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I went 4-5 against the spread last week to improve to two games over .500 for the season against the number. The good: nailing another Upset Special with Clemson beating Notre Dame. The bad: picking USC to lose by only two to Washington. The ugly: picking LSU to beat Alabama.
Here are this week’s guesses.
Check out Stewart Mandel’s picks.
(All point spreads come from BetMGM, click here for live odds, all kickoff times Eastern.)
No. 3 Michigan (-4.5) at No. 10 Penn State, noon (Fox)
This will be a tough place for the Wolverines to play, but J.J. McCarthy (21 TDs, four INTs away from Ann Arbor since the start of 2022) and Michigan have so much road experience. I think they’ll be able to handle the environment as well as all of the drama swirling around 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 skid by whipping Mississippi State on the road. Obviously, Alabama is a different animal, especially the way Jalen Milroe is playing. UK’s offensive line has been solid, and I think that group will hold up well enough to keep this one close into 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 squad got pounded by the Vols last year (66-24), much like they did by Kansas State (40-12). The Tigers got revenge on the Cats earlier this season, and I think they’ll get some payback on Tennesssee 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. Away, it’s been a different story, and the Huskies have the kind of O-line and passing attack with Michael Penix Jr. (only 13 sacks allowed in the past 22 games) that I expect will be just fine 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 sputtering since a hot start in the first month of the season, and this will be a tough trip. They do have a talented O-line, but I don’t see them playing error-free football against a team with the best offense they’ve seen to date.
Florida State 34, Miami 17
The Pick: Florida State -14.5
West Virginia at No. 17 Oklahoma (-12.5), 7 p.m. (Fox)
Neal Brown has got the Mountaineers rolling again, and their run game has been cranked up the past month. But I just don’t think they pull the upset against a team that has good enough veteran leadership to keep the Sooners from going into a free fall.
Oklahoma 27, West Virginia 23
The 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 its biggest test? The Rebels are good, but the Dawgs are too physical. Unless quarterback Jaxson Dart can play the best game of his career, I don’t see Ole Miss winning in Athens in a game that Georgia will be primed for.
Georgia 38, Ole Miss 23
The Pick: Georgia -10.5
Florida at No. 19 LSU (-14), 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
The Gators have been better than expected while the Tigers have been worse. But I still have a lot more faith in LSU’s skill talent than Florida’s, particularly in a 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 Horns should be too talented for a TCU team that’s 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)
Even with a new defensive play caller, the Trojans don’t have the personnel to keep up with the Ducks the way QB Bo Nix is playing.
Oregon 49, USC 31
The Pick: Oregon -15.5
Tulsa at No. 23 Tulane (-23.5), noon (Fox)
The Green Wave are the class of the AAC while Tulsa has lost four straight — two that were blowouts and the last one, a heartbreaker in overtime to Charlotte after leading by 17 at one point.
Tulane 52, Tulsa 17
The Pick: Tulane -23.5
Feldman’s Upset Special
Maryland (-2.5) at Nebraska, noon (Peacock)
Even though the Huskers just had a bad loss at Michigan State, their defense has been really stout, and I’ll play the hunch they can get bowl eligible at home against a team that’s stumbling down the stretch.
Nebraska 23, Maryland 20
The Pick: Nebraska +2.5
(Photo of J.J. McCarthy and Jim Harbaugh: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)