We're back for another weekend preview, and wow, this week's set of games is WAY better than last week. There's a lot of huge rivalry games this week that could have playoff implications, especially in the Big 10. There are also significant matchups in the Big 12 and American Conference for teams that still sort of have College Football Playoff hopes. I'm excited, you should be excited; let's roll right into it.
My Favorite Games of the Week
#9 Indiana vs. #3 Ohio State
We start off with a bang at 11:00 A.M. as two undefeated teams go at it, as the Indiana Hoosiers travel to Columbus to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. Indiana's been a great story so far, as they sit number nine in the country—their highest ranking in 27 years. However, they face their biggest test yet with number three Ohio State. The Buckeyes have looked dominant so far this year and while their defense isn't as good as it was last year, their offense has been able to pick up the slack. I expect Mike Penix and Indiana's offense to score a little bit, but ultimately, I think Ohio State wins pretty comfortably.
#10 Wisconsin vs. #19 Northwestern
Another great story this year is the Northwestern Wildcats, who have already eclipsed their win total from 2019. Like Indiana, they face their biggest test this year in the form of the Wisconsin Badgers, who came back from a three-week Covid-19 absence to whoop Michigan's ass. This matchup pits two of the top defenses in the country against one another, so if you like a good defensive battle, this is definitely the game for you. I think this game will be really close, as these teams usually play in tight contests. I'll give a slight edge to Wisconsin due to their talent across the board, and I have them taking this game by a field goal.
#7 Cincinnati vs. Central Florida
The Cincinnati Bearcats have been dominant all season, but have a difficult task ahead of them with the explosive Central Florida offense led by Dillon Gabriel. They were able to contain Shane Buchele and SMU, but this Knights offense is a different animal. The Bearcats defense needs to be on their game this Saturday, and I think they will be—winning in a convincing fashion. If they can pull this one out, it'll be tough to ignore their resume as we inch closer and closer to the College Football Playoff.
#14 Oklahoma State vs. #18 Oklahoma
Bedlam has a different feel to it this year. Usually, this matchup is between two incredible offenses, and the first defense to make a stop usually wins. This time around, Oklahoma State's defense is the talk of the game as they come in with one of the better units in the country. The Cowboys offense has the talent to be really good, but they haven't been able to live up to the hype. On the other side, Oklahoma's got a quality offense, but not as good as in years past. Furthermore, their QB Spencer Rattler was banged up in their last game vs. Kansas. He had a BYE week to rest, but it'll be interesting to see if he's at or close to 100%. Despite that, I think Oklahoma wins, because I have no faith in the Oklahoma State offense.
Best Bets of the Week
I went 2-2 last week, but was a point away from being 3-1. This week I should get back to my average 3-1 clip—especially due to the better quality of games. Are you gonna fade me? Or are you gonna ride with me?
Clemson-Florida State O65
The Clemson Tigers are coming off a BYE and a loss in their last game against Notre Dame. Trevor Lawrence is back this week, too, and I expect them to send a message to the committee with a dominating performance against the poor, sweet Florida State Seminoles. I wouldn't be surprised if Clemson went over the total themselves. Even if they don't, FSU should be able to score one or two garbage time TDs.
Ohio State -20.5 vs. Indiana
I have a bunch of friends who go to Indiana, so I'd like to apologize to them for this pick. However, Ohio State is an absolute wagon and while Indiana is 4-0, they haven't looked overly impressive. I love the 20.5 number here, as I think the Buckeyes win by 21.
Arkansas +2.5 vs. LSU
I've been quite impressed by Arkansas this year. Many expected them to be bottom of the barrel in the SEC, but they are 3-4 and could even make a bowl game. On the contrary, LSU is a mess and is forced to start a true freshman quarterback TJ Finley who's very talented—but again—still a freshman. Felipe Franks will lead the Razorbacks to another win and be one step closer to a bowl game.
Mizzou-South Carolina O56.5
This might be the easiest money of the week. Both defenses stink and their offenses should be able to go up and down the field on one another pretty easily. Expect another big game from South Carolina RB Kevin Harris, who's coming off a 200+ yard 5 touchdown effort against Ole Miss. HAMMER THE OVER.