Here we go with week five of the Outkick gambling picks.
Last week we hit the blood bank guarantee — the under on Tennessee-Florida — which makes us an undefeated 5-0 on the blood bank guarantee (4-0 if you pushed on the wild ending in Florida-Kentucky), but we went 5-6 ATS as we continue to get hit by late losses and haven’t had a late win since Texas A&M-Clemson.
It’s past time for that to turn around.
Our record is now 32-27 on the season, good for 54% winners, but we need to bump those numbers up quite a bit down the stretch run of the season.
How do we do that?
By going 10-0 this week.
(FYI, I went 4-3 for the third straight week in the William Hill college football gambling contest. All of my picks in that contest were the same as my picks on here).
This will be the third year we’ve had the picks up early on the Outkick VIP message board. If you love to ride with the Outkick picks — or hate me and want to fade everything that I do — I post my picks Monday afternoon on the VIP message board so you can get the earliest numbers possible. Then I’ll post the picks for free here on Wednesday afternoon. This year’s new VIP’s will receive an autographed copy of my new book, Republicans Buy Sneakers Too, access to our VIP events across the nation, a VIP message board, a VIP phone line for my radio show, and other cool experiences, potentially involving the TV show(s), which will be announced on the VIP message board. So make sure you sign up for Outkick VIP today.
Here we go with 10-0:
Penn State -6.5 at Maryland, now Penn State -6.5
James Franklin was once the offensive coordinator and coach in waiting at Maryland and he seems to enjoy going back to College Park and running up the score on the school he left for Vanderbilt.
The Terrapins are a bit of an enigma here — they were great against Syracuse, but then went on the road and lost at Temple.
They’ve had two weeks to get ready for this Friday night game which means the crowd will be hyped and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Terps get up early and feed on that crowd.
But the second half has pretty much belonged to Penn State all season and I expect that to continue.
The Nittany Lions take down the Terps by a touchdown or more, getting you a nice Friday cover to begin your weekend.
Arizona State at Cal, the under 40, now under 40
Here are the defensive point totals in Arizona State games so far this season: 7, 7, 7, 31.
That last game, a loss to Colorado is a clear outlier and I think the Sun Devils return to their earlier season form as they play against Cal.
Because Cal would prefer to play a defensive game as well.
Cal has given up 13, 19, 17 and 20. (That last point total deserves an asterisk, however, because I think Ole Miss scored).
So if both teams play according to their defensive averages so far the point total will be right at 31.
Which is, last I checked, quite a bit less than forty.
Take the under, kids, it’s just basic math.
Northwestern at Wisconsin -23.5, now Wisconsin -24
Northwestern is, to put it simply, not a good football team.
Against big five conference competition so far they have scored 14 total points. (Their only touchdown last week, which cost us the under against Michigan State, came with less than two minutes to play against Michigan State. And they only scored seven points against Stanford, which looks even worse now after what UCF and USC did to them than it did the first week of the season.)
Yes, I know, there could be a let down for Wisconsin coming off a huge win, but good defenses are less prone to let downs, it seems to me, than good offenses are.
So I feel pretty comfortable that Wisconsin’s defense isn’t going to allow more than ten points to Northwestern.
Then the question becomes, do I feel good about Wisconsin scoring 35?
And the answer is, yes, I very much do.
Boom, the Badger covering dominance continues for another week.
UConn at UCF -42.5, now UCF -43
Last week Central Florida got Narduzzi’d, becoming the latest victim of Pitt rising up once every year to beat a team they shouldn’t.
But this week?
This week UConn is going to pay the price for the loss.
I think this will be ugly to watch.
Hide the women and children, UCF’s hanging 55+ on UConn and, yes, really, they are covering this massive number.
MTSU at Iowa, the over 51.5, now 53
Did you know that MTSU is one of five schools to be a perfect over team so far this year?
Probably not. (LSU, SMU, New Mexico, and Charlotte are the other four teams with this perfection to their name).
I know, I know, Iowa’s not good on offense and their defense is stout, but the score in this one will be 42-14.
That’s 56 points, which gets you a nice cover.
Ole Miss at Alabama -35, now Bama -38
Nick Saban seems to revel in pummeling Ole Miss to make up fro the back-to-back defeats Hugh Freeze hung on him several years ago.
In fact, the past two years Alabama has won 66-3 and 62-7 against the Rebels.
Unfortunately for Ole Miss, the pain train ain’t stopping any time soon.
It’s Bama 56-10.
And, you know what that means, boys and girls, it’s time to tap the veins, Bama’s our blood bank guarantee this week.
Virginia at Notre Dame -11, now Notre Dame -12.5
I was impressed by Notre Dame’s performance at Georgia and I believe that Virginia, like every team other than Clemson in the ACC, is a paper tiger.
That means Notre Dame handles the Cavaliers with ease back in South Bend.
In fact, if the Irish can win at Michigan, which certainly looks possible, plausible even, I think the Irish will finish the season 11-1.
The march towards near perfection starts Saturday.
The Irish by 14.
Arkansas +23 vs. Texas A&M, now Arkansas +23
I know, I know Razorback fans are reading this pick right now and they’re convinced I’ve lost my mind.
“Did you not see what happened against San Jose State?”
Of course I did, you guys were awful.
But while I think Arkansas is a bad football team — in fact I think Arkansas and Tennessee should play in the Buyout Bowl on the day of the SEC title game — they aren’t this bad of a football team.
Twenty three points is a massive line in this game, particularly when you look at the series history here.
Eight of the last nine have been decided by less points than this, most by seven or less, in excruciating loss fashion for Arkansas fans.
Plus, I just don’t think A&M has the offense right now to blow out Arkansas by 24 or more. Give me the Razorbacks in this one.
Give me the Razorbacks +23.
USC at Washington -9.5, now Washington -10
Clay Helton’s tenure at USC follows patterns — just when you think he’s going to be fired, he wins a game no one expects, but then he follows it up with a couple of losses, putting him right back on the hot seat.
I love Chris Petersen given time to prepare when USC’s quarterback health is a major issue with Kedon Slovis dealing with a concussion and Luke Fink being the only healthy scholarship quarterback.
I also really like what I’m seeing from Jacob Eason as he gets comfortable in this Huskie offensive attack.
I know this feels like a big number, but I see Washington coming out hot and winning by twenty, giving us an easy cover here.
UCLA at Arizona, the over 71, now the over 72
UCLA’s comeback from 32 points down with 18 minutes to play against Washington State is one of the most remarkable turnarounds in college football history.
Now the Bruins go on the road against Kevin Sumlin’s Arizona squad, which is playing after two weeks off, and is poised to continue their solid momentum.
I see points raining down like mad in this game.
Especially from Arizona who will score fifty or more in this one.
Add in 30+ from UCLA, who has finally found their mojo, and we’re easily hitting this over.
There you have it, boys and girls, 10-0 is headed your way.