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College FB Predictions: The Weekend's Best Bets

Mark ScacewaterAnalyst IJanuary 16, 2017

IconIf you're looking for a sure thing this weekend, I've pinpointed four teams that are guaranteed to win.

While it's been a crazy season, there are still some teams whose offenses are good enough to win going away against inferior opponents.

I'll be mainly discussing Pac-10 teams here because there's more parity in the SEC and ACC, making those games much more difficult to gauge.

Who wins, for example, when Tennessee travels to Alabama? What about Kentucky hosting Florida?

Neither is a sure thing—and even Mississippi State, a 24-point dog to West Virginia, is a team that could keep a game close.

That said, let's look at four can't-miss predictions for Saturday.

1. Oregon (5-1) at Washington (2-4)

Last year Oregon was a bit down but beat UW 34-14. The year before that the Ducks won 45-21.

Look for this trend to continue, despite the good showing UW had against USC on national television three weeks ago.

Oregon is among the national leaders in total offense and rushing yards, and is averaging roughly 45 points per game in each victory. Meanwhile, Washington is on a downward arc—and with Oregon's mechanical, vertical offense, don't expect anything less than a Duck blowout.

Prediction: Oregon 56, Washington 17

2. USC (5-1) at Notre Dame (1-6)

1-6 isn't usually a promising record when you're up against one of the dynasties of the decade—and while USC has struggled of late, Notre Dame is the perfect cure to what's ailing the Trojans.

The line is a hefty 18.5, but fear not: The Trojans will run the ball down the throats of the Irish. ND has a new starter at QB, but it won't change a thing.

Prediction: USC 41, Notre Dame 10

3. Southern Miss (3-3) at Marshall (0-6)

Marshall is having an uncharacteristically bad season. On the other sideline, the Golden Eagles aren't excelling, but they're winning—including last week's 24-6 victory over SMU.

I'm a bit wary about the home field factor here, but Southern Miss played well against Tennessee. They should have no problem rolling over Marshall.

Prediction: Southern Miss 28, Marshall 14

4. Central Michigan (4-3) at Clemson (4-2)

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The line is favorable for Clemson, as they're favored by slightly less than three touchdowns. Central Michigan has no quality wins and some bad losses, while the Tigers have played much better competition.

This one shouldn't be close at all.

Prediction: Clemson 44, Central Michigan 17

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