Last week: 6-2
This season: 39-39
Another really good weekend picking the games against the spread has me back to .500 on the year after a very sluggish start. This week, all three state schools are back in action as the Sooners look to stay undefeated and cover the spread for the seventh straight week. The Cowboys look to make it three straight-up wins in a row as an underdog with a trip to Morgantown. Meanwhile, Tulsa comes back from a week off on Thursday night, looking to improve to 3-1 at home.
Tulsa will also look to break a mark recognized by the Guinness World Records on Thursday with the world’s largest official beer tasting. You would be better served spending your money on a beer tasting than playing my picks, but for those that are either degenerates or masochists, here are my Week 8 college football plays against the spread.
Rice at Tulsa (-3), 6 p.m. Thursday: Even after a loss to Florida Atlantic 12 days ago, Tulsa’s road to a bowl game is very clear: Take care of business at home. The ‘Cane’s home schedule is very manageable, but road wins may be few and far between, as Tulsa still has trips to SMU and Tulane on the schedule. Tulsa’s defense has actually been pretty stout aside from the losses to playoff contenders Washington and Oklahoma. Have a beer, Tulsa fans. ‘Cane wins big. Pick: Tulsa -3
UCF at No. 6 Oklahoma (-19), 11 a.m. Saturday: It’s hard to know if Team 129 will have a Texas hangover, especially after a bye week, and as I mentioned on The Lederman Jacket earlier this week, I’m bagging what the Sooners are raking this year. UCF has given up 43 points per game in an 0-3 start in Big 12 play. Look for Dillon Gabriel to have another huge day, and maybe we’ll get a bigger dose of Nic Anderson with the Andrel Anthony injury announcement during the bye week. At some point the Sooners don’t cover. This week ain’t that week. Pick: Oklahoma -19 — Sooners win 49-21.
No. 7 Penn State at No. 3 Ohio State (-4.5), 11 a.m. Saturday: At Penn State, James Franklin is 2-11 on the road vs. Top 25 teams, 0-9 on the road vs. Top 10 teams, 1-8 vs. Ohio State and 1-11 vs. Top 5 teams. Sometimes the trends scream so loudly at you that you have to listen, right? Pick: Ohio State -4.5
Baylor at Cincinnati (-3.5), 11 a.m. Saturday: Gross. This game is so perfect for the 11 a.m. time slot. These two teams are so bad that I have absolutely no idea what to expect. This game could be a 6-3 game or a 60-30 game, but when two teams play that have both disappointed their fan bases so greatly, I tend to lean toward the favorite being disappointing again. Pick: Baylor +3.5
No. 17 Tennessee at No. 11 Alabama (-9.5), 2:30 p.m. Saturday: I know I said this a few weeks ago about Georgia right before they beat the brakes off of Kentucky, so I’ll probably regret it again, but Alabama doesn’t look like a team that can beat anyone by double digits right now. Throw in the fact that you usually get good value betting against Alabama because the public loves them so much, and I’ll take the Vols to keep it tight. Pick: Tennessee +9.5
Oklahoma State at West Virginia (-3.5), 2:30 p.m. Saturday: It has been no secret that I have been down on the Mountaineers all season. I think they have been very fortunate, playing a really bad Pitt team in non-conference, then catching Tech and TCU at the most opportune times, but West Virginia is knocking down a Hail Mary away from being undefeated in conference and having five straight wins against the number. That said, I have been on the orange side of things the past few weeks and Mike Gundy has danced his way into my heart. Make it three straight wins as an underdog for the Pokes. Pick: Oklahoma State +3.5 — Cowboys win 27-23.
No. 8 Texas (-23.5) at Houston, 3 p.m. Saturday: Texas could have a Churchill-sized hangover after the Red River Rivalry loss and still be able to handle Houston. I actually think the Cougs’ hangover after their Hail Mary heroics last Thursday in Houston will be greater. The Horns get right in this one. Pick: Texas -23.5
Texas Tech (-4.5) at BYU, 6 p.m. Saturday: BYU has had five different safeties miss multiple games this season, and last week TCU’s Josh Hoover shredded the Cougar defense to the tune of 439 yards and four touchdowns. But with Tech back up Behren Morton listed as a gametime decision, I’m not sure that the Red Raiders can take advantage of it like Hoover. Damn. Pick: BYU +4.5
TCU at Kansas State (-6.5), 6 p.m. Saturday: Not for the faint of heart if you like purple, as mentioned above, I think TCU’s success last week had more to do with BYU’s deficiencies than the fact that Josh Hoover is the answer. I’ll take the QB tandem in The Little Apple to get the job done. Pick: Kansas State -6.5
No. 16 Duke at No. 4 Florida State (-13.5), 6:30 p.m. Saturday: Duke has been a cool story and everything, but let’s pump the brakes on calling the Blue Devils for real. The two big games the Duke has played this year have been at home, catching Clemson early and being beaten by a Notre Dame team that I don’t think played well on the night and still covered easily. Should be a rout for the ‘Noles. Pick: Florida State -13.5