Last week: 2-0 (YTD: 2-0)
**#17 Indiana @ #18 Iowa, 2:30 PM CT
Pick: Iowa -4 (-110 DK)**
Hawks by a Million!!! The atmosphere in Kinnick will be insane as RB Tyler Goodson gets upwards of 25 attempts. Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr. will make it interesting, but he may struggle getting reacclimated to game-action coming off a season-ending ACL injury. If Iowa’s secondary can limit chunk plays, the Hawks can win this game on the ground.
10 North Carolina @ Virginia Tech, 5:00 PM CT, ESPN
Pick: Virginia Tech +5.5 (-105 DK)
Hokie head coach Justin Fuente hasn’t lived up to the expectations in Blacksburg through two seasons so far, but he gets a chance to give VT its first top-10 win since 2009 on Friday night. UNC QB Sam Howell has been a popular pre-season Heisman pick, but the Tar Heels need to replace three NFL-caliber playmakers. VT returns its top tackler and sack producer to pair with a veteran secondary. With question marks surrounding UNC’s playmaking ability, I like the Hokies defense to keep this within a score.
Stanford @ Kansas State, 11:00 AM CT
Pick: Kansas State -3 (-115 DK)
This game features two power-rush teams that will slow the pace, but Kansas State has a significant advantage at quarterback. KSU’s senior QB Skylar Thompson returns after injuries ended his 2020 campaign, while Stanford tries to replace a two-year starter in Davis Mills. Also, KSU RB Deuce Vaughn is coming off an All-American season as a true freshman last year. I’ll take Thompson’s experience and Vaughn’s ability to move the chains in a fairly even matchup.
Georgia @ #3 Clemson, 6:30 PM CT, ABC
Pick: Over 24.5 Total 1H (+105 DK)
The best game of the weekend will feature D.J. Uiagalelei’s starting debut for the Tigers, while J.T. Daniels looks to build on some late-season success in 2020. These offenses are capable of fireworks, and I think they’ll both come out firing. Both squads are relatively young on defense, which should allow each QB to execute a script and score early.
6 LSU @ UCLA, 7:30 PM CT, FOX
Pick: UCLA ML (+120 DK)
UCLA dismantled a suspect Hawaii team last week, and there’s something to be said for having a game under your belt. RB Zach Charbonnet looked unstoppable last week, and LSU isn’t overly formidable in the front seven. The Tigers have been practicing in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Ida and will start sophomore QB Max Thompson. UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson wasn’t sharp last week, and LSU’s star-studded secondary should persuade Chip Kelly to feature the running game. Under 65 is another solid pick in this one.