Degenerate’s Guide To This Week’s Games: In The Money

Degenerate's Guide To This Week's Games: In The Money

Let me just start out by giving myself a pat on the back. In the two games I advised you not to bet on, the endings have proved me right. The first week, Tennessee and Georgia was a shit show. Back and forth all game, then Georgia drops a sure touchdown at the end which would have tied the game and led to over time. This past week, Michigan and Michigan State gave us one of the most ridiculous endings we have ever seen. If you listened to me in those two “don’t touch them games” the past two weeks, you have probably avoided two strokes.

To the picks, I went 2-2-1 this past week. LSU gave me the push against Florida, which is why I love betting on round numbers. Missouri gave me a W in their field goal fest loss against Georgia, and Nebraska beat Minnesota in their pick em game. My two losses were USC and Arizona. The Wildcats didn’t play nearly as well as I thought they would, but only missed the spread by a point, where USC looked like they had all the means to cover, but ran out of juice in the fourth quarter. At this point, I’m still two games over .500, with a push. That still puts me in the money, so any of us would take that. Let’s get to this week’s games.

Lines provided by

Tennessee (+16) at Alabama

Call me a homer for this pick, but hear me out. The Vols are coming off a bye week, so they have had ample time to rest and heal to face the Tide in Tuscaloosa. Looking at Tennessee’s three losses this year, they have all come by less than a score, and have given up double digit leads in all of them. Needless to say, the Vols have never been out of a game. Looking at the Tide, I fully expect them to win. They might have found a viable game plan this past weekend against Texas A&M, by not trusting Jacob Coker with anything, and just giving the rock to Derrick Henry. Joshua Dobbs from UT is coming off arguably the biggest game of his life, and the fans on Rocky Top think the win over Georgia, and how it happened, are the turning point for this team under Butch Jones. I like Alabama to win straight up, but I like the Vols to at least play it close and cover the 16 points.

The pick: Tennessee at +16.

Florida State (-5) at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech has turned from a preseason playoff contender to a dumpster fire of a program. While not on the level of, let’s say, Kansas, but Georgia Tech has taken a nose dive. They’re losers of five straight to a lot of mediocre teams, and haven’t looked good doing it. Florida State, on the other hand, is sitting at 6-0. They have a Heisman level running back in Dalvin Cook and a great defense, which is generally a good recipe in college football for wins. Florida State playing decent football, while Georgia Tech is 2-5 and on the downswing, sounds good enough for me to eat five points. FSU and the points.

The pick: Florida State at -5.

Utah (+3.5) at USC

This is baffling to me. A program covered in turmoil against a top five program. I would’ve easily thought Utah would be the favorite by six or seven points. SC by three and a half? Sign me up. Booker didn’t run particularly great against Arizona State this past week, but in the end surpassed 100 yards. Travis Wilson threw well, which is promising playing the Trojans. If Utah can pass as well as they usually run the ball, their balance will give USC the issues they faced against Notre Dame. Utah is starting to see themselves as a final four contender, and judging by some of the player’s post game comments after the ND loss, USC is starting to lose some of their players. This seems like an easy pick to me, Utah with the points. I’d even take them straight up.

The pick: Utah at +3.5. Pick them straight up.

Toledo (-14) at UMass

Toledo has been a wrecking ball this year. UMass just lost to a team that Toledo had throttled the week prior. With UMass being 1-5, I thought the spread would top 20 points. Since I know a lot of you don’t care about #MACtion, I won’t bore you. Just take Toledo and eat the points.

The pick: Toledo at -14

Missouri (-2.5) at Vanderbilt

I hesitated with this pick, but not a lot of games called out to me this week. Vanderbilt is a really bad team. Missouri is also a bad team. The Mizzou and Georgia game was embarrassing to watch, and the only redeeming quality to the game was that it didn’t go to OT. It’s no secret that the SEC is down this year (Someone had to say it, might as well have been me), and this is a prime example. Missouri has been the SEC East champ for the past two years but are now sitting at 1-3 in conference play. Vandy was the sexy, new kid on the block under James Franklin, but under Derek Mason, they’re back to being Vandy. Both teams are bad. Missouri is a tad bit better, and I think Lock will have his first good conference game. Missouri and the two and a half.

The pick: Missouri at -2.5.

Weekly Special

With both coming off a disappointing week, Texas A&M visits Oxford to play Ole Miss this weekend. The Rebels just lost to Memphis, where they were thoroughly outplayed the entire game. They lost their best player, Robert Nkimdiche, to a concussion, and he hasn’t been ruled in or out for this week’s game. Chad Kelly has also lost some of his luster after a very surprising and fast start for the Rebs. A&M was undefeated until this past weekend’s loss to Bama where they were physically manhandled by the Tide upfront. Ole Miss’ strength would be their physicality, but with Nkimdiche out and their offensive line being shuffled all year, who knows? I have no feel on this game, especially because of how fast and athletic the skill positions are on TAM. The line is currently Ole Miss -6, but I think it’s a little high. I would have thought the line would be closer to a pick em.

Speaking honestly, what has Ole Miss has ever done other than beating Alabama? Think about it. What has Texas A&M proved, though? No resume defining wins for them as of yet, and they’re primarily known as a young team. No idea who wins this one, and with the line at what it is, I would steer clear.

Running Record: 8-6-1

Image via Shutterstock

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Great American, mediocre student, terrible golfer. For lukewarm takes, you can find me at @mel_kiper_sr on twitter, or hit the inbox at

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