November is the time for football weather and most of the country has plunged into an ice box within the last week. Cold, breezy, and snowy weather will be around from Green Bay to Buffalo to the Big Ten. The college football season is almost at a close with division titles and spots in conference championship games on the line. It’s an exciting couple of weeks to close out the season, especially with rivalry weekend and Thanksgiving looming. The NFL is heating up too with divisional races getting interesting and weather playing more of a role with northern teams having to cope with the cold. This is always a favorite time of the year and we’ve got all your football and weather action right here. Let’s pick some games!

Titans @ Packers, Thursday @ 8:15pm, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI, Packers -3, O/U 41

Green Bay stays at home on a quick turnaround after besting the Cowboys after they imploded at Lambeau last week. Now, the Titans come north and look to upset the Packers on the frozen tundra as they try to stack up wins in the AFC South. It’s a terrible division and the Titans can seemingly put a lock on it with a win at Green Bay. Meanwhile, has Green Bay found themselves? Or did the Cowboys just give one away? This game is likely going to come down to who can stop the run. Derrick Henry is a hard man to stop and has almost 1,000 yards on the season. In fact, he could eclipse that mark Thursday night. I’m not so sure the Packers can stop the run and especially when Henry is the one doing the running. Perhaps the cold and snow expected during this game will give the Packers the edge, but I think the win against the Cowboys last week was more of a fluke and a commentary on the Cowboys than anything the Packers are doing. This game will be played in adverse conditions. Snow showers and wind are absolutely going to be a factor. I want to take the under, but I also believe Tennessee is the better team and can run the ball when they need to. They are also 3-1 on the year as an underdog. Give me the Titans to upset the Packers at home. Titans ML.

TCU @ Baylor, Saturday @ Noon, McLane Stadium, Waco, TX, TCU -2.5, O/U 57.5

TCU heads to Waco to face a Baylor team that just got its lunch handed to it by Kansas State at home last week. It got ugly. This game has all the trappings of a trap for TCU, but after watching them play a physical road game against Texas last week, I think they are up for the task. Yes, playing two conference road games in consecutive weeks could take a toll. But, why would you pick against this team at this point? Baylor just got throttled at home by an inferior team to TCU last week. Max Duggan is on another level and TCU’s defense really impressed me last week against Texas. They allowed fewer than 200 yards of offense and held the Longhorns to 10 points. If Kansas State’s defense can hold Baylor to 3, I hate to think what the Horned Frogs will do. Would it shock me if TCU played flat and let Baylor hang around at home? No. But this team is rolling toward the playoff and I don’t see an overmatched Baylor team doing much to stop the momentum. TCU -2.5.

Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma, Saturday @ 7:30pm, Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK, Oklahoma -7.5, O/U 64.5

This rivalry is called Bedlam for a reason. However, this year, the stakes are different. Both teams are far from playoff contention and Oklahoma is no longer relevant even in its own conference. Things aren’t quite working out in Norman for Brent Venables in his first year as head coach. Meanwhile, Mike Gundy had the Pokes off to a good start, but they have since faded down the stretch and in a big way. They lost to Kansas and Kansas State by a combined score of 85-16! In many ways, these two programs are mirror images of each other this season. Both have shown offensive efficiency at times and both have lapsed defensively at times too. I’m not really seeing an edge either way. Even Oklahoma at home doesn’t mean all that much this season. Here’s what I do know and there really isn’t any Xs and Os involved. Mike Gundy loves this game and wants to win every single year. He is a passionate coach that will likely have his team up for this trip. Meanwhile, I don’t trust a team that just lost to West Virginia last week. Both teams are flawed and I don’t know who has more motivation, but my gut says Oklahoma State. I don’t know who wins, but I like a close one. Oklahoma State +7.5.

Utah @ Oregon, Saturday @ 10:30pm, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR, Oregon -3, O/U 61.5

This is one of the biggest matchups of the weekend and talk about a tough game to get a read on. Both teams are 8-2 and both have shown flashes of brilliance. I think Utah probably has the edge on the ground, while both QBs have been sensational for most of the season. Cameron Rising and Bo Nix come into this game having each thrown over 2,000 yards. It’s going to be an offensive game I believe. Can Oregon bounce back from a loss? That’s the question. They did against the early season one Georgia handed them. Both of Utah’s losses have come on the road this season: the opener at Florida and the one against UCLA at the Rose Bowl. That’s the only thing I can come up with in my mind to find an edge here. I’ll take Oregon to get the win at home over Utah. But I don’t like this line even though it’s small. Oregon ML it is. Let’s hope the Ducks can quack during PAC-12 after dark Saturday.

Browns @ Bills, Sunday @ 1:00pm, Highmark Stadium, Buffalo, NY, Bills -8, O/U 43

Here is the Lake Effect Snow Warning from the National Weather Service in Buffalo:       

Heavy lake effect snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 3 feet in the most persistent lake snows. The heaviest  snow is expected late Thursday night through Friday night when snowfall rates could exceed two inches per hour. Snowfall totals  of up to 4 feet will be possible if the main snow band is slower to push north late Friday night. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph. 

Notice the forecast calls for feet of snow, not inches! While the heaviest snow is likely Thursday night through Friday night, lake effect snow showers will continue through the weekend and another trough swinging through on Sunday will create more snow showers and gusty winds. Given the conditions, and given how the Bills have been playing, I’ll take the under here. I think it’s risky though. Buffalo knows how to play in these conditions, as does Cleveland, but I just don’t see any other play. I don’t know if the Bills can cover, and they have burned me plenty this season. The over is a risk too for many reasons. So I’ll play the under here and hope it’s ugly. No matter what, that city is in for one heck of a week. Good luck digging out! UNDER 43.         

Iowa @ Minnesota, Saturday at 4:00pm, Huntington Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN, Minnesota -3, O/U 32.5

The Big Ten west is going to be one of those divisions that comes down to the last week. This game is a pivotal one in the race to Indy. Iowa has been playing better while Minnesota is fresh off a shellacking of Northwestern last Saturday. Both teams are pretty stout defensively giving up only 13 points per game. If there is one glaring weakness it remains Iowa’s offense. However, Iowa has scored 33, 24, and 24 in the last three games. All wins by the way over Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin. Minnesota is a different animal, however, and still may be the west’s best. This game is going to be played in some mighty cold weather. Highs will be in the teens Saturday in Minneapolis. This is going to be a good old fashioned Big Ten football game. The under here is tempting, but I think both teams will score…yes, even Iowa. At the end of the day though I still believe the better team will rise to the top. Minnesota will likely score just enough and with the decent defense it has, will likely stop Iowa one too many times and get the W here at home. I like P.J Fleck and the Golden Gophers to get it done and everyone can breathe a collective sigh of relief we don’t have to watch Iowa get pounded to stone in Indy. Minnesota -3.

UConn @ Army, Saturday @ Noon, Michie Stadium, West Point, NY, Army -10, O/U 43.5

What Jim Mora has done in Connecticut so far this season is nothing short of remarkable. This team was 1-11 last season and doesn’t have much in the way of talent to work with. All of a sudden they are 6-5 this season with wins over Fresno State, Boston College, and Liberty. These aren’t world beaters, but for a team that was almost winless last season, beating those teams this year is quite an accomplishment. This game makes me nervous because the Huskies have only won one true road game this year. Army is only 3-6 on the season and hasn’t been playing the way the team normally does under Jeff Monken. I’m going to take a flyer on UConn here to keep it close. I like Zion Turner and the passing game of UConn to have a good day against a tough Army defense. UConn is 9-2 against the spread this year and I think they continue that on Saturday against a less than stellar Army squad at West Point. UConn +10.

Indiana @ Michigan State, Saturday at Noon, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI, Michigan State -10.5, O/U 47.5

This game is likely going to come down to who is less bad. At this point, I think that’s Michigan State. They found a way to beat Illinois two weeks ago. And have cobbled together a 5-5 season after a pretty disastrous start. This win would make them bowl eligible. I’ve also seen Indiana play this year and they just aren’t very good. Going into East Lansing is going to be a big challenge and I think Mel Tucker will want to cover here. Once again, this game will likely be played in the cold with some snow showers. Highs will be in the 20s! I’ll take Payton Thorne and Jalen Berger to get the job done for the Spartans at home on Senior Day against an inferior team. Tuck Comin’. Michigan State -10.5.

Eagles @ Colts, Sunday @ 1:00pm, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN, Eagles -6.5, O/U 45

Having watched the Eagles drop their first game of the season Monday night, I may start to question this team going forward. But should I? We knew the team likely was going to drop a game at some point, and losing one to a divisional foe isn’t unheard of. How about going on the road against a team that’s 4-5, just fired their coach, and replaced him with a former player that has no head coaching experience? I like the Eagles chances here. They want to avenge last week’s loss and I think the coaching favors Philly. The Eagles can score at will and I don’t think the Colts have what it takes to stop them. Eagles come right back and calm any fears. Give me Philly -6.5.

Here’s a summary of my picks for the week.

Games of the Week

Titans ML

TCU -2.5

Oklahoma State +7.5

Oregon ML

UNDER 43

Under the Radar Game

Minnesota -3

Brett’s Best Bets

UConn +10

Michigan State -10.5

Eagles -6.5

-Brett Thackara

I really left the door open to let Brett go ahead of me in the overall standings for picks. It is a new week though, and hopefully fewer weird things trip me up. Weather will be a factor for some of our games- plus it is now more of the wintry variety. Let’s dive in!! Hard to believe we are seeing the last two weeks of the college football regular season ahead of us.

Titans @ Packers, Thursday @ 8:15pm, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI, Packers -3, O/U 41

The Cowboys helped the Eagles last week by blowing the game against the Packers. The Packers meanwhile played just well enough to win. The Titans come to town now with an offense that outside of Derrick Henry is not impressive. This could be a low scoring game, and if the Wednesday night MAC football game at Central Michigan tell us anything it is that beware the cold winds and lake effect snow. I’ll give Green Bay the slight edge at home, but this could sway either way: Packers -2.5.

TCU @ Baylor, Saturday @ Noon, McLane Stadium, Waco, TX, TCU -2.5, O/U 57.5

I do not think TCU is the number 4 team in all of college football. My hunch is that in the end we will see either 3 SEC teams in the top 4 or 2 Big 10 and 2 SEC teams. I wonder if this is the week TCU could get tripped up trying to go into Waco to stay undefeated. Baylor has been too inconsistent despite coming off a good program win against Oklahoma two weeks ago they were embarrassed last weekend against Kansas State. Weather may play a slight role too with a damp and cold day which may play into the strong defense of TCU. TCU hangs on in this one: TCU -2.5

Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma, Saturday @ 7:30pm, Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK, Oklahoma -7.5, O/U 64.5

This game features two teams that have had a disappointing campaign- although I think not many saw Oklahoma being this bad. The Sooners are still not bowl eligible and the case could be made that they are the worst team in the Big 12. Mike Gundy’s Cowboys had a good thing going until they ran into Kansas and Kansas State. They barely beat Iowa State last week. I go back to what I said a few weeks ago. Home games matter for conference play late in the season. I’ll take Oklahoma to win and cover at -7.5.

Utah @ Oregon, Saturday @ 10:30pm, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR, Oregon -3, O/U 61.5

Oregon did themselves no favors in falling to the Washington Huskies. Now they have to find their way past a strong Utah program who at one time was thought to be a playoff dark horse. Michael Penix for the Huskies and Bo Nix for the Ducks present an interesting quarterback matchup. Nix is likely out of the Heisman chase, but who knows a big performance against a good Utes defense could jump him back up some boards. Oregon has a slight advantage as the home team in that loud Eugene venue, I’ll take the Ducks at -3.

Browns @ Bills, Sunday @ 1:00pm, Highmark Stadium, Buffalo, NY, Bills -8, O/U 43

This could be the weather game of the season so far!! At the time of this writing a potential 3-4 feet of snow could fall leading up to this game in Buffalo due to relentless lake effect snow bands. You can talk all about the greatness of the Bills offense, but snow and wind should be a giant equalize if the snow continues during the game. Look for a low scoring game if the field is covered in snow- weird things are bound to happen! I take the Bills to win with a distinct home field advantage, but forget the points in this one!

Iowa @ Minnesota, Saturday at 4:00pm, Huntington Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN, Minnesota -3, O/U 32.5

I picture almost zero offense in this game. Frigid conditions will put both teams on ice. It may feel like the single digits during the majority of the contest. Iowa already has one of the worst offenses without the weather! But, I have seen Iowa work themselves into contention before and this may play out in a similar way. I will take Iowa to stay alive in the Big Ten West race by knocking off the Golden Gophers at home- Iowa to scratch and claw their way to an upset: Iowa +3.

Games of the Week 

Packers -2.5

TCU -2.5 

Oklahoma -7.5 

Oregon -3

Bills ML

Under the Radar Game 

Iowa +3

Doppler Dandies 

Navy +16.5 

Illinois +18

Patriots ML

-Dan Tomaso

**All odds from Caesars Sportsbook as of 11/16/22.**