Yesterday, Luke picked a monster quintet. Unfortunately, that was just about it as far as impact games go this week, so we're left looking for a theme. Today, we'll examine five games where the pointspread is just too good to pass up. I mean, if one were to do anything with the information, which you won't because this is For Entertainment Purposes Only.
EAST CAROLINA (-2) over North Carolina, 2:30 p.m. ESPN
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville NC
JM: This game opened with the line exactly the opposite, UNC favored by two. The money's on the right track here. No, East Carolina's won over Virginia Tech didn't prove much other than Ohio State's a floundering mess without Braxton Miller. No, the Pirates did not possess the killer instinct you'd like to see from a team that gets off to a huge lead early. Then again, the officials pillaged anywhere from 10-14 points from the Pirates, which I guess is sort of ironic. North Carolina's not that good. East Carolina covers.
LT: It's tough to have much faith in the ACC right now, and North Carolina didn't exactly impress last week against San Diego State. The Pirates should still have some momentum from that win against Virginia Tech and their 10-point loss to South Carolina looks a lot better now. Finally, UNC gave up 341 passing yards last week, and ECU averages 374 per game, good for 7th in the country. Pirates cover easily.
Massachusetts (+30) over PENN STATE 3:00 p.m., BTN
Beaver Stadium, State College PA
JM: No, UMass is not going to derail the Nittany Lions' quest to go from ineligibility to the playoff overnight. But they've shown some life, and Penn State was not exactly brimming with awesome against Rutgers. It won't be close, but I think 30 is too high. UMass covers, barely, maybe on a garbage-time score or something.
LT: UMass "showed some life" by blowing a huge early lead against an awful Vandy team, and the Commodores had something like 3 touchdowns called back, mostly because of their own stupidity. I'm not really impressed at all by the Minutemen, but it's hard to believe Penn State could be favored by 30 against anyone considering they haven't scored more than 26 in 3 wins against Rutgers, Akron and UCF. The Nittany Lions may well get to 30 this Saturday, but I don't think they win by that much. UMass covers.
WYOMING (-4) over Florida Atlantic, 3:00 p.m., no TV (MWC Video)
War Memorial Stadium, Laramie WY
JM: Okay, once again I'm grabbing an untelevised game, only this time it really is untelevised. But this one is irresistible, because it's a free win, folks. (Also, this was the last game I decided to go with, and there wasn't anything more interesting left on the board.) Florida Atlantic isn't good. They got smoked by an Alabama team that was on cruise control, and they beat the snot out of the worst Tulsa team in... god, years and years. Meanwhile, it's Wyoming. You remember them; they covered against Oregon last week. Four points, in Laramie, with Craig Bohl patrolling the sideline? Cowboys cover.
LT: Not only did Wyoming cover that 43.5 point spread last week, they actually led 7-0 after a quarter. Of course, that probably pissed the Ducks off and once that offense got going, Wyoming's inferior depth and athletes didn't have a chance. But that won't matter this week. Wyoming covers easily.
Northern Illinois (+14) over Arkansas, 7 p.m., ESPN
Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville AR
JM: I may be taking a risk with this one, but. Arkansas is the worst team in the SEC West, right? Of course, this season that's like saying Bob over there is the poorest billionaire at the table. But Drew Hare's a pretty good quarterback, NIU is running for over 300 yards a game, and most importantly the Huskies' issues are in the secondary, not with their rushing defense. (UNLV hung in last week by throwing the ball; they only ran for 102 yards.) Against Arkansas, that's a pretty important distinction. Northern Illinois covers.
LT: All of that makes a lot of sense, but I'm not totally sold on a sophomore quarterback heading into Fayetteville and keeping his team within two touchdowns. Plus, Jon and I are agreeing on everything else. Northern Illinois hasn't seen a rushing attack like Arkansas yet, and they've been more or less unstoppable so far this year. The only danger is if the Razorbacks are looking ahead to that brutal stretch of A&M-Alabama-Georgia coming up next. Arkansas covers.
Oregon (-23.5) over WASHINGTON STATE, 9:30 p.m. ESPN
Martin Stadium, Pullman WA
JM: This is a joke, right? The team that was only favored by 18 over Michigan State and covered easily is only favored by 23.5 over Washington State? I mean, okay. If they want to hand us free wins, I'm not going to turn them down. Ducks cover.
LT: This is shocking, because Vegas always seems to give the Ducks too much credit, if anything. Obviously the gambling folks have a lot of faith in defensive mastermind Mike Leach. You know, the guy who has lost to Oregon by an average of 56.5-32 the last five seasons. Oregon's even better this year and WSU is....well....probably worse. You'd have to be insane to not pick Oregon in this one.