Oklahoma State (-7.5) at Baylor – OSU’s win over Texas is probably more than a bit deceptive, but the Cowboys are facing a team that ranks 101st in defensive S&P+. Baylor will also potentially be without QB Charlie Brewer, who has been in concussion protocol. Gambling pick: Oklahoma State covers in Waco, setting up a big one in Norman next week. Under 67.5
Georgia (-9) at Kentucky – In their last three games, the Wildcats have scored 15, 14 and 14 against Missouri, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, respectively, and not all of those points have come from the offense. UK might have a difficult time getting to double digits against the Dawgs. Gambling pick: Georgia covers in fairly convincing fashion. Under 44.5.
West Virginia at Texas (-2.0) – UT probably doesn’t lose in Stillwater if cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Davante Davis are on the field in the first quarter, but that game certainly highlighted some cracks on both sides of the ball. West Virginia played the role of the inspired/pissed-off team at home last week, so will Texas show a similar energy this week (albeit against a much better team than Baylor) in front of a sold-out crowd in Austin? I think they will to some degree, which could result in an extremely fun football game. Gambling pick: WVU straight-up with a close W. Under 58
Penn State at Michigan (-10.5) – Michigan’s defense is really good even after adjusting for the offenses they face, but Penn State’s defense is no slouch (21st in S&P+). I’m confident in a Michigan win, but not in the Wolverines getting enough separation to cover. That still wouldn’t be the desired result for Oklahoma fans, who are rooting for chaos in the Big Ten East. Gambling pick: Penn State beats the spread. Under 53
Notre Dame (-10) at Northwestern – The Wildcats have won four straight and nearly defeated Michigan in Evanston before the streak began. Notre Dame QB Ian Book is playing well enough to likely avoid the road upset, but look for Northwestern to keep this close on the tall grass. Gambling pick: Northwestern beats the spread but falls short of a W. Under 53.5
Alabama (-14.5) at LSU – Every week, Alabama enters the game with a spread that makes many raise his or her eyebrows. Sure enough, the Tide covers those spreads more often than not (5-3 in 2018). Even when considering that fact, I can’t quite go with ‘Bama to win that convincingly in Baton Rouge of all places. LSU’s defense is just too good to allow that to happen, even against a uniquely dynamic Alabama offense. Gambling pick: Alabama wins, but LSU beats keeps it with 10 and beats the spread. Under 54
Oklahoma (-13.5) at Texas Tech – The Red Raiders are 79th in defensive S&P+, which is as strong (relatively speaking) as they’ve been on defense in quite some time. However, they give up a lot of big plays and struggle mightily against good QBs. That’s not a good sign. Offensively, they have big, athletic receivers who will likely be able to make some plays and put up some points, but I’d expect Ruffin McNeill’s simplified defensive scheme to result in enough key stops. Gambling pick: Oklahoma covers with a 59-31 win. Over 77.5