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The entire college football season has been a mess.
And you know what’s been an even bigger mess this year? The college football gambling picks.
We went 2-5 last week, and our season record dropped to 44-57. And things didn’t go much better in the NFL Six Pack either. We went 2-4 there to drop our record to 43-29 on the season. That’s a combined 87-86 record.
It’s time to get hot as the weather turns cold.
I’ll have the OutKick NFL Six Pack for you Friday morning, but in the meantime one bit of good news: Everyone in a state where gambling is legal — that’s Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and New Jersey — can bet on Patriots-Rams, and if you pick the winner, you get paid out at 25-1 odds, meaning a $5 bet returns $125. So get your bets in on the winner of Patriots-Rams tomorrow. And if you’re in Michigan or Virginia, go get signed up at the best spread betting platform UK has to offer today because sports gambling is coming to your state from their country region before the end of the year.
Here we go with the picks this week. We’re going 10-0!
Georgia at Mizzou +13.5 and the over 53
Mizzou coach Eli Drinkwitz has been the biggest surprise in the SEC season this year with the Tigers rebounding from an 0-2 start to sit at 5-3 entering this weekend’s game against Georgia. The Tigers are on such a roll, they’re even in the top 25 now.
The reason why Mizzou has taken off? Freshman quarterback Connor Bazelak. Coming off a wild win over Arkansas, Mizzou gets a rescheduled game against Georgia, who is also coming off a postponed game against Vanderbilt.
The Bulldog offense has been much improved since JT Daniels took over, but Georgia, overall, has been a fairly substantial disappointment. Sure, 8-2 — which is where the Bulldogs will probably finish — isn’t bad, but relative to expectations, it certainly is. And Georgia’s best win on the season will end up being over a mediocre Auburn team. Both Alabama and Florida trounced the Bulldogs pretty well.
Which is why I think all the value here is on Mizzou, who has won five of their past six games.
Give me the Tigers to keep it within seven to ten points and cover vs. Georgia as well as the over hitting. I see this as a 38-28 final.
Illinois +14.5 at Northwestern
Today, the Big Ten changed the rules on qualifying for the Big Ten title game to allow Ohio State to play in Indianapolis next weekend.
So not only do the Buckeyes get to play for the title, despite winning only five games, they get a bye week before the title game while Northwestern has to play this weekend.
It’s also crazy that Northwestern, given a sometimes nonexistent offense, is now over a two touchdown favorite against Illinois.
Sure, Illinois isn’t very good, but they’ve won two of their last three games, and this situation has “trap game” written all over it.
Plus, this game really doesn’t matter at all for Northwestern. They’re already playing for the Big Ten title next week. Who cares what happens in this game?
Give me Illinois +14.5.
North Carolina at Miami -3
The Hurricanes are the most ignored team in college football. Ever since they lost to Clemson, it’s like people stopped paying attention to the U. As a result many people aren’t aware that Miami, if they win this game, would become one of a tiny handful of Power Five teams to post nine wins in the regular season. (Think about the Power Five teams with nine wins on the year: Alabama and Notre Dame have done it, Florida and Texas A&M might do it, but that’s as long as the list goes for the regular season. Pretty wild, huh?)
Meanwhile UNC has been fine — 6-3 was cause for celebration in many years in Chapel Hill — but the Tar Heels floundered in their big match up against Notre Dame and have never really made significant noise this season.
So what happens in Miami this weekend? Hop aboard the Hurricane express: I think the U wins by a touchdown to finish their season at 9-1.
Alabama -31.5 at Arkansas
The Tide are the best team in college football and are now the -105 betting favorites to win the title.
We all know they can score at will, but this Tide team is also starting to dominate on both sides of the ball. The most impressive thing about them has been their defense, rounding into form after a sloppy start to the season.
Arkansas, on the other hand, has come back down to earth after a solid start to the season. The Razorbacks, whom many picked to go winless on the season, peaked on November 7th when they came from 13 points down to upset Tennessee and post a 3-3 record.
Since that time they’ve lost tough games to LSU and Arkansas by a total of five points — along with a blowout from Florida — and are sitting at 3-6 as the final game of the season arrives.
No matter what happens on Saturday, I think most Razorback fans would have been ecstatic to be 3-7 in the first year of Sam Pittman.
But this feels like a “name the score” game for Alabama, as they get ready for Florida next weekend. Which is why I see the Tide clamping down on the Razorbacks and winning something like 45-10.
The Tide locks up a playoff berth on Saturday and rolls into Atlanta at 10-0.
Michigan State at Penn State -14
This is a momentum bet. Penn State is now 2-5 on the season. In most years that would be atrocious for the Nittany Lions, but when you start off 0-5, two straight wins can get everyone fired up.
Meanwhile, Michigan State has been almost impossible to predict. In their past four games they’ve lost by 42, 24, and 40, but they’ve also pulled off a huge upset over Northwestern.
So which Spartan team will we see on Saturday to finish out the regular season for Penn State?
I think we get the bad version, and the Nittany Lions cover with ease to finish their season 3-5.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt +15
Vanderbilt is headed for an 0-10 SEC football season. That’s a level of futility that is unlikely to ever be equaled again in modern SEC football history. Why? Because I’m not sure when we’ll ever see ten SEC football games played again in a season.
Tennessee, meanwhile, has lost six games in a row and is stumbling towards a dismal season, managing to lose all six of those SEC games by double digits.
So what happens in this game?
I think Vandy comes out and plays well because, if the Commodores were to beat Tennessee, their season would be made, even though they’d finish 1-9.
Honestly, as a Tennessee fan, I kind of expect for Sarah Fuller to make the winning kick in this game, for Vandy to carry her off the field on their shoulders, and for a new Rudy/Sarah Fuller movie to be made so this game never stops being played on television for the rest of my life.
Given how Tennessee has played over the past couple of months, favoring the Vols by double digits over anyone in the SEC, even Vandy, feels crazy to me right now.
So give me the Commodores here to cover the 15.
LSU at Florida -23 and the over 67.5
The Gator offense is rolling, and they’re in the process of trying to win Kyle Trask the Heisman trophy. So I don’t see them taking their foot off the gas.
Meanwhile, the LSU defense has struggled since Week One when Mississippi State lit them up.
Last week, Alabama posted 650 yards of offense and hung 45 on LSU in the first half. This week, I think we could see more of the same from Florida.
Give me the Gators, who have failed to cover in three straight games, and also give me the over.
I think we could see an Arkansas-like game down in Gainesville, with Florida posting 56 or so and LSU managing 21.
That’s an easy over and an easy cover.
USC -2.5 at UCLA
Turns out, there’s actually a Pac-12 season being played, guys.
UCLA is 3-2 under Chip Kelly, even though most people haven’t noticed, and the Trojans came out on fire against Washington State on Sunday night. Now six days later, they are ready to roll into the Battle of Los Angeles in an empty Rose Bowl against UCLA.
USC has won four out of five in this series, and I think that string of recent dominance continues as the Trojans seek to complete a perfect 5-0 regular season. (How strange does that feel to read?)
This line feels strangely short, but I’m going to ignore the warning sign and pick the Trojans to fight on to victory.
There you have it, boys and girls. A 10-0 week is on the way.