College Football Rivalry Week Lock Alert PicksJosh Bailey
It’s always tough to find locks in the college football betting odds during Rivalry Week, but here are a few games that shouldn’t be passed upon.
Stanford battles UCLA in a game that should go a long way in solidifying UCLA’s Pac 12 South dominance while Virginia travels to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech. In the other lock game of the week Michigan battles Ohio State in perhaps the biggest rivalry matchup in all of college football.
Analyzing My College Football Rivalry Week Lock Picks
Stanford Cardinal at No. 9 UCLA Bruins
When: Friday, Nov. 28 at 3:30 pm ET
Betting Line: UCLA -4.5
Analysis: The Bruins have won 5 games in a row. None was as big as the 38 to 20 whipping that they put onto USC this past Saturday in the yearly UCLA versus USC battle on the grid iron.
— UCLA Athletics (@UCLAAthletics) November 23, 2014
UCLA dominated from the outset although QB Brett Hundley did appear to throw a couple of errant passes that the Trojans couldn’t capitalize on. Now, the Bruins take on a Stanford team that has fallen on hard times. 6 and 5 Stanford has lost 3 out of their last 5 games. The defense has become just okay and the offense can be close to putrid if it’s not clicking.
Stanford is 1 and 4 against the spread in their away games this season while UCLA has covered spreads in their last 3 games versus Arizona, Washington and USC, three teams that are actually better than the Cardinal.
Rivalry Week Lock Pick: UCLA -4.5
Virginia Cavaliers at Virginia Tech Hokies
When: Friday, Nov. 28 at 8:00 pm ET
Betting Line: Virginia -2
Analysis: At the beginning of the season, there is no way that any football handicapper could have predicted that in the rivalry game between Virginia and Virginia Tech, it would be the Hokies that would be the underdog.
What really stings is that this game is in Blacksburg and the Hokies are still underdogs. That’s how far Virginia Tech has fallen this season. The House that Vick built is in disarray. Virginia Tech is 1 and 5 against the spread at home and it’s lost 4 out of its last 5 straight up including dropping a game to Wake Forest by a 3 to 6 score in its last. The losses to Pittsburgh, Miami and Boston College were nothing to cheer about either.
The Cavaliers stopped a 4 game losing streak by beating Miami 30 to 13 as a 4 point dog in their last. Virginia has the momentum since they’ve covered the spread in two straight.
Rivalry Week Lock Pick: Virginia -2
Michigan Wolverines at No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes
When: Saturday, Nov. 29 at 12:00 pm ET
Betting Line: Ohio State -20
Analysis: Yes, in 2014 the Buckeyes could only beat the Wolverines 42 to 41. And, yes, Ohio State is only 2 and 3 against the spread in their last 5 games, but this Michigan team is an absolute mess and the Buckeyes are knocking on the Selection Committee’s door.
Ohio State, with a big win here and one in the Big Ten Championship, could make a case for a spot in the Top 4. That would be something since the Buckeyes continue to suffer from the loss to Virginia Tech way back in Week 2.
.@OSUCoachMeyer: We just make a huge deal about rivalry games. This is not another game. It is the game. It's always been a huge deal.
— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) November 24, 2014
Michigan continues to underperform. It’s gone 1 and 3 against the spread in its last 4 games and has lost 2 out of its last 4 including dropping a game to Maryland straight up, 16 to 23, as a -6 point home favorite.
The Buckeyes should roll on Saturday.