Jeff: 3-2, 31-29 overall ATS
Brian: 3-2, 28-32 overall
2013 Standings below: (All-Time Standings here)
Duke Blue Devils (-5.5) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons - I don't get this line. I realize that Wake Forest has had an extra week to prepare and the game is in Winston-Salem. But these are two programs headed in polar opposite directions. After starting the season just 2-2, Duke has reeled off six straight wins -- the latest a 48-30 victory over Miami that puts the Blue Devils in the Coastal Division title driver's seat. Wake Forest has lost three straight and is coming off a 59-3 beatdown at the hands of Florida State. Duke can't afford to let Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Miami back into the Coastal Division title race and needs to put away a bad Wake team. Would be very surprised if this game is decided by single digits.
Pittsburgh Panthers (-1) at Syracuse Orange - Both these teams are playing hurt as both the Panthers and Orange will be without several key contributors. Neither team is playing particularly well down the stretch. Pitt made a furious comeback but ultimately fell short at home vs. a resurgent Carolina team while Syracuse made like every other Atlantic Division opponent not named BC and got steamrolled by Florida State. Pitt has owned this series since BC left for the ACC (7-1), with the one loss a 1-point road loss at Syracuse (14-13). I like Pitt to become bowl eligible this week with a win by a touchdown or more.
Boston College Eagles (PK) at Maryland Terrapins - The Terps know exactly what they are up against this weekend. The question is can the Terps run D slow Andre Williams. Many point to Maryland's 30th ranked run D and feel that Maryland has a good shot at slowing Williams. But if you dig a bit deeper, the Terps have given up large chunks of yardage on the ground against teams with average run games -- 242 vs. Virginia, 247 vs. Clemson and 242 vs. Syracuse. BC couldn't get anything going on the ground last year vs. Maryland (8 yards on 27 carries) and still got the win. Think this will look more like the game from two years ago, where Rolandan Finch had a career day and the Eagles ran all over the Terps D.
California Golden Bears at Stanford Cardinal (-31.5) - Cal is one of the worst teams in a BCS conference this season with a record of just 1-10 (with the 1 a 7-point victory over Portland State). Gonna take time for the Bear Raid to take hold in Berkeley. The Cardinal is coming off a 3-point loss at USC that likely sunk their chances of winning the North. This is the largest point spread in the history of the Big Game. I don't think it'll be close.
Wisconsin Badgers (-16.5) at Minnesota Golden Gophers - The Badgers crushed Indiana last week 51-3, rolling up a total of 554 yards on the ground against one of the nation's worst defenses vs. the run. Minnesota is much more stout against the run -- ranked 38th nationally -- but I think that has a lot to do with the opponents as much as anything else. Minnesota has given up a bunch of yards on the ground, including to an Indiana team they squeaked by 42-39. It'll come a lot easier to Wisconsin, which is one of the better Big Ten teams no one is talking about.
Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio St. Buckeyes (-35.5) - Ohio State still needs wins with a lot of style points in order to get into the big game. Ohio State has not had much trouble in the B1G this season and they have been a very good home team the last several years so I think expecting a win by more than 5 touchdowns is pretty reasonable.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (+1.5) at Penn St. Nittany Lions - Brian got to pick all the good games this week so I am left with the scraps. Penn State will be struggling against the big boys for another year or two. Nebraska is having a disappointing season but since the line only requires them to win the game, I like their chances. Nebraska should be able to get out of Happy Valley with a win.
Idaho Vandals at Florida St. Seminoles (-57.5) - I have been on the FSU bandwagon for a while with this pick 5 so I am not getting off now. 57.5 is a ton of points so a shutout is going to be almost a must for FSU to cover but I do think they'll put at least 60 on the board. With this line, I won't be able to breath easy until the final whistle blows, but do you really think Idaho can keep it closer than 60 points? I don't!!
Missouri Tigers at Mississippi Rebels (+3) - Is Missouri any good this season? Yes they have some wins over Georgia and Florida but Missouri blew a lead against South Carolina at home once Connor Shaw got in the game. Missouri's tough part of their schedule might still remain now with Ole Miss this week and Texas A&M next week.
Baylor Bears at Oklahoma St. Cowboys (+8) - Who is the best team in the Big 12? Who knows. But Baylor is not the best team in the conference by a wide enough margin to go undefeated. If Baylor does manage to win this week I will be picking against them again next week.