Finally, we have hit our stride. After a 2-0-1 day two weeks ago, we went 3-0 with our standards picks last week, hitting on Florida State, Nebraska and Utah. We came up short on an over-under pick in Oregon-Arizona State. Who would have thought that 78 points was way too low?
So we take our hot streak of 5-1-1 and move forward with some bold projections this week in looking over Florida at Arkansas, Alabama at LSU and Nebraska at Ohio State.
Our man the LOCK-Smith got burned by Texas against Baylor last week and moved into the Big Ten this week with Iowa at Penn State.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
The Game: ARKANSAS getting 5.5 points against Florida
The Pick: Arkansas 17, Florida 14
The Comment: We know that Arkansas was blown away by Auburn a few weeks ago, but the Razorbacks are coming off a bye week, playing at home and Florida is coming off an emotional win over arch-rival Georgia. Home dogs getting points sounds good.
The Game: Nebraska getting 17 at OHIO STATE
The Pick: Ohio State 28, Nebraska 17
The Comment: When is Nebraska going to get some respect. The Huskers are a good team and Ohio State has some flaws. Playing at home will help, but it will not be a blow out.
The Game: Alabama giving 7 At LSU
The Pick: Alabama 24, LSU 14
The Odds: If it were more than 7, we might have leaned towards LSU which seems to have regained its stride and is playing at home. Upsets can happen, but Alabama is just better. It could be 17-14 going into the final 10 minutes and then a Bama defensive score--they have scored 12 defensive TDs this season, and have had a defensive score in their last 10 games--puts Bama over the top.
Last week: 3-1
Record to date: 17-13-1.
PENN STATE over Iowa, giving 7 1/2
Here's the deal with the disappointing Hawkeyes: They're not winning the close games the way they did last year and they're better on the road -- having won nine straight there -- than at home, where they have already lost twice this season. Oh, and there's this: Their offense is painful to watch. That looks like it will be a major issue in this one, given the momentum Penn State has in building a four-game winning streak, looking very much like a team on the way to 10-2. The Nittany Lions exploded for 62 points last week when blossoming QB star Trace McSorley threw three TD passes and star RB Saquon Barkley rushed for 207 yards and caught 70 more yards in passes. Hard to see Iowa QB C.J. Beathard, with limited weapons, able to keep pace with explosive Penn State.
Home team in CAPS
Record to date vs. spread: 5-3-1[/membership]