5) No. 17 Tennessee at No. 11 Alabama (-9.5) (3:30 p.m., CBS)
Tennessee and Alabama faced off last season, in a 52-49 thriller at Bryant-Denny Stadium. However, Hendon Hooker and Bryce Young will not return. Joe Milton and Jalen Milroe have improved in SEC play. Which quarterback gets run support? Tennessee (2.98) and Alabama (3.0) both rank among the top ten for fewest yards per carry allowed while Tennessee averaged only 3.3 yards on the ground during their loss to Florida on Sept 16 – something which must not happen again at Bryant-Denny Stadium if Tennessee hopes to do better at Bryant-Denny.
Prediction: Alabama 27 Tennessee 23(Take the Vols +9.5)
Iowa has won the last eight straight Floyd of Rosedale meetings and has an opportunity to regain control of the Big Ten West race. The last four meetings at Kinnick Stadium averaged an average margin of victory of 5.2 points per contest; Minnesota received a bye week to prepare but has struggled as underdogs this season, going 0-2 against the spread while Iowa remains unbeaten when favoriting by single digits.
Prediction: Iowa 24 Minnesota 17(Take Iowa -5.5)
Will Riley Leonard return? That is the question facing a Blue Devils team led by second-year coach Mike Elko, which has been an underdog powerhouse under him. They have gone 6-2 ATS as an underdog overall (including 3-1 as a road underdog), with no losses by double digits since Elko took over; therefore, this line could drop even further before kickoff to give the home team more value; Florida State leads 19-0 all-time in this series, and an upset would be surprising indeed!
Prediction: Florida State 34 Duke 17
How will USC rebound after their five-turnover performance against Notre Dame? Utah ranks fifth among FBS scoring defense (12.2) and had their way in last season’s Pac-12 Championship matchup, where Utah averaged 44 points per game against USC. Utah is the more complete team, and I love the value of the spread in this game.
Prediction: Utah 24 USC 20
Arizona State had a bye week to prepare for their road trip to Washington and should expect to experience an emotional release as they play against an opponent that averages 42 points per game but allows 29.7, creating opportunities for Arizona State. They edged Washington 45-38 last season. The Huskies are bound to have a letdown after the Oregon game, they will win, but they won’t cover.
Prediction: Washington 42 Arizona State 24
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