Rivalry week is here, folks, and I don't need to tell you that there's plenty at stake across the country with the conference championships on the horizon.
We all know the story heading into Saturday's game; Michigan is playing like one of the best teams in America while the Buckeyes still have all kinds of problems on defense after being taken into overtime by a struggling Maryland team. Wolverine players are already chirping with guarantees of victory and that just may be the case in 2018. I'd say it's unlikely that any Ohio State fan is overly confident in this one, but it feels oddly refreshing to be the underdog.
Andrew and David both went 8-2 last week and had the top performances among the 11W staff. The most problematic game was the Michigan State/Nebraska contest. The Huskers were a 2.5-point home favorite, but only two of our pickers had faith in Scott Frost's ability to cover. The home team was victorious in a game of field goals, 9-6. #VegasKnows
We also had plenty of confidence in Ohio State covering (-16.5) against Maryland, but things were far from easy in College Park. David was the only staffer to nail that one. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Indiana kept things respectable in a game that had the Wolverines favored by nearly four touchdowns. Wisconsin was a five-point road underdog against Purdue, but Jonathan Taylor had other plans in that one.
Many seemed to like Syracuse to keep it within nine points, but Notre Dame handled the Orange with ease at Yankee Stadium. The Mountaineers were favored by five on the road at Oklahoma State, and the staff was pretty split on that contest. The Cowboys scored 21 in the fourth quarter to come away with a win in yet another Big12 shootout.
- Reminder: All of our submissions are *against the spread*. The odds will certainly fluctuate a bit throughout each week, but we'll be using sportsbook.ag for all betting lines.
Per usual, Week 13 brings plenty of rivalry games and we'll soon know exactly who will be butting heads in all of the upcoming conference championship games. If Ohio State wants any shot at the playoff, it will obviously have to take care of business this weekend. Several other teams could help to boost the Buckeyes' chances as well.
|#6 Oklahoma (-1.5) @ #9 West Virginia||WVU||WVU||OKLA||WVU||WVU||WVU||WVU||WVU||WVU||WVU||OKLA|
|#8 Washington State (-3) vs #18 Washington||WAZZU||WAZZU||WAZZU||WASH||WAZZU||WASH||WAZZU||WASH||WASH||WASH||WAZZU|
|#4 Michigan (-4) @ #10 Ohio State||OSU||OSU||MICH||OSU||OSU||MICH||MICH||MICH||OSU||OSU||OSU|
|Iowa (-9.5) vs. Nebraska||NEB||NEB||NEB||NEB||NEB||NEB||IOWA||IOWA||NEB||NEB||NEB|
|#13 Florida (-5.5) @ Florida State||FLOR||FLOR||FLOR||FLOR||FLOR||FLOR||FLOR||FLOR||FLOR||FLOR||FLOR|
|#1 Alabama (-24) vs. Auburn||BAMA||BAMA||BAMA||BAMA||BAMA||AUB||AUB||AUB||AUB||BAMA||AUB|
|#14 Penn State (-13.5) vs. Maryland||PSU||PSU||MARY||PSU||MARY||PSU||PSU||PSU||PSU||MARY||PSU|
|#2 Clemson (-25.5) vs. South Carolina||SCAR||SCAR||SCAR||SCAR||CLEM||CLEM||CLEM||SCAR||CLEM||CLEM||CLEM|
|Texas A&M (-2.5) vs. #7 LSU||TAMU||LSU||LSU||LSU||LSU||LSU||LSU||LSU||LSU||LSU||LSU|
|#3 Notre Dame (-11) @ USC||ND||USC||ND||ND||ND||ND||ND||ND||ND||USC||ND|
When we locked in our picks, the Buckeyes were four-point underdogs, but that spread has since moved up to five on some books. Seven of our prognosticators like Ohio State to cover the spread. Four are siding with the Maize and Blue to win by more than the four points.
One sure-fire bet would be on some fans referring to Michigan as "meatchicken" in the coming days. I'm all for rivalry jokes and jabs, but this one has never really registered with me. Meat and chicken are two tremendous things, so how is that an insult? I can't wait until Penn Steak comes to Columbus next year.
West Virginia could increase the Buckeyes' chances if it can take down Oklahoma. The Sooners are a 1.5-point road favorite and Kyler Murray has been ridiculous all season, but Morgantown can be a tricky place to play. Maybe it's a bit of wishful thinking, but nearly everyone is liking WVU to cover.
The same goes for the Washington/Washington State game. The Cougars are No. 8 in the latest playoff rankings but the Huskies have won five in a row. This contest will be played in Pullman and Buckeye fans will be cheering for Chris Petersen and the Huskies. The 11W staff is split on the spread which has the Cougs by a field goal.
Could this be the weekend the Irish finally fall? A road loss to an awful USC team would open up a spot in the playoffs, but I have a time believing that comes to fruition. Notre Dame is favored by 11 in its final game of the season. That one kicks off at 8 p.m. Saturday night on ABC.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May the potatoes be prepared to your liking and the desserts as mouthwatering as ever. Don't forget you can catch Ole Miss/Mississippi State tonight and then a few good ones on Friday with the Apple Cup and the crucial West Virginia/Oklahoma game. #GetRich