When the March Madness picks are set each season, it's never surprising to see the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the shortlist of potential NCAA Tournament champions.
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College Football Picks Week 10
Set 'Em Up And Knock 'Em Down
It's a fact of life. If you want to go bowling, you're going to have to topple some pins.
If you seek to find your way to a Big Ten title, you wil need to find a way past Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State. If the Big 12 title is on your agenda, sooner or later you'll have to overcome the Oklahoma Sooners. And while it's definitely possible to spell SEC title without Alabama, good luck trying to play in one without the Crimson Tide.
The best of the best in college football are butting heads this week, and you'll want to get in on the action. The picks for this week's top NCAA football games, both straight up and against the spread, with odds provided by Bovada.lv.
Trojans Aren't Horsing Around
Arizona (+240) at USC (-280) - The No. 17 Trojans are 5-1 in the Pac 12, while the 22nd-ranked Wildcats are 4-1, so the winner of this one is right in the hunt for the conference crown. This one pits two quarterbacks who get it done in different fashion. Arizona's Khalil Tate is someone who uses his feet to make plays, and the last time USC faced a QB like that, Notre Dame's Brandon Wimbush, it turned out to be a nightmare for them. But no one airs it out like USC's Sam Darnold, and Arizona ranks 128th in the nation at defending the pass.
Pick: Arizona (+7), over (73)
Nittany Lions Roar
Penn State (-350) at Michigan State (+275) - Knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten by Ohio State after drubbing Michigan, the No. 7 Nittany Lions complete their trilogy of top 25 terror in East Lansing, Mich. against the No. 24 Spartans. Michigan State's offense has struggled to make hay, especially on the ground, and Penn State allows just 13.3 points per game, seventh-best in the nation. With Trace McSorley at QB and all-purpose man Saquon Barkley running every which way, offense won't be an issue for Penn State.
Pick: Penn State (-9.5), over (43)
Is A New Trend Developing?
Stanford (+115) at Washington State (-135) - The Cardinal had won eight in a row from the Cougars before falling to Washington State last season, and this reversal of fortunes figures to continue. Stanford running back Bryce Love (ankle injury), who leds the nation in per-carry yardage, will be a game-time decision. After he was hurt last week, No. 21 Stanford barely beat Oregon 15-14. With two conference losses, this is a must-win game for No. 25 Washington State.
Pick: Washington State (-2.5), under (55)
Hold Those Tigers?
Auburn (-700) at Texas A&M (+450) - On the surface, you can paint a healthy scenario for an upset in this tilt, as the No. 14 Tigers head to the place where the 12th man was originally made famous, and at first glance, it seems believable. But then you watch game film of the Aggies disintegrating last week against Mississippi State and recall Texas A&M's history of folding down the stretch. Aggies QB Kellen Mond has completed just 32 percent of his passes the last two weeks.
Pick: Auburn (-15), under (52)
Badgers Best Beware
Wisconsin (-600) at Indiana (+400) - If you are looking for an upset special, look no further than this game. The Hoosiers have been on the cusp of knocking off a big team, playing Michigan State tough and losing in overtime to Michigan. Jonathan Taylor, star runner for the 8-0 No. 9 Badgers, who put the ball on the ground 75 percent of the time, is questionable due to a leg injury. That likely means Wisconsin throws the ball more but No. 1 wideout Quintez Cephus (head injury) is also questionable.
Pick: Indiana (+14), under (49)
Out Of The Frying Pan...
Clemson (-300) at North Carolina State (+250) - Fresh off a whipping by No. 3 Notre Dame, the 20th-ranked Wolfpack will be hunted down this week by the No. 4 Tigers. Certainly after being embarrassed by the 7-1 Irish, 6-2 North Carolina State will be looking to regain some lost respect against 7-1 Clemson. Good luck with that. The Tigers are firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball, and will have their paw prints all over this one.
Pick: Clemson (-7.5), over (51)
Sooners Go Boom?
Oklahoma (+110) at Oklahoma State (-130) - The Sooners defense hasn't exactly been stopping folks of late, and that's not a good sign as they go on the road to face the nation's most explosive offense. The Cowboys offense is chock full of skill and speed. At the helm of both of these teams are QBs who figure to be NFL first round picks - Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph. But Rudolph has the better surrounding cast.
Pick: Oklahoma State (-3), over (76)
Watch The Tide Roll
LSU at Alabama (no line) - You can throw out all the stats when these two old rivals clash. The 19th-ranked Tigers are not at all intimidated by the trip to Tuscaloosa to face the No. 2 Crimson Tide. It's been quite some time since Alabama faced a worthy opponent, so the Tide might take some time to get rolling in this one but their depth, running game and opportunistic defense will wear down the Tigers and Alabama will win going away.
Pick: Alabama (-21), over (49)
Hurricane Hokie To Hit Miami
Virginia Tech (-135) at Miami (+115) - A huge contest, likely for the chance to oppose Clemson in the ACC final. The No. 10 Hurricanes are unbeaten (7-0) but it's the 7-1 Hokies who are the real deal. The Virginia Tech defense has allowed a meager 51 points in the past five games, 31 of them put up by Clemson in the Hokies' only setback. Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson has passed for 2,000 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. This one could get ugly.
Pick: Virginia Tech (-3), over (50)
Too High A Mountain To Climb
Iowa State (+120) at West Virginia (-140) - With wins over Oklahoma and TCU, the Cyclones have established a reputation as an upset maker this season but this week will prove to be a different story. Like a heavyweight title fight, the Mountaineers went toe to toe last week in an offensive slugfest against Oklahoma State. No. 14 Iowa State's stingy defense will get its toughest test of the season from the fast-paced West Virginia offense.
Pick: West Virginia (-2.5), over (60)
NCAA Football Top 10 Teams This Week
Current odds (Bovada) to win the college football championship listed after team record.
- Georgia (8-0) +500 - Have allowed 14 points or fewer in six games
- Alabama (8-0) -120 - Tide's five rotating RBs are combining for nearly 300 yards per game
- Notre Dame (7-1) +1000 - Lone loss was a one-point setback against Georgia
- Clemson (7-1) +900 - Upset loss to Syracuse came after QB Kelly Bryant was injured
- Oklahoma (7-1) +3300 - Beat No. 6 Ohio State in Columbus
- Ohio State (7-1) +350 - Beat No. 7 Penn State last week
- Penn State (7-1) +2500 - RB Saquon Barkley is Heisman Trophy favorite at -225
- TCU (7-1) +10000 - Like Oklahoma, lone loss was to Iowa State
- Wisconsin (8-0) +3300 - Unbeaten Badgers lack a signature win on their resume
- Miami (FL) (7-0) +3300 - Still must past tough tests against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame
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