I had a solid Week 10, going 6-4 against the spread to move me to even against the number for the season. The good: nailing my Upset Special picking Coastal Carolina to beat App State. The bad: picking Tennessee to keep it close at Georgia. The ugly: picking Clemson to handle Notre Dame.
Here are this week’s guesses.
(All point spreads come from BetMGM, click here for live odds, all kickoff times Eastern.)
No. 7 LSU (-3.5) at Arkansas, Noon, ESPN
The Tigers are riding high, but it’ll be hard not to have some hangover effect here, especially because they’ll be on the road against an unranked Razorbacks team that just lost to Liberty. I think Arkansas keeps this one close before Jayden Daniels leads a late LSU rally.
LSU 28, Arkansas 27
Pick: Arkansas +3
Purdue at No. 21 Illinois (-6.5), Noon, ESPN2
Both teams are coming off disappointing losses, but I like Bret Bielema’s Illini to lean on a Purdue squad that got run over last week by Iowa and got run over the week before that at Wisconsin.
Illinois 26, Purdue 14
Pick: Illinois -6.5
No. 9 Alabama (-11.5) at No. 11 Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m., CBS
The Crimson Tide have been really shaky all season, and now the College Football Playoff appears out of reach. Bama has allowed at least 180 yards rushing in each of their last three road games. I think Lane Kiffin will exploit that, but Bryce Young will find a way to keep the Tide from losing back-to-back games.
Alabama 27, Ole Miss 23
Pick: Ole Miss +11.5
Louisville at No. 10 Clemson (-7), 3:30 p.m., ESPN
The Cardinals’ defense has really stepped up during Louisville’s current four-game winning streak, and Clemson looked dreadful last week. I’ll go with the team that looks hungrier right now.
Louisville 20, Clemson 16
Pick: Louisville +7
Maryland at No. 14 Penn State (-10.5), 3:30 p.m., Fox
Penn State has enough athletes to contain the Terps’ speed and a running attack potent enough to wear Maryland down. Mike Locksley’s team is on the road for the second week in a row and has been mauled in the run game the past two times out.
Penn State 38, Maryland 24
Pick: Penn State -10.5
No. 22 UCF at No. 17 Tulane (-1.5), 3:30 p.m., ESPN2
Both have been excellent this season. I’m picking the home team whose defense has been a little better this year.
Tulane 31, UCF 27
Pick: Tulane -1.5
No. 25 Washington at No. 6 Oregon (-13.5), 7 p.m., Fox
I’m expecting fireworks between gifted QBs Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix, but the Ducks are much better in the secondary, and that will be the difference in this one.
Oregon 44, Washington 28
Pick: Oregon -13.5
No. 1 Georgia (-16.5) at Mississippi State, 7 p.m., ESPN
I know it’s in Starkville, and maybe there will be a little letdown for Georgia after crushing Tennessee last week, but Mississippi State’s offense has been listless the past three games, averaging under 300 yards, and none of those opposing defenses were quite as talented as this one.
Georgia 38, Mississippi State 20
Pick: Georgia -16.5
No. 4 TCU at No. 18 Texas (-7), 7:30 p.m., ABC
Texas has a lot of firepower, and the Horned Frogs have been flying a little too close to the sun of late. The hunch here is they won’t be able to rally in the second half this time around in front of what should be a juiced-up crowd in Austin.
Texas 40, TCU 28
Pick: Texas -7
No. 15 North Carolina at Wake Forest (-3.5), 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
I was surprised to see the Demon Deacons favored, but I see Dave Clawson’s team fixing its recent turnover problems against what has been a very suspect UNC defense.
Wake Forest 45, North Carolina 44
Pick: North Carolina +3.5
This week’s upset special: Appalachian State (-1) at Marshall, 3:30 p.m., ESPN+
The Thundering Herd have the Sun Belt’s best defense and are really good at slowing down the run. When App State has been bottled up in the run game this season, it has had problems.
Marshall 20, App State 17
Pick: Marshall +1
(Photo of Bucky Irving: Tom Hauck / Getty Images)
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