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Betting Against the Spread: College Football Picks for Week 14


With bowl season just around the corner, it means the 2015 college football season is reaching its conclusion. And this season certainly has lacked for fun or surprises. But there is still plenty of business left to attend to. For example, some would say the Heisman race is still undecided entering this weekend's slate. Derrick Henry has to be in the mix and has this weekend to add to his resume. Christian McCaffrey can do the same if everyone on the East Coast stays awake. The week off for the Thanksgiving holiday did me well as I am ready to dole out my next group of winners.

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Record: 53-51 (4-3 two weeks ago)

Georgia State (5-6) at Georgia Southern (8-3)

You didn't think I was going to neglect the smaller games on Saturday, did you? This one in the Sun Belt has several levels of intrigue, as Georgia State is trying to become bowl eligible. The Panthers have won three straight and it's mostly because of Nick Arbuckle and an improving passing attack. The Panthers have scored 96 points over that span and figure to put some points up in this one. Speaking of offense, Georgia Southern's attack is one of the best in the country and doesn't figure to slow down on Saturday. The Eagles have put up 56, 37 and 55 points in their last three home games. Last year these two teams played a 69-31 contest in the Georgia Dome. The Eagles have gone over in three of their five home games. SELECTION: Over 58

New Mexico State (3-8) at ULM (1-11)

This is probably the game that means the least of any of them on Saturday. Neither is going to a bowl game yet I'm intrigued by it. The Aggies have won three of their last four games with two of those coming on the road. Their offense has perked up, scoring 28 points or more in each contest over that span. Their defense is pretty awful, but how much will they be tested by ULM. The home team has just one win this season and is coming off a long trip to Hawaii where the Warhawks fell 28-26. ULM’s offense has scored just 101 points in its last six games and has mailed it in overall. SELECTION: New Mexico State +3

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West Virginia (7-4) at Kansas State (5-6)

Motivation levels will be high for the home team, which is playing for bowl eligibility. Kansas State could potentially still go bowling at 5-7, but the Wildcats would rather win this one and take the decision out of someone else’s hands. The team out of Manhattan has won three straight in this series including two outright upsets against the spread. West Virginia has won four straight although three of those were at home with the other coming at Kansas. Kansas State has covered in 16 of its last 26 conference games. SELECTION: Kansas State +6.5

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USC (8-4) at Stanford (10-2) (Pac-12 Championship Game)

It's a rematch for the Pac-12 title when the Trojans face off with the Cardinal for the second time this season. These two played a 41-31 game in Los Angeles back on Sept. 19. We could see as many points in this one with two offenses in good form and two defenses that are struggling mightily. The Cardinal have scored 30 points or more in a boatload of games. In its last three home games Stanford outscored opponents 109-96. USC is a mirror image of Stanford, as the Trojans score points out of necessity since their defense has been ravaged at times. Stanford has gone over in five of its last seven games against teams with a winning record. SELECTION: Over 58


— The Conference USA title game could feature the most points of any game on Saturday. Southern Miss has won six straight and is coming off a surprising, yet convincing, 58-24 road win at Louisiana Tech. The Golden Eagles have scored 50 points or more in three straight games. On the other side, Western Kentucky’s offense has been just as impressive scoring 202 points in its last four outings. This one is a high total, but it may not be high enough. Also, if Southern Miss continues to get 7.5 then the visiting team may be worth a look in a game where points will be scored.

— Houston plays its fifth home game in the last six as the Cougars are set to host Temple in the AAC title game. The Cougars romped over Navy last time out, beating the Midshipmen soundly, 52-31. Houston’s defense is suspect, but can an inconsistent Owls offense take advantage of it? The good thing for Temple is that its defense is playing in peak form right now. The Owls have given up a total of 85 rushing yards in their last two games. Houston has covered just one of its last four games, while the Owls have done so in five of their last six. It all makes for a very intriguing game.

— I'm going to be very interested to see how Iowa fares against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Spartans are probably the better and more tested team considering they have already played (and beaten) Ohio State and Michigan on the road. I'm one of the many who doesn't believe in the Hawkeyes and clearly, despite the undefeated record, Vegas doesn't either. These two teams haven't played each other since 2013 when Michigan State won 26-14 on the road. I think Sparty wins, but that's only because I'm just not an Iowa guy.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.