-3.5) at Nebraska (O/U 50.5)
I mentioned last week that the time to doubt this Michigan Wolverine team is over. I was surprised to see the point spread was only 3.5. Michigan is a complete football team and it is time to give them their due. Michigan wins this one big.
Picks: Michigan -3.5, Over 50.5
Alabama (-17.5) at Texas A&M (O/U 51)
Prior to the season, this was one of those circle the calendar games. Alabama has continued on its course as the top team in the country. Unfortunately for the Aggies, their season has come off the rails. Alabama runs wild in this one and wins going away.
Picks: Alabama -17.5, Under 51
Arkansas at Ole Miss (-6) (O/U 66.5)
Will Ole Miss have a hangover following last weeks’ loss to Alabama? Ole Miss had built that measuring stick game up so much, how do they react the week prior? I believe that Matt Corral and the Ole Miss offense have too much firepower for Arkansas to keep up.
Picks: Ole Miss -6, Under 66.5
Notre Dame (-1) at Virginia Tech (O/U 47)
Can Notre Dame bounce back after a deflating loss against Cincinnati? I believe the Fighting Irish are still in contention for a New Years Day bowl game. I believe the Irish rely on the ground game and grind out a victory in Blacksburg.
Picks: Notre Dame -1
UCLA (-16) at Arizona (O/U 61)
Anytime we can get a Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Chip Kelly-led UCLA Bruins, I want to lean into the over. In seasons gone by, this is a spot where the Wildcats would give the Bruins fits. I don’t see it this year. The Bruins offense is too prolific to be contained in this one.