Welcome to week ten 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 5-1 while Reed turned in a 4-2 week. Guest picker Mark Nagi would up going 4-2. For the year, Daniel is 34-20, Reed is 32-22, Houston is 30-24, our guest pickers are 31-23 and Vegas favorites are 33-21.
No. 2 Florida State (-3.5) at No. 25 Louisville, 7:30 pm ESPN Thursday
Daniel: There are just too many jokes when Florida State meets a Bobby Petrino-led Louisville squad and the Seminoles go out for a practice and have to walk by a crab joint in the process. I’ll leave those to Twitter, however, and talk about this game. And this is an enticing Thursday night matchup with the improving Cardinals and their top-ranked ACC defense set to take on the top-ranked FSU offense. Despite all the distractions and rumors that keep flying about FSU, the Seminoles keep finding ways to win. I don’t think FSU is going to repeat as national champs, but they’ll get this one Thursday night. Winner: FSU 28-24
Houston: I’ve never wanted Bobby Petrino to win a game more than I want him to win this one tonight. Things in Tallahassee appear to be on the edge of a cliff, and a loss on the road against a talented Louisville team could be just the thing to push it over the edge. The line in this game has continued to drop all week, so the early money has been going on Louisville… but how can anyone bet against FSU right now? They have had more distractions than any team over the previous decade and they just continue to win games in crunch time. I want Louisville to do it, and I think they have a chance…but it’s just hard to pick against the Noles right now. Winner: FSU 24-23
Reed: This one has upset written all over it. Home underdogs at night are tough to pick against, though I ignored that bit when I picked Ole Miss over LSU last week. Florida State just isn’t as dominant as they were last year. Jameis doesn’t have a ton of weapons on offense and Louisville’s defense, which ranks first nationally in total defense and second in yards per play, has to weapons to slow the Criminoles. At some point, the distractions around Florida State will catch up with them…but I don’t think that happens tonight. Winner: Jimbo 24-17
Brad: I’ll take, “I don’t understand this line” for $500, Alex. We all know about Thursday night home dogs, and Bobby Petrino’s boys are perfect at home and boast an impressive defense that leads the nation in yards allowed and is fourth nationally in scoring. But the Seminoles don’t have any suspensions (for once), and they’re only giving four points at The Big Pizza in Louisville. Cardinals quarterback Will Gardner is healthy, and we all know what running back Michael Dyer can be when he lays off the synthetic pot. But this is FSU, man! You know, the team that hasn’t lost in more than two years. Until the ‘Noles actually lose a game, I’m not picking any upsets. Not in the Coach’s Character Bowl on Thursday, for sure. I’m not going to Jimbo Fisher lengths to blindly defend the ‘Noles, but I think they get it done. Winner: Florida State 31-20