Feel free to chime in with your own picks too. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Our weekly Friday Forecast is presented by the Gamblers Assistance Program, the Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling and Choices Treatment Center. If you or someone you love has a problem with gambling, call the state-wide help line at 1-800-522-4700.
Western Michigan (-18.5) vs. Ohio
BV: A classic pairing. We have the MAC’s top-ranked rushing offense (WMU) versus the conference’s top-ranked rushing defense (Ohio). I don’t think the Bobcats can score anywhere near enough points to keep up with the Broncos and I’ll take Western Michigan to get the half-point cover. PICK: Western Michigan 36, Ohio 17
ES: I’d like to take Ohio (and Frank Solich) to win this one, but I think Western Michigan is going to be too much. It’ll be interesting for awhile, but that’s about it. PICK: Western Michigan 38, Ohio 21
CS: The Broncos are playing fast and confident. Can they handle distraction about their coach? The Fighting Franks hang around but too much boat rowing. PICK: Western Michigan 41, Ohio 21
MB: Can Frank Solich’s team pull off an upset in Detroit for the MAC championship? That’d be cool. Go Bobcats. But it’s not likely to happen. Western Michigan is playing for an undefeated season and a bid to play in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2. PICK: Western Michigan 45, Ohio 27
BL: Western Michigan’s impressive season will be capped with a big win in the MAC title game. Frank Solich and the Bobcats might challenge the Broncos in the first half, as they’ve got a solid defense, but WMU QB Zach Terrell is too good to be stopped for all four quarters. PICK: Western Michigan 45, Ohio 20
Colorado vs. Washington (-7.5)
BV: Can the Buffs run against the league’s best rush defense? That’s what will probably determine this one. The Huskies are the more complete team, but Colorado has a knack for hanging in there this season. PICK: Washington 27, Colorado 21
ES: I’ve been impressed with the Buffs this year so I’m going to give this one to Nebraska’s former Big 12 nemesis. Sorry, Washington. PICK: Colorado 31, Washington 28
CS: The Buffs play well as an underdog. They’ll play that card heavy but it’s too much Washington. As Coach Barnett put it, Washington has nine first team all-conference selection. Buffs have one. PICK: Washington 38, Colorado 28
MB: Washington needs an impressive victory against the Buffaloes at Santa Clara, California, to solidify its claim to a spot in the playoffs. The Huskies are fourth right now, maybe a tenuous fourth. Washington has recent history on its side. The North Division is 5-0 in Pac-12 title games. PICK: Colorado 35, Washington 31
BL: Statistically, this is one of the most even matchups you’ll see this weekend. I’m picking Colorado in an upset — if there is anyone that can stop Jake Browning and the Huskies offense, it’s LB Kenne Olugbode and the Buffs defense. PICK: Colorado 35, Washington 34
Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma (-11.5)
BV: The Sooners might have the best offense in the country and the defense has been sort of not terrible of late. That said, Oklahoma State will still get its points, just not enough in what will end up being the Big 12 equivalent of a 24-17 game. PICK: Oklahoma 42, Oklahoma State 35
ES: I’m excited about this game. It’s going to be a lot of offense, which is always entertaining. Still? Boomer Sooner. PICK: Oklahoma 45, Oklahoma State 35
CS: Oklahoma had the running game to blast almost anyone. Will the Sooners use it to hang onto the ball and keep a Cowboy offense off the field? I think so. Pokes cover but lose. PICK: Oklahoma 45, Oklahoma State 38
MB: I have a friend who’s the ultimate Oklahoma State fan. He’s dealing with some health issues but is still ready for Saturday’s game in Norman. So though I’m thinking Oklahoma will parlay the home-field advantage into a victory, I’m going with the Cowboys, whom my friend assures me will be ready. PICK: Oklahoma State 41, Oklahoma 38
BL: Both of these teams haven’t lost since the first few weeks of the season. If it weren’t for Okie State’s fluke loss to Central Michigan in Week 2, they would be the darling of the Big 12 with a CFP berth on the line. Both Bedlam teams are on a hot streak, but Mayfield and the Sooners are gonna bring the heat in a high scoring game. PICK: Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 35
Clemson (-10) vs. Virginia Tech
BV: Really impressed by Justin Fuente’s first season in Blacksburg, but Clemson knows what’s at stake here. It also has one of the three or four most talented rosters in the country. PICK: Clemson 35, Virginia Tech 24
ES: I like Clemson in this matchup and I think the Tigers know what’s at stake. Virginia Tech just isn’t a match for the Tigers at this point. PICK: Clemson 35, Virginia Tech 21
CS: I think the Tigers will be ready and explosive. They will remember last year’s nail biter against UNC and be focused. Hokies will have a hard time with this stage. PICK: Clemson 37, Virginia Tech 21
MB: Clemson has a lot at stake, of course. Deshaun Watson’s passing numbers are impressive, 3,626 yards and 34 touchdowns. But so are Jerod Evans’ – 3,045 yards and 26 touchdowns, with only five interceptions. Clemson’s defense has 42 sacks. How do those stats fit? PICK: Clemson 30, Virginia Tech 21
BL: Clemson’s will finish their near perfect season with a statement victory over VT. Deshaun Watson will put up big numbers and the Clemson D will give a preview of the dominance they’ll bring to the CFP. PICK: Clemson 35, Virginia Tech 15
Wisconsin (-2.5) vs. Penn State
BV: Flip a coin, really. Wisconsin, I think is a touch better overall, but Penn State is as hot as any team in the country. This game may not be pretty, but it should be fun. PICK: Wisconsin 24, Penn State 21
ES: Had you told me back in August that this would be the matchup for Big Ten championship, I’m not sure I would have believed you. I want to say Wisconsin is better, but I’m not convinced. I think Penn State’s sneaky enough to win and they will. PICK: Penn State 24, Wisconsin 21
CS: Lions are rolling on offense. That Badger defense will get stung but not wilt. Just enough run game for Wisconsin to claim the Big Ten. PICK: Badgers 28, Penn State 27
MB: A Wisconsin victory could muddle the playoff, especially if Washington doesn’t win, maybe impressively, in the Pac-12 championship game. We’ll know that result before the Badgers and Nittany Lions kick off in Indianapolis. This figures to be the least offensive of the five games here. PICK: Wisconsin 21, Penn State 20
BL: This has been my favorite year of Big Ten Football since Nebraska joined in 2011, as the conference has ascended to be the country’s finest. As the nation tunes in Saturday night, they’ll see an all-out brawl in the trenches. Penn State will emerge victorious, but they’ll need to force turnovers to get there. PICK: Penn State 21, Wisconsin 17
Our picks today are for entertainment
purposes only. Between 6 and 8 million Americans meet the criteria for
gambling addiction, and many more are affected by another individual’s
gambling problem. Don’t gamble more than you can afford and if it stops
being fun seek help.
Problem gambling is not a bad habit or a moral weakness. It’s a
serious condition. But with help, problem gamblers can put the game in
perspective and make decisions to improve their lives.
If you or someone you love has a gambling problem, in Lincoln
call Choices treatment center 24/7 at 402-476-2300 or statewide call The
Nebraska Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-522-4700. Help is
free so call today.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.