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Last week was … not good.
We went 3-7, falling to 32-33 on the season, the first time we’ve gone negative on the picks all year. A lesser man would run and hide, but not this one. Now is the time to start making plays and building our way back up. This is the week we turn the tide, gambling glory beckons.
So let’s get rolling. We’re going 11-0 this week.
OutKick will be in Knoxville this weekend for the Alabama-Tennessee game. I’ll be doing a Fox News hit at 9:30 a.m. ET and then I’ll be on Big Noon Kickoff in the 10-12 p.m. window. We’ll be doing those hits somewhere in Circle Square Park area of Tennessee’s campus. Also, the OutKick 360 show will be live from Cool Beans, a bar just off the strip in Knoxville, from 3-6 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
So if you’re in Knoxville, keep your eyes peeled for OutKick on Friday and Saturday.
On a positive note, by the way, the OutKick NFL Six Pack is doing well. We’re sitting at 18-12 there through five weeks of the NFL season. I tweet out those picks every Sunday morning. So follow me on Twitter and jump on the NFL gambling train too.
GAMBLING PICKS, WEEK 7
Penn State +7 at Michigan and the under 52.5
Let’s start on why I like the under here: each of the last four games and six of the past eight in this series has gone under the 52.5 number. I really think this will be a defensive struggle, to a large degree, in Ann Arbor on Saturday.
Given the fact that I expect this game to be low scoring, this full touchdown is too much to give Penn State too.
Michigan and Tennessee are the only two teams that haven’t trailed so far in the second half. I think that changes this week for both teams.
Give me the Nittany Lions to cover and have a late chance to win and the under to hit as well.
Auburn at Ole Miss -14.5
Last week I told you I didn’t expect the Auburn offense to score a touchdown. They managed one, on an incredible individual effort play that featured four missed tackles, late in the fourth quarter. This week, I think it’s more of the same, except I believe Lane Kiffin’s team will end Bryan Harsin’s coaching tenure at Auburn.
Next week is the bye for Auburn. It feels like Harsin gets fired early Sunday morning.
Ole Miss wins by 20 and notches another cover for the OutKick picks.
Alabama at Tennessee +7.5
Tennessee’s performance last week against LSU was what I expected to see against Florida. It was an all-systems beatdown basically from the opening kickoff. Josh Heupel’s Volunteers are clicking offensively and even though they scored 40 on the road at LSU, they left a couple of touchdowns out there. The Vols won by 27 but could have won by 40 or more in Baton Rouge.
This game is tricky to bet because we don’t know if Bryce Young will play or how healthy he will be if he does. That’s why I’m staying away from the total. If Young plays and he’s healthy it feels like both teams will go for over 35 and this number will surge over the total.
But if Bryce doesn’t play, I think Tennessee wins outright and I’m not sure the points rain down in abundance. Because while the Vol defense isn’t very good in pass coverage, it’s been really stout against the run all season. And Alabama without Bryce is much more of a running-based team.
Given the uncertainty at quarterback for Alabama, I think all the value is on Tennessee. Hendon Hooker is playing at an elite level right now and Neyland Stadium will be another level of electric by kickoff on Saturday. If a home team is usually worth 3-4 points, I think the Vol crowd will be worth a touchdown or more on Saturday. Plus, the Tide has been a bit wobbly on the road over the past couple of years.
I like Tennessee to cover this number no matter who is playing quarterback for Alabama. I think the Vols will have a chance to win it outright late in this one even if Bryce Young is a full go.
The pick: Give me the Vols and the points.
Oklahoma State at TCU, the over 68.5
The two best teams in the Big 12 go head-to-head in what should be one of the most fun games of the weekend in what is shaping up as a phenomenal weekend for college football fans. (How great is this slate of games overall? We’ve got elite match-ups in the Big Ten, the SEC, the Big 12, and the Pac 12. Sorry, ACC. It’s just a phenomenal weekend to kick up your feet and watch games.)
Both teams have been on fire offensively all season long and I don’t see any reason that’s going to end Saturday.
The pick: Take the over and enjoy the points explosion that will be raining down on all of us.
Wisconsin -7.5 at Michigan State
The Badgers played far better under Jim Leonhard last week and the Spartans just aren’t a good football team. I could make my analysis more complicated than this, but that’s the essence of the season so far for the Spartans.
Michigan State has lost by 27 at home to Minnesota, by 14 on the road at Maryland and by 29 back home against Ohio State last weekend. I don’t see any reason why Wisconsin doesn’t win by 10 or more.
So give me the Badgers for the cover.
LSU at Florida, the under 51.5
In a battle of first-year coaches still trying to give their fan bases reason to believe they are the answer for floundering programs, I’ll take the over this weekend in Gainesville.
With neither team being elite offensively, this feels like a defensive struggle, akin to the Mizzou-Florida game we saw last week and the LSU-Auburn game we saw two weeks ago.
24-21 is in the final. Who wins? Who cares, the under cashes by nearly a full touchdown.
Mississippi State -6.5 at Kentucky
Other than a disastrous second half at LSU, Mississippi State has looked like a team that can contend for the SEC West title.
Meanwhile the Wildcats have plummeted back to earth, losing their past two games against Ole Miss and South Carolina. I know, I know, Will Levis didn’t play last week for Kentucky. But this offense hasn’t looked that good even when he’s played.
I think it’s becoming clear that Kentucky is a 7-5 team as I believe losses to Mississippi State, Tennessee and Georgia still loom for the Wildcats. And I think State, led by a former top UK assistant in Mike Leach who still loves the Bluegrass State, will win by 10 on the road this weekend in Lexington.
More cowbell? Yep, we’ve got a State cover and double digit win coming.
Clemson -3.5 at Florida State
I haven’t been a believer in Clemson for much of the season, but the FSU performance against N.C. State was so bad offensively that I don’t think the Seminoles have the horses to keep up with Clemson on the offensive side of the ball.
Much like I discussed above about Kentucky, it feels like FSU is coming back to earth and is headed for a 7-5 type season as well.
The pick: I like the Tigers to win by a touchdown or more this weekend in Tallahassee.
USC at Utah -3 and the under 64.5
This is a Kyle Whittingham bet.
I think after last week’s stumbles on the road at UCLA, Whittingham will have his team ready for USC.
And I feel like as good as Lincoln Riley has been in year one at USC, the Trojans have looked a bit wobbly the past several weeks in Pac-12 play.
This game is the season for Utah. With losses on the road at Florida and now at UCLA, a loss to USC (likely) ends any Pac-12 title hopes for Utah and spoils what was expected to be a (potentially) special season in Salt Lake City.
This is a circle the wagons game for the Utes. I think they come out and take down USC by a score of 28-17, meaning the under hits with ease and you cover with ease too.
There you have it, boys and girls, we’re going 11-0.
Remember, #RespectThePicks and I’ll see you guys in Knoxville on Saturday.