Last week, I rolled with five underdogs, and the results weren't terrible. This week, I give you a favorite-heavy card. Zig and zag, baby.
Navy at Penn State (-5.5)
I could make this pick more difficult than it is, but why bother? Forget style of play, emotion, etc.
Navy is the perfect team for the Nittany Lions right now. PSU badly needs a win and has an outmatched opponent coming to town. Done and done.
Pick: Enjoy that winning feeling Bill O’Brien – won’t be a lot of them for a while.
Utah State at Wisconsin (-14)
What is going on in Madison? Whatever it is, apparently it’s all Mike "Magnus von" Markuson’s fault, as Bret Bielema handed the now former Wisconsin offensive line coach his walking papers just hours after the Badgers’ loss to Oregon State. I doubt that fixes everything for a team that is apparently missing Russell Wilson more than expected.
Utah State travels to Cheese Country off of a euphoric high, having knocked off in-state rival Utah a week ago. What goes up, must come down, per Blood, Sweat and Tears. And when those guys talk, I listen. Ergo, the Aggies are hurtling towards a letdown game.
Pick: Badgers catch that painted pony. OK, I don't know what that means, but I'm saying Wisky covers the two scores.
Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn (-16.5)
Speaking of coming down, these Warhawks have to be heading for a fall. Huge upsets like the one they scored last Saturday night typically lead to a letdown in the next game, and an early kickoff hurts ULM’s cause, too.
On the other side, Auburn sure needs a win, as talk has started bubbling up about Gene Chizik’s job status. Yes, that would be the same leather-jacket-adorned coach who went “All-In” two years ago with Cam Newton and won a national championship.
I expect the Tigers to be sharp Saturday and put a licking on the Warhawks.
Pick: Is a warhawk a real thing? That has nothing to do with the fact that I’m taking Auburn laying the points.
Louisiana-Lafayette (+23) at Oklahoma State
Should Cowboy fans fear an upset for a second week in a row? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Coach Mark Hudspeth has himself a well-coached bunch of veteran Ragin’ Cajuns.
OSU has been reeling after last week’s shellacking as a double-digit favorite at the hands of Arizona. If the Pokes don’t come out focused here, expect ULL to give them all they can handle.
Pick: Careful, Cowboys. Home team by a TD.
Florida (+3.5) at Tennessee
Sharp gamblers apparently nailed this line early, driving it up from a pick 'em game to the Volunteers giving three. I can see the rationale: The Gators are on the road for the second game in a row and are facing a more talented team this week, most notably at quarterback.
As much as I love watching Tyler Bray throw, it might be time to tap the brakes a bit here. I'm struggling to come up with a case where he has sliced up a defense on par with what UF has.
And slowly but surely, the Gator O seems to be coming together behind Jeff Driskell.
Pick: Florida to cover and possibly win.
Bonus: I like the first-half lines in favor of Ohio State and Arkansas State.
(Last Week: 3-2; Overall: 6-4)