NCAA Football

College Football: 5 Probable Week 15 Winners

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5 Probable Week 15 Winners

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In picking a football side with more than just rooting interest, the half point can be your friend or enemy. For us last week, it was the difference between a 4-1 against-the-spread weekend and a 3-2 ATS weekend.

Fortunately, the half point was our friend in the game between Purdue and Indiana, as we had Purdue getting the 20.5 points against the Hoosiers, and Indiana won 56-36. That’s three 4-1 weeks in the last five sandwiched around two 3-2 ATS weeks, so we’ll take it. The reason we liked this game was that in-state rivalry games have a tendency for covering the lines, and that the Boilermakers did well in their only other similar game, a 31-24 loss to Notre Dame.

For the past 14 weeks, we have called this space “5 Possible College Football Upsets,” but we’re tweaking that this week to “5 Probable Week 15 College Football Winners” because we like a game and a side Vegas cannot agree on: Memphis at Connecticut. We’ll get to that game in the slideshow later.

First, more on last week’s games, as the only loss we had was East Carolina losing at Marshall in a big Conference USA game. Fortunately, Tulane came through and covered a 13.5 spot in a 17-13 loss to Rice, in addition to the close Purdue shave. Syracuse and Iowa not only covered, but won their games outright.

As the season winds down, though, so does the card of available appealing games, which has led us to picking four upsets, plus a game that comes down to a simple pick.

Mike Gibson is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Cincinnati Over Louisville

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the season, many thought this was going to be a matchup for the AAC title. As it is, barring a miracle, this is a game for second place. The visiting Bearcats have been playing better football over the last four games than the Cardinals, and should not only cover the 3.5-point spread, but win the game outright.

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4. UConn Over Memphis

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Two games ago, the Huskies won at Temple despite spotting the Owls to a 21-point lead. The Owls then turned around and hammered the Tigers 41-21. That's all we need to know on this one, and why this is a mere pick is a head-scratcher. This will be the Huskies' third straight win.

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3. USF Over Rutgers

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Had the host Scarlet Knights not beaten Temple on a last-second TD pass, they would be entering this game with a five-game losing streak, something that would no doubt overjoy everyone in the AAC, since RU is big-timing the conference for a move to the Big 10 next year. Even though RU is a seven-point favorite, the AAC refs and USF and promising young coach Willie Taggart cover the seven spot here and win the game outright.

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2. Stanford Over Arizona State

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Except for a stumble at USC, there is no better big-game team in the PAC-12 than the Cardinal, and they will prove it in the championship game at Arizona State, covering the 3.5 and winning the game outright.

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1. Duke Over Florida State

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

We're not crazy here, but we think the 28.5 line is way too much, and the Blue Devils of crafty coach David Cutcliffe will find a way to keep this to a three touchdown game or less.