Last week ATS: 10-4 (5-2 National, 5-2 B1G)
Season ATS: 99-68-3 (48-34 National, 51-34-3 B1G)
This season has truly been unbelievable for MC&J so far. Undoubtedly this is our best season to date. Since Thanksgiving is this week, not only do I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, I have added a few extra picks this week since we have so much football between Thursday and Saturday.
National games (All games Saturday unless otherwise noted):
(All lines courtesy of Draftkings sportsbook.)
No. 9 Ole Miss v. Mississippi State (-1) - Thursday 7:30 PM EST - ESPN
Forget the NFL games, this is going to be the best football game played on Thanksgiving. Just the coaching personalities in this game are worth the price of admission, with Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach squaring off for the second time in the Egg Bowl. Last year Ole Miss beat Mississippi State 31-24.
Right now I feel like Mississippi State is playing just a little better than Ole Miss. I almost feel like the Rebels peaked earlier in the season. Matt Corral is still playing at a high level, but some of the hits he has taking throughout the season are starting to pile up. While on the other side, Will Rogers has thrown 15 touchdowns in the last three games.
In a back-and-forth game, I’ll take the home team to edge out their rivals. The Bulldogs not only continue their hot play, they put some doubt into the New Year’s Six bowl plans of Ole Miss.
Mississippi State 38, Ole Miss 31
Boise State (-2.5) v. No. 21 San Diego State - Friday 12:00 PM EST - CBS
It’s probably no surprise that I’m going against San Diego State this year. I’m pretty sure that every time I have picked a SDSU game this year, I’ve picked against the Aztecs. Sure, they have a really good defense, and a punter that everyone loves, but I’m going to need a little more than that.
Boise State had a rough start to the season, sitting at 2-3 after their first five games. Since then the Broncos have won five of six games, including road wins against BYU and Fresno State. If Boise State can win on the road in Provo and Fresno, I see no reason why they can go and take down a San Diego State team that they might see against next week in the Mountain West Championship Game.
Boise State 27, Fresno State 17
No. 4 Cincinnati (-14) v. East Carolina - Friday 3:30 PM EST - ABC
Imagine what this game would have been like if East Carolina came into it with a 10-1 record. The Pirates lost by three to South Carolina, and took both Houston and Memphis to overtime before losing. East Carolina has a potent offense that is averaging nearly 450 yards per game. Holton Ahrens is nearing 3,000 yards passing this year, while Keaton Mitchell has rushed for 1,077 yards and nine touchdowns.
Although East Carolina can move the football and put points on the scoreboard, we saw the exact same thing with SMU last week. The Bearcats shut down the Mustangs, and there is no reason they can’t do the same to the Pirates. Cincinnati knows they are on the verge of earning a spot in the CFP, they just can’t let their foot off the gas.
Cincinnati 42, East Carolina 21
Florida State v. Florida (-3) - 12:00 PM EST - ESPN
I’m only picking this game because it is so hilarious. Who would have thought that we’d have the Seminoles and Gators battling for bowl eligibility. Florida State started the season 0-4, while Florida just fired Dan Mullen after losing four of their last five games. I know that the Seminoles are the hotter team right now, I just think the Gators are more talented and will play a little looser now that Mullen has been let go.
Florida 28, Florida State 20
No. 22 UTSA (-10.5) v. North Texas - 2:00 PM EST - ESPN+
If the Roadrunners stay undefeated, I feel like they are deserving to keep being included in MC&J. Last week I picked them against UAB, and while they won on the last play of the game, they didn’t win by quite enough to cover the spread.
North Texas has a lot to play for in this game. Not only do the Mean Green want to play spoiler, a win would make them bowl eligible. The problem is the offense of North Texas relies heavily on the run, which is what UTSA is great at defending. The Roadrunners are giving up 101 yards per game rushing. UTSA shuts down the run, forcing the Mean Green to pass the football more, which they aren’t nearly as good at. The Roadrunners will head into the Conference USA title game undefeated.
UTSA 37, North Texas 24
No. 3 Alabama (-19.5) v. Auburn - 3:30 PM EST - CBS
Auburn is a mess right now. The Tigers are coming off a loss to South Carolina, Bo Nix isn’t available to play due to injury, and who knows what the future holds for Bryan Harsin, who doesn’t sound like he is long for life on The Plains. All that just makes you wonder what kind of motivation that Auburn has for this year’s Iron Bowl.
Alabama hasn’t impressed all that much over the last month. This is the perfect time for the Crimson Tide to gain some confidence heading into the SEC Championship Game next week. Bryce Young knows he has to put up some big numbers to keep pace with C.J. Stroud in the Heisman Trophy race. Auburn doesn’t put up much resistance as the Crimson Tide cruise.
Alabama 45, Auburn 20
Oregon State v. No. 11 Oregon (-7) - 3:30 PM EST - ESPN
This season feels like it is starting to spiral out of control for Oregon. Not only is Oregon reeling after their loss to Utah, the Ducks are dealing with a number of injuries. While their College Football Playoff hopes are gone, Oregon still is in the drivers seat of the PAC-12 North. The Ducks have no room for error, though.
Even if Oregon State wins, it doesn’t mean they’ll take the PAC-12 North. If Washington State beats Washington on Friday before Oregon State beats Oregon, it’ll send Washington State to the PAC-12 Championship Game. No matter what happens in the Apple Cup, I like Oregon State’s chances a lot here to earn their first win in Eugene since 2007. B.J. Baylor is leading the conference in rushing, and I think Baylor and the Beavers have a big day on the ground as they upset the Ducks.
Oregon State 27, Oregon 24
No. 15 Texas A&M (-6.5) v. LSU - 7:00 PM EST - ESPN
Maybe LSU comes to play in their final home game under Ed Orgeron. I just think the Tigers are going to need quite an effort to upset Texas A&M if they want to win one for the fired gipper. Even with some added motivation, LSU is still a pretty flawed team. It’s not like the Tigers were all that impressive last week against Louisiana-Monroe, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
The coach who should be motivated more in this game is Jimbo Fisher. There has been talk of Fisher going to coach at LSU, which he has shot down numerous times. Why not show you aren’t interested in the job than by beating the Tigers? Plus, a win would keep Texas A&M in the mix for a New Year’s Six bowl. The Aggies ride their defense to their first win in Baton Rouge since 1995.
Texas A&M 31, LSU 21
No. 10 Oklahoma v. No. 7 Oklahoma State (-4) - 7:30 PM - ABC
Death, taxes, and Oklahoma beating Oklahoma State in Bedlam. Those are the few certainties in life. Much like how Ohio State has owned Michigan over the last couple decades, the Sooners have won 16 of the last 18 over Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma might be a flawed team, but I think Oklahoma State is more of a fraud team. The Sooners have had well-documented defensive issues during the season. Those issues come more when their opponents are passing the football, which is something that Oklahoma State isn’t all that great at, even though Spencer Sanders has been their quarterback for like 12 years. If Oklahoma can shutdown running back Jaylen Warren, they should be in good shape.
I know Oklahoma State has been great on defense this year. I just don’t think the Cowboys have faced a quarterback as dynamic as Caleb Williams, even with Williams having just a few starts under his belt. If Williams isn’t effective, the Sooners can always turn to Spencer Rattler, which is quite a luxury. The Sooners make it seven straight wins over Mike Gundy.
Oklahoma 34, Oklahoma State 27
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.