Northwestern +14 vs Penn St:
The game comes at a tricky spot on the schedule for the Lions: before an open date and then season-defining games with Michigan and Ohio State. This sets up to be perfect trap game scenario for the Nittany Lions, and then add to the fact that Pat Fitzgerald has a 3-0 head to head record against James Franklin. Expect another physical road contest, and I expect the Wildcats to cover the two touchdown spread.
Washington St -2.5 @ Oregon:
Oregon’s starting quarterback is out and Mike Leach’s squad is rolling. Washington St has one of the best offenses in the country and Oregon is still not very good at playing defense. Falk is a fifth year senior who has arguably been the best quarterback in the country so far this year, throwing for nearly 400 yards per game with 16 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Last time Falk played in Eugene, he threw for 505 yards and 4 touchdowns, leading the Cougars to a 45-38 victory. People fear the Cougars may have a letdown after the USC victory, but I’m confident Mike Leach will have this team ready to play. The Cougars win this one easily 41-20.
Miami (-3) @ Florida St: (Bonus Miami +4000 to win the NCAA Championship)
This is by far my favorite game of the college football slate. Before the season, Miami was my dark horse to win the ACC and make the college football playoff. I bet $50 for the Hurricanes to win the NCAA championship at 66/1. Before the season, I wouldn’t have imagined the Canes being a favorite in Tallahassee but here we are. Miami has looked extremely well in their first few games. Betting Miami at 40/1 before they beat FSU is the best value bet of the decade, and this the year the Canes snap their 7 game losing skid to the Noles. The Seminoles, for all their talent, have had an uninspiring season thus far. Sitting at 1-2, they’ve taken losses against Alabama and NC State before pulling out an ugly last minute win versus Wake Forest last weekend. The offensive line has been in shambles, and FSU is starting a true freshman QB in James Blackmon. Last week, Wake Forest brought the house and produced a school record 11 tackles for loss. The Florida St offensive line, who has given 4.5 sacks per game, will meet arguably the best defensive front in the country. The Miami defense has been one of the best in the country, ranking 2nd in tackles for loss and tenth in sacks. FSU freshman QB James Blackmon will be running for his life and he hasn’t handled pressure well in his first three starts. Coming off two games against physical defense I don’t expect Florida State’s offensive line to be any better. Miami has explosive players on offense that will do enough to carry the Hurricanes to victory. Miami wins this game 21-9.
SMU (+6.5) @ Houston: (Bonus moneyline (+240)
Even with Texas A&M transfer Kyle Allen playing quarterback, the Houston offense still has been stagnant since Tom Herman left for Austin. Kyle Postma got the start last week while Allen rode the bench. Houston struggled against a mediocre Texas Tech offense in their lone 27-24 loss, they looked unimpressive against Rice, and they struggled to put away a Temple team with zero offense. Houston will likely have to play a dangerous SMU team without star defensive tackle Ed Oliver. SMU has been a juggernaut on offense, averaging 416 yards per game, and they have the third ranked scoring offense in the country, scoring 41.6 points per contest. Sophomore Ben Hicks has made significant improvements from his freshmen year passing for 1275 yards 14 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Hicks has thrown to two very talented receivers in Trey Quinn and Courtland Sutton, who have combined 760 yards and 11 touchdowns. SMU is an underrated team with playmakers on both sides of the ball. The Mustangs have been perfect against the spread this year and have been 4-0 in last 4 road games, 6-2 in conference, and are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 contests. Look for SMU to make a statement win on the road. Mustangs upset Houston 38-34.