The Six Pack: Oklahoma-West Virginia among the best college football picks in Rivalry Week
This weekend, you'll be more than thankful for these winners
The Six Pack enters Rivalry Week on a roll. After going 5-1 in our picks last week, The Six Pack is now 13-4-1 in the last three weeks. I've put together a strong finish to the regular season in November, and I don't plan on stopping this week.
So spend some time with your family on Thanksgiving, and then plant your rear end somewhere for the entire weekend and wait for all these winning picks to help you get a head start on your holiday spending. You deserve it.
Games of the Week
No. 6 Oklahoma (-2.5) at No. 13 West Virginia: I've , but I think they've misunderstood my feelings about this Sooners team. The bottom line is this: I don't want Oklahoma to make the College Football Playoff because I don't care how good its offense is, the defense is just not good enough to help this team beat an elite team. That doesn't mean I don't think this Oklahoma team is good enough to beat nearly every other team in the country more often than not. I do, and I believe this Sooners team will go into Morgantown on Friday night and take care of the Mountaineers.
Since West Virginia joined the Big 12 in 2012, it has not been treated kindly by the Sooners, as Oklahoma has won all six matchups. Two years ago, the Mountaineers were 8-1 when they welcomed Oklahoma to Morgantown and entertaining the possibility of a Big 12 title. Oklahoma then proceeded to crush them 56-28. Last year in Norman, the Sooners won this game 59-31. I don't see another 28-point blowout coming due to this Oklahoma defense being worse now than it was in those seasons, but I also don't see the West Virginia defense having much luck stopping the Oklahoma offense. The Sooners will win and move on to the Big 12 Championship. Oklahoma 49, West Virginia 41
No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State (Under 56.5): You may be surprised to learn that the under has not done well in this rivalry in recent years. The over has hit in the last five meetings as these two teams have combined for an average of 63.2 points per game. I believe those results have helped inflate this total a bit, as well as the narrative that Ohio State's defense is terrible.
Well, Ohio State's defense isn't terrible. It's not as good as anybody thought it would be, but it's still above average overall; it just has very specific problems against certain kinds of offenses. Michigan's offensive profile is not one that has given the Buckeyes problems. Michigan isn't spreading you out and trying to trick you, it just wants to punch you in the mouth repeatedly, and Ohio State is better suited for that kind of game. On the other side, I think Ohio State will have problems moving the ball against this Michigan defense just like it did against Michigan State's defense. Points will be at a premium. Michigan 24, Ohio State 20
Lock of the Week
No. 11 Florida at Florida State (Under 52.5): Florida State has had plenty of problems in Willie Taggart's first season, but most of those problems have come on the offensive side of the ball and on special teams. The defense has been fine -- maybe not to the typical standards we expect from this program, but a lot of its problems are related to an offense putting it in bad positions. Florida's defense has been even stronger than Florida State's, and in this rivalry game, I'm expecting both defenses to get the best of things. It won't be easy for either team to move the ball on the ground, which will slow them down and limit scoring. If you want a trend to make you feel better about this pick, the under has gone 4-1 in the last five games between these two and 9-2 in the previous 11 games played in Tallahassee. Florida 27, Florida State 17
Underdog of the Week
Maryland (+13.5) at Penn State: This line is just a little too big, and I understand why. This is a rivalry that's been as one-sided as a rivalry can be (Penn State has won 38 of 41 meetings), and the Nittany Lions are considered one of the best teams in the country. Still, Maryland is better than its 5-6 record suggests -- just ask Ohio State and Texas. On the offensive side of the ball, the Terps have found a groove lately, and they will be able to put up points. Plus the Terps need a win to gain bowl eligibility, so there's no question they'll be motivated for this one. Meanwhile, the only news you're hearing out of Penn State this week is the speculation about USC being interested in James Franklin, and Franklin not exactly going out of his way to squash it. I don't think Maryland can pull off the upset, but they'll hang around and make life difficult for Penn State. Penn State 31, Maryland 21
Playoff Team of the Week
No. 3 Notre Dame (-10.5) at USC: How can anybody trust USC here? The Trojans faced rival UCLA last week, needing a win to gain bowl eligibility and with rumors swirling about how Clay Helton could be coaching for his job. They ultimately lost by a touchdown to a 2-8 team. Sure, maybe this will be the week USC pumps itself up and comes out with its hair on fire, but even if the motivation is there for a banged up team, it's not like Notre Dame's going to be caught looking past the Trojans. The Irish are 60 minutes away from the College Football Playoff. This is a Notre Dame team that's played plenty of big games already in 2018, and it knows exactly what it needs to do to win this one. And the Irish will, by at least two touchdowns. Notre Dame 35, USC 14
Degenerate Play of the Week
Louisiana (+3) at UL-Monroe: You know you want to bet this game, and you should because there's a lot of value on Louisiana here. The thought process behind this pick is painfully simple: the Ragin' Cajuns are just the better team. Both teams have the same record, but when it comes to the matchup, both teams are similar defensively, but the Cajuns have been much better than the Warhawks on both offense and special teams. I only make picks against the spread and on the total in this column, but I'd also recommend taking the Cajuns straight up. Louisiana 41, UL-Monroe 35
SportsLine Pick of the Week
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Game(s) of the Week
Lock of the Week
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