Tag Archives: college football

NFL Week 13 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
December 4, 2016 at 7:00 am ET

Despite the supposedly foolproof plan to avoid controversy in determining a champion, college football is in the midst of doing just that once again.

When it comes to football the reality is that our nations universities sold their souls in a quest for the almighty dollar long ago. The idea that it is all about kids getting an education is an insult to our intelligence. And that is before the absurd topic of player safety.

Colleges wanted to get away from six and eight team leagues, and form 12 and 14 team mega conferences. One of the benefits to doing so was a huge influx of cash for a championship game. This was made possible by having enough teams in a conference to create two divisions. The two division winners meet after the season is over and voilà, another big pay day for everyone except for those actually playing the game.

If that is the way you want to set this sport up, then fine. Have your mega-conference championship games, and then the winners of those games can meet in a mini-playoff series to determine the nation’s number one team. But thanks to our everyone-gets-a-trophy mentality, that’s not good enough. Gee whiz, what if a good team gets excluded?

Colleges and their boosters want it both ways. They want to financially benefit from conference championship games. But then they want to be able to send whatever team is actually the best one from their group to a national championship game – even if they did not win, or even play in their league’s title game.

Sorry it doesn’t – or at least should not work that way. How can anyone justify a team winning their conference and then tell them sorry, but another team that did not win your league is going to the playoffs for the national title? If you are going to do that then you need to eliminate conference championship games, because you just made them meaningless.

Want more happy thoughts? Consider this with Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now thankfully in the rear view mirror. More people in the United States shopped during that short time period than voted in the presidential election.


NFL Week 13 Early Games on CBS

★★ 7-4 Denver Broncos at 2-9 Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday December 4 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots.
Broncos -3½ . . . . over/under 39½ . . . . DEN -180, JAC +160
Broadcast in Tucson AZ, San Diego CA, Colorado, Jacksonville FL, Idaho (except Boise), New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

Denver has cooled off after beginning the season 4-0. Since then the Broncos are 3-4 with only one quality win, back in week seven against Houston. NFL teams have fared poorly the week after an overtime game, and Denver lost in OT last week. Now the Donkeys have to travel 1800 miles and leave the best home field advantage in the league behind – with a backup QB under center.

Normally that would be a recipe for disaster, but the Broncos are playing a moribund Jacksonville squad. The Jaguars own the league’s worst worst turnover differential at minus-15, which helps explain their record. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware pose a huge mismatch for Jag tackles Kelvin Beachum and Jermy Parnell. Denver has had trouble stopping the run (4.3 yards per carry; 120 yards per game) but the Jacksonville line can’t open up lanes, and their running backs are pedestrian. The dropoff from Siemian to Paxton Lynch is at quarterback is minimal for Denver and a non-issue.

Prediction: Broncos 24, Jaguars 17
Broncos -3½ (two units) . . . . . under 39½ . . . . . Denver -180

Final Score: Broncos 20, Jaguars 10 ✓
Broncos -3½ ✓✓ . . . . . under 39½ ✓ . . . . . Broncos -180 ✓


★★★★★ 8-3 Kansas City Chiefs at 7-4 Atlanta Falcons
Sunday December 4 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl.
Falcons -5½ . . . . over/under 49 . . . . ATL -240, KAN +200
Broadcast in Alabama (except Mobile), Arkansas, Tallahassee FL, Tampa FL, Georgia, western Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana (except Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Shreveport), Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and western Virginia.

Similar to Denver, the Chiefs face the challenge of going on the road after playing five full quarters of football last week. Unlike the Broncos, KC has the polar opposite in strength of opposition. While Denver and now Oakland receive far more publicity, the Chiefs have quietly won 18 of their last 21 regular season games. An already good KC defense received a boost with the return of OLB Justin Houston from a knee injury.

The media has focused on Derek Carr’s injured finger, but Kansas City is another AFC West club with injury problems. NT Dontari Poe was unable to practice all week, so it is unlikely he’ll play. CB Marcus Peters will play, but even with a fully healthy hip he will have his hands full covering Julio Jones.

Prediction: Falcons 27, Chiefs 24
Chiefs +5½ . . . . . over 49 . . . . . Atlanta -240

Final Score: Chiefs 29, Falcons 28 x
Chiefs +5½ ✓ . . . . . over 49 ✓ . . . . . Falcons -240 x


★★★★ 6-5 Houston Texans at 5-6 Green Bay Packers
Sunday December 4 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson.
Green Bay -6½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . GNB -270, HOU +230
Broadcast in Alaska, Arizona (except Tucson), Connecticut, Hawaii, Boise ID, Illinois (except Chicago), Indiana, Kentucky, Shreveport LA, Michigan (except Detroit and Flint), Minnesota, Las Vegas NV, New York City, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas (except El Paso), Washington and Wisconsin.

Houston turned the ball over six times in the last two weeks, dropping to 6-5. Aaron Rodgers at home or Brock Osweiler on the road? Green Bay’s pass defense is poor, but they are very efficient against the run (3.8 yards per carry). Houston wants to run the ball behind Lamar Miller. If the Texans are unable to do so, Osweiler cannot keep pace with Rodgers in a shootout. There is a chance of snow, which would definitely benefit the Packers as well.

Prediction: Packers 24, Texans 13
Packers -6½ (two units) . . . . . under 44½ (one unit) . . . . . Green Bay -270

Final Score: Packers 21, Texans 13 ✓
Packers -6½ ✓✓ . . . . . under 44½ . . . . . Packers -270 ✓


★★★★ 7-4 Miami Dolphins at 6-5 Baltimore Ravens
Sunday December 4 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Chris Fischer.
Ravens -3½ . . . . over/under 41 . . . . BAL -180, MIA +160
Broadcast in Mobile AL, DC, Florida (except Jacksonville, Panama City and Tampa), Maryland, Ohio (except Cincinnati), Pennsylvania (except Philadelphia), eastern Virginia and West Virginia.

Branden Albert and Laremy Tunsil return to the Miami offensive line this week, though Mike Pouncey is still out. Baltimore also gets some good news on the injury front with the return of guard Marshal Yanda. The Ravens have rebounded from a four game losing streak punctuated with a loss to the Jets, winning three of their last four. Miami is even hotter, winning six straight after a 1-4 start to the season. Ryan Tannehill and Jay Ajayi have played very well during that streak. Tannehill has thrown nine touchdown passes versus just one pick and Ajayi is averaging 122 rushing yards per game while finding the end zone five times in that winning span.

Prediction: Dolphins 23, Ravens 20
Dolphins +3½ . . . . . over 41 . . . . . Miami +160

Final Score: Ravens 38, Dolphins 6 x
Dolphins +3½ x . . . . . over 41 ✓ . . . . . Dolphins +160 x


NFL Week 13 Early Games on FOX

★★★ 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles at 3-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday December 4 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Peter Schrager.
Bengals -1½ . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . CIN -125, PHI +105
Broadcast in DC, Salisbury MD, eastern Kentucky, Ohio (except Toledo), North Dakota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

After starting the season 3-0 Philly’s season has gone down the toilet with six losses in their last eight games. The Eagles cannot win the division and would need to leap frog five teams to make the playoffs as a six seed. Cincinnati is headed in the same direction. The Bengals have lost three in a row and are showing no signs of interest in the post-season. Philly has lost five straight road games, with their only victory away coming against the Bears. Even without AJ Green I’ll give a very slight edge to Cincinnati here.

Prediction: Bengals 17, Eagles 16
Eagles +1½ . . . . . under 41½ . . . . . Cincinnati -125

Final Score: Bengals 32, Eagles 14 ✓
Eagles +1½ x . . . . . under 41½ x . . . . . Bengals -125 ✓


★★★★ 7-4 Detroit Lions at 5-6 New Orleans Saints
Sunday December 4 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale.
Saints -6 . . . . over/under 52½ . . . . NOR -260, DET +220
Broadcast in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida (except Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami and West Palm Beach), Georgia (except Atlanta), Wichita KS, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Toledo OH, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin (except Green Bay).

Matthew Stafford should have a field day against a New Orleans defense that is allowing 28 points per game. Other than last week’s blowout over the Rams, the Saints have not been rather average at home. Even if New Orleans wins it is more likely going to be by three or four points than by more than a touchdown.

Prediction: Lions 34, Saints 31
Lions +6 (two units) . . . . . over 52½ (two units) . . . . . Detroit +220

Final Score: Lions 28, Saints 13 ✓
Lions +6 ✓✓ . . . . . over 52½ xx . . . . . Lions +220 ✓


1-10 San Francisco 49ers at 2-9 Chicago Bears
Sunday December 4 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin.
Niners -2 . . . . over/under 43 . . . . SFO -130, CHI +110
Broadcast in northern California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Reno NV and Medford OR.

Who did Kenny Albert piss off to be assigned to cover this dumpster fire? The weather could play a factor in this game. With rain and/or snow in the forecast sloppy playing conditions could lead to turnovers and a low scoring game.

Prediction: Niners 20, Bears 14
Niners -2 . . . . . under 43 (one unit) . . . . . San Francisco -130

Final Score: Bears 26, Forty Niners 6 x
Niners -2 x . . . . . under 43 . . . . . Niners -130 x


★★★★ 4-7 Los Angeles Rams at 9-2 New England Patriots
Sunday December 4 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver.
Patriots -13½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . NWE -900, LAR +600
Broadcast in New England, Arizona, southern California, Colorado, south Florida (Fort Myers, Miami, West Palm Beach), Hawaii, Idaho, southern Illinois, Kansas (except Wichita), Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Las Vegas NV, Oregon (except Medford), Tennessee (except Memphis), Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Bill Belichick game plans to limit the opposition’s primary threat. That means stopping running back Todd Gurley. Opponents have been successful with that same tactic all season, resulting in the Rams averaging an NFL-worst 15.5 points per game.

Robert Quinn did not practice all week due to a concussion. He is listed as questionable, but I don’t see how he can play in this game. Center Tim Barnes and LG Rodger Saffold are also questionable for the Rams; the Patriots are not the only team here with an injury concern. Despite the most recent Belichick-Jeff Fisher games (45-7 and 59-0 Pats victories), I’m inclined to believe that the LA defense bounces back from last week’s debacle in New Orleans. The Patriots will win but this is not going to be an easy cakewalk.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Rams 17
Rams +13½ . . . . . under 44½ . . . . . New England -900

Final Score: Patriots 26, Rams 10 ✓
Rams +13½ x . . . . . under 44½ ✓ . . . . . Patriots -900 ✓


NFL Week 13 Late Games

★★★★ 6-5 Buffalo Bills at 9-2 Oakland Raiders
Sunday December 4 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn.
Raiders -3 . . . . over/under 48½ . . . . OAK -165, BUF +145
Broadcast in New England (except Hartford), Yuma AZ, California (except San Diego), Chicago IL, Baton Rouge LA, New Orleans LA, Detroit MI, Flint MI, Reno NV, New York (except New York City), Cincinnati OH, Oregon, Philadelphia PA and El Paso TX.

Buffalo enters the game with the NFL’s best rushing attack. The Bills are averaging 5.3 yards per carry, 157 rushing yards per game and 20 rushing touchdowns – all best in the league. That is bad news for an Oakland defense allowing a 30th-ranked 4.6 yards per carry. With Derek Carr dealing with two dislocated fingers the Raiders could be in trouble here.

Prediction: Bills 27, Raiders 24
Bills +3 . . . . . over 48½ . . . . . Buffalo +145

Final Score: Raiders 38, Bills 24 x
Bills +3 x . . . . . over 48½ ✓ . . . . . Bills +145 x


★★★ 6-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 5-6 San Diego Chargers
Sunday December 4 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Sam Rosen, David Diehl, Holly Sonders.
Chargers -3½ . . . . over/under 48½ . . . . SDG -185, TAM +165
Broadcast in San Diego CA and Florida (except Jacksonville, Miami and West Palm Beach).

The Bucs have somehow worked their way into the playoff race. However their secondary is still bad, and Philip Rivers should be able to exploit that deficiency. Tampa Bay won’t be able to cover Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams. Melvin Gordon will be able to gain big chunks of yardage on the ground with the focus on the passing game, but Tampa will keep it close. The Chargers have no answer for WR Mike Evans, and Jameis Winston has been making good decisions with the ball.

Prediction: Chargers 28, Buccaneers 24
Chargers -3½ . . . . . over 48½ . . . . . San Diego -185

Final Score: Buccaneers 28, Chargers 21 x
Chargers -3½ x . . . . . over 48½ ✓ . . . . . Chargers -185 x


★★★ 6-4-1 Washington Redskins at 4-6-1 Arizona Cardinals
Sunday December 4 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Dick Stockton, Chris Spielman, Kristina Pink.
Cardinals -2½ . . . . over/under 48½ . . . . ARI -135, WAS +115
Broadcast in Arizona, DC, North Carolina and Virginia.

Running back David Johnson has not been utilized enough by Arizona. If Bruce Arians gets his head out of his butt and figures that out then the Cardinals should win. Washington is surrendering 4.7 yards per carry and doesn’t have the personnel to handle him on screen passes out of the backfield.

Prediction: Cardinals 24, Redskins 23
Redskins +2½ . . . . . under 48½ . . . . . Arizona -135

Final Score: Cardinals 31, Redskins 23 ✓
Redskins +2½ x . . . . . under 48½ x . . . . . Cardinals -135 ✓


★★★★ 8-3 New York Giants at 6-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday December 4 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews.
Steelers -6 . . . . over/under 48½ . . . . PIT -260, NYG +220
Broadcast in all markets except for those airing the Bucs-Chargers or Skins-Cardinals games above. Also not televised in San Francisco due to NFL broadcast rules, as the Raiders are playing at home at the same time.

The New York defense has received plenty of platitudes during their winning streak. However much of that can be attributed to facing inferior offenses led by mediocre quarterbacks. I like Pittsburgh here but a line of six points leaves me hesitant to place a wager on this game.

Prediction: Steelers 31, Giants 24
Steelers -6 . . . . . over 48½ . . . . . Pittsburgh -260

Final Score: Steelers 24, Giants 14 ✓
Steelers -6 ✓ . . . . . over 48½ x . . . . . Steelers -260 ✓


NFL Week 13 Prime Time Games

★★★★ 4-7 Carolina Panthers at 7-3-1 Seattle Seahawks
Sunday December 4 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya.
Seahawks -7 . . . . over/under 44 . . . . SEA -350, CAR +290

Seattle was in a difficult spot last week, making a long road trip with injuries to key players. The Seahawks are back home and are also healthy again.

Prediction: Seahawks 24, Panthers 13
Seahawks -7 (two units) . . . . . under 44 . . . . . Seattle -350

Final Score: Seahawks 40, Panthers 7 ✓
Seahawks -7 ✓✓ . . . . . under 44 x . . . . . Seahawks -350 ✓


★★ 5-6 Indianapolis Colts at 3-8 New York Jets
Monday December 5 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters.
Colts -1½ . . . . over/under 48½ . . . . IND -125, NYJ +105

The Jets had their Super Bowl last week. Expect that to be followed by the inevitable letdown, if that is possible for a three-win team.

Prediction: Colts 20, Jets 17
Colts -1½ (one unit) . . . . . under 48½ (two units) . . . . . Indianapolis -125

Final Score: Colts 41, Jets 10 ✓
Colts -1½ . . . . . under 48½ xx . . . . . Colts -125 ✓


★★★★ 10-1 Dallas Cowboys at 6-5 Minnesota Vikings
Thursday December 1 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya.
Cowboys -3 . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . DAL -160, MIN +130

Along with most of the nation I did not expect this to be as close as it was. On one hand Dallas keeps finding ways to win, but on the other I can’t help but wonder if Ezekiel Elliott is hitting the rookie wall. Is it possible that the Cowboys peaked too soon and are running out of gas?

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Vikings 13
Cowboys -3 (two units) . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Dallas -160

Final Score: Cowboys 17, Vikings 15 ✓
Cowboys -3 xx . . . . . under 43½ ✓ . . . . . Cowboys -160 ✓


NFL Week 13 Parlays and Teasers

3-Game Parlay (one unit): x
Lions at Saints over 52½ x
Panthers at Seahawks -7 ✓
Jets vs Colts -1½ ✓

5-Team 6-Point Teaser (two units): xx
Lions at Saints over 46½ x
Panthers at Seahawks -1 ✓
Jets vs Colts +4½ ✓
Ravens vs Dolphins +9½ x
Saints vs Lions +12 ✓


Tale of the Tape

Last week the total of the Packers at Eagles game killed me. The final score was 27-13 and I took over 47½ based primarily on Green Bay’s defense in recent weeks. I lost two units on the over, and also two units on a parlay and another two units on a teaser. That was a 5-game teaser that would have paid out 410 x 2. On paper the outcome cost me six units but in reality it was much more. Had the game gone over the delta between what I would have been up versus what I was down was a net 2450 (1790-660)! That one game wiped out the positive of hitting on my second largest play of the season, a four unit wager on Atlanta-Arizona.

Week 12 Results:
11-5 Straight Up
7-8-1 Against the Spread
8-8 Over/Under
4-unit plays: 1-0, +400
2-unit plays: 3-3-1, -80
1-unit plays: 2-4, -240
3-Game Parlay: 2u, -220
5-Game Teaser: 2u, -220
28 units invested
6-9-1, -360 on $3080 risk.
-11.7% ROI

Year to Date Results:
104-71-2 Straight Up
94-77-5 Against the Spread
96-80 Over/Under
5-unit plays: 1-0, +500
4-unit plays: 1-0, +400
3-unit plays: 6-5-1, +120
2-unit plays: 32-16-1, +2910
1-unit plays: 36-26-1, +730
Parlays: 3-7, +1520
Teasers: 6-4, +2830
85-58-3, +9010 on original $2310 risk.
390.0% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
34.4% ROI on $26,180 (238 units) of total weekly investments.

6-9-1, -360 on 28 units (-11.7%) in Week 11.
4-9, -510 on 18 units (-25.8%) in Week 10.
7-4, +850 on 17 units (+45.5%) in Week 9.
11-2, +3470 on 27 units (+116.8%) in Week 8.
3-6, -480 on 12 units (-36.4%) in Week 7.
9-3-1, +1300 on 17 units (+69.5%) in Week 6.
7-7, +50 on 22 units (+2.1%) in Week 5.
9-2, +1910 on 18 units (+96.5%) in Week 4.
3-9-1, -1280 on 22 units (-58.2%) in Week 3.
9-3, +950 on 20 units (+43.2%) in Week 2.
9-2, +840 on 21 units (+36.4%) in Week 1.


The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT or 1-888-GA-HELPS.


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College Football Week 2 Picks Against The Spread

John Morgan
September 12, 2015 at 7:00 am ET

Most seasons week two of college football is primarily filled with a second matchup between a powerhouse tuning up against an overmatched inferior team prior to conference play, and for the most part this year is no different. There are two notable exceptions, both involving teams from the same pair of states. Oregon State travels to Ann Arbor seeking to spoil Jim Harbaugh’s home debut as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines in an early game, and number seven ranked Oregon is at number five Michigan State on Saturday night. There are also two other games between ranked teams worth watching: Oklahoma (#19) at Tennessee (#23), and LSU (#14) at Mississippi State (#25).


South Florida at Florida State (-28½) (under 55); 11:30 am ET on espn

Just a few years ago USF was fielding a nationally ranked team and producing NFL prospects like George Selvie, Mike Jenkins, Tyrone McKenzie Jason Pierre-Paul and Nate Allen; now the Bulls are not even close to Central Florida as being considered the state’s fourth best team. That big a spread will scare many away, but I’m willing to place one unit on the Seminoles to cover.


Western Michigan (-4½) at Georgia Southern (under 56½); 6:00 pm

Without Kevin Ellison, GSU has no chance. Favian Upshaw was awful last week, going 2-13 with four picks against West Virginia. I’ll place one unit on the Broncos as a road favorite and another on the under, withe the Eagles defense keeping the score relatively close.


Buffalo (+17½) at Penn State (under 49); 12 noon on espn2

The Nittany Lions allowed a whopping ten sacks against Temple last week, including one when the Owls rushed only two players. Penn State will play with a chip on their shoulder after that debacle, but I don’t think that alone will be enough to cover the spread.


Army at Connecticut (- 6½) (under 48½); 12 noon on cbssn

Last year UConn snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when a would-be tying touchdown pass was returned 99 yards for a pick-six by Army. The Huskies’ defense looked good in last week’s upset over Villanova, but it’s difficult to back UConn with much confidence considering how bad they have been in recent years.


East Carolina (+21) at Florida (53½); 7:00 pm on espn2

Considering how impotent they have been the last couple years, I just have trouble backing the Gators as a three-touchdown favorite against anybody.


Houston at Louisville (-13½) (under 57½); 12 noon on fox sports

Former wide receiver Greg Ward is as much of a threat to run as he is to pass for Houston, but the Cougars don’t have enough overall talent to keep up with Louisville.


Fresno State (+31½) at #17 Mississippi (over 54½); 3:30 pm on espn2

Despite the obvious disparity in the skill levels between the Bulldogs and Ole Miss, that point spread appears to be a little too high.


Temple at Cincinnati (-6½) (under 55½); 8:00 pm on espnn

I have a hunch that Temple will have a bit of an emotional letdown after last week’s huge upset over Penn State; Cincinnati’s offense will be too much for the Owls.


#14 LSU (-3½) at #25 Mississippi State (over 48); 9:15 on espn

Last year the Bulldogs shocked LSU in a 34-29 win at Tiger Stadium, with Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott totaling 373 yards of offense – including 105 yards rushing. The LSU players have been waiting 365 days for revenge, and Leonard Fournette, Travin Dural, Malachi Dupre and Tyron Johnson comprise what is arguably the best foursome of offensive talent in the nation this year. Two units on Louisiana State to cover as road dogs, and another on the over.


Miami of Ohio (+31½) at Wisconsin (over 52); 12 noon on espnu

Not a fan of big chalk, so I’ll give a very slight lean to the Redhawks to cover.


Kansas State at Texas-San Antonio (+22½) (over 51½); 12 noon on foxsports1

UTSA has just enough offensive firepower to cover, and go over the game’s point total.


Marshall (-3) at Ohio (over 59½); 7:00 pm

Ohio is one of the better teams in the MAC, but Marshall’s offense will overwhelm the Bobcats. Look for a high scoring game: The Thundering Herd defeated Purdue 41-31 last week, while Ohio beat Idaho 45-28. Three units on the over.


Hawaii (+41½) at #1 Ohio State (under 65½); 3:30 pm

As tempting as it is to take the dog and that many points, I’m not going to touch this game. A final score of something like 77-0 would not surprise me in the least.


Wake Forest (+4½) at Syracuse (under 41½); 12:30 pm

The Orange lost starting quarterback Terrell Hunt to a season-ending Achilles’ tendon injury last week, leaving freshman QB Eric Dungey to make his first start against a solid Wake defense. I’ll go with one unit on the Deacons to cover, and one unit on the under.


Appalachian State (+20) at Clemson (under 58½); 12:30 pm

Granted it was against inferior competition, but Appalachian State looked impressive in a 49-0 shutout over Howard last week; they held a 33-8 edge in first downs and a 663 to 171 advantage in total yards. One unit on the Mountaineers to cover the point spread.


#21 Missouri (-10) at Arkansas State (over 56); 7:00 pm

Perhaps it is because there are so many other quality teams in their conference, but Missouri seems to be completely overlooked and undervalued. I cannot for the life of me understand why the spead is this low. Last week Arkansas State made one mistake after another, giving up 509 yards in a 55-6 loss to USC. I’m all in with five units on Missouri in this game.


Eastern Michigan (+13½) at Wyoming (over 53); 4:00 pm

Tough to back either team; Eastern Michigan’s run defense looked bad allowing 38 points in a loss to Old Dominion last week, while Wyoming lost at home to FCS North Dakota.


Massachusetts at Colorado (-13) (over 61½); 2:00 pm

Another game between two unimpressive teams; the Buffaloes looked bad in last week’s loss to Hawaii, while UMass has gone 5-31 in the last three years since moving up from the FCS. Despite the high point total, I’ll put two units on the over.


Minnesota (-3½) at Colorado State (under 58½); 3:30 pm on cbssn

Minnesota looked decent in a 23-17 loss last week to third-ranked TCU.


Oregon State (+17½) at Michigan (under 46½); 12 noon on abc

While the spotlight will be on Jim Harbaugh, it is Michigan’s defense that will be the real story in this game. Two units on the under.


Tulane at #15 Georgia Tech (-27½) (under 59); 3:30 pm

As much as I detest going with the chalk in games with huge spreads, I expect the Jackets to absolutely destroy Tulane with ease. One unit on Georgia Tech.


#10 Georgia (-17) at Vanderbilt (over 48); 3:30 pm on cbs

The Commodores are awful, they are out of their class against a top ten team. Georgia should win this game easily; one unit on the Bulldogs.


#20 Boise State (-2½) at Brigham Young (under 57½); 10:15 pm on espn2

Boise State’s offense looked bad last week against Washington, but their defense is solid and should keep BYU in check. I’ll give a slight lean to the Broncos to win this game, but the play here is to look for a low scoring game; four units on the under.


#9 Notre Dame at Virginia (+13) (over 46½); 3:30 pm on abc

There has been a lot of buzz about the Fighting Irish after their big win last week against Texas. The reality is that the Longhorns are not that good, while Virginia is a better team than they are being given credit for. Notre Dame should win, but that’s a lot of points to cover on the road. Two units for Virginia.


Iowa at Iowa State (+4) (under 50½); 4:45 pm on fox

Iowa State’s defense is better than in past years, and should be good enough to keep this game close.


San Diego State (+14) at California (under 59½); 5:00 pm

Cal is surely the better team, but they’re not great; take the Aztecs and the points.


Memphis (-12½) at Kansas (under 63); 7:00 pm

Kansas is an atrocious team, while Memphis is a solid under the radar club. The Tigers should cover this game with ease.


Toledo (+21½) at #18 Arkansas (over 55½); 4:00 pm

Toledo is not bad, but without RB Kareem Hunt they will be overmatched against the physically superior Razorbacks.


Middle Tennessee at #2 Alabama (+34½) (under 56½); 4:00 pm

MTSU put up 70 points last week, but there is a world of difference between Jackson State and ‘Bama. If the Crimson Tide made a solid Wisconsin team look mediocre last week, what will they do with Middle Tennessee?


San Jose State (+7) at Air Force (under 59); 10:15 pm on espnu

San Jose State executed to perfection last week, rolling up 707 yards of offense while their defense limited a pretty good UNH team to 186 total yards. The line appears to be a little high; it could come down to a last second field goal.


Pittsburgh at Akron (+12½) (over 50); 6:00 pm

Last week Pitt struggled against Youngstown State, while Oklahoma toyed with Akron. Based on the Panthers’ weak defensive showing I’ll take the Zips plus the double digit points.


Bowling Green (+7½) at Maryland (under 71½); 12 noon

Even though neither team has a good defense, I’ll take the bait on that big point total and lay two units on the under.


#22 Arizona at Nevada (+11) (under 63); 7:00 pm on cbssc

Arizona lost PAC-12 defensive player of the year Scooby Wright to a knee injury last week, which will help Nevada’s run game immensely. Nevada only lost by seven points on the road to the Wildcats last year, and should be able to cover the spread at home this time around; one unit on the Wolf Pack as a double digit home underdog.


Kentucky (+7½) at South Carolina (under 56); 7:30 pm

Both teams are dealing with injuries, and both teams are coming off close victories last week. Kentucky is struggling on defense; South Carolina is struggling on offense. Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks are good enough to win this game even without several starters, but I’ll go with the Wildcats to keep it within a touchdown.


North Texas (+6½) at Southern Methodist (over 60½); 7:00 pm

This looks more like a pick’em than an almost-touchdown spread for SMU; I’ll go with the dog plus the points.


Ball State (+31) at Texas A&M (over 63); 7:00 pm on espnu

Even though the Aggies were very impressive last week, I’ll take the underdog and all those points.


Texas El-Paso (+20½) at Texas Tech (over 65); 3:00 pm on fsn

Even though UTEP is bad, the Red Raiders do not deserve to be three touchdown favorites after giving up 45 points to Sam Houston State last week. If you enjoy high scoring Arena Football style games, this one is right up your alley. Two units on the Miners to cover.


Washington State at Rutgers (-1½) (under 63½); 3:30 pm on espnu

Even with a cross-country road trip, Rutgers should be able to beat a Cougars team that was unable to defeat Portland State. One unit on Rutgers.


#19 Oklahoma (-1) at #23 Tennessee (under 65); 6:00 pm on espn

Bowling Green passed for 424 yards and scored 30 points last week against the Volunteers, and Tennessee had a mere 47-yard advantage in that contest. The Sooners are the better team, and should be able to walk away with a road win.


Rice (+15½) at Texas (over 48½); 8:00 pm

The Longhorns are coming off a 38-3 loss, while rice has scored at least 30 points in each of their last four games. The line appears to be based on history over previous seasons rather than on present day realities. Three units on Rice to cover.


Georgia State (+6½) at New Mexico State (over 64½); 8:00 pm

Both teams looked inept last week. Not much of any reason to back either team, so I’ll go with the dog and the points.


South Alabama at Nebraska (-26½) (over 54); 8:00 pm

Nebraska avenges last week’s loss to BYU on a South Alabama team that is in the wrong place at the wrong time.


#7 Oregon at #5 Michigan State (-3½) (over 66½); 8:00 pm on ABC

The Ducks have some issues on defense – they allowed 41 points to Eastern Washington last week – while Michigan State has issues with their special teams, allowing Western Michigan to score a touchdown on a kick return. One unit on the Spartans on what is by far the best matchup of the week.


Florida International (+8) at Indiana (over 55½); 8:00 pm

Indiana has a good offense, but their defense is dreadful; they allowed 47 points and 659 yards last week to Southern Illinois. FIU is coming off a victory over a pretty good Central Florida team; don’t be surprised if they pull off another upset here. One unit on the Golden Panthers plus the points.


Idaho (+45) at #8 Southern Cal (under 67); 8:00 pm

USC blasted Arkansas State 55-6 last week, and should have a similar outcome Saturday against Idaho. That being said, it’s difficult to have confidence in any team winning by almost seven touchdowns.


Tulsa (+5½) at New Mexico (over 71½); 8:00 pm

This will be another game that will keep the scoreboard operator busy; lots of offense and sieve-like defenses.



Central Florida (+21)  at Stanford (under 47); 10:30 pm on fs1

Two teams coming off upset losses square off in this late night game. UCF lost 15-14 to Florida International, while Northwestern beat the Cardinal 16-6. Stanford should win, but that line looks way too high to me. Two units on UCF, and one on the under.


UCLA (-28) at UNLV (over 64½); 10:30 pm on cbssn

No matter how much effort they may put into this game, Nevada-Las Vegas is far away from the talent level of the Bruins that this game is nothing more than a glorified scrimmage. One unit on UCLA to cover the four-touchdown line.


Western Illinois at Illinois (-24) (under 59½); 12 noon

Illinois is coming off a 52-3 thrashing over Kent State, and the result of this game should be similar. The Leathernecks simply don’t have the talent to keep pace with the Illini; one unit on Illinois.


Indiana State at Purdue (-15½) (under 53); 12 noon on espnn

Even lowly Purdue can beat an FCS team.


Jacksonville State (+41½) at Auburn (under 63); 12 noon

Another game where I’ll tempt fate on such a huge line; one unit on Jacksonville to cover and another on the under.


Howard (+45) at Boston College (over 58½); 1:00 pm

Same story as above, but I’ll go with the over here.


Sacramento State at Washington (-30½) (under 61); 2:00 pm

With a bit of a lower line than the last two I’ll go with one unit to chalk.