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Last week I went 4-5 with the spread to improve to two games over .500. The good: Another Upset Special nail from Clemson beating Notre Dame. The bad: Picking USC will only lose to Washington by two. The ugly: Picking LSU to beat Alabama.
Here are this week’s predictions.
Check out Stewart Mandel’s picks.
(All point spreads come from BetMGM, click here for live odds, all Eastern start times.)
No. 3 Michigan (-4.5) at No. 10 Penn State, noon (FOX)
This will be a tough place for the Wolverines to play, but JJ McCarthy (21 TDs, four INTs since early 2022 away from Ann Arbor) and Michigan have plenty of road experience. I think they can control the drama and the environment surrounding their program.
Michigan 28, Penn State 20 The pick: Michigan -4.5
No. 8 Alabama (-10.5) at Kentucky, noon (ESPN)
The Cats snapped a three-game losing streak by whipping Mississippi State on the road. Obviously, Alabama is a different animal, especially the way Jalen Milro is playing. UK’s offensive line was solid, and I think that team will hold up well enough to keep this team close in the fourth quarter.
Alabama 31, Kentucky 24 The Pick: Kentucky +10.5
No. 13 Tennessee (-1.5) at No. 14 Missouri, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
Eli Drinkwitz’s team was beaten by the Vols last year (66-24), just as they were by Kansas State (40-12). The Tigers got revenge on the Cats earlier this season, and I think they’ll get some payback against Tennessee this week.
Missouri 27, Tennessee 24 The Pick: Missouri +1.5
No. 18 Utah at No. 5 Washington (-9.5), 3:30 p.m. (FOX)
The Utes defense is really salty at home. Other than that, it’s been a different story, and the Huskies have an O-line and pass attack with Michael Penix Jr. (only 13 sacks allowed in the last 22 games) that I think will be good this weekend in Seattle.
Washington 34, Utah 20 The Pick: Washington -9.5
Miami at No. 4 Florida State (-14.5), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
The Canes offense has been on fire since the first month of the season, and this will be a tough outing. They have a talented O-line, but I don’t see them playing mistake-free football with the best offense they’ve ever seen.
Florida State 34, Miami 17 The Pick: Florida State -14.5
West Virginia at No. 17 Oklahoma (-12.5), 7 p.m. (FOX)
Neil Brown got the Mountaineers rolling again, and their running game was jammed last month. But I don’t think the Sooners will take their anger out on a team with enough veteran leadership to keep them from going into free fall.
Oklahoma 27, West Virginia 23 Pick: West Virginia +12.5
No. 9 Ole Miss at No. 2 Georgia (-10.5), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Can Lane Kiffin’s team handle their biggest challenge yet? The Rebels are good, but the Dawgs are very physical. Unless quarterback Jackson Dart plays the best game of his career, I don’t see Ole Miss winning in Athens in a game where Georgia gets picked.
Georgia 38, Ole Miss 23 The Pick: Georgia -10.5
Florida at No. 19 LSU (-14), 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
The Lords have been better than expected and the Tigers have been worse. But I still have more faith in LSU’s talent than Florida, especially in the game in Baton Rouge.
LSU 37, Florida 20 The Pick: LSU -14
No. 7 Texas (-10) at TCU, 7:30 p.m. (ABC)
Quinn Ewers is back and the Hornets should be too good for a TCU team that has lost four of its last five games.
Texas 34, TCU 14 The Pick: Texas -10
USC at No. 6 Oregon (-15.5), 10:30 p.m. (FOX)
Despite having a new defensive play caller, the Trojans lack the expertise to keep up with the Ducks the way QB Bo Nix plays.
Oregon 49, USC 31 The Pick: Oregon -15.5
Tulsa at No. 23 Tulane (-23.5), noon (Fox)
The Green Wave are in the AAC division and Tulsa has lost four straight — two of them blowouts, the last of which was a 17-point lead in an overtime heartbreaker to Charlotte.
Tulane 52, Tulsa 17 The Pick: Tulane -23.5
Feldman upset special Maryland (-2.5) at Nebraska, noon (Peacock)
Even though the Huskers had a bad loss to Michigan State, their defense was really strong, and I’d bet against a bowl-eligible team at home.
Nebraska 23, Maryland 20 The Pick: Nebraska +2.5
(Photo of JJ McCarthy and Jim Harbaugh: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)