NCAA Football Weekly Predictions
Note: I went 6-4-1 last week, hitting four out of my top five plays, including my November NCAA Pick of the Month. Unfortunately, my second-half system bit the dust. Maybe it only works at the beginning of the year? By the way, I've challenged Scott Horn over at The Joker Report to see who's better at picking games. We'll each have about 10 selections for the week. Winner places a text ad for the other for an entire week. For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling.
Akron (4-6) at Miami of Ohio (5-5)
Line: Miami of Ohio by 7.5.
Wednesday, 7:30 ET
Let's look at some spread dynamics. Yesterday, the line moved from 5.5 to 7 to match the 64-percent action on Ball State. The oddsmaker wanted to induce cash on Toledo. Ball State won, 41-20. Now, the exact opposite is happening. Miami of Ohio opened up -9. Now it's down to -7.5, and -7 in some places. Yet, 69 percent of the public is on the host. Why does Vegas want even more money on Miami of Ohio? I'm going with Akron.
Prediction: Miami of Ohio 27, Akron 24
Akron +7.5 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$200
Miami of Ohio 7, Akron 0
Oregon (8-1) at Arizona (4-6)
Line: Oregon by 12.5.
Thursday, 9:00 ET
You know I love taking live home dogs playing under the lights on weeknights, with action going the other way. Well, people are betting the Ducks, and Arizona is getting points at home on a Thursday night. The thing is, I don't consider the Wildcats a live dog. I don't think they have the talent to win this game. They haven't beaten a Division 1-A team with a winning record yet. Oregon has had 10 days to prepare for this contest.
Prediction: Oregon 41, Arizona 14
Oregon -12.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Arizona 34, Oregon 24
Eastern Michigan (3-8) at Central Michigan (6-4)
Line: Central Michigan by 13.
Friday, 7:00 ET
The Eastern Michigan-Central Michigan rivalry isn't the most renowned on the college football landscape, but these two teams hate each other. Taking double digits in any football rivalry is usually pretty lucrative. It helps that despite all the action on the host (85 percent), the line has yet to budge.
Prediction: Central Michigan 27, Eastern Michigan 24
Eastern Michigan +13 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$200
Eastern Michigan 48, Central Michigan 45
Ohio State (10-1) at Michigan (8-3)
Line: Ohio State by 4.
Saturday, 12:00 ET
Last week, I used Maryland and UCLA as my top plays. That's because they were playing Boston College and Arizona State, two teams coming off their first loss of the season. Fading a favorite that has suffered its first defeat always works in college football. South Florida, USC, Penn State, Oklahoma and LSU all failed to cover. As far as I'm concerned, the Buckeyes have nothing to play for. Who cares about the Rose Bowl when you just blew your shot at the national title?
Prediction: Michigan 24, Ohio State 17
Michigan +4 (5 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Incorrect; -$550
Ohio State 14, Michigan 3
Northwestern (6-5) at Illinois (8-3)
Line: Illinois by 13.5.
Saturday, 12:00 ET
I don't see how Illinois gets up for this game after going on the road and knocking off the No. 1 team in the country. The Fighting Illini have actually yet to beat any Big Ten opponents by more than 13, with the exception of pathetic Minnesota. Northwestern isn't as bad, coming off a victory against Indiana last week.
Prediction: Illinois 31, Northwestern 27
Northwestern +13.5 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Incorrect; -$220
Illinois 41, Northwestern 22
Vanderbilt (5-5) at Tennessee (7-3)
Line: Tennessee by 11.5.
Saturday, 2:00 ET
If you read my NFL picks, this game identical to Redskins-Cowboys. You have one team that hates the other, while the more dominant one simply doesn't care. Vanderbilt's annual Super Bowl is their battle against the Vols. That's why since 1997, they're 3-1 against the spread as an underdog of 10-20 against them. The line opened at -12 and moved down to -11.5, despite the 60-percent action on Tennessee. The host will likely be focused on playing Kentucky next week.
Prediction: Tennessee 27, Vanderbilt 20
Vanderbilt +11.5 (4 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Correct; +$400
Tennessee 25, Vanderbilt 24
Duke (1-9) at Notre Dame (1-9)
Line: Notre Dame by 6.
Saturday, 2:30 ET
Whoa, overreaction! Notre Dame really sucks, and I'm pretty sure Charlie Weis' gameplanning involves eating brownies, but there's no way the Fighting Irish are as bad as Duke. The Blue Devils have been blown out five games in a row, and while losing to Air Force and Navy, Notre Dame has finally established some sort of offense.
Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Duke 17
Notre Dame -6 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Notre Dame 28, Duke 7
Miami (5-5) at Virginia Tech (8-2)
Line: Virginia Tech by 17.
Saturday, 3:30 ET
How do you lose 48-0 in your last home game ever at the Orange Bowl? That just showed me that Miami has no heart, and the coach has lost this team. I hate laying double digits, but the red-hot Hokies have won four of their past five games by 18 or more.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 34, Miami 7
Virginia Tech -17 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Virginia Tech 44, Miami 14
Penn State (8-3) at Michigan State (6-5)
Line: Penn State by 2.5.
Saturday, 3:30 ET
If there's one thing I'm going to miss about the 2007 college football season, it'll be making fun of Anthony Morelli. Well, Morelli makes his way to Michigan State this week, where it's unclear whether he'll make it to the stadium in time for the game. If he does, chances are he'll be drunk and cheering in the stands. Joe Paterno will find him, yank him out of the crowd and make sure he gets his pads on in time. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit, but who is Penn State to be favored on the road over a quality opponent? Paterno seldom wins in East Lansing.
Prediction: Michigan State 34, Penn State 24
Michigan State +2.5 (5 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Correct; +$500
Michigan State 35, Penn State 31
Oklahoma State (5-5) at Baylor (3-8)
Line: Oklahoma State by 14.
Saturday, 8:00 ET
Just a small play here on Oklahoma State. The Cowboys need one more victory to become bowl-eligible. Whether this is important in the grand scheme of things is up for debate, but I have a feeling the team will want to go to the Dynex Technologies Bowl, or something. Oklahoma State has two more games to notch a victory, but the Sooners loom large next week. I think the coaches will emphasize the importance of this contest.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 44, Baylor 14
Oklahoma State -14 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Oklahoma State 45, Baylor 14
Check back at halftime to see if I have any plays posted. All picks 2 Units, unless noted.
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