S: USC (-14.5) at Colorado
Just can't trust Colorado. They oscillate between looking decent, and then getting blowed the F out. I think Colorado lacks the defensive horses to chase around USC all game. USC wins by 17.
R: USC (-14.5) at Colorado
The talent disparity will be in full effect in this matchup. Hide your kids. The national guard might need to come in.
S: Michigan (-11) at Indiana
11 is a lot to lay on a road favorite. But Indiana, which once looked pretty good, has now lost 5 straight and its offense has not been the equalizer I thought it would be. I think I trust Michigan more here. They've rebounded well since the crazy loss to Sparty and the crazy close win over Minnesota. Wolverines take care of business on the road.
R: Michigan at Indiana (+11)
Indiana has scared the daylights out of Ohio State and Iowa. Michigan’s biggest strength is their interior defense and Indiana tends to avoid that area of the field like the plague. Indiana is decent in every facet and have shown they can hang with almost anyone. I just think 11 is too many points.
S: Washington State (+8.5) at UCLA
Mojo. You can't measure it, you can't coach it, but it exists. Since their inexplicable opening loss to Portland State (Oregon's ONE TRUE FOOTBALL TEAM), the Cougs are 6-2 straight up and an incredible 7-1 against the spread. Their defense deserves much of the credit, as does their at least somewhat improved run game. The Cougs don't care who they are playing right now. Give me the points. Watch for the upset in a 55%-full Rose Bowl.
R: Washington State at UCLA (-8.5)
I like UCLA here even though Washington State is a team of destiny. UCLA forces a lot of turnovers every game and they have defended against the pass extremely well this season. They brought Cal to a stand still, holding them to 170 yards in the first half and sacking Goff five times. This is purely a matchup pick. Josh Rosen also has the potential to play near perfect and outgun the Washington State defense.
S: Texas at West Virginia (-7)
WVU at home is a tough ask for a Texas team that has been AWFUL on the road (neither won nor covered any true road game). WVU has not looked great, with four losses, but their losses are to consensus top-15 teams: Oklahoma, Okie State, TCU, and Baylor: all back-to-back. Now they look ahead at a softer schedule, and have potential to finish strong. I don't love laying 7, but I will on a WVU team that is tough to beat in Morgantown.
R: Texas at West Virginia (-7)
I really dislike both of these teams this year. They are impossible to get a feel on. West Virginia’s offense showed signs of life for the first time in weeks but Texas has not looked good the last couple weeks. Given the game is in the land of the burning couches and it’s only a touchdown spread I like Dana Holgorsen, the college football version of Skrillex.
S: Alabama (-6) at Mississippi State
Who wants to play Alabama right now? Mississippi State has looked great recently, but remember that they looked even better in 2014 when they rolled into Tuscaloosa at 9-0, but lost to a Bama team that is worse than this 2015 Bama team. Lay the 6 points on the Tide, who just shut LSU the eff down, and didn't even really try that hard.
R: Alabama (-6) at Mississippi State
The Crimson Tide front seven is just crazy good. I say that every week but they’re that good. Mississippi State does have the spread offense with a mobile quarterback that has given the Tide in the past. Dak Prescott is completing 66.7% of his passes and has 25 total touchdowns. He has an 84.8 adjusted QBR rating. It’s a testament to how important it is to win games in order to get attention on a great individual player. But when Mississippi State gets one-dimensional that’s when it might come apart.
There is the risk of a hangover effect after the win over LSU but the Mississippi State has not been great defensively. I think Mississippi State at 17 is way too high. This is going to be a low scoring game but Alabama is going to win by at least a touchdown because Lane has finally figured out TO GIVE DERRKICK HENRY THE GOT DANG FOOBAW.
S: Arkansas (+9) at LSU
I believe in this Arkansas team. They have covered every spread when they have been underdogs. I think that continues this week against an LSU team that is licking its psychological wounds.
R: Arkansas at LSU (-9)
As Sean pointed out, Arkansas has covered every spread as an underdog and with LSU coming off a tough loss against Alabama there is a decent chance Arkansas wins this game. I can’t be giving Alabama’s front seven a ton of credit but then knock one of their opponents the next week after a bad running game. Arkansas’ front seven is not Alabama’s and the LSU offensive line is going to open up huge holes for Fournette to run through. Once Arkansas becomes one-dimensional the Tigers are going to pull away.
S: Georgia at Auburn (-1.5)
I don't really know how to feel about this line. Apparently neither does Vegas. Georgia played good defense against a pass-happy Kentucky last week, but I think Auburn's offense is finding its stride at the right time. Give me the home team here.
R: Georgia (+1.5) at Auburn
Auburn is really finding their stride after beating Kentucky, scoring 46 against Arkansas, keeping it tight with Ole Miss, and dominating Texas A&M last week.
However, I think Georgia is still a better team and with Richt’s job possibly on the line the Bulldogs are going to come out on fire. This is a game they need to win. Georgia has a better offense, a better defense and I think they can do just enough to pull out a win on the road.
S: Washington at Arizona State (-3)
I consider these teams, despite being very different, as basically dead even. I think I'll back the home team, who is too talented to continue to fade down the stretch. Washington has been o.k., but not necessarily *good* at anything. Arizona State's offense is quite impressive, and is probably the best unit on the field. I'll bet on the ASU offense at home to bounce back.
R: Washington at Arizona State (-3)
Arizona State relies incredibly heavily on the blitz while on defense. I don’t think Washington’s offense is going to be prepared for it. The Washington defense is struggling after the last four weeks and their loss to USC seems more and more like a fluke with the number of times USC turned the ball over. When the game takes place in the desert I think Arizona State has an edge on both sides of the football.
S: Oklahoma (+7) at Baylor
What a great matchup. I get the sense that this is a playoff elimination game. Baylor has no room for error with their awful OOC schedule, whereas the shine of the OU program, plus the fact that they have a road win at Tennessee, will overshadow the weird loss to Texas in the Red River Shootout.
I've been on Team Sooner all year. I think this is the game where they grab the nation's attention. Baylor is susceptible, especially given the trouble they had with K-State last week. OU wants revenge after their embarrassing showing against Baylor at home in 2014. I think they get it, knock Baylor out of the playoff discussion, and state their own case.
R: Oklahoma at Baylor (-7)
I’ve been saying for a few weeks that I think Oklahoma is the best team in the BIG-12. Their defense is the best in the conference, which is kind of like being the best high school athlete in a Dakota, it doesn’t mean that much.
I’m riding Art Briles at home and Briles has destroyed Oklahoma the last few years. Corey Coleman should probably win the Heisman this year because he’s unbelievable as a pure receiver and his statistics are even more impressive. Any quarterback coming through Baylor is coached to be a top passer and when Jarrett Stidham can take the starting role and barely miss a beat that says a lot.
S: Utah (-4.5) at Arizona
Arizona had a weird bounce-back game against USC, looking pretty good in keeping it tight. But I think Utah can match up well defensively against Arizona. And Utah is probably embarrassed after last year's 42-10 debacle in SLC. Utah wins by a TD.
R: Utah at Arizona (+4.5)
Arizona has really shot itself in the foot in their losses. In their losses they’ve turned the ball seven times and in their wins they only committed six turnovers. Utah thrives on forcing turnovers so you can just look at the turnovers and know who wins this game. With the game in the desert this is dangerous.
S: Oregon (+8.5) at Stanford
Homer pick. But I think the Ducks have found some firepower and consistency on offense and can score with Stanford. Stop Stanford? Well, that's another story. I think UO has enough pluck left in it to keep this game close.
R: Oregon (+8.5) at Stanford
I am not objective. I want to point out that last time Stanford beat Oregon in Autzen I think Stanford was a 16-point underdog. Stanford has been unbelievable running the football and they are going to really perform well against the Oregon front seven. However, the Stanford defense has not performed that well this season. If Oregon gets the game at their pace and Stanford gets a little down and needs to start throwing it then I think Oregon wins. However, that’s a big if and I think Stanford wins but Oregon covers.