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Since the Hoodie officially ended my NFL wagering for the 2016 season, like any responsible addict, I’ve turned to the more palatable alternative than increased fiscal responsibility. I’m just betting twice as much on college. We’re off to a good start this week with the easy Clemson cover, but, similarly to my failed NFL prediction, if I am not over .500 for the weekend, these pick columns will forever expire.
Here are four more picks to expand your Bovada balance faster than Regester’s waist line.
LSU vs. Auburn
Line: LSU -3
This game should not be televised, as it will amount to three hours of illegal procedure penalties, marginally successful punts, and Jesse Palmer obsessing over “these elite SEC defenses.” We get it, neither team can fucking score. So in the battle of the blind offenses, give me the team with the best overall player, Leonard Fournette, and the coach with the highest SEC winning percentage of the last decade not named Nick Saban.
LSU is once again stout on defense, a front seven that must be frothing at the mouth to get after Shaun White and the hamstrung Auburn attack without a truly mobile quarterback. I understand Malzahn’s decision to go with White full time, but the improvisational and speed threats of former quarterbacks Nick Marshall and Cam Newton are severely missed by the 2016 version of the Tigers.
It’ll be a nightmare to watch on television, but LSU pulls away late behind a hard earned 150+ from Fournette.
LSU 24 Auburn 13
Wisconsin vs. Michigan State
Line: MSU -4.5
The battle of the nation’s two most overrated teams this weekend will expose the Fighting DeVrys as nothing more than a middling Big Ten West afterthought. Alex Hornibrook, primed to make his first ever start, will be terrorized by a Mark Dantonio crafted defense that has gotten to the quarterback more than any other Big Ten team since 2012.
The Spartans, who are coming off of a dominant victory as full touchdown underdogs in South Bend, have found a nice offensive rhythm behind a retooled offensive line and the further emergence of running back LJ Scott. Watch for the Spartans to open up the playbook a bit this week, and get blue chip freshman receiver Donnie Corley involved against a relatively weak Wisconsin secondary.
Never bet against Sparty at home against a first-time starter QB.
MSU 31 Wisconsin 17
Oklahoma State vs. Baylor
Line: OSU +9
Jim Grobe, Baylor’s emergency valve after the dismissal of Art Briles, is mediocrity personified. While he has served as a steadying force in a catastrophic and humiliating period for the program, the Baylor offense does not suit Grobes’ tastes, nor his personality. Things this season, though the Bears are undefeated, have often looked disjointed and without consistency. Senior Quarterback Seth Russell struggled mightily last week against a weak Rice team, and seems almost disinterested at times on the field.
The question here is how OK State responds after a horrific blown call and sleepwalking performance doomed the Cowboys’ against Central Michigan. Quarterback Mason Rudolph, a dark horse Heisman candidate before the debacle last weekend, presents the toughest challenge of the season for the historically thin Baylor defense, and Coach Mike Gundy is one of the best coaches in the nation coming off of a loss.
This game is a total toss-up, so having nine points on your side is the deciding factor towards the Cowboys and their “man” of a coach.
Baylor 44 OK State 41
Colorado vs. Oregon
Line: Oregon -9.5
Colorado put a momentary scare into Michigan last weekend in Ann Arbor, but the loss of senior quarterback Sefo Liufau doomed the Buffalos amidst a flurry of chunk plays for the Wolverine offense. Liufau is again unlikely to play this week after his backups combined for less than 100 total yards and zero points in the second half last week.
The Ducks are coming off of a heartbreaking loss in Lincoln after inexplicably going for two points five times, failing four. The four free points left on the board made the difference in a three-point loss after blowing a fourth quarter lead. The Ducks rebound at home Saturday, dominating the much smaller Colorado front to the tune of 250+ yards on the ground.
The Ducks win big but don’t get me started on this week’s uniforms.
Oregon 50 Colorado 24
Georgia vs. Ole Miss
Line: Ole Miss -7
Pick: Ole Miss
Jacob Eason will be great. You can see flashes of his arm talent, athleticism, and leadership already. But this year is not Georgia’s time. He isn’t ready, nor is their first-year coach Kirby Smart. The Rebels, much maligned after collapsing Week One, raced out to a three score lead on Saban and the Crimson Tide last week, only to narrowly lose the college football’s best team.
But now the Rebs are home, angry, and facing an offense far less talented and experienced. The Georgia offensive line is still very much a work in progress, and, though Nick Chubb will get his 100+ yards, they will be hard earned. Chad Kelly and the Landshark defense overwhelm the largely inexperienced Dawgs, in a game that threatens to get ugly late.
Ole Miss 38 Georgia 20.
Image via YouTube