Last week we went 5-5 — the blood bank hit at least — to run our record to 54-56 on the year, 6-4 on the blood bank (7-4 for many of you).
Despite the mediocrity of the picks as we enter November, all is not lost, however, you can win $10k of my money this week by playing the free college football pick’em. I hope you all lose, but you can go make your picks here.
This will be the third year we’ve had the picks up early on the Outkick VIP message board. If you love to ride with the Outkick picks — or hate me and want to fade everything that I do — I post my picks Monday afternoon on the VIP message board so you can get the earliest numbers possible. Then I’ll post the picks for free here on Wednesday afternoon. This year’s new VIP’s will receive an autographed copy of my new book, Republicans Buy Sneakers Too, access to our VIP events across the nation, a VIP message board, a VIP phone line for my radio show, and other cool experiences, potentially involving the TV show(s), which will be announced on the VIP message board. So make sure you sign up for Outkick VIP today.
Here we go with 9-0 this weekend.
Michigan -21 at Maryland
I really believe Michigan found itself at halftime of the road contest at Penn State. Since that point in time the Wolverines have been playing really good football, outscoring two top ten opponents 66-21 in the past six quarters.
Meanwhile Maryland has lost to every team it has played not named Rutgers since beating Syracuse. That’s five losses in its last six games.
The Terrapins have not, clearly, found themselves.
The beatdown continues this weekend with Michigan winning by 28 or more.
Hope on the Harbaugh express — for this week at least — and cash your winning checks.
Northwestern at Indiana -11
I know, I know, even Indiana fans are like, “Why in the world are you betting on us, dude?”
But Indiana has quietly posted a 6-2 record so far this year and has been playing pretty decent football.
That’s not even the prime reason I’m taking the Hoosiers here, however, it’s because Northwestern’s offense is absolutely atrocious.
In games against big five conference opponents here is what Northwestern has scored this season: 7, 10, 15, 10, 3, and 0. That’s an average of 7.5 points per game for the Wildcats and things are getting worse, not better, as November beckons.
I don’t see that offensive futility changing at Indiana which is why I like the Hoosiers by two touchdowns here.
Oregon -4 at USC
The Ducks have an outside chance at making the college football playoff and USC is where USC always seems to be for the past several years, testing whether Clay Helton will survive the month of November and remain Trojans head coach for another season.
I know Oregon has been wobbly the past two weeks, being fortunate to beat Washington and Washington State, but I think coming down to LA will cure what ails the Duck defense.
Put simply, I don’t trust this USC team either; I think they no show against a top Pac 12 opponent this weekend.
Give me Oregon by 10.
Colorado at UCLA -6.5
At long last the Chip Kelly offense has arrived in Westwood.
So far in the Pac 12 season the Bruins are 3-2 and in the past two weeks UCLA has won by 18 and 10 points over Stanford and Arizona State.
While I’m not sure if the UCLA crowds will ever return to the Rose Bowl, the Bruin program looks to be trending in the right direction since the miracle win on the road at Washington State.
On the other hand Colorado has lost five out of six games since pulling off the “upset” over Scott Frost and Nebraska.
This is a classic case of two teams going in opposite directions.
Give me the Bruins by ten.
Vandy +15.5 at South Carolina
The South Carolina Gamecocks, fresh off a twenty point loss and a scoreless second half at Tennessee, don’t deserve to be 15.5 point favorites over anyone in the SEC.
Not even Vanderbilt. (Or Arkansas. Really.).
Vanderbilt pulled off the biggest upset of the SEC season a couple of weeks ago, beating Mizzou 21-14 at Vandy. Then the Commodores hit their bye week.
With two weeks to get ready for South Carolina, the Commodores should be able to keep it closer than two touchdowns. Especially with South Carolina coming off a brutal at Georgia, Florida, at Tennessee three game stretch.
For whatever reason Vanderbilt hasn’t been able to beat South Carolina in a decade — they’ve beaten Florida and Georgia both during this timeframe — but only one game in the past six years between the two has been decided by 15.5 or more points.
It’s a single digit win for the Gamecocks on Saturday, meaning the Commdores cover with ease.
SMU at Memphis the over 71
With College Gameday coming to town you know SMU and Memphis both want to put on a big show.
The Memphis offense has gone for 47 and 42 the past two weeks while allowing substantial points to their opponents. On the flip side the undefeated SMU team has scored 34 or more in every game so far this season, most often forty or more.
Trust me, this is going to be a good old fashioned pyrotechnic explosion.
It wouldn’t surprise me if both teams post 40 here, so just kick back and enjoy the show, the over’s the play.
Ole Miss at Auburn -18.5
The story of Auburn’s season so far is they lose relatively low scoring games to the good SEC teams they play and roll the bad teams.
So far Auburn has beaten Mississippi State by 33 and Arkansas by 41.
Now Ole Miss is rolling into town and a beatdown looms.
Tigers by 24 or more.
Florida +6.5 vs Georgia, over 44.5
Tap the veins boys and girls, my blood bank guarantee this week is the Gators +6.5 against Georgia.
Look, I have watched every game both of these teams have played all season. I know the history of the World’s Largest Cocktail Party better than most and I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several of them over the past several years.
And here’s the deal: Florida has been getting better all season while Georgia has been, at best, staying the exact same.
Is it possible Georgia comes out and crushes Florida on Saturday and plays lights out football for the rest of November? Sure, anything can happen in a rivalry game like this. But by the time November arrives you have to trust what you’ve seen from a team through the first two months of the season.
A team may get gradually better, but it’s rare they suddenly flip a switch and become elite.
By November we know what to expect from most teams.
Kyle Trask, in my opinion, has been the better, more reliable quarterback than Jake Fromm all season long. I question this Georgia offense’s ability to stretch the field and I don’t really think they’ve established any offensive philosophy at all since the departure of Jim Chaney.
Put simply, I trust Dan Mullen more as a signal caller than anything I’ve seen from Georgia.
On the other side of the ball I like Florida getting healthy at defensive end and believe the Gators will come out and set the tone early in this game, taking an early lead and forcing Georgia to play from behind.
Ultimately, I think this is a toss up game, which will be decided by a field goal, which is why I think the 6.5 number is way too high.
I also like the over here now that the number has been bet down to 44.5.
I think both teams will pop a few big plays.
The result, a 27-24 final that hits the over and gets you a Bulldog cover.
There you have it, boys and girls, the picks are going 9-0 this week.
Get rich, kids.