Last week: 1-1
Season record: 20-14
Lots of underdogs this week, but that's expected due to a lot of rivalry games being on the slate.
All lines according to OddsShark as of 9:00 a.m., on 11/24
UCLA Bruins (+14) at USC Trojans
The write-ups for a lot of these games is going to sound the same. The public often doesn't take rivalry games into account when looking at the numbers given to these end of year match-ups and professionals love to take the points and expect a closer than expected game. This game dropped a whopping 4.5 points from -18 in the 24 hours after it opened with over 90% of the public money on the Trojans. Anyone who has read this series before knows that's a game I will take every single time.
The pick - UCLA +14
Penn St. Nittany Lions (+14.5) at Wisconsin Badgers
This game is similar to the UCLA - USC game in line movement, but very different in money distribution. Both Vegas and the public were on the Nittany Lions in the first 48 hours of this line opening, which is shocking due to the flashy nature of the Badgers and the current level of public disdain for all things Penn State. Late money has started to trickle in on Wisconsin and will continue to do so until kick-off, but it seems like smart bettors are respecting the Penn State defense, who is more than capable of turning this game into a classic low-scoring B1G slug fest.
The pick - Penn State +14.5
Pittsburgh Panthers (+7) at West Virginia Mountaineers (Friday)
The Panthers have one of the most improved defenses in the Big East conference and the Mountaineers are still struggling to produce a consistent grasp on Dana Holgerson's offense. The Backyard Brawl has given us some very peculiar outcomes of the year, but this season neither one of these teams are very good. This game is in Morgantown, but the Panthers run game and defense will keep it close before WVU pulls out a 3 point victory. This opened with West Virginia at -10, but has dropped three points despite 70+% of the action on the Moutaineers. Pitt it is...
The pick - Pitt +7
Houston Cougars at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (+3) (Friday)
Almost 90% of the money riding on the Cougars, yet the line has fallen from 4.5. Ask yourself what the Cougars record would be if they had opened with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Boise State and you'll probably see three losses, just like Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane has ripped through the conference schedule and will be the best team that Kevin Sumlin has faced this year by a long shot. The road crowd and the pressure of an undefeated season get to the Cougars and Tulsa wins outright.
The pick - Tulsa +3
What games do you like this week?