Instead of picking every game straight up this year, I thought I would go more Vegas-style and select certain games each week to pick against the spread. Last weeks record: 5-4. Season record: 10-7-1. Lock of the Week: 1-1.
Lock of the Week: Hawaii +8 vs Nevada. I really like Nevada as a team, but Hawaii has been their house of horrors over the years, including a Bowl loss in Hawaii a few years back. I expect this one to stay close but Nevada pulls it out for the first time in 64 years on the island...Nevada 34, Hawaii 31. (Yuck, L)
Vegas Knows Something Two-Pack of the Week: Clemson +14.5 at Florida State and Kansas State +14 at Oklahoma. Two of the biggest games on the weekly slate are 2 TD spreads? I especially like the extra half point I get with Clemson, who always gets up for Florida State and hung 35 points on them in last season's victory. K-State was throttled by Oklahoma a year ago, but the Sooners offense hasn't been the same almost since that game. Maybe I am being fooled into thinking these two will be close and I can see both underdogs winning the game. I will take both against the spread, but only one to win...Florida State 27, Clemson 21 (W) and Kansas State 34, Oklahoma 30 (W).
Three Times to the Well Pick of the Week: Louisiana-Monroe +7 vs Baylor. ULM has been good to me two weeks in a row and now they are a home dog. Only getting 7 against a dangerous Baylor offense that could blow them out of the building was a predicament. I have to ride the Warhawks one more week with a raucous Friday Night home crowd keeping them in it until the end again...Baylor 41, Louisiana-Monroe 38 (W).
How Far Can They Fall Pick of the Week: Rutgers +7 at Arkansas. Tyler Wilson is a question mark for the Razorbacks, but the Rutgers D is no question. Wilson or no Wilson, the Scarlett Knights play defense like an SEC team. Getting a TD is just enough for me to be comfortable, even more comfortable if Wilson is out...Arkansas 24, Rutgers 20 if Wilson plays, Rutgers 23, Arkansas 17 if he doesn't (W).
Other Picks of the Week:
Missouri +10 at South Carolina. Missouri has already played Georgia, so they know how tough the SEC is and how they need to play a 60 minute game. The Gamecocks are prone to some close ones and I see that this week...South Carolina 27, Missouri 24 (L).
Marshall -3 at Rice. Two excellent all-around quarterbacks in Rakeem Cato and Taylor McHargue duke it out in Houston. Cato is more experienced and the Thundering Herd have the better team around him...Marshall 44, Rice 31 (push).
Fresno State +6.5 at Tulsa. The Bulldogs have some offensive firepower to test a solid Tulsa defense which struggled against a less-talented Iowa State offense in the opener...Fresno State 34, Tulsa 33 (W).
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West Virginia -26.5 vs Maryland. Dana Holgerson does not take his foot off the gas and similar to Wake Forest vs Florida State last week, the talent difference ultimately leads to a very lopsided score...West Virginia 56, Maryland 17 (L).
Michigan +4.5 at Notre Dame. Michigan has had Notre Dame's number recently and we have been provided some thrilling games. I expect another close one, likely coming down to a field goal. I just happen to like Michigan to win too...Michigan 26, Notre Dame 23 (L).
Georgia Tech -14 vs Miami, FL. The Yellowjackets have their defense complementing a tough-to-stop offense. Plus Miami, FL is not that good...Georgia Tech 41, Miami, FL 21 (L).
East Carolina +17 at North Carolina. I am still trying to figure out the Tar Heels, but two close losses has to wear on you some. The Pirates got back on track a week ago and figure to be motivated for their in-state rival...North Carolina 31, East Carolina 21 (L).