Predicting All Top 25 Week 10 College Football Games Against the Spread

Jonathan McDanal@@jdmcdanalContributor IIIOctober 31, 2012

Predicting All Top 25 Week 10 College Football Games Against the Spread

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    Week 10 has two of the most anticipated games of the season lined up for all of us to chow down on.

    Granted, that Oregon vs. USC clash is less impressive than it looked during the preseason, but it's still a major matchup of Pac-12 titans. Alabama vs. LSU is still on the docket, and much of the nation is relieved not to be hearing about a No. 1 vs. No. 2 "Game of the Century."

    Here are the predictions against the spread for each Top 25 team in the BCS rankings. While most spreads throughout the season have at least been understandable, the spreads on some of these games may cause you to flip a table.








    *Betting information obtained from and stats from

Missouri Tigers at No. 7 Florida Gators

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at noon

    Line: Florida -16

    Over/Under: 42

    Prediction: Florida covers. Take the under.

    Florida has had some struggles on offense to say the least. Against South Carolina, though, the Gators scored 44 points. While 21 of those points came off turnovers inside the South Carolina red zone, the Gators still have to get credit for forcing those turnovers.

    Florida wins the game, but the Gators will have issues scoring sometimes. The Missouri Tigers will have a lot of trouble scoring against the Gators, as has everyone else on Florida's schedule.

Temple Owls at No. 10 Louisville Cardinals

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at noon

    Line: Louisville -15

    Over/Under: 51.5

    Prediction: Louisville covers. Take the over.

    Louisville and Teddy Bridgewater are coming off a close win against the Cincinnati Bearcats. That alone will motivate the talented quarterback to tighten up his game in preparation for a tough Temple team that has allowed as much as 47 points in one 2012 game.

    Louisville's offense is much more talented than the Pittsburgh team that put up those 47 points. However, Louisville will need to maintain focus and not overlook the Owls in order to emerge with a dominant win, although the upcoming Syracuse game is not likely to cause the Cardinals to lose their concentration on the task at hand.

No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners at Iowa State Cyclones

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at noon

    Line: Oklahoma -11

    Over/Under: 52.5

    Prediction: Oklahoma covers. Take the over.

    Oklahoma has been somewhat enigmatic this season, but the Sooners just lost a tough game to Notre Dame. That loss should have the Sooners all fired up and ready to play against the Iowa State Cyclones.

    Oklahoma's last game following a loss was the 41-20 victory over Texas Tech. While it is certainly a nerve-wracking bet, Oklahoma's ability to cover this spread cannot be disregarded.

    If this game were after an Oklahoma win, the prediction would look drastically different.

No. 16 Texas A&M Aggies at No. 15 Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at noon

    Line: Texas A&M -6

    Over/Under: 59

    Prediction: Mississippi State upsets Texas A&M. Take the under.

    While Texas A&M's offense has found success in the SEC against teams like Ole Miss and Auburn, Mississippi State's defense is a far cry from either of those two teams' defenses.

    Mississippi State fields two future NFL players in the secondary that will keep Johnny Manziel honest in the passing game. There will be a couple of picks that swing the pendulum in the Bulldogs' favor.

    On the rushing side of things, Mississippi State will be able to keep Manziel corralled enough to come out with a close victory.

    It's difficult to see this game ending with both teams scoring in the 30's, as far as points are concerned. The under isn't a sure bet, but betting that either team will blow out the other is an even riskier bet.

No. 14 Stanford Cardinal at Colorado Buffaloes

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.

    Line: Stanford -28

    Over/Under: OFF

    Prediction: Stanford covers.

    Stanford may not be the same team it was last year, but the Colorado Buffaloes are just not good at all this year. USC beat the Buffs, 50-6. That's not to say that Stanford will do the same, but a 35-7 (or better) victory is certainly on the docket for the Cardinal in Week 10.

TCU Horned Frogs at No. 21 West Virginia Mountaineers

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3 p.m.

    Line: WVU -7

    Over/Under: 68

    Prediction: TCU upsets West Virginia. Take the over.

    When TCU faced the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the shootout resulted in a combined score of 109.

    West Virginia's offense has struggled against the defenses of Texas Tech and Kansas State. Those were both disheartening losses for the Mountaineers.

    West Virginia won a shootout over the Baylor Bears earlier in the season, and that final score was 70-63. If Baylor had been able to come up with just two more defensive stops, West Virginia wouldn't have won that bout.

    TCU has a better defense than Baylor, and the Horned Frogs proved that with a 49-21 win over the Bears on Oct. 13. TCU will be able to stop West Virginia from scoring just enough to win. West Virginia's nonexistent defense will allow the Frogs to run up the score against the Mountaineers.

    West Virginia will score around 30 points to easily push this total over 68.

Pittsburgh Panthers at No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m.

    Line: Notre Dame -16.5

    Over/Under: 46

    Prediction: Notre Dame covers. Take the over.

    Pittsburgh is one of the many Jekyll-and-Hyde teams of the 2012 season. When the Panthers show up to play a game, they are capable of taking it to a team like they did when they beat then-No. 13 Virginia Tech, 35-17. When they don't show up, they lose to Syracuse, 14-13.

    Notre Dame's defense is better than any other defense that the Panthers have faced or will face for the entire 2012 season. If Notre Dame is going to lose focus and overlook a game, it will be after years of success have caused the Irish to become complacent. No way does Notre Dame overlook any team in its comeback year.

    If you factor in the turnovers that Manti Te'o will create for the Irish, it's easy to see a 17-point gap at the end of the fourth quarter. Notre Dame hung 50 points on Navy in the season opener, and Navy is currently 5-3. Pittsburgh may be better than Navy, even though its 4-4 schedule would lead one to believe that it isn't.

    However, Pittsburgh is not better than Notre Dame. Of course, it's college football. Louisiana-Monroe isn't capable of beating the Arkansas Razorbacks, right?

Ole Miss Rebels at No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m.

    Line: Georgia -14

    Over/Under: 63

    Prediction: Georgia covers. Take the over.

    This is a precarious prediction. Not only am I expecting the Georgia offense that played Tennessee to show up, but I'm expecting the defense that played Florida to ride the same bus to the game.

    That may be a long shot, but Georgia is due for one complete game before the season is out, and there is precious little time left for that to happen. In turn, Ole Miss plays one of the best games of its season.

    The game will be won off Ole Miss fourth-quarter turnovers at the hands of the Georgia defense. Those turnovers will give Georgia the 14-point advantage with too little time remaining for Ole Miss to do anything about it.

No. 23 Texas Longhorns at No. 18 Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m.

    Line: Texas Tech -7

    Over/Under: 67

    Prediction: Texas Tech covers. Take the under.

    Texas Tech will take advantage of a Texas team that is struggling on offense while neither quarterback is performing to his potential.

    Texas Tech's defense combined with the Longhorns' lack of offense will spell doom for Texas' stint in the BCS Top 25. Texas scores nowhere near enough points to push this total past the over/under line.

No. 20 Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan State Spartans

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m.

    Line: Nebraska -1

    Over/Under: 44.5

    Prediction: Nebraska covers. Take the under.

    Michigan State and Nebraska both faced the Michigan Wolverines over the last two weeks. It doesn't provide concrete evidence as to a final score in this match, but it's as close as you can get in a game inundated with mathematical projections.

    Nebraska beat Michigan, 23-9, and Michigan State lost to the Wolverines, 12-10. One thing is certain, and that's that this will be a low-scoring least on the part of the Spartans. The combined score of both of those aforementioned games is just 54.

    Nebraska takes down Michigan State, but they fail to meet the 44.5-point over/under.

UTSA Roadrunners at No. 25 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m.

    Line: Louisiana Tech -32

    Over/Under: 73

    Prediction: Louisiana Tech covers. Take the over.

    UTSA has not lost a game by fewer than 20 points this season. That 20-point loss was to the Rice Owls. While UTSA is making a strong showing in its first year in the FBS at 5-3 entering Week 10, Louisiana Tech is simply more talented at almost every position on the field.

    Louisiana Tech will cover the 32-point spread in this game, and the Roadrunners will put up a few of their own to send this game over 73.

No. 4 Oregon Ducks at No. 17 USC Trojans

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

    Line: Oregon -8

    Over/Under: 70

    Prediction: Oregon covers. Take the over.

    USC has Matt Barkley and home-field advantage. Oregon has Chip Kelly, Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and, well, everyone on the Ducks' roster. Oregon took down Arizona, 49-0, early in the year, while USC was just upset by the Wildcats in Week 9.

    That doesn't translate to straight numerical prediction, of course, but it's certainly a reason to take the eight-point spread in favor of the Ducks.

    USC is a rival, and home field is no joke. However, this is Oregon we're talking about. Oregon has been outscoring opponents by more than eight points with its scrubs on the field all year.

    The fact that it's USC just means that the starters might actually spend some quality time on the field in the fourth quarter.

    Apologies to USC fans for making this game seem so bleak. It looked much prettier during the preseason, when there was a potential battle of unbeatens at this point in time.

    Instead, we're left with an undefeated Oregon and a two-loss USC that is falling spectacularly short of expectations so far this year.

No. 13 Clemson Tigers at Duke Blue Devils

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

    Line: Clemson -13.5

    Over/Under: 65

    Prediction: Clemson covers. Take the over.

    Clemson beats Duke by two touchdowns or more. Duke is bowl-eligible for the first time since 1994, and any additional wins for the Blue Devils between now and the postseason are just icing on the cake.

    Duke's 84th-ranked scoring defense will kick in against Andre Ellington, DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins and Tajh Boyd to push this game over the 65-point barrier.

    Duke's brutal November stretch is going to be the deciding factor as to whether the Devils get to go to the ACC title game. Of course, if Duke can pull off the major upset at home against one of the ACC's best, the Blue Devils will be the clear frontrunner for the conference trophy.

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide at No. 5 LSU Tigers

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.

    Line: Alabama -9.5

    Over/Under: 42

    Prediction: Alabama covers. Take the under.

    Maybe the fact that Alabama has won every game in 2012 by at least 19 points is a major reason that this point spread is so large. I personally just don't see it. These are not the same players that met in January.

    I think Alabama covers, but I don't see how everyone else sees it that way. This is a night game in Death Valley between two teams that have split the last 30 regular-season matches at 15 wins each.

    Yes, Alabama is a national-title contender, but so is LSU. Yes, LSU has troubles on offense, but the Tigers have little problem fielding a smothering defense.

    Alabama vs. LSU will not be another "Game of the Century" that ends in overtime with a point total of 15, but these two teams will have a long battle that hinges on field position, turnovers and red-zone scoring prowess.

    I still don't see two teams that are allowing 8.1 (Alabama) and 14.6 (LSU) points per game running a total up to 42.

No. 24 Oklahoma State Cowboys at No. 2 Kansas State Wildcats

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.

    Line: Kansas State -9.5

    Over/Under: 66

    Prediction: Kansas State covers. Take the over.

    Oklahoma State has a prolific offense, but so does West Virginia. Kansas State held the Mountaineers to a scant 14 points. Kansas State is averaging 44.4 points per game on offense and has scored 55 points in each of its last two games.

    Both of those games were against teams with much higher rankings than Oklahoma State. Kansas State covers and the Cowboys see enough success to put this game beyond 66 points.

Arizona State Sun Devils at No. 11 Oregon State Beavers

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10:30 p.m.

    Line: Oregon State -4.5

    Over/Under: 54.5

    Prediction: Oregon State wins but doesn't cover. Take the over.

    Oregon State took one on the chin last week from the Washington Huskies after making the decision to switch quarterbacks one interception too late.

    Cody Vaz will be back starting for the Beavers in Week 10, and that should make all the difference. However, Arizona State can score points in a hurry, and Oregon State must be aware of that at all times.

    With Vaz back at starting quarterback and the Beavers fired up after a loss, Oregon State should come out on top, even if it goes to overtime. The overtime period will push this game past 54.5.

San Diego State Aztecs at No. 19 Boise State Broncos

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10:30 p.m.

    Line: Boise State -13.5

    Over/Under: 50.5

    Prediction: Boise State covers. Take the over.

    Boise State has remained largely consistent on offense this season, with only a couple of exceptions along the way when it failed to score at least 20 points against Michigan State and BYU.

    San Diego State is capable of winning this one, and the Aztecs will be fighting for their lives. Boise State's defense (ranked fifth in the nation) will need to step up like it has in almost every game this season.

    That will happen, but San Diego State's offense will find the end zone enough to keep things interesting and get the point total over 50.5.

No. 22 Arizona Wildcats at UCLA Bruins

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10:30 p.m.

    Line: UCLA -3

    Over/Under: 71

    Prediction: Arizona upsets UCLA. Take the over.

    The boys in Vegas certainly have this one right, with UCLA favored based on home-field advantage. There is little conclusive evidence that either team could be called a clear favorite.

    Ultimately, the Cal loss looks really bad for the Bruins. While Arizona has lost three games, they were all to ranked opponents. Cal is currently a three-win team.

    With the nation's 54th- and 92nd-ranked passing defenses facing off, expect a lot of scoring. That 71-point over/under mark should look pretty silly after the final whistle blows.