We caught some lightning in a bottle last week. Let’s keep on humming toward that sweet, sweet profit.
Indiana at MICHIGAN STATE (-6.5): It’s time to consider the possibility that the Spartans may be a very good football team en route to 10 wins this year. An elite defense is in the top-20 of most important metrics. When not forced into defending a short field, they’ve been even more fearsome. Quarterback Brian Lewerke’s legs complement a deep backfield. Perhaps most impressive is how composed the young roster has been in big spots. Returning home after two tough road games with bowl eligibility on the line will be welcomed. Michigan State 31, Indiana 17
Central Florida at NAVY (+7.5): The Midshipmen turned the ball over five times last weekend against Memphis in a three-point loss. They rush for nearly 400 yards per game and the triple-option is a brutally frustrating attack to defend. The Knights lead the nation at 50.6 points per game and Quarterback McKenzie Milton trails only Baker Mayfield in passing efficiency. A clock-chewing attack on one side should limit possessions a there’s something appealing about banking on a service academy rising to the challenge. UCF 38, Navy 31
Southern California at NOTRE DAME (-3.5): One of these days, Sam Darnold is going to show why he’s a top-line draft pick. At night in South Bend would be the time to do it. The Trojans’ grueling, bye week-free schedule is catching up with them and the Irish are the most underappreciated team in the nation. A potent ground game paces an offense scoring 40 per contest. Brian Kelly’s defense has been equally stingy against competent opponents. One of these teams is a playoff pretender and one is a contender. Notre Dame 34, USC 23
WESTERN MICHIGAN (-3) at Eastern Michigan: Two of the Broncos’ three losses this year have come against Top-20 teams and they competed in both. Western Michigan has had some offensive explosions thus far, though Eastern has been tough in tough places (Army, Kentucky, Rutgers). P.J. Fleck’s former team is still better than his current one. Western 30, Eastern 20.
Oklahoma at KANSAS STATE (+14): You’re telling me Bill Snyder gets two touchdowns at home? Against a Sooners team that can be really good or really bad? Sounds like a 50-50. And in those situations, you take the free candy. Oklahoma 28, Kansas State 20.
2017 Record: 20-14.