College football starts to get pretty serious now with big games across the country this weekend. These are the four I’m looking at for wafering purposes only of course….
Missouri (-14) at Kentucky – I’m really surprised this number isn’t higher. The East Division leading Tigers punished Tennessee last week with a 31-3 victory while Kentucky (2-6) routed Alabama State. Their only other win is against Miami of Ohio.
At this time, Head Coach Gary Pinkel has not yet said whether Maty Mauk or James Franklin will start at quarterback. Franklin reportedly could have played last week but did not. With Ole Miss and Texas A&M remaining on the schedule I’m guessing Franklin will see some action.
The Tigers are 4-1 straight up in their last five road games while the Wildcats are 3-8 straight up in their last 11 games at home. Take Missouri to cover with confidence.
Nebraska (+6.5) at Michigan – The Cornhuskers come into Ann Arbor fresh off a hail mary victory over Northwestern. Michigan returns home licking some serious wounds after the butt-kicking they received by arch-rival Michigan State.
Both teams come in at 6-2 but Nebraska still has a legitimate shot at the Legends’ Division title. They need to win Saturday and then need to defeat Michigan State next week in Lincoln. Michigan would need significantly more help to win the division and I don’t see that happening.
The Huskers are 2-9-1 against the spread in their last 12 road games while UM is 5-0 straight up in their last five in the Big House. Brady Hoke is 19-0 at home in Michigan Stadium since becoming the head coach. Make it 20 but take Nebraska and the points.
LSU (+9) at Alabama – These two SEC West foes hook up again in what promises to be another good game in Tuscaloosa. I’m just not sure LSU has the defensive horses to hang in there however.
The one area the Tigers may have an advantage is throwing the ball. QB Zach Mettenberger is a top pro prospect who can make all the throws and he has very good wide receivers. If Alabama has a weakness, it could be the secondary. Safety Vinnie Sunseri is out for the year and there is a lot of youth playing as well.
With that said, the group has gotten a lot better since being torched by Johnny Manziel in week two.
The Tigers are 5-1 straight up against Alabama on the road in their last six which garners which attention but this Bama team is too balanced. I like the Crimson Tide to cover.
Virginia Tech (+6.5) at Miami – This was once one of the great rivalries in college football but both teams have seen better days despite pretty decent records. The Hurricanes have to move forward from their blowout loss to rival Florida State and must do so without running back Duke Johnson who is out for the year with a broken ankle.
The Hokies are 6-3 but have lost two straight to Duke and Boston College respectively. QB Logan Thomas has all the tools to be a top pro prospect but it just hasn’t all come together for him.
Both teams still have hopes of winning the Coastal Division and getting a crack at the Seminoles in the ACC Title game. The ‘Canes are 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games against the Hokies but that isn’t going to scare me away here.
Take the Canes to cover behind a better defense and the passing of Stephen Morris.