SIZZLING 7: Picks of the Week for November 28, 2015
by Bubba Rosenbaum (@BubbaRosenbaum on Twitter)
Each week, I choose seven games that I believe have favorable odds.
Until this point, I have only picked Saturday games. However, due to the unusually large number of non-Saturday games on Thanksgiving weekend I have included three Friday games in this week’s picks.
Check out this week’s picks below.
OVERALL RECORD VS SPREAD: 28-20-1 (57.1%) LAST WEEK (11/21/15): 5-2 (Take a look at last week’s picks! )
NOTE: MY PICK IS LISTED FIRST WITH THE POINTS THAT TEAM IS GIVING OR RECEIVING IN PARENTHESES; the line used was the line at the time of the pick.
All game times are Eastern.
Navy (+1) @ Houston – TDECU Stadium (Houston, TX) – ABC – Noon (Fri, 11/27)
This pivotal AAC match-up will determine whether it will be the Midshipmen or Cougars representing the AAC West in the league’s championship game against Temple or USF. The Owls will represent the East if they beat UCONN on Saturday, but if they lose and USF tops winless UCF then it will be the Bulls.
Navy (9-1, 7-0) has won five straight since its lone loss at Notre Dame and it has not had a game closer than 10 points in conference play.
Houston (10-1, 6-1) is attempting to bounce back from its initial loss of the season–a 20-17 defeat at steadily improving UCONN.
In a game that is essentially a pick ’em, take Navy’s powerful ground attack and underrated defense to win a competitive contest to complete its first-ever conference season without a loss.
Pitt (-6) vs. Miami (FL) – Heinz Field (Pittsburgh, PA) – ESPN2 – Noon (Fri, 11/27)
The Panthers (8-3) have put together a very good first season under first-year head coach Pat Narduzzi.
Pitt’s three losses were all by 12 points or less to teams (@Iowa, UNC, Notre Dame) that will be in the top 15 of this week’s College Football Playoff poll.
Meanwhile, Miami (7-4) is looking for its fourth win in its last five games. The Hurricanes’ lone defeat since Al Golden’s dismissal came two weeks ago when they dropped a 59-21 decision–that wasn’t that close–at North Carolina
Take more stable Pitt to take care of business by a couple of scores or more on Senior Day at Heinz Field.
Tulsa (-6.5) @ Tulane – Yulman Stadium (New Orleans, LA) – ESPNU – 8 p.m. (Fri, 11/27)
With a win in its season finale’, Philip Montgomery and Tulsa (5-6) will become bowl eligible in their head coach’s first season at the helm.
The Golden Hurricane have struggled on defense, but the good news is that Tulane doesn’t pack much of a punch on offense.
Montgomery’s club can move the ball much more effectively and therefore they’re a solid pick.
Virginia Tech (-3.5) @ Virginia – Scott Stadium (Charlottesville, VA) – ESPNU – Noon
The Hokies dropped an overtime heartbreaker to North Carolina in Frank Beamer’s final home game as head coach.
Consequently, his club must win its season finale at Virginia in order to keep the program’s consecutive bowl streak alive and make the program’s 22nd straight postseason trip.
Virginia Tech has topped the Cavaliers 11 straight times and 15 of the last 16.
UVA (4-7) has had another disappointing year under Mike London. The Cavs will suffer their fourth straight losing season and fifth in London’s six years at the helm.
The Hokies have played better since Michael Brewer’s return and I like their dominance of their in-state rival to continue on Saturday.
Duke (-4) @ Wake Forest – BB&T Field (Winston-Salem, NC) – ESPN3 – 12:30 p.m.
Following their 6-1 start, the Blue Devils appeared to be a Coastal Division contender.
Duke (6-5) will be going to a bowl for a fourth straight season, but it will look to snap its current four-game skid–the longest since losing five straight to conclude the 2012 campaign–with a win at Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons (3-8), who have lost five straight, have been plagued by offensive woes.
They typically play Duke well–even in down years, but I like the Blue Devils to end the drought and take some momentum into the postseason.
UCLA (+3.5) @ USC – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles, CA) – ABC – 3:30 p.m.
The winner of this rivalry match-up will earn the chance to play Stanford for the Pac-12 title.
The Bruins (8-3), who are coming off of a 17-9 win at Utah, have won four of five since a two-game mid-season skid against Arizona State and Stanford. The loss was a last second one to Washington State in the Rose Bowl.
The Trojans (7-4) were lit up by Vernon Adams and Oregon last week.
Josh Rosen and company will have a big day against a struggling USC pass defense.
The Bruins’ defense has had its issues this year–particularly at stopping the run, but it has made strides in recent weeks and will get enough stops to allow UCLA continue its recent run of success in this series.
Florida State (-2) @ Florida – Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Gainesville, FL) – ESPN – 7:30 p.m.
These teams mirror each other quite a bit and it should equate to a very competitive, low-scoring game on Saturday night at “The Swamp”.
The Gators (10-1) are on their way to the SEC Championship Game where they will face either Alabama or Ole Miss. If Bama beats Auburn in the “Iron Bowl”, it will be the Crimson Tide. If it loses to the Tigers, it will need the Rebels to lose “The Egg Bowl” at Mississippi State.
UF’s first-year head coach Jim McElwain has done a remarkable job, but he’s been unhappy with his team’s energy of late and compared it to being around “dead fish on ice”.
Last week, the Gators needed overtime to get by two-win Florida Atlantic.
Both teams are solid defensively and UF is top 10 in many categories.
Offensive improvement was seen early in the year, but since Will Grier was suspended the Gators have found the going tough.
Will Dalvin Cook be able to manage some success against the stingy UF D? Will Treon Harris–who was 8-of-17 for 122 yards with two touchdowns and an interception–be able to keep the FSU defense honest?
The Gators will bring more energy in this game, as they attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive as they head to Atlanta. However, the Seminoles will squeak out their third straight victory in Gainesville and fifth of the last six in the series.