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SMU-Memphis and Georgia-Florida pace Week 10’s national college football betting lines

The Tigers will be looking to halt SMU’s undefeated season, while the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is a College Football Playoff eliminator.

Navy v Memphis Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Last week ATS: 5-9 (3-3 National, 2-6 B1G)

Season ATS: 62-60-3 (27-24-2 National, 35-36-1 B1G)

There’s no other way to describe last week than bad. Thankfully MC&J was .500 on national picks, because the week’s Big Ten picks were absolutely brutal. This week’s action isn’t all that great aside from a couple games, but I think we found some winners to get back on track.

National games:

West Virginia v. No. 12 Baylor (-18.5) - Thursday 10/31 8:00 PM EST - ESPN

Not that it is all that big of an accomplishment, but Baylor has the best defense in the Big 12. The Bears are giving up less than 360 yards per game to opponents, and have only allowed 30 points once this season. This week Baylor will be taking on a West Virginia offense that is really struggling, scoring just 14 points in each of their last two games.

With head coach Neal Brown in his first year with the school, the offense of the Mountaineers is a far cry from what it was under Dana Holgorsen. West Virginia can’t run the football, which should allow Baylor to focus on putting pressure on Oklahoma transfer quarterback Austin Kendall.

Matt Rhule really has something cooking at Baylor. With their tough defense to go along with veteran quarterback Charlie Brewer and a number of weapons on offense, the Bears could be the surprise of the year in college football. Next week starts a tough three-game stretch for Baylor, with games against TCU, Oklahoma, and Texas, so I’d expect Rhule to have his team focused on tonight’s game to head into that stretch with a quality performance.

Baylor 44, West Virginia 21

Georgia Southern v. No. 20 Appalachian State (-15) - Thursday 10/31 8:00 PM EST - ESPNU

Another undefeated team taking the field on Thursday night is Appalachian State. The Mountaineers have already defeated this season, and will get another shot at a high-profile win next week when they take on South Carolina. Appalachian State has allowed seven points or less in their last three games. Zac Thomas has put together a solid season so far at quarterback, throwing for 11 touchdowns, while running bak Darrynton Evans has rushed for 10 touchdowns.

After a tough start to the season, with losses to LSU and Minnesota early on, Georgia Southern has come on of late, winning their last three games. Prior to last week’s 41-7 blowout of New Mexico State, the Eagles were living life on the wild side, going to triple overtime and double overtime in their previous two games.

Don’t expect Georgia Southern to do much through the air, as the Eagles are averaging nearly 260 yards per game on the ground. If Appalachian State can stop some drives early, it could be trouble for the Eagles, but I’m expecting Shai Werts and Georgia Southern to hold put together some long, time consuming drives to stay inside the number.

Appalachian State 28, Georgia Southern 20

No. 8 Georgia (-6) v. No. 6 Florida - 3:30 PM EST - CBS

The social experiment that is the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” is upon us. Nothing like putting a bunch of Georgia and Florida fans in Jacksonville and praying they don’t burn the stadium down. There will be a little extra sauce on this year’s matchup with both teams ranked inside the top 10. The winner of Saturday’s game will put a stranglehold on the SEC East.

Out of these two teams, Georgia is the team that can’t afford another loss. It almost feels like Florida is playing with house money with all they have gone through this year, while the season will be a major disappointment for the Bulldogs if they don’t make the College Football Playoff. Georgia hasn’t really been all that good this year. The Bulldogs have talented on both sides of the football, but they have really struggled to put everything together.

This game is going to come down to defenses and coaching. Both teams have stellar defenses. Florida will get a boost with defensive ends Jabari Zuniga and Jonathan Greenard returning from injuries to put pressure on Jake Fromm. The big difference is Florida has better coaching in this matchup. I just don’t trust Kirby Smart in big games. I’ll not only take the points in a defensive battle, but I’ll also take the Gators to pull the upset.

Florida 24, Georgia 21

No. 9 Utah (-3.5) v. Washington - 4:00 PM EST - FOX

Since Utah lost to USC last month, the Utes have been trucking their opponents, winning each of their last four games by at least 18 points. Over the last three games, Utah has given up a combined 10 points. Regrouping from the loss to the Trojans has helped the Utes stay in the conversation for the Rose Bowl, as well as given them an outside shot at the College Football Playoff.

Washington got a much needed week off last week after a tough 35-31 loss to rival Oregon a couple weeks ago. Even though the Huskies have lost three games this season, they are still dangerous every time they take the field. Quarterback Jacob Eason has been good in his first year as starting quarterback for the Huskies, while running back Salvon Ahmed showed a lot of toughness against Oregon, rushing for 140 yards on 24 carries.

Utah will certainly be looking for revenge after losing to Washington twice last year, but I don’t think the Utes will get it. Even though Utah is playing really well right now, it’s not easy to go into Seattle and leave with a victory. Just look at how much Oregon had to expend to beat the Huskies. Washington throws a wrench into Utah’s lofty bowl season plans.

Washington 27, Utah 24

No. 15 SMU v. No. 24 Memphis (-6) - 7:30 PM EST - ABC

Who would’ve thought at the beginning of the season that in the first weekend in November would see College GameDay in Memphis and the showdown between the Mustangs and Tigers battling in the ABC primetime game? Imagine the odds you could’ve gotten on a bet like that. Not that the two teams aren’t deserving of this spotlight, as SMU and Memphis have been two of the most exciting teams in the country this year.

SMU didn’t exactly impress last week in a 34-31 win over Houston, but they were able to stay undefeated. The Mustangs could be shorthanded on offense this week, as the status of leading wide receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. is up in the air. Even if Roberson isn’t able to play, that won’t stop quarterback Shane Buechele from trying to air it out against the Tigers.

There’s something about these two teams and Tulsa. After the Golden Hurricanes took SMU to triple overtime last month, Tulsa almost upset Memphis last week, missing a 29-yard field goal as time expired. Quarterback Brady White should be able to match anything Buechele does through the air, while running back Kenneth Gainwell is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing on the season.

At some point SMU is going to fall this season, and Saturday night makes the most sense. The Mustangs have been playing with fire a bit the last few weeks. Memphis is good enough on both sides of the football to hand SMU their first loss of the season, and the Tigers will be juiced on Saturday night at the Liberty Bowl will all the extra attention this game is getting.

Memphis 41, SMU 31

No. 7 Oregon (-4.5) v. USC - 8:00 PM EST - FOX

After dominating their opponents for much of the season, things have been a little bit tougher for Oregon the last two weeks. The Ducks have allowed at least 30 points in their last two games, which is a concern after they went such a long stretch this year without allowing more than seven points in a game. Quarterback Justin Herbert has been great this year, but the Ducks have had to deal with so many injuries that at some point it catches up to you.

Speaking of injuries, USC will show Oregon no sympathy when it comes to injuries. The Trojans lost quarterback J.T. Daniels in the season opener, leaving true freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis to take the snaps for USC. Even Slovis was injured for a few games but he has been able to play in the last three games, and has played pretty well, throwing eight touchdowns and just one interception over that span.

Even though the Trojans haven’t lived up to expectations this year, they are still playing really well at home. USC has already upset Utah in Los Angeles this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them do the same to Oregon. The Pac-12 loves to cannibalize each other to keep themselves out of the College Football Playoff. This is the latest edition of that show.

USC 34, Oregon 30