Minnesota @ Nebraska
Line: Nebraska -10
Quote: "Sometimes our guys put so much pressure on themselves to win that they're not playing to win, they're playing not to lose. That's a bad recipe." - Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini (Fox Sports)
Nebraska just got drubbed by Wisconsin, so I'm a little surprised they are favored so significantly. Given that Melvin Gordon was so dominant last week, you'd think a Minnesota team averaging 223 rushing yards per game would get a little more respect. To be clear, though, last week was a serious outlier for Nebraska's run defense (124 yards per game), and David Cobb is not Melvin Gordon.
On the other side, Minnesota has been all over the place. They won at Michigan (for which they get way too much credit), but got killed at TCU. They blew out Iowa, but they lost at Illinois,
Pick: Minnesota +10 to ruin senior day
Marshall @ UAB
Line: Marshall -20
Obviously, hoping for Marshall to lose is the "watch the world burn" pick of the week. I don't think this is the game they lose - but three scores is a lot for any team except Marshall. Their only games within three touchdowns: @ Miami (won by 15) and home against Florida Atlantic (won by 19), Those teams are a combined 5-16 (4-9 in their divisions). UAB is 5-5 (3-3 in the division), and the Fire Dragons have only lost by 20+ once - 45-17 at Arkansas. They lost to Mississippi State by 13 at Mississippi State.
Pick: UAB +20. Watch the world burn/dragons/Targaryen. Easy choice.
Washington State @ Arizona State
Line: ASU -16, over/under 72
The Sun Devils will get into the 30s at least. Expect them to give up at least 24 points (and probably more), so to cover that spread they'd have to get up into the 40s. They've only done that one time this year in a real game (55 against Notre Dame).
Pick: Washington State +16. That's just too many points
Maryland @ Michigan
Line: Michigan -5
Michigan needs a win to get into a bowl game. They are definitely not winning at Ohio State next week, so they need to beat Maryland. The weather is going to be shit, which favors Michigan's offense and defense. The Wolverines dismissed a key d-lineman from the team (domestic violence/going pro next week), but it's Michigan so his replacements should be fine.
Pick: Michigan -5 for some life before OSU beats them by 28
Now for a couple of quick hits in the afternoon block:
Boston College @ Florida State
Line: FSU -17
Pick: You have to take BC +17 here. It's as simple as that.
Ole Miss @ Arkansas
Line: Ole Miss -3.5
Pick: Ole Miss -3.5. Another really simple one. They're just a lot better.
Louisville @ Notre Dame
Line: ND -3.5
Pick: One of the most underrated teams in the country getting points against one of the most overrated team in the country? Louisville +3.5, please and thank you.
Missouri @ Tennessee
Line: Tennessee -3.5, over/under 49
Quote: "Josh Dobbs is simply incredible. I can't remember seeing a mid-season replacement ever make this much difference for a football team. Dobbs took over a putrid Tennessee offense that looked incapable of scoring against anyone and has been extraordinary." Outkick the Coverage
The over opened at 49, and will get up into the 50s by gametime. It doesn't matter. It's going way over. As for picking a team to win, I think it's going to be a very close game. I'd stay away but if you're getting more than a field goal for either team, I like it (just kidding I hate it either way).
Pick: Over 49
Vanderbilt @ Mississippi State
Line: Miss St -30
Pick: Vandy +30. Don't be an idiot.
USC @ UCLA
Line: UCLA -3.5
Pro-UCLA Quote: (after there were issue lighting the pep rally bonfire) "We don't need a friggin' fire to get it fucking turnt up!" -UCLA coach Jim Mora
Pro-USC quote: "USC has been an underdog just twice this season, at Stanford and at Arizona. The Trojans won and covered both of those matchups." Sporting News