It’s been a great week of football. We’ve seen NFL action for Monday Night Football, Thanksgiving Day, and got some great college football action on Friday. That trend continues on Saturday as we have some exciting matchups in the world of college football once again. Should be fun!
Last week: 7-4
Here we go!
Mississippi State @ Ole Miss Over 69.5
This is the first Egg Bowl between Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin. I can’t help but think we are going to see some fireworks. Both play callers are very creative and like to play fast. Mississippi State’s offense had struggled in recent weeks, but they played fairly well last week against Georgia and scored 24 points. The Bulldogs LOVE to throw the ball, as they only had 22 rushing yards last week, and they have rushed for less than 50 yards in six of their seven games. Pair their air-raid attack with an Ole Miss defense that is very weak against the pass (292.1 yards/game, 117th in the country) and I think we will see a very entertaining and high-scoring game. The Rebels lead the SEC in total offense and are putting up 41 points per game. I think we see a lot of points in this one and the scoreboard operator could have a very busy night.
Auburn @ Alabama Over 62.5
Last year, we saw an Iron Bowl that included 93 total points in a 48-45 Auburn win. I think we will see a similar shootout this year. Alabama’s offense is putting up nearly 50 points per game with 49.4, and Mac Jones is completing 77.1% of his passes with 18 TD’s and just three interceptions on the year. The Tide have put up over 500 yards of offense in five of their last six games, and the one game they didn’t reach 500, they had 499. They really are on a roll, and I think we will see them continue to have success here against Auburn. For Auburn’s offense, they have seemed to get things together in recent weeks, putting up over 30 points in four of their last five games. Bo Nix has been known to struggle on the road, but Alabama’s defense has struggled against the pass this season, giving up 240.3 yards per game through the air. The Tide have given up just 3 points combined in their last two games, but I think Auburn’s offense poses a larger threat than Mississippi State and Kentucky. Bama gave up 723 total yards (417 of them through the air) to Ole Miss earlier this season, so even though they have tightened things up lately, they are still susceptible to giving up yards and points. Gus Malzahn should have his team ready, and I think they will be able to find the end zone enough to hit the Over. In addition, if Bama gets up big, I don’t see them easing off the gas at all against their heated rival, especially after last years loss. I like the Over here.
Georgia @ South Carolina Over 49
Well, Georgia seems to have found their quarterback. Kirby Smart turned the reigns of the Bulldog offense over to USC transfer J.T. Daniels last week against Mississippi State, and Daniels was very impressive. He was 28-of-38 for 401 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. As good as Daniels was, the Georgia running game was pretty much non-existent, as they only had 8 total rushing yards. The good news is that South Carolina does not have a good defense, and are 11th in the SEC against both the run and the pass. I think Daniels has another solid game and the Georgia running game picks it up a bit this week. For South Carolina, after ousting head coach Will Muschamp, the Gamecocks lost a disappointing 17-10 game to visiting Mizzou last week. South Carolina has their problems on offense, and they are unsure if Colin Hill or Luke Doty will start at QB. Hill is more experienced, and Doty is a running threat as much as a passing threat. I think either QB should be able to hold their own in this one, as the Georgia defense has underperformed all season, and they are weakest against the pass (236.7 yards/game, 9th in SEC). In addition, whoever they go with will have a big target in WR Shi Smith on the outside who can really make some big-time plays. This game last year was a 20-17 stunning upset win for the Gamecocks, but I see this one being more high-scoring. I think Daniels gives the Georgia offense a boost, and I will take the Over in this one.
Maryland @ Indiana Under 64
This is a high number. Sure, both offenses are pretty dynamic and can put up points, but I think Indiana’s defense is just too good to push this one over. Indiana leads the Big Ten with 15 turnovers forced and 13 interceptions, and they severely diminished Justin Fields’s Heisman hopes last week, picking him off three times. I also think Indiana may have a little less energy coming into this game, as their 42-35 loss to Ohio State last week was an extremely hard-fought battle that was certainly an emotional loss. I’m not necessarily saying it’s a let-down game here against Maryland, I just think they might be a little slow coming out of the gates. Maryland’s offense has improved in recent weeks with Taulia Tagovailoa leading the way to 35 and 45-point performances in their last two games, but those were against Penn State and Minnesota, two teams near the bottom of the Big Ten in scoring defense. Indiana’s defense should slow them down in this one. Give me the Under.
LSU +15 @ Texas A&M and Under 62
After not playing for three weeks, LSU got a big road win last week against Arkansas. They will look to take the momentum into Kyle Field when they take on the No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies. Texas A&M comes in winners of four in a row, but this will be their first game in three weeks. I think we could see a close game here. LSU actually has some advantages on the offensive side of the ball, as they are putting up more points, total yards, and passing yards per game than Texas A&M on the season. The Tigers have seemed to adopt a slower game pace this season, and last week it really showed. Freshman QB T.J. Finley was really good at controlling the offense and the clock, as LSU dominated time of possession 41:43-18:17. He looked poised, and did a really good job of protecting the ball against a ball-hawking Arkansas defense that relies on turnovers. Finley completed 27-of-42 pass attempts, and had 271 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. I think they will take this offensive philosophy on the road this week to Texas A&M and keep it close. The problem for LSU has been their defense. They are giving up 472.7 yards per game this season, which is second-to-last in the SEC. They have been very weak against the pass, and Aggie QB Kellen Mond is having a fantastic season. However, the weather Saturday night in College Station is supposed to be less than ideal. The temperature is projected to be mid-to-low 50’s, with over a 90% chance of rain and winds from 10-12 mph. That could have an effect on the passing game, and limit the number of big plays down the field. I think that also favors LSU’s slower style of play. Texas A&M is having a solid year, but I think some momentum may have been lost in recent weeks. I see LSU controlling the clock and time of possession in soggy conditions and hanging around in this one. Give me LSU +15 as well as the Under.
Vanderbilt @ Missouri Over 50
Vandy is 0-7, but have been playing better as of late, and were even leading No. 6 Florida for most the first half last week. Freshman QB Ken Seals has steadily improved throughout the season, and has thrown for over 300 yards in three of his last four games. After scoring just 26 points combined in their first three games, Vandy has put up 22.5 points per game in their last four. Defensively, the Commodores are in the bottom 5 of the entire nation in opponent yards per play, and have given up over 38 points in five of their seven games so far this season. That should give the Mizzou offense and redshirt freshman QB Connor Bazelak a lot of opportunities to put points on the board. Bazelak spreads the ball around to his receivers, as six Tigers have over 130 receiving yards on the season. That opens things up for senior RB Larry Roundtree III, who just became Mizzou’s all-time leading rusher with 3,283 career yards on the ground. I like the Over in this one.
Penn State @ Michigan PK (ML)
These two teams are not where we thought they would be. Michigan is a disappointing 2-3, and Penn State is an abysmal 0-5. Penn State is turning the ball over left and right, as Sean Clifford has thrown eight picks and they have lost five fumbles as a team. Their offensive line is not giving their QB’s any time to throw, and have given up 20 sacks in five games. Their last three offensive outings have seen them score 21, 23, and 19 points. Defensively, Penn State has not stopped anyone, and they are giving up 36 points per game. Michigan is finally starting to run the ball well, and I think they will have a lot of success on the ground in this one. Hassan Haskins rushed 23 times for 111 yards and scored the winning touchdown against Rutgers, so if Michigan can get their ground game going again, I like their chances. On top of that, Michigan made the QB switch from Joe Milton to Cade McNamara last week, and McNamara threw for 334 yards along with five touchdowns and no picks en route to the Wolverines’ triple OT win. He seems to have provided a spark to the Michigan offense, and I see them taking care of business at home against the winless Nittany Lions.
Akron @ Miami (OH) Over 55.5
I think this is going to be a wild game. Through three games, the Zips are giving up 50.3 points per game, which is the worst in the nation. Last time they were in action, they surrendered 69 points to Kent State. Miami does not possess the offensive firepower that Kent State does, but I think the RedHawks will have a strong offensive day. Miami suffered an embarrassing 42-10 loss to Buffalo two weeks ago, but I don’t think that game was indicative of this offense. Buffalo is one of the best teams in the MAC, and have a very strong defense. Akron is on the other end of the stick, and the Zips are not only giving up a ton of points, but struggle getting off the field, as their opponents are converting on 58% of third downs. The RedHawks are the defending MAC champs, and after their rivalry game against Ohio was cancelled last week, they have had an extra week to prepare. I think Chuck Martin will have his team ready to play, and after nearly losing to Akron last year, I think the RedHawks will be motivated to show that they truly are better than that performance. However, the RedHawks have not looked that great on the defensive side of the ball, as they are second-to-last in the MAC in total yards, allowing 517 per game. In their two games they have surrendered 31 and 41 points. Akron’s offense isn’t exactly amazing, but they have definitely improved from last season, and RB Teon Dollard is a top-tier RB in the conference. He is currently third in the MAC with 144.7 rushing yards per game, and Miami is giving up 186 yards per game on the ground. QB Zach Gibson has made some poor decisions so far this season, but Miami has given up a lot of big plays through the air and haven’t really generated much of a pass rush. This game last year was a low-scoring 20-17 contest, but Akron’s offense has gotten better and Miami’s defense has taken a step back. Akron’s defense has been bad, so I like the Over in this MAC contest in what I think will be kind of a crazy game.
Rutgers @ Purdue Under 61
Rutgers is coming off their triple overtime 48-42 loss to Michigan, and Purdue lost a heartbreaker to Minnesota after being called for an extremely questionable pass interference penalty at the end of the game. With both teams coming off emotional high-scoring games, I like the Under here. Purdue has a bit of a question mark at quarterback, as a starter has not yet been announced. No matter who starts, it is certainly good for Purdue to have WR Rondale Moore back, as the stud wideout caught 15 passes for 116 yards last week along with rushing for a touchdown. The Boilermakers have struggled to run the ball, and rely a lot on the pass. Rutgers has improved defensively from last season, and new head coach Greg Schiano is very defensive-minded and should have a good game plan against a Purdue team that can be a little pass-heavy. I just think 61 is a lot of points for these two teams, so I like the Under here.
Title Photo: Athlon Sports