First off, I would like to apologize for missing last week’s picks. I was in the middle of a bout with mono and fortunately came out the other side victorious. Now to summarize my Week 6 picks: Overall, I went 4-3. The wins: Ohio State (-20), Over 54 Maryland/Rutgers, Under 58 Wisconsin/Kent State, and Under 48 Auburn/Florida. The losses: Auburn (-3), Washington (-14.5) and Under 44.5 Iowa State/TCU. My total record now on the season is 11-10 – not great, but still in the green so I’ll take it. I got nine picks circled for this week, so I’m going to try and keep the explanations a little bit shorter for y’all this time. Now let’s dig into this week’s Surefire Picks.
Spread: Florida (-5) at South Carolina
I think this spread is a bit of an over-reaction to South Carolina’s upset of Georgia last weekend. Florida showed really well against LSU by playing them close and only losing by 14 points to an elite-level team on the road in a tough environment with their backup quarterback. I like Florida’s defense to get back on the right page and really force South Carolina to throw the ball to beat them, which I do not think they can do enough of to keep up with this Gator offense that’s been playing really well as of late.
The Pick: Florida (-5)
Spread: Wisconsin (-31) at Illinois
This right here is a pretty simple. Illinois isn’t Rutgers-level bad, but it isn’t much better. Wisconsin will hold them under double digits and I think the Badgers can carve out 50 without breaking too much of a sweat against an Illinois defense that, just last week, surrendered 295 yards on the ground alone to a struggling Michigan offensive line.
The Pick: Badgers (-31)
Spread: Over/Under 61 Clemson and Louisville
Surprisingly, this is a matchup between the top two teams in the ACC’s Atlantic Divison. We all know Clemson can score, and with all the talent on that side of the ball, they can cruise to an easy 45 points. On the other hand, I also think this Louisville offense is finally starting to find its groove after putting up 41 against Boston College and 62 against Wake Forest over the last two weekends. So, I expect a lot of scoring in this game, which is exactly why I really like the over 61 here.
The Pick: Over 61
Spread: Clemson (-24) at Louisville
I’m doubling up on this game, and I’ll admit this pick is a little bit of a gut feel more than anything. However, I just think Louisville can keep it closer than this spread. I like this Louisville team and I think they’re starting to round into shape. In fact, I even think they can keep pace for a while with this Clemson offense that has yet to really find its stride. The Cardinals get this game at home and I don’t think they win this game necessarily, but I think they can push the Tigers and lose by about 14-17 points and be perfectly happy about that.
The Pick: Louisville (+24)
Spread: Auburn (-19) at Arkansas
Without getting too complicated, Auburn is still really good and near the top of the SEC while Arkansas is quite possibly at the very bottom of the SEC in terms of talent. Over the last two weeks, Arkansas has played it close with Kentucky and Texas A&M, but neither of those teams are in that top tier of SEC teams. I think Auburn wants to prove once again – after the tough Florida loss – that they’re a very good team. They also had a bye week last week, which allowed them to really get healthy and afforded them an extra week of preparation ahead of this matchup with the Razorbacks. Because of this, I expect them to come out and pound Arkansas into the ground.
The Pick: Auburn (-19)
Spread: Over/Under 61 LSU and Mississippi State
LSU is one of the top offenses in the entire country, and, in Week 8, they’ll be going up against a pretty bad Mississippi State defense – one that will be missing a couple of starters who will not be playing due to suspension. Combine these factors together and I feel really good about taking the over on this one. I also think this LSU defense is a little banged up after playing Florida last week and I believe Joe Moorehead and Kylin Hill can put up some points against this banged up defense which, to me, all screams: “Take the over!”
The Pick: Over 61
Spread: Minnesota (-28) at Rutgers
Minnesota is 6-0 and has, over the past two weeks, blown out Illinois and Nebraska by an average score of 38.5 to 12. And next for them is Rutgers, who’s one of the worst teams in the Power 5 conferences. Basically, the logic with this pick is that I think the Gophers win big, by a significantly larger number than they’ve done to Illinois and Nebraska – which gives me plenty of room here with the 28-point spread.
The Pick: Minnesota (-28)
Spread: Under 50 Washington and Oregon
This matchup pits two really good defenses against less-than-juggernaut offenses on the other side of the football. Oregon is currently giving up less than 10 point per game, while Washington is only giving up about 18 points per game. If this total were a bit lower (say around 45), I wouldn’t take it; however, with the spread being at 50, I feel like they’re begging me to take the under on this one.
The Pick: Under 50
Spread: Utah (-13) vs. Arizona State
I think this game will be a pretty low-scoring affair as well because – like the teams mentioned above – these teams also play very good defense. Both teams are tough and tackle well, but I think the Over/Under is a little too low for my liking at 45. However, in keeping with the low-scoring-game kind of feeling I have for this game, I think Arizona State and quarterback Jayden Daniels can keep it closer than the 13-point spread just based on how I see this game playing out.
The Pick: Arizona State (+13)
- Florida (-5) at South Carolina
- Wisconsin (-31) at Illinois
- Over 61 Clemson/Louisville
- Louisville (+24) at Clemson
- Auburn (-19) at Arkansas
- Over 61 LSU/Mississippi State
- Minnesota (-28) at Rutgers
- Under 50 Washington/Oregon
- Arizona State (+13) at Utah