Our picks went 2-1-2 last week ATS, bringing us to 17-20-3 on the season. Here’s hoping for better fortune in Week 9.
USC [-16.5] vs. California
The Trojans are at home and fresh off a bye week. Cal is playing on a weird, short-ish week after a Friday night game last week. The Bears are hopeless stopping the run and rank 127th in front seven havoc in 2016. USC has athleticism in the secondary and is better defending the pass than the run. Watch at your own peril, because those few bars of the Trojan fight song may be ringing in your head for days.
Texas [+3] vs. Baylor
We know things about Texas. We know nothing about Baylor. The Bears have played the 125th toughest FBS schedule so far. Their second toughest 2016 opponent so far was Iowa State on the road. Baylor had to overcome a two-touchdown, fourth-quarter deficit to beat them. Texas is able to run and to stop the run, which will force Baylor out of its comfort zone a bit.
Oregon State [+13] vs. Washington State
The Beavers aren’t felling trees. But, they can still be a tough out at home on a rainy night. Oregon State does two things very well, run the ball and defend the pass with their corners. They should find traction on the ground and slow down a high volume, moderate efficiency Washington State passing attack and keep it close.
UCF [+9] at Houston
Houston has a problem: a myriad of offensive line injuries. However magical Tom Herman may be, he can’t heal the lame and ailing by touch. That line, which gave up seven sacks against SMU last week, will be a problem for Houston next week. They face a UCF defense that ranks 6th nationally in front seven havoc rate.
South Florida [-6.5] vs. Navy
Navy’s huge win over banged up Houston should not look as impressive as it did. This is an explosive offense with dual threat quarterback Quinton Flowers, going against a Midshipmen defense that does not get much push up front and struggles against the pass. It’s the sort of game where USF could jump out to a 14-0 lead and Navy would have a tough time fighting back.