Can LSU beat and cover against Nick Saban's mighty Crimson Tide?
Happy belated Halloween to my loyal viewers.
Hope you had a ghoulish one.
Last week was another successful week. My picks went 2-2 (1-1 Game of the Week picks), but my last 10 picks have gone 7-3.
Before I get to my Week 10 picks, let's review what happened in Week 9.
Last week, I said take Boise State Broncos to cover the -16.5 spread away against the Cowboys of Wyoming. The Broncos efficient offense and stingy defense continued to thrive as Boise State won their seventh straight and covered in a 45-14 route.
The Broncos rushed for 214 yards on 36 carries (5.9 yards on average). Boise State's defense held the Cowboys offense to only 106 yards.
Mississippi State came into their contest against Alabama ranked No.13 in the nation with a 7-0 record. Vegas had Alabama favored by 24. With 'Bama favored so high, it was tough to take the Tide.
I thought the Bulldogs would provide better competition, but "Roll Tide" rolled on to a 38-7 victory. The Crimson Tide held a shutout until the final minutes.
'Bama was led by quarterback AJ McCarron, who threw for 208 yards with two touchdowns.
Game of the Week pick number one was a complete dud.
I said go with the hot hand and take the Gators to cover against the struggling Bulldogs of Georgia. In the final minutes of the game, Florida was driving into Georgia territory down by 8.
A fumble (one of the Gators six turnovers) sealed up the game, 17-9.
The final pick was for Notre Dame to cover against Oklahoma. Oklahoma was a huge pick in Vegas as the line moved up two full points. The nation saw the "overrated" Fighting Irish take care of the Sooners in a prevailing 30-13 victory.
So goblins, ghouls and ghosts, let's get on with my Week 10 Halloween Edition picks.
2012 Record ATS
19-13 (8-2 Game of the Week Picks)
Week 9 Results
(My picks of week 9 are in bold)
No. 21 Boise State 45 Wyoming 14 (+16.5) Win
No.13 Mississippi State 7 No.1 Alabama 38 (-21) Loss
Game of the Week Picks
No.3 Florida 9 No.12 Georgia 17 (+6.5) Loss
No.5 Notre Dame 30 No.8 Oklahoma 13 (-11) Win
Date: Saturday, November 3
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Current Line: Duke +13.5
Clemson will visit Durham, North Carolina to face off with a surprising 6-3 Blue Devils squad.
Duke enters this game having not defeated a ranked opponent in nearly 20 years. Duke boasts the 74th ranked defense and the 67th best offense.
Clemson is led by quarterback Tajh Boyd, who has thrown for 2,336 yards and 20 touchdowns. Clemson has the 13th best offense in the nation, but the 81st worst defense in the FBS.
The key for the Blue Devils will be running back Jela Duncan.
He will need to exploit the Tigers defense against the run. If Duncan can run the rock efficiently, the Blue Devils passing attack should be able to open up.
The key for the Tigers will be their defense.
The Tigers defense should be able to contain the Blue Devils offensive attack handily since they've only given up a total of 30 points against their last two opponents in Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Clemson is 6-2 ATS this season.
Duke is 6-3 ATS this season.
Clemson is 2-0 as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points this season and 6-1 in the last three seasons.
Duke is 8-8 ATS versus Clemson since 1992 and 6-2 at home versus Clemson; these two teams have not met in the last three seasons.
The Blue Devils might give you freights in a cold, dark, windy night, but these Tigers will not be intimidated. Since their 37-49 loss to Florida State, the Tigers have come out to play of late.
Expect Boyd to have another stellar game, as the Heisman dark horse caps the fifth-straight victory and another cover.
Clemson Tigers 42 Duke Blue Devils 17
Date: Saturday, November 13
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Current Line: Oregon State -4
With Sean Mannion back under center, the Oregon State Beavers struggled against the Washington Huskies, leading to a 17-20 loss, ending their undefeated season bid and their chances at a BCS National Championship.
Mannion threw four interceptions against the Huskies. The nightmare performance from Mannion led to Cody Vaz starting under center this week.
Heading into this game, the Beavers rank 33rd in defense and 54th in offense.
Arizona State enters this game giving up 88 points in the last two games against UCLA and Oregon. The Sun Devils are a good team looking for momentum.
The Sun Devils rank in the Top 25 in both offense and defense.
Sun Devil head coach Todd Graham will lead a balanced attack against the Beavers, with Taylor Kelly (2,008 yards, 19 touchdowns and five interceptions) under center and D.J. Foster (371 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns) carrying the rock.
Arizona State is 5-2-1 ATS this season.
Oregon State is 5-2 ATS this season.
Arizona State is 2-0 on the road this year, while Oregon State is 2-1 at home.
Oregon State is 2-0 ATS versus Arizona State in the last three years and 6-2 ATS at home versus Arizona State since 1992.
The trends all point to the Beavers to cover, but I've felt that Oregon State isn't really a good team since Week 4.
The Beavers best win came against a weak Wisconsin team in their first game. I feel the Sun Devils will rise to the occasion and take the BCS/Pac 12 hoping souls out of the Beavers.
Take Arizona State to cover this game.
Arizona State +4
Arizona State 28 Oregon State 20
Date: Saturday, November 3
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Current Line: LSU + 9.5
Last year, these two SEC powerhouses hooked up twice.
In the regular season, the Tigers and Tide fought long and hard leading to overtime. LSU prevailed, winning 9-6 in a tough defensive battle. Eventually, these two squads met up in the BCS National Championship Game, dubbed by many as the "Game of the Century."
It turned out to be an LSU dud.
'Bama won 21-0.
Round three will be fought in the Bayou as 'Bama travels down south. Since LSU's loss to Florida, the Tigers have awakened. The Tigers beat a then-tough South Carolina Gamecocks team 23-21 and took down the Aggies of Texas A&M in the Lone Star State.
LSU will be seeking redemption against this Crimson Tide team.
This will be LSU's chance to take away the BCS Championship from Alabama and give them a shot for it. Alabama comes into this game on a hot streak. They've manhandled every team they have faced and easily put away their toughest competition in Mississippi State.
This will be 'Bama's last tough opponent in the regular season.
A win for the Crimson Tide likely will give 'Bama the SEC West crown.
Alabama is 5-3 ATS this season.
LSU is 3-5 ATS this season.
Alabama has covered in their last three games, while LSU has gone 1-2.
In the last three seasons, LSU has gone 2-1 versus Alabama.
Alabama is 8-2 ATS at LSU, with LSU covering in their last meeting in 2010.
Based on the fact that LSU has a lot more going for them this game, I see the Tigers competing the full 60 minutes.
I expect this game to be a close battle just like last year's 9-6 matchup.
I'll take LSU to cover.
Alabama 17 LSU 13
All lines are subject to change based on the line movement. All lines are fromScoresandOdds.com.
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