Arkansas +1.5 at Texas Tech – This line fascinates me, almost like Las Vegas knows something I don’t (probable). Texas Tech gave up 35 points to Central Arkansas in their opener, before barely squeezing past UTEP in El Paso last Saturday night. This has not been an impressive start, especially on defense.
Meanwhile, Arkansas was competitive early with Auburn, then annihilated Nicholls State. The Razorbacks appear to have gotten things on track offensively. Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams is a nice RB combination.
This game is in Lubbock, but my bet is that the Razorbacks demonstrate that they are a far better team than their 2013 version.
Michigan -33.5 vs Miami (OH) – I almost never make picks with these types of point spreads, but this one stood out to me. Michigan will need to play somewhat decently to win games the rest of the way, with the exception of this game Saturday in Ann Arbor. The entire Wolverines program seems to be under seige, with major media outlets calling for the dismissal of head coach Brady Hoke.
On the other hand, it’s critical not to overreact to really surprising early results (like a team getting shut out for the first time in decades). UM wasn’t playing far worse than Notre Dame last Saturday, even as they found themselves in a 21-0 hole. The Wolverines actually outgained the Irish on the day.
Michigan’s biggest problem against quality competition is its inability to run the football consistently. Against bad teams like this one, that shouldn’t be a concern. Combine that with the program-under-siege-factor, and I think the Wolverines win handily.
Penn State -3 at Rutgers – Penn State’s bowl sanctions were eliminated this week, which can only serve to buoy the spirits of their players. With the Big Ten as down as it is, there is a very outside chance the Nittany Lions can pray for a bid to the college football playoff.
I’m sure the conference is hoping this matchup kickstarts a neighboring-state rivalry. Rutgers has done a nice job early this season, with wins against Washington State and Howard. Head coach Kyle Flood just received a contract extension.
I just believe that Penn State is the better team. Christian Hackenberg is throwing too many picks so far this season, but he’s still been very productive. Two of the young receivers, DaeSean Hamilton and Geno Lewis, have gotten off to extremely fast starts. The line is only 3, and PSU wins.
Tennessee +21 at Oklahoma – Oklahoma will win this game, but I’m predicting a spirited effort from the Volunteers. It already looks like Butch Jones is turning this program around. I was very impressed by their performance against Utah State in the opening weekend of the season, with a 38-7 win.
Jones has a lot of weapons at wide receiver and a more talented overall roster than we’ve seen in a while in Knoxville. Justin Worley is kind of a workmanlike quarterback, and that’s my only hesitation here.
Looking at the spread, I think an even 21 points is a decent-enough margin. OU wins, but maybe not by quite three touchdowns.
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