Pick Six: Making tough calls on Notre Dame-Temple, Florida-Georgia

Every week, CBS Sports college football writer Tom Fornelli will make six picks for the upcoming weekend's college football games. He promises that these picks will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.

I was in for a rude surprise on Thursday morning when I went to take my dog to the park, like I do every morning. I opened that front door and was immediately accosted by a stiff wind to the face and cold temperatures I was just not ready to experience. I checked the weather app on my phone and saw that the temperature was 40 degrees with a wind chill of 28 degrees, which is just unacceptable for this time of year.

Kind of like my record in Pick Six the last two weeks. 

Like the weather, I've gone cold. After a 3-3 mark last week, I'm only 6-6 the last two weeks, and I'm not accepting these mediocre performances. As Stringer Bell once said in The Wire, that's too many 40-degree days, and nobody remembers 40-degree days.

So let's raise the temperature a bit this week, shall we?

Notre Dame looks to keep its playoff hopes alive against Temple. (USATSI)

Games of the Week

No. 9 Notre Dame (-10.5) at No. 21 Temple: One of the Games of the Week features Temple. What a time to be alive, indeed. 

As for this game, listen, I think Temple is a good team. Actually, to be a bit more accurate, I think Temple has a good defense. That offense leaves a bit to be desired, though, and even the defense's success to this point could be skewed by its schedule to this point. Of all Temple's opponents, only Cincinnati (36.6 ppg) ranks among the top 60 FBS schools in scoring. The Irish offense will easily be the toughest test the Owls have faced all season, but even if Temple is able to slow Notre Dame down a bit, I just don't think its offense can keep up. Notre Dame 31, Temple 17

Check out the SportsLine pick and prediction for Fighting Irish-Owls

Georgia (+3) vs. No. 11 Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.): The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party makes the cut this week simply because there are not a lot of monster matchups, and I am a good CBS employee. It's certainly not here because I have a good read on what's going to happen in this game.

Using pure logic, Florida should be the pick here. It's been the better team so far this season and is 5-2 against the spread, while Georgia is 2-5 ATS and dealing with injuries. But that's what this rivalry game wants you to think! Nothing ever goes to plan in this game. Not only does the underdog cover with alarming regularity, it wins straight up a lot of the time, too. Georgia 27, Florida 24

Check out the SportsLine pick and prediction for Gators-Bulldogs

Lock of the Week

Ball State (-2.5) vs. UMass: And so it has come to this. My Lock of the Week is taking a 2-6 team from the MAC, and picking it against the 1-6 team from the MAC. I do have a good reason for my pick, though, I swear. I'm just relying on the Minutemen being especially bad, particularly when they're on the road.

Not only has UMass gone 0-3 on the road this year, but it's lost those three games by an average of 31 points per game. As a result, UMass is 0-3 ATS on the road this season and 1-4 ATS as an underdog overall. So even though I don't think they're going to get blown out by Ball State, they aren't going to really threaten anything, either. Ball State 31, UMass 20

Check out the SportsLine pick and prediction for Minutemen-Cardinals


Underdog of the Week

Vanderbilt (+12.5) at Houston: First, I picked against Temple; now, I'm picking against Houston. I swear this isn't some kind of AAC Hate Fest. I think the AAC is great, I just also have a bit more respect for Vanderbilt -- particularly its defense -- than the betting public does. The Commodores just don't give up a lot of points, and they cover a lot of spreads because of it. They're 4-2-1 ATS this year, and that includes a mark of 4-1-1 as an underdog with covers against Georgia, Ole Miss and Missouri. Houston 24, Vanderbilt 17

Check out the SportsLine pick and prediction for Commodores-Cougars

Over/Under of the Week

Penn State vs. Illinois (Under 43): This is a low number set for the game, and it's low for a reason. Neither of these teams are known for lighting up scoreboards. In four conference games, Penn State has averaged 24.5 points, while Illinois is scoring 15.7 in three games. I don't expect either offense to do anything all that different against one another, as the defense have been the strengths of each team. Penn State 23, Illinois 14

Check out the SportsLine pick and prediction for Illini-Nittany Lions

Pick Six Records
Category Record
Games of the Week 10-6
Lock of the Week 6-2
Underdog of the Week 6-2
Over/Under of the Week 5-3
Hail Mary Parlay 2-6
Overall: 29-19

Hail Mary of the Week

If you aren't familiar with the Hail Mary, here's how it works: It's essentially a three-game parlay, but you only bet one game at a time. If the first game wins, you use the winnings on the next game, and so on. It's a play that won't come through most of the time, but when it does, it pays off nicely.

And here's this week's play.

Friday night: Rice vs. Louisiana Tech (Over 61.5) -->

Saturday morning: Nebraska (-9) at Purdue -->

Saturday night: Stanford (-10.5) at Washington State

Bonus Picks of the Week

Because I love you, I've decided to start including bonus picks in the column each week. I won't be counting them against my record, but I assure you, I believe in these, too. 

Georgia Southern vs. Texas State (Over 68.5)

Auburn (+7.5) vs. No. 19 Ole Miss

Akron (+3.5) vs. Central Michigan

USC (-6) at California

Kansas (+40) vs. No. 14 Oklahoma

Arizona (+4.5) at Washington

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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