Editor’s note: The odds below are courtesy of Heavy’s partners at OddsShark. Click here for more odds and betting info at OddsShark.com.
The highlight of last week was Ole Miss coming through on our pick to upset Alabama. We discussed how Vegas seemed to be overlooking the amount of talent Ole Miss possessed. It also helped that Nick Saban decided to start Cooper Bateman for the first time last Saturday. If you took Ole Miss to win outright, you did well for yourself this past Saturday.
With Western Kentucky and Indiana ending in a push, we finished the day 2-2. This week we have a mix of SEC, Pac-12 and a couple group of five teams as our best picks for the week. You can look at the full slate of games along with the odds by visiting OddsShark.
Here’s the five picks you will want to go with this week:
1. Boise State -2.5 Against Virginia
In Football Outsiders F+ ratings, a metric that takes factors such as schedule and level of play into account, Boise State is ranked 21st while Virginia is ranked 69th. Expect Boise State to pull off the road victory on Friday night and cover the spread.
2. Tennessee -1 Against Florida
Tennessee is just an overtime loss away from being undefeated. That loss came at the hands of a good Oklahoma team. While the Volunteers two wins have come against Bowling Green and Western Carolina, Tennessee proved by staying with Oklahoma that they are improved. For the record, Oklahoma is a much better team than Florida.
Florida does come in 3-0, but is coming off narrow victories against Kentucky and ECU. The Gators certainly have had Tennessee’s number, but remember a lesser Tennessee team almost came away with the upset last season. Florida suspended quarterback Treon Harris and cornerback Jalen Tabor for the game which also favors Tennessee.
This season, the Vols are a year older and much improved talent wise. The streak against Florida comes to an end as Tennessee goes into The Swamp and comes out with the road victory.
3. Missouri +2.5 Against Kentucky
It happens every year, there are sexier teams in the SEC that garner attention. Missouri does not always win pretty, but they end up sneaking into the SEC championship game like they have done the past two seasons. Kentucky is certainly improved but not to the level of Missouri yet.
Missouri comes in at 29th in the F+ ratings while Kentucky finds itself at 72nd. The Tigers take care of business on the road and beat Kentucky.
4. South Alabama +17 Against NC State
There are aspects of a game that do not always come through when looking at a matchup by mere statistics. South Alabama is hosting this game and its by far the biggest home game the Jaguars have all season. If you are curious where all the UAB players went, most of them are at South Alabama. Nine former UAB players made the trip south and are on the Jaguars roster including starting quarterback Cody Clements.
South Alabama is coming off a nice road overtime victory against San Diego State. NC State is led by former Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett who provides a dual-threat behind center. Ultimately, NC State wins the game, but it will be closer than what Vegas expects.
5. Arizona State +5.5 Against USC
Since Arizona State lost to Texas A&M they have fallen out of the national picture. The Sun Devils are still a solid team, and Tempe is a difficult place to play, particularly at night. USC is coming off a loss last week to Stanford, a team that did not look all that great in their games leading up to playing the Trojans.
Mike Bercovici is the quarterback for Arizona State and has been extremely efficient so far this season. He has thrown for 799 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. USC quarterback Cody Kessler will be looking to get USC back on the right track, but they are in for a late night showdown against Arizona State. Look for the Sun Devils to make it a close one on Saturday night.