Once again, Lucas’ surefire picks came through for the people – compiling a 6-0 record in Week 13. The wins: Texas A&M (+13), Under 58 Ohio State/Penn State, Over 76.5 Washington State/Oregon State, Under 47.5 Illinois/Iowa, Under 58.5 Texas/Baylor, Oklahoma St. (-5.5). Oklahoma State was a sweat and so was Texas A&M (until about 4 minutes left in the game), but all in all a great week for me and any readers who placed some bets based on the advice I provided last weekend. If you did, you likely won some money – especially if you did a six-team parlay like I did. However, I don’t want to get too high and mighty because we got another slate of games to look forward to on rivalry weekend. With all that being said, let’s dig into it and go win y’all some more money.
Spread: Wake Forest (-3.5) at Syracuse
Just looking through the schedule and what Syracuse has accomplished this season, I’m very unimpressed by this Orange squad that came into the season ranked and with some potential to be Clemson’s biggest challenger in the ACC. That certainly didn’t happen – as they currently possess a 4-7 overall record with a 1-6 ACC record. Wake Forest – on the other hand – is 8-3 overall and 4-3 in the ACC. These are just two very different teams with very different levels of success this year – and even without Sage Surratt and with a shot at 9 wins and a pretty good bowl game, I’m rolling with Wake here. I don’t see the motivation here for Syracuse and I think Wake Forest is just a much better team anyway, so I’m locking this up at -3.5.
The Pick: Wake Forest (-3.5)
Spread: Wisconsin (-3) at Minnesota
I have been guilty of underrating PJ Fleck and the Golden Gophers this year (just like all the other national pundits) based on their first few games when they were barely beating Georgia Southern and the like. However, this team has come a long way since the season began and they are now in a position to win the Big Ten West with a win this week. Moral of the story is this: I think Minnesota is playing better football right now and will not only cover this spread, but also win the game. Even if Minnesota loses, I got a three-point hook here to help me out so, I absolutely LOVE this pick. Anytime I think a team will win when they’re down as many as three points in Vegas, I’m going to take it and run with it, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do with this pick.
The Pick: Minnesota (+3)
Spread: TCU (-13.5) vs. West Virginia
I want to say first that I think TCU is the better team, but, frankly, I’m not so sure about that. These two teams are right next to each other in the Big 12 standings with just one more Big 12 win from TCU being the separating factor between them. With Austin Kendall struggling all year, replacement Bowling Green transfer quarterback Jarret Doege threw for 307 yards last week in a close loss to Oklahoma State. Both of these two teams play similar styles of football – with good defense and trying to control the clock – and I just think this is a one-score game and it would not surprise me if Neal Brown and West Virginia actually pull out a win in this one. Give me the ‘Neers!
The Pick: West Virginia (+13.5)
Spread: Over/Under 44.5 Iowa and Nebraska
I have been riding this wave for a long time because I’m a big believer in this Iowa defense. Anytime they match up against what I consider to be a not-so-good offense, I like the under. Nebraska only averages 28 points per game on the season and – against this nasty defense – I don’t think it’ll get over 17 points. Iowa’s offense on the other hand is kind of just average. Against bad defenses, they can move the ball and I expect that to be the case again this weekend, but with the current weather forecast being cold and windy on a Friday afternoon when these two teams play, I don’t think they can cruise to an easy victory either. So, while I’m not sure how much this Iowa team wins this game by, I am confident in the under 44.5 here.
The Pick: Under 44.5 Iowa and Nebraska
Spread: Alabama (-3.5) at Auburn
This pick has almost become a bit too trendy, which does concern me. Nonetheless, I do like Auburn here. This is purely a gut-based and matchup-based pick here, because I do think Mac Jones is better than he is being given credit for. I also think, though, that this Auburn defense is better than any defense that Alabama has played all season. With this game being at home for Auburn – where Bo Nix and their offense is much better – I believe the Tigers can make it a tight game and pull off another stunning upset victory in the Iron Bowl. Alabama’s defense has struggled with injuries all year and with their linebacking corps being this depleted, it has left them exposed over the middle of the field both on the ground and through the air at times. Auburn has always been a run-first offense under Gus Malzahn and, with Bo Nix being at home and feeling pretty comfortable, I think they can run the ball effectively and set up that play-action pass for Nix to rack up some air yardage and win this game.
The Pick: Auburn (+3.5)
Spread: LSU (-17) vs. Texas A&M
There are a couple reasons I like this pick, with the first being a case of looking ahead here for LSU with a matchup against Georgia coming next week in the SEC Championship. Texas A&M has shown it can play with the elite teams in college football after losing to Clemson by 14, a Tua-led Alabama by 17, and Georgia by 6. I think this is a very similar game to the Georgia one last week in that LSU will come out hot and will possess a double-digit lead at halftime, but the Aggies will score a touchdown or two in the fourth quarter to make it interesting and cover the spread. Ultimately, I don’t know if they can get it done outright, but I do like the cover here for Jimbo and the Aggies.
The Pick: Texas A&M (+17)
- Wake Forest (-3.5)
- Minnesota (+3)
- West Virginia (+13.5)
- Under 44.5 Iowa and Nebraska
- Auburn (+3.5)
- Texas A&M (+17)