Outkick Picks for Week 3 2014

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Aug 30, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt shown on the sidelines during the game against the Clemson Tigers during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Clemson 45-21. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier watches a replay during the second quarter against the Texas A&M Aggies at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Dale Zanine/Jeremy Brevard – USA TODAY Sports Getty Images North America

Last week was a total disaster, there’s no other way to describe it. We went 1-5. Our only win was Missouri, who covered by three touchdowns. We even had a tough push when Alabama, who was covering and at the FAU four yard line, agreed to suspend the game before our action could be processed. But what’s the most frustrating thing about last Saturday’s performance? I’d still bet the same way I bet on every game except for the Vanderbilt-Ole Miss game. I apologize to all of you for betting on Vandy. I really do. The Commodores are an awful football team and I was completely wrong about that game. 

But let’s look at our other losses — Stanford was the better team than USC. The Cardinal should have won that game by double digits. Instead, USC stole it away at the very end. But if they replayed this game this week, I’d still pick Stanford -2.5 and expect the Cardinal to cover. Michigan State was inside the number for 58.5 minutes of a sixty minute game at Oregon. Then the Ducks raced one in on a fourth down conversion. That one hurt too. Kentucky got up early on Ohio and hung on to cover, but I don’t think I was wrong that the Cats were overvalued after UT-Martin. Finally, Tennessee’s offense disappeared in the second half, but they were comfortably above the number until they gave up a late touchdown and missed a short field goal to cost us the cover by a point. All four of these games I would still bet the same way.

But, alas, the gambling gods hammered me on Saturday. We’re now 7-7 on the season, exactly .500. Some would turn tail and run away after a rough week, but not me.

Here we go with this week’s nine picks.

Baylor at Buffalo -33.5 

Buffalo gave up 28 points to Duquesne and 38 points to Army. Baylor may score 100 points on them. I’m honestly not sure what this line would have to be for me to pick Buffalo.

By the way, you want a sign of how far the Baylor program has risen. They’re playing a home and home with Buffalo.


Central Florida at Mizzou -9.5

Mizzou’s offense came alive last week at Toledo and Maty Mauk — save for one ten minute stretch in the fourth quarter where he played like bad Bo Wallace and threw two picks — was almost perfect. Last year Vegas slept on Mizzou all season. This year I don’t think the Vegas numbers have caught up to how good of a quarterback Mauk is. Central Florida hasn’t played since an opening week loss in Ireland and isn’t set at quarterback. Take Mizzou, big. 

West Virgina +3.5 at Maryland

Speaking of underrated teams, Dana Holgorsen has taken back control of the West Virginia offense and the result has been explosive — the Mountaineers are going to score points. Meanwhile, Maryland hasn’t played anyone all season, doesn’t boast much of a home field advantage, and has to win by more than a field goal to cover this game. 

Plus, how bad do you feel if you take Maryland minus the points against another FBS team?  

UMASS +17.5 at Vandy

I’m not sure Vandy will score 17 offensive points in the SEC this year. Sure, UMASS is awful, but they can score some points. If they score a single touchdown against Vanderbilt — which they will — I’m not sure that Vandy can score 25 points in a game and cover this spread. That’s how bad the Vandy offense is.

Let me put it to you this way, I’m not sure I would take Vandy -17.5 against Ensworth. (The best team in the state of Tennessee for those of you who don’t live here).  

Georgia -5.5 at South Carolina

Everyone knows what the South Carolina game plan will be, stack the line of scrimmage to try and limit Todd Gurley’s effectiveness and force Hutson Mason to beat you with his arm. There are only two problems with this game plan: 1. you can’t stop a healthy Todd Gurley and 2. Gurley’s great at receiving out of the backfield. He’ll make at least two big plays in the passing game. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Georgia’s defense has had two weeks to prepare for a very average South Carolina offense. The Dawgs are going to win by double digits. 

Arkansas +2.5 at Texas Tech

Remember how I said that betting on Arkansas was like betting on a married man to have sex, eventually you’ll be right, but it isn’t very likely. Well, it’s time to bet on Arkansas, it’s a married man’s birthday. The better team is the underdog here. Tech was very mediocre against UTEP last weekend and I don’t believe that the Tech defense will be able to stop the Arkansas rushing attack. As much as it pains me to go against Kingsbury, Arkansas gets the win. 

Southern Miss at Bama -48

Yes, I’m taking Alabama -48. 

Yes, I realize how insane this is.  

Kentucky at Florida -17.5

Kentucky fans are euphoric to have already equaled last season’s win total in just two games. The problem is, things just got a lot tougher. Last week Florida’s offense scored 65 points against Eastern Michigan. That’s more than they scored in the final four weeks of the season. This week they’re also going to score a ton of points. And they’re not giving up more than ten. 

Take the Gators, big.

Worth noting — and this stat may be completely made up — Florida has covered in 973 consecutive games against Kentucky. 

Tennessee +21 at Oklahoma

Last year Tennessee started off 2-0 and went on the road to play Oregon. The Ducks were 35 point favorites. I said that was an insane spread and took Tennessee +35. The Vols came out and scored the first touchdown to give me a 42 point cushion. Then Oregon scored 59 straight points. Tennessee was exposed on the defensive side of the ball, it had no speed. Now a year later Tennessee is 2-0 and going on the road against a top five opponent. Bob Stoops wants to score 100 points so he can talk more trash about how weak the SEC is. 

The Vols are better than they were last year, but they’re still very young and it’s a night game in Norman, where Bob Stoops has run up an 88-5 home record. The dueling narratives on this game are killing me. On the one hand I’m convinced Tennessee can keep this close and that Oklahoma really hasn’t been challenged. On the other hand, I know that Stoops wants to send a message to the rest of the nation about Oklahoma’s ability to crush another SEC team.

I’m going with the Vols to cover here because I think this is when Butch Jones starts to show us the turnaround is real. This probably means that Oklahoma will win by fifty.   

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.