The Message Board Geniuses staff returns to you today for our best picks of the week and we are coming off of, collectively, our best week. Even perpetual team jinx artist, @boardgeniuses, went 1-1-1 (we still don’t count pushes in the standings).
Because of the big Clemson-NC State game and its playoff implications, we have @tigercommenter, as our special guest, to help weigh in on the big game.
Washington -2.5 vs. UCLA (Friday night)
Homefield advantage is normally worth a couple of points, unless you’re UCLA playing in the Rose Bowl on a Friday night in LA. This should probably count as points towards the Huskies with the embarrassing crowd that will likely be on hand. 3 points just doesn’t seem like enough for a Washington team who now has “Big Penix Energy” and two double digit P5 wins already to their name.
Kansas +3 vs. Iowa State
This is strictly a disrespect card play for me. Kansas should be ranked and deserves to be ranked given their resume so I’m riding for them here. Might as well have some fun and roll with the home dogs who carry a whole lot of momentum into this contest. Also, QB Jalon Daniels may be the most electric player in the country right now and I don’t see Breece Hall getting off the bus for the Cyclones this weekend.
Clemson/NC State OVER 40
The last time Clemson played host to a top 10 opponent in the midst of a hurricane it was a “BYOG” party that saw 46 points scored between two teams similar to the ones that will square off this weekend. The Tigers secondary will gladly welcome anything from Mother Nature that could suppress the passing attack. The forecast has drastically improved over the last 24 hours, but the line hasn’t adjusted much. If you can still get it, 40 points just feels too low for this contest.
Washington State -4 vs California
The Cougars coug’d it last week vs Oregon and will be out for blood vs a Cal team that has outperformed expectations thus far. While Cal performed admirably on their first away game at Notre Dame, The Palouse is a tough place to play, and it appears Cameron Ward has begun adjusting to the speed of FBS football.
Wake Forest +7 at Florida State
Florida State finally faces its first legit opponent of 2022 at home vs Wake Forest. Sam Hartman looks like a man on a mission, leading a Wake Forest offense that hung 45 on Clemson’s defense. Seminoles get exposed here.
USC -25 vs Arizona State
I don’t know why Vegas put out a line for this game. Arizona State had 6 rushing yards last week vs Utah. 6. Caleb Williams and USC will go up big early while Arizona State leaves plenty of time for backup-QB Miller Moss to throw a few TD passes of his own.
Alabama (-17) at Arkansas
Alabama looks to add speedy WRs JoJo Earle and Tyler Harrell, which will help open up the offense by stretching defenses vertically. Arkansas’s pass defense is ranked 126th in the nation out of 131 teams and is missing key players. I expect Arkansas to bring pressure from all over the field Saturday to try and disrupt Alabama QB Bryce Young, but the guy just has a knack for the game. Bama’s defense will have to show up to stop the run. It held Heisman hopeful Texas RB Bijan Robinson to 2.7 yards per carry. The Arkansas OL is stout though. If the Hogs can control the ball and keep it close late then who knows but their secondary is weak and the Bama O is kicking in. Alabama covers the 17.
NC State (+6.5) at Clemson
The Wolfpack defense is allowing less than 180 passing yards a game so far this season and ranks 10th in rushing defense. NC State ranks 71st in rushing offense and 62nd in passing offense. Clemson is 43rd in passing offense and 47th in rushing offense. Defensively Clemson ranks eighth in the country against the run but 92nd against the pass. The Tigers are 1-3 ATS this season; they win but it’s close.
Wake Forest at Florida State (-7)
Florida State ranks 16th in the country in passing yards allowed and 73rd in rushing defense. Wake Forest ranks 16th in the country in passing offense and 104th in rushing. Offensively, Florida State ranks 13th in rushing and 40th in passing. Wake Forest is 79th in passing yards allowed and 68th in rushing defense. This matchup favors the Noles heavily and it’s a top 25 matchup in Doak Campbell. Florida State leans on the run to keep the Demon Deacon’s offense off the field. Noles cover.
Rutgers +40.5 at Ohio State
This isn’t your grandfather’s Rutgers though it might be your dad’s though, since Shiano is making his second tour in Piscataway. Rutgers isn’t going to win, but they should not lose by 40+ points with their defense.
Indiana +5 at Nebraska
Did you know that Indiana is 3-1? I had to check that twice. I legitimately did not realize that they’ve already increased last year’s win total by 50% this season. Look, this isn’t a good team, but they aren’t playing a particularly good team either. I think this one is decided by a field goal. Take Indiana with the points, though don’t be too shocked if Nebraska finally wins a one-score game.
Michigan -11 at Iowa
It isn’t all that frequent that I take three road teams, but I just don’t see this one being close. It sucks too, because I want to believe in an upset. Unfortunately, Iowa’s punt first offense is going to wear down the Hawkeye defense enough to make them look a lot worse than they actually are.
Wake Forest +7 at Florida State
I’m still not a believer in Florida State. I don’t think they can slow down Sam Hartman and the Wake Forest offense.
TCU +6.5 vs. Oklahoma
Oklahoma hasn’t had a real road test until this week. They will fail this test.
Kansas +3 vs. Iowa State
Future Nebraska Head Coach, Lance Leipold, isn’t going to lose at home to Iowa State.
I apologize to all of the fanbases that @boardgeniuses has jinxed today. We can talk about it early next week during CFB Therapy.
For more insightful college football content, follow @hawkguymatt, @fightonrusty, @bamawill06, and of course, @boardgeniuses, on Twitter.