We’re into the 2nd last weekend of the college football regular season. Last week I went 3-3 and I’ll look to improve my record, as this is the last full week of the regular season. Most conferences are over this week and the conference championships will start next weekend. We’ll be updating everyone after this week on the CFB homepage with information on the championship games.
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• TCU +7 (-105) vs. Texas -7 (-115) – Pick: Texas -7
The Longhorns still have a lot to play for, as they could win the Big 12 Championship still with some luck. They need to win their L2 games against TCU and K-State to have a shot. I expect the Longhorns to come out strong this Thursday on Thanksgiving Day in the USA, as they’ll be playing on primetime and with a win they would have a shot to beat the conference leading Wildcats.
Texas hasn’t had trouble scoring (39.6 PPG – 13th) this season, but they’ve struggled defensively at times (29.1 PPG – 74th). I don’t think TCU poses a huge offensive threat, as they’ve only averaged 31.5 PPG (44th) this season. TCU is only 3-4 in Big 12 play as this year as well and with this game meaning so much to Texas I’m betting them by -7 points before the spread goes up higher.
• Notre Dame -6.5 (-110) vs. USC +6.5 (-110) – Pick: Notre Dame -6.5
Notre Dame is #1 in the country after Oregon and K-State faltered this past week. Notre Dame won 38-0 over Wake Forest, but this week is the true test for the Fighting Irish. If they beat USC on the road they earn a berth in the BCS National Championship, something the Fighting Irish hasn’t done in many years. This is a huge game for Notre Dame and I expect them to win easily.
USC has struggled this year and they were once a NC contender before losing. USC is now 7-4 with all four losses in the Pac-12 including losing 3 of their L4 games. Notre Dame has the best defense in the nation (10.1 PPG allowed) and the rushing game is good enough to put up plenty of points on most teams. With a NC berth on the line I expect ND to be zoned in on Saturday.
• Georgia Tech +13 (-110) vs. Georgia -13 (-110) – Pick: Georgia -13
Georgia Tech has already earned a spot in the ACC Championship Game despite posting a 6-5 (5-3 ACC) record. Being in the weak Coastal division helped them qualify and they’ll play FSU next week. I think this is a big look ahead spot for G-Tech in the position that they’re in this week and Georgia at home has been a solid team most of the season.
Georgia has one of the top offenses (37.6 PPG – 21st) and they also play strong defense (18.4 PPG – 18th). G-Tech relies heavily on a great rushing attack (324.9 RYPG – 3rd), but Georgia should be able to stack the box and limit them. The Bulldogs need this win and I don’t think they’ll play it close because they’re currently tied at the top of the SEC East with Florida at 10-1 (7-1 SEC).
• Oregon -9.5 (-110) vs. Oregon State +9.5 (-110) – Pick: Oregon -9.5
I can’t believe Oregon lost last week when they had the NC in their reach. After losing to Stanford Oregon is unlikely to get into the NC, but I do think they’ll bounce back this week. Oregon needs to win this week and Stanford has to lose against UCLA for the Ducks to get a shot to play in the Pac-12 Championship against UCLA who already locked up the Pac-12 South division.
Oregon was limited to 14 points last week and they lost in OT. Nobody would have expected them to score so little and I expect this offense to breakout in the final week against a tough Oregon State team. The Beavers have been tough on defense all year, but with a Ducks team that needs to let off some steam this game could get ugly quickly despite being played at Reser Stadium.
• Stanford -2 (-110) vs. UCLA +2 (-110) – Pick: Stanford -2
I’m sure UCLA isn’t going to fold like a cheap chair this weekend, but what motivation do they have? They already locked up a spot in the Pac-12 Conference Championship and this week they play Stanford. If Stanford wins these two teams would meet again in the championship game to determine who wins the conference. My money is on Stanford winning this game.
If Stanford loses and Oregon wins they make the championship game, so this is a huge game for the Cardinals and after they beat Oregon in OT last weekend they’ll be pumped for this road game against a weaker Bruins team. UCLA beat USC, but at the same time I think that USC is a better team overall. Stanford’s defense should limit the Bruins offense this weekend.
• Oklahoma State +7 (-110) vs. Oklahoma -7 (-110) – Pick: Oklahoma -7
The Sooners still have an outside chance of winning the Big 12, but they need to win this week and next week against TCU plus K-State would have to lose against Texas in their final meeting of the season. Oklahoma won a close game last week by 1 point against WVU and they won’t be getting a break this weekend, as the Cowboys are one of the highest scoring teams in the nation.
Oklahoma hasn’t been as good on defense this season as they usually are which was evident last week when they gave up 49 to the Mountaineers. With a lot on the line still for the Sooners this is a big game for them. I expect the Cowboys to play strong, as the Sooners are a big rival of theirs, but Oklahoma will win this game at home and make the Big 12 interesting next week.