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By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Week 8 has arrived and we’re feeling the vibes heading into spooky season! First off, it must be said:
WOW. THAT WAS AMAZING.
Week 7, go ahead and take one last bow for what you gave us.
The loaded slate of six top-25 matchups produced three beautiful shootouts to the wire in USC/Utah, OK State/TCU and at long last, the Crimson Tide’s defeat at the hands of Tennessee.
Neyland was an absolute scene last Saturday and word is those goalposts are still being carried as you read this. Those are the kind of Saturdays we wait all year for and it delivered on expectations of drama.
As I peek at my balance I’m shrugging, but in a positive tone if that makes sense? I followed an auspicious Week 6 with a steady and sturdy 4-1 week for picks, and based on the slate ahead we’ve got reason to stay amped and keep things rolling. Week 8 presents FIVE more top 25 matchups, and some programs that normally wouldn’t take centerstage have their chance to shine in front of a national audience.
Let’s dig through who the best plays are this Saturday:
TUNE-IN GAME OF THE WEEK
The best Saturday action is likely in the ACC, where (of all teams) Syracuse is still undefeated at 6-0 and ranked #14. They’re predictably about a two-touchdown underdog as they head to #5 Clemson, the long-time Goliath in this conference. This game sets up very similarly to Clemson’s NC State test where they passed in the end. Regardless, Cuse being on the national stage for football is a sight to see!
THE NIGHTCAP GET-IT-BACK GAME
First, I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out to Hawaii for getting it done around 3:30 a.m. ET last Sunday morning. From here, we’re back to some PAC ’12 after-dark for our night-capper this week, as the 5-2 Washington Huskies head to Berkeley to play the 3-3 Cal Golden Bears. It’s an interesting spot for UW as they’re favored by a touchdown on the road, and their offense has stayed hot despite not racking up wins lately. This should make for a late night shootout that keeps you up too late.
WEIRD VIBE PREDICTION OF THE WEEK
What is going on here? Do I need a reset from a shaman or something? My vibe detector is getting a hard restart this week as the weird vibe lost out for the second week in a row. I said Utah would roll at home, and they got it done but not without fighting to the wire. This week, we’re going off the radar for new vibes from the SEC. I know Bama will be pissed off of a loss, but enough to hold the Mississippi State offense down AND win by more than three scores (currently -21.5)? Doubtful. The vibe is that this Bama team is off and could be in for back to back shootouts. I saw it first with my own two eyes here in Austin.
WEEK 7 RECAP – BURNED BY OUR PILLAR
Last Saturday was nearly a sweep of the board. Auburn started off by hanging in nicely and covering +14.5 at Ole Miss. The Illinois game crept over by a point, Georgia Southern covered with EASE (go eagles), and the Tennessee/Alabama game was the high flier we all suspected it would be. I had Utah -3.5 and they won in a doozy, but no cover there for the sweep of the board. It’s ok, I got over it already and you should too.
Week Three: 4-1 ATS, Season Overall: 22-18 ATS
EARLY WEEK 8 PLAYS FOR ALEX
I’m turning a blind eye to Iowa’s defense, because playing Ohio State in Columbus is a whole other animal. I like the Over 49 points in Ohio State/Iowa to start off, and the Buckeyes might do it themselves.
I’ll fall into an older pattern that seems to fit this game – betting the under on a high point total. UCLA/Oregon Under 71 in a daytime west coast start that features sluggish offenses that will heat up too little too late.
Tulane has made a rare Top 25 appearance, so you know what that means. A big tough physical Memphis team plays them tough and maybe even beats them outright. Regardless I like Memphis +7.5 in this spot.
The game I’ll be at should be a doozy with lots of scoring. I don’t know if it gets to 70 points to go over, but it’s hard to bet against Frank Harris and the 210 Triangle of Toughness at home. I’ll take UTSA -9.5.
Here comes another Bama shootout, simply because Bryce Young is still great even at 70%, and their defense will give up scores to MIssissippi State as well. Let’s go Over 61 points.
Here’s some other diamonds I’m leaning on early this week:
Mississippi State +21.5, Kansas State +3.5, Clemson/Syracuse Under 51
EATS AND DEETS
The teleport game: Join me and tune into 4-3 UNT against 5-2 UTSA at the Alamodome. I’ll be roving the sidelines so no teleport needed this week, just a raucous crowd in SA!
Goofiest line: Texas looked shaky last week at home, yet the #20 ranked Longhorns are still 6 point favorites on the road at #11 Oklahoma State? Eek.
Simultaneous screen count: One top 25 matchup at 11 a.m., two in the afternoon and two at night. Two screens will get the job done most of the day.
Tailgate pick of the week: If you’ve never done a french fry/potato bar for tailgate i highly suggest.