Jeff: 3-2, 34-31 overall ATS
Brian: 4-1, 32-33 overall
2013 Standings below: (All-Time Standings here)
Boston College Eagles (-2.5) at Syracuse Orange - While it's difficult to win games in a specific way, I'm cautiously optimistic about this game. The Syracuse run D is ranked 28th in the nation, surrendering just 135 yards a game on the ground (Andre Williams calls that one half of a football game). But that seems to be more a product of going up against teams with middling to non-existent run games than anything else -- Wake Forest (119), Pittsburgh (114), Tulane (93), Maryland (88), N.C. State (75), etc. Syracuse faces the most prolific ground game they've seen since the Georgia Tech game; a game where, despite knowing that they were going to get a healthy dose of the Georgia Tech triple option offense, SU still surrendered 394 yards and 7 TDs.
Baylor Bears (-12) at TCU Horned Frogs - The Bears and the nation's most prolific offense are playing to keep pace with Texas and Oklahoma State in the race for the Big 12 title and the conference's BCS berth. Having already been eliminated from bowl contention, TCU is playing for nothing more than pride on senior day. Baylor rebounds from last week's beatdown at the hands of Oklahoma State to win comfortably by at least two scores.
UCLA Bruins at USC Trojans (-3) - If you asked me to pick this game a few weeks ago, I would have taken UCLA big. But USC is a completely different team now under coach Ed Orgeron. Neither team can win the Pac-12 South so these teams are playing for nothing more than bragging rights and bowl positioning at this point. I've seen both these teams in person this year (UCLA at Stanford and Boston College at USC) and came away more impressed with USC (even back then). Stanford shut down UCLA while USC just sprung the upset of the Cardinal. I like USC here.
Penn St. Nittany Lions at Wisconsin Badgers (-24) - Wisconsin has been the best team in the nation against the spread. The Badgers failed to cover last week against Minnesota by just three points, but have rolled the rest of the year. Wisconsin will be making to look a statement as the Badgers can earn a BCS at-large berth with a win (Orange Bowl)? Penn State doesn't have much to play for as the Nittany Lions will be home for the holidays by NCAA sanctions.
Florida St. Seminoles (-27) at Florida Gators - Selfishly I want Florida to make this a game for #Andre44Heisman purposes. I don't see that happening. The only way I see Florida covering is if Jimbo Fisher calls off the dogs early and the Gators manage a backdoor cover. Look for Jameis to make one final Heisman Trophy push and for Florida to continue to roll into the ACC Championship Game with a big win over FSU's in-state rivals.
Duke Blue Devils (+5.5) at North Carolina Tar Heels - Duke has a chance to put itself in the ACCCG with a win over UNC. UNC is playing well and it is on the road but Duke has been a team that has not really shown to be any stronger on the road than they are at home. Duke has already beaten Virginia Tech on the road this season and Blacksburg is considered one of the toughest places to play in the conference. If Duke doesn't come out with an outright win, they should at least cover 5.5.
Maryland Terrapins (-3) at N.C. State Wolfpack - Maryland has shown it is a decent team that doesn't just layover for everyone they play who is half decent themselves. Meanwhile N.C. State is terrible and wishing they still had TOB. No reason for the Wolfpack to suddenly show up the last Saturday of the year with nothing on the line.
Georgia Bulldogs at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+4) - Georgia is without starting QB Aaron Murray this week so I like Georgia Tech's chances to get the win. Georgia Tech needs a win to help them in the bowl selection process as does Georgia but Tech is playing much closer to full strength.
Alabama Crimson Tide at Auburn Tigers (+10.5) - Like most college football fans, I am hoping this is a good close game like a #1 vs. #4 game should be. Do I really think the Tigers are the fourth best team in the country? Probably not, but I do think they have a chance at home to pull off the upset. This year's Alabama team is probably worse than both of its two previous national championship teams. While I'd like to see an Auburn win, I just need them to stay within a touchdown for the easy cover.
Clemson Tigers (+4) at South Carolina Gamecocks - Clemson has been dominant the same way FSU has been this season except for their opener against Georgia and of course their blowout loss against FSU at home. Clemson needs the win here to validate their season and needs to end their losing streak to South Carolina. Without the huge national attention that their two previous games against top ten opponents got this year, hopefully Clemson will play up to their ability and get the win.