|Ole Miss is favored, but I like Vandy to cover in Oxford (Source:Rivals.com)|
Sure, I have had some luck in games like UNCvNC State, but most have really not been that close. And I have taken small spreads and big spreads.
This week, admittedly, was a little harder to find value on the board and I am relying much more on my stats than actual viewing of these teams since most are out of the Southeast.
Here are this week's picks:
Arizona -29 vs Colorado 1:30ETThe Buffaloes are one of the worst BCS league teams (remember they did beat Washington State, more on that later) in recent history. Jon Embree's team in painfully inept on offense needing 18.2 yards per point (ypp), one of the worst in FBS. That stat has gotten worse as of late - in their last three games Colorado is 33.4 ypp.
While Arizona does not have a good defense (14.2 ypp), I have zero confidence in the Buffs to keep pace with a high powered Wildcat offense. All of my stats point to a cover for Rich Rodriguez's club.
Oklahoma State -10 vs West Virginia 3:30ETI have made a pretty decent living off betting against West Virginia this year and I am stepping up again. I am not going to say defenses have "figured out" Dana Holgorsen's system because that is just not true. What they have done is figured out how to get the Mountaineers out of their rhythm on offense.
Despite the loss of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, this Cowboys offense is actually more explosive than last year. WVU's defense is a good unit to play if you want to be explosive.
The caveat to all this would be if Wes Lunt does not play for Okie State. He left last week's game with Kansas State after suffering a concussion. Mike Gundy would be down to his third QB after losing former starter JW Walsh earlier in the season.
Navy -2 at Troy 3:30ETThe Midshipmen are bowl eligible after missing out last season. True freshman Keenan Reynolds has steered their offense to another solid year on the ground. Surprisingly, Troy has not been a very good home team and has struggled in their last three games - two conference and a road game at Tennessee.
A lesser Navy team defeated the Trojans by 28 last year.
Vanderbilt +2.5 at Ole Miss 7ETThe Rebels have been improving in their first year under Hugh Freeze, but they run into a surging Vanderbilt team looking to become bowl eligible for the second straight season.
I think an underrated part of this game is the uprising occurring on the Oxford campus on Election Night. This events comes on the heels of the documentary "Ghosts of Ole Miss" describing the unrest during Integration. These events could not have helped the focus on a predominantly black football team.
But even ignoring these off field activities, I think Vandy is the better football team.
UCLA -16.5 at Washington State 10:30ETThe Bruins have been a hard team to understand this season and this is by far the most nerve wracking of my picks. But Mike Leach just ousted his best player WR Marquis Wilson and their appears to be a mutiny near in Pullman by the players or the coaches.
Who would have thought Jim Mora would be the one who looked to be in control of his team in November?
Other games to keep an eye on:
For one reason or another something spooked me off these games, but if you have a strong feeling by all means go ahead with these picks.
North Carolina -7 vs Georgia Tech 12:30ET
This line opened at -5.5 but got all the way up to -8.5 before settling at 7. UNC is coming off a bye which has shown to be a big help in beating GT and Larry Fedora's hurry up offense will give Tech's defense fits. But Paul Johnson has saved a lot of his best games for the Tar Heels winning three straight.
Stanford -4 vs Oregon State 3ET
I feel like the Beavers are slowly coming back to reality here making it tougher and tougher to win games each week. But on the other hand Stanford's win over USC looks less impressive by the week.
Penn State +8 vs Nebraska 3:30ET
The Nittany Lions helped me to my 4-1 ATS record last week and the stats favor them again this week, but they lost a few key players to injury last week including DT Jordan Hill which makes me nervous playing a good team like Nebraska.
Kansas State -6.5 at TCU 7:00 ET
Me and many others have rode the Wildcats to ATS wins all season, but Collin Klein's concussion last week puts enough doubt in my mind to stay away this week.
Notre Dame -19 at Boston College 8:00 ET
The Eagles score a prime time, nation wide telecast with a 2-6 record. That is what playing and undefeated Notre Dame gets you and why the ACC's contract with them will help the league.
But I digress. I think the Irish played hungover from the Oklahoma win last week which I almost called. The only thing holding me back is the history in this series where BC has knocked off much better ND teams in the past - 1993 and 2002 come to mind.