Last week I finished a mediocre 5-5 but, as weeks go—particularly as a Georgia resident—that felt about par for the course since the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Georgia Bulldogs all managed to lose in heartbreaking fashion.
*shutters at the memory*
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, we’ll move on to this week and hope for better; all lines courtesy of vegasinsider.com and are current as of this post.
1. UCLA at Stanford: Stanford (-5)
I’ve only seen UCLA play once this season—Pac-12 games tend to be a little too late in my football watching day—but the one game I did see them play this season (a road blow out of Nebraska) left me impressed with Brett Hundley and whatever Jim Mora, Jr. is selling the Bruins in Los Angeles; I think they’re ready to embrace this moment and make a solid run for a Pac-12 Championship.
That said, they’ll have to keep Stanford honest enough for three quarters to make that happen—can they do it?
The Lady’s Pick: UCLA
2. LSU at Ole Miss: Ole Miss (+10)
Oh, how does one describe the Rebels? I mean, they are a talented team—no doubt about it— and the coaching staff clearly has sold the idea of overtaking the SEC West in a big way to get all of that talent assembled in Oxford. However, in the first true barometer of where they are, they misfired…badly.
That said, they know they can still salvage plenty with a won over LSU and you can bet they’ll be a fired up bunch on Saturday—at least long enough to make things feel like they’re going to end well. In the end, though, I don’t know that they have enough to keep LSU out of the win column.
The Lady’s Pick: Ole Miss
3. Clemson at FSU: FSU (-3)
This is an interesting line when you take into account how well Clemson has played at home, but I think most people are taking the dominating nature of FSU’s wins—over teams like Maryland and Pitt—a bit further than they need to, in my opinion.
Look, no one can doubt FSU’s offense, or its defense for that matter, but to make Clemson an underdog in Death Valley is not just nonsense, it’s asininity. If The ‘Noles come out on top, I’ll be happy to eat my share of crow—with gravy and a side of collards—but I can’t see it from where I sit.
The Lady’s Pick: Clemson
4. Auburn at Texas A&M: Auburn (+14)
The Aggies have Johnny Manziel. I could end there, honestly, because that’s about all they’ve really needed to win ball games, unimpressively, all season long.
The Tigers, on the other hand, are young, hungry, and feeling really good about Gus Malzahn’s choice to bring their offense back from death—making them a more potent group of guys on Saturdays again; QB Nick Marshall might not be Cam Newton, but he can do enough to frustrate a defensive front, especially when said front is a mere shell of what it was last season.
The Lady’s Pick: Auburn
5. Florida at Mizzou: Mizzou (+3)
Florida isn’t much to talk about offensively, but at least the guy they have calling the shots from under center has had a few weeks to get comfortable…I can’t say the same about Matt Mauk, who took his first honest snaps against Georgia last week.
Will the quarterback play be the difference? Not likely—since I figure Mauk and Murphy’s inexperience probably balance each other out—but the loss of Florida running back Matt Jones might be more than this struggling offense can possibly handle, leaving this game squarely in the hands of the defense.
On the other hand, if Mauk is the real deal, the Tiger receiver play remains solid, and the running game doesn’t go south, there’s no way in hell the Gators leave Columbia with anything but a big fat “L”.
The Lady’s Pick: Mizzou
The Other Five (My Picks are in Bold)
6. South Carolina at Tennessee (-7.5)
7. Purdue at Michigan State (-27.5)
8. Washington at Arizona State (+3.5)
9. Syracuse at Georgia Tech (-7.5)
10. Iowa at Ohio State (-17.5)