NCAA Football Predictions: Week 10 Opening Line Report and Picks
For as long as I can remember – at least during the era of the College Football Playoff – there has always been a trio of teams that were head and shoulders above the rest. How they were ranked heading into the semi-finals was depending on their schedule, but you knew for the most part which bowl game teams were going to land in. This year, there is only one really good team – Georgia. And if you look at their schedule, how good are they? Their signature win came against No. 11 Kentucky. And while that’s impressive, the other wins on the schedule don’t inspire much awe. It is almost like Georgia is the default No. 1 because they are unbeaten and because Alabama has a loss. Behind them, Cincinnati, Alabama, and Oklahoma all have major flaws. And then behind them, it’s a cluster of teams that just aren’t good enough to get into the top four. It makes for some interesting football down the stretch. And as an avid college football fan, I am here for every twist and turn the last month has in store for us.
As far as last week’s results go, well, let’s just say I told you that Baylor was my pick of the year and to bet them big. I hope you guys listened. While it wasn’t a smooth, no doubt about it win, Baylor was still the far superior team and got the stops I expected them to get on defense when it mattered most, and they pulled through for a seven-point win. Hope you made some money. As for the other three picks in last week’s piece, well, Michigan blew a huge lead to lose outright, Oregon State forgot they had a game and lost outright to California and Penn State gave Ohio State all they could handle and easily covered the +17-point spread. Let’s try and do better than 1-3 this week.
Doc’s Sports offers college football expert picks for every game on our college football predictions page.
Army Black Knights @ Air Force Falcons -3, 37.5
Take one quick look at the total and you can tell without even looking at who is playing that this game features two service academies squaring off. In one corner you have the 4-3 Army Black Knights, who are having a down year by their very humble standards. Army comes into this contest losers of three straight games, including last week’s back and forth affair with Wake Forest where they ultimately lost 70-56. So how the heck is the total for this game 37.5? Well, that game was a one-off for Army as they ran the ball for 416 yards, won the time of possession 43:27 to 16:24, but they just simply could not get a stop if their life depended on it. They allowed Wake to throw for 458 yards and run for another 180. So why is the total so low if the defense isn’t very good? Well, Air Force is a team that runs, runs and runs some more. Army won’t have to deal with the passing game, and they know how to defend the triple-option. Air Force is having a good year as they sit at 6-2 on the season, and they have three very winnable games remaining on their schedule to get to nine wins. The last time these two teams hooked up was a 10-7 barnburner. Take the UNDER in this spot despite the low total.
Pick: Under 37.5
Oklahoma State Cowboys @ West Virginia Mountaineers +3, 49.
This game is going to be a lot of fun. Oklahoma State is 7-1 on the season and are coming off an expected blowout of Kansas. They are ranked No. 15 in the country. And if they win out, they could find themselves in position to reach the Big 12 title game. They are going to be in a dogfight this week against a West Virginia team that is only 4-4 on the season but is coming off two impressive wins, including last week against No. 22 Iowa State. At home, West Virginia is a tough team to beat, and I’m going to bank on their desperation (need to get to six wins for a bowl game) to be the difference in this contest. They are getting a field goal. And if you can find +3.5, you should hammer it and make it a double bet.
Pick: West Virginia +3.5
Michigan State Spartans at Purdue Boilermakers +3 52
Normally, I try not to write about the same team in back-to-back weeks, but the Spartans were able to erase a big hole against their rivals from Ann Arbor. I give them full credit for the comeback, but a part of me believes that Michigan gave the game away a bit more than the Spartans came back and won it. Nonetheless, Sparty moved up in the standings and have it all to play for over the next handful of games. Will they experience a letdown on the road at Purdue? That’s something they definitely have to guard against. Speaking of Purdue, they are coming off back-to-back wins and have looked good in doing it. They have a very stout defense, and they have a knack for making timely plays on offense. This is a very tight line, but I’m taking the under in what should be a very run-oriented game where the clock bleeds relatively quickly.
Pick: UNDER 52
Boise State Broncos at Fresno State -4.5, 59.5
And lastly, No. 25 Fresno State hosts Boise State in what is a crucial game for both teams. Fresno State is currently 7-2 overall and first in the Mountain West Conference’s West Division. They’ve won three straight games, including the last two against really good teams in Nevada and San Diego State. Should they win this game, they will get to eight wins, with two games left – New Mexico and San Jose State – teams which they should easily dispatch of. The Bulldogs are on the right trajectory for a spot in the MWC Championship Game, and we like them here laying the short line against Boise State. The Broncos come into this game at 4-4 on the season and have just four games to find two wins to go bowling. They should beat Wyoming and New Mexico in the subsequent weeks after Saturday. However, other than that, they’ve done very little to impress me.
Pick: Fresno State -4.5
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