Well folks, it’s Thursday and you know what that means, it’s time to get to the Week 10 college football picks.
Admittedly, last week was tough on us. Really tough. Some of the picks were flat out bad, and some were out of our control, as it’s simply that time of year where the sportsbooks have got caught up, the lines get tighter and you’ve got to work that much harder to find value in some of these point spreads. Not to mention it’s also the time of year where some teams have quit on their coach, some coaches have quit on their teams, and you’re never quite sure how injuries will impact certain team.
Still, as Bill Belichick would say, “I’m on to Week 10.” And as far as I’m concerned, I’m on to a 7-0 week.
As always, our point spreads are provided by my good friends at MyBookie – and remember, if you’re gambling this weekend, use MyBookie.AG and put in the promo code “TORRES.” Do that, and you’ll receive a 100 percent sign-up bonus. Heck, even if you’ve lost faith in these picks, go to MyBookie and bet against my picks below. You still get that free, 100 percent sign-up bonus!
Regardless, the show must go on and here are our Week 10 picks.
No. 14 Michigan at Maryland (UNDER 56): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, ABC
Want an incredible stat?
Well too bad, I’m going to give it to you anyway.
Remember when Maryland got off to that insanely hot start to the season and we all thought they might be a sneaky contender in the Big Ten East (stupid us). Well, since that hot start, which included scoring a staggering 142 points in the first two weeks of the season, Maryland has scored… a total of 117 points in six games since. And heck, if you take out a 48-0 win over Rutgers, they’ve scored a combined 69 points in the five games outside of Rutgers since that season opener.
Therefore, if you’re still buying that Maryland can move the ball against anything resembling an elite defense, well, I’ve got some magic bean stalk beans I’d like to sell you. And Michigan is in fact an elite defense.
So if we all agree that Maryland will have trouble scoring, the question becomes “how will Michigan’s offense play?” And the answer is, I’m not quite sure. Yes, they put up 45 points last week against Notre Dame, but let’s also not forget that they have a bye next week, and a closing stretch that includes games against Michigan State and Ohio State. They probably won’t want to give too much away here.
Nebraska (-3, now 3 ½) at Purdue: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, FOX Look for a low-scoring Michigan win, making the UNDER the play here.
Nebraska (-3, now 3 ½) at Purdue: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Speaking of Michigan and Jim Harbaugh, I want to mention something here I brought up on Twitter the other day. Can you imagine what the media would have said, if Jim Harbaugh had gotten off to the start at Michigan that Scott Frost has at Nebraska? Seriously, even when Harbaugh went 10-3 and 10-3 his first two seasons, people called him overrated. Frost was 4-8 in Year 1, and is now 4-4 this season after last week’s loss to Indiana.
Just amazing how media narratives work, huh?
Anyway, things truly are awful in Lincoln where – if you didn’t see it this week – things seemed to come to a head. Seriously, read this article when you can. Coaches are calling out players. Players are calling out players. It’s just an ugly, ugly deal in Lincoln.
So why am I so confident that Nebraska will figure things out and get the victory this weekend? Well, a few reasons actually.
One, sometimes when things are going tough, the best thing to do is go on the road and get away from the drama at home. There won’t be 85,000 people holding their breath with every missed tackle or dropped pass this week. Also, Nebraska should get a healthy Adrian Martinez back at quarterback… which in theory is a good thing. Purdue meanwhile is reeling, and after benching their own starting quarterback during a loss last week against Illinois, re-inserted him to the lineup for this one. You know the old saying, “If you have two quarterbacks, you really have none at all?” What happens if you have none to begin with?
In the end, if there was ever a week for Nebraska to come out, make a statement and dominate it is this week. Take the Huskers and the points on the road here.
Houston at UCF (UNDER 71): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Another Saturday noon kickoff, another “UNDER” for your boy AT. What can I say? I just have a fetish.
But in this case, I also think it’s a sound play.
The bottom line is that for all the talk about the pyrotechnics of Central Florida’s offense, their defense has actually been drastically improved this season. On the year, they rank 31st nationally in total defense and in the Top 15 nationally in yards per play allowed. They are legitimately really good on that side of the ball, and that’s bad news for a Houston team which – as we all know – benched their starting quarterback and top wide receiver to get them an extra year of eligibility next season. When your team is tanking, going against a Top 30 defense nationally is never going to work out well.
Then there is Houston’s defense, which – despite some pretty putrid overall numbers – has actually been playing pretty well the last few weeks. They actually held an explosive SMU offense to more than 100 yards below their season average last week, this after a solid outing the week before against UConn (insert your own jokes about UConn football here).
Ultimately, I wouldn’t exactly call this a “defensive battle.” But for the number to hit 72 you pretty much need scoring on just about every possession of the game, something I just don’t see happening here.
No. 8 Georgia (-6.5, now 6) vs. Florida (Jacksonville, FL): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
The “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” must have gotten started a little early… because I’m about to say something nice about Kirby Smart! The only explanation is obviously that I had a few too many bloody mary’s with breakfast this morning.
In all seriousness, while I have been critical of Kirby Smart and Georgia this year (and rightfully so, I think) one thing I will say about him is this: For whatever reason, he has Dan Mullen figured out.
Now sure, part of it is that the team’s that Smart has coached (at both Alabama and Georgia) have for the most part had more talent than the ones that Mullen has had at Mississippi State and Florida, but still, the numbers are staggering. In the last nine seasons (two as a head coach, seven as a coordinator) Smart is 9-0 straight up against Mullen. The last time a Mullen coached offense beat a Smart coached defense came in… the 2008 SEC Championship Game. Yeah, that was when Mullen was the offensive coordinator at Florida, and he had Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and Aaron Hernandez.
Also, I truly believe that after a few weeks of frustration, Georgia’s offense shows real life this week. Remember, the last time we saw them they were playing in a monsoon against Kentucky, and the week before that was the loss to South Carolina, so we’re due to see the Bulldogs open it up a little bit. If they don’t do it now – with basically the SEC East title on the line – they probably never will.
Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin ain’t walking through that door for Florida, and because of it, I like the Dawgs to win here.
No. 9 Utah (-3 ½) at Washington (UNDER 47 ½): Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Since Utah lost to USC they have completely fallen off the national radar… which is a shame, because they’ve quietly turned into a juggernaut. Want another wild stat? Again, too bad, I’m going to give it to you anyway: Over the entire month of October, Utah gave up a grand total of… 23 points. TWENTY-THREE. Over an entire month! And it’s not like the competition was bad either. Washington State is the No. 16 offense in all of college football, and Utah held them to 13. Oregon State is averaging over 30 per game, and the Utes held them to seven.
Utah is playing just elite, elite defense right now.
Then there is Washington, and for the first time in a long time, they are having struggles of their own on defense. After finishing in the Top 15 of total defense each of the last three years, the Huskies are just 53rd nationally right now.
Now sure, the Huskies had a bye and an extra week to prepare. But I just don’t see them being able to create enough offense against this solid Utah defense, or get enough stops against this awesome Utah offense.
No. 7 Oregon at USC (+5): Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, FOXTake the Utes in a low-scoring affair. I like Utah and the points, and the UNDER here.
No. 7 Oregon at USC (+5): Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Like Utah, Oregon has quietly crept back into the College Football Playoff conversation with seven straight wins since their opener against Auburn. They are literally one Bo Nix Hail Mary away from being 8-0 and in the driver’s seat for one of the four playoff berths.
Still, if you look closely at their results the one thing you notice is this: As the games have gotten bigger later in the season, with more pressure and against better opponents, the final scores have gotten tighter as well. Now again, part of that may be about the competition getting better. But they also basically trailed the entire game against Washington before rallying late. And they also needed a last second field goal to hold on to win against Washington State last week.
To me, this feels like an Oregon team that is starting to feel the heat, and it doesn’t help that they are playing a USC team which has been lights out at home this year. Not only are the Trojans 4-0 straight up in LA Coliseum, but 3-1 against the spread at home too.
Take the Trojans as a home underdog here.
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