Jeff: 4-1, 23-22 overall ATS
Brian: 2-3, 16-29 overall
2013 Standings below: (All-Time Standings here)
Mississippi St. Bulldogs at South Carolina Gamecocks (-12.5) - With Connor Shaw playing, South Carolina is a top 15 team in the nation. Last week, Mississippi St struggled with Kentucky at home to get their first ACC win of the season. If Connor Shaw were 100% healthy this would be more like a 28 point spread given that the Gamecocks are playing at home. Despite a little uncertainty in how much Shaw will be used, I'll take SC here.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+3) at Syracuse Orange - Wake Forest gave Miami a tough game last week and other than getting beat fairly badly at BC, they have not lost any games they shouldn't have in conference. I expect Wake to go on the road and win this week.
North Carolina Tar Heels (-3.5) at N.C. State Wolfpack - UNC played one of the toughest schedules in the nation prior to playing BC last week. Now that their schedule has softened, they should roll and their momentum from last week's win should easily carry to their rival NC State who is less talented than BC this year.
Clemson Tigers (-17) at Virginia Cavaliers - Clemson is looking for style points between now and their game against South Carolina. They should not have too much trouble against the struggling Cavaliers. Clemson might let them hang around early in the game but is way to talented to not pull away in the second half.
Miami Hurricanes (+21.5) at Florida St. Seminoles - The game of the week featuring ACC opponents can't be a blowout again, right? FSU is so good that I really think whether or not they win the game is not in question. But 21 points in a rivalry game against undefeated Miami who certainly has the best defense FSU has faced so far seems a bit much.
USC Trojans (+4.5) at Oregon St. Beavers - Oregon State had its six game winning streak snapped last week when the Beavers hosted Stanford. OSU's passing attack, tops in the nation, was limited to just 271 yards and 288 total yards, well off the Beavers' season average of 515 going into the game. USC's defense is every bit as stout as Stanford's this season. I'm expecting Oregon State to move the ball through the air again, but it won't be enough as USC's D neutralizes Oregon State's extremely one-dimensional offense.
Wisconsin Badgers (-8) at Iowa Hawkeyes - The Badgers have been perfect against the spread this season (6-0-1). Wisconsin will be fresh coming off a bye week, two weeks removed from pounding Illinois 56-32. Iowa is coming off a 17-10 overtime home victory over Northwestern, the same team that Wisco beat up 35-6 a few weeks back. The Hawkeyes are fairly stout against the run (ranked 25th this week), but the Badgers 8th ranked rushing offense will be too much for Iowa in this one.
Georgia Bulldogs (-3) vs. Florida Gators - The Bulldogs get RB Todd Gurley back this week. That should be more than enough offensive output to keep pace with Florida's 110th ranked offense. UGA in a blowout and A.J's dog Harper is a happy pup.
Auburn Tigers (-7.5) at Arkansas Razorbacks - There's some question as to whether Auburn starting QB Nick Marshall will play on Saturday. Still, this line seems surprisingly low. The Razorbacks have now lost five straight, the last two in embarrassing fashion by a combined score of 104-7. The Tigers are the fifth straight ranked opponent Arkansas has faced this season -- #10 Texas A&M, @ #18 Florida, #14 South Carolina, @ #1 Alabama, #11 Auburn -- but the results have gotten more and more out of hand as the season has gone on.
Tennessee Volunteers at Missouri Tigers (-10) - Missouri squandered a great opportunity to take a commanding lead in the SEC East title race when the Gamecocks rallied from 17 down to top the Tigers in overtime last week. Expect them to bounce back this week as they host a Volunteers team playing without starting QB Justin Worley (out with torn ligaments in his right thumb). The Vols did put a scare into then 6th ranked Georgia and beat then 11th ranked South Carolina, but both those games were at home. This one is on the road, a place with Tennessee is 0-3 on the year having lost those games by a combined score of 135-41.*
* Did two of those three losses come against teams I expect to be playing in the BCS National Championship Game? Yes. Point stands.