Updated on 09/16/2011 8:38AM

Here's who I like: Dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, and dog


LAS VEGAS - Conference games in college football are always fun. Every game means so much in the standings, and there's always an element of revenge since someone had to win the last time the teams met.

Sifting through all those games and the two teams' common opponents to find the best plays is a challenge, but I have landed on seven live underdogs Saturday that seem to have the right mix of talent and motivation.

Michigan at Minnesota (+5 1/2)

Michigan (7-2 straight up) has been a great go-against team this year (2-7 against the spread). With the exception of blowout wins against Illinois and Michigan State - neither of which are having good seasons - Michigan has done just enough to win. In fact, the Wolverines are 0-5 against the spread when favored by less than a touchdown. Minnesota, also 7-2, is coming off a 34-3 loss at Ohio State, but the Golden Gophers play much better at home (5-0 straight up). If the game was at Michigan, I would have to pass, but don't be surprised to see the Little Brown Jug staying in Minnesota for the first time in 15 years.

PLAY: Minnesota for 1 unit.

Ohio State at Purdue (+7)

Another Big 10 juggernaut is in for a battle as the undefeated Buckeyes visit Purdue. The Boilermakers are only 4-5, but they have hung tough in a 24-17 loss at Notre Dame, a 31-28 loss at Iowa, and a 23-21 home loss to Michigan. Meanwhile, Ohio State is 10-0, but 0-3 against the spread on the road with non-covering wins over Cincinnati, Northwestern, and Wisconsin - none of which is exactly a powerhouse. Purdue might be without freshman QB Brandon Kirsch, but might also be able to move the ball better through the air with his backup, Kyle Orton.

PLAY: Purdue for 1 unit.

Florida State at Georgia Tech (+6 1/2)

In the past two weeks, Georgia Tech has snapped Virginia's six-game winning streak and knocked off unbeaten North Carolina State So the Yellow Jackets will not be intimidated by Florida State, which has lost its aura of invincibility in the ACC. The Seminoles will be without ACC-leading rusher Greg Jones, and that will hurt against a Tech defense that is allowing an ACC-low 117 rushing yards per game. The under is 8-0 in Georgia Tech games this year, so this should be a tight, low-scoring game, and I will take the home dog.

PLAY: Georgia Tech for 1 unit.

Oregon (+6) at Washington State

Washington State is in first place in the Pac-10, but two-time defending champ Oregon will not give up the title without a fight. The Ducks regain the services of running back Onterrio Smith, and that will help to keep the ball out of hands of Washington State quarterback Jason Geeser. Last year, Oregon rushed for 446 yards in a 24-17 victory. History will repeat as the Ducks run the ball freely here.

PLAY: Oregon for 1 unit.

Colorado at Missouri (+4 1/2)

These last three games scream letdown. Colorado had seemingly turned its season around with five straight wins until losing 27-11 at Oklahoma last week. Missouri is 5-0 against the spread at home this year, including a near upset of Oklahoma in a 31-24 loss. The Tigers also covered on the road last week, losing 42-35 to Iowa State. Colorado might also be looking past Missouri to upcoming games against Iowa State and Nebraska.

PLAY: Missouri for 1 unit.

Virginia Tech at Syracuse (+14 1/2)

Virginia Tech suffered its first loss of the season, 28-21, to Pittsburgh last week. The Hokies have failed to cover in their last four games, a sign that they weren't playing up to their potential anyway, and now they have to cover by more than two touchdowns at the Carrier Dome, where the Orangemen are 10-5 against the spread the last three years. I will take a chance here in what should be a high-scoring game.

PLAY: Syracuse for 1 unit.

Mississippi (+15) at Georgia

Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning should be able to keep the Rebels close against a Georgia team that is likely deflated after last week's 20-13 loss at Florida (a team that Ole Miss beat, by the way) knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten. Georgia, which has won five straight games in this series, might also be looking past the Rebels to a seemingly tougher game next week at Auburn.

PLAY: Mississippi for 1 unit.

Season record: 19-17, including 11-8 on 2-unit plays, for a net profit of 3.5 units (based on laying 1.1 units to win 1).