I’m breaking a tradition in this column by not picking the BC game this week. I’ve implemented a new rule that I don’t have to be forced to handicap any game in which BC is over a 30 point dog.
Last Week: 2-3
Lock of the Week Overall: 1-2
Notre Dame at Michigan State (+3.5)
I think I summed up my negative feelings about Notre Dame pretty well when I picked BC to pull off an upset win last week. The cliff notes version of that reasoning was that the ‘Irish are great front runners when they can jump out to a big lead early and play ahead. However, in tight games there’s no disputing that this team gets tight and Brian Kelly loses his composure on the sidelines.
Michigan State is obviously not the juggernaut it was in 2013-2015 when it was competing in the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl. However, Mark Dantonio has a way of having his team well prepared on gameday and knows how to “ugly up” a game to make it close. I like Sparty in an upset.
Mississippi State at Georgia (-4.5)
Mississippi State is getting all sorts of praise for a home victory over LSU and I admit it was a nice win. However, I also am reading lots of articles about how flat LSU looked. That leads me to think that everyone is over reacting a little bit over the win.
This pick comes down to my belief that Georgia is the best team in the SEC East and the best team in the conference after Alabama. Look for Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to get the running game churned up this week against an untested Mississippi State defense. The Bulldogs flex their muscle and get a 7-10 point win.
Penn State at Iowa (+12.5)
I’m really, really not trying to give a hot take here but I think Penn State is overrated with its top 5 ranking. I know all of Penn State’s stats are off the charts but forgive me if wins over Georgia State, Akron and a mediocre Pitt team don’t impress me.
Iowa is 15-3 ATS in last 18 games as underdog including 12 outright upsets as the dog. Kirk Ferentz out smarts James Franklin in this game and keeps it close.
Oregon at Arizona State(+15.5)
This game should be a fun one to watch when everyone is on their 15th beer of the day by the time this game is on.
It feels like a lot of people wrote off ASU after a loss to San Diego State but all of a sudden that loss doesn’t look so bad after SDSU defeated Stanford. ASU got star running back Demario Richard back last week and he was able to shake a little rust off. Richard should be full go this week to take on a heavy workload against the Ducks. I think ASU keeps this one fairly close in a shootout in the dessert.
Lock of the Week
Florida at Kentucky (+1.5)
Florida has won 30 straight times over Kentucky which is about as good of a trend that you’ll see. Of course I’m going to be a sick puppy and go against that trend!
Kentucky impressed me last week in its upset win over South Carolina because the team clearly turned it up about three gears up from the level of play that was displayed in weeks one and two.
Florida is coming off of an emotional win over Tennessee and has been getting all sorts of national attention for the last second win. I think a letdown is possible here and I’ll take advantage of starting running back Jordan Scarlett and starting wideout Antonio Calloway still suspended .