Welcome to the seventh (but really kind of the eighth) week of college football’s 2022 season. While every weekend is exciting, especially the ones when we think nothing much will happen, this slate of games features some pivotal matchups. Among them: #10 Penn State Nittany Lions at #5 Michigan Wolverines, #3 Alabama Crimson Tide at #6 Tennessee Volunteers, and #8 Oklahoma State Cowboys at #13 TCU Horned Frogs. And those are just the games between unbeatens!
There are even more ranked vs. ranked games, such as the #16 Mississippi State Bulldogs and Mike Leach taking on #22 Kentucky Wildcats (they shouldn’t be ranked but they’re in the SEC so it’s mandatory), and the #6 USC Trojans traveling to Salt Lake City to face the #20 Utah Utes. Utah’s bed-wetting in Westwood last weekend took a little shine of that one, but it will still be a pivotal game in the race for the Pac-12 championship game.
I’m not counting the NC State vs. Syracuse game among the high-profile games because neither of those teams is very good, despite the numbers next to their names. And if all that weren’t enough, there’s a late night chaser on the islands, where Nevada takes on Hawaii in the tire fire game of the week! The feast just continues!
But the great games on the slate aren’t the only ones on which to make selections. Matter of fact, we don’t tend to see a lot of value in the aforementioned clashes.*
*this opinion subject to change on a moment’s notice.
We’ll take value anywhere we can find it, so let’s try and do just that, shall we?
Last Week: 10-7
Season Total: 62-41
Best Call(s) of the Weekend
How ‘bout the fact that we were five-for-five against the spread in Pac-12 games??!! Really wish we’d been 4/5!
Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Cardinal (+7)
Listen, Stanford is a bad team. Oregon State, despite two straight losses, is fairly good. Stanford returns home after playing two road games against the two best teams in the PNW, while OSU goes back on the road after traveling to Utah last week. Also fairly significant is OSU’s, let’s say, tenuous quarterback situation. Given all that, let’s take the touchdown.
The Pick: Card
Turns out Stanford should have won the game! If only it hadn’t completely choked in the last 30 seconds. Alas.
Money Line Value Play of the Week
Faded Houston last week and it paid off. This week, the third-rate Cougars are in Memphis and we think Holgo will have them playing better.
The Pick: Houston (+110)
This was never really in doubt, as Houston simply let Memphis think it was going to win by falling behind 26-7 in the fourth quarter. That’s when Houston was like, “haha fooled you” and scored 14 points in the final 90 seconds to take home the 33-32 win. We’re now 2-0 on money line calls.
Worst Call(s) of the Weekend
Michigan Wolverines at Indiana Hoosiers (+13.5 First Half)
Still fading Indiana to the max extent, but I’m not sure if the Wolverines will continue firing enough late in the game to cover the 22.
The Pick: Go Blue
Your halftime score from Bloomington: Indiana 10, Michigan...also 10. Great job, Harbaugh, and great job, me.
Texas A&M Aggies Team Total = 13.5
You think Saban has mentioned a thing or two to his defense this week?
The Pick: Under
Yeah, lost this one before halftime. A&M scored more points against Alabama than it did against Appalachian State and Miami, both of which were at home. Never. Gamble.
Gut Punch of the Weekend
Purdue Boilermakers at Maryland Terrapins (-3)
Purdue had an impressive win at semi-fraudulent Minnesota last week, but didn’t exactly light the place on fire. Another road game awaits against the better-than-expected Terps.
The Pick: Turtles
Purdue had three third quarter possessions that ended fumble, punt, fumble. How did Maryland take advantage? Turnover on downs, punt, missed field goal. Despite all that nonsense, Maryland needed a 2-point conversion to send the game to OT. And they made one! Except that they were penalized! Then they didn’t make it! I hate my life!
All odds courtesy of our DraftKings partners.
Washington State Cougars at Oregon State Beavers (-4)
Can’t recall the last time OSU was favored in this series, but I’d guess it was clear back in 2014, when a young redshirt freshman named Falk firebombed OSU (-8) to the tune of 461 yards and 5 touchdowns. That game ended a stretch of WSU ineptitude against the Beavers, who beat the Cougs six of seven time previously. WSU now sits on a 9-game series winning streak, but still has to win six more to beat its unbeaten streak in this series, which occurred between 1979 and 1993 (there was one tie).
This is a really tough one to call, particularly because of the injuries on both sides. WSU is banged up in general, while OSU has questions at quarterback. Then again, backup Ben Gulbranson might be just as good (meaning just as not bad?) as starter Chance Nolan. That means the Beavers will likely lean on the running game, and the thought here is that WSU’s edge at QB, coupled with it’s mostly decent run defense will keep the game close.
The Pick: WSU / Under 53.5
California Golden Bears at Colorado Buffaloes (-14.5)
I don’t care who is coaching Colorado, and who is on the other side. I just can’t take Colorado in any circumstance until it shows a pulse. So I guess we’ll see you in 2024 or so, Buffs. Take my advice and give Jon Embree another shot.
The Pick: Cal
Arizona Wildcats at Washington Huskies (-14)
When’s the last time Jayden de Laura played in Seattle? Can’t seem to recall. Oh, that’s right.
Washington State QB Jayden de Laura got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for this pic.twitter.com/DxGxKMlvJH— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) November 27, 2021
Jayden de Laura plants the @WSUCougarFB flag in Husky Stadium after their Apple Cup victory pic.twitter.com/fBWTXF5VxP— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 27, 2021
But that was a long time ago, and I’m sure the hordes of sanctimonious pr**ks at Washington have forgotten about it. In the meantime, both of these defenses have proven to be especially ghastly. That’s not a surprise for the Wildcats, but a total breakdown of the Washington defense was not expected, given its acumen over the last seven or so seasons. de Laura will get his yards and touchdowns, but Washington will probably put up half a hundred.
The Pick: Suddenly flaccid Penix
Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-17)
I’m not really sure what else David Shaw can do in order to get himself fired, but it’s rather obvious that Stanford’s upper management couldn’t care less about the product he’s putting on the field. Meanwhile, under the Golden Dome, the Irish are unbeaten since head coach Marcus Freeman converted to Catholicism. Coincidence??!! I DON’T THINK SO. But despite Stanford’s terribleness, and even though noted football fan Jesus of Nazareth High School is pulling for the home team, I just can’t lay that many points with Drew Pine.
The Pick: Splintered Trees
USC Trojans at Utah Utes (-3.5)
Hoo boy. This is interesting. Let’s go to the venerable Chris “Bear” Fallica for a tasty nugget on this game.
Since 2015 been 15 instances where a team 6-0 or better was an underdog to a team with at least two losses. Those 15 teams have gone 3-12 straight up. Utah is favored over 6-0 USC...— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) October 13, 2022
I don’t think USC is anywhere near the sixth-best team in the country, and yet that’s where they sit, while getting 3.5? Something stinks.
The Pick: Utah
Load Up the Wagon
To the Twitters!
The Gamble-Tron likes Penn State +7 and Baylor-3. https://t.co/NZkm0uZGo9— PJ Kendall ✈ ⚰ (@Deathby105) October 10, 2022
Welp, we’re already 0-1, thanks to incompetent Baylor defense and special teams. F***ing awesome. Oh well, On Penn State! You tell ‘em, Barack!
UTSA Road Runners at FIU Something or Others (+33.5)
I just can’t help myself on Friday nights.
The Pick: Wile E’s Nemesis
LSU Tigers at Florida Gators (-2.5)
This is a fun rivalry, from one school calling the other a bunch of chickens for not wanting to play, to thrown shoes and field goals in the fog. But we’re going with the motivation factor of Billy Napier, who wanted the LSU job, and was shunned at every turn.
The Pick: Gators
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Illinois Illini (+6.5)
Let’s see, Illinois has won like four in a row, and just cracked the Top 25. Meanwhile, Minnesota got pantsed by Purdue last time out. So Illinois, playing at home, is getting nearly a touchdown? Hmm. Hmm
The Pick: PJ’s snake oil / Under 39.5
Iowa State Cyclones at Texas Longhorns (-16)
Yes, I know Texas is white hot with Quinn Ewers at quarterback. And yes, I know Iowa State pretty much stinks, but still, the Cyclones haven’t lost a conference game by 16 or more in over five years. Plus, the Horns have Oklahoma State up next. Letdown lookahead sandwich game. Even better news for Iowa State - there aren’t any other schools that will be coming after your coach anymore!
The Pick: ISU
Clemson Tigers at Florida State Seminoles (+4)
This is another pungent line. Why is unbeaten Clemson only giving four to banged-up, mediocre FSU? Hmm. Hmm. In this case, I’m running toward the smell.
The Pick: Dabo
Miami Hurricanes at Virginia Tech Hokies (Total = 48.5)
This seems a bit juiced given Va Tech’s relative total bonanza last week. The worse Miami gets, the more Mario will turtle up.
The Pick: Under
New Mexico Lobos at New Mexico State Aggies (+6.5)
It’s the Land of Enchantment showdown! The Chili Championship! Ok, sources close to me indicate that the game is actually called the Rio Grande Rivalry, and it doesn’t have a trophy. BOOOOOOO. The wikipedias tell me that it had something called the Maloof Trophy for like eight years in the 90s, but if you can find a picture of it, you’re a better internetter than I am. Either way, NMSU is horribad.
The Pick: Los Lobos
Utah State Aggies at Colorado State Rams (+6.5 first half)
SICKOOOOOOO MODE: ACTIVATE
The Pick: USU
Chasing. We are doing it.
EDIT: Our early returns are deplorable, so we’re going to chase the dragon.
Oklahoma State at TCU (-5)
The Pick: Frogs
NC State at Syracuse (-3)
No qb = very little chance for the Pack. Syracuse is the worst unbeaten team in the country, but I’d bet it doesn’t care.
The Pick(s): ‘Cuse / Under 43
North Carolina at Duke (+7)
Duke is banged up, and UNC has dumb helmets.
The Pick: Heels
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.