Football Forecast: Will the Gators come out flat after loss to Georgia?

Picking games against the spread is not easy. The difference between breaking even last week at 5-5 or having a really solid 7-3 week against the spread hinged on the following two factors: Gators line fell to six at midweek, and they lost by 7.

 Seattle would have covered the spread (6.5) against Tampa Bay had they been forced to kick the extra point in overtime (which is how they used to do it).

Anyway, no use crying over spilled milk; let’s tackle this week’s games…

THE COLLEGES

Florida State (+1.5) at Boston College

Interim head coach Odell Haggins was a calming influence for the Noles once before when he took over for Jimbo Fisher and won the last two games at the end of the 2017 season.  As much as I like and respect the lifetime Noles player and coach  (30 years of service), I can’t see him putting out the dumpster fire that FSU has become. Boston College 27, Florida State 20

 Louisville at Miami (-6)

Both FSU and Miami were headed toward unremarkable seasons before last week’s showdown, and Canes came away with some momentum with a dominating win. But they also have had a history this year of alternating between solid performances with “not-so-great” efforts.  Still in a ”bucking the trend” pick:  Miami 24, Louisville 14

 Vanderbilt (+27) at Florida

There is no way Florida should lose this game, especially in The Swamp. The only question is, will they come out a little flat after getting dominated by Georgia last week or will they come out and finish the season strong. Giving 27 points may be a little too much for my blood, even for the offensively-challenged Commodores.  Florida 38, Vanderbilt 10

 Penn State (-7) at Minnesota

Back in August, if you had told anyone that this November match-up would have be a battle of undefeated teams, you probably have got some strange looks. And while PJ Fleck has done a great job with the Gophers, their Big 10 opponents to date are a combined 17-28 and their three non-conference wins have come against Georgia Southern, South Dakota, and Fresno State. In a “Let’s pump the brakes on Minnesota Mania,”I’ll take the Lions to both win and cover:  Penn State 24, Minnesota 10

 LSU (+6) at Alabama

The schedule makers did LSU no favors as Alabama is their third top 10 opponent in their last four games.  They survived the first two, beating Florida and Auburn.   It’s also interesting that the Tigers are ranked No. 1, but are still six-point underdogs in this game. I am a believer in the LSU offense and I also question how ready Tua Tagovailoa will be coming off ankle surgery.  In an upset special…LSU 24, Alabama 21

THE PROFESSIONALS

 Arizona (+4.5) at Tampa Bay

Although 2-6, Tampa Bay has actually played well enough to be 5-3 this season. The Cardinals have over-achieved at 3-5-1 and are not really a bad team, but this should be the week the Bucs cruise to win.  Tampa Bay 32, Arizona 21

 Miami (+10) at Indianapolis

Colts are favored by 10, even though the game-time status of Jacoby Brissett is unknown and T.Y. Hilton did not practice early in the week. I like Indy to win this game, but the Dolphins have been playing hard for Todd Bowles and Ryan Fitzpatrick has put some points on the board of late.  In a “take the points special,” Indianapolis 27, Miami 21

 Atlanta at New Orleans (-10)

After playing in a Super Bowl just a few years ago, Atlanta’s 1-7 start this year has surprised a lot of the experts. With Saints (7-1) hitting on all cylinders:  New Orleans 35, Atlanta 10

 Minnesota (+3) at Dallas

Kirk Cousins is an elite quarterback. Well at least he is when the spotlight isn’t shining on him in a prime time game. This is a prime time game.  Dallas 24, Minnesota 17

Season Scoreboard:  For a third week in a row, another solid 8-2 week straight up, but for the second week in a row, managed to just break even ( 5-5) against the spread. Last week brings the season total to 71-27 straight up (.724), but still in a deficit spending mode ATS at  45-51-2 (.469)