Trust me, I hear what people are saying.
In fact, I can’t even go a few hours without hearing it myself: “Clay, your new haircut looks so amazing because it shows off your dimples so well in the morning sunlight when you’re doing your hits on Big Noon Kickoff that I worry maybe being so good looking and rich and famous has you focusing less on your college football picks than you used to do.”
And, “Your beard looks so good even Wolf Blitzer is jealous.”
Trust me, I hear what people are saying, I’m not tone deaf, I’m very self aware. And also still the most humble person on the planet too. And if I didn’t know me I might even think that the private jet travel and the multiple beach houses and the hot wife and the fact that I can only produce sons might be a bit distracting.
But, guys, it’s just not true.
I still #respectthepicks more than ever.
I’m out here burning the midnight oil — okay, it’s two in the afternoon on Wednesday and the picks are supposed to be up at noon, but still — making sure that we all get rich every week.
So you’ll have to trust me when I say that going 3-8 last week was unacceptable. That ran our record to 35-41 on the season, which is not ideal. And that’s exactly why I’ve been so diligent with the picks this week.
While I hate to brag and draw attention to myself, it’s just not me, I’ll also take a moment here to point out that our Outkick NFL Six Pack is on fire. We went 5-1 with those picks last week and are sitting at 23-13 through six weeks there. I tweet out those picks every Sunday morning so you can look for those too.
But this week we’re bouncing back in a massive way by going 14-0.
So climb on board the redemption tour, it’s time to get rich, kids.
GAMBLING PICKS, WEEK 8
Indiana +3.5 at Rutgers
Remember all those people who said Tennessee’s football program would never recover from turning down Greg Schiano? I thought about them when I was smoking my Bama victory cigar on Saturday.
And I felt very bad for them.
Because most of them work at media companies that might soon fire them and meanwhile we’re hiring left and right here at OutKick and my team is ranked number three in the country and, well, enough about me, Indiana wins outright.
Grab the Hoosiers plus the points in a low scoring game.
Iowa +28.5 at Ohio State
Truth to be told, I feel like there’s a decent chance I lose this bet 29-0.
But I just keep thinking that surely Iowa will score at least a few points in this game. Because if the Hawkeyes can get to 14, I think I get my cover here.
So here’s a bet that Iowa puts up 17 and holds Ohio State to 42. Boom, we got our cover.
Syracuse +13.5 at Clemson
The Orange are undefeated this year.
Really, they are.
Now, granted, every one of those games has been played at home except for UConn, but that wasn’t a basketball game so it was basically a home game too, but last week’s win over N.C. State was impressive.
And I continue to believe, in general, that Clemson is overvalued in gambling markets.
And even at home I think this number is too big.
So give me the Orange to cover a nearly two touchdown spread.
UNLV +25.5 at Notre Dame
Look, UNLV is not very good.
In fact, Air Force just beat them 42-7 last week.
But here’s the deal, Notre Dame shouldn’t be favored by 25.5 over any FBS team this year.
And that’s all I need to know. Give me the Running Rebs to cover.
BYU at Liberty +7
This is 100% a bet on Hugh Freeze.
But also a bet based on what I saw from the Arkansas-BYU game this past weekend. The Razorbacks went on the road and gouged BYU for 644 total yards, including 277 on the ground.
Now BYU has to travel across the country and take on a 6-1 Liberty team coming off a poor performance last week.
All while Hugh Freeze is auditioning for the Auburn job.
I like Liberty to win this one late and cover the seven in the process.
Ole Miss at LSU -1.5 and the over 67.5
Man, LSU has been hard to predict this year.
But I think this one is headed for barnburner status and that ultimately LSU finds a way to score last. Plus, do we really think Ole Miss is going to be undefeated for the Alabama game? We can’t have that happen because Oxford will burn down before the game even kicks off.
This is the first big win for Brian Kelly and his family. LSU wins and covers. And the over goes soaring over an already big number.
Texas at Oklahoma State +6.5
I know this isn’t the last time these two teams play in the Big 12, but beating Texas is still a massive deal for the Cowboys and I feel like Texas is walking into a bit of a trap here.
Last week Oklahoma State lost a tough double overtime game at TCU, but Mike Gundy has still won five of the last seven games against Texas. And with the Longhorns leaving soon, the Cowboys want to make that departure as painful as possible.
Which is why I think Gundy’s team finds a way to gut one out on Saturday. Give me the Cowboys and the points.
UCLA +6.5 at Oregon
Since being destroyed in week one against Georgia, the Oregon Ducks have righted the ship and are rolling in the Pac 12. Meanwhile Chip Kelly has UCLA undefeated and is returning to his old stomping grounds in Autzen with both teams coming off bye weeks.
I could break down some numbers and toss out some analytics that make you say wow, or I could just tell you this, Chip Kelly isn’t getting blown out on his return to Oregon with this UCLA team.
It’s just not happening.
Give me the Bruins to cover and have a chance to win late.
Vanderbilt at Mizzou, the over 51
Even Mizzou’s offense is going to score on Vanderbilt.
That’s it, that’s the bet.
If you think Mizzou will score on Vandy, and I do, then this one will go surging over the total.
I do, so get your bets in.
Vandy has given up 55, 52 and 55 so far to SEC teams. Meanwhile Mizzou has not scored more than 22 in the SEC. So your question is this, will Mizzou score? I think they will, which means this number will get crushed.
Also, just for a second here, how did Mizzou’s bye week come before Vanderbilt? Really, two weeks to get ready for the Commodores, especially with Vandy coming off the Georgia game? That just feels unfair.
Hop on the over.
Mississippi State +21 at Alabama
I know earlier I said LSU had been very difficult to predict, the same holds true for Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs were bad in the second half at LSU, but last week’s game against Kentucky really surprised me. Not because Kentucky won, they were at home as a single digit underdog, but just because of how bad State got beaten. Kentucky doubled the total yards of State, nearly doubled them in first downs, and just generally ran the ball down their throat.
Now you’ve got a pissed off Alabama team coming off a loss at Tennessee and we know that Alabama is pretty good at running the football too.
Everything here screams take Alabama.
But I just keep coming back to the Mississippi State team we saw against Arkansas and Texas A&M and this number feels way too high, even against Bama.
So I’m (nervously) taking the Bulldogs and the big number here.
Penn State -4 at Minnesota and the under 44.5
This is a bet that James Franklin’s team isn’t going to get whipped two weeks in a row on the road in the Big Ten.
Yes, last week Michigan took it to them and the Nittany Lions were absolutely awful, but Minnesota has been pretty bad the past couple of weeks too. The boat has taken on water and I think Penn State wins this one 24-14.
Meaning you get your cover and the under hits too.
Texas A&M at South Carolina, the under 44.5
I don’t see any way this is anything other than a defensive battle that one team wins 20-17.
I don’t know which team that will be.
But if that happens? I know the under cashes with ease.
There you have it, kids, we’re going 14-0.
This weekend for Big Noon Kickoff, I will be with Luke Bryan raising money to help treat congenital heart disease. If you’d like to donate you can do so here.