Last Week: It’s been a rough season for my documented college football picks. (I write “documented” because I’ll hand out predictions on-air as well, but these are the ones I track.) I was 2-3 last week, dropping my season record to 17-22 against the spread. I’m not going to belabor any points or make excuses: My college picks this season have been awful unless of course, you’ve faded me. With only six weeks remaining in the regular season, I’m still hoping for a turnaround, but it looks bleak. Onto Week 10…
329 Georgia at 330 Kentucky, 2:30 p.m. ET
As Mizzou fans witnessed a week ago, this Kentucky team wins ugly. The Wildcats needed a punt return for a touchdown and a phantom pass interference call at the end of the game to squeak by the Tigers in a game Mizzou should have won. That said, this same UK team also held Mizzou without a first down in the second half. They play excellent defense, they win on special teams and they run the ball with Benny Snell. They never blow anyone out but just as important today, they don’t get blown out either. I’m taking the points with a Kentucky team that has covered all year.
Prediction: Kentucky +9.5
351 West Virginia at 352 Texas, 2:30 p.m. ET
The Longhorns fell last week to Oklahoma State as a small favorite but that was a bad spot for Tom Herman and Co. That was a night game in Stillwater against a well-rested Cowboys team that usually plays well at home. This week, the ‘Horns return home (where they’re 4-0 on the year) to play a West Virginia team that is dangerous, but Will Grier has also struggled with turnovers this season. Texas is 10-2 against the spread over the last three years against top-25 opponents. This is when Herman’s teams tend to shine.
Prediction: Texas -2
405 Penn State at 406 Michigan, 2:45 p.m. CT
Everyone is on Michigan here, pundits and bettors alike. The spread even jumped from 10.5 up to 13.5, indicating sharp money is also on the Wolverines. That said, has Penn State fallen off that much that the Nittany Lions should be nearly a two-touchdown underdog in a conference game? They’re well-coached, they’re talented, and they have an excellent quarterback. I don’t expect the Nittany Lions to fall today in Ann Arbor but they’re 2-2 in their last four games and all four were decided by six points or less. They’ll keep it close.
Prediction: Penn State +13.5
337 Missouri at 338 Florida, 3:00 p.m. CT
I know, I know: Drew Lock has never beaten a top 25 team. Same for Barry Odom. I’m also aware of Lock’s brutal performances against top competition. This pick is more about Florida than it is Mizzou. The Gators beat LSU 27-19 at home three weeks ago, were fortunate to rally against a self-destructing Vanderbilt team two weeks ago, and then were thumped in the second half versus Georgia last week. Are they really going to get up for Mizzou with essentially nothing left to play for? For all of the Tigers’ struggles this season in-conference, they do a great job in run defense and their front four can get after the quarterback. The Gators aren’t explosive offensively and if their defense isn’t motivated, I’ll gladly take the points.
Prediction: Missouri +6
355 Notre Dame at 356 Northwestern, 6:15 p.m. CT
This is totally anecdotal, but I feel as though a bunch of people are on Northwestern tonight (at least with the points). But I don’t see it. This Wildcats team was fortunate to beat a bad Nebraska team three weeks ago, only beat a horrendous Rutgers team by three points as a 20-point road favorite, and thumped a banged-up Wisconsin team that started its backup quarterback. Yes, Pat Fitzgerald usually has his team prepared and the Wildcats don’t beat themselves. Still, this Notre Dame team is legit. The Irish have an outstanding running game, an excellent defense and Ian Book has given Brian Kelly’s passing game life. I usually don’t lay points with a road team playing at night but I’ll make the exception here given the talent discrepancy in this matchup.
Prediction: Notre Dame -9.5
419 Alabama at 420 LSU, 7:00 p.m. CT
Let’s start off with the spread: I think the line is perfect. Could I see LSU hanging with ‘Bama at home as a large underdog? Absolutely. With upset wins over Miami, Auburn and Georgia already this season, the Tigers have already proven that they can beat top competition. ‘Bama has also yet to be challenged but do you really want to bet against the Tide? I don’t. So, that leaves us with the total. The under is 5-0 in the last five meetings between these two teams in Baton Rouge and 4-0 in the last four meetings overall. But this is also the best offense Nick Saban has had at Alabama and perhaps the worst defensive unit he’s fielded. (That’s not to suggest that the Tide are bad defensively; just relatively speaking this isn’t the same dominant defense that we’re accustomed to seeing under Saban.) While the Tigers are still running the ball over 60% of the time, this isn’t the same LSU offense that we’re used to either. Thanks to Joe Burrow, LSU isn’t afraid to take shots downfield and given the secondary issues that ‘Bama has had at times this season, I like the Tigers to strike for a couple of explosive plays. The Tigers have often settled for field goals this season but I’m taking the gamble that they can find the end zone a couple of times tonight. I like the over.
Prediction: Alabama/LSU over 52.5
349 Oklahoma at 350 Texas Tech, 7:00 p.m. CT
This is just a fun one: I’m taking the over and watching the points roll in. The over is 6-1 in the last seven meetings between these two teams, Oklahoma has massive defensive issues, the Sooners often score at will and Tech is explosive offensively as well.
Prediction: Over 78
Season Records Against the Spread
College Football: 17-22 (44%)
MLB: 54-31-2 (63%)