SIZZLING 7: Picks of the Week for November 7, 2015
by Bubba Rosenbaum (@BubbaRosenbaum on Twitter)
Each week, I choose seven games that I believe have favorable odds.
Last week, I started the day at 4-1, but underestimated double-digit home dogs in Temple and Washington State. They led late, but were unable to hold on against Notre Dame and Stanford. The Irish and Cardinal are ranked 5th and 11th, respectively, in this week’s initial College Football Playoff Top 25 of the season.
Check out this week’s picks below.
OVERALL RECORD VS SPREAD: 16-12 (57.1%) LAST WEEK (10/31/15): 4-3 (Take a look back 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.
Purdue (+5) vs. Illinois – Ross-Ade Stadium (West Lafayette, IN) – Big Ten Network – Noon
It has been another challenging season for third-year head coach Darrell Hazell and the Boilermakers. However, Purdue (2-6) managed to hold on for a 55-45 win over visiting Nebraska last weekend.
The Illini (4-4) have dropped three straight and were blanked 39-0 at Penn State the last time out.
With the game in West Lafayette, take the home team and the points.
Penn State (+2.5) @ #21 Northwestern – Ryan Field (Evanston, IL) – ESPNU – Noon
The Nittany Lions will take a 7-2 mark into this road contest. Second-year coach James Franklin has a team that is playing excellent defense–especially against the pass with its tremendous pass rush.
Northwestern, which averages 186 yards per game on the ground and is ranked 21st in the CFB Playoff Top 25 despite blowout losses to Michigan and Iowa, will present a different challenge.
Expect this to be a competitive low-scoring game, but take PSU and the points as I think it will earn a hard fought road win at Ryan Field.
#11 Stanford (-16) @ Colorado – Folsom Field (Boulder, CO) – PAC 12 Network – 1 PM
The Cardinal, which is seeking its eighth straight victory, must continue to win if it is to have a shot at being selected for this year’s College Football Playoff.
Last week, Stanford survived a scare in Pullman, WA when Washington State missed a last second field goal.
Now, Christian McCaffrey and company will look to return to his state and take down improving Colorado.
The Buffaloes (4-5) need to win two of their remaining three games to become bowl eligible for the first time in quite some time. However, that will be hard because after this one USC will be in town before they close the year with trips to Washington State and Utah.
David Shaw’s team produces more than 220 yards per game on the ground while the Buffs’ defense surrenders more than 200 on average.
Marshall (+3) @ Middle Tennesee – Johnny Floyd Stadium (Murfreesboro, TN) – FSN – 3:30 PM
The Thundering Herd’s 8-1 record is certainly misleading as Marshall has played perhaps the nation’s weakest schedule.
However, Doc Holliday’s club has shown enough that I think they will win a competitive road contest as they seek to stay atop CUSA’s East Division at Western Kentucky. The Herd and Hilltoppers have 5-0 league records.
Navy (+7.5) @ #13 Memphis – Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (Memphis, TN) – ESPN2 – 7 PM
Justin Fuente’s club, which is the highest ranked non-P5 team in the first CFB Playoff Poll, is in a three-way tie with Houston and Navy atop the American Athletic Conference’s West Division.
The Midshipmen (6-1, 4-0) will bring their triple option attack, which yields 320 yards per contest, to town this weekend.
Memphis’ struggles on defense have primarily been at defending the pass, but Navy will present a unique challenge.
Take the Middies and the points. They may not win straight-up, but don’t be surprised if they do.
#7 Michigan State (-6) @ Nebraska – Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, NE) – ESPN – 7 PM
Don’t expect Mark Dantonio’s Spartans to be taking anything for granted going to Nebraska this weekend.
The Cornhuskers are just 3-6 in Mike Riley’s first-season at the helm, but Memorial Stadium will be sold out for a 347th consecutive time in an effort to help their team to the major upset.
However, expect Michigan State–who has national title hopes–to take care of a team that surrendered 55 points at struggling Purdue last week.
#2 LSU (+7) @ #4 Alabama – Bryant-Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, AL) – CBS – 8 PM
This match-up has been a tremendous one the last several years and this year’s meeting should be no different.
Both of these teams are stout against the run, as neither alllows more than 95 yards per contest.
Will Bama be able to limit the damage done by Leonard Fournette, the sensational sophomore who leads a dominant ground attack that yields more than 300 yards per contest? How will the Bayou Bengals do at slowing down the Crimson Tide’s talented tailback Derrick Henry?
Don’t expect more than 40-45 points in this one.
Whichever team’s signal-caller delivers the best effort will likely win.
LSU’s Brandon Harris hasn’t thrown a pick this season in 120 attempts through seven games.
Meanwhile, Jacob Coker has had some issues with protecting the football as he has had seven passes intercepted.