As if LSU wasn't having enough trouble winning games, star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (38 receptions, 508 yards, nine touchdowns) will be out for the rest of the year with a right ankle injury. Boutte had accounted for more than half of LSU's receiving touchdowns, so that's a gigantic blow for an offense that ranks 127th in rushing yards per game.
Even with a healthy Boutte, this would be a tough ask for the Tigers. Florida has outgained its opponents by 185 yards per game. The Gators are well equipped to destroy a defense that just allowed 330 rushing yards to Kentucky and has allowed more than 450 total yards in each of its four games against Power Five opponents.
The question isn't "Will Florida win?" The question is "Will Florida win by a wide enough margin to make LSU decide it's better off with an interim coach the rest of the way?" I say yes.
Has Texas A&M finally figured things out on offense, or was the win over Alabama a perfect storm? We'll have to wait and see, but we know Missouri's defense is bad.
In all five games played against FBS opponents, the Tigers have allowed at least 450 total yards and an average of 39.4 points. They have been dreadful against the run—Kentucky, Southeast Missouri State, Boston College and Tennessee combined for 1,367 yards (342 per game; 7.0 per carry) and 16 touchdowns over four consecutive games.
Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane will likely both run wild in this one, while the Aggies defense (16.8 points allowed per game) should stop Connor Bazelak and Tyler Badie at least a few times.
It's a bit of a "homer" pick but I've got to take the Aggies here as these two teams are trending in opposite directions.
I was ready to buy stock in NC State's defense after it held Clemson below 200 total yards in regulation in Week 4, but then the Wolfpack gave up 480 yards in a close call against Louisiana Tech. Their front seven has been solid, but the secondary can be exploited by an above-average passing attack.
The good news for NC State is that Boston College doesn't have one of those. Since taking over for the injured Phil Jurkovec in Week 2, Dennis Grosel has four touchdowns and four interceptions in four games, averaging 186 passing yards per contest. If he stays in that range while NC State's run defense does its usual thing (one TD allowed all season), it's hard to imagine the Eagles do enough to get the W, even with home-field advantage.
SJSU ranks second-to-last in the nation with a per-game turnover margin of minus-1.67. Against a strong SDSU defense that forces 1.8 turnovers per game and has yet to allow an opponent to rush for more than 70 yards, that seems like a colossal problem waiting to happen.
Each of San Jose State's three losses (USC, Western Michigan and Colorado State) has come by at least 18 points, and the Aztecs have a potent enough rushing attack to keep that trend going. Getting San Diego State inside of 10 points feels like a gift.
Sean McVay and the Rams have owned the Cardinals winning the last 8 games and that was with Jared Goff at QB. The Rams look like the best team in the NFL right now, but let's not forget the Cardinals haven't lost either. Four points is a lot for Kyler Murray to work with, especially in a division matchup, but Arizona hasn't been as convincing as Los Angeles early this season. As long as the Rams bring their "A game" then I think they get the win and cover.
Kansas State already has impressive wins over Stanford (by 17) and Nevada (by 21). We're going to need to take the Wildcats seriously as a Big 12 threat if they're able to cruise to victory in Stillwater, too.
Oklahoma State is also looking to improve to 4-0, fresh off a razor-thin road win over Boise State. In fact, all three of Oklahoma State's non-conference wins came right down to the wire, but no one is going to bat an eye at that detail if the Cowboys smoke the Wildcats at home. They would surely jump into next week's AP Top 25 if they can pull that off.
One concern for Kansas State bettors is they are down to their 2nd string QB and don't have much of an aerial attack at the moment. Backup quarterback Will Howard, Kansas State had just 61 passing yards in the final 59 minutes of its Week 3 game against Nevada, and it has just one passing touchdown all season. Oklahoma State's Spencer Sanders went 6-of-13 for 82 yards in Week 3 against a Boise State defense that allowed 318 yards and four passing touchdowns in a previous loss to UCF.
I think this matchup devolves into a rare ground game and that's advantage to Kansas State. The Wildcats have rushed for at least 200 yards and three scores in all three games, and at 1.9 yards per carry, their run defense ranks among the best in the nation. I like KSU in an upset this weekend against a OSU team that has looked very average this season.
CU got thrashed 0-30 against Minnesota last week and things won't get any easier against a good ASU team....albeit the Sun Devils did lose last week to a really good BYU team. But ASU's defense is the difference here for me as Arizona State has held all three of their opponents to 3.2 yards per carry or worse. That appears to be bad news for Colorado, which has seen its passing efficiency drop significantly in every game.
9 points feels like a lot here with how Rutgers has played over the last month, winning 4 of their last 5 games. But Michigan beat a good Wisconsin team by 8 points last week and the Knights struggle against distance shooting and the Wolverines are strong from beyond the arc. I think Michigan's defense will give Rutgers problems here tonight but Rutgers is a streaky good team. This game will come down to 3 point % - If Michigan shoots 38+% from behind the Arc they will cover if they shoot 25% from behind the arc they probably won't cover. But on their home court, I think Michigan will get the 3 ball going and their defense will be too much over 4 quarters....Big Blue is 14-1 for a reason.
Kansas State isn't a good basketball team, but they compete and have had some decent against the spread. They played Ok State to a 16 point game and Texas Tech to an 11 point game. The Texas Longhorns are just 6-6 against the spread this season and they're fresh off a heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech. There could be a carryover effect for the Longhorns in this spot. This just feels like too many points.
The Syracuse Orange are in a bit of a funk right now and have an offense that can go through some lengthy droughts. The Pittsburgh Panthers are riding one of the better defenses in the country, and they just beat Syracuse last week 63-60 despite shooting 34 percent from the field. Got to like the points in this spot.
Florida Stateâ€™s second-leading scorer and leading assist man freshman PG Scottie Barnes exited the Seminolesâ€™ last game after rolling his ankle and his status is in question heading into Saturdayâ€™s game. If Barnes cannot play, this would be a great spot to take North Carolina as an underdog.
Both of these teams are playing solid basketball heading into this contest, and Dayton is 3 points shy of being 7-1 instead of 5-3. We'll learn more about Dayton in this game against a pretty talented Davidson team, but I like the Flyers to make a game of it. Davidson 67 - Dayton 64.
Not only do the Saints have the fifth-best scoring offense, averaging 30.1 points per game, but their defense also ranks fifth in points allowed (21.1 PPG). This line opened at New Orleans -8 and has been bet up to -10...public isn't wrong this time, Chicago is who we thought they were.
The Giants have been in a free-fall since they shocked the world and won against the Seahawks, losing the last three to the Cardinals, Browns and Ravens. But none of that matters now. The NFL spirits and Gods have given the Giants one last opportunity to let them win and get the division. In a crazy year that 2020 has been, this is what the reality is
This is a big ask of QB Daniel Jones, who can play, but is limited and canâ€™t run much. But he can still sling it. So sling it he should â€” find Darius Slayton, Dante Pettis and make the Cowboys defense suck wind in the cold of New Jersey. In a toss up game I'll take the free points every time. The Giants find a way to win, and then they are scoreboard watching.
Iâ€™m tempted to pick the Lions because winning this game and screwing up their top-10 draft spot would be the most Lions things ever. But even without running back Dalvin Cook, the Vikings have a decent offense that averages 26.2 points. That doesnâ€™t bode well for the Lionsâ€™ undermanned defense thatâ€™s playing on fumes and went from allowing 29.8 points under Matt Patricia to 38.5 points under Darrell Bevell. And itâ€™s not like the Lionsâ€™ offense, with or without Matthew Stafford, is playing well. The Vikes are simply the better of two bad teams in this season finale.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers just can't get out of their own way and have been on the struggle bus ever since hiring Scott Frost at head coach. The Purdue Boilermakers have gone ice cold since starting the season 2-0, but all three of their losses have been decided by one score. Purdue is still a decent defensive team and is top-20 in passing yards per game. There's potential with these Boilermakers and I wouldn't give up on them just yet. In a near pick em game, you have to side with Purdue, the team that's been far more impressive up to this point.
FSU (92nd nationally) is the worst ranked team in the ACC. Clemson is #4 nationally. FSUâ€™s offense is 90th nationally; Clemsonâ€™s defense is 3rd. FSUâ€™s defense is 91st; Clemsonâ€™s offense is 6th. FSU could bring itâ€™s A-game to Clemsonâ€™s C-game and lose by 28. You can guess from the below score who I think is going to play to which level. Lay the 35 and lay the wood.
Both sides have similar team profiles but Northwestern has a senior under center in QB Peyton Ramsey and Wisconsin has a redshirt freshman running its offense in QB Graham Mertz.
The Badgers have beaten the crap out of the two bad teams/great matchups they've faced but the Wildcats are the best Big Ten team not named Ohio State or Wisconsin. Mertz looked great in Wisconsin's first game but didn't need to do much in the second game. I'll take my chances with Ramsey.
Since LSU routed Arkansas 56-20 last November the world has turned upside down and the Tigers have gone from 40-point favorite to underdog against Arkansas. The big-play capability of Hogs QB Feleipe Franks will cause the Tigers grief. But LSU can win the game against an Arkansas team thinned by coronavirus if it wins the turnover battle. LSU has never lost back-to-back games under Ed Orgeron. #GeauxTigers
I wouldn't want to be a Seminole this week... Clemson has three things working for them: 1. Coming in off a bye week 2. Coming in off a loss 3. GETTING TREVOR LAWRENCE BACK. If you don't think Clemson's going to be well rested and ready to prove they still are who we said they were, then you've got another thing coming to ya. FSU lets up points to just about anyone and I once the Tigers get a few on the board I don't think they're going to look back. The Clemson defense has a lot to make up for as well after letting up 47 to the Irish two weeks ago. I just think Clemson is too well rested and ready to get back on top to not cover this big spread.
UNDER 57.5 - Two terrible offenses, Temple is a run first team (roll clock roll) and think Temple does enough on defense to keep ECU offense in check. Temple is small favorite here for a reason and I think this matchup sets up to me a lower than expected scoring game. Temple wins a 27-20 type of game.
With the Colts coming in off a two-game winning streak, and arguably playing their most complimentary football so far this season, and Baltimore coming in off a divisional home loss, and losing two of their top players, Iâ€™ll take Indy here at the virtual pick em'.
This is one of the more intriguing matchups, with the Fighting Irish looking like they can be one of the most improved teams in the nation with the bulk of their team back from last season. The Tar Heels have blue chip Cole Anthony making his debut tonight, but these freshman tend to struggle in their first few games. North Carolina has two starters Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce who are also new faces that transferred in this season. I like the cohesion and experience of Notre Dame to prove to be the difference here. Give me the 2 free points.
Kentucky is going to be plenty dangerous, but the Spartans are a veteran team anchored by Cassius Winston and just like my KU pick over Duke, I think this is a case of a veteran team vs. young blue chips. Michigan State is favored for a reason and I think they will also cover for us gamblers tonight.
St. Mary's -4 vs. Wisconsin - This game may not be on your radar but love St. Mary's tonight over the Badgers. Not a good spot here for Wisconsin - Saint Mary's brings back the bulk of its team from 2018-19, including four starters, and ranked 9th in the country in 3 point percentage and have future NBAer Jordan Ford.