Another bad week for Lucas’ Surefire Picks, finishing with a 2-4 record in Week 9. The wins: Under 43.5 Penn State/Michigan State and Over 64 Washington St./Oregon. The losses: Over 55.5 Arkansas/Alabama, Arizona State (-4), Boston College (+34) and Cal (+21). The Arkansas and Alabama game was particularly tough because the game total ended up being 55 and I got it at 55.5. The other three games weren’t particularly close, which – oddly enough – I don’t sweat because it just means my “gut” was a little off this week. In my experience, you can use all the data and game prediction services that you want, but – in reality – college football is utterly unpredictable – and that’s why we all love it so much. It does, however, make it difficult to predict and therefore difficult to bet on. So once again, I plead to you all: Trust the Process. Let’s take a look now at some of my favorite picks for Week 10 of College Football action.
Spread: Tennessee (-12) vs. UAB
This line opened at -9.5 in favor of Tennessee and has quickly climbed to -12 and I expect it to continue to do so, so I recommend you go grab it as soon as you possibly can before it climbs even higher. Tennessee, a week after beating South Carolina by 20, is only favored by 12 points against a far worse team than the one they just beat last week by 20 points. UAB only has one loss, but they barely beat Alabama State and have lost to Western Kentucky. This Tennessee squad, while far from being a finished product, has both competed and fared much better in recent weeks against Alabama and South Carolina. For the first time this year, I trust this Volunteer team to take care of business against a lesser opponent and I think they’ll do so pretty convincingly by beating them by at least 20 points.
The Pick: Tennessee (-12)
Spread: Over/Under 71.5 Memphis and SMU
I’m very excited for this game because both of the offenses taking the field Saturday night are simply outstanding. SMU averages 43 points per game, currently sitting at 6th in the country. Additionally, this Memphis offense isn’t too shabby itself, as they are averaging just under 40 points per game – sitting at 10th in the country. The scoring defenses in this game come in at 67th (SMU) and 42nd (Memphis), respectively. So, what I’m seeing in this matchup are two great offenses and two average defenses taking the field. I foresee lots of points being scored in this game and – even though this total is already very high – I’m still taking the over, because this has all the makings of a combined 80+ point shootout.
The Pick: Over 71.5
Spread: Oregon (-4.5) at USC
At 7-1, with seven straight wins, this Oregon football team is gaining steam and look like the Pac-12 favorite as of right now. They are still technically alive in its quest for a CFB Playoff berth, but they certainly face an uphill battle to get there. With this uphill battle, they not only need to win, but win convincingly down the stretch to earn their shot at the playoffs. This USC team, on the other hand, is currently in first place in the Pac-12 South, but I think that says more about the state of the Pac-12 South than it does about USC. They currently possess a rather unimpressive record of 5-3 with losses to BYU, Washington and Notre Dame. Two of these teams are currently unranked and the other, Notre Dame, just got blown out by Michigan. USC barely survived last week against Colorado and at this point it’s fair to wonder if Clay Helton will keep his job at the end of the year. With all that’s still on the table for Oregon – and all that’s up in the air regarding the future of the Trojans future – I think the Ducks want to make a statement and beat this USC squad by double digits this weekend on their home turf.
The Pick: Oregon (-4.5)
Spread: Over/Under 54.5 Kansas and Kansas State
Since firing their old offensive coordinator on October 6th, Kansas has scored 42.5 points per game – improving upon their previous average of about 25 points per game. Granted, it’s only been two weeks with their new offensive coordinator on the job, but there has been a very quick turnaround and a huge uptick in their total yardage and points scored. These Jayhawks almost beat Texas two weeks ago and beat Texas Tech in a wild game last week and seem to be playing with a lot more confidence on offense in recent weeks. Kansas State, on the other hand, is coming off of a really nice win over top-five-ranked Oklahoma after putting up 48 points on that Sooner defense. With both of these offenses playing well lately, I really like the Over 54 here despite Kansas State having a pretty good defense.
The Pick: Over 54.5
Spread: Utah (-3.5) at Washington
While normally being very stout defensively, Washington has naturally regressed a bit this year as a number of players from last year’s squad have since headed to the NFL. They now sit at 53rd overall nationally in total defense while Utah ranks 3rd overall. The offenses in this game are 30th (Utah) and 50th (Washington) in total offense, respectively. All that being said, I see a clear advantage both on offense and on defense for this Utah team and, despite being on the road in a tough environment, I think Utah can squeak this one out by a touchdown and cover this spread.
The Pick: Utah (-3.5)
Spread: Over/Under 44.5 Florida and Georgia
Despite public perception, this Georgia offense currently ranks 21st in total offense, while Florida sits at 52nd nationally. On defense, these two teams sit at 7th (Georgia) and 25th (Florida), respectively. While I certainly understand the total given two average offenses squaring off against two very good defenses, I just think there’s way too much talent on both of these offenses for the under to hit in this game. At 44.5, a 24-21 game hits the over. I personally think both of these offenses can muster up some big plays in this game and, with it being a rivalry, we can expect each team to pull out all the trick plays in an attempt to win this game. All in all, give me the over simply because I think it’s too low in what I envision being a 28-24 game.
The Pick: Over 44.5
- Tennessee (-12) vs. UAB
- Over 71.5 SMU/Memphis
- Oregon (-4.5) at USC
- Over 54.5 Kansas/Kansas State
- Utah (-3.5) at Washington
- Over 44.5 Florida/Georgia