Friday night’s slate of college football action features two ranked teams and conference battles in the ACC, Big Ten, and PAC-12.
Here’s a closer look at those matchups:
#12 Penn State Nittany Lions @ Maryland Terrapins (+6.5), 8:00 PM:
Penn State (3-0) is the highest-ranked team in action on Friday night, and could find themselves on upset alert.
The Nittany Lions won the battle for Pennsylvania defeating Pittsburgh, 17-10. Sophomore running back Journey Brown made the most noise for Penn State rushing for 109 yards on 10 carries.
Meanwhile, the Maryland Terrapins (2-1) were upset on the road losing to the Temple Owls, 20-17.
Maryland’s defense lead the way forcing two safeties, while sophomore running back Anthony McFarland Jr. had 26 carries for 132 yards and one touchdown.
At home, the Terrapins are averaging 71 ppg. Although the Nittany Lions’ defense has been solid allowing just 10.0 ppg, Maryland’s defense has been just as good allowing 13.3 ppg.
My expectation is Maryland will keep this game close enough to cover.
Pick: Maryland (+6.5)
Duke Blue Devils (+2.5) @ Virginia Tech Hokies, 7:00 PM:
Virginia Tech (2-1) picked up a second consecutive win and avoided an upset after defeating Furman, 24-17.
The Hokies trailed 14-3 at half but battled back thanks to the efforts of sophomore wide receiver Tre Turner. He caught four passes for 29 yards and one touchdown, adding five carries for 68 yards and one touchdown.
The Duke Blue Devils (2-1) scored over 40 points for the second consecutive game after defeating Middle Tennessee, 41-18.
Senior dual-threat quarterback Quentin Harris had an incredible performance completing 24-of-27 for 237 yards and four touchdowns, adding 11 carries for 107 yards.
The Hokies are 0-3 against the spread this season and after narrowly defeating a lackluster Furman team, I don’t have much faith in Virginia Tech.
Anticipate Harris having a big day under center for the Blue Devils.
Pick: Duke (+2.5)
Arizona State Sun Devils (+5) @ #15 California Golden Bears, 10:30 PM:
The Golden Bears (4-0) jumped up eight spots in the rankings from #23 after defeating Ole Miss, 28-20.
Sophomore quarterback Chase Garbers was at the top of his game completing 23-of-35 for 357 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
Arizona State (3-1) were upset at home, losing a shootout with the Colorado Buffaloes, 34-31.
Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels was solid completing 24-of-39 for 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Junior running back Eno Benjamin contributed two rushing touchdowns on 20 carries for 83 yards.
Arizona State at (+5) is a strong play, and I’ll even sprinkle some on the moneyline at +187.
Each of California’s last three games has been decided by eight points or less.
If you can buy a few points to get the spread around seven or eight points, I’d strongly consider doing that, but if not I’ll still roll with the Sun Devils at the five-point spread.
Pick: Arizona State (+5)