Jeff: 3-2, 36-33 overall ATS
Brian: 1-4, 33-37 overall
2013 Standings below: (All-Time Standings here)
Only a couple games this week, so for this week only, Jeff and I can take the same line on the same game.
Duke Blue Devils (+29.5) vs. Florida St. Seminoles - I was totally on the FSU bandwagon earlier this year and I still am. However, FSU was previously favored by approximately the same margin against teams like Syracuse and NC State. Duke is the third best team in the ACC this year and they are playing the game in North Carolina. FSU may still have more fans but it certainly won't be a home game for FSU. I expect FSU to cruise to victory but to win by less than 4 touchdowns.
Stanford Cardinal (+3) vs. Arizona St. Sun Devils - Arizona State should have lost to Wisconsin earlier this season. Stanford dominated when it mattered most this season. I'll bet Stanford shows up for this one and wins the PAC 12.
Oklahoma Sooners (+10) at Oklahoma St. Cowboys - Oklahoma State had an impressive win over Baylor but the fact remains that there is no one very impressive in the Big 12 this season. By the end of the day Texas will be representing the Big 12 in the BCS.
Texas Longhorns (+15) at Baylor Bears - Baylor was never a national championship contender but the way the schedule set up they thought they had both national championship and Heisman trophy potential. That has all come crashing down and the Cowboys showed Texas how to beat Baylor. Sadly, Texas is the team to beat in the Big 12 this season.
Missouri Tigers vs. Auburn Tigers (-2) - Auburn came out of the SEC west which is far superior to the SEC East this season. The Auburn Tigers had to face 5 other bowl bound teams in their division while the Missouri Tigers did not have to face Alabama or LSU during the regular season. With a Ohio State loss Auburn will be on their way to the BCS National Championship Game by the end of the day.
Central Florida Knights (-10) at SMU Mustangs - This is a dangerous game to pick with UCF's ticket already punched to the BCS after Cincinnati's loss to Louisville last night. SMU is playing for bowl eligibility after getting pasted by Houston 34-0. The Mustangs can put up points in bunches but may be playing without starting QB Garrett Gilbert (40% to go tonight). While SMU's offense can keep pace with anyone in the American, the defense is giving up a league-worst 34.8 points per game. It wouldn't be the Big East without one final split conference title for a BCS berth. But it's not. This is the American, son. 'Merica!
Texas Longhorns at Baylor Bears (-15) - Oklahoma State may have showed Texas how to beat Baylor (49-17 OSU) but the Cowboys also showed Baylor how to beat Texas (38-13). Though the game may not mean anything as Oklahoma State can wrap up the Big 12 title in Bedlam, I've got the Bears cruising to victory here.
Missouri Tigers (+2) vs. Auburn Tigers - These two teams have been money against the spread this season. Missouri is 10-1-1 ATS while Auburn is 10-2-0, showing that Vegas has underestimated both outfits all season. Missouri may play in the easier of the two divisions, but the Tigers are an OT loss to South Carolina away from being in the driver's seat for the BCS National Championship Game. Auburn has needed a pair of miracles -- at home -- to even get to Atlanta and has had a number of close wins throughout the year. Missouri has looked more impressive against shared opponents in Georgia, Texas A&M and Tennessee. Auburn's string of good fortune runs out and Missouri punches its BCS Sugar Bowl or better ticket.
Stanford Cardinal (+3) at Arizona St. Sun Devils - These two teams last met in September, a dominating 42-28 victory by Stanford in which the score wasn't nearly indicative of the beatdown. Stanford coach David Shaw pulled the first string offense late in the third quarter after the Cardinal jumped out to a 29-0 halftime lead and 39-7 after three quarters. Since that meeting, Arizona State has seemingly figured it out. The Sun Devils have won seven straight and have risen to #11 in the nation this week. And here the Sun Devils are, hosting and favored in the Pac-12 title game. While I'm well versed in what can happen in rematches of regular season games (/ BC-Virginia Tech'd), I can't help but shake the image of Arizona State getting run off the field in the first half vs. Stanford at the Farm. Stanford is a matchup nightmare for other Pac-12 teams because their offense is so unlike everyone else's. The Cardinal defense has also stifled one-dimensional, passing attacks (Oregon State, Washington State, Cal, Arizona State) all season. I expect no different this Saturday.
Ohio St. Buckeyes vs. Michigan St. Spartans (+6) - Ohio State has won 24 straight games but Michigan State has looked a bit more dominant against several shared opponents this season (Michigan, Illinois and Iowa). Michigan State is probably playing in the Rose Bowl regardless of what happens tomorrow while the pressure is on Ohio State to maintain the #2 spot in the BCS standings. Appreciating that it was a rivalry game, I think Ohio State's defense was a bit exposed vs. Michigan. Michigan State has one of, if not the best defense in the country. Defense wins Championships. Note to Donahue.