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Weekend best bets: Experts bid for sixth straight winning week

Washington, fifth in the College Football Playoff rankings, is only three wins away from a 13-0 record and probable invitation to the sport’s version of the Final Four.

But Texas-based handicapper Paul Stone believes Oregon State is primed to deliver the Huskies an unwelcome parting gift as the longtime Pac-12 rivals go their separate ways after this season.

Washington moves to the Big Ten, while the Beavers were left out of college football’s latest wave of realignment and will reportedly form an alliance with the Mountain West to help fill their schedule next season.

Oregon State, which will earn a berth in the Pac-12 championship game Dec. 1 at Allegiant Stadium with wins over Washington and Oregon the next two weeks, is Stone’s best bet this weekend as a 1-point home favorite.

The Westgate SuperBook also took sharp money on the Beavers at pick’em.

“Oregon State undoubtedly feels jilted, and I believe Washington is walking into a hornet’s nest Saturday night in Corvallis,” said Stone (@PaulStoneSports), who is 5-2 against the spread the last seven weeks in this column. “The Beavers are 17-1 at Reser Stadium since the start of the 2021 season, plus Damien Martinez is one of the best running backs in America.”

I asked pro bettors and handicappers for their football best bets and bookmakers for their sharp plays.

The picks in this column went 10-6 ATS last week and are 54-29 (65 percent) this season.

Sharp plays

The SuperBook took sharp money on the Packers +3½ (now +3) over the Chargers, and on the Broncos -1½ (now -2½) over the Vikings.

The Westgate also took sharp money on Kansas State -7 (now -9½) over Kansas, Southern California -5½ (now -6½) over UCLA, and on UNLV +4 and +3½ (now +3) over Air Force.

The Rebels have the best spread record in the country at 9-1 ATS.

Cardinals (+5) over Texans

SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay went 5-0 ATS last week and is 13-2 the last three weeks in the Review-Journal NFL Challenge, which he leads with a 33-15-2 record (68.7 percent).

His best bet this week is the Cardinals (+5) over the Texans, who upset the Bengals last week.

“It’s more of a situation play because the Texans are coming off a huge win, and it’s a really difficult spot for a young team to play back-to-back great games,” Kornegay said. “If Kyler Murray and James Conner can run the ball consistently, the Cardinals should be able to keep that game close.

“A lot of people are praising the Texans, but it was only three weeks ago when they lost to the Panthers. I like the Cardinals now because they’re such a different team with Conner and Murray on the field. You just can’t look at the Cardinals’ record. This is a different team.”

Browns (-1) over Steelers

The Browns dropped from 4-point home favorites to -1 over the Steelers after quarterback Deshaun Watson was ruled out for the rest of the season after having shoulder surgery.

But professional sports bettor Cris Zeniuk still likes Cleveland to win and cover behind backup quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a Bishop Gorman product.

“This is a situation where we often times see a team rally behind the backup and play their best game,” said Zeniuk (@lasvegascris). “The Steelers have been winning via smoke and mirrors, along with the (coach Mike) Tomlin voodoo. Statistically, Pittsburgh is not good on either side of the ball, while the Browns have the No. 1 defense.The Browns’ defense is going to be smothering vs. the young Pittsburgh QB (Kenny Pickett), and I believe the Steelers will be unable to score much at all. Pittsburgh’s defense is not what it used to be, and I think the Browns will be able to get in the end zone a few times.”

Rams (+1) over Seahawks

Wagertalk.com handicapper Teddy Sevransky (@teddy_covers) likes the Rams to cover as 1-point home underdogs to the Seahawks.

“Matthew Stafford is healthy again, while Seattle continues to struggle to stop the run,” he said.

Tennessee (+10) over Georgia

VegasInsider.com handicapper Chip Chirimbes went 4-1 ATS last week in the RJ College Challenge and is in second place with a 30-24-1 record after taking second in last year’s contest with a 39-26 mark.

He likes Tennessee to cover as a 10-point home underdog to Georgia after they were whipped 36-7 last week at Missouri.

“The Vols got ambushed at Missouri as they were looking ahead to this matchup with No. 1 Georgia,” Chirimbes said. “The Bulldogs’ defense is not of the same caliber as their past championship teams.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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