Beef: LSU (-9.5)
Losing Will Grier was a huge setback for the already struggling Florida offense, which now has to rely on Treon Harris. The Gators will not have the atmosphere at the Swamp to back them like they did against Ole Miss. I feel a low scoring game with LSU in control the entire time but he UF defense makes sure its not a blowout. Take LSU as long as the line stays in the single digits.
Final Score: LSU 27, Florida 13
Smouse: Florida (+9.5)
The big news this week has been Will Grier and his suspension from this dominant Florida team. When I use the word dominant I am referring to the Florida defense. On the other side: Fournette, the almost undisputed Heisman trophy winner to be has been nothing but sensational for LSU. But despite that I see a strong Florida defense with a dual threat back up quarterback that keeps the game close enough for the Gators to cover.
Final: LSU 17, Florida 10
Chaplin: LSU (-9.5)
So a backup quarterback who before this year was a career sub 50% passer, who was beat out as the starter this season after a solid showing against New Mexico State, takes over the starting gig in Gainesville. First test? Going to Baton Rouge to face a pass defense that allows less than 200 yards per game through the air. Harris will undoubtedly make a few plays with his feet that should keep the Gators competitive but LSU and Leonard Fournette will ultimately both prevail and cover this spread.
Final Score: LSU 31, Florida 14
Beef: Michigan State (+8)
This line is inflated because of Michigan's shutouts against bad offenses and Sparty's inability to win in blowout fashion. This is a rivalry that finally has some implication. Don't fall for recency bias. Sparty was No. 2 in the polls last week, now is 8-point dogs. Take the points.
Final Score: Michigan 24, Michigan State 21
Smouse: Michigan (-8)
This is going to be an easy pick for me. Two words – Harbaugh Effect. I watched a No. 13 ranked Northwestern team walk into the big house last weekend and get absolutely embarrassed. Yes, this Michigan State team is no joke, but a bigger yes- is this Michigan defense. They have not allowed a score in three games.
Final Score: Michigan 32, Michigan State 10
Chaplin: Michigan State (+8)
This one makes no sense to me. Yes, Michigan has been playing better than any moment since the Lloyd Carr era the past three games, however this is a Michigan State team led by Senior QB Connor Cook that many voted as the No. 1 team in the country a mere 3 weeks ago. After two boring matchups against lesser opponents, look for State to be hungry to re-prove their worth against the Wolverines. Stat you didn’t know about this one? Michigan State has won outright against Michigan 6 out of the last 7 years, with the one loss being a 12-10 heartbreaker in 2012. This game will be a low scoring Spartan win, with Cook’s QB play being the difference at the end.
Final Score: Michigan State 16, Michigan 7
Beef: Over (51)
These teams are heading in opposite directions going into this week. Washington is at home which gives them the slight edge with the number. With how unpredictable the Pac 12 has been this year, I can't be confident in one over the other. What I am confident in is that they will both put up points. Bet over 58.5 total points.
Final Score: Washington 42, Oregon 38
Smouse: Washington (-2.5)
This is quite an easy pick for me after watching Oregon get absolutely embarrassed at home by Utah, letting up 62 points. After coming off another loss to Washington State I see a deflated, discouraged Oregon team who is used to winning big not losing big, and since they are out of the running for the college playoff, Washington wins by 2 touchdowns or more.
Final Score: Washington 38, Oregon 20
Chaplin: Washington (-2.5)
Honestly, this matchup is coming down to the Huskies being at home. Oregon is nowhere near their usual selves this year, while this Washington team is beginning to get its footing coming off of a big time win last week on Thursday night in Los Angeles, defeating USC 17-12 and leading to Steve Sarkisian receiving a loss in his final game as head coach of the Trojans. The Huskies need to contain QB Jeff Locke, which they have the athleticism on defense to do.
Final Score: Washington 27, Oregon 21
Beef: Western Kentucky (-32.5) at North Texas
You will probably not watch this game. But every time you check the ticker it will seem like WKU is scoring in increments of 14. Doughty will throw his way to cover in the first half. And North Texas will not be good enough for a back door cover.
Final Score: Western Kentucky 58, North Texas 17
Smouse: Penn State (+18.5) at Ohio State
Not much to say about this game besides that the buckeyes never win big aka more than 14 points, ever. I am so sick of taking them with huge spreads, to only watch them win by a touchdown. So, I will easily take Penn State in this game to keep it close, but lose by 10-14 points MAX.
Final Score: Ohio State 35, Penn State 20
Chaplin: Hawaii at New Mexico (Under 51)
Hawaii has traveled to the mainland for games 3 times so far this season and has scored a combined 0 points through those 3 games. New Mexico hasn’t eclipsed 40 points minus a 66-0 week 1 win over Mississippi Valley State at home. 51 points between these two would be an absolute miracle.
Final Score: New Mexico 27, Hawaii 7
Upset of the Week
Beef: Northwestern (+2.5) v. Iowa
Apparently the beating they took last week was bad enough to make Northwestern home dogs. Though they are the better team. Look for a very low scoring game with Northwestern winning outright.
Final Score: Northwestern 21, Iowa 13
Smouse: USC (+7.5) at Notre Dame
Despite Notre Dame coming into the game as 6.5 point favorites against the Fighting Irish, I have seen Notre Dame at their worst. That being said, no matter the rankings of either team ND USC is always a close game. Despite the spread, I can see the Trojans winning this game outright and Notre Dame getting shocked at home.
Final Score: USC 27, Notre Dame 24
Chaplin: Nebraska (+2) at Minnesota
Technically, this would be an upset. Historically speaking, this would be expected. Nebraska enters this game an underdog after getting its heart broken AGAIN at home, this time to the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers, who kicked a field goal to win 23-21 at the buzzer. The Cornhuskers strength is run defense, while the Gophers cannot pass effectively enough with QB Mitch Leidner to take advantage of a shaky at times Cornhuskers secondary. I don’t expect Tommy Armstrong to light the world on fire, but I do believe a larger role from DeMornay Pierson-El will lead the Cornhuskers to a much needed win in Minneapolis this Saturday.
Final Score: Nebraska 24, Minnesota 21
We're Also Taking...
Texas Tech (-31) at Kansas
Alabama (-4) at Texas A&M
Toledo (-29) v. Eastern Michigan
Utah (-6.5) v. ASU
ECU (-12.5) at Tulsa
Oklahoma (-4) at Kansas State
Georgia (-17) v. Missouri
Alabama (-3) at Texas A&M
Boise State (-9.5) at Utah State
Texas Tech (-31) at Kansas
Stanford (-6.5) v. UCLA
Houston (-19) at Tulane
Temple (-21.5) v. UCF
Troy (-12.5) v. Idaho
Utah (-6.5) v. Arizona State