The college football betting primer is headed for vacation after this weekend, as we’ll be treated to just one game (Army-Navy) in two weeks. But don’t fret, because these lukewarm picks will be back with a vengeance come bowl season.
Last week: 5-1
Season: 41-35-1 (.539)
CLICK HERE to check out all of the current lines.
Louisville Cardinals (9-2, 3-1 road) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-2, 4-1 home)
When: Thursday, 7:30pm ET
Open: Rutgers -2.5
Current: Rutgers -3
Analysis: After ripping off nine consecutive wins to open the season, the Cardinals have dropped their last two and appear to be caught in a tailspin. That’s good news for a Rutgers team that wins the Big East title and earns the school’s first-ever BCS bowl bid with a victory on Thursday night. Louisville is 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall while Rutgers is 5-1 ATS over their last six conference games.
Take note: The favorite is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings between these two schools.
Pick: Rutgers (-3)
#11 Oklahoma Sooners (9-2, 4-0 road) at TCU Horned Frogs (7-4, 2-3 home)
When: Saturday, 12:00pm ET
Open: Oklahoma -7
Current: Oklahoma -6.5
Fade Landry Jones and the Sooners? Why not? It's been working as of late.
Analysis: “Big Game Bust” Bob Stoops is looking to lead his Sooners back to another BCS bowl game, where Oklahoma will no doubt fail to cover the spread. But why wait until January? The Sooners have failed to cover the number in four of their last five games and are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight conference games as favorites of ten or fewer points. Enough early money came in on TCU to move this line off the key number of 7 to -6.5. We’ll wait for the public to back Oklahoma on Saturday so we can try to get the best of it.
Take note: Oklahoma is 0-4 ATS over their last four games following a straight-up win while TCU is 6-2 ATS over their last eight games played in the month of December.
Pick: TCU, but only at +7 or better.
Kansas Jayhawks (1-10, 0-5 road) at West Virginia Mountaineers (6-5, 3-3 home)
When: Saturday, 2:30pm ET
Open: West Virginia -20
Current: West Virginia -19.5
Analysis: The Jayhawks rank 102nd in the country in scoring defense (34.0 pts/gm) and have surrendered an average of 44.3 points per game over their last three outings. That’s bad news for a season-finale at West Virginia against a Mountaineers team that is scoring an average of 40.0 points per game this season (14th in NCAA). Throw in the fact that Kansas is 2-8-1 ATS over their last 11 road games and we’ll side with a West Virginia team that would desperately like to close the season on a winning note.
Take note: Kansas is 1-7 ATS over their last eight road games against teams with a winning home record while West Virginia is 3-0-1 ATS over their last four matchups against teams with a losing record.
Pick: West Virginia (-19.5)
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 4-0 road) at #3 Georgia Bulldogs (11-1, 8-0 home)
*Note: This game will be played on a neutral field (Atlanta, GA).
When: Saturday, 4:00pm ET
Open: Alabama -7.5
Current: Alabama -7
Despite a recent loss to Texas A&M, Alabama is 60 minutes from a return trip to the BCS Championship Game.
Analysis: That heartbreaking defeat to Texas A&M is a thing of the past, as Bama was given second life thanks to losses by Oregon and Kansas State within hours of one another. Since that time the Tide have ripped of two straight victories by a staggering margin of 98-0. But the Bulldogs are no slouch opponent, as Mark Richt’s team has won six consecutive games while covering the spread four times. This is going to be a good one.
Take note: Alabama is 6-0 ATS over their last six neutral-site games while Georgia is 2-5 ATS over their last seven neutral-site games.
Pick: Alabama (-7)
Pittsburgh Panthers (5-6, 1-4 road) at South Florida Bulls (3-8, 2-3 home)
When: Saturday, 7:00pm ET
Open: Pittsburgh -5.5
Current: Pittsburgh -6.5
Analysis: The Panthers are one game from bowl eligibility after last week’s uber-impressive 27-6 win over Rutgers. In addition, Pitt has covered the number in four of their last five games while South Florida—who comes into this matchup with their third-string quarterback under center—has failed to cover the spread in three of their last four. Pittsburgh is 20-8-1 ATS over their last 29 conference games while South Florida is 3-12-1 ATS over their last 16 homes contests.
Take note: Pittsburgh is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these two schools.
Pick: Pittsburgh (-6.5)
#18 Texas Longhorns (8-3, 4-1 road) at #6 Kansas State Wildcats (10-1, 6-0 home)
When: Saturday, 8:00pm ET
Open: Kansas State -10.5
Current: Kansas State -11.5
Analysis: The Wildcats have had two weeks to think about their loss to Baylor that cost the team a shot at the national championship. So one of two things will happen here: Kansas State will come out flat and dejected, or the Wildcats will bury Texas en route to a BCS bowl bid. We think it’s more likely to be the latter, as the Longhorns have failed to cover the spread in five of their last seven games and are just 5-15-1 ATS over their last 21 contests after amassing less than 100 rushing yards in the previous game.
Take note: Texas is 2-5 ATS over their last seven conference games while Kansas State is 13-3 ATS over their last 16 games coming off a loss of more than 20 points.
Pick: Kansas State (-11.5)
South Alabama Jaguars (2-10, 0-6 road) at Hawaii Warriors (2-9, 2-3 home)
When: Saturday, 11:00pm ET
Open: Hawaii -3.5
Current: Hawaii -5.5
Analysis: Do you think school officials at Hawaii and South Alabama are upset that this game is getting less national recognition than the Alabama-Georgia game? I didn’t think so, either. This pick is based on the first rule of business: Location, location, location. The Jaguars are 0-6 on the road this season and based on that uninspiring 2-10 record, the team is likely viewing this weekend as a vacation rather than a football game. The fact that the line immediately jumped from -3.5 to -5.5 only serves to further support that theory.
Take note: South Alabama is 0-4 ATS over their last four games overall while Hawaii is 8-3 ATS over their last 11 games after surrendering less than 275 total yards in the previous game.
Pick: Hawaii (-5.5)
Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh