Week Six: the bye weeks begin to take bite out of quantity, but the overall quality? It’s a good-looking slate. Here we present to you two of the most unqualified writers at The Alabama Take who will offer picks for college football. They go against the spread, because straight-up picks are for the week of heart. And look at those numbers. They ain’t bad! It’s our best guess at the best bets with the lowest stress. It’s our college football picks of the week!
2019 ATS Record
Blaine Duncan: 11-4 (Week Four: 0-3)
TD Wood: 6-8-1 (Week Four: 2-1)
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. But, it’s like Sturgill Simpson once said, “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” (I think Sturgill Simpson said that. Maybe not.) Anyway, whoever said it never put a bet down against Arkansas when they finally decide to show up and play! (And Baylor! And Oklahoma State!) Anyway, I’ve got to go back to a theme here: underdogs.
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (+10): I’m going back to the scene of the crime by picking against Oklahoma State two weeks in a row. These two teams are evenly matched, they play a similar style of air-it-out football, and the line feels inflated due to Oklahoma State burning my ass last week. (That’s because Vegas peaks at my picks, you know.) It all adds up: I like the Raiders at home. Home dogs have been good to me this year, and I feel like Tech is a little better than their losses indicate. I could be wrong. Hell, I will be wrong. The one thing that bothers me is that noon kickoff, which doesn’t bode well for a home team. Something tells me, though, that game will come down to a field goal.
Texas at West Virginia (+11): Neal Brown, like all first-year coaches for a school, needed time to get rolling. I don’t see the Mountaineers winning, even at home, but you don’t roll into Morgantown and get a dub without a fight. Texas is in one of those look-ahead moments, too: the Oklahoma Sooners are next up and being ranked at 11 for UT may have them with high hopes on playoff contention. The Longhorns win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it took extra effort and a narrower margin.
Michigan State (+20) at Ohio State: Ohio State could very well be the most well rounded group of players in the country. But how do you not like Mark Dantonio in these big underdog situations? When he and Sparty are in those circumstances, they are a go-to for a bet. While Michigan State won’t beat what could be the best team in the country, it does seem possible that the low-score loss to Arizona State in Week Two was an anomaly. I think, too, that the Spartans have a little more talent than last week’s Nebraska team, which Ohio State trounced. This feels more like a 17-point win for the Buckeyes.
Well, I completely swung and missed on Nebraska even showing up versus Ohio State, but I won’t complain about a 2-1 week. Big SEC game down in Gainesville this week, and I’ll also take on a couple of Big 10 matchups.
#14 Iowa (+4) at #19 Michigan: Not gonna do it. Not gonna trust Jim Harbaugh again. The Wolverines can’t move the ball, and Iowa tends to win the ugly games. Maybe Michigan wins, but I can’t trust them giving the points.
#7 Auburn at #10 Florida (+2.5): This is a really tough one, and if I lived in a state with legal sports gambling I’d stay away (or tease Florida). But, I committed to taking on the biggest games every week, and this is the headliner this weekend. Auburn’s defense is good, and their D-Line is extremely good. But Florida’s defense is nothing to sneeze at, and while Bo Nix looked good last week versus Mississippi St., he has looked pedestrian most of the year. The Tigers offense has trouble moving the ball, as well as holding on to it (-2 turnover margin this season), and that’s not a good thing heading into The Swamp. The Gators need to find a way to get the run game going if they want to win. If the Tigers win, it solidifies their status as national title contenders.
Michigan State at #4 Ohio State (-20): Alabama may be the new #1 in the AP Poll, but my vote would go to the Buckeyes. They’ve looked unstoppable on offense and downright nasty on D. Even if the tough Spartans defense slows down Ohio St., I don’t see them being able to move the ball at all. A rival coach has said they’re better coached than they were last season — you know, when Urban Meyer, widely regarded as one of the best coaches of this era, was still coaching — and that’s a scary thought. Until they prove me wrong, I’m taking the Buckeyes regardless of the spread.
Note: All games are Against the Spread. Odds are taken from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.