Big, big weekend in college football. In addition to the game that everyone is talking about between Alabama and Texas A&M, the Big Ten Conference has a bit of a “show me” week. Several Big Ten teams are involved in some high profile matchups — many of which are intriguing from a betting standpoint — including one you might want to avoid altogether.
So far on the season, the K.I.A.F. writers are 6-6 against the spread. Let’s see if we can improve on that mark.
(All odds are courtesy of 5dimes.com)
Iowa at Iowa State (+2.5) – This one is in Ames, but I don’t think it matters. Iowa should have beat Northern Illinois and showed improvement the next week. The Hawkeyes have more talent to a man and should win by at least a touchdown. Take Iowa.
Washington at Illinois (+10) – If this were in Seattle, I’d say pick Washington. The fact is that it’s in Champaign one week after the Illini rolled what many thought was a good Cincinnati team. I’m looking to see a setback from the Huskies after a whole offseason devoted to that opening Boise State game. Washington will win, but not by ten. Take Illinois.
Ohio State at California (+15) – Braxton Miller or not (game-time decision), I don’t see any way the Cal Bears keep this one close — too much on the line for the Buckeyes and the Big Ten. Ohio State Rolls. Take the Buckeyes to cover.
Wisconsin at Arizona State (-5) – Neither team has been scored on so far, but that’ll all change early in this one. I like Wisconsin’s running game to be the difference here, as the Sun Devils are not really built to defend anything like it. Take Wisconsin to win outright.
UCLA at Nebraska (-3.5) – UCLA won this matchup in 2012 in Pasadena, but they lost two of their biggest playmakers on offense to the NFL. I still like both offenses but I’m not real high on either defense. I see Mora outcoaching Pelini, however, I can also see the Huskers feeding off a pumped up crowd who should be in all black for the game. Too many unknowns in this one. STAY AWAY.
Alabama at Texas A&M (+7.5) – Everyone has Alabama winning big. Everyone says Saban will have his boys ready. Everyone has written off Johnny Football as a joke. And I have yet to hear anyone talk about how good of a coach Kevin Sumlin is. I’m going against the grain. No way Bama wins this by a touchdown. The 12th Man will be a factor in this one. Don’t be surprised to see the Aggies win this one outright and shock the college football world for a second straight year. Take the Aggies.
BY THE KNOW IT ALL FOOTBALL STAFF
Follow @KIAFootball on Twitter.