I’m back in the winner’s circle after a good week last week. I’m now 35-17 since week two, and I am very proud of that number.
As for this week, two things:
- Screw you SEC, you single handedly made this week of college football awful with your cupcake scheduling.
- My picks this week are not sexy. They’re disgusting, actually. I’m breaking my own rule about not including my Oregon State Beavers in my picks. However, my NFL picks last week were quite possibly the most disgusting picks of all-time and I went 4-1, so I am confident with these picks.
Remember to follow me on twitter @TheBench___
On to the picks!
Wake Forest +7 (vs. Pitt)
Doesn’t it just feel like Pitt is fraudulently good, and Wake Forest is a little underrated and should have won a few more games? I think so, and the numbers agree.
ESPN FPI gives Wake a 48% chance of winning the game outright, and my system projects this spread to be Wake +1. That six point differential in the spread in Wake’s favor, ESPN FPI predicting that the game is a coin flip, and the fact that Wake has a really good offense and they’re playing at home with a chance to become bowl eligible is plenty of information for me.
You could have told me that the better offense is at home trying to become bowl eligible, that would be enough for me, but we’ve got much more than that.
Wake wins this one outright, covering the 7, and they’ll be going bowling.
Navy -6 (vs. Tulsa)
Look, both teams sink, both teams have struggled to score, and both teams will not be making a bowl game. This is an ugly pick. However, this late in the season, I think that Navy will be much more engaged. You can always trust the service academies to play hard, and at least they still have the Army-Navy Game to look forward to and stay motivated for.
It feels like Tulsa played one good game this season, against Texas, and then they beat arguably the worst team in college football in UConn. Other than that, they’ve been miserable. At least Navy has shown some fight, and that difference of fight, or energy or whatever you want to call it will swing this game to Navy on their home field.
Navy wins big and physically dominates Tulsa. No stats needed on this pick.
Oregon State +33.5 (@ Washington)
As I mentioned above, I am breaking my own rule about not picking my Beavs in this blog, so my bias doesn’t creep into your decision making if you follow my picks. However, this number is preposterous. This stuck out to me right away and there’s no talking me out of it.
First, Washington hasn’t scored over 35 points all season, except against North Dakota. Let’s assume Washington scores 42-45 against Oregon State, which may even be generous, then the Beavs would need to score about 10-12 points to cover. EASY.
Oregon State’s offense has not been the problem. They’ve been scoring with the best of them, behind a really good running game. Jermar Jefferson running wild hasn’t been noticed nationally because of how miserable the defense has been, especially early in the season.
Yes, the Beavs’ defense is terrible, but they have been playing with some serious fight late in the season, which is a testament to new head coach Jonathan Smith. There aren’t going to be anymore 66-3 type games with him at the helm in Corvallis.
Speaking of Coach Smith, that leads me into my second point. Smith had been Washington head coach Chris Petersen’s offensive coordinator for a number of years, and they still have a good relationship.
I do not see a scenario where Washington runs the score up if they have an opportunity to do so, and with a 33.5 point spread, that could make a huge difference.
Lastly, I know it’s apples and oranges since one team is good and one hasn’t been, but Oregon State has a better offense than Washington in just about every statistical category, so this 33.5 point spread seemed rather large to me. Go Beavs.
Oregon -3.5 (vs. Arizona State)
I told you this week was disgusting. It’s so disgusting that I am even giving out a Yucks pick.
I couldn’t stay away, though. A night game at Autzen Stadium, with an Oregon team coming off of a few tough weeks.
QB Justin Herbert wants to have a good game and run up the score to help his draft stock, and the team is motivated to be back home in front of their always rowdy crowd and play for a better bowl game with a win.
ESPN FPI gives Oregon a 63% chance of winning, so this spread is decent in my eyes, maybe -4 or -5 is a better number, but it is the spot that caught my eye here. Oregon wants a big win badly after the last four weeks of tough games.
Arizona State has been hot, but they have been noticeably worse on the road this season, and now they’re entering hostile territory in Eugene. It’s going to be a cold night, unlike the pleasant evenings in Arizona in the Fall. Everything is pointing to the Ducks here.
Oregon wins by two scores or more.
Cal +2.5 (vs. Stanford)(POSTPONED – NO PICK)
Iowa State @ Texas OVER 49
I had go pick a last minute game to throw in the blog since the Cal/Stanford game has been postponed due to air quality.
Texas’ defense has been nothing special, and Texas is at home. Texas has a 67% chance of winning according to ESPN FPI so it’s fair to assume they’ll score some points.
I’ve written about it week after week, but new Iowa State QB Brock Purdy has been great since taking the starting job. Iowa State hasn’t scored fewer than 27 in their last five games, all of those being victories. Texas is not the best defense they’ve faced, either.
The fact that Texas is giving up over 27 points per game, Iowa State being hot, and Texas being at home all make me lean towards the over in this game.
Iowa State upsets Texas 34-31
Edited at end of week: I finished 2-3, I am now 37-20 on the season.