I’m coming off a decent week, where I went 7-3 against the spread, but it’s still miles from respectable for this season, moving me to 17 under .500 against the line. The good: picking Houston to give Lamar Jackson and Louisville all sorts of problems. The bad: picking LSU to cruise past Florida. The ugly: picking Ohio State to hammer Michigan State. Here are this week’s guesses.
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LSU at Texas A&M (+6.5, Thursday)
Texas A&M 14, LSU 7: I know Derrius Guice is talented, but I wondered how much the Tigers had left in the tank after last week’s loss — and that was before the news that Leonard Fournette wouldn’t make the trip to College Station.
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Nebraska at Iowa (-3, Friday)
Iowa 23, Nebraska 17: The Hawkeyes are home and on a two-game win streak that got a jolt with the big upset win of Michigan. NU got beat at Wisconsin and then was drilled at OSU in their last two road games.
Washington (-6, Friday) at Washington State
Washington 35, Washington State 24: Mike Leach’s squad couldn’t get off the field on third downs at Colorado and its passing game was limited by the Buffs. I think Washington has an even better defense and will be up to this challenge.
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Michigan (+6.5) at Ohio State
Michigan 13, Ohio State 10: I don’t have a ton of faith in the Wolverines QB situation right now, especially on the road, but I do like Don Brown’s defense a lot. They have playmakers at all three levels and they’re a very experienced team.
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Notre Dame at USC (-17.5)
USC 38, Notre Dame 14: The Irish are stumbling to the finish line and the Trojans have hit their stride with Sam Darnold. I think this one will be over by the second quarter.
Auburn at Alabama (-17.5)
Alabama 23, Auburn 3: The 'Bama front seven is as nasty as any group in college football. I think they suffocate the Tigers offense and force some big mistakes.
Minnesota at Wisconsin (-14.5)
Wisconsin 28, Minnesota 9: I love how the Badgers defense is playing, but I wonder if this spread is a bit too much. Then I remembered Wisconsin is averaging 48.5 points in their last two Big Ten games, albeit against lower-level opponents.
South Carolina at Clemson (-24)
Clemson 38, South Carolina 10: Will Muschamp’s team comes in here having won four of its past five, but none of those teams are anywhere near as talented as the Tigers.
Utah (+10) at Colorado
Utah 20, Colorado 14: I was impressed by the Buffs last week, but I feel like the Utes with their big and ferocious defensive front will present much different problems than Wazzu did last week.
Florida at Florida State (-7.5)
Florida State 24, Florida 13: The Gators bowed up last week at LSU. I just don’t see them handling FSU though. They’re much more dangerous on offense and have averaged 38 ppg in their past four, with the 'Noles O-line getting a little tougher in the past few weeks.
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Upset Special: Arizona State at Arizona (+2.5, Friday)
Arizona 24, Arizona State 23: I know the 'Cats have been hobbling to the end of the season and have been dreadful, but ASU’s O-line is beleaguered and allowed 17 sacks the past two games. The Sun Devils have lost five in a row and have been drilled by at least 19 points in their four Pac-12 road games.