GAME OF THE WEEK: Kentucky at Georgia (-23) (O/U 44.5)
Nothing gets the kids excited like a talk about defense. The Georgia Bulldogs have been the most impressive defense that we have seen in college football in quite some time. Jordan Davis, Adam Anderson, Lewis Cine, Nakobe Dean, Travon Walker, Devonte Wyatt, Derion Kendrick–the list goes on and on of NFL talent on the Bulldogs defense. On the other side, however, you have a Wildcats defense that has been shutting down their opponents all season long. This game feels like an old-school, bare-knuckle, back-alley street fight. I believe this will be a low-scoring affair. Georgia will win, but I believe Kentucky can keep it much closer than the 23 point spread would suggest.
Picks: Kentucky +23, Under 44.5
California at Oregon (-13.5) (O/U 54)
How will Oregon respond following a devastating loss to Stanford? Keep in mind–the Ducks also lost their top running back in CJ Verdell. I still believe in this Ducks offense led by Anthony Brown. Oregon will pull away from the Golden Bears.
Picks: Oregon -13.5, Under 54
Michigan State (-4.5) at Indiana (O/U 48.5)
The Michigan State Spartans have been one of the more surprising teams in the first half of the college football season. The Spartans are off to a 6-0 start and find themselves ranked #10 in the country. Kenneth Walker IV has provided this team with a ground game and an identity. I am inclined to stick with the white-hot Spartan and believe they go to Indiana and come home with a road victory.
Picks: Michigan State -4.5, Over 48.5
NC State (-3) at Boston College (O/U 52)
Even though NC State is ranked #22 in the country, it feels as if people are sleeping on the wolfpack. Quarterback Devin Leary is taking care of the football. They have a two-back system that is doing wonders. Emeka Emezie is providing an alpha presence on the outside, and Ikem Ekwonu is obliterating opponents upfront. There is a lot to like in NC State, and I don’t see Boston College standing in their way.
Picks: NC State -3, Under 52
Central Florida at Cincinnati (-21) (O/U 57.5)
Cincinnati has risen the #3 in the country and is giving like to a mid-major crashing the National Championship party. Desmond Ridder is playing his best ball, and the Bearcats have some horses on the defensive side of the ball. This game is an opportunity for some style points, and I believe Cincinnati takes full advantage.
Picks: Cincinnati -21, Over 57.5
Arizona State at Utah (EVEN) (O/U 50.5)
Don’t look now, but the Arizona State Sun Devils are playing as well as anyone in the Pac-12. Not only are the Sun Devils taking care of business, but they are winning impressively. I thought Stanford would give them some trouble–and that was NOT the case. The one-two punch of quarterback Jayden Daniels and running back Rachaad White has proven to be too much for opponents so far. Traveling to Utah will be a tough challenge, but I expect Arizona State to be up for it.
Picks: Arizona State E, Over 50.5
Fresno State (-3.5) at Wyoming (O/U 54)
The bye week came at a perfect time for Fresno State and quarterback Jake Haener. Haener if you recall was banged up in their last outing against Hawaii. Having time to hear, I expect the Bulldogs to come out ready to prove that loss to Hawaii was a fluke. Wyoming has no answers for the Bulldogs offense.
Picks: Fresno State -3.5, Over 54
UCLA at Washington (-2) (O/U 55.5)
Seeing Washington as the favorite in this game was the most surprising line of the week for me. I believe UCLA is the superior team. The Bruins have the better quarterback. Washington’s season is not going anywhere while the Bruins eye a possible bowl bid. I’ll take UCLA to win this game outright.
Picks: UCLA +2, Over 55.5
Oklahoma State at Texas (-5.5) (O/U 60)
Even in a loss, you had to come away very impressed with the Texas Longhorns last week. The issue has been with the Longhorns program; the minute you buy-in is the minute they let you down. I’m going to stick with Bijan Robinson and this high-octane Texas offense as they get it done at home against Oklahoma State.
Picks: Texas -5.5, Under 60
TCU at Oklahoma (-13.5) (O/U 65)
The eyes of the college football world are fixed on Norman, Oklahoma as we await who will be the starting quarterback for the Sooners. Spencer Rattler, the preseason presumed Heisman favorite, has struggled all season long. We have been waiting for the breakout performance from Rattler, but apparently, Lincoln Riley grew tired of waiting and pulled the trigger as he brought in Caleb Williams. Williams was a prep superstar, but it is startling to see him in over Rattler. I don’t know how Riley can go back to Rattler after Williams saved the day for Oklahoma in a comeback victory over Texas. I expect Caleb Williams will be announced the starter at some juncture. Williams provides a new element for defenses to stop and I don’t believe that TCU is up for the challenge.
Picks: Oklahoma -13.5, Under 65
Purdue at Iowa (-11.5) (O/U 43)
Iowa came through on our ‘Pick of the Week’ last week, even if it was a bit shaky. You know that the Iowa defense is going to limit the opponent, but can they score enough to cover the 11.5 point spread. I believe the Hawkeyes have just enough juice to get it done.
Picks: Iowa -11.5, Under 43
Alabama (-17) at Mississippi State (O/U 57.5)
When have you not known a Nick Saban team to respond to adversity? Following the upset loss to Texas A&M, I expect the Crimson Tide to come out like gangbusters against Mississippi State. Roll tide.
Picks: Alabama -17, Over 57.5
Mississippi -3 at Tennessee (O/U 82.5)
When was the last time you saw an Over/Under of 82.5? Vegas certainly is expecting fireworks in this one, and I don’t blame them. Ole Miss Matt Corrall will have the Rebels firing in all cylinders in this one.
Picks: Ole Miss -3, Under 82.5
Florida (-10.5) at LSU (O/U 59)
I have not been impressed with LSU on either side of the ball this season. I have liked what I have seen from the Gators defense, and their two-headed approach at the quarterback position poses the opposition a multitude of issues. I will take the Gators on the road to win big.
Picks: Florida -11.5, Over 59
Iowa State (-6) at Kansas State (O/U 51.5)
Brock Purdy and Breece Hall have figured some things out here recently. I believe the Cyclones under head coach Matt Campbell have finally woken up from their malaise to start the season. The Cyclones cover on the road in this one.