Memphis (+7) over Houston: The line for this game would be much tighter if Memphis didn’t lose their first game of the season to Navy last week. I think the Tigers can keep it close behind quarterback Paxton Lynch. Houston will win but by a field goal.
Miami (+13) over North Carolina: This is a lot of points to give a Miami team that is 2-0 since Al Golden was fired. North Carolina is coming off a huge win over Duke but I don’t think their offense will put up the numbers needed to cover this large spread.
Baylor (-2.5) over Oklahoma: This is my strongest pick of the week in college football. I feel like we are getting a bargain with Baylor because freshman Jarrett Stidham is playing for the Bears. I think this line would be close to a touchdown if Seth Russell was playing so I’ll take the discounted price on a Baylor team with one of the best offenses in the country.
Arizona (+6) over Utah: Arizona has been very disappointing this season at 5-5 overall and 2-5 in the conference. Despite a poor season they can become bowl eligible with a win, which is important to a lot of programs. Utah is probably a little overvalued here especially on the road. The Utes have a lookahead game against UCLA next week, which will likely decide who wins the Pac-12 South.
Here are five ACC games to remember when picking games against the spread this college football season:
October 17- Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech will be a favorite when they host Pittsburgh here. The spot is tough for the Yellow Jackets with a game at Clemson the week before and at home tilt against Florida State the week after. Pittsburgh has to make a long trip to Atlanta but I can see them covering the spread as underdogs.
October 17- Virginia Tech at Miami: Miami plays Florida State the week before in Tallahassee. The Hurricanes have lost by double digits in the last two seasons the week after playing the Seminoles. This will likely be built into the spread but still like Virginia Tech here.
October 31- Clemson at North Carolina State: Clemson’s game of the year is when they host Florida State a week later. This could be a tricky spot for the Tigers against an improved North Carolina State team.
Florida State (+1) over North Carolina State: North Carolina State hits the road after back-to-back home games against rivals Duke and North Carolina. Big letdown spot here.
Notre Dame (-6.5) over Miami: Miami just beat Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium and now have to go to unfamiliar territory at Notre Dame. This line is too low.
Ohio State (+1) over Iowa: Ohio State is looking for revenge after the Hawkeyes beat them at home in their conference opener.
Michigan State (+3) over Maryland: Michigan State will also be seeking revenge after dropping their conference opener to Maryland in double overtime back on December 30.
Starting now until the end of the NBA playoffs, I will post basketball picks for the NBA and college.
Pistons (-1) over Lakers: The Pistons are a terrible team but so are the Lakers. Detroit will eventually play better and they can start now against a team they know they can beat. The Lakers played a overtime game on Sunday at home where they pulled out a victory against Toronto. I don’t think they show up in this game.
Bulls (-1) over Mavericks: Bulls are back at home after a long road trip and that’s why the line is low. I think it’s too low especially since the Bulls’ starting lineup is healthy for now. Dallas is a much better team at home than on the road.
Illinois (+4) over Miami: My first college pick of the year will be in the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. I’m going to pick a team that I think is underrated and will make surprise people when conference play comes around. Illinois has a quality group of guards that I think will outplay Miami. The Illini also have revenge on their mind from when the Hurricanes defeated them in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Washington State (+16) over Arizona State: Arizona State’s Playoff dreams were crushed last week at Oregon State. They return home to face Washington State and now they don’t even control their own destiny to win the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devils also have a rivalry game against Arizona next week, which makes the situation even tougher. Washington State won’t make a bowl this season but quarterback Luke Falk did a great job replacing the injured Connor Halliday in the Cougars’ win at Oregon State. Washington State also had a bye last week so they will be prepared and focused.
Arkansas (+3.5) over Ole Miss: I think Arkansas starts building a conference winning streak this week. Their running attack and offensive line can matchup with Ole Miss’ front seven. The Rebels might be looking ahead to next week’s game against Mississippi State where they can ruin their rivals’ Playoff chances. Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to Mississippi State last season, which makes the look ahead ever more possible.
Virginia (+6) over Miami: I was very impressed with Miami’s play against Florida State but they lost in devastating fashion. Now they have to go on the road to Virginia with a let down seeming inevitable. Virginia is 4-6 so they still have a shot at a bowl game. The Cavaliers are coming off a bye so this is a great spot to back Virginia.
Vanderbilt (+30) over Mississippi State: Mississippi State is overvalued here. I think the Sportsbooks have an inflated point spread assuming that Mississippi State will try to run up the score to impress the Playoff committee. The reality is Mississippi State hasn’t really looked impressive recently and they just want to win and be healthy for the Egg Bowl in Week 14. The Bulldogs are still in the top four so they still control their own destiny. Vanderbilt is showing signs of life and had a bye last week to prepare for this one.
Kansas State (+2) over West Virginia- Thursday night
North Carolina (+6) over Duke- Thursday night
I have seven picks in Week 12 of college football. I previewed the important games earlier in this week before the lines were released. I ended up picking six of those games so you can read my analysis there. Here are my picks and pool plays for Week 12:
South Carolina (+7) over Florida: This is the one game I didn’t preview earlier in the week because it has no impact on the College Football Playoff. South Carolina has blown three fourth quarter leads this year but I think they make sure to play 60 minutes in Gainesville. Florida doesn’t have the offense to be a touchdown favorite here and I think the Gamecocks win straight up.
Georgia (-2) over Auburn
Stanford (-7.5) over Utah
Alabama (-8) over Mississippi State
Arkansas (-2) over LSU
Florida State (-3) over Miami
Maryland (+12) over Michigan State
Penn State (-11) over Temple
Ohio State (-14) over Minnesota
Iowa (-3.5) over Illinois
Nebraska (+6.5) over Wisconsin