How is it week seven of college football already? Time moves too fast, honestly. Hail Varsity’s Brandon Vogel, Erin Sorensen, Mike Babcock and Chris Schmidt are back, alongside Opendorse’s Blake Lawrence, to hedge their bets once again on another weekend of college football games.
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.
Alabama (-12.5) at Tennessee
BV: Tennessee got its win this week with the rescheduling of Florida-LSU. One is probably all it will get. PICK: Alabama 28, Tennessee 21
ES: I’d like to think Tennessee could take this one but I’ve learned not to bet against Nick Saban. PICK: Alabama 34, Tennessee 21
CS: This game will come down to turnovers. Alabama has forced 13 turnovers, caused nine fumbles and gets after the quarterback to the tune of 24 sacks. Roll Tide. PICK: Alabama 31, Tennessee 21
MB: Tennessee has lost eight fumbles and thrown eight interceptions in six games. Alabama has seven touchdowns on turnovers in six games. Do the math. PICK: Alabama 42, Tennessee 27
BL: I was tempted to make this my new ‘game Alabama shouldn’t lose’ pick, but Tennessee has been through too much wackiness to have gas in the tank to stop the Tide. PICK: Alabama 24, Tennessee 20
Ohio State (-10) at Wisconsin
BV: The Badgers will make things tough on the Buckeyes’ offense, but won’t be able to score enough on their own to spring the upset. PICK: Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 13
ES: It helps Wisconsin to be at home, but I don’t give that too much weight. Ohio State is good no matter where they play. No sad pizza on a golf cart for Urban Meyer this week. PICK: Ohio State 41, Wisconsin 24
CS: Ohio State got a mini-wake up call versus Indiana last weekend. Wisconsin’s defense is incredible, but their offense is tough to take. They won’t do much versus the Silver Bullets. Ohio State gets a big game in special teams and Barrett throws well enough to to escape with a win. PICK: Ohio State 20, Wisconsin 9
MB: At least the Badgers had an off-week, following a close loss at Michigan. And they are playing at home. Camp Randall can be intimidating, especially at night. Heck, Madison can be. PICK: The Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 27
BL: Ohio State looked surprisingly human last week versus Indiana. Wisconsin is at home, following a bye week. If I weren’t so high on the Buckeyes being the best team in the country, I’d pick the Badgers. Ohio State wins it. PICK: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 31
Ole Miss (-7.5) at Arkansas
BV: Sooner or later I’m going to have to pick Arkansas to actually just win one of these games. This week isn’t that week, but I’ll take the Hogs to put a scare into the Rebels. PICK: Ole Miss 28, Arkansas 27
ES: I like Ole Miss in this game. There’s going to be a lot of touchdowns which will be fun, and I give the Rebels the edge. PICK: Ole Miss 41, Arkansas 31
CS: Expect a lot of offense, again. Arkansas’s defense isn’t going to be up to the task and the trend of Arkansas outlasting Ole Miss ends for now. Give me the Rebs. PICK: Ole Miss 41, Arkansas 35
MB: The Hogs have lost two of their last three games to fall out of contention in the SEC West. But they’ve won their last two games against Ole Miss. So they’ve got that going for them. PICK: Ole Miss 45, Arkansas 31
BL: Both teams have have lost to Alabama at home and have fallen short in an early season away game. Of the two non-Alabama losses, I say Arkansas’s loss at A&M looks prettier than Ole Miss’s loss at FSU. I hope that’s a logical way to make decisions. PICK: Arkansas 38, Ole Miss 28
Northwestern at Michigan State (-5)
BV: The battle of the two Big Ten teams Pythagorean wins liked the least heading into 2016. Have to think Michigan State gets back to being at least a little bit like itself here. PICK: Michigan State 17, Northwestern 10
ES: Come on, Michigan State. Get back on track this week. Please? PICK: Michigan State 14, Northwestern 10
CS: I have no clue really what’s up with Michigan State. Quarterback play mixed with a less than dominate offensive line is the issue. Northwestern comes in rested after a bye week and a road win at Iowa. Michigan State has to have this and I think they get it at home. PICK: Michigan State 21, Northwestern 17
MB: Who’s going to start at quarterback for the Spartans as they try to snap a three-game losing streak. They’re at home. And Mark Dantonio has shaken up the depth chart. PICK: Michigan State 21, Northwestern 17
BL: Northwestern is coming off a bye week after a big road win over Iowa. MSU has forgotten how to sack opposing QB’s. It’s hard to win in East Lansing, but Clayton Thorson and the gang will copy BYU’s formula and come out on top this week. PICK: Northwestern 24, Michigan State 21
Nebraska (-3.5) at Indiana
BV: Plenty of people are picking the Hoosiers here, but I’ll stick with Nebraska in what should be considered a very good win (presuming it happens). PICK: Nebraska 31, Indiana 20
ES: It’s going to be a good game. I know that. I just don’t see the Hoosiers winning this one. PICK: Nebraska 31, Indiana 24
CS: I was very impressed with the Hoosiers against Ohio State. They looked fast, physical and didn’t blink. The IU offense isn’t that great, but the defense is for real. If Nebraska wins it will be because of Tommy Armstrong. Can the Blackshirts do their part against the IU run attack? Nebraska guts this one out. PICK: Nebraska 28, Hoosiers 27
MB: No Westerkamp. No Carter. Armstrong less than 100 percent. Can the Huskers pressure Lagow and stop the run better than they did against Illinois? PICK: Nebraska 27, Indiana 24
BL: Thank goodness for the bye week. A healthy Tommy Armstrong would be nice, as the Huskers will need his legs to move the chains on Saturday. Watch out for some early deep passes from Indiana — Nebraska’s secondary will be challenged all day. PICK: Nebraska 31, Indiana 24
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.