Houston (CBS Houston)
Last week – 1-3
Overall – 15-29
I’m about 4 weeks away from putting a remarkably horrid season of picking games on this website. Not really sure what to make of it, since I’m picking lines that in theory should be a coin flip. Here goes for Week 11:
Miami +9.5 at Florida State – I just don’t believe these teams are that far apart in quality. The Hurricanes are 5-4, but they have shown their upside in back-to-back wins against North Carolina and Georgia Tech, and I’ll even give them credit for a very close loss at Virginia Tech. Jacory Harris has been much-criticized throughout his college career, but he’s been much more efficient this season.
The Seminoles have fixed things after a rough midseason stretch, but are they that much better than Miami? I don’t really see it.
Nebraska -3 at Penn State – It’s tough to even figure out how the tragic/horrific/bizarre events of this week will affect the Nittany Lions, so I will just focus on the key elements within the white lines. PSU is lucky to be 8-1 with a very limited offense, and I think they’re due to come back to earth.
Granted, Nebraska had a bizarre loss to Northwestern, but they’re not good enough to roll through the Big Ten right now. I expect them to bounce back and get something going on the ground with Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead.
Kansas State +5.5 vs Texas A&M – I just don’t see how this line is so high, unless I am missing something. How many games do the Aggies need to lose before we start to realize the gaping holes they have? Christine Michael is done for the season, adding injury to the insult of the Missouri and Oklahoma losses.
The Wildcats are probably a tad lucky to have as good of a record as they do, but Bill Snyder’s team has an opportunistic defense and Collin Klein at QB. Klein has 906 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground this season, and was very competitive in a shootout in Stillwater with Brandon Weeden last week. At home, I could easily see KSU winning this game straight up.
Michigan +1 at Illinois – The Wolverines had a tough loss last week at Iowa, with the Hawkeyes putting together a somewhat lucky goal-line stand at the very end of the game. I expect Brady Hoke’s team to bounce back on Saturday. They’re the better team, in my view. The key will be using as much shotgun as possible with Denard Robinson at QB.
The Illini is a hard squad to figure out; they have some good efforts (win vs Arizona State), mixed in with performances like a home loss to Ohio State, and a brutal defeat against Purdue. Give me Hoke over Ron Zook.
Stanford -3.5 vs Oregon – Big game of the weekend (on SR 610 at 6:30pm), and I’m rolling with the Cardinal machine, which is 14-0-1 ATS dating back to last season. I know he’s from Houston (both starting quarterbacks are), but Darron Thomas makes me worried in a game like this.
Thomas hasn’t thrown for more than 200 yards much this season, and I expect this game to be somewhat high scoring. The Ducks are a quality team, but I like the Stanford OL and overall physicality.