By Bob Gaughan
Weekly Record 9-5-2, Overall Record 56-36-3
MR. OVER/UNDER: Chicago +4.5 over Minnesota
About half the games in the NFL this weekend will determine who plays who and where in the playoffs. Maybe you’ve noticed that the over/unders for this week are much lower than they’ve been all year. This is a good indication that Vegas expects many games to be close. Chicago has coved the spread more than any team this year. They’re getting 4.5 in a game that counts and should be low scoring. They won’t have to worry about the weather in Minnesota, so I like the Bears getting points.
Man in Stripes: Northwestern +7.5 over Utah
If you’re looking for excitement on New Year’s Eve, this isn’t the place your going to find it. I expect both teams to slog their way through this Holiday Bowl. Neither team is fancy and both like to run the clock. Utah is without their best RB and QB. It showed in the PAC-12 Championship game. Their offense was awful. Utah scored just three points in that game. Northwestern has won 7 of 8 and has found their offense. They gave Ohio State fits in the Big 10 Title contest. Too many points in a game Northwestern can win outright.
Mono: Syracuse -2.5 over West Virginia
Syracuse is coming off a great season. Things definitely turned around for them. I didn’t like them at first but finding out that Will Grier and his favorite receiver Greg Jennings are both sitting out. I fell in love with Syracuse. They are at looking at one of their best seasons with a win. I can’t trust WV with their QB and best WR out. Spread under a field goal. Syracuse rolls and covers this spread with ease.
Slick: Notre Dame +13 over Clemson
I really don’t understand this line in a game that I believe is very close. I can see if maybe Clemson was a seven-point favorite but 13 is way too much. People don’t realize that Notre Dame is legit. They have a defense that is just as good as Clemson’s. Offensively they played better the second half of the year. I think this game is very tight. Thirteen points is outrageous.
Mr. Brutal: Oregon -2.5 over Michigan State.
News came out this week that Oregon QB, Justin Herbert is coming back for his senior season. This was a shock because many thought he was a first round pick. What this di was send positive shock waves through the Ducks program for this game. Oregon has scored over 30 points eight times this year. Their offense has started to click late and their best offensive game was their last one in the Civil War vs Oregon State. Watching Michigan State is like watching paint dry. If they had any offense they should of beat Michigan and Ohio State. Problem is they don’t. I’ll take Oregon.
Bob Gaughan: Northwestern +7.5 over Utah (Double Down)
Year in and year out the best-coached team in college football is Northwestern for my money. Give Pat Fitzgerald a month to prepare and this team will be ready. The Wildcats played Michigan and Ohio State very tough. There’s no way in my mind that they should be getting over a touchdown. This maybe a tough defensive game that comes down to a field goal either way. Utah has struggled without their RB and QB that should both still be out for this one.