Last Week in Review By Dr. Senkbeil
The coin dominated again and Sagarin had its worst week yet. I was in between but still subpar. The Bad from last week: Lane Kiffin purposefully took a safety to prevent an FAU cover. Arkansas looked terrible and barely won. The Good from last week: Florida was predictably dead, Army got up to play Air Force, UAB continued their surge, UMASS continued to play teams close but lose. The rest of the games were all scores within the range of foreseeable outcomes that could have gone either way without much spread cushion. I am glad I did not include that Iowa game! Iowa at Kinnick is possessed.
Let’s see if we can find a semi-reliable cast of characters in a week full of big games. I did all of the big games this week even if I did not like the line.
Weekend of 11/11/17 game lines as of Thursday 11/11 1am EST:
PICK is BOLD (off eff, def eff)
- Washington -6 at Stanford
Prediction: Washington 24 Stanford 13
Sagarin: Washington by 4
Washington 3 (29,1) has a mean defense and is suddenly focused on perhaps snagging that 4th playoff spot. Stanford 26 (28,57) is Bryce Love. If he is healthy then they have a chance, and they are very good at home. Washington crushed Stanford 44-6 last year. Washington is a better team and the 6 points sounds good, BUT road favorites have not had a good year.
- Florida at South Carolina -7.5
Prediction: South Carolina 31 Florida 17
Sagarin: South Carolina by 12
South Carolina 69 (93,47) looked pretty good last week only losing to UGA by 14, or was UGA taking it easy? Florida 103 (106,83)….….well this season just needs to end for the Gators and the focus becomes new leadership. Their former coach is not likely to show mercy and 7.5 seems too low.
- Michigan State +15.5 at Ohio State
Prediction: Ohio State 31 Michigan State 26
Sagarin: Ohio State by 7
Coin: Ohio State
This line is suspicious, but it smells so good you have to take the bait. Ohio State 2 (4,20) is a much better team than whatever that was at Iowa. At 7-2 and most likely out of the playoff, are they now unmotivated? Michigan State 22 (89,9) is a disciplined defensive team that limits mistakes. Dantonio has a thing about getting under Meyer’s skin, but he has a serious talent deficit here. This year, Michigan State plays everybody close (good and bad teams) and usually narrowly wins. If Ohio State keeps making stupid mistakes how do they win by more than 15.5? What if the super talented OSU shows up mistake free? I do not think they will.
- UL Lafayette at Ole Miss-20
Prediction: Ole Miss 56 La Laf 31
Sagarin:Ole Miss by 21
Coin: Ole Miss
Ole Miss 65 (14, 121) has suddenly found itself an offensive identity again, but that defense cannot stop anybody. Why should you pick them to win by 20? La Laf 108 (54, 119) also has no defense and the Rebels need to run up the score and celebrate a big win in an otherwise frustrating season. Not a lot of cushion here on a spread that seems about right.
- Oklahoma State at Iowa State+7
Prediction: OK State 34 Iowa State 31
Sagarin: OK State by 2
Coin: OK State
The Cyclones are plus 7 at home! Oklahoma State 13 (3,67) has an amazing offense but got outdueled by OU. Iowa State 37 (72,22) lost a close game; albeit, on the road at WVU. They were due for a close loss. The Cyclones do not have the horsepower to stay with Ok State but they didnt against OU or TCU and beat both. At home, they will find a way to keep this a very tight game and maybe need a little luck to win.
- Arkansas at LSU -17
Prediction: LSU 45 Arkansas 21
Sagarin: LSU by 15
LSU 29 (55,23) could have really scared Bama if they had a QB. Those receivers were open! Arkansas 92 (44,106) almost suffered the most embarrassing loss in program history against Coastal Carolina. The Hogs are really bad this year. Now, because I wrote that watch them beat LSU
- Iowa +12 at Wisconsin
Prediction: Wisconsin 24 Iowa 21
Sagarin: Wisconsin by 11
I smell a potential statement victory here by the undefeated Badgers 6 (30,6), who feel a little slighted by their current playoff ranking. The line implies this. To be fair their SOS is 68th, but Washington is 67th and Bama only 56th. Statistically, Wisconsin is very similar to Auburn and Clemson. Iowa 35 (78,19) has a SOS of 9 and they have really grappled with everybody this year. They are home warriors losing only at the last second to Penn State. On the road they lost to Mich State and NW in OT both 17-10. So, nobody blows Iowa out! Sounds like a nail biter that Wisconsin wins.
- UGA -2.5 at Auburn
Prediction: UGA 28 Auburn 19
Sagarin: Georgia by 11
The Deep South’s oldest rivalry should be a fun game. UGA 4 (19,8) looked to be playing last week without showing anything new. Auburn 9 (35,5) is very talented, but for some mysterious reason, the play calling was bewildering during their 2 losses? Malzahn tends to freeze up and go ultra conservative in big games over the past 3 years. Why should that trend stop now? Auburn has not beaten a team with equal or superior talent in….a looong time. UGA keeps their dream alive.
- FSU +16 at Clemson
Prediction: Clemson 34 FSU 20
Sagarin: Clemson by 28
I do not like this line and I cannot get a read on FSU 74 (106,41). FSU has played the most difficult schedule in the nation. Mid season Clemson 12 (39,4) has looked weakened and hobbled and they have not been covering spreads. 14 – 20 points sounds like the winning margin, but I will go with FSU to stay close enough and try to keep this low scoring. FSU, win or lose, has played everybody close except for the BC game.
- Bama at Mississippi State +14
Prediction: Bama 24 State 17
Sagarin: Bama by 12
Bama 1 (26,2) is injured and looks mortal. Their offensive efficiency is sliding and they really have not played anybody this year. State 16 (60,10) was blown out on the road against the 2 best defenses they played. At home with the cowbells is different. Can they move the ball on Bama? Can Bama move the ball enough on State’s 10th ranked D? 14 points is about right, but I have to pick a side. State tries to exploit Bama’s secondary and puts up a good fight.
- TCU +7 at Oklahoma
Prediction: OU 35 TCU 28 in OT
Sagarin: OU by 7
The Horned Frogs 8 (43,3) are the defensive outlier in the Big 12. OU 14 (1,115) has by far the best offense in college football and a defense that stinks. Everybody scores points on OU, but can you outscore them? Can TCU score enough points? If OU gets 1 turnover it might be over so TCU has to avoid mistakes. OU struggled against the only defensive team it has played this year at home against Iowa State (The Ohio State game was weird). TCU takes this game into overtime and loses but covers that +7.
- Notre Dame -3 at Miami
Prediction: ND 27 Miami 21
Sagarin: ND by 6
Coin: Notre Dame
Notre Dame 7 (6,25) is good! That rushing offense has plowed over everybody but UGA’s defense. Miami 11 (18,27) is also good but has played in too many squeaker games against lesser competition. ND is hungry for the playoff and will be too much for Miami.
- SJSU at Nevada -19.5
Prediction: Nevada 45 SJSU 21
Sagarin: Nevada by 15
At this point, take whomever is playing SJSU 127 (126,117) to cover. Nevada 120 (66,126) should do it, although if SJSU still has a pulse this might be their only chance to show it.
- Kansas at Texas -34
Prediction: Texas 42 Kansas 7
Sagarin: Texas by 36
Tom Herman needs a big win to show progress. Texas 60 (97,29) should be able to take out some frustration on Kansas 123 (123,110).
- UAB +7.5 at UTSA
Prediction: UTSA 24 UAB 23
UAB 56 (53,51) is still flying high and now heads to UTSA 41 (67,32) in search of win 7. Why not? That half point might help.
Other lines not discussed:
UNLV -4 Southern Miss -10
UCF -38.5 USC -13.5
Rutgers +30.5 UMASS -7.5
Indiana -9 Texas A&M -19
Texas Tech -7.5 FIU -9.5
Nebraska +2.5 Missouri -11
Wake- pickem Arizona -22
Michigan -16.5 Wyoming +3
WVU +2.5 Fresno -10.5
FAU – 5.5
Be sure to keep your eye out for our weekly blog with Dr. Senkbeil’s picks every Thursday. Challenge your college buddies and coworkers on your Alma Mater’s game and raise money for charity in the process! Don’t have the GoodBookey app? Download it below. Talk some smack and give back!