Another break-even week leaves me a game short of .500. We’ll try to be humble and finally get over the hump this week.
Oregon (-3.5) at UCLA
This game has been another textbook example of a reverse line movement (see Michigan-Michigan State last week) where the majority of the bettors pick one side but the line moves the other way because it gets the big money. The line has gone 2.5 points toward UCLA’s direction, mostly because of concerns about Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli’s health I’d guess. Still, I have a hard time believing that Kevin Craft is capable of this win.
Arizona (-4) at Washington
Which Washington team will show up? The one that beat USC, lost to Notre Dame in overtime in a game it should have won and the one that gave LSU a run for its money? Or the one that was beat down by Stanford? It’s hard to tell how good or bad Arizona is. If the Huskies don’t have a hangover from Notre Dame, they should win.
Stanford (even) at Oregon State
This game started out with Stanford being favored and even though the majority of bettors are picking the Cardinal, the spread has moved two points in the Beavers’ direction. October is typically a good month for Oregon State and while Stanford has impressed, it isn’t ready for this win yet.
Pick: Oregon State
Arizona State (-21) at Washington State
Oregon State gave the Sun Devils a bit of a reality check last week, blasting ASU in Tempe. Washington State doesn’t need a reality check – it’s well aware of how bad it is. It won’t get much better for the Cougars this week.
Pick: Arizona State
Florida (-7.5) at LSU
Will Tim Tebow play? That’s the huge question coming into this game, as Florida’s all-everything quarterback/missionary got a concussion two weeks ago, putting his status up in the air. Either way, this is a lot of change for the Gators to cover, considering LSU hasn’t lost in 32 consecutive home night games.
Alabama (-5) at Mississippi
The money is going to the Rebels in this one and quite frankly, its time for Ole Miss to put up or shut up. After all the hype it got before the season, it needs to win against what has probably been the nation’s most complete team to date to validate it. I don’t think the Rebels will win, but they’ll go down trying.
Wisconsin (+16) at Ohio State
A pretty big line considering that the Badgers are undefeated right now. Wisconsin’s schedule hasn’t been the greatest, but it got a nice win last week at Minnesota. Ohio State has rolled since losing to USC, but I’m not sure it’s worthy of getting more than two touchdowns here. I look for the Badgers to stay somewhat close.
Michigan (+8) at Iowa
The Wolverines’ overtime loss at Michigan State took a little luster off this matchup, even though Gameday will be in Iowa City for it. Weird game, as Iowa won at Penn State but had to escape against Northern Iowa (17-16) and Arkansas State (24-21). I’d expect more of the Penn State effort from the Hawkeyes, though I’m not sure they are potent enough on offense to win this by more than a touchdown.
Boston College (+13.5) at Virginia Tech
Boston College is an enigma to me. They don’t exactly have a lot of talent, they don’t really recruit that well but somehow, some way, they win games. These teams have been frequent battlers, with BC winning the last two games in the regular season while VT has won the ACC title game battles. I say VT wins this, but its close.
Pick: Boston College
Connecticut (+7) at Pittsburgh
Yes, I know this game isn’t good. But I didn’t want to pick another SEC or Big Ten game and all the Big 12 games this week were more blah than this one. I don’t expect much scoring in this one, as UConn is good at playing ugly while Pitt isn’t great at playing offense. Think low score and competitive, which favors the underdog.
Last week: 5-5