IT IS THE REGULAR SEASON FINALE OF THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON! (Other than Buffalo/Akron and Army/Navy) It seems like only yesterday that I was writing my preseason previews and we bet an under on Nebraska/Northwestern in Week Zero when they were playing in Ireland and it cruised over. Such great memories. Now I don’t want to get too sentimental because we still have lots of football left. Conference championships, Bowl SZN, and the Playoff will all be the perfect cap off to the year and we will hopefully make a lot of money like we have the last couple of years.
If you want a peek into what team’s will be motivated this week I have a long thread on Twitter. There are a few teams still with playoff hopes, even more still going for a conference championship, and a lot of teams hoping to win a sixth game to become bowl eligible. Additionally, there is hidden motivation in teams like South Carolina playing Clemson and Notre Dame playing USC that are looking to spoil the party for their rivals. Here is that thread for anyone who has yet to see it:
Now… let’s get into this final slate of games.
Tulane (+1) @ Cincinnati o/u 46.5
Friday afternoon football! Tulane has been solid as a rock all season. They got somewhat exposed by what UCF could do on the ground, but Cincy doesn’t have that capability. Tulane is the better team and in this crucial, crucial game I think Michael Pratt and Tyjae Spears get one last big win. This Cincy team has scraped by with a lot of poor offensive performances. Tulane rolls to the AAC Championship Game.
Pick: 1.5u Tulane +2.5 (still like at 1, they win outright)
Oregon (-3) @ Oregon State o/u 58.5
The Beaaaavs! Bo Nix isn’t the same with his current injury. He got bailed out by Cam Rising putting on one of the all-time worst performances in history last week. Now this is a win and in game for Oregon in the Pac-12 title race. Now their rival Beavers want nothing more than to spoil that party for them. The Beavs have been amazing at home this year. They are 5-0 ATS in Corvallis and were a couple of bounces away from beating USC there. Damien Martinez should run wild on the Ducks, I think they win outright here.
Pick: 1.5u Oregon State +3.5
Notre Dame (+5.5) @ USC o/u 64.5
This game should be awesome. This rivalry is back and that is great news for college football. USC is just two wins away from making the College Football Playoff and the red-hot Irish can spoil that party. Ever since their gross home loss to Stanford where they scored 14 points, Notre Dame has been rolling. They dominated Syracuse who was a ranked team at the time and knocked off Clemson.
I think this game will come down to the wire and could be settled by a TD or less. However, I am more confident in USC winnings the game then I am Notre Dame covering. Gun to head I would take the points with the Irish but I think Caleb Williams being 100x more talented than Drew Pyne will take over late in the game and that will be the difference.
Pick: USC/Texas MLP
Michigan (+7.5) @ Ohio State o/u 56.5
IT’S THE BUCKEYES! It’s always been the Buckeyes! This season has all been about revenge for Ryan Day and CJ Stroud after last season. Michigan could be without their top two running backs in Heisman-contender Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards and even if they play, will be limited. That puts a ton of pressure on JJ McCarthy who I don’t think is capable of going toe-to-toe with Ohio State and winning (without the help of the run game).
This Ohio State defense is the difference between last year and this year. Jim Knowles will cook up a much better game plan and this team is just tougher. Ohio State hasn’t dominated opponents week in and week out but they have dominant in fourth quarters. They have stepped up when the game is on the line and won games and I think they do that here. Eventually they will just be too much for Michigan and they win this one by 10-14.
Pick: 1.5u Ohio State -7.5
1u Western Michigan +7.5 vs. Toledo- Toledo has already locked up their division in the MAC so they have no motivation here. They could end up sitting guys. Go Western.
1.5u Tulane +2.5 @ Cincy- see above
1.5u Texas/USC MLP (-103)– I gave my take on USC above. Texas can still make the Big 12 Championship Game with a win and K State loss. They play before K State so they will be going for it all here. Bijan running for days here.
1.5u Mizzou +3.5, 1u Mizzou ML (+125) vs. Arkansas- Arkansas is maybe the worst spot of the weekend here. They have had a crazy up and down season and finally hit six wins to become bowl-eligible with an upset win over Ole Miss last week. I think they put everything they had into that game. Now Mizzou is in an identical situation to Arkansas last week. They need this sixth win to become bowl eligible and they need a nice win to cap off their season.
1.5u Iowa -10 vs. Nebraska- Despite having one of the worst offenses in history, Iowa goes to the B1G Championship Game if they win this game. Nebraska isn’t going to be able to score against Iowa. The Hawkeyes will give this everything to lock up the division and they find a way to win 21-3 or something like that.
1u Kansas State/LSU/Utah/TCU/North Texas/Iowa MLP (+193)– This is my MLP of teams that need to win to keep their playoff/conference hopes alive. I believe in all of these teams to not choke in these spots.
1.5u Kansas State*** vs. Kansas- This is an IF bet. K State makes the Big 12 Championship Game with a win OR a Texas loss. Texas plays on Friday. So if Texas wins, then K State needs this to make the BIg 12 Champ Game. So if Texas wins on Friday then I will be betting this at any number under 14. If Texas loses, I don’t trust their motivation to run this up.
1.5u Cal +10.5 vs. UCLA- UCLA had their season ruined in heartbreaking fashion last week against USC. Cal has been feisty as a dog all season. I think UCLA is flat in this spot and Cal can hang around.
1u JMU -13.5 vs. Coastal- Coastal has nothing to play for here as they have already locked up their division. JMU has had an amazing first season in FBS and would love to cap it off with a big win here. I think JMU rolls against the McCall-less Coastal.
1.5u Ohio State -7.5 vs. Michigan- see above
1.5u South Carolina +14.5 @ Clemson- Spencer Rattler had the game of his life last week. I think that carries over to this game. This rivalry is intense and South Carolina would love nothing more than to ruin Clemson’s playoff hopes. Clemson has let a lot of teams hang around with them this season and SC has been amazing as big dogs under Shane Beamer. Cocks.
1u Louisville +3 @ Kentucky- Kentucky put a lot into last week’s game to compete with UGA and failed again like they have all season. I think Lousiville is just the better team and will win this rivalry game.
1.5u UTEP +17 @ UTSA- UTSA has already locked up their division. UTEP needs a win to get to six wins. UTSA was in the same situation last year and benched a ton of their starters and got blown out by North Texas in their final game. I am hitting the UTEP ML here as well.
1.5u Oregon State +3.5 vs. Oregon- see above
1u Minnesota +3.5 @ Wisco- Wisconsin is a dead dog.
1.5u Southern Miss -3 @ ULM- I’ve like this USM team all season. This is for bowl eligibility. The Fightin Frank Gores get it done here.
1u Vandy +14.5 vs. Tennessee- Vandy has won back-to-back SEC games as double-digit dogs. Tennessee just had their guts ripped out with the easiest playoff path ever. Hendon Hooker is out. Tennessee could be the most dead dog ever here and Vandy could have a chance for another win. The only problem is if Heupel and Tennessee are super pissed they could just try to run it up and take their anger out but hopefully that doesn’t happen. Anchor Down.
1u Air Force ML (-125) @ SDSU- Air Force is the better team. SDSU is gross. They find a way to win this game.
That’s it for this week, folks! See you for Army/Navy week! And as always…