(Image courtesy: Big M Casino)
I come to you with bad news. The boat is gone. We bought it two weeks ago and tried to buy another. Instead, we sank it with an awful week. The picks went 4-6 last week, but I know I can do better. I will do better.
The picks are up early this week because I’ll be spending my weekend playing golf and doing unspeakable things in Myrtle Beach for Rossy Three Stacks’ bachelor party. On Saturday night, we will literally buy the boat when we set sail on the Big M Casino for a little offshore action. If you want to Venmo Rossy for a beer or maybe a complimentary hand of blackjack, just tweet me and I’ll DM you to get it done. You owe him for all those winning teasers over the years on the podcast anyway.
Let’s do it.
Clemson (-19) at Wake Forest, 3:30 ESPN
For all the Trevor Lawrence/Kelly Bryant hoopla, it’s been completely lost that Clemson’s secondary is….completely lost.
“But Josh, they’re 20th in the FBS in passing yards per game!”
Well friends, look closely. The Tigers might be top-20 by one useless metric, but they are 100th in pass yards per attempt. I may or may not have a fetish for yards per play statistics. They’ve made me too much money. I think Greg Dortch and Sage Surratt can make enough plays to keep it interesting. Clemson 38, Wake Forest 24
Arizona State (+2.5) at Colorado, 4:00 Pac-12 Network
Break up the Buffs! Mike MacIntyre has had one of the most fascinating rides of any coach I’ve ever seen since he came to Colorado. In four seasons, he’s finished dead last in the Pac-12 South three times. The only exception? A division title in 2016. The Buffaloes are 4-0 this year, but look a little more closely at those wins. The three FBS teams they’ve played are a combined 1-12. If it weren’t for an Adrian Martinez injury, Nebraska almost surely would have beaten them in Week 2. Arizona State, meanwhile, has a close loss to San Diego State who is 3-1 and gave Stanford a scare early on, plus the Sun Devils fell by only a touchdown to Pac-12 favorite Washington. Sure, on paper it’s an unbeaten Top 25 team hosting a 3-2 unranked club, but this is why you have me to give you the real story. Herm Edwards is a master motivator and he’ll have his boys ready to go. Plus, if they don’t win on Saturday, a bowl game could be dicey with a very difficult stretch coming up. Arizona State 27 Colorado 24
#BuyTheBoat Lock of the Week: Oklahoma (-7.5) vs Texas, 12:00 FOX
Tom Herman is 11-1 AS AN UNDERDOG WITH EIGHT OUTRIGHT WINS. I don’t know how he does it but Herman turns into Vince Lombardi when everyone’s counting him out.
With that in mind…I’m counting him out. Oklahoma’s been waiting for this game all season. Say what you want about FAU, UCLA, Iowa State, Army, Baylor…the Sooners were on autopilot until now. I think Lincoln Riley has this team ready to explode in the national spotlight. This feels like Kyler Murray’s first statement game as he starts to make his Heisman push. The Longhorns offense is 64th nationally in explosive plays with roughly four per game. Oklahoma is 5th with more than seven a game. Texas might hang around for a little while, but they don’t have the horses to keep up for four quarters. Oklahoma 52 Texas 28
Kansas (+28.5) at West Virginia, 12:00 ESPN2
If you want to take years off your live, bet on Kansas. In case you haven’t noticed, Kansas has gone from cover-your-eyes bad to just, well, bad. West Virginia’s margin of victory in its last five wins over the Jayhawks: 22, 27, 49, 19, 12. Only once in that span did they cover a 28.5-point margin — and that’s when Kansas was at its worst. I know the Mountaineers are better now than maybe ever, but they’re also coming off a month where they took down three pretty average or worse Power Five teams and vaulted into the top 10. I’m thinking the ‘Neers are maybe feeling themselves a little too much at this point, and Kansas gives them a little bit more of a test than they’ll expect. I don’t think an upset is in the works, but I like the Jayhawks to stay inside four touchdowns. West Virginia 35 Kansas 21