If it's Friday, that means it's time for Willie Bee's top weekend plays, and he's taking a look at three top-25 matchups looking for winning college football picks.
Baylor Bears at Oklahoma Sooners
The Baylor Bears are getting more respect from the AP and coaches polls than from the committee casting the deciding votes in the College Football Playoff rankings. Art Briles' bunch, currently 12th on the CFP list, will try and change that with a strong win on the road this Saturday when the Bears travel to meet the No. 15 Oklahoma Sooners.
Kickoff in Norman is set for a little past noon (ET) with FOX Sports 1 cameras on hand to broadcast the Big 12 battle. Steady action on Oklahoma drove the spread up from -4 at the start to the Sooners -6 before dropping back down to -5. SBR's live NCAA football odds show the scoreboard tally at 72.
Despite this being a matchup of top 25 schools, the Bears and Sooners are taking a backseat in the conference to the showdown in Ft. Worth between TCU and Kansas State. The winner will have the inside track to a potential playoff spot as the Big 12 representative.
Baylor still has the lone loss at West Virginia as its only blemish, and the Bears get to close the regular season at home vs. Kansas State. Oklahoma is pretty much dead in the water with two defeats, but the Sooners would still love to spoil it for Baylor, a team they had dominated until recently. The first 19 meetings in this series went to OU before the Bears won two of the last three. Baylor has never won in Norman.
Oklahoma got some good news this week regarding leading wide receiver Sterling Shepard. The junior suffered a groin injury in last week's victory at Iowa State, but is presently listed as probable for Saturday. There's also a chance the Sooners could get Keith Ford back for this one after the sophomore tailback missed the last five games with a leg injury.
My crystal ball says the Sooners are in for a real fight here, and that's why I'm very happy to take the Bears and the points for my free college football pick.
Check out what another capper has to say about this pick.
Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan State Spartans
Just as the Big 12 is on the outside looking in at the playoff lineup right now, so is the Big Ten. The Michigan State Spartans sit in the loftiest of CFP slots at No. 8, and they know that at least on of the two teams just ahead of them, TCU and Kansas State, is going to lose this week, giving Mark Dantonio and his squad a shot at inching up.
That is, if the Spartans can come away with a victory of their own in a huge contest against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Both teams sport 4-0 conference records atop the East Division, and ABC will televise the tilt at 8 PM (ET). Michigan State is a 3½ point favorite; SBR's live college football odds have been following a total that has dropped a couple to 56½.
Both teams have had trouble making up for their one and only losses of the year, the Buckeyes dropping an early home game to Virginia Tech while the Spartans were falling at Oregon the same day. Each club also has a winning record against the spread (OSU 6-2, MSU 5-3), and has been a solid 'over' bet at 7-1 O/U.
This series, however, has been more profitable for 'under' bettors recently, and the weather forecast for East Lansing could help maintain that trend. There's rain in the offing during the afternoon along with temps in the mid-to-upper 30s for kickoff. I'm making my Free College Football Pick on the scoreboard tally never reaching the mark.
Oregon Ducks at Utah Utes
While the Buckeyes and Spartans are still struggling to make up for their lone defeats very early on the schedule, it has been a quicker rise back up into the good graces of the voters for the Oregon Ducks since they suffered their one loss in October. They can all but clinch the North Division of the Pac-12 this Saturday with a dubya at the Utah Utes.
ESPN will deliver this broadcast starting at 10 PM (ET), and the chalk on Oregon has dropped from -10 to -8 during the week as the total remained fairly steady at 60.
The two teams come in off different results a week ago, Oregon posting an impressive 45-16 vs. Stanford while the Utes dropped a heartbreaker in overtime at Arizona State, 19-16. I like Oregon in this one, but am more intrigued by the total where I'm once again going with the low side for my free pick.
Free College Football Picks: Baylor +5; Ohio St-Michigan St Under 56½; Oregon-Utah Under 60
Season: 49-29-1 (+17.10)