Think you know college sports? Brag House gives players a FREE chance to test their sports acumen to win cash and prizes. To get ready for each week, our in house expert Shea Freeman analyzes each AP Top 25 team and what to expect for the weekend; gives you his picks and predictions; and tries to help make sense of the crazy weekend that just happened. Make sure you subscribe now for Brag House launch details and to get on the right side of the week!
Last Week: 19-3; 12-10 ATS; Overall: 88-22; 60-49 ATS
Game of the Week:
While it may not rival the intensity of the LSU/Alabama game, this annual rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan has long been considered the best rivalry in college football. The Buckeyes have been dominant all season on both sides of the ball and even though they were tested last week against Penn State they still managed to exert that dominance behind DE Chase Young (3 sack) on defense. Young is going to be a key factor in this game once again, as the Heisman hopeful looks to put pressure on Michigan QB Shea Patterson (great name), who has thrown for four touchdowns in consecutive games, the first Wolverines QB to do so in program history. It goes without saying that this is a big game for both squads, but one team is playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. The rumors about Jim Harbaugh’s job security seemed to die down over their recent hot streak but it should be noted that Harbaugh has not beat Ohio State in the four years he’s been head coach. If he can’t get it done at home this Saturday, this might be his last time coaching at the Big House. Ann Arbor is gonna be rockin’, and that sort of crowd can take you out of the game if you haven’t played in an environment like that — it’s Justin Fields’ first game in the rivalry — but Michigan’s defense is going to have a long day trying to contain Fields, Dobbins and the top ranked Ohio State offense. Buckeye Braggers, get ready to bet big on the app.
Pick: Ohio State (-8)
Game of the Week:
The second best rivalry game of the week has some interesting implications after the last two weeks of play. Bama and Auburn both laid waste to their competition last week, but the Tide desperately needed the offensive explosion to prepare for the Tigers defense. QB Mac Jones will lead a talented offense against an Auburn defense that has proven capable of shut down defense (allowing under 200 passing yards per game). Yes, Jones looked very impressive against Western Carolina but he will be facing a different kind of monster on Saturday. Alabama desperately needs a big win to keep them alive in the playoff hunt, but something tells me Auburn is going to keep this one close and (finally) take down a top 10 SEC team after losing to Florida, LSU and Georgia in the past two months. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled off the upset and shook up the college football playoffs heading into Championship Weekend.
Pick: Auburn (+3.5)
Game of the Week:
Ohio State/Michigan might be the sexier matchup, but this Big 10 West showdown between Wisconsin and Minnesota carries more weight. The Gophers are having their best season in over 100 years and a win on Saturday would clinch their first Big 10 Championship game appearance in school history. Likewise, a win for the Badgers would set up a rematch with Ohio State next Saturday and Wisconsin has looked like their old selves as of late. RB Jonathon Taylor has been sensational over the last three weeks, racking up 200 yards in his last three games. Taylor might be the x-factor in this game. Minnesota’s offense (35 points per game) matches up well with Wisconsin’s D (14 points allowed per game), but the Badgers’ run heavy offense might be hard for the Gophers to slow down. The Gophers lead the Big 10 in interceptions but that might not matter as Wisconsin hardly ever relies on their passing game. Minnesota will have opportunities of their own with their offense and QB Tanner Morgan playing his best ball of the season, but the only team to shut down Wisconsin’s run game was the Buckeyes. I feel like Taylor is going to carry the Badgers to a rematch next Saturday, and to prove why he should be a Heisman candidate in the process.
Pick: Wisconsin (-3)
From a statistical standpoint, no team has dominated November more than Clemson. Their 52-3 win over Wake Forest — arguably their toughest competition in terms of record — was their fourth straight 50+ point game and fourth straight victory of 45 points or more. The Gamecocks have been their hated rival for years and this Saturday that hatred is going to intensify. I don’t think it’s going to matter though; Clemson has won the last five meetings and with the exception of one game, each win was by 20 or more points. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp’s job is safe, apparently, so I don’t see this being close at all. It sucks to lose to your rival, but imagine getting beat down in your own home by your rival? Gamecock fans will know that feeling Saturday.
Pick: Clemson (-27.5)
The Dawgs held on to their #4 spot in the CFB playoffs and should be able to hold their breath a bit this weekend. Yes, Georgia Tech is a long time rival but let’s be honest… it hasn’t been that much of a competition lately. Georgia has won 8 of the last 10 meetings and this year looks to be more of the same as the Yellow Jackets are one of the worst teams in the ACC. If there was ever a game where Georgia’s offense — especially QB Jake Fromm — could benefit from a boost, it’s this one. There should be a fight put up at first, but I can’t imagine Georgia Tech’s offense being able to get anything going against Georgia’s stout defense. Look for Georgia to win big in preparation for their showdown next Saturday against LSU.
Pick: Georgia (-28)
Penn State showed some fight in them against Ohio State in the second half of last Saturday’s loss, but this week they might not have to fight as hard. What better way to close out the season than a home game against Rutgers? The Nittany Lions have had a successful season despite their two losses, both of which were to top 25 ranked teams, and they have a chance to finish out on a high note. I don’t have much else to say other than if you’re betting on the Brag House app, you should look at Penn State in every category. Will Sean Clifford throw for 300 yards? Probably. Will the defense hold Rutgers to under 10? I would bet that in a heartbeat. Penn State wins, no doubt about it.
Pick: Penn State (-40.5)
For the first time all season Baylor looked like a complete team for four quarters of play. They dominated Texas for most of the day last Saturday, probably because they looked so horrid against Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. The stage is set for the rematch next Saturday, but Baylor has a chance to close out the season strong and build up some momentum for what will be their last chance to make an impression on the playoff committee. Kansas is capable of moving the ball the down the field and might make this game interesting, but Baylor really needs to show up in a big way if they want to have a chance at the playoffs, no matter how slim it is.
Pick: Baylor (-14)
Oregon suffered a horrible loss to Arizona State that is likely going to keep them out of the CFB Playoffs. QB Justin Herbert, despite a late game push to win the game, did not look good in big moments and had two fourth quarter turnovers. The Ducks should be pretty pissed about that and will look to take it out on their rivals on Saturday. The Beavers actually beat Arizona State two weeks ago, but they have been dreadful on defense giving up 33 points per game on the year. The Ducks may not be a top 10 team anymore, but they can still finish the season strong with a big win and make things interesting in the PAC-12 Championship against Utah next week.
Pick: Oregon (-19.5)
Notre Dame has been red hot as of lately, specifically QB Ian Book (12 TD’s in 3 games) and the offense. Stanford, meanwhile, has been a disappointment this season and is no longer bowl eligible. The Cardinal have a chance to end their season on a high note with a huge upset, but the Irish are playing their best ball of the season at the right time and don’t look to be slowed down this Saturday. If you’re looking for a good game to brag about about, look no further than this matchup. Stanford has lost four of their last five and are giving up 260 yards per game through the air. With the way Book has been looking lately that average should only go up.
Pick: Notre Dame (-16.5)
LSU clinched their spot in the SEC Championship last week with a win against Arkansas and while they are likely a lock for the playoffs this game could feel like a trap for the defense, which hasn’t been as spectacular as their offense has over the last three games. The Tigers have given up a lot of yardage on defense but that shouldn’t matter in what will likely be a shootout of a game. The Aggies have a good offense (32 points a game on 420 yards per game), but they don’t have the type of firepower to keep up with LSU. QB Joe Burrow (4,014 yards and 41 touchdowns) has put together a Heisman winning season and nothing suggests that he’ll slow down on Saturday in Death Valley.
Pick: LSU (-17)
Rock Solid Lock of the Week: Cyclones QB Brock Purdy has been slingin’ the pigskin at a high rate all year and Iowa State desperately needed him last week to survive an upset bid from Kansas. Purdy has thrown for at least 350 yards in four of his last five games and leads the Big 12 in passing yards, and this Saturday he faces a defense that is pretty decent against the pass (212 yards allowed per game). The Wildcats have already proven to be a team that’s capable of big wins at home — their win over Oklahoma seriously changed the playoff conversation, at least within Conference. If they want a chance at another upset they’ll need to hold Purdy and Iowa State’s offense at bay (35 points per game on 480 yards of total offense), but they have been struggling on defense as of late.
Pick: Iowa State (-4.5)
With Oregon’s loss last week to Arizona State, Utah became the top dog in the PAC-12 and increased their chances to make the playoffs. Sure, having Oregon lose might hurt them as far as quality wins are concerned but very few teams in the country boast the balance that the Utes possess. They sport the best rush defense in the nation (55 rush yards allowed per game) and RB Zack Moss has recorded at least 100 yards in five of his last six games, including a 203 yard outing last Saturday at Arizona. In order to impress the playoff committee, they’ll need a big win against the Buffaloes, a team that is giving up 30 points per game on 440 yards of offense.
Pick: Utah (-28)
I’m from the great state of Florida and I have to be honest, I hate having to pick this game. Not because I’m a fan of either team; truth be told I can’t stand either of them. I hate picking this game because you never know what the outcome is going to be. For all intents and purposes, the Seminoles have been dreadful this season and are going into their annual rivalry games big underdog, and for a good reason. The Gators have been pretty impressive this season and might be the best two loss school in the country. QB Kyle Trask has looked better with each passing game and the defense has been solid all year. Florida has lost the last four meetings vs the Noles in The Swamp, but I like them to end that drought this Saturday.
Pick: Florida (-17.5)
The Sooners just barely clinched their spot in the Big 12 Championship game with a 28-24 win over TCU and this week they will have a chance to make a strong case for a playoff berth. The Cowboys have been pretty good all year, especially on the ground behind RB Chuba Hubbard, and they pose a big threat for their in-state rivals. Oklahoma needs a big win this week and next week in their rematch versus Baylor if they want have a shot at the playoffs as a one-loss team. They’ll get the production out of the offense thanks to QB Jalen Hurts but the defense is the big question mark here. If they can’t contain Hubbard, it’s going to be a pretty close game to end the season. The Sooners have been tested a lot as of late, and here’s hoping that they learned enough from those recent challenges to put together the complete game they are capable of.
Pick: Oklahoma (-13)
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