College football's regular season is winding down, but this handicapper is not letting up with continuing coverage of upcoming games that could have inflated college football odds.
Kansas State Wildcats vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Their playoff hopes might be dead with two losses already, but the Kansas State Wildcats can still claim at least a share of the Big 12 title and an attractive bowl invite by winning out. Bill Snyder's crew has had some extra time to absorb their only conference defeat, and will have the nation's attention in Thursday night's prime-time matchup at the West Virginia Mountaineers.
FOX Sports 1 will carry the contest starting at 7:30 PM (ET), the game going out as a pick 'em at several betting outlets monitored by SBR's live college football odds. Early action on the Mountaineers has pushed the number to WVU -2½, and it's those bettors who I believe have an inflated view of the home team.
Kansas State was playing catch-up the entire game at TCU a couple of Saturday's back in a 41-20 loss to the Horned Frogs, much to my dismay. Credit certainly goes to Trevone Boykin and Texas Christian for their fine play, but save some for the Wildcats' defense, especially the front 7 that had been the strength of the unit against the run.
West Virginia is also coming off a bye after suffering its second consecutive Big 12 loss at the Texas Longhorns. Favored by three, the Mountaineers instead lost by 17 just seven days after a very demoralizing setback to TCU that no doubt contributed to some of the letdown following a long climb into the top 25.
Before becoming conference rivals at the beginning of the 2012 season, the 'Cats and Mountaineers hadn't met since the Hoover Administration. Both Big 12 clashes have gone to K-State, including a 55-14 laugher in Morgantown two years ago. There shouldn't be any danger of the Wildcats looking ahead to next week, despite it being a rivalry game against Kansas, and I'm jumping on them getting points Thursday night at WVU for my College Football pick.
Boston College Eagles vs. Florida State Seminoles
The Florida State Seminoles also have a big rivalry on deck as Florida comes to Tallahassee during Thanksgiving weekend, and rising to No. 1 in the latest AP poll has Jimbo Fisher's troops in a prime look-ahead spot. The unbeaten 'Noles are home this Saturday to host the Boston College Eagles who look to end FSU's 26-game win streak.
Kickoff comes a little past 3:30 PM (ET) with ABC and ESPN2 beaming the game into homes and sports bars across the land; the Seminoles are 20 point favorites after opening -19, and SBR's live College Football odds will have the total as soon as it's released.
Florida State may sport a 10-0 record straight up, but a 3-7 mark against the spread suggests the Seminoles have been asked to cover inflated odds all season. They had to come from behind in each of their last four contests, rallying from a pair of 16-point deficits this past week to get by Miami, 30-26.
The 'Noles had to do the same against BC last year when they found themselves behind by 14 early at Chestnut Hill as 24 point chalk. Florida State did grab a 48-34 win eventually, but Boston College backers grabbed the cash. Mark this year's meeting in the inflated odds column as well.
Mississippi Rebels vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
Continuing with our 'rival matchups up next' theme, the Mississippi Rebels hope to put consecutive SEC setbacks behind them this Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville against the Arkansas Razorbacks. CBS will have the telecast starting at 3:30 PM (ET), and Ole Miss is showing up -3 on the college football betting card.
It will be impossible for Hugh Freeze and his staff to keep their players from thinking about next week's home tilt against Mississippi State. The Rebels still have a very slim shot at the SEC West title, which could propel them into the playoff picture even with two losses, but they only control part of their fate since they'll need help from Auburn to make that happen.
Perhaps a good way to get his players' focused on this week would be for Freeze to show them a lot of film of Arkansas' 17-0 blanking of LSU in Week 12. That may have been the only conference win so far for the Razorbacks, but the Hogs had already shown they were no patsy with covers vat Mississippi State and Alabama. The 'under' could turn out to be the most attractive wager in this one, but since Ole Miss has failed to cover three straight, I've got to like Arkansas +3 at BookMaker this time.
Willie Bee's NCAAF Handicapping Record for the Season: 54-36-1 (+14.40)