Sports

Takes on College Football: Against the Spread, Week Seven

In the throes of the season comes more conference play where the true contenders make their moves towards championships.

In the throes of the season comes Week Seven, where the rubber meets the road. Going forward, it’s a batch of solid conference games that’ll decide who sits atop the college football throne for the year. And here at the website, we present to you two of the most unqualified writers at The Alabama Take who offer picks. They go against the spread, because straight-up picks are for the silly minded. It’s our best guess at the best bets with the lowest stress. It’s our college football picks of the week!

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2019 ATS Record
Blaine Duncan: 12-5-1 (Week Six: 1-1-1)
TD Wood: 8-9-1 (Week Six: 2-1)

Blaine Duncan
Going 1-1-1 last week wasn’t a bounce back: that push is as good as a loss. The sole win I had came from an underdog Texas Tech team, though, which is always hopeful about what you’re seeing on the field. And I should’ve known better picking against such a solid Ohio State: they are still the preeminent team in college football week after week. I have thought deeply about this week’s picks and I know I have some winners for you.

Iowa State at West Virginia (OVER: 53.5): Iowa State keeps showing up in a lot of my picks for a reason: they’re much better than their record indicates, their coach is great, and they fight hard in every game. I mentioned last week that waltzing into Morgantown and getting a victory is a hard task no matter the Mountaineers’ record, so I won’t bite on that ten-point line. I do like for this game to go over 54 points. The Cyclones — not traditionally a high-scoring offense — will create a chunk of those points in a game that seems like it’s a 35-26 Iowa State win. Plus, it’s always fun to bet the over. So bet the over.

Arkansas at Kentucky (-6.5): No one gives two shits about this game, including Arkansas and Kentucky fans. Arkansas is getting some love because they gave A&M a tough game in their last outing, but don’t buy it. Both of these squads are coming off a bye week, so the idea of one group being more rested goes out the window. The Wildcats are at home, though, and that I like. They’re only giving up 6.5 points in a game that they should win by fourteen or more. These Razorbacks are not good, even though they’re improving. Go with the Bluegrass State.

Florida (+13) at LSU: There is a lot going on here. One of which that I can’t figure out is why LSU is giving up so many points to a good Florida team, never mind that it is a night game in Baton Rogue. The main concern for the Tigers should be the Gators’ momentum, which can always turn around to bite the Gators in the ass. But Stan Mullin has the team playing — and thinking — that they can beat anyone, despite the notion that he’d rather be shopping at Publix on Saturday with the wife before those good coupons expire. What a team believes, though, can go a long way in their fight. Any coach worth a damn would have that underdog status as a motivating point this week, and there’s a ton at stake here. I can see it coming down to the wire and one of the teams having to kick a late field goal for the win. (Then again, it also has “back-door cover” written all over it, too.) Florida loses this one in a heart breaker and will have to regroup for a few more tough games ahead in the SEC East.

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TD Wood
A 2-1 showing last week and I’m a game under .500 and I’ll take that. Florida and Ohio State repaid my faith, and the less said about Iowa/Michigan, the better for all of us. BIG weekend for us, one where we can say we’ve entered “playoff implications” season. Four matchups between Top 25 teams dominate the slate.

Oklahoma vs. Texas (+10.5): This is one of those games I’d dearly like to experience in person in my lifetime. Smack in the middle of the Texas State Fair, surrounded by people that will fry any goddamned food you can imagine, played in a classic stadium, the Cotton Bowl, Plus, the action on the field is always fun. The Red River Shootout/Rivalry is one of college football’s most unpredictable rivalry games, and always makes for a damn good time with it’s high noon start time (12 pm EST). Oklahoma has looked superb so far this season, and Texas’ D is shaky, at best. That doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement for the underdogs, but they play infinitely better against the Sooners and I’m not sure Oklahoma has really been tested this season. Jalen Hurts is gonna have another monster game, and the Sooners will probably win, but 10.5 is too much to turn down.

2-team parlay — Alabama (-17) at Texas A&M, Penn St. (-3) at Iowa: Before the season, I thought A&M would be Bama’s first big test of the season. I no longer hold that belief. The Aggies have done little to make me think they’ll challenge the Tide at all, and I expect Tua and the Ryde Outs to show off and put up big numbers in College Station. Iowa might seem like a good bounce-back candidate after last week’s loss at Michigan, particularly being back home for the Nittany Lions. But, that offense stinks, and Penn State’s defense is mighty good itself. In fact, I think Penn State is the most overlooked team so far this season, and this game will be their statement of intent. I like both road favorites to win big.

Florida (+13.5) at LSU: A lot of the talk around Florida is about how they’re not as good as their results say they are. I tend to disagree, because any team with a defense that good is no smoke and mirrors act. Yes, the offense has problems, but trust in Dan Mullen. The Tigers in Death Valley are a much bigger test than Auburn in the swamp, and the Florida DBs vs. the LSU WRs is the matchup to watch. I think this game is a throwback of sorts, to last decade when the big SEC tilts were defensive affairs. This one will get ugly, and I think LSU wins it, but not by two touchdowns.

Note: All games are Against the Spread. Odds are taken from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

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