Something's up.

Check out some of the lines in the big-time college football matchups this weekend. There are a lot of double-digit point spreads. My initial reaction is that there's some really good value available on underdogs in these ranked matchups.

The Game 730 WVFN-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

But then I remember how tall and shiny all those buildings in Las Vegas are, and that makes me nervous.

You be the judge. Here's what I've got.

The Picks

Last Week: 8-5

  • College: 5-3
  • NFL: 3-2

Season: 57-32 (.640)

  • College: 32-18
  • NFL: 25-14

College Football

  • No. 9 Alabama (7-2, 4-2) at No. 11 Ole Miss (8-1, 4-1) (+11.5)I'll just come out and say it — I think Ole Miss is a fraud. They have a good running attack, but they can't challenge legitimate SEC competition vertically down the field with their passing game. That's not a winning formula against good teams, which is why LSU thrashed them 45-20 a few weeks ago.

    Alabama's chief weakness is its pass defense. Ole Miss won't be able to take advantage of that. However, the Crimson Tide is one of the most-penalized teams in the country this season, so that will probably keep things closer than they ought to be.

    Bama wins comfortably, but not by 12 or more points.

  • No. 25 Washington (7-2, 4-2) at No. 6 Oregon (8-1, 6-0) (-13)I generally stay away from big numbers like this, even in college football. But Oregon is different.

    The Ducks are 7-1 ATS as a favorite this year. It's also the first time Washington is an underdog in 2022. The Huskies are 0-3 ATS on the road this season, now heading into one of the most difficult away environments in the game.

    Oregon has been cruising since their 49-3 destruction at the hands of Georgia to open the season in Atlanta. But that might as well have been a season ago. Bo Nix has settled in quite nicely, especially at Autzen Stadium, where he has 22 passing touchdowns and just two interceptions.

    I can't forget how Oregon dominated a Top 10 UCLA team in Eugene a few weeks ago, and I think that's what they'll do to Washington this weekend. I'll take the Ducks to cover.

  • No. 4 TCU (9-0, 6-0) (+7.5) at No. 18 Texas (6-3, 4-2)Are we sure Quinn Ewers is all right? Two weeks ago he was brutal versus Oklahoma State, going 19-for-49 passing with two touchdowns and three picks. He was better last week against Kansas State, but still not great: 18-for-31 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. The Longhorns will need him to be better if they want to deal TCU its first loss.

    The Horned Frogs are the most disrespected team in the country, in my estimation. They just cracked the Top 4 of the College Football Playoff rankings this week, despite having owned four wins over AP Top 25 opponents for weeks now. Think that would have happened to Oklahoma or Texas? Me neither.

    TCU is potent on offense, ranking fourth overall nationally with the No. 22 passing offense and No. 13 ground game. The Frogs are fourth in scoring at 43.1 points per game.

    I figure Texas will sell out to stop Kendre Miller and TCU's ground game. Problem is, TCU isn't one-dimensional: QB Max Duggan is already over 2,400 yards with 24 TDs and just two picks this year. They also have perhaps the most underrated receiver in the country in junior Quentin Johnson, who goes 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. He's averaging 15.5 yards per catch this year while being one of the key focuses from opposing defenses week in and week out.

    TCU is 7-1-1 against the number this year, and that makes me like them getting 7.5 even more. I get that it's on the road at night, but still, give me the Frogs and the points.

  • Rutgers (4-5,1-5 ) (+9) at MSU (4-5, 2-4)Michigan State has played much better, particularly on defense, over the last three weeks, culminating in an impressive upset on the road over Big Ten West-leading Illinois last week. The Spartans should be able to build on that trend against a Rutgers offense that has been awful in Big Ten play, averaging just 12.3 points and 252.5 yards per game (both are dead-last in the conference).

    Wnat's Rutgers' mindset, though? After leading Michigan at halftime at home in a big night game last week, the Scarlet Knights completed collapsed. Will they rally to salvage their season?

    Other big questions loom on the other side. Will MSU's offensive line win at the point of attack like it did in Champaign? Will Payton Thorne play well again? Will the home crowd show up for State's first noon kick this year, in cold weather and a potential wintry mix of precipitation?

    I think MSU wins and plays well on defense again. But just because MSU has beaten a bad Wisconsin team and a clearly overrated Illini squad in recent weeks doesn't mean the Spartans should be favored by two scores over anyone. I'll take Rutgers to cover.


  • Vikings (7-1) (+3.5) at Bills (6-2)This all comes down to Josh Allen. Will he play? And if he does, how effective will he be?

    Buffalo's offense is clearly predicated on Allen's playmaking. Even if he's available, I doubt he'll be anything close to 100 percent. And when you consider that Minnesota plays in close games every single week, you realize the Vikings getting 3.5 points here is a smart value. I'll take the points.

  • Cowboys (6-2) (-4.5) at Packers (3-6)It’s this simple: The Packers already were bad, and after last week they've lost two starters for the season on defense in Rashan Gary and Eric Stokes. They didn't have any weapons on offense outside of Aaron Jones to begin with, and now he's banged-up, and so is practically everyone else.

    Dallas rolls in Mike McCarthy's triumphant return to Lambeau Field.

  • Lions (2-6) at Bears (3-6) (-2.5)So what, the Lions barely held on to beat a crippled, awful Green Bay team and I'm supposed to all of a sudden erase an entire lifetime's worth of knowledge about this godforsaken franchise? Sorry, can't do it.

    Justin Fields has been really good over his last three games. He's completed 65 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and no picks, while rushing for 320 yards and three touchdowns. Looks like he's starting to put it all together, which is really bad news for Detroit, which has never known how to effectively defend a mobile quarterback (see the Lions' performance against old-man Rodgers and his 39-year-old legs last week).

    Oh, and there's the matter of the Lions' record on the road under Dan Campbell: 0-11-1.

    That alone is enough. Chicago covers.

7 Ways To Get the Michigan-MSU Rivalry Back Under Control

Tunnelgate has cast a dark cloud over the already-pernicious MSU-Michigan rivalry. Here are seven ideas to preserve our intrastate college football tradition without completely losing ourselves to the toxicity.

More From The Game 730 WVFN-AM