I enter the midpoint of the season with a winning record but still yet to have that big week that will put me solidly on the plus side.
While I hope to have several of those weeks—and they normally happen for me in the second half of the season—I know I certainly can't rely on them, and I'll take winners any day.
This week's lines shape up pretty tight, and while I see movement already, I also see a lot more underdogs that I feel stronger about than favorites. We'll see if this holds up as I continue to pick all week.
This week's picks and in-depth analysis games that will be covered in my free email newsletter are going to be Texas-Missouri and Oklahoma-Kansas. I know I usually go for at least one game that isn't considered one of the bigger games, but in this week where there aren't as many huge games, I actually see some really good opportunity in those two.
As usual my newsletter goes out late Friday night/early Saturday morning, but you can still get it by signing up for it anytime before the start of the earlier of the two games. It's quick, easy, and free to sign up, and of course I will never SPAM you or sell your email or any of that stuff. I HATE SPAM TOO!
Signing up for the newsletter will also entitle you to be entered in my free weekly game picking contest, which will be starting next week. As you can guess, I've been in plenty of these game picking contests, and I've picked the format that I've always thought was the best—that's the style where you rate the games based on strength of confidence. While I know it's possible, I've never seen one of those come down to a tiebreaker.
Oregon State -13 1/2 at Washington (Saturday, Oct. 18, 7 EST): 7 out of 10
After a sluggish start Oregon State seems to have found themselves and have made it back to .500. After being on the wrong end of the score with the Beavers for their trip to Happy Valley, I admit that I almost left them on the side of the road as gone. Since the 0-2 start and 0-2 against the spread, the Beavers have rebounded, going 3-1 overall and 4-0 against the spread.
For Washington, the season started with very low expectations, and somehow the Huskies have failed to even live up to those. It has become all but a given that Coach Ty Willingham will be gone after the season (if he makes it), and the once proud Washington program will start the rebuilding process all over again.
Though Washington has covered once this season, and it was at home, that game was over a month ago and they haven't really been close again since.
This is a classic matchup of a very hot team against a team not playing well. Oregon State has managed to get its offense back into the top 25 in most major offensive categories except for rushing yards, where they are currently 47th but on the rise. They will be met by a defense which ranks 117th in points allowed and 119th in yards allowed.
When Washington has the ball, look for more of the same, as the Huskies rank near the bottom of the pack in just about every offensive statistic, and OSU is in the upper quarter to upper half range across the board.
The Beavers have also covered the last four times these two teams have met and have covered five of the last six times the game has been played in Washington. All signs point to the Beavers covering fairly easily again.
See the rest of Mitch's Picks for Week Eight, Part One at The College Football Place.