Beef: Nebraska (-7.5)
I had NW as my upset pick last week and they went on to get slaughtered. I will not be picking them for an upset this time around. Their offense is flat out bad. It seems like the defense has given up on carrying the team this season. You get the sense that since their first half run has come to an end the Wildcats aren’t playing with the same urgency. I think the Huskers will end up winning this game close to the number. If I had to side, though, it would not be with the Wildcats.
Final Score: Nebraska 27, Northwestern 14
Chaplin: Nebraska (-7.5)
The Cornhuskers rebounded nicely last week, allowing me to nail my upset pick of the week despite having a pretty average week overall. I like the Huskers again this week at home against a Northwestern team that is really struggling on offense to find some sort of identity. This game will be won when Northwestern is on offense and Nebraska is on defense, as Northwestern’s strength is it’s running game and Nebraska’s strength on defense is its rush D. The Huskers seem to have turned a corner offensively with the return of De’Mornay Pierson-El, and I think he is the catalyst that sends Nebraska on a second half surge.
Final Score: Nebraska 45, Northwestern 31
Smouse: Northwestern (+7.5)
This Northwestern team has been quite disappointing lately especially in the shutout loss to Michigan two weeks ago and a loss to Iowa last week. But despite those two back-to-back losses to top 25 teams 7.5 is a lot of points in this one. I think Nebraska wins but not by more than a touchdown.
Final Score: Nebraska 28, Northwestern 24
Beef: Virginia Tech (-2.5)
I love that Duke has turned into a respectable ACC football team over the past few years. I really love their defense too. I think this will be a close and low scoring game. In the end, the Blue Devils’ coaching and control of the game turn into a victory over an inconsistent Tech team.
Final Score: Duke 20, Virginia Tech 17
Chaplin: Virginia Tech (-2.5)
Duke has historically struggled against Virginia Tech, especially on the road. This trip to Blacksburg should be very similar to the previous trips for anyone associated with the Duke program, coming back to Durham with a head scratching loss. Virginia Tech gets QB Michael Brewer back for this one, the same QB who led the Hokies to a first half lead over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Look for VT to make a statement here, and win a tough hard fought game at home.
Final Score: Virginia Tech 13, Duke 10
Smouse: Duke (+2.5)
I like a one loss Duke team on the road against Virginia Tech. The Hokies are 3-7 against the spread in their last ten games at home. Duke comes in on a nice three game win streak and will win this game by a field goal.
Final Score: Duke 20, Virginia Tech 17
Beef: USC (-3.5)
The Trojans are coming off back to back losses. They were a popular pick to upset Notre Dame last week, but that did not pan out. I expect much of the same to happen here. USC certainly has the tools to win with Cody Kessler throwing to (top-5 name in FBS) JuJu Schuster, and that very well could happen if everything goes right. But I believe this Utah team is different from teams of past that were good for a few upsets and great home field advantage. The Utes continue their streak and start to garner more respect.
Final Score: Utah 31, USC 24
Chaplin: Utah (+3.5)
Nobody believes the Utes are any good, and they keep on winning. Utah heads to USC where they have won one game in the history of their program. This is EXACTLY why I believe Utah will win! USC put all of their emotions into the game at Notre Dame last week and wound up getting thumped by the Irish. Look for Utah to come in and take care of business at the Coliseum this weekend, and maybe the nation will finally start to appreciate just how good this Utes team is.
Final Score: Utah 24 USC 17
Smouse: Utah (+3.5)
Absolutely baffles me how USC is favored over the third ranked team in the nation even if they are at home. The Trojans are 0-2 at home so far against pac12 schools and this game will be no different.
Final Score: Utah 35, USC 17
Beef: Navy (-23) v. Tulane
Tulane gave up 65 to Georgia Tech’s triple option, which Navy executes, dare I say, just as well if not better. I see the Midshipmen scoring almost every drive and Tulane’s offense coming off the field after 3 plays a lot. The already porous defense will wear down quickly and our future servicemen don’t know that there is a word in the dictionary spelled m-e-r-c-y, so they will show none.
Final Score: Navy 48, Tulane 20
Chaplin: Temple (+3) at ECU
Don’t understand this one. Yes, the Pirates are always tough (especially at home). Yes, Temple looked sloppy in their double digit win over UCF last week. But I can not figure out for the life of me why the Pirates are giving 3 points here. Temple is 6-0 and Matt Rhule’s bunch might be the best defensive unit in the country. ECU is 4-3 coming off of a 13 point win at home against Tulsa, a result that doesn’t exactly lead many to believe the Pirates are better than the Owls. Take the points with the better team here and watch PJ Walker have a field day against this Pirate defense on Thursday night.
Final Score: Temple 31, ECU 17
Smouse: Florida State (-5) at Georgia Tech
Not sure why this line is so small, even at Georgia Tech. GT is 2-5 and 0-4 in the ACC. Florida State wins this game by 10 points at the least.
Final Score: Florida State 31 ,Georgia Tech 20
Upsets of the Week
Beef: Texas A&M (+5) v. Ole Miss
This will be an exciting one to watch and interesting to see how each team responds to last week’s loss. I think the ball will be aired out and end up somewhat high scoring. I like where A&M is at better than a declining Ole Miss. It doesn’t hurt that the Aggies play fairly well on the road under Sumlin.
Final Score: Aggies 35-31
Chaplin: Auburn (+6) at Arkansas
Arkansas and Brett Bielema aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire in the 2015 season like many pundits predicted in the beginning of the year. Auburn seems to have finally turned a corner after walloping Kentucky last week on a Thursday night on the road in Lexington. With the long week to prepare, I like Auburn to make another statement with a road win against the Razorbacks that could leave some wondering if Bielema is the right man for the job in Arkansas.
Final Score: Auburn 22, Arkansas 14
Smouse: Syracuse (+6.5) v. Pittsburgh
This pick all comes down to the home field advantage that Syracuse has in the Carrier Dome. The last time they were home they kept up with LSU all game only losing by 10. This Pittsburgh team has a better record however has not had very impressive wins on the road. Syracuse by no more than a touchdown.
Final Score: Syracuse 21, Pittsburgh 17
We're Also Taking...
Utah State (-5) at San Diego St
Baylor (-36) v. Iowa State
Houston (-21.5) at UCF
Toledo (-14.5) at UMass
Mizzou at Vanderbilt (Under 35)
ULM (-1) at Idaho
Michigan St. (-16.5) vs Indiana
Navy (-23) vs Tulane
Louisville at B.C. (UNDER 38)
App St at GA Southern (Over 60)
Cal (+4) at UCLA
Texas Tech (+15) at Oklahoma
Memphis (-10.5) at Tulsa
Rutgers (+21) v. Ohio State
Tennessee (+15) at Alabama