Conference play is in full swing and I have four best bets for Saturday. Read the full writeup of each pick on Fansided.
The Pac-12 looks like it will be a very entertaining conference in 2015 and one where I will look to pick a lot of games against the spread. Here are five games I will look to be involved in this season:
September 25- Stanford at Oregon state: Stanford has an early season conference test at USC on national TV. Six days later they go up to Oregon State. Not a game you have to bet because Oregon State is going through a rebuilding process but something to keep an eye on early in the season.
October 22- California at UCLA: In a odd scheduling situation, UCLA play on Thursday nights in back-to-back weeks. They play at Stanford before hosting California. Stanford is a physical team that could wear down UCLA at the line of scrimmage. This could setup well for a California team that will look to play in a high tempo offense. I’m also high on California this season and think they will finish third in the Pac-12 North. The Golden Bears are off a bye week and I think they will keep it close in Pasadena.
The first ever College Football Playoff National Championship sees Ohio State and Oregon play in Arlington, Texas. The talent level on both teams are about equal. The Buckeyes have the coaching edge with Urban Meyer, who thrives in the role as an underdog. The reason Oregon is a touchdown favorite over Ohio State is because of the quarterback edge. Marcus Mariota has been decorated with awards throughout this collegiate career and has the chance to win the most important prize tonight. Mariota is very consistent, doesn’t turn the ball over much and has great foot work. Ohio State is starting Cardale Jones who is only making his third start. He impressed in wins over Wisconsin and Alabama but it’s hard to say if his success will continue on Monday night. If Jones plays like he did in the Sugar Bowl, then Ohio State will stay close in this game throughout. I think Urban Meyer will come out with a game plan to control the clock early, which will lead to a lower scoring first half. The first half under 37.5 looks attractive. I think Jones will play well and there has been something with Oregon not playing well in big games in the past. I think Ohio State can win this game but will take the points just in case.
Pick: Ohio State (+7) over Oregon
It’s not often that an undefeated team is more than a touchdown underdog. Well that’s the case in the Rose Bowl where Florida State puts their 29-game win streak on the line against Oregon. Anyone who watched college football the last two season knows that the 2013 version of Florida State was significantly better than the 2014 Seminoles. Florida State had close calls against Clemson, Notre Dame, Louisville, Miami, Boston College, Florida and Georgia Tech but the only thing that matters is they won each of the games.
Oregon had one slip up back in October against Arizona but showed why they are one of the best teams in the country the rest of the way. Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota was especially strong this season. They are getting a lot of respect in the point spread because they played a Pac-12 schedule. But are they getting too much respect?
I think the spread is too high and will take Florida State plus the points. The Seminoles will have used the break before the Rose Bowl to get healthier and clear their minds of any off the field issues. I still think Oregon will win this game but Florida State will keep it close.
Pick: Florida State (+8.5) over Oregon
Here are my Week 7 college football picks and the rest of the pool plays:
Minnesota (-4) over Northwestern
UL Monroe (+21.5) over Kentucky
Oregon (-3) over UCLA
Washington (+3.5) over California
Texas A&M (-2) over Ole Miss
Arizona (+3) over USC
Washington State (+17) over Stanford- Friday Night