The best bets from this Saturday's college football slate
Another weekend of gambling on college football left us promisingly profitable.
Our picks went 5-2 against the spread on Saturday, and were just a converted extra point against Alabama away from going 6-1. Bama was favored by 31.5 points when we published, but the spread shot up as high as 35 before kickoff, so it's possible some of you won on that game also if you caught a better number.
We are now 27-22 on the season, which while a net positive, still leaves us with much work to do to catch up with the success of our NFL bets so far this season. So let's strap in and get to picking on another week of college football action.
All lines are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
LAST WEEK: 5-2
Penn State (-9.5) over Michigan
This line would normally be a bit too long for my liking, but I will be attending the game in Happy Valley this weekend and there's no way I am going to be in the presence of College Gameday and a Penn State white out and not have money riding on the game. Plus, head coach James Franklin has been known to pour it on this season, going as far as to ice a kicker up 56-0. With that type of aggression running through his veins, who knows how far he'd be willing to go against one of the school's fiercest rivals?
Mississippi State (-13) over Kentucky
One of my least scientific gambling rules is a simple one — when a football school is playing a basketball school, pick the football school. Kentucky is a remarkable 5-1 right now, with their only loss coming at the hands of a Hail Mary pass from Florida. It's been a great run, but it's time for the dream to come crashing back to SEC football reality. Mississippi State can score and score fast, and are still looking to rebound after two embarrassing road losses in consecutive weeks to Georgia and Auburn.
Tennessee (+36) over Alabama
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As mentioned before, Alabama covered against us by a half point last weekend, taking our week from 6-1 to 5-2 against the spread. Tennessee has not scored a touchdown in two games, and now head to Alabama in a game that could determine the fate of head coach Butch Jones. Everything screams to take Alabama to cover here, but again, a line this long is too much to pass up. The Crimson Tide have next week off — maybe they start thinking about vacation a bit too early and only win by 28.
Oregon (+6.5) over UCLA
I have lost too much money this season putting my faith in Josh Rosen and UCLA. Not this time Rosen. Not this time. Go Ducks and whatever wacky color combination you choose to wear.
Purdue (-10) over Rutgers
As I've said before in this column, when the gambling world is zigging, it's usually a good bet to zag. This game is one of the most one-sided bets of the week with over 80% of bettors taking Purdue to cover the number according to SportsInsights. In most cases, I would close my eyes and back Rutgers, but this Purdue team has been too good against the number and made us too much money this season to back down now.
That said, be careful with this one.
Pittsburgh (+8.5) over Duke
Simply put, this game means a lot more to Pitt than it does to Duke. While the Panthers are still looking for a signature win in a disappointing season, Duke had already outperformed expectations four weeks into the season and has dropped three games straight since. While it might be a good spot for Duke to get back on their feet at home, Pitt needs the win and needs it bad — they might not have another shot at a victory this year.
USC (+3.5) over Notre Dame
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USC is 11-3 in their last 14 games against Notre Dame and getting points here as a higher ranked team. And as Notre Dame's game against Georgia proved, home field advantage in South Bend ain't what it used to be. This is likely the last chance you'll get to take the Trojans getting points this year — make the most of it.
LAST WEEK: 5-2