Welcome to week eight of Pick Six, a weekly column published every Thursday where the RTI team plus a weekly guest picker calls their shots on six games. We’ll do our best to pick the most competitive games each week and will focus heavily on the SEC when possible. Spreads are listed and will occasionally be mentioned in the comments. We’ll keep a running tally of records (straight up, not ATS) throughout the year and compare those to how Vegas fared.
Last week, Daniel and Houston led the way at 3-3 while Reed turned in another 2-4 week. Guest picker Kyle Kensing tied for the best record going 3-3 and was the only one to pick Ole Miss and Mississippi State. For the year, Daniel is 24-18, Reed is 23-19, Houston is 23-19, our guest pickers are 24-18 and Vegas favorites are 26-16. This is the week we break through and dominate Vegas. Really.
No. 5 Notre Dame @ No. 2 Florida State (-10) TV: ABC 8 pm Saturday
Daniel: This might be the toughest test remaining on FSU’s journey of shame to defend its national title. It’s a circus in Tallahassee. There’s a new Jameis Winston headline every week, yet the Seminoles keep trotting him out there at quarterback and winning. If their defense plays as well as the FSU coaches and fans have defended Winston, the ‘Noles will be unbeatable. In terms of the actual game, these are two unbeaten teams here that are both looking for a spot in the playoffs. Both have won some ugly games and Notre Dame is coming off a come-from-behind shootout win over an unimpressive UNC squad. As much as I’m ready to see Winston lose, I think FSU, at home, holds the edge here. Winner: FSU 31-24
Houston: I hate to do it, but I’ve got to take the Irish in this one. This is actually a game in which I would like both teams to lose, but I am just so sick of hearing about Florida State that I am using this pick to will Notre Dame to the victory this weekend. The Irish have looked solid on defense this year, but lost their starting safety, Austin Collinsworth, this week to a partially torn labrum, so they may be taking a small step back this week. Notre Dame still has Everett Golson, however, and he is off to a very impressive start to the season. To this point, Florida State has done a very good job of blocking out distractions and winning football games….I think that finally ends this week and things start to get nasty down in Tallahassee. Winner: Irish 34-20
Reed: I don’t think either of these teams are among the top five in the country – they’ve both been less than impressive in wins against mediocre competition. But that’s not the story here. Will Winston play? It certainly looks like he will, but several Vegas outlets have taken this game off their board. Do they know something we don’t? The line will reportedly move to FSU -3 if he doesn’t play. Winston and Notre Dame QB Everett Golson are a combined 35-1 as starting quarterbacks, which is an insane stat. Florida State has more overall talent and should best Notre Dame in this one if Winston plays. Winner: Seminoles 31-20
Kevin: Here are two teams that most in SEC country love to watch lose anytime, anywhere. As I’m writing this prediction Vegas is hesitating on their line due to uncertainty around Jameis Winston’s status for the game. Winston will play; it’s an entertainment business and BUSINESS BE GOOD with Famous Jameis in the game. Notre Dame looked downright mediocre at home last week against a meek North Carolina squad and doesn’t have the caliber of athlete to stay in this for four quarters; Florida State will end this early. Winner: Florida State 35-10