It’s hard to imagine that we’ve plowed through five weeks of college football already, but sure enough, we step right into Week 6 this time around for my free picks. Five weeks, lots has happened. During my 10-3 Week 5, Oklahoma effectively removed themselves from title-contention by losing to the Hurricanes in Miami over the weekend; so much for coming back to win a title, eh Bradford? Well, this week is sure to have more upsets – there are some huge games on the horizon. Notre Dame plays again, so there should be more terrible calls doing over unfortunate Irish opponents. I’m one game under .500 heading into the week, here goes my predictions.
Nebraska Cornhuskes (-3) @ Missouri Tigers: The Tigers are at home, rated higher than the Cornhuskers, and still a 3 points underdog. Something’s weird here. What is it, you ask? Well, the Cornhuskers are the better team, but since they’ve lost once already (a single point loss to Va Tech) and Missouri is undefeated, the Tigers hold the higher ranking. Forget that Missou has struggled against powerhouse programs like Bowling Green and Nevada, and forget that Nebraska has smoked everyone besides their one point loss to the Hokies. But here’s the deal, it’s not like Nebraska has beaten anybody good either. Whomever takes this game now has one solid win on their resume. I think that’s Nebraska – they’re more ready.
Auburn Tigers @ Arkansas Razorbacks (+3): There’s a certain time where hype hits down week and down week hits reality. That might be this time around for the Tigers. After finally smashing into the Top 25 after a 5-0 start to the season, a solid Razorbacks team hosts Auburn in an early Saturday Morning showdown. Now the road team has won 6 of the last 7 between these two programs, but I’m taking the home dog here. I think Arkansas puts up enough points, and sooner or later the luck runs out on the Tigers. Two tough home games in a row probably takes it’s toll here.
Michigan State Spartans (-4) @ Illinois Illini: I don’t think the Spartans are good, or even worthy of being favored on the road, this line doesn’t have great value or anything, but the Illini are bad. Even after a big win over their “in state big brother” program, I still think the Spartans have enough in the tank to get a double digit win in Illinois.
Oregon Ducks @ UCLA Bruins (+6.5): Now this game will almost certainly go to 7, it’s already up a half point and still 70% of the public bets like the Ducks despite being nearly a touchdown favorite on the road. UCLA is better than they’ve played, and still have just one loss, one which came against a very physical Stanford team. So, they should be better prepared for the Ducks rushing attack. The Bruins have a very good defense, one of the more underrated units in the Pact 10, and while Oregon has been very good over the last three weeks, I think they have trouble against the Bruins. The spread is ridiculous, I know that much.
Alabama Crimson Tide @ Mississippi Rebels (+6.5): The Rebels are a very talented team that had a lot to lose last time they played on National TV, they ended up showing exactly how to play as poorly as possible while losing to South Carolina on Thursday Night a couple weeks ago. But they are talented, and now have basically nothing to lose as a big home dog hosting the powerhouse Crimson Tide. I like the Rebels to turn it around and at the very least, keep this one close. I’ll take the home dog and the points.
Indiana Hoosiers (+7) @ Virginia Cavaliers: I think Indiana is better than Virginia. I’ve seen both teams play and still think Indiana is a little underrated. I’ll take them and the points.
Duke Blue Devils (+15) @ North Carolina State Wolfpack: I think Duke has one of their best teams ever, now that being said, they are still not all that good. That being said, neither is NC State. Duke’s coming off a pretty good game against Va Tech last week, and I think they’re a nice value getting more than two touchdowns. The last three games in this match-up have been very close contests, and 6 of the last 7 have been NC State wins, but by a touchdown or less. I think that trend continues, if Duke doesn’t upset outright.
Arizona State Sun Devils (-20) @ Washington State Cougars: Fade the Cougars. Listen, the Sun Devils should put up 35-42 points on the Cougs. The Cougs won’t be scoring more than twice. That’s a cover. That fits with my #1 rule in betting college football, fade the cougars.
Florida Gators (-9) @ Louisiana State Tigers: The Tigers shouldn’t be a Top 5 team, they’ve been lucky to win 3 close games this year. I’m thinking Tebow is back, if he is, this is a 20 piecing by the Gators. I like Florida a lot.
Arizona Wildcats (-3) @ Washington Huskies: I like the Dawgs, they just struggle against teams that run the ball with physicality. The Wildcats won’t stop running the ball, no matter how much the Huskies bait them. Do the Dawgs have a chance? Sure, they have good coaches and one of the truly special players in college football, Jake Locker. But the Wildcats have the better team, and they should run the ball early and often to oust the Huskies.