USC (-3) over UCLA
Not what I would call a good matchup for UCLA with their weak pass defense going against one of the best QB/WR combos in the country. Although by the numbers USC’s defense isn’t much better, the teams who have given them the most problems have been the spread teams like Zona and Oregon.
The Trojans always seem to do a better job against the more conventional offenses. I also think USC’s numbers are a bit skewed in comparison to the Bruins since USC has had the tougher in-conference schedule having to play the two top teams Oregon and Stanford, where UCLA to this point has avoided those teams.. This won’t be a runaway by any means. These two teams are pretty close because of UCLA’s ability to run the ball. But at just a FG I prefer to take my chances with the Trojans to get the cover.
LSU (-18.5) over Ole Miss ***
I like the way this LSU team is trending upward this late in the season. With their QB Mettenberger getting more confident by the week, I think this LSU team is going to be a handful for here on out. Especially with a shutdown defense. Miss State found this out last week in a game that LSU had every right to throw in a clunker after a tough Bama loss..But if it didn’t happen last week, I don’t think it will happen this week against similar strength competetion.. The Rebs suffered a devastating come from ahead loss last week to Vandy.
The worst kind. Especially since they needed that game to become bowl eligible. Now Freeze has to try to put his team back together emotionally and head out on the road to a tough venue. I’ve won some nice money on Ole Miss this season. But the bottom line is they are still a team who hasn’t beaten anybody with a winning record. And it’s this time of year where attrition starts to come into play for the lower and midlevel conference teams, while the cream of the crop teams with better depth (LSU) starts to rise to the top. I think Ole Miss will have problems scoring here while Mettwenberger continues to improve since his Bama coming out party. I look for a 35-10 type of game.
Marshall (-3) over Houston ***
Saber has a nice writeup of this game in his thread. The only thing I will add is even both defenses are bad, we are getting the better QB (Cato) playing at home with a Marshall team who is at least have the appearaces of the more stable program right now, against a Houston team who is dealing with injuries and looks like they are trending downward. I see this kind of thing happen year after year with teams with new head coaches who are dealing with team injuries. With this being Levine’s first year as a HC anywhere, I’m not sure he’s really got the experience to get his team back on track. Especially on the road. Two out of Houston’s last 3 losses have been blowouts. Which is almost never good this late in the season.
Kansas State/Baylor (OVER 74) **** (Best Bet)
My first 4 star play of the year. I think everything here sets up for a very high scoring affair. First off, there are two teams in the Big 12 who have zero defense. And that is WV and Baylor. They both have to outscore their opponents to win. And it hasn’t worked out too good for either team since the winning score is usually in the 50′s. Almost every team has had their way with Baylor’s D. The only team that didn’t play to form against Baylor was Kansas a couple weeks ago. But keep in mind that the new Kansas QB was getting his first start in that game, and KU still rushed for over 250 yards on Baylor. So you can probably imagine what Klein and this KSU team can do to them.
The only other bad offensive team in the conference Iowa State still gained over 550 yards on Baylor. So it wouldn’t surprise me if this was a 400+ yard rushing night for KSU in this game. KSU might possibly be without Lockett on offense, but I don’t think it will matter when KSU is gashing this team for 10+ yard runs. It should be noted that KSU’s stud FS is probably going to be out too. This could be a bigger blow to the Cats since he has been the main reason why the Cats haven’t allowed the long pass plays this year. KSU is still somewhat of a bend but not break pass defense. They allow 243 ypg and Baylor passes for a league high 375 ypg. So Baylor will most likely get their points too. If this line had made it up to 14 I would have seriously considered taking Baylor and the points. But with this total staying pretty stable this week, I much prefer the over in what should be a 49-35 type of game.
Ohio State (+3) over Wisconsin**
Good situational spot for OSU coming in off a bye week. And Wisconsin having already clinched their divsion. What have they got to play for? OSU can’t go bowling, so they are shooting for an undefeated season. Wisky getting WAY too much love for skulldragging a bad Indiana team last week. This week Wisky will be playing against a defense that will actually get off the bus. Something tells me Wisky QB Phillips isn’t going to have the rookie luck that he had last week in his first start. The Buckeyes will break him in right. Meyer sending a message for next year. They will be the team to beat. Plus in my opinion a big coaching/QB mismatch. This line looks too good to be true, and it might be a sucker’s bet. But I’m taking it anyway. This looks like a close game.
Florida State (-31) over Maryland **
With the amount of injuries that Maryland has endured, Edsall probably can’t get this season overwith fast enough. Maryland was never a good offensive team to begin with, but it has now hit rock bottom. When you can only score 10 and 13 points against Clemson and GT the last 2 weeks, you’ve got some serious problems. You can tell this team is wearing down in the closing stretch. And now the best team in the conference with the best defense is coming to town. FSU got a scare in their Thursday night road game against VT. I don’t think they will mess around in this game. I look for them to be all business in this early kickoff.
The reason I usually don’t give this many points on the road unless there is a clear advantage for the favorite on both sides of the ball. Clemson beat Maryland last week 45-10. FSU’s offense is similar in strength to Clemson, but with a much better defense. I don’t see Maryland’s LB/QB having any success whatsoever against this FSU defense that hasn’t given up more than 7 points in any game against teams with similar strength offenses. And this is the worst of them all. FSU wins in a 42-3 type of game.