We had an atrocious week last week, that drops us to 27-32-1 ATS, but, hey, we picked Oregon! Consider the following picks at your own risk.
Alabama (-13.5) vs. Texas A&M: We love Mr. Football, but he remains a freshman going on the road against the nation’s best defense. Alabama will shut down the run. Manziel is not good enough of a pure passer yet to beat them deep through the air. Besides Alabama being more than two touchdowns better, Texas A&M is due for a let down. This is their fourth road trip in five weeks. The home respite was the 24-19 bruiser against LSU. Saban will have Alabama motivated after a bit of a let down last week.
Indiana (+7) vs. Wisconsin: Indiana competes. Only one of their losses was by more than four points. That game, at Northwestern, was a one-score game in the fourth quarter. The Hoosiers are looking like a Kevin Wilson-coached offense, and have put up halves of 35 against Ohio State, 29 against Northwestern and 27 against Michigan State. This is the most important football game Indiana has played in the modern era. Whatever crowd they can muster will be amped. If the Hoosiers can contain Montee Ball the way they did LeVeon Bell, the Badgers have no plan B.
Syracuse (+2) vs. Louisville: This is the weekend’s oddest line. Public money is pouring in on Louisville. Vegas lowered the line to goad more of it. That’s when you counter. The Orange are better than they seem. Three of their losses were by one score. They competed with USC and, had they not spotted the Bearcats the ball three times in their own zone for touchdowns, might have won last weekend. Louisville has been doing just enough to get by for too many weeks. Syracuse has the offense to keep up with them at home.
Penn State (+7.5) at Nebraska: Nebraska might be the Big Ten’s best eligible team, but the margin is thin. Their last four weeks: gave up 63 points in blowout loss to OSU, escaped late against Northwestern, beat Michigan after Denard Robinson went down and made a fortunate escape against Michigan State. Penn State has looked solid since entering Big ten play, especially on the road. There’s no reason they can’t keep this within range or, perhaps, win outright.
Virginia (-1) vs. Miami: Virginia is a better team than they have shown. They stormed to a 33-6 win at N.C. State last week. They out-gained opponents the previous four games, but killed themselves with turnovers. The Cavaliers offense has put up some big yardage numbers on bad defenses. Miami ranks 109th in yards per play allowed vs. FBS teams. Virginia’s defense is solid enough to contain Miami. This young Hurricanes team has not impressed on the road.
Arkansas (+14) at South Carolina: Arkansas has stabilized after their precipitous fall. Their defense has tightened the last four games, holding opponents under 5.0 yards per play in each game. Not sold on South Carolina’s offense spurring the Gamecocks to a huge win without steady production from Marcus Lattimore. Arkansas has also been a bogey team for Spurrier, has has lost 5/7 meetings since returning from the NFL.
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