College football Saturdays don’t get much bigger than this.
Three games featuring all top-10 teams. First time that’s happened since 2002. This is also the latest in a season that the top three teams in the AP poll all have road games against a ranked opponent.
So I’m excited.
Three games matter above all others so we’ll focus on those. I went 1-3 last week in this column – where I cover the biggest TV games each week – and I’m now 28-19 against the spread here. Not too shabby for the biggest games in the land through 10 weeks.
For even more game analysis with my personal picks, join me for my weekly Periscope @JonnyOddsShark on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET. I’m 52-35 against the spread on the season and my Great White Shark picks are 20-8 against the number.
On to this week.
Georgia at Auburn +2.5, 47.5 - 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
I mentioned on Outkick and the podcast this week that I already got Auburn +3.5 earlier in the week. I still like it at +2.5, though. This total came down from 51.5 and the line moved up from Auburn +1. I think this line should be a pick’em so I’m on Auburn. I think Auburn’s two losses will drive some public money to Georgia but I don’t agree. Auburn is averaging 43.5 points over its last six games and Kerryon Johnson might be the best rusher in the nation right now. The Tigers also have the defense to play with anyone in the SEC. UGa is 8-2 SU (straight up), 7-3 ATS (against the spread) last 10 meetings, though, and Auburn also lost the last three meetings. A couple of injuries on Auburn’s offensive line – to RT Darius James and LT Mike Horton – are what worry me most here. Give the nod to Georgia on special teams too as the No. 6 net punting team in the nation if you’re looking for more reasons to fade me and go with the Dawgs.
Notre Dame at Miami +3, 57.5 - 8 p.m. ET, ABC
The Miami offense ranks 119th on third-down conversion and Miami ranks 120th in time of possession as a result. Notre Dame’s defense, meanwhile, is decent on third downs at 43rd in the country, stopping 34.9 percent against some stiff competition. Advantage Irish. Considering Notre Dame’s O-line has been amazing this season – which is why they rank fifth in the nation in rushing – I think the Irish can control the ground game against a very good Miami front seven and wear them down over 60 minutes. UNDER is worth a look here too. Turnover chain gets the hype but ND has a +12 margin vs Miami’s +11.
Pick: Notre Dame
TCU at Oklahoma -6.5, 61.5 - 8 p.m. ET, Fox
I usually lean to defense when it’s an offense vs defense kinda matchup. Especially in this case where I flat out think Oklahoma’s defense is a joke. I’m betting TCU’s No. 6 scoring D can slow the Sooners’ No. 3 scoring offense just enough to keep this one close. TCU is No. 1 against the rush in the nation and owns the No. 3 D in the red zone but what I like most is that TCU has improved mightily against the pass. The Frogs have allowed an average of 167 passing yards over their last three – which would be good enough for ninth in the nation. That’s important against the No. 1 passing team and Heisman favorite Baker Mayfield.