NCAA Football: Missouri at Vanderbilt

Where has the season gone? I don't want to be some kind of Debbie Downer and hit you with the bad news, but did you realize it's November? I swear the season just started a couple of weeks ago, and now that I feel like I'm getting a good read on these teams, the whole thing is almost over.

The scariest thing for me this Halloween wasn't any horror movie, nor was it waking up to snow Tuesday morning. It was the realization that we were getting the first College Football Playoff Rankings of the season (the snow was a close second). They jarred me out of my slumber and woke me to the fact that we were reaching the end. Including this weekend, there are only four full weekends of college football left. A month from now will be championship weekend, and then it's bowl season.

I'm enjoying this season! I don't want it to end!

Alas, all good things must come to an end, but hopefully the run we've been on in this column doesn't end before the season does.

Odds via SportsLine consensus

Games of the Week

No. 12 Missouri at No. 2 Georgia: Remember earlier this season when Georgia was kind of sleepwalking through the schedule? There was the slow start against South Carolina, and then the Bulldogs played with their food a little too long against Auburn. It made you wonder if this team had grown complacent or wasn't quite as good as the teams that won the last two national titles. Yeah, that feeling didn't last long, and just in case it was still lingering, last week's performance against Florida should have put it to rest.

Now, one could argue that Missouri is the toughest test the Bulldogs will face in the regular season, and there's plenty of merit to it. The problem is this will be Missouri's toughest test as well. While the Tigers are 7-1, I remember the loss a little too clearly. LSU did what LSU does and went off for 49 points and 533 yards against Mizzou, averaging more than 8 yards per play. The only other team on Missouri's schedule currently ranked is Kansas State. Now, the Tigers won that game, but it was their second-worst performance defensively. Basically, any time Missouri has played a good team, it's struggled to stop it. Georgia's pretty good and quarterback Carson Beck is cooking. I don't know how many stops the Tigers will get in this one, but I figure Georgia will get a few. Pick: Georgia -15 (-110)

No. 14 LSU at No. 8 Alabama: Can LSU beat Alabama? Of course it can. The Tigers might have the best offense in the country, and they certainly aren't worse than fifth. Any time you can put points up like this LSU squad does, you can beat anybody. Will LSU beat Alabama? That I'm not nearly as sure of. The part of this game I'm most confident about is that points will be scored.

After all, the Tigers have an elite offense but have still lost twice because they love to give up points as much as they score them. We've seen this LSU secondary ripped to shreds by quite a few teams this year. It ranks No. 105 nationally in explosive pass rate allowed, and Alabama loves taking deep shots. It's what the Crimson Tide's entire passing attack is built upon. I have a tough time imagining LSU keeps Alabama below 35 points (LSU allows 33.7 points per game against power-conference competition), and nobody has kept LSU below 24 points in a game this year. Pick: Over 60.5 (-110)

Lock of the Week

No. 19 UCLA at Arizona: I've been riding this wave all season and see no reason to get off the board now. Last week was the first time I used Arizona as my Lock of the Week, and the home dogs won outright against Oregon State. This week, the Wildcats are home dogs again against UCLA. Sure! Arizona is 7-1 ATS this season and covering by an average of 10.3 points per game. That includes a 5-0 mark ATS as a dog in which they've covered by an average of 17 points per game and won the last two outright.

Then there's UCLA. The Bruins are ranked and deserve to be. They're 6-2, and their lone losses have come to good teams (Utah and Oregon State). Both of those losses came on the road, where the Bruins will find themselves again this week. But while the Bruins have some lovely résumé losses, would you mind telling me what their best win has been? Is it a Washington State team that started nicely but is now 4-4 (1-4 in the Pac-12), or would you rather go with Coastal Carolina? I don't know how much longer it'll be before the market understands that Arizona is a good football team, but I hope it never does. Pick: Arizona +3 (-110)

Under of the Week

Army at No. 25 Air Force: I'm doing this out of duty. I mentioned this a few weeks ago when I told you to take the under in Air Force's game against Navy, but I fear for the future of the Service Academy Under. If you didn't know, the under has gone 44-10-1 in games between the service academies (Army, Air Force and Navy) since the 2005 season. It's been a bettor's best friend for nearly two decades now, but I am convinced it's a principle on life support.

Changes to the sport, as well as the academies, have put it in peril As you can see, the total for this game is quite low. It opened at 35.5 and has been bet down to this point because it's no longer a well-kept secret. However, I'm too loyal to an old friend to simply abandon it, so I will be with it until the bitter end. What do you say, Service Academy Under? Want to cash together at least two more times? Pick: Under 31.5 (-110)

Road Favorite of the Week

Kentucky at Mississippi State: I'm looking to take advantage of recency bias in this spot. Kentucky comes into the game on a three-game losing streak, but the losses have come against Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee. Nothing personal, Mississippi State, but you aren't the same caliber as those teams. You're the team that is 1-4 in SEC play and scoring 16.2 points per game against conference opponents. Hell, your only SEC win was a 7-3 snoozer over Arkansas that resembled kindergarten nap time. Nobody did anything except for the one kid in the corner crying because they missed their mom.

The Wildcats may have struggled against the better teams of the SEC but have proven reliable against the teams more on their level. They beat Florida by 19 and Vanderbilt by 17, and if you watched last week's loss to Tennessee you may have noticed quarterback Devin Leary looked better than he has in any other game this season. Kentucky should be closer to a touchdown favorite in this spot. Pick: Kentucky -3.5 (-105)

Fade of the Week

Houston at Baylor: I don't know that Baylor is the worst team in the Big 12, but do. you trust it as a favorite at all? I'm not sure I do. The Bears are 2-5-1 ATS this season, covering only against UCF and Cincinnati. However, the Bears were underdogs in both of those games.

Baylor has been favored twice -- vs. Texas State and Long Island. It lost to Texas State as 26.5-point favorites but managed to beat Long Island by 23 (while being favored by 45). Granted, Houston is coming in on a two-game losing streak and was spanked 41-0 by Kansas State last week. It's not exactly a shining example of a team you want to put your faith in, but last week's whooping is skewing the spread here just a little too much. The Pick: Houston +4 (-110)

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