Last weekend hurt and hurt hard. First there was BC who needed just a field goal to cover in the fourth quarter and ended up scoring 0 points in that frame against Wagner. Florida was up 21-3 against Tennessee and was getting 6.5 points and managed not to cover. However, the worst beat of the weekend and possibly the worst beat of the year was UCLA blowing a cover when Josh Rosen fumbled a Hair Mary attempt and Stanford returned it for a touchdown.
This week I’ll just try and put some bad luck behind me and hope that the gambling Gods are nice to me.
Last Week: 1-4
Lock of the Week: 4-0
Buffalo (+17.5) at Boston College
The Eagles have a huge game against Clemson coming up next weekend but first have to take on another inferior opponent in front of a sleepy crowd at Alumni Stadium. I think it’s possible BC walks into this game thinking Buffalo will be a pushover like Wagner and that could be a mistake. The Bulls are coming off a 23-20 upset against Army and have a high confidence level right now. BC wins this game but I think it’s more like a 10-14 point win.
Oregon at Washington State (+1.5)
Like BC, Oregon is very likely looking forward to its showdown against #9 Washington next week. First, the Ducks have to go out to Pullman and play against an offense that
600+ yards on them last year. The Oregon defense has looked like junk this year and I don’t know if the offense can carry the team with Royce Freeman dinged up.
Mike Leach is coming off of a bye and you better believe he will have the team ready to play in this one.
Oklahoma (-3.5) at TCU
It pains me more than you can imagine backing Bob Stoops over Gary Patterson here. However, I’ve watched TCU go against a few of the cupcake teams on its schedule and the defense just doesn’t look like a TCU defense right now. The Oklahoma offense gets its act together off of the bye week and avoids going 1-3.
Navy (7.5) at Air Force
This is a match-up of the #2 rushing offense in the country versus the #5 rushing offense in the country. Call me crazy but shouldn’t a match-up between two teams that love to run the ball have a point spread more like 3.5 than 7.5?
Lock of the Week
Louisville at Clemson (+2)
I got burned HARD taking Florida State at Louisville a few weeks ago. I totally underestimated how much worse the FSU defense would be without Derwin James and it turned out to be by far one of my worst picks of the year. That isn’t scaring me away from taking Clemson here.
I can’t believe that Clemson is a home dog on Saturday night at Death Valley. This is a team that was picked by many to go back to the National Championship this year. That home field edge had me leaning Clemson right away as a value play.
Lamar Jackson vs Deshaun Watson is the sexy quarterback match-up here, but Jackson has gotten about five times more attention than Watson this year. I almost had to do a double take when I saw that Jackson is -160 to win the Heisman Trophy and Watson is 9-to-1. Are we overreacting to the first few weeks here?
When I take a look further at personnel, I believe the Clemson front is just better than the FSU front and overall as a defense as well. Furthermore, this is Jackson’s first really true road test in front of a hostile crowd this year. Maybe Louisville will prove me wrong again but I love the Tigers here.