GAME OF THE WEEK: Michigan (-4) at Michigan State (O/U 50.5)
The highlight game of the weekend is the battle for the state of Michigan and potentially for Big Ten supremacy. Kenneth Walker IV and the Spartans offense have rejuvenated in 2021. I did say several weeks ago that we would no longer doubt the Michigan Wolverines. Since that time, they have continued to pile on the wins impressively. I will take the road-favorite Wolverines to get it done in Lansing and move to 8-0.
Picks: Michigan 31 Michigan State 24
Iowa at Wisconsin (-3) (O/U 36.5)
Can the Iowa Hawkeyes rebound from their first and only loss of the season? Traveling to Madison will be a tough challenge. Wisconsin has found its footing. In a game coin-flip game where points are at a premium, I will take Iowa to cover and win straight up.
Picks: Iowa 21 Wisconsin 20
Duke at Wake Forest (-16.5) (O/U 70)
Wake Forest has one of the most prolific and dynamic offenses in college football this season. Duke does not have the necessary firepower to keep pace over 60 minutes. I’ll take the Demon Deacons to win big at home.
Picks: Wake Forest 42 Duke 21
Louisville at NC State (-6.5) (O/U 57)
I was shocked to see the Wolfpack loss to the Miami (FL) Hurricanes a week ago. NC State is in a tough spot here against a Louisville offense that features the multi-faceted Malik Cunningham. I believe in this NC State program and know that they are the better team. Take the Wolfpack at home to rebound.
Picks: NC State 34 Louisville 24
Indiana at Maryland (-5.5) (O/U 49.5)
The Indiana/Maryland game features two high-scoring teams that should light up the scoreboard all afternoon long. I will lean on the efficiency of Tagovailoa and take the Terps to cover in this one.
Picks: Maryland 37 Indiana 30
Florida State at Clemson (-9.5) (O/U 47.5)
The Clemson football program has fallen as far as any in college football this year. Florida State has not been a relevant program in years. I would not recommend Clemson giving more than a touchdown to almost anyone. I said ‘almost’ anyone. This game is a get-right spot for the Tigers at home.
Picks: Clemson 30 Florida State 17
UCLA at Utah (-6.5) (O/U 60.5)
UCLA has not played as well recently. Utah tends to play their best ball in the second half of the season. I lean on the Utah defense to limit the Chip Kelly offense in this one. The Utes’ are tough to beat at home.
Picks: Utah 31 UCLA 24
Washington State at Arizona State (-16.5) (O/U 52.5)
I like Jayden Daniels and the Arizona State offense as much as the next guy, but the Washington State offense is no slouch in their own right. Arizona State will win the game, but 16.5 feels like too many points to give. I’ll take the Cougars to cover.
Picks: Arizona State 34 Washington State 20
Kentucky (-1.5) at Mississippi State (O/U 47)
Kentucky came crashing back down to earth against Georgia two weeks ago. To be fair, the Wildcats fared as well as any team in the country has against the Bulldogs’ ferocious defense. Against Mississippi State, Kentucky will rebound to get the road victory.
Picks: Kentuck 24 Mississippi State 21
Texas Tech at Oklahoma (-22) (O/U 66.5)
The Oklahoma Sooners transition under center has been well-documented. The Sooners remain unbeaten, but they have escaped by the skin of their teeth several times. I would not expect the Red Raiders to come into Norman to knock off the Sooners, but I believe they can keep the game closer than the spread would imply.
Picks: Oklahoma 41 Texas Tech 27
Penn State at Ohio State (-18) (O/U 60)
Ohio State has been on a roll lately. We have seen the Buckeyes late-season kick before, so this comes as no surprise. Penn State has shown mental toughness this year–a trip to Columbus will not intimidate this bunch. Ohio State will win, but I believe Penn State keeps this one closer than the Buckeye faithful would like.
Picks: Ohio State 34 Penn State 24
Ole Miss at Auburn (-2.5) (OU 66.5)
I am expecting a shootout in the Ole Miss/Auburn contest. We know the Tigers are no strangers to piling on the points, and Lane Kiffin and Matt Corrall have the Rebels rolling on all cylinders. I will take Corrall to have enough late-game heroics ensuring the Ole Miss road victory.
Picks: Ole Miss 37 Auburn 34
Georgia (-14) at Florida (O/U 51)
The world’s largest outdoor cocktail party hosts the #1 team in the country, the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia has been overwhelming to the opposition this year. The Bulldogs’ defense is the best we have seen in some time. I don’t see how the Gator’s offense can keep pace.
Picks: Georgia 34 Florida 16
Cincinnati (-24.5) at Tulane (O/U 62)
Cincinnati has the BCS committee’s attention. The Bearcats are trying to make a play for the college football final four. Cincinnati needs all the style points they can get, and they know it. I will take Desmond Ridder and the Bearcats defense to pummel Tulane in this one.
Picks: Cincinnati 41 Tulane 13
North Carolina at Notre Dame (-3.5) (O/U 62.5)
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish continue to find a way no matter who is under center. With their only loss coming against the undefeated Cincinnati, Notre Dame can make a play for a New Years Day game. Sam Howell has faced some adversity this year and has not held up. I will take Notre Dame to get it done once again in this one.
Picks: Notre Dame 28 North Carolina 24
Fresno State at San Diego State (-1) (O/U 44.5)
We have picked our beloved Fresno State every week this season. Until now. San Diego State is the real deal, and they have been impressive in their 7-0 start to the season. I will take the Aztecs at home to keep their undefeated season alive.
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