College Football Picks: Picking Winners Week 10

College Football Picks: Picking Winners Week 10

This article is part of our College Football Picks series.

CHRIS' PICKS

Another meh week in which I hover just above the winning line. I'll take it, and it probably should have been better if not for rain (at a minimum) in Clemson leading to another push. But, unfortunately, the fact remains that I haven't been overly excited about my picks for about a month. There just hasn't been that slate that jumps out, which is leading to what feels like a mid-summer baseball team grinding to roughly 53 percent win rate. Equally unfortunate is that I haven't been bad enough to fade.

Memphis –11.5
at Tulsa (Friday night)

I love this Memphis offense, which ranks eighth nationally in scoring with 42.5 points per game, a number it's hit in three of its last four games (including 42 at Houston two weeks ago). The Tigers do it largely through the air, ranking 10th in pass offense with 329 yards per game, adding 24 touchdown passes. This figures to play right into Tulsa's 119th-ranked pass defense that allows 270.8 yards per game. The Golden Hurricane are a team that has a random win over Houston, but has fallen to the likes of New Mexico and Connecticut. Sure, there could be some Friday night craziness early, but I like Memphis to take control and score at will.

Florida +3
at Missouri

There's a chance I'll really hate the Gators come Sunday after they put egg all over my face in last week's beat down. And Missouri is ripe with confidence having won

CHRIS' PICKS

Another meh week in which I hover just above the winning line. I'll take it, and it probably should have been better if not for rain (at a minimum) in Clemson leading to another push. But, unfortunately, the fact remains that I haven't been overly excited about my picks for about a month. There just hasn't been that slate that jumps out, which is leading to what feels like a mid-summer baseball team grinding to roughly 53 percent win rate. Equally unfortunate is that I haven't been bad enough to fade.

Memphis –11.5
at Tulsa (Friday night)

I love this Memphis offense, which ranks eighth nationally in scoring with 42.5 points per game, a number it's hit in three of its last four games (including 42 at Houston two weeks ago). The Tigers do it largely through the air, ranking 10th in pass offense with 329 yards per game, adding 24 touchdown passes. This figures to play right into Tulsa's 119th-ranked pass defense that allows 270.8 yards per game. The Golden Hurricane are a team that has a random win over Houston, but has fallen to the likes of New Mexico and Connecticut. Sure, there could be some Friday night craziness early, but I like Memphis to take control and score at will.

Florida +3
at Missouri

There's a chance I'll really hate the Gators come Sunday after they put egg all over my face in last week's beat down. And Missouri is ripe with confidence having won consecutive games; against Connecticut and Idaho. The simple fact is that Missouri has no business being favored over any Power 5 team, at home or on the road, in any circumstance. The Tigers have been outscored 210-92 in five games in those instances. In those outings, they allowed 239.0 rushing yards per game. I'm putting my faith in the Gators to not worry who their quarterback is, pound the ball with Lamical Perine and come away with a straight-up win. It's worth noting that while the Gators are riding a three-game losing streak, two of those loses were by a combined three points. Getting points just seems generous.

Vanderbilt –9.5
vs. Western Kentucky

I don't feel great about this one, as Vandy brings a five-game losing streak into Saturday, four of which have come by at least 14 points. But I leaned against WKU last week with success, as it hasn't beaten anyone of significance, losing by 13 at Illinois and 14 to FAU last week. I simply ask if you'd take Vanderbilt to beat FAU and Illinois. I would, which means I feel confident Vandy can cover this number. If only it were that easy, right?

Syracuse +5
at Florida State

At some point, I still feel like Florida State will play like Florida State despite the injuries and current form. But the Seminoles clearly laid down and gave up at Boston College last week, and the quotes coming out of Tallahassee this week haven't been an endorsement of a unified locker room. The stands will be half full at best for a team that hasn't won at home all season. Syracuse has proven its feistiness in battles with Clemson and Miami, will come to Doak expecting to win and is healthy off a bye. It's two teams and programs seemingly going in opposite directions, and a one-possession game feels reasonable.

Notre Dame -13
vs. Wake Forest

Something about this line seems to stink as it just seems too obvious. And it's creeping up to 14 or higher at some spots. I'm not sure that scares me away, honestly. Wake Forest ranks 89th in rush defense, while the Irish have rushed for more than 300 yards in four straight and in six of eight overall. Mix in the Deacons losing their top playmaker in Greg Dortch while also being without bruising back Cade Carney, and I see no feasible way the Irish don't blow this wide open, even if they are looking ahead to next week's trip to South Beach.

Northwestern (+1)
at Nebraska

This line seems to have moved to +1 for the Wildcats, which works for me. I've fallen victim throughout the year to overreacting, or leaning on certain team too often, so hopefully I'm catching lightning in a bottle with the Wildcats. After a bad loss to Duke that had stuck with me for weeks, Northwestern is finding its groove, riding a three-game winning streak that includes victories against Michigan State and Iowa. I'm marginally worried that the 4-4 Cornhuskers rally a bit, knowing they need two wins from this, Minnesota, Penn State and Iowa. But Big Red is only 2-3 at home with its best win being a 10-point victory over Rutgers. I assume Nebraska fans want this loss to be a final nail in Mike Riley's coffin, and I think the Wildcats can provide that.

Last week: 2-2-1; Season: 25-23-2


GREG'S PICKS

Another winning week last week, but I fell back to my old ways of going just one game above or one game below .500. No complaints here, I'll take 3-2 every week the rest of the season, but there's something disappointing about getting to 3-1, only to lose your last game on a yet another back-door cover by the Gophers. Speaking of the Gophers, I think we need a break. It's pretty clear they are good at playing the role of pest, which could come in handy when they face the Badgers later in the season. As for the rest of the slate last week – a couple of outright winners as dogs, with Boston College and Maryland, and although Penn State failed to win, the Nittany Lions were covering the entire game. The other loss was TCU, which simply was beat by the better team that day.


Utah (-6.5) vs. UCLA



After a 4-0 start, which included a win at Arizona, expectations were high for the Utes, but four consecutive conference losses changed the entire trajectory of this season. What started as a possible Pac-12 championship season is now a battle to become bowl eligible. UCLA's season also started on a high, when the Bruins came back from a massive deficit to top Texas A&M, but like the Utes, their season has also fallen apart. While the Utes have lost four in a row, three of those four losses were actually expected, so they aren't necessarily in a tail spin. This is also a huge game for the Utes if they want to get to the magic number of six wins, as they'll likely be favored in just one of their final three games. UCLA has some additional issues this week with Josh Rosen questionable to play, and if the line movement is any indication of his availability, then he's probably not playing as the line went from Utah -4.5 to Utah -6.5.


Syracuse (+5) at Florida State



I mentioned last week that if Florida State had any interest left in playing this season, its players would have made a stand by now. That stand didn't come last week as the Seminoles were blown out at Boston College. Even if they make a stand this week, it might not be enough to cover this number as the Orangemen have proven to be a tough out for everyone this year. Syracuse beat undefeated Clemson and played undefeated Miami down to the wire on the road the week following. In other words, Syracuse isn't a pushover this season, and even if the Noles were playing well, this game would likely be tight. As is it, the Noles aren't playing well and will be lucky to win this game, let alone cover. 



Iowa (+18) vs. Ohio State

I'll give credit to the Buckeyes for their comeback last week after many, including myself, had left them for dead. I also give credit to the playoff committee for not overreacting to that win and placing them in the top 4. Fact is, the Big Ten is down this season and it's hard to debate that. A lot of that is due to the teams from Michigan being down again, and yes, Michigan State is better than last season, but Sparty is still down. Bottom line, I was impressed by how OSU came back last week, but I'm still not sold on its long-term prospects. As for this week, this is a tricky spot for the Buckeyes as a night game at Kinnick is no gimmie – just ask Penn State. With that in mind, I definitely don't agree with this line, and while OSU certainly has enough firepower to make this game a blowout, I don't see it happening. Iowa is still the same scrappy team we've gotten accustomed to the last decade and the Hawkeyes will make life difficult for J.T. Barrett and company.

Nebraska (-1)
vs. Northwestern



Unfortunately for the current Cornhuskers, they are judged against the great Nebraska teams of the past and not against the reality of the current state of the program. You probably wouldn't guess that the Cornhuskers are above .500 in conference this season. Their only two losses have come at the hands of the Badgers and the Buckeyes. In other words, things aren't all that bad in Lincoln, and the Huskers certainly are not a bottom-dweller in the Big Ten. All of which makes the line this week very peculiar as the Wildcats aren't exactly a powerhouse. The line opened as a pick 'em and has since moved in favor of the Huskers, but the fact that it opened where it did is a result of the public perception of the Huskers. Northwestern has played well for the most part this season, but the Wildcats have only one road win and that came at Maryland, which has regressed significantly the last few weeks.

Oklahoma State (-2.5)
vs. Oklahoma

There isn't much separating these two teams entering this week as both have just one loss and both, for the most part, have looked pretty good this season. Sure, Oklahoma has the biggest win of the two, a road win at Ohio State, but that win isn't going to help it this week. I give the edge to the Cowboys for two reasons. The first is the location of the game, Stillwater. Second, and maybe more important, the Cowboys appear to have a defense, while the Sooners do not. I say, appear, because the Sooners obviously did a good job in Columbus, but they've been anything but stout against the likes of Baylor, Iowa State, Texas and Kansas State. Not exactly a murderer's row of offenses there. OSU, meanwhile, has amped up its defensive effort since its loss to TCU and that, in the end, will be the difference in a tightly fought game.


Last Week: 3-2; Season: 26-20

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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