So. Close. Last week was one fourth down bomb in garbage time from a perfect 6-0 week. After taking a 31-7 lead in Knoxville, Florida’s defense took off most of the fourth quarter, allowing Tennessee to scrap for 12 straight points, including a 4th and 10 fade pattern on UT’s final possession to cover. W.O.O.F. The Canes easily covered 14.5, Indiana/Wisconsin set football back a decade in hitting the under easily, and the rest of the picks were hits.
On with this week’s picks...
Wisconsin at IOWA (+2). I’m not sure why Iowa is getting points at home here instead of laying them, especially how awful the Badgers have looked in losses to Northwestern and Indiana. I’ll take the Hawkeyes here.
North Carolina at MIAMI (-3). The last time I thought Miami would be in a shootout was against Virginia Tech (I think my pick was 45-37 or something like that). I don’t think they’ll get to 69.5, but I’m not sure enough to go with it. I like Miami covering 3 points instead, as UNC has been a different team on the road as they have at home, and their defense had allowed 31+ points 5 times this year.
USC (-3.5) at UCLA. The Trojans have a lot to play for, and are playing at a relatively high level, with Kedon Slovis throwing 5 touchdowns last week. UCLA has also seemingly found its quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson, but USC’s defense will slow UCLA’s ground game, while USC’s offense has a relative field day in a high scoring win.
NAVY (+7.5) at Army. Sure, Army’s defense has been good this year - no team has run for over 200 yards on Army this year - but this is the big one. This game has been close the past few years, and even though it’s in Michie Stadium, I think it will be competitive again. Give me Navy, a touchdown, and a hook.
Virginia at Virginia Tech; UNDER 63. Taking out the fact that Virginia Tech has owned the Cavaliers for years until last year, the Hokies have been playing competitive football lately despite losing. They were a drive from knocking off the Canes and in it with Clemson until the third quarter. Virginia has also played well, coming off a 43-32 win over Boston College last week. Virginia’s defensive front gave Miami problems, and will give Tech’s running game problems. I’ll go under here.
Michigan State at Penn State; UNDER 47. Michigan State’s offense is just a mess, although their defense is still capable of keeping them in most games. This has all the feel of a 28-13, 27-10 type of game, so I’ll go under the number here.