The season rolls on with some major shake-ups in the college football world this past weekend. Is the Alabama dynasty over? Is Clemson eliminated from the playoff? What about Ohio State’s shaky play? We discuss all of that and more when it comes to college football. Plus, we wrap up the Phillies incredible run this season despite falling short in the World Series. And, tropical storm Nicole will impact the east coast Friday, but will it linger for games this weekend? We’ve got the forecast too! Let’s get to this week’s picks: 

Falcons @ Panthers, Thursday @ 8:15pm, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC, Falcons -3, O/U 44

This game will be directly impacted by Tropical Storm Nicole. Expect wet conditions and breezy conditions at times too. Two awful teams playing in awful weather. Plus, you have to stream it. I can’t imagine anybody watching this game and thinking it’s better than college football. I really want to take the under here. But it’s a low number. And you can get burned easily. The Panthers look horrible. I truly don’t know how they beat the Bucs and Saints for their only two wins of the year. The Panthers have given up over 400 yards of offense in their last two games, one of which was to these Falcons at the end of October. Given this will probably be a run-heavy game, I favor the Falcons to get the job done again.  They rush for over 150 yards per game and the Panthers have failed to stop the rushing attack this year, giving up 4.5 yards per carry. Goodnight Carolina. Give me the Falcons to cover in what should be a low-scoring affair during a tropical rainstorm. Falcons -3. 

Northwestern @ Minnesota, Saturday @ 3:30pm, Huntington Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN, Minnesota -17.5, O/U 41 

This game probably won’t be that exciting, but the weather could be. Some early-season flurries and very windy conditions in Minnesota could make for a fun watch in some classic Big Ten weather. Winds could gust over 20 mph at times with some passing flurries during this Big Ten west contest. Running will likely be the main theme here too and with Mo Ibrahim behind center, bank on Minnesota continuing to find ways to win. Northwestern stayed in games with major opponents like Penn State and Ohio State. In fact, they were more physical than Ohio State at times last week. But they simply aren’t talented enough to keep up. Now they have to leave the friendly confines of Ryan Field and go on the road to face a gritty Golden Gopher squad. I think P.J. Fleck rows the boat to a pretty easy cover here. Minnesota -17.5. 

Maryland @ Penn State, Saturday @ 3:30pm, Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA, Penn State -10, O/U 59 

Penn State usually plays down to a team it shouldn’t at least once every year. Perhaps that was the Northwestern game in another weather-related fiasco earlier in the season. Ohio State struggled with them too just last week at a windy Ryan Field. So far at least that hasn’t been the case this season with Penn State handling business after each loss. First in the Whiteout against Minnesota and then last week against the Hoosiers on the road in Bloomington. This year’s Penn State squad seems to be able to handle adversity better than previous versions. The offense line is better. Therefore, the running game has been better, and boy what a difference that makes. Maryland does have Taulia Tagovailoa under center and can score points. They average around 32 per game. The good news here is that Penn State returns to Beaver Stadium on Saturday and should be able to handle Maryland with the talent not only on offense but defensively as well. This defense has played very well in every game except at the Big House. Winds could be a factor on Saturday behind tropical storm Nicole. It will be chilly too. But no rain is expected for this one. Highs will be in the 50s. Not a bad November day in Happy Valley. I think Penn State can cover and get the W here behind their running backs and defensive attack. PSU -10. 

Vikings @ Bills, Sunday @ 1:00pm, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY, Bills -5, O/U 45.5 

How about this matchup? Two great teams playing in Buffalo in wind and potential lake-effect snow. Seems like it could be a fun one! The Vikings are in control in the NFC other than the Eagles of course. And the Bills got knocked down last week against the Jets, but are far from out. The question is can Josh Allen put on a show at home even in potentially less than stellar conditions? I say yes. I think the Vikings have been living on the edge for a while and the Bills know they need a win back in Buffalo after being humiliated last week in New York. Here’s the deal though: Josh Allen has a sprained elbow and his status remains unclear as of this writing. The weather is also a factor and that makes this game very tough to pick, especially against the number. I’ll take the UNDER here and hope the weather and Allen’s elbow slow these teams down. I’m not confident. UNDER 45.5.

Cowboys @ Packers, Sunday @ 4:25pm, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI, Cowboys -5, O/U 43 

This is a classic game between two iconic brands. But this season only one team is playing like one. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers continue to struggle. They are a measly 3-6 on the year and look like they struggle each and every week they take the field. They welcome a Cowboys team to Lambeau that is 6-2 and only allowing 17 points per game. Guess what? The Packers only average 17 points per game. The weather shouldn’t be much of a factor at Lambeau by Sunday, although it will be quite cold. I think the Cowboys are the more talented team and have their act together. It’s always tough to play on the road, but the Cowboys defense with Micah Parsons leading the way will come up big. I like Dallas here and there is no reason to outthink this and try to find a compelling reason why Green Bay will win. They won’t. Cowboys cover -5. 

North Carolina @ Wake Forest, Saturday at 7:30pm, Truist Field, Winston-Salem, NC, Wake Forest -3.5, O/U 77 

Am I a fool to keep picking on Gene Chizik? The North Carolina defensive coordinator has been much maligned by yours truly and yet the Tar Heels are 8-1 and could be heading to face Clemson in the ACC title game. But first they have to go through Wake Forest who isn’t having the year some thought they would. They are still a tough out, however, especially with Sam Hartman at QB. It could very well be a battle of the offenses Saturday night as the over/under is set at 76.5, one of the highest I’ve ever seen. I think Wake wins this game outright and finally proves me right about Chizik’s defense. It’s going to cost Mack Brown at some point. Having said that, I’ll the UNDER here as I truly think it’s way too high. I smell a 35-31 type of game with Wake squeaking by. UNDER 77. 

Alabama @ Ole Miss, Saturday @ 3:30pm, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS, Alabama -12, O/U 63.5 

Something is vastly wrong with Alabama this season. Some say it’s the coordinators. Others say Saban is losing his edge. Some have mentioned NIL as the culprit. And others have stated they simply don’t have a playmaker at wide receiver. Whatever the case may be, you simply can’t argue that this Alabama team feels different that most under Nick Saban. Too many close calls on the road, outright defeats at Tennessee and LSU, and the team doesn’t cover. Now they have to lick their wounds from Baton Rouge and go to Vaught-Hemingway and face college football’s greatest troll: Lane Kiffin. Lane wants nothing more than to beat Nick Saban. And now he gets Saban coming off an emotional loss at home, on his turf, while he has the team to do it. I don’t know if Lane can get the outright upset, but it wouldn’t surprise me. How is Bama still a double digit road favorite here? Have folks not been paying attention? Give me Ole Miss at home. I’ll take the points. Rebels +12. 

Nebraska @ Michigan, Saturday at 3:30pm, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI, Michigan -29.5, O/U 49

I typically don’t like laying such a big number. It burned me last week with Ohio State on the road at Northwestern. They didn’t show up. However, Michigan is the most complete team I have watched this season other than Georgia. They just have it all together. Smart QB play. They pound the ball. They are physical. Their defense is hungry. They started slow last week against Rutgers but I doubt that will be an issue back in Ann Arbor as the Cornhuskers come to town. Nebraska is out classed here. Michigan will run the ball and Nebraska will be worn down by the second half. 29 is still a big number. I’ll lay it with the Wolverines at home. They are impressive. Michigan -29.5. 

Jaguars @ Chiefs, Sunday @ 1:00pm, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO, Chiefs -9.5, O/U 50.5 

Bring me Arrowhead in the cold. Good luck to a Florida team that isn’t good to begin with traveling to this place and trying to compete. Kansas City is leaps and bounds beyond Jacksonville. There is no edge here. The Chiefs average 30 points per game compared to the Jags 22. The Jags defense may be slightly better on paper, but good luck against the best QB in the AFC. Sorry, Josh Allen. Patrick Mahomes is still better in my eyes. The Chiefs will be ready to cruise to victory in this one. I have been on the Jags side too much this year and they always let me down. Don’t overthink it. My theme of the week. Chiefs at Arrowhead. Big. Kansas City -9.5. 

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

Games of the Week 

Falcons -3

Minnesota -17.5 

Penn State -10 

UNDER 45.5

Cowboys -5

Under the Radar Game 

UNDER 77 

Brett’s Best Bets 

Ole Miss +12 

Michigan -29.5 

Chiefs -9.5 

The cold of November is upon us. The gales of November will blow this weekend. Some decent games and a few in the elements too. Trust your gut over anything else. I have found success with that. If you consume a ton of football, you know what will work and what won’t. Keep an eye out for the winds in the Great Lakes and watch out for seemingly obvious lines like that over/under in the North Carolina vs. Wake Forest matchup. I’m right at .500 for the year. Gotta do better this week. Enjoy the games everybody and I hope you weather the parlays and the teasers well. Good luck!  -Brett Thackara

I am back from vacation, and ready to hit the ground running after a so-so week. The upsets in the NFL cost me, as well as the college football shake-up at the top. Here is my thinking for another great week of football:

Falcons @ Panthers, Thursday @ 8:15pm, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC, Falcons -3, O/U 44 

Panthers are reeling after the firing of their head coach and the trade of their star running back. Not to mention Baker Mayfield being a bust a quarterback. The Falcons may be the best team in the division, and most importantly this week they can run the ball. Weather will be a big factor in this matchup with heavy rain coming north from Nicole. The ground game should make the difference: Falcons -3.

Northwestern @ Minnesota, Saturday @ 3:30pm, Huntington Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN, Minnesota -17.5, O/U 41

Minnesota is a ground and pound team, and that profile serves them well in the cold months. Wind is going to be factor in this game, and Pat Fitzgerald’s team just proved they can play in the elements and hold the top Big 10 dog Ohio State to limited offense in bad weather. Could this be a repeat in Minneapolis? I think so! Northwestern keeps this one closer than people think- I’ll take them at +17.5.

Maryland @ Penn State, Saturday @ 3:30pm, Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA, Penn State -10, O/U 59

Thankfully the worst of the rain from Nichole looks to blow through Central PA before this Big 10 tilt. This game may not be considered a full rivalry, but make no mistake this is a game that Maryland marks on the calendar each year. And most of the time the Terrapins keep this close. Penn State simply has more talent than Maryland, but if Taulia Tagovailoa has recovered from his knee issue watch out! Penn State wins, but Maryland covers at +10.

Vikings @ Bills, Sunday @ 1:00pm, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY, Bills -5, O/U 45.5 

The Bills took an upset against the Jets on the chin last week, and looked very pedestrian doing it. Plus, Josh Allen could have an impactful elbow injury. The Vikings lone slip up this season was against the Eagles, and Kirk Cousins is enjoying a wonderful ride this year. I will not be surprised if the Bills drop this one to Minnesota. Weather should be a factor! Could there be snow and a cold wind? You never know in Buffalo, but the meteorological ingredients are there! Vikings +5!

Cowboys @ Packers, Sunday @ 4:25pm, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI, Cowboys -5, O/U 43 

America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, head north to the cold tundra of Lambeau Field this week for the latest installment of great NFL franchises squaring off. Dallas to me has exceeded expectations after an offseason of unloading offensive talent. The Packers did a similar offload of talent and salary, and have fallen on very hard times. Mike McCarthy has a little revenger on his mind this weekend, and to me Dallas could make this ugly. Cowboys big this weekend: -5 and probably then some!

North Carolina @ Wake Forest, Saturday at 7:30pm, Truist Field, Winston-Salem, NC, Wake Forest -3.5, O/U 77 

This game is a toss-up, and as Brett mentioned a very odd O/U at 77. Weather should not be too impactful in the wake of Nicole, but do watch for gusty conditions. The Tar Heels have had a few close calls this year, and Wake Forest did not end up with the season they expected. The ACC is out of the playoff picture, although I am sure Mack Brown wants a shot at Clemson in the ACC title game. Unfortunately for Mack I slightly favor the home team here. Give me Wake Forest at -3.5.

Games of the Week 

Falcons -3

Northwestern +17.5 

Maryland +10 

Vikings +5

Cowboys -5

Under the Radar Game 

Wake Forest -3.5

Doppler Dandies 

Michigan State -10 

James Madison -8 

Tulane -2

-Dan Tomaso

**All odds from Caesars Sportsbook as of 11/9/22.**