Every Friday, Braden Gall picks his top college football games against the spread.
Every Friday for entertainment purposes only, I will bring you my top college football picks against the spread. I do not condone, approve or encourage gambling on sports in any way. But if you are a fan of football — college or pro — and you don't think gambling has played a huge role in the growth and popularity of the sport, then you are simply being ignorant. And behind closed doors, the powers that be understand the impact betting has had on the game of football.
2012 Record Against The Spread: 40-27
Last Week: 5-2
Note: All lines are as of date of publication
Penn State (-3.5) at Purdue
The Nittany Lions have to get off of the mat this weekend after Ohio State played its best game of the season at Beaver Stadium. Yet, Penn State is still 6-2 against the spread this fall and Purdue has been downright atrocious of late. The Boilermakers have allowed nearly 300 yards rushing per game over the last four — all Big Ten losses. They have also allowed at least 38 points in four of the last five games and at least 29 in five straight. Penn State is simply the better team and this game could get ugly very quickly. Prediction: Penn State -3.5
Washington (+4.5) at Cal
Huskies ace recruiter and stellar defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi returns to his alma mater after defecting this offseason. His addition, along with defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, has helped the Washington defense make dramatic improvement. On the other side, Cal, who just lost its best player when wide receiver Keenan Allen injured his knee, is coming off its worst showing of the season against Utah. Washington should win outright so take the points and run. Prediction: Washington +4.5
Stanford (-28) at Colorado
Colorado is bad. I mean, really bad. The Buffaloes have been outscored 171-37 in the last three games and is ranked dead last in the nation in scoring defense (46.0 points allowed per game). That means Colorado, who is 1-7 against the spread this season, didn't cover the 41-point spread against USC or the 46-point spread against Oregon the last two weeks. Meanwhile, the offense has been nearly as bad, posting 290 yards of total offense per game over the last four. Stanford claims the league's most physical, most talented defensive front and the league's most physical rushing attack. Look for Stepfan Taylor to get at least 25 carries as Stanford should cruise past the reeling Buffs. Prediction: Stanford -28
Virginia (+10) at NC State
I will keep going back to this well. The Cavs are the only team without a win against the spread this fall and have lost six straight games overall. This includes consecutive losses to Wake Forest, Maryland, Duke and Louisiana Tech. NC State can score points in bunches and quarterback Mike Glennon has been on a roll of late. He has thrown 13 touchdowns in the last four games, including a 467-yard, 5-TD performance last weekend. He also led the Wolfpack to a 28-14 road win over the Wahoos last fall. Look for a big win from Tom O'Brien's bunch. Prediction: NC State -10
Texas State (+26) at Utah State
Utah State is the only team left in the nation unbeaten against the spread. So even though the spreads keep creeping upwards on the Aggies, I will keep picking them to cover. This team has scored at least 41 points in three straight and shouldn't be slowed by a team that hasn't been competitive against New Mexico, Nevada and San Jose State of late. Look for Chuckie Keeton and company to roll up another big number this weekend. Prediction: Utah State -26
Arizona State (+4) at Oregon State
I am all over the West coast this weekend. Arizona State has given up over 600 yards rushing and 88 points in two straight losses to Oregon and UCLA. And those came at home in the desert. A visit to Corvallis to face the angry Beavers, who should be refocused after a tough, turnover-filled loss to Washington, isn't what the doctor ordered. Cody Vaz has been more than capable at quarterback and will start in place of Sean Mannion. Look for Mike Riley, whose team is 5-2 against the spread this fall, to exploit the hurting rush defense of ASU this weekend. Prediction: Oregon State -4
Picking some of the big games:
Oregon (-8.5) at USC
The Trojans have a lot to play for and should keep it close. Take the points.
Alabama (-9.5) at LSU
The Tigers' will could be crushed early if the passing game can't create balance. Roll Tide.
Ole Miss (+14) at Georgia
LETDOWN ALERT! I'll take the Dawgs to win but Ole Miss can score and should keep it close.
Oklahoma State (+7.5) at Kansas State
Collin Klein will not be denied, especially the way this one ended last fall. KSU rolls big.
Clemson (-12.5) at Duke
The Noles abused the Blue Devils last week and the Tigers will do the same this week.
Pitt (+16.5) at Notre Dame
Another Letdown Alert as the Irish return home against a sneaky Panthers team.
- by Braden Gall
2012 Trends Against the Spread:
Undefeated ATS: Utah St (9-0)
Winless ATS: Virginia (0-7-1)
|One Loss ATS||Fresno St (8-1), Kansas St (6-1-1), Kent St (7-1), Ole Miss (7-1), Northwestern (8-1), Western Kentucky (7-1)|
|Two Losses ATS||Arizona St (5-2-1), Ball St (7-2), Clemson (6-2), Florida Atlantic (6-2), Florida (6-2), UL Monroe (6-2), Northern Illinois (7-2), Oregon St (5-2), Penn St (6-2), San Jose St (6-2), Texas St (5-2), Texas Tech (6-2), UNLV (7-2)|
|One Win ATS||Colorado (1-7), Idaho (1-7)|
|Two Wins ATS||Arkansas (2-6), Army (2-6), Auburn (2-6), Boston College (2-6), Central Michigan (2-6), Colorado St (2-6), UConn (2-5-1), Hawaii (2-5), Illinois (2-6), Iowa (2-6), Kentucky (2-7), UMass (2-6), Miami-OH (2-6), Nevada (2-7), NC State (2-5-1), USC (2-6), Southern Miss (2-6), Virginia Tech (2-6), West Virginia (2-5)|
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