Since allowing 42 points to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, the Alabama Crimson Tide has outscored four Southeastern Conference opponents 121-10 in first three quarters of games. Nick Saban, who has been busy shooting down coaching rumors this week, has his team playing near-perfect football heading into its biggest game of the season. A 12-point spread against Les Miles and Louisiana State seems a bit much, but it’s a fair representation of the wide gulf between Alabama and the rest of the SEC this season.
Another wide gulf: the expertise of the Pro in analyzing matchups compared with resident Miami Herald novice picker Joe Goodman. For the Pro, Lee Sterling of ParamountSports.com, last week was a return to his normal winning ways. Sterling went 5-3 against the spread and 7-1 straight up. Joe managed to somehow break even against the spread (4-4) and went 6-2 straight up. Predictably, because he’s the Pro, Sterling is an amazing 48-29-3 against the spread this season and 57-23 straight up. Joe is 40-37-3 against the spread and 58-22 straight up. On to the picks!
North Carolina State at Duke, Duke by 9
Florida State at Wake Forest, Florida State by 34 1/2
Virginia Tech at Miami, Miami by 7
Vanderbilt at Florida, Florida by 9 1/2
Nebraska at Michigan, Michigan by 7
FIU at Middle Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State by 18
Houston at UCF, UCF by 10
LSU at Alabama, Alabama by 12