GAME OF THE WEEK: Ohio State (-19) at Indiana (O/U 60.5)
Ever since quarterback C.J. Stroud returned to the Buckeyes starting lineup, Ohio State has been on a roll. The Buckeyes are ramping up for the second half of their season. If the Buckeyes run the table–they are likely headed for the college football final four. Ohio State will romp the Hoosiers in this one.
Picks: Ohio State 45 Indiana 21
Illinois at Penn State (-23.5) (O/U 46.5)
Sean Clifford is everything to the Penn State offense. As we saw in the Iowa game, once Clifford left, the Nittany Lions offense went in the tank. Clifford has practiced this week and appears prepared for Illinois this weekend. Penn State can still win the Big Ten, and their hopes for a final four appearance remain. Penn State rolls in this one.
Picks: Penn State 37 Illinois 13
Boston College at Louisville (-6) (O/U 56)
We have been proponents of Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham in this article before. Cunningham is a dynamic playmaker and can carry the Cardinal offense on his back. I don’t see the Boston College defense being able to contain Cunningham for four quarters. I’ll take Louisville to cover at home.
Picks: Louisville 31 Boston College 20
Northwestern at Michigan (-21.5) (O/U 50)
Michigan has had a season to quiet the critics that circle the Wolverine program. We mentioned several weeks ago that we will no longer doubt the fighting Harbaughs, and they currently sit at 6-0. Northwestern will not be able to keep pace with the multi-faceted Wolverine offense.
Picks: Michigan 44 Northwestern 20
Cincinnati (-27) at Navy (O/U 51.5)
Cincinnati needs all the style points it can get as it attempts to prove to the NCAA selection committee that they belong and deserve a shot at college football’s final four. Navy poses an issue for teams as they can lull you to sleep. I don’t see that happening in this one. Cincinnati is a complete team on both sides of the ball with a dynamic quarterback in Desmond Ridder and an electric running game featuring Jerome Ford. On defense, Cincinnati has some legit 1st round talent in Ahmad Gardner and Myjai Sanders. Cincinnati won’t let the foot off the gas and pile it on Navy.
Picks: Cincinnati 45 Navy 14
NC State (-3.5) at Miami (FL) (O/U 53)
I continue to be impressed with the NC State Wolfpack this season. NC State doesn’t overwhelm you with anything, in particular, they are just well balanced and keep a defense guessing. Miami (FL) has been underwhelming most of the season and provides you little confidence. I like the Wolfpack to get the road victory and to cover in this one.
Picks: NC State 30 Miami (FL) 24
Wake Forest (-3.5) at Army (O/U 52)
Wake Forest has played excellent football in the first half of the college season and could pose a surprise challenger for the ACC crown. Army will throw a lot of you on the defensive side of the ball, but I believe the Demon Deacons are up for the challenge and move to 7-0.
Picks: Wake Forest 30 Army 20
Oklahoma (-38) at Kansas (O/U 67.5)
It has been such a bumpy road so far for the Oklahoma Sooners we forget that they remain 7-0 and in the driver’s seat to win the Big XII. The Sooners have officially made the transition at the quarterback position away from the underwhelming Spencer Rattler to the sensational true freshman Caleb Williams. Now is the time for the Sooners to put their season into hyperdrive and leave nothing to chance. Sooners will dismantle the Jayhawks on both sides of the ball in this one.
Picks: Oklahoma 54 Kansas 10
Oregon at UCLA (-1.5) (O/U 57.5)
The Chip Kelly bowl is upon us! His current team, the UCLA Bruins, hosts his former team, the Oregon Ducks. Oregon still has their fate in their destiny as they can win the Pac 12, finish at 11-1, and make their case to the college football committee that they deserve to be included in the final four. Remember–they do have a win over Ohio State on their resume. I’ll take the Ducks in Pasadena to win the game outright.
Picks: Oregon 31 UCLA 28
Tennessee at Alabama (-27.5) (O/U 67.5)
Alabama responded to their only loss against Texas A&M as we thought they would. The Crimson Tide dismantled the Mississippi State Bulldogs 49-9. With Bryce Young playing as well as any quarterback in the country, I don’t see the Crimson Tide slowing down anytime soon. Tennessee can put up some points, but they will be overwhelmed by the talent disparity against Alabama. I will take the Tide at home to roll over the Vols.
Picks: Alabama 45 Tennessee 16
Wisconsin (-3) at Purdue (O/U 39)
The Wisconsin/Purdue game screams ‘let down’ all the way! Purdue coming off of their biggest win in a long time as they upset the Iowa Hawkeyes. Wisconsin will never wow you but takes care of the ball and eventually wears your defense down. I don’t see how the Boilermakers can sustain this high level of play for eight consecutive quarters. I will take Wisconsin to get the road victory.
Picks: Wisconsin 27 Purdue 20
LSU at Ole Miss (-10.5) (O/U 75.5)
I came away impressed with LSU last week. I didn’t think they were any match for the Florida Gators–dropping 49 points on that defense was impressive. The LSU program has had to deal with the ‘Ed Orgeron distraction’ this week–as the head coach is leaving the program in the off-season. With a 75.5 point over/under, you know Vegas is expecting a shootout, and I will as well. Max Johnson and Matt Corrall attempt to one-up each other. I will take LSU in this spot as the 10.5 point spread feels like a bridge too far for me. I like Ole Miss to win, but I will take LSU to cover.
Picks: Ole Miss 45 LSU 38
USC at Notre Dame (-6.5) (O/U 58)
We do our very best to be transparent on our picks here at Beer Life. I will admit the two teams that have given me the most angst this season have been the USC Trojans and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This week they face one another–super. USC has been as up and down as any program in the country. Switching quarterbacks and then back again, how do you know what you are getting from the Trojans? Notre Dame has been their enigma. Speaking of switching quarterbacks, the Fighting Irish know all about that this season. I like the Irish to win, but this is much more of a coin-flip for me that I will take the Trojans to keep it close and cover on the road.
Picks: Notre Dame 31 USC 27
Nevada at Fresno State (-4) (O/U 61)
Every chance we get to pick a Fresno State Bulldog game, we are going to take it. We have adopted Fresno State as ‘our Bulldogs’ this season. Nevada brings in heralded quarterback prospect Carson Strong, so I would expect some points scored in this one. If you think I’m going against Fresno State at home–forget about it!
Picks: Fresno State 37 Nevada 31
South Carolina at Texas A&M (-21) (O/U 44.5)
Texas A&M has righted their season as Zach Calzada has played better and better under center for the Aggies with each passing week. Texas A&M remains one of the more talented teams in the country. South Carolina is no match for them in this contest.