I hit a bit of a tough stretch last week, finishing under .500 and bringing my overall record down a bit. But after a tough week that saw me lose four more than I won, I’m back at the bit and ready to give it another try. I see a few (by few I mean a lot of) games I love this weekend, and yes, this week I will attempt to crack the fabled thursday egg. A bold player I will become… Here’s the seventeen big ones to follow.
Oregon State Beavers @ Utah Utes (-11): Free money! That’s right, even against an Oregon State team that maimed the Trojan beast of college football, these Utes will do work. I’m surprised it hasn’t gone to 10 yet, but it seems like it’s staying above a touchdown and a field goal. I think that’s to try and trick Beaver backers into betting on their team. It shouldn’t matter, though I would be happier with 10. The Utes are healthy where OSU is without a couple more defenders from a defensive secondary that would have struggled with Utah anyway. Take the Utes here!
Cincinnati Bearcats (-3) @ Marshall Thundering Herd: It’s tough to go with a college team starting a 3rd string quarterback that has completed 25% of his passes for a total of 2 yards, but that’s what I’m doing. I think the Bearcats are that much better than Marshall. This is no gimme game, and I’m sure it will be a special teams score that makes the difference, but Cinci has a the talent to compensate for their lost quarterbacks.
BYU Cougars (-29) @ Utah State Aggies: Cougars by 38 – that’s my best guess. Did I say guess? I didn’t mean it, I meant that’s my strong opinion based on facts and assumptions that border on the line of reality. Yes, I believe the UW game was flukey for the Cougs, and the rest of their contests have been the real BYU team. They are good and the Aggies are horrible. A 40+ point win would be easily gathered on Friday Night.
Boston College Eagles (-8) @ North Carolina State Wolfpack: The Eagles are three touchdowns better than the Wolfpack. This game seems too easy, so much so that I’m worried a little bit. Sure, the Wolfpack beat a very good East Carolina team, but that’s their fluke – the real NC State team showed up last week in a home loss to South Florida 10-41. Yeah, that’s right. The Eagles are nothing to write home about, but you don’t need to write home about a team that covers at NC State. Take BC to win another ACC match-up.
Akron Zips (-3.5) @ Kent State Golden Flashes: I like what the Zips bring to the table. They have a talented passing attack, just in case things get worrisome. They have a pretty solid group of kids that know how to play tough. There’s a lot I like about the Zips, enough to take them as a road favorite in a conference game.
Florida Gators (-24) @ Arkansas Razorbacks: These teams aren’t on the same level. After losing a huge game at home last week I doubt the Gators come out stiff in this one. They’ll be out to prove a point, and a good way to do that is by slapping the Razorbacks around; just ask the last two teams to play Arkansas – Texas did a 52-10 job while ‘Bama pushed in a mix tape that went something like 49-14. Florida doesn’t win by 40+, but they cover the spread, no doubt in my mind.
Oklahoma Sooners @ Baylor Bears (+27): If only because being #1 is a tough gig these days. Oklahoma hasn’t had a close one yet, but they aren’t super heroic here, they can have bad days, why not in their 5th contest of the year against an underrated Baylor Bear team with a little bit of speed and a freshman quarterback that can’t be scared? I’m not saying an upset is on the horizon, but I am saying a cover is not a stunner here.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+28) @ Virginia Tech Hokies: This is a real test, but after much deliberation I still can’t even fathom the Hokies as a -28 favorite against anybody in the nation, not even a Hilltopper team that has a 38 point loss to Kentucky and a 34 point loss to Alabama to be credited for. This should be closer than that, maybe 24-0 at the most. Smells like teen cover.
Arizona State Sun Devils (+9.5) @ California Golden Bears: Because this game will be closer. I don’t know a winner, but some late minute trickery will have to happen for either team to win this by more than a touchdown. Here are two teams that make a living playing it close and Cal isn’t good enough to be a runaway favorite like this – not against a well coached Sun Devil team, that’s for sure.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (-7) @ Kansas State Wildcats: Don’t be fooled by K-State’s 3-1 record thus far, North Texas and Montana State don’t count, they lost to Louisville, and beat ULLaffayette by 10. Needless to say I like the Raiders, even though the public is riding this like a used up quarter pony at Walmart. Ride it!
Kentucky Wildcats (+17) @ Alabama Crimson Tide: That’s too high of a spread. I know Kentucky doesn’t have the big names yet, nor do they hold the big ranking, and surely they would be the upset of the week if they were to win at all might Alabama – but it could happen. I think this game is closer than many think – I know 63% of the public is going Yhatzee on the Tide here, that’s too big a spread for Alabama to have any value whatsoever.
Illinois Fighting Illini (+3) @ Michigan Wolverines: You know why? Because one of these weeks the Wolverines are going to get obliterated by all those stupid mistakes and Illinois is too physical and good to allow Michgan back in a game in which the Wolverines are getting handled. Juice will have a huge game, showing the Wolverines what kind of QB they need to be legit.
Nevada Wolfpack (-24) @ Idaho Vandals: Because that’s how bad Idaho is.
UL Lafayette (-2) @ UL Monroe: This line is a joke – Lafayette will kill Monroe.
Washington Huskies @ Arizona Wildcats (-21): The Huskies lost their one man offense when Jake Locker went down for the season. Did coach Tyrone’s job go with Jake? We’ll see. I don’t think Jake would have made much of a mark on this game, as Arizona is the much better team. However, I feel a lot more comfortable taking the Wildcats as a three touchdown favorite at home without Locker to worry me.
Ohio State Buckeyes (-1) @ Wisconsin Badgers: Weird, two overrated Big 10 schools – where did that idea ever come from? Still, the Buckeyes are the lesser of the overrated programs, or the greater – well their less overrated and greater talent wise. What do I mean? Buckeyes by 10 on the road, that’s what I mean.
Washington State Cougars @ UCLA Bruins (-17): Because UCLA is lucky Washington State is in the Pac 10. If you can’t feel good about UCLA against Washington State at any spread under 30, then you just can’t feel good about betting at all.