|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|10-20-18||Buffalo -1 v. Toledo||31-17||Win||100||36 h 18 m||Show|
Buffalo -1 3.3% play
We did not get the best of this line unfortunately, but still feel great about Buffalo here. There will be 15mph winds, and some light rain, and the total has dropped 6 points. I have Buffalo a favorite here, and I expect they will win.Both teams rely on the running game 58% of the time, and need to in a game like this where the weather will be a factor. Buffalo is just better at the line of scrimmage as Toledo #121 in stopping the run, and that's against a weak schedule facing teams who on average rank 72.6 in rushing yards per carry. Buffalo comes into this game ranked 41st in rushing yards per carry leaning heavily on two freshman backs. On the flip side Toledo 44th in rushing yards per carry, but they're going up against a Buffalo run defense that ranks 50th. Although Buffalo has faced an easy schedule in terms of rushing attacks they faced ranking on average 87th they have gotten the job done, and their pass defense is even better. At some point these two teams are going to have to put the ball in the air, and extreme advantage Buffalo when you factor in Buffalo's 15th ranked pass defense vs. Toledo's 103rd ranked defense. I spoke about controlling the line of scrimmage. Well Buffalo 1st in sack % allowed going up against the Toledo's pass rush defense that is 125th in sack %. Buffalo ranks 33rd in sack % going up against a Toledo 118th sack % allowed. There is a reason why Toledo ranks 74th in TO margin per game and Buffalo is 27th, another advantage to Buffalo. Finally, these two had one common game in Eastern Michigan. Buffalo won by a TD at home and they were +1.25 yards per play, +9% success rate while Toledo played last week were down 28-3 at one point and Eastern Michigan lost their QB in the 2nd Q, allowing Toledo to get back in that game in misleading fashion. They were -1.99 yards per play, -8% success rate
|10-20-18||Auburn -3.5 v. Ole Miss||31-16||Win||100||36 h 15 m||Show|
Auburn -3.5 2.2% play
I like Auburn here who we are obviously buying low on after they lost back to back games, and everyone is rumoring that Gus Malzahn is out if he loses this game. I think he gets a full effort from his team against a team that may just not care. Ole MIss can’t go to a bowl game, they just lost their #2WR in DK Metcalf to a neck injury for the season, and they have struggled on offense when they face elite defenses. Auburn’s defense once was elite, and you could see them play that way here on Saturday. Auburn can still stop the run ranking 35th, and against they rank 25th. I think they can double cover A.J Brown and force Jordan Ta’amu to beat them another way.
On the flip side I think Auburn can give this a full effort before going into their bye. I’m not going to go crazy about their loss to Tennessee last week who was off a bye themselves. Jarret Stidham who I have criticized on my podcast just got down throwing for 300 yards for the first time. He is now facing an Ole MIss secondary that ranks 90th in QB Rating defense, and that rating comes against an average opponent QB rating of 75.16. Expecting a big game from Stidham who should finally have the balance of the running game as Ole Miss ranks 91st vs. the run. I think we have motivation on the side of Auburn, and we are getting line value for Auburn’s recent play, and their offense finally should get going here.
|10-20-18||Michigan v. Michigan State +7||21-7||Loss||-110||22 h 3 m||Show|
Michigan State +7 3.3% play
This could not set up any better for the Spartans who are getting disrespected all over the place despite being 8-2 in the last 10 meetings, 10-0 ATS. The weather is the bigger reason why I'm backing the Spartans on Saturday as it's going to be rainy, and windy, and Jim Harbough already struggled to come up with an innovative offensive play in regular weather. He has also been super conservative in these types of games which always tends to come down to a field goal, and the total here is 41 points which gives us more value on the +7 for the home dog.
Michigan State has very quietly played the tougher schedule having faced an average defense ranking 50th in yards per play, compared to Michigan's offense that has faced #68. Michigan State's defense on average has faced #50.8 offense ypp, while Michigan has faced 56.2. Michigan State's weakness right now is in the secondary, but I don't know how much we can see Michigan taking advantage of it. Right now they feel really good about their running game hammering it 60% of the time, and the weather should be a big reason why they don't challenge Michigan State's secondary.
Michigan State's run defense is #1 in the country and tested facing an average offense ranking 53.8. That's better than Michigan's run defense that ranks an impressive #12 against a #56. Michigan State's offense however can be more creative, and take advantage of some of the aggressive play calling of Don Brown's defense. We have seen it before with the Spartans and it's just an example of better coaching. They also have the WR in Felton Davis who can make plays. If you recall SMU's James Proche had 11 receptions for 166 yards against Michigan's secondary.
Honestly, what has Michigan really proven other than the fact that Jim Harbough is a bully, and he can beat bad teams. They struggled against Northwestern, so did Michigan State. They struggled against Notre Dame with extra preparation and a lot of pressure. They have more pressure here, and that Notre Dame team was extremely one dimensional with their QB at the time in Wimbush. Michigan State has 2 losses, I'm giving them a pass for the 4th quarter melt down at Arizona State where it was 97 degrees and the game didn't end until 3pm local time. Northwestern also came back in the 4th quarter chucking the ball 47 times for 373 yards, and unless the weather changes I don't see Harbough letting Shea Patterson do the same thing. I'm more impressed with their win at Penn State, who was off a bye last week. Michigan State will continue to play the little brother card, and it will work again.
|10-20-18||Maryland +9 v. Iowa||0-23||Loss||-105||3 h 44 m||Show|
Maryland +275 1.5% Play
I think there is good value here when you factor in that Iowa won't be able to take advantage of their obvious offensive strength which is passing the ball. Iowa's running game is 87th in the country and they'll be going up against Maryland's 13th ranked run defense. There will be 24mph winds in this game, and this game is going to come down to who can run better, and I'm back Maryland here with some excellent value as they rank 7th in rushing yards per carry going up against an obviously good Iowa run defense which ranks 11th, but Maryland obviously has the athletes here.
|10-18-18||Stanford v. Arizona State +2||20-13||Loss||-110||2 h 9 m||Show|
Arizona State +2.5 2.2% Play
This play is a late release, because I was holding out for a 3, but only one shop has it, but I feel comfortable with Arizona State here, and think they pull the upset. Stanford has a lot of weaknesses right now with their only strength being the QB play of KJ Costello. Costello, however has been sacked a lot ranking 83rd in sack % for a team that passes the ball 55% of the time that is not a good stat. What makes it worse is the fact that Stanford has gone against bad pass rush teams's ranking 74.8 in sack % on average. Well, Arizona State and their unique 3-3-5 defense is fast, and they get to the QB ranking 22nd in sack %, and at home they are even more dangerous.
Last year Stanford needed 307 yards rushing and they still only won 34-24 at home against Arizona State. This year Bryce Love won't be 100%, and they are not going to push him, and they rank 125th in yards per carry. That's with what was one of the best offensive lines, but they are allowing too many plays behind the line of scrimmage. Arizona State ranks 46th in rushing defense, and if they can do what they typically do at home at night, in 82 degrees they should come out victorious. Also, don't sleep on Arizona State's offense, the two offensive guys that were questionable in Wilkins and Harry will play here. Worth mentioning is the fact that both teams are off extra rest, but Stanford last year was awful in this situation going 0-3 ATS and 2-3 straight up. Their only win was a 15-14 win on a Thursday night at Oregon State, yuck.
|10-13-18||Miami-FL v. Virginia +7||13-16||Win||100||30 h 40 m||Show|
Virginia +7 4.4% play
Virginia was in their second road game last year at Miami and led 28-14 late, before Miami scored the final 30 points to win 44-28 in misleading fashion a year ago as Miami was outgained by 79 yards. Virginia simply ran out of gas which is something they will not due this Saturday in a RARE night game in Virginia off a bye.
Virginia is actually expecting a good crowd here hosting Miami who they have gone 3-1 straight up since 2010 at home. They’ll be off a bye while Miami is coming off an emotional victory against rival Florida State, a game they trailed 27-7. Miami just 2-3 following Florida State game the last 5 years and I expect Virginia might pull the upset.
They have the better QB here in dual threat Bryce Perkins leading an offense that ranks 31st in yards per play. Perkins has 1603 total yards, 63% completion %, 17 total TD’s, and just 4 interceptions. Miami’s new QB Perry did throw for 4 TD’s, but completed just 13 of his 31 passes, 51% for the season. He will have issues going up against Virginia’ underrated defense which ranks 42nd in adjusted D having faced 49th adjusted offense ranking. Miami’s defense that has dominated has actually faced a weak offensive schedule. Their opponents on average rank 78.4 in yards per play compare that with what Virginia has had to contend with with opponents ranking 52nd in yards per play offense.
Virginia is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 following a bye, and Bronco Mendenhall as a head coach is 17-11 straight up. Watch out for the Turnover Toaster in this rare night game where it will be 51 degrees in Virginia. That’s not the ideal environment for these Florida boys.
|10-13-18||West Virginia v. Iowa State +6.5||Top||14-30||Win||100||30 h 44 m||Show|
Iowa State +6.5 5.5% NCAAF POD
Iowa State 9-2 ATS in their last 11 as a dog, and they are a significant step up in competition for West Virginia. West Virginia is not #6 ranked team just like LSU was not #5 going on the road as a favorite a week ago and losing at Florida. This is the Big 12 version of that with Iowa State playing very well despite injuries at QB position Iowa State managed to upset Oklahoma State last week on the road. They also played Oklahoma, TCU, and Iowa to 10 pints or less.
Iowa State inserted mobile QB Brock Purdy and against a good defense in Oklahoma State he put up 400+ yards and 5 TD”s, 4 through the air. Iowa State’s offense is very under rated in my opinion as they rank 83rd in yards per play, but have faced a tough schedule facing defenses ranked on average #36 in yards per play allowed. Here they face another good defense in West Virginia #25, but West Virginia has not played faced a top 35 team yet.
West Virginia’s offense has dominated behind Will Grier, but look at the defenses they have faced. On average ranking 102nd yards per play allowed, 92nd average in QB rating defense, and on average they have faced a rushing defense ranking 99.5. The rushing defense is what really is a red flag, because it appears West Virginia is completely one dimensional on offense and that won’t win on the road. They rank 73rd in yards per carry and they faced on average a 99.5 ranked defense. Here they face Iowa State’s 13th ranked rushing defense. What does that mean?
Unless West Virginia throws early they are going to set themselves up on third and longs and Iowa State ranks 32nd in sack %. They can put pressure on the QB and force mistakes. West Virginia is 99th in TO Margin, and Grier turned the ball over 3 times inside the 30. Iowa State will be fine giving up the yards to West Virginia, but are stingy in the red zone allowing just 50% TD percentage. Last year they gave up a ton of yards, but held West Virginia to 20 points. This is a night game in Ames with a great home crowd looking for an upset before going into their bye.
|10-13-18||Louisiana Tech -10.5 v. UTSA||31-3||Win||100||30 h 34 m||Show|
Louisiana Tech -10.5 3.3% play
This is a hidden gem in my opinion as UTSA is off 3 misleading victories over arguably the three worst teams in college football, Rice, UTEP, Texas STate who are a combined 0-14 vs. FBS. The strength of schedule for UTSA can’t get worse at #126, and their offense ranks #130 having faced an average defense ranking #91 in yards per play. How is that possible? Here they are stepping up in competition in a big way and it’s just a bad match-up.
UTSA can’t run the ball ranking #119 having faced a defenses that rank #97.5 on average. So they have turned to their QB more often than not passing the ball 53% of the time, and they rank #127 in QB Rating. #127 is against an average defense ranking #83.8 and here they face a pass defense from Louisiana Tech that ranks #24.
Louisiana TEch’s offense will have success putting up yards and points in my opinion as they step down in competition in a major way. QB J’mar Smith while they rank 103rd in QB Rating has faced the #36 on average pass defense. Here they face #116. The road environment won’t bother him as they have already played 3 road games. J’mar Smith has 9 TD’s and 5 INT’s which is actually quite impressive given the strength of schedule they have faced. We are getting some line value here as well as La Tech just lost at UAB 7-28. Louisiana Tech will score 30+ points here, and should be enough for an easy cover.
|10-13-18||Purdue -10.5 v. Illinois||46-7||Win||100||26 h 21 m||Show|
Purdue -10.5 2.2% play
Purdue in their largest away favorite role since 2007, but for good reason. They come fresh off a bye here needing another win, and the matchup is favorable. First of all Purdue’s defense which was supposed to take a step back this year has played very well of late. The strength of the defense is getting to the QB and stopping the run. Illinois strength is running the ball and staying out of third and long and I expect they may struggle. When you look at Illinois running game they rank 11th in yards per carry, but they have faced the 89th ranked run defense on average.
Purdue going up against a very good Boston College rushing game held that one dimensional attack to 7 points at home. Illinois also getting more % of tickets this week after they looked really good last week, but that was against Rutgers. Purdue is a Big Ten team on the rise with a top flight offense under Jeff Brohm. Illinois ranking 110th in yards per play allowed will face Purdue’s #16th ranked offense, an offense that can throw it and run it. Purdue will throw it more, and Illinois can’t get to the QB ranking 116th in sack % and if you can’t get to the QB you are going to give up a ton of yards.
The pace of this game should be quick, and Illinois really does not slow it down enough for me to want to back them as a home dog. Even against Penn State at home as a +28 they lost after leading by 3 late. Purdue is not a team to take their foot off the gas so 10 point spread is not as high as it seems in typical situations.
|10-13-18||Georgia -7.5 v. LSU||16-36||Loss||-103||26 h 8 m||Show|
Duke +8.5 Teaser
A lot of people are picking Duke here to pull the upset which makes me a bit nervous, but I do feel like we have great value with the teaser. Duke, of course very familiar with the option, and has done great against it going 8-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. an option team which includes 4-0 ATS run vs. Georgia Tech covering those games by an average of 16 points per game. Duke also gets the extra week to prepare. GEorgia Tech who has the #4 ranked offensive attack and runs the ball 83% of the time will keep this clock ticking. They have gotten there facing the average #88 rushing defense, but here they face Duke off a bye who ranks #14.
Meanwhile Georgia Tech off two blow out victories and feeling great about themselves, but this is a game they know they need to win. Duke has faced the tougher schedule, and they have the QB Daniel Jones to make all the plays. Jones broke his clavicle which led to losses for Duke and the extra time off definitely helps him heal and be 100%. Duke will line up and face the #93 ranked defense, which is accurate with a #94 adjusted defense ranking. They are #79 vs. the run, and #71 s. The pass, and #107 at getting to the QB Despite facing teams that don’t protect their QB. Jones will have a clean pocket and when he does he’s smart and they won’t turn the ball over to give Georgia Tech to win this by double digits.
This total has dropped 5 points, these teams are familiar with each other and both want to run the ball first. Expect a tight lower scoring game and that means the extra 6 points are just far more valuable here.
LSU is a popular dog this week that I am fading. LSU has impressive wins on their resume with Auburna on the road and Miami to open the season, but those wins are becoming less and less impressive. Their defense which ranks #39 has yet to see a balanced offense all year. The offenses they did face could either run it or pass it but not both. Here comes Georgia who can do both and do it efficiently. Georgia players already calling this game the start of their season, and LSU proved last week when they gave up 215 yards rushing to Florida that they can be run on.
Jake Fromm is probably the most underrated player in the nation in my opinion. He is a poised QB that as a freshman led his team to the National Championship. This year he is fighting off a “better prospect” in Justin Fields and just playing great. Death Valley at 3:30 kickoff won’t phase him at all and he’ll lead this team to a victory. My #’s have this game at 13.3 point favorite for Georgia. I like the teaser value we are getting more here.
LSU has been a popular pick and many are pointing to Georgia’s schedule and their lack of defensive pressure. Georgia ranking #117 in sack %, but they have faced an opponenet sack % allowed ranking on average #39.8. LSU is not getting to the QB either ranking #94 ins ack % and they have faced teams that just don’t protect the QB Ranking #74.6 in protection, but LSU still has not been able to create pressure.
The only way LSU wins this game is if they force turnovers and I just don’t see how that is possible with Fromm out there. Georgia is 10th in the nation in TO margin, and it is far more likely that LSU’s QB Burrow turns the ball over. LSU in 3 conference games have 5 TO’s while Georgia is +4 TO margin in their 4 conference games. Georgia also +17.5% TD percentage in the red zone on the season compared to LSU who is struggling at -6.5%. Fade the popular dog LSU as they step up in competition.
|10-13-18||Florida -7 v. Vanderbilt||37-27||Win||100||23 h 40 m||Show|
Florida -7 2.2% play
My math models have this game around -10. Normally I would want to fade FLorida in this situation, but they are a different team this year. They rely on the run and they are good at it ranking #25 in the country despite facing an adjusted opponent defense ranking #1. Vanderbilt comes into this game ranking #84 defending the run, and that’s against an opponent average rushing attack ranking #53. The strength of this Vanderbilt offense is the QB play, but they are facing #10 ranked QB defense. Florida also able to get after the QB ranking #9 in the country.
All that travels and Florida is ranked #4 in TO margin while Vanderbilt ranks #42. Vanderbilt should have beaten Notre Dame on the road when Notre Dame still had Whimbush at QB and we backed Vanderbilt in that game, but since that game Vanderbilt has lost 2 games vs. SEC foes by 23 points, and 28 points. Florida fits in that category and there is no hangover here as they want to go into their bye week excited for what they have coming out of the bye facing Georgia in 2 weeks.
|10-12-18||Arizona v. Utah -13.5||10-42||Win||100||11 h 29 m||Show|
Utah -13.5 3.3% Play
Both teams off misleading victories last week, but Utah has had many misleading losses this year and could very easily be undefeated. Their misleading victory over Stanford was at least a dominating 40-21 on the road. Arizona got +4 TO's against Cal including two pick 6's, but only won 24-17 at home. Now Arizona most go on the road to on a short week to play Utah who has got some confidence, and their head coach Kevin Sumlin is complaining about the short week which just gives your players excuses early in this game if things don't start well.
Utah got great play by their QB last week Tyler Huntley and he was finding multiple receivers which is a great sign for this offense. I'm not surprised as I was high on Utah coming into this season. Huntley has had a challenging scheduling going up an average opponent sack rate of #43, and average opponent QB rating of 42, and an average opponent rushing ypc of 40.25. Here, Arizona ranks #65 vs. the pass vs. waek competition, and #99 in sack %, and their run defense is #91 vs. the run. This should help create balance for a Utah offense that has struggled at times this year. I don't see how they don't put up 31 points with RB Zack Moss probably having the ability to rush for 100+ yards again.
Arizona's offense with QB Tate was highly touted coming into the year, but the coaching change and Tate being forced to throw more along with his health has held this offense back. Offensively they really don't do anything well. They rank 47th in ypc, but that has been against an opponent defense ranking #74.4, here they face Utah #6 at home. They rank #93 in QB rating and that has been against an average QB defense of #70, here Utah ranks #34, and Utah's secondary has been tested a bit for sure. The weather is going to be cold at 46 degrees for those Arizona boys so when Utah gets up I don't think there is any back door open for them to cover this spread.
|10-06-18||Notre Dame v. Virginia Tech +7||45-23||Loss||-105||29 h 44 m||Show|
Virginia Tech +7 3.3% Play
I see a couple of 7.5 with extra juice out there so you may be able to wait this one out if you want. Plenty of people wanting to back Notre Dame.
So many story lines here for the Hokies to post up on their bulletin board. Notre Dame switched their QB to Ian Book and all of a sudden they are going to be playing Alabama in the National Championship. Virginia Tech players keep being reminded that they lost to Old Dominion, but it seems like they got over that last week, and they cut some players that were creating some turmoil in the locker room if you ask me and have made room for the younger more talented guys. QB Ryan Willis looked better running this offense than Joshua Jackson, and I know he’s a “Kansas” QB transfer and that’s another thing that people are talking about, but Willis (no relation), actually set a Kansas freshman record for passing yards in just 8 starts when he was there. The 4th thing on the bulletin board is Bud Foster’s defense and how it’s just not as good, we will see.
Notre Dame is better with Ian Book I will admit that, but in his 2 starts he went against #56 run defense / #88 pass defense in Stanford, a team in a horrible situation after playing an OT game on the West Coast to Oregon winning, saving their season in dramatic fashion. Previously he started against Wake Forest who had the 107th ranked run defense, and 96th ranked pass defense. We have seen Book before, and we have seen him make mental mistakes against good defenses. Virginia Tech is +6 turnover margin on the season which could play a factor here considering they have struggled at the tackle position and just lost their pre-season All American LG Alex Bars for the season. Expect VT’s Ricky Walker to play a key part in forcing a couple of turnovers in their home hostile environment. Enter Sandman.
|10-06-18||Kentucky +6 v. Texas A&M||14-20||Push||0||27 h 23 m||Show|
Kentucky +6 3.3% play
This line is a major slap in the face to the Wildcats, but they are used to it and I expect it to motivate them. Texas A&M is very similar to Kentucky when we look at their offense and defense, but I think Kentucky is the more balanced team. Many will point out to Terry Wilson’s struggles throwing the ball, but he’s faced 4 TOP 42 passing defenses. Compare that with A&M and Kellen Mond who has seen just 1 passing defense in the top 42.
Nobody has played Clemson or Alabama better than A&M, but Kentucky has 3 wins already over SEC opponents, and I think they are the better team here. Texas A&M has been a rock against the run ranking #29 facing an average offense ranking 31.75 so the rushign defense is legit, but Kentucky has been able to run the ball all year against legit defenses. This may be the first time Kentucky has the ability to pass early on downs going up against A&M who ranks 114th vs. the pass, Kentucky ranks 3rd.
Kentucky also has a very good run defense ranking #28 and they have also faced 3 top 30 rushing offenses and have won those games. Offensively Kentucky ranks #8 in rushing yards per carry behind Benny Snell who will motivate his team to victory. Snell has done this vs. a weaker run defense schedule ranking on average 61 compared to A&M’s 59th rank vs. an average opponent ranking 39th vs. the run. Overall Kentucky seems to have the edge with no red flags. A&M is -5 in turnover margin and missed two field goals and struggled against Arkansas last week. I have this game -3 A&M, and lined pk on a neutral field, and I’ll back a team like Kentucky who seems to have the better defense.
|10-06-18||Arizona State +2.5 v. Colorado||21-28||Loss||-110||24 h 26 m||Show|
Arizona State +2.5 3.3% play
The wrong team is favored here and Colorado has faced the weakest schedule of maybe any team. Their opponents are 1-16, and they have yet to play a top 50 pass defense or top 50 run defense, but they are about to face Arizona State who is both.
Arizona State is well coached and may be as balanced as any team in the country. Manny Wilkins is not turning the ball over at QB and he can run the ball as well. Wilkins ran for 95 yards in this matchup last year as Colorado gave up a season high 381 yards to Arizona STate. Arizona State 6.25 yards per carry in wins and 3.13 in losses will be the key. I think they can run in this game with Wilkins back there and the RB Eno Benjamin. Colorado has given up more than 5 yards per carry against two worse rushing offenses in Nebraska and UCLA. Nebraska’s freshmen QB Martinez rushed for 117 yards.
For Arizona State’s defense I feel like they can dominate. They are running a different defense that Colorado is not used to seeing in the 3-3-5. They are ranked 10th in the nation in sack %, and Colorado’s offensive line is struggling to pass protect ranking 92nd. That’s with facing teams who rank 116, 42, and 72 in getting to the QB. I think Arizona State is fully capable of dominating this game and winning by double digits.
|10-06-18||Ohio v. Kent State +12||27-26||Win||100||42 h 54 m||Show|
Kent +12 2.2% play
Ohio has struggled in their last two trips to Kent winning by 4 points. I see them really trying to slow this game down with a bigger game on deck at Northern Illinois. Ohio is ranked 109th in pace and take the full play clock between plays which should shorten this game quite a bit in my opinion. This is also Ohio’s third road game in 4 weeks, and Kent is playing their first home game vs. an FBS opponent.
Kent played Howard in week 2 at home and won 54-14 against the FCS foe. I wouldn’t normally bring up a game like that, but Ohio needed a +4 TO margin to hang on against Howard in week 1 38-32. Ohio was -222 yards in that game compared to Kent State who was +241. Kent State also did not rely on TO’s to get the victory.
Kent State has faced the tougher schedule ranking 50th compared to Ohio ranking 100th. They are only -1.73 yards per play compared to Ohio who is -0.72. Kent actually played well last week at Ball STate had a +2.8% success rate in the 52-24 loss which was a bit misleading. I would not be shocked to see this game come down to a field goal.
|10-06-18||Oklahoma v. Texas +7.5||Top||45-48||Win||100||20 h 26 m||Show|
Texas +7.5 -1.15 4.5 NCAAF PODTexas is built to beat Oklahoma, and Oklahoma is built to beat all Big 12 teams which is the reason they have struggled in this match-up in the past despite being big favorites they are 0-5 ATS the last 5 years vs. Texas in this game. Tom Herman 11-1 ATS as a head coach with 8 outright upsets as an underdog is very impressive. Oklahoma comes into this game high flying after 66-33 win over Baylor, but it's Baylor. Oklahoma has not faced any team worth speaking about other than Iowa State who just over achieves each year with the talent they have. This will be the game that Oklahoma misses RB Rodney Anderson as the struggling running game will have issues moving the ball against Texas defense. Oklahoma might want to put it in Kyler Murray's hands, but I actually think that is what will win this game for Texas. Murray has been inaccurate all year long from what I have seen he's been lucky to have guys running wide open. Here he goes up against the #19 pass defense and that's just not going to happen. So far Murray has faced an average 97.4 pranked pass defense. Texas also comes into the game ranking #32 in opponent interception % thrown. Murray has gone against #99, 118, 93, 120 and #89 in that category. Oklahoma's schedule has been weak their 5 opponents are 1-10 vs. the Power 5. Meanwhile Texas has beaten ranked opponents in TCU, and USC. Texas played well in this game last year behind QB Sam Ehlinger and took the lead late. I expect they will have a shot to win this game yet again in the 4th quarter.
|10-05-18||Utah State v. BYU -2.5||45-20||Loss||-105||11 h 24 m||Show|
BYU -2.5 2.2% Play
Previously BYU did not view this game as a rivalry game, but this is one of the games they circled on their calendar in the off season. It seems like everyone is on Utah State and their video like numbers, but they have had a very weak schedule so far this season while BYU has had a very challenging schedule facing 4 power 5 opponents in Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona and Cal, and 3 of those 4 were some of the best defenses last year. BYU is also getting two defensive starters back in LB Anderson and S Ghanwoloku who missed last week so the defense should be able to stop the running game of Utah State that they have relied on so much scoring 17 TD's. Utah State has simply dominated in the red zone this year, but again their opponents are not very talented on the defensive side of the ball besides Michigan State who may have been looking past them.
In last year's loss, BYU actually held Utah State to 288 yards. They actually led 21-7 in the 2nd quarter before their backup QB Beau Hoge was lost for the game. In comes the offensive coordinator's son Koy Detmer, and he throws not 1, not 2, but 3 six picks and Utah State wins in very misleading fashion 40-26. I think BYU has proven more this season in wins over Arizona and Wisconsin that they are a much improved team. I don't really know what Utah State has proven up to this point. They are coming off a bye, but they are going on the road so I think those two things even out. With the two defensive returners returning for BYU, I expect a win by a TD or more.
|09-29-18||Ohio State -3.5 v. Penn State||27-26||Loss||-110||124 h 11 m||Show|
Ohio State -3.5 4.4% Play
I am grabbing this number early in the week before it goes up to 6. I have not been impressed with Penn State who has yet to see a decent defense. They struggled and were trailing at Illinois halfway through the third quarter and our +28 Illinois ticket looked like it would cash. However, Penn State made it a point to blow the game up and look good on paper covering the spread with ease throwing 40 yard passes up 25 with less than 5 minutes to go.
I feel like the Big Ten is down this year, but Ohio State is the class of the league. They got a nice warm up with Urban Meyer back in the mix, and I expect they win this game by double digits. Penn State's defense is trash, and their offense will have issues against a good defensive line which Ohio State has. Expect a high scoring game, but I don't see how Penn State can stop Ohio State's offense which is better than last year's.
|09-29-18||South Carolina +1 v. Kentucky||Top||10-24||Loss||-110||46 h 14 m||Show|
South Carolina +1 5.5% NCAAF POD
Kentucky is a hot pick right now and everyone is picking them over South Carolina this week. I am high on Kentucky, and I even bet them at Florida, but I think this is a different match-up. This is the first time Kentucky is in the AP Top 25 in 11 years and they are facing an unranked team yet they are only a 1 point favorite? They have actually dominated South Carolina over the last 4 years winning 4 straight, but they are only a 1 point favorite? Kentucky is actually just 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games as a home favorite, and South Carolina has covered their last 8 road games.
This is a different South Carolina that Kentucky has to go against this week compared to Florida and Miss State who they took down as double digit dogs. Florida and Miss State can not pass the ball and are one dimensional on offense. South Carolina with Jake Bentley and their star receivers can move the ball through the air which should open up some running lanes. The strength of this Kentucky team is in the front 7, and South Carolina’s offensive line has been very good protecting the QB ranking 9th in sack % allowed.
South Carolina is a balanced offense and although they rank similarly in yards per play at #20 to Miss State and Florida who ranked 18th and 22nd the strength of schedule South Carolina has faced to get there is totally different. Miss State ranks 18th, but faced YPP defenses of 100th, 122 and an FCS foe. Florida ranks 22nd but faced 126, 95 and an FCS foe. South Carolina ranks 20th, can pass the ball, and played 116th, 23rd, and 41st ranked defenses.
South Carolina is also led by a defensive minded coach. They held Benny Snell to 103 rushing yards on 32 carries which is pretty damn good in last year’s game. South Carolina will force Terry Wilson at QB to beat them and so far he has 2 TD’s and 4 INT’s. This is simply a bad matchup for Kentucky.
|09-29-18||Hawaii v. San Jose State +10||44-41||Win||100||44 h 16 m||Show|
San Jose State +330 2% Play
Last week we gave out Purdue +218 and it cashed with ease over BC in a 30-7 victory. This is a tough spot for Hawaii already their 6th game in 6 weeks and this is their 3rd time traveling while they face San Jose State team off a bye. I really think San Jose can pull the upset here facing Hawaii who is getting plenty of action from bettors as their QB McDonald leads the nation in passing. Hawaii however did not get off to a good start in their last game against Duquesne who took a 14-0 lead to start the game despite traveling over 5,000 miles.
San Jose State played well vs. their two PAC 12 opponents especially vs. the pass coming up with 5 interceptions against Washington State and Oregon. They held Oregon’s Justin HErbert to 47% completion percentage, Herbert completed 78.8% of his passes against Stanford. THe passing defenses that McDonald has faced rank 119th, 108, 129, and 113th.
|09-29-18||Utah -1.5 v. Washington State||24-28||Loss||-110||24 h 16 m||Show|
Utah off a bye here while Washington State is coming off a big road loss at USC. Utah is 20-6 following a bye straight up under Kyle Whitingham and has revenge after losing the last three years to Washington State. Last year they only lost by 8 points despite 7 turnovers. That's hard to do, and they'll look to rebound following their poor loss against Washington at home 2 weeks ago. The bye also helped the health of Utah whose most important offensive asset is Zack Moss, 100% for this game it sounds like. Moss is one of the top backs in the nation when fresh and I think that will show in this game as Utah looks to rebound. Utah still has the #1 efficiency pass defense which Wash St will want to do a lot of here. I just feel like Utah is the better team here +2.43 yards per play vs. the 41st ranked SOS while Washington State is +1.61 yp vs the 74th ranked SOS. Utah made many mistakes in their loss vs. Washington which I think a bye allowed them to work on.
|09-29-18||Pittsburgh +13 v. Central Florida||14-45||Loss||-110||41 h 45 m||Show|
PItt + 13 2.2% play
Over 75% of the tickets are on UCF, but 56% of the money is on PItt and the line that opened up at 14.5 is down to 13. From a #’s perspective I have this around 10.5 or 11. So, I still think 13 is a decent # here, and it might be worth waiting if you can grab a 14 at your book later in the week, but overall I feel good about Pitt’s chances here.
Pitt the last two years they have knocked off a #2 team in the nation. Last year they knocked off Miami to close the year and the year before they knocked off Clemson on the road so it would not surprise me if they knocked another team in the top rankings off here. IT’s worth noting that they won those two games coming off a loss. Pat Narduzzi already challenging his team’s effort against North Carolina last week so I think he will get their best effort here.
UCF has a 16 game winning streak and are self proclaimed National Champions, but this team is a different team all together this year. Their offense is still very good led by McKenzie Milton, but something tells me that they are due for a trip up, and they have a ton of pressure here to try to blow out Pitt. UCF has played Uconn, SC State and FAU, a team that is not as good as last year, but still managed to rush for 320 yards against UCF.
If Pitt is smart they will slow this game down and run the ball. So far this season they are averaging 5.44 yards per carry and they ran for more than 200 yards against both North Carolina and Penn State. UCF has given up 320 to FAU, and 220 to Uconn in week 1.
|09-29-18||Oklahoma State v. Kansas +17||48-28||Loss||-110||37 h 18 m||Show|
Kansas +17 3.3% play
Oklahoma State was on the doorstep of cracking into the Top 10 after their blowout of Boise State which was extremely misleading. Now they are coming off a big loss against Texas Tech at home, and there are red flags all over the place for this team. Since 2008 they are just 14-15-1 ATS following a SU loss so it’s not like this team rebounds under Gundy, and I also think they may not be excited for this game especially since with a loss they really can’t be thinking about bigger things this season. In their last meeting at Kansas this was a 24-20 game halfway through the third quarter and I think Kansas can draw some confidence from that.
Kansas is playing good defense holding all 4 opponents under 40% success rate and two of them under 30%. Oklahoma State has struggled on offense with Taylor Cornelius at QB and he just lost his second leading receiver who chose to red shirt and transfer. Oklahoma State’s offense is only 13-40 on third downs this year and they have 7 TO’s in 4 games. Meanwhile Kansas is +12 TO margin on the year and has only turned the ball over once.
Kansas is certainly improved and I think they get a huge opportunity to prove that their two wins against Central Michigan and Rutgers were not a fluke. My one worry would be the offensive line as Oklahoma State lead the nation with 19 sacks, but Kansas is actually smart running the ball 60% of the time and they have averaged over 5 yards per carry on the season led by Freshman Pooka Williams, 8.02 ypc. Oklahoma State’s run defense has been solid, but their last trip to Kansas they actually allowed over 200 yards on the ground. Overall I think this game is going to be more of a defensive game, and I think Kansas can win the turnover battle.
|09-29-18||Arkansas +21.5 v. Texas A&M||17-24||Win||100||37 h 12 m||Show|
Arkansas +21.5 2.2% Play @12pm ET
Nobody wants to touch Arkansas right now and that’s exactly the time we would like to back them. I think there is tremendous value here and if you don’t see a 21.5 you will on Saturday, but I like 21 as I have this line at 17. The spread in this game the last 3 years has been under a TD.
This will be a neutral field game at Jerry World in Dallas. Arkansas 0-3 ATS vs. Texas A&M 4-0 ATS which just creates more line value and Arkansas looked pretty damn good against Auburn holding them to 225 yards in their 34-3 loss.
Arkansas has to clean up its act on special teams, and not turn the ball over here and they should cover the spread. A&M has only forced 1 TO all season, and they have struggled protecting their QB and will face Arkansas who is 3rd in adjusted sack rate. The Aggies also have struggled to run the ball against Clemson/Alabama who I know have a better defense than Arkansas, but Arkansas was very impressive last weekend against a very good Auburn offense on the road.
Texas A&M meanwhile off their big game against Alabama. TEams typically do not play well following an Alabama matchup.
|09-29-18||Temple v. Boston College -12||35-45||Loss||-110||24 h 2 m||Show|
Boston College -12.5 2.2% play
A lot of Temple's success the last two games is due to their ability to get a pass rush in predictable passing situations and create turnovers. I don't see them being able to get into that situation this week against Boston College, and I expect Boston College to run the ball, and when they do pass guys will be wide open on play action. Temple has played better in their last two games and that has this line moving 14 points, but I have this game lined 18.5. I wrote an article about how my initial lean was Temple, but the more I look at this game I really like Boston College's chances here.
Temple has no offense to speak of ranking 104th in yards per play averaging less than 4 yards per carry and 50% completion percentage. They really don't have the passing game to take advantage of Boston College's weakness which is their pass defense as we saw last week when Purdue passed for 296 yards 3 TD's and 0 INT's.
|09-28-18||Memphis v. Tulane +15.5||24-40||Win||100||8 h 29 m||Show|
Tulane +15 2.2% play
Tulane is getting just 28% of the tickets and 37% of the money and we have seen this line move about 5 points. Tulane is desperate for a win, and I think they will be in this game. Their record is misleading here as they are 13 points away from being 3-1 instead of 1-3. Their strength of schedule is far superior to Memphis. Memphis has faced offensive/defensive rankings - 102/101, 100/129, and 92/86 + an FCS foe. Compare that with Tulane who has faced 96/108 - That's Wake Forest and we know those #'s are much better, 54/88, and 8/31.
Tulane played Wake Forest a very good offense to the wire and they get a similar look in Memphis, a team that is pretty balanced and wants to run up tempo. They really held Wake Forest offense in check and that was very impressive. Wake Forests numbers have been down due to play a tough schedule themselve featuring BC and Notre Dame.
This is the best offense that Memphis has faced and that's really not saying much. Jonathan Banks has to be able to throw it and the offense has to be able to run the ball here at home on a Friday night I expect they will be able to. Memphis gave up 264 rushing yards against Navy in a sloppy game that saw them turn it over 4 times. There could be rain and similar conditions here tonight.
Memphis is also banged up on defense here with guys missing practice traveling on a short week there is value on Tulane. Memphis was 4 TD favorite last week and they were tied with South Alabama at half time yet they keep getting steamed up and we will come back in on the other side and take the value as I have this game around 11.5 not 15!
|09-22-18||Stanford v. Oregon +3||38-31||Loss||-105||22 h 3 m||Show|
Oregon +3 3.3% play
When is the last time Oregon defeated a decent team? That is the question many are asking, and the reason why many are backing Stanford this week. This is just the 4th time in the last 8 years that Oregon is a dog at home. Stanford is getting all the money because they have faced two solid teams in San Diego STate & USC and have won and covered, but now they go on the road for the first time this season and face an Oregon team that has not played anyone.
Oregon has a new offensive coordinator along with an offensive coach in Mario Cristobal in his first year. The offense through the first three games has been “designing a new approach.” That’s exactly what the coaching staff called it, but I expect them to go back to what works and pull out all the stops to get a big time win at home.
What is hidden in all of this is how well Oregon’s defense has played and how poorly Stanford has run the ball. I don’t anticipate much to change and Oregon’s aggressive defense will continue their improvement on defense this year under Jim Leavitt who is arguably a top 5 defensive coordinator in the nation. He has drastically improved this unit that allowed less than 3 yards per carry at home. Stanford right now 120th in offensive success rate, and averaging just 3.84 ypc. Stanford just 2-5 straight up when they are held under 4 yards per carry the last two years and that is exactly what Oregon will try to do here, and I think they’ll be successful.
|09-22-18||UNLV +7.5 v. Arkansas State||Top||20-27||Win||100||21 h 15 m||Show|
UNLV +7.5 4.4% NCAAF POD
There is some value here with UNLV, 12-4 ATS in their last 16 as a road dog, and they continue to improve under Tony Sanchez and are poised to get back to a bowl game this year. UNLV is a dominant running team and chooses to do so 67% of the time. This trends well in road games as a dog, and UNLV should be able to get the running game going in this game, because Arkansas State has had trouble stopping the run this year. UNLV is also a very diciplined team with just 3.7 penalties per game compared to Arkansas State who is averaging 11 penalties per game. UNLV was very impressive at USC rushing for over 300 yards in their first game and held USC to only 1 passing TD.
Arkansas State has Justin Hansen at QB, but UNLV has already proven they can stop a talented QB or hold them in check. I see a bend but don’t break defense here for UNLV with strengths in the red zone. UNLV’s Armani Rogers might just be better than Hansen. When we look at Arkansas State they have dominated the Sun Belt - 17-7 ATS the last 3 seasons, but outside the Sun Belt they are just 4-10 ATS. The Mountain West (UNLV’s conference) is 18-12 vs. the Sun Belt since 2010 +8.7 points per game. Boise State already took down Troy this season by 36 points.
|09-22-18||Louisiana Tech +21 v. LSU||21-38||Win||100||21 h 10 m||Show|
Louisiana Tech +21 -115 3.5% play
This is a great spot for Louisiana Tech coming off a bye here facing LSU a team off a huge win on the road and has two wins over two top 10 teams as dogs. This just seems like the type of game LSU makes fans worry. LSU lost at home last year to Troy 21-24, and Louisiana Tech has played these type of SEC teams well the past two years. They lost 16-17 at South Carolina, and 20-21 at Arkansas in 2015. Against teams that run a quicker offense they haven’t had as much success. LSU looking toward their game against Ole Miss will likely want to get out of this game healthy.
Louisiana Tech thinking about an upset. This is Skip Holtz most experienced team in 6 years here, and it’s the first time he has a starting QB and LT back. As an away dog they have gone 10-3 ATS the last 4 seasons. LSU has really struggled offensively ranking 110th in offensive efficiency. Their QB is only completing 45.6% of his passes and they average 333.7 yards per game which includes only 335 against SE Louisiana.
|09-22-18||North Texas v. Liberty +12.5||47-7||Loss||-110||20 h 56 m||Show|
Liberty +12.5 2.2% play
I missed out on the early value on this line at 14.5 as the sharps gobbled that up. Still worth a play here as I feel this line should be around a TD instead.
Liberty is getting no respect here, because North Texas is coming off a road win in SEC Country over Arkansas, but largely benefited from +6 TO’s and a punt return TD. Arkansas lost the week before to Colorado State, who we know is one of the worst Group of 5 teams out there. I think that game said more about how bad Arkansas is than how good North Texas is. This is back to bad road games for North Texas, and they go from arguably the biggest win in program history to traveling to Virginia to play a team that was in the FCS last year. North Texas feeling pretty happy with themselves right now but are about to face an opponent that can actually pass the ball.
Both these teams can pass the ball, but I give an edge to Liberty at home. Stephen Calvert is off to a great start and had a 29TD to 6 INT Ratio last year. North Texas, Mason Fine had 12 interceptions in road games last year. This will be an exciting game, and while the win over Arkansas was impressive I don’t think they should be a double digit favorite against a team that beat Old Dominion by 42 points to open the year. Worth noting is Liberty also beat Baylor last year asa 30 point dog.
|09-22-18||Clemson -15.5 v. Georgia Tech||49-21||Win||100||17 h 26 m||Show|
Clemson -15.5 2.2% play
Clemson got a glimpse of the triple option last week in a tune up game before Georgia Tech. Not that they really needed it as they have held Georgia Tech to a combined 17 points the last two years. Clemson really feels due for a big win here, and I’m sure they want it as they are not being talked about with the likes of Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama. This just feels like a game where Clemson will come out with a 3 TD dominating victory.
|09-22-18||Western Kentucky v. Ball State -2.5||28-20||Loss||-110||3 h 37 m||Show|
Ball State -2.5 2.2% play
I was waiting for this line to drop below 3 and I was going to grab it. Ball State looks to revenge last year's 33-21 loss at Western Kentucky. That game was misleading as Ball State led 21-20 with under 5 minutes to play. Western Kentucky starting a backup QB here, and off a 20-17 loss at Louisville which gives us value here as Ball State got beat 38-10 at Indiana. I think Ball State will have more luck running the ball, and if you recall they held Notre Dame on the road in check on the ground. They went on the road to play another P5 opponent last week, and seem to run out of gas. Western Kentucky is poorly coached and lost to Maine this season.
|09-22-18||Boston College v. Purdue +7||13-30||Win||100||114 h 32 m||Show|
Purdue +218 2.5% Play
Purdue is in desperation mode again after finishing another game with a big mistake int he 4th quarter with a penalty. They are now 0-3 SU despite having the post game win probability. Meanwhile Boston College comes in and are 3-0 SU & ATS and everyone has been hyping this team up all pre-season long and they are backing it up right now, but I think their defense got exposed a bit against Wake Forest last week. This is a tough game for Boston College, to go on the road for the second week in a row facing an 0-3 team from the Big Ten, a conference that is not getting a lot of good press right now. Meanwhile they will face Purdue's offense that is just hitting on all gears right now ranked 11th in the country in yards per play. Purdue also matches up well as they are more successful stopping the run and have a weakness against the pass. Purdue's coaching staff is legit and they are a desperate team right now that doesn't quit. I expect they will come out with a big win here.
|09-22-18||Ohio +7.5 v. Cincinnati||30-34||Win||100||14 h 0 m||Show|
Ohio +7.5 3.3% play
Just 3 weeks ago Ohio would have been a 3 point favorite, but Cincinnati is 3-0 SU & ATS after some big wins including one as a double digit road dog at UCLA to open up the season. They beat Miami Ohio as a pk in rough weather conditions 21-0 and here we are.
We are getting serious line value here and Ohio finally looked like Ohio in the second half against Virginia last week. They face a freshman QB here, and they will face a very obvious play strategy as Cinci has run the ball 50+ times in all of their games running it 71% of the time. Ohio is usually stout against the run and their weakness this year is against the pass. This total has dropped by nearly 7 points expecting a lower scoring game I’ll take the dog with a shot to pull the upset.
|09-21-18||Washington State v. USC -3.5||36-39||Loss||-105||98 h 31 m||Show|
USC -3 -125 4% PLAY - Buy 1/2
We are getting a ton of value here with USC. USC definitely an overrated team this year and expected to take a step back, but I think they looked good in the first half on the road against Texas before they had too many mistakes. Coming back home facing a Washington State team that they have revenge against should help. Clay Helton is 1-10 ATS as a dog at USC, and we are not in that role here on Friday night against a Washington State team that has not played a team with any sort of offense having faced an FCS foe, San Jose (130th YPP), and Wyoming (104th YPP). USC meanwhile has played 27th, 32nd, and 66th ranked foes.
USC following a loss of 14+ points are 17-9 ATS in their next game as a favorite since 1985 and they are 11-5 ATS as a home favorite of 3-6.5 points after just a loss since 1985, and they are 10-2 ATS if they lost as a dog in their last game and are now a home favorite of 3-6.5. Point is USC does not find themselves in the situation as a home favorite by a TD or less very often. Especially following a loss meaning we are getting excellent value on this team right now. USC averaged nearly 6 yards per carry on the road in this match-up last year, and I think they will lean on the run at home and not put too much pressure on JT Daniels to win the game with his arm, but they'll let him take some shots to get up big early.
|09-21-18||Penn State v. Illinois +28||63-24||Loss||-105||7 h 28 m||Show|
Illinois +28 3.3% play
This line is off by 4-5 points in my opinion it should be around 23 or 23.5. We also have an unusual situation here with Penn State traveling on a short week, facing an opponent they have no seen since 2015, and playing at 9pm at night. Penn State also clearly looking ahead to next week's home game against Ohio State while Illinois has a bye. Illinois would love to go into a bye with a well played game here, and I think they can have success in this game by slowing the game down.
Penn State's offense with 53ppg is extremely misleading. Trace McSorley has not played very well compared to last season and has really missed the offensive coordinator Joe Moorehead completing 52% of his passes compared to 67% and they haven't played anyone worth speaking of.
I think Illinois here can have enough success running the ball whether AJ Bush is out there or not Rivers looked good as the backup QB a week ago. Illinois ranks 28th in the nation averaging 5.2 yards per carry, and Penn State has not been a rock stopping the run. Illinois RB MIke Epstein is really underrated 7.17 ypc.
|09-15-18||Washington v. Utah +5.5||Top||21-7||Loss||-110||48 h 26 m||Show|
Utah +5 4.4% NCAAF POD @ 10pm et
I like the Utes to pull the upset here. Utah has been a tough out for Washington in their last 3 matchups. Utah won by 11, they lost by 7 on a last minute kick return TD, they lost by 3 last year as they gave up 10 points in the final minute.
Utah to me has the better QB in this one in Tyler Huntley who threw for 293 passing yards at Washington last year 2 TD’s and 1 INT. Jake Browning has really struggled on the road in his career against good defenses, and Utah should be able to stop the run. They held Washington to 124 yards on the ground on the road last year, and just got done holding run heavy Northern Illinois to 117 and under 3 yards per carry.
Utah has an excellent home field advantage and a very good special teams. I expect a close game with Utah being in position to win the game outright.
|09-15-18||South Florida v. Illinois +11||25-19||Win||100||42 h 0 m||Show|
Illinois +10.5 3.3% play @ 3:30PM et
Illinois returns 16 starters, and already their offense has scored more points in back to back games 31 and 34 than in any game last year. South Florida has Virginia Tech transfer AJ Bush at QB, who is questionable this game, but the unknown of MJ Rivers, another mobile QB is something I am comfortable with in this game. Illinois game plan is to slow the game down and hold onto the football, and that’s something they have been able to do through two games with 31 minutes time of possession. Illinois is running the ball 65% of the time and they are averaging 6 yards per carry behind Reggie Corbin. South Florida’s run defense is questionable with 5 returning starters on defense they are inexperienced in the front 7. They gave up 192 yards to Elon and 419 to Georgia Tech.
South Florida had a 21% postgame win probability last week against Georgia Tech but were lucky to have +3 TO margin and 2 kick off return TD’s as they were outgained by 170 yards on the day. South Florida now has to travel and play in Chicago something they are not used to. Illinois remembers the beat down from last year, but this is a very different USF team that is getting a lot of credit based on last year’s results and a very lucky win last week. Ironically Illinois ranks higher in recruiting classes 3 of the last 4 years.
|09-15-18||LSU v. Auburn -9.5||22-21||Loss||-110||81 h 38 m||Show|
Auburn -9.5 3.3% play
I like Auburn a lot in this game against LSU. LSU’s offensive line is going to have real difficult time protecting their QB in this game, and they will have trouble scoring points. LSU in week 2 had a 31-0 victory over SE Louisiana, but only put up 335 total yards. In week 1 against Miami they scored 33 points, but only had 296 total yards. Auburn’s defense is better than Miami and this is a true road game for LSU. They will be held to under 250 yards in this game.
Auburn’s offense should score 20+ points here. They have a veteran QB in Jarret Stidham. This is a team that put up 420 yards of offense against Washington, but struggled settling for FG’s. They got some confidence in week 2 against Alabama State that will carry over to this game as they scored 63 points and had 567 total yards.
|09-15-18||Boise State v. Oklahoma State -2.5||21-44||Win||100||46 h 24 m||Show|
Oklahoma State -2.5 2.2% play @ 3:30pm ET
Boise State is a popular dog this week that I'd look to fade. Oklahoma State is a very well coached team under Mike Gundy and he has done a far better job recruiting here compared to Bryan Harsin at Boise State. On average over the last 4 years Oklahoma State has had a recruiting class that is 29 places ahead of Boise State.Oklahoma State is not often a short favorite at home. Since 2008 when they are less than a TD favorite at home they are 9-3-1 ATS. When they are facing a non-conference opponent since 1985 they are 37-18-1 ATS as a home favorite and when that spread is under 10 points they are 15-2 ATS. The Big 12 has also dominated the Mountain West going 13-2 since 2010 while outscoring the Mountain West by 18 points per game. That includes Boise State losing as a favorite to Baylor 31-12 in a bowl game. The 2 wins came from TCU & Utah who are now playing in power 5 conferences. Boise State is just getting a lot of hype while there is this thought that Oklahoma State is rebuilding. Oklahoma State has a senior at QB in Taylor Cornelius and a senior at RB in Justice Hill who can take it to the house on any play. Boise State looked great against the likes of Troy and Uconn, but they are about to see a top 10 passing offense. Boise State has been a good dog cover on the road, but they really have not been scheduling these type of games the last few years facing only Virginia, Washington State & Oregon State the last two years who are from the worst of the Power 5 Conferences. This is a team that lost to Virginia as a 13 point favorite.
|09-15-18||Vanderbilt +14 v. Notre Dame||17-22||Win||100||41 h 46 m||Show|
Vanderbilt +13.5 2.2% @ 2:30PM ET
I missed out on the 14.5 earlier in the week, but I think there is still a good amount of line value here with Vanderbilt who sports the better QB in this match-up. Vanderbilt also looks much improved on defense while Notre Dame is really struggling on the offensive line and Brandon Wimbush is simply not a very good throwing QB.
Notre Dame offensive line is averaging less than 3 yards per carry in their first two games. Notre Dame lost 2 OL’s to the NFL and they also lost their OL coach. Last week at home they struggled against a MAC team in Ball State who runs a 3-4 defense. Vanderbilt also runs a 3-4 defense and has better talent than Ball State. Notre Dame just not a very good team when they can’t run the ball. Since 2016 season they are just 3-9 straight up when they don’t rush for more than 4.5 yards per carry.
I mentioned Vanderbilt had the better QB, and they do with Kyle Shurmur. Schurmur is not afraid of playing on the road and he was great last year with a 16 TD to 2 INT ratio in road games at MTSU, Florida, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Tennessee. As long as Vanderbilt doesn’t lose the TO margin I see them in position to pull the upset. Vanderbilt’s defense is playing a more aggressive style and has forced 6 TO’s through 2 games and Brandon Wimbush has 1 TD and 4 INT thus far.
|09-15-18||Oklahoma v. Iowa State +17.5||37-27||Win||100||88 h 50 m||Show|
Iowa State +17.5 3.3% play
A lot of people are going to be jumping on Oklahoma this week. They have looked dominant in their first two weeks of the season, and there is the "revenge" angle that the media is going to hype up from last year when Iowa State went into Oklahoma and shocked the world. There is just too much value here on Iowa State, a team I can actually see pulling the upset again. They have a very underrated home field advantage, and we are getting value here, because they lost 13-3 to Iowa, but that game was much closer.
Matt Campbell has done a fantastic job here and is 11-6-1 ATS as a dog at Iowa State and dating back to his Toledo days in 2012 he is a combined 21-11-1 ATS as an underdog and 7-2 ATS as a double digit dog. He has not lost by more than 10 points since 2016 when he took Iowa State over. This Iowa State defense is legit and has proven they can stop the run. I'm not sold on Kyler Murray to go into a hostile environment for the first time and dominate and that's what he's going to have to do against Iowa State to cover this spread. I also am looking to still fade the AP Preseason Top 10. Doing so over the first 3 weeks results in a 56% ATS history over the last 6 years combined.
|09-15-18||Middle Tennessee State +33.5 v. Georgia||7-49||Loss||-110||38 h 15 m||Show|
MTSU +33 3.3% PLAY @ 12PM ET
This is far too many points for Georgia to be laying against a very good C-USA team in Middle Tennessee with 17 returning starters and an experienced QB. The reason is Georgia looked fantastic last week against South Carolina on the road, and Middle Tennessee has already lost to an SEC opponent of lesser quality in Vanderbilt 35-7. That was a very misleading final as MTSU was only -52 yards in that game, and they always struggle playing their instate rival.
Georgia is getting Alabama respect here and I don’t know that it really is deserving. Let’s take a look at Georgia against non-p5 opponents. This year they ran just 60 plays in a 45-0 win over Austin Peay. Last year they defeated App State by a score of 31-10 and ran only 64 plays. Last year against Samford they won 42-14 and only ran 69 plays. IN 2016 they beat Nichols St 26-24 at home, and 35-21 over Lafayette.
On the other hand Middle Tennessee covered as +35 in 2015 at Alabama, +7 at Missouri in 2016 winning outright, +10 last year at Syracuse winning outright. They have had their struggles against Vanderbilt, but have played well against other P5 opponents. Georgia also moved this game up to a noon kickoff because of the hurricane so it will be an easier road environment for MTSU and Georgia is going to want this game to be over quickly with a road game at Missouri on deck.
|09-13-18||Boston College v. Wake Forest +6.5||41-34||Loss||-105||4 h 42 m||Show|
Wake Forest +6.5 2.2% play
Everyone is on Boston College here and Wake Forest is getting absolutely no respect in my opinion. This game has been moved up because of the incoming hurricane and weather conditions won't be ideal with the winds. This typically favors a run first team like Boston College, but I think Wake Forest is prepared and has a better shot of stopping the run than does Boston College. Let's take a look at the facts.
Wake Forest's weakness on defense is vs. the pass, and so I like this match-up against BC who has run the ball 70% of the time this year. AJ Dillon is no doubt a great back so far, but the hype is just too much if you ask me. Wake's run defense was impressive last year holding opponents to 3.47 yards per carry at home, 4.31 in conference play while BC was 4.95 ypc ont he road and 4.46 ypc allowed in conference play. BC just got done giving up a ton of yards vs. Holy Cross on the ground, and I expect Wake to have more success running the ball than most people think. In last year's game at Boston College it was Wake Forest who out gained Boston College on the ground 158 to 142. Both team's return their offensive line which are the strengths of the team and I just feel like Wake Forest will keep this game close.
|09-08-18||San Jose State +34 v. Washington State||0-31||Win||100||104 h 33 m||Show|
Freddy gave out Oklahoma -20.5 as his free play in week 1 and it was an easy winner moving him to 31-9 ATS over his last 40 Free College Football Picks!
Join Freddy for all of his week 2 premium plays!
San Jose State +34 1.1% Play
The Spartans will head on the road to play at Washington State. I think we are getting 6 points of line value here as Washington State went on the road and shocked Wyoming with a big margin of victory. I know a lot of sharps that were all over Wyoming, and I would have played Washington State. This week is the week you would definitely look to fade them. Washington State in early season games vs. non-power 5 have not done well going 1-6 ATS the last 3 seasons in the first 3 weeks of the season including 2 losses against FCS opponents in 2015 & 2016. San Jose State with 14 returning starters have 2 extra days of preparation for this game having played last Thursday losing to FCS foe UC Davis.
|09-08-18||Michigan State -6 v. Arizona State||13-16||Loss||-110||78 h 30 m||Show|
Michigan State -6 2.2% Play
The game of the year line on this game is 10 points, but last week Arizona State looked great against UTSA, a team many were picking to pull the upset as the cruised to a 49-7 victory. Michigan St meanwhile was in a dogfight against Utah State on their home field winning by just 7 points. I'm not really worried about that Mark Dantonio will have his boys ready to play after an extra day of rest & prep for Arizona State.
Michigan State still dominated in stopping the run, and Arizona State is going to be a team that leans on the running game under Herman Edwards. They ran the ball 35 times and threw it just 24 times in week 1 and I expect a similar run first game plan which just doesn't stack up against the Spartans. I think we are getting the better team in X's and O's from the better conference, and the better coach. Worth noting is 1st year head coaches in the power 5 do not do well as underdogs going 72-97 ATS since 2012.
The Big Ten has dominated the PAC 12 the last two years going 4-0 SU & ATS last bowl season. Their only 2 losses came when Nebraska lost on the road at Oregon by only 7 points, and Rutgers lost but covered the spread against Washington. Michigan State also has nothing to look ahead to as they'll be on a bye after this week.
|09-08-18||Kentucky +14 v. Florida||27-16||Win||100||59 h 55 m||Show|
Kentucky +14 2.2% play
Kentucky had 3 defensive players turn the NFL down to return for their senior season. The idea? They want to win this game and leave their mark on this program. They nearly did it last year holding a 24-14 lead in the final minutes before losing 28-27 in heartbreaking fashion. Florida is getting far too much respect here in the number after defeating an FCS foes last week in Charleston Southern who went 6-5 last year. Meanwhile, Kentucky actually had a very impressive victory over Central Michigan despite the 35-20 final. Kentucky did not actually cover the spread due to 4 turnovers. Their defense dominated and the rushing game looked better than ever.Florida and Kentucky have their guys back in the trenches. The trenches definitely go to Florida who outgained Kentucky on the ground by 63 yards last season. However, Florida is breaking in a new defense switching to the 3-4 which could create some issues for them in the early going. Kentucky breaks in a new QB in the #1 JUCO transfer Terry Wilson who is extremely mobile. I expect Kentucky to have more success running the ball and they should be able to do a better job defending the run. Kentucky have been close in 3 of the last 4 years against Florida. This is the most experienced Kentucky team that Mark Stoops has had and his defense should be better this season as they have improved the last two years. Florida cracked the top 25, after their offense showed off against an FCS Foe, and I think it's extremely misleading. Florida still does not have a QB. Felipe Franks really does not fit the mold of what Dan Mullen wants to do and I don't anticipate them putting up a ton of points in this one. Expect Kentucky to be right back in the thick of things for the 4th time in the last 5 years. Maybe they can finally break the 31 game losing streak.
|09-08-18||UMass +2.5 v. Georgia Southern||13-34||Loss||-105||56 h 2 m||Show|
Umass +2.5 3.3% PLAY
We backed Umass last week against Boston College and they were pretty much out of the game by the end of the first quarter. I do like what i’m hearing from head coach Whipple and the defensive players who want to rebound. I think they will here against Georgia Southern who is back to running the triple option. Most of what hurt Umass last week was through the air, and they should be able to put up 30+ points in this matchup. This was a matchup they led 48-17 in the first half last year. I see we are getting roughly 9 points of line value based on Umass getting dominated by a BC team that is much improved this year.
Umass has done very well on the road in the past and return 9 starters on offense including QB Andrew Ford which is why I backed them at +18 last week. Last year they hung and had chances to win at Tennessee as a +28 dog, and they were in the game against a very good Miss State team as +33 dogs. Remember this is now their 3rd game and they have been battle tested along with one easy game. This is is a coin flip game for them, and I expect they will have a lot of things to apply from games 1 and 2 to this week’s game plan to come up with a win.
|09-08-18||Georgia v. South Carolina +10||41-17||Loss||-106||66 h 3 m||Show|
South Carolina +10 2.2% play
I talked about South Carolina a good amount in my pre-season podcast and they are a live dog here in week 2 in my opinion. For one their offense is much improved and they have the talent to score on a Georgia defense that has lost some talent. I think they will be able to take advantage of that and put up some points here to stay within striking distance. Georgia also falls under my strategy of fading the AP Top 10. I’m excited to see what the offense dials up and I think Deebo Samuel will have a big game at WR.
Georgia lost their 2 best offensive players in Chubb & MIchael and their leadership will be missed. Defensively they lost their best defensive player in Roquan Smith. This is a young Georgia team and it’s their first road game of the season against South CArolina who has a very good home field advantage. Georgia’s road games in SEC play last year were very easy with trips to Tennessee, VAnderbilt, and then Auburn (they got crushed 17-40).
|09-08-18||Georgia Tech -3 v. South Florida||38-49||Loss||-118||62 h 20 m||Show|
Georgia Tech -3.5 2.2% play
Georgia Tech is under the radar after a losing season. They return 8 starters on offense, and their defense got a big upgrade in their defensive coordinator Nate Woody. Ga Tech already pitched their first shutout in game 1 defeating and dominating Alcorn State of FCS. Alcorn State was picked by many to win their conference so it was an impressive victory by the final of 41-0.
Georgia Tech also has a senior QB running the offense which is always a big deal for Georgia Tech. Meanwhile USF only has 11 returning starters losing their best QB ever in Quinton Flowers, and their top 2 RB’s and top WR. They also lost their top 3 tacklers and the front 7 on defense lost a ton of talent. That does not bode well for defending the triple option. ACC has done well the last two years facing the American going 4-1, and Georgia Tech is 2-0 all time facing the AAC. The last time South Florida’s defense faced the triple option they faced Navy and gave up 45 points.
|09-08-18||Nevada +8.5 v. Vanderbilt||Top||10-41||Loss||-110||50 h 1 m||Show|
Nevada + 8.5 4.4% NCAAF POD
I think Nevada is a live dog this week as Vanderbilt is off a misleading 35-7 final over Middle Tennessee their instate rival with Notre Dame on deck. Nevada has a Sr. QB in Ty Gangi who can really be a weapon in the air raid offense that Nevada runs and Vanderbilt rarely sees. Vanderbilt actually allowed MIddle Tenn twice as many yards in the first half, but held onto a 14-7 halftime lead. Overall MIddle Tennessee had 7 trips into VAnderbilt territory and came away with an amazing 0 points. Don’t expect Nevada to fall into the same situation.
Vanderbilt should be down this year with just 5 returning on defense and 12 overall. Nevada held their own in a meaningful game a year ago at Northwestern losing 21-30 and I expect they will be in this game with a chance to win it in the end.
|09-03-18||Virginia Tech v. Florida State -7||24-3||Loss||-111||9 h 51 m||Show|
Florida State -7 2.2% Play
Florida State embarks on a new era under Head Coach Willie Taggart. Taggart will bring a new offense that is focused on speed, and more plays. One would think this may be very challenging at the start of a season and it might take Florida State a little to really get in gear with this offense, but the system is meant to be simple and easy to run. Deondre Francois is the perfect guy to run it and he has a ton of experience around him with 8 returning starters on the offense. He's got some really good receivers led by Nyqwan Murray, and Cam Akers at RB is a star in the making.
While Florida State's biggest question mark on offense is the new spread up-tempo attack, Virginia Tech has bigger questions. The talent and experience is at least there for Florida State, but with Virginia Tech they have sophomore Joshua Jackson in his second year surrounded by a young supporting cast. Virginia Tech's defense, is in rebuilding mode, and Jackson really did not perform on the road last year in ACC play where he had 2 passing TD's in 4 games to 4 INT's. That came against the likes of BC, Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia. Those 4 teams all had good passing defenses, but Florida State is right in the mix ranking 14th last year and could be better this year. The Virginia Tech offense scored 23, 10, 22, and 10 points in those games and we could see a similar point total tonight around the 16.25 point average, which would lead to a Florida State cover.
Florida State's offense is going to play faster so a spread of 7 points is more like 4 or 4.5 and Taggart has proven in the past that his system is simplistic. Oregon put up 77 points in their first game running it last year, and they really didn't have the right QB to run it. I do expect to see some rust early from Francois, but his teammates around him will pick him up and he'll feed off the energy of the Florida State crowd.
|09-01-18||Navy -10 v. Hawaii||41-59||Loss||-110||31 h 20 m||Show|
Navy -10 3.3% play
Navy is coming off a rare poor year and losing year ATS and I expect them to bounce back with their deepest QB group ever. Navy following a losing record ATS under Ken Niumatalolo are 26-13 ATS and following a 5-8 ATS year I expect they will get back to a 9 or 10 win season while contending in the AAC. This is a tough road game traveling all the way to Hawaii, but Hawaii played last week and made the trip to and from Colorado, and have not been good at home going 4-18-1 ATS. I always felt playing Hawaii early in the season was the way to go, but they already spoiled that in week 0 with an outright upset of Colorado State as a 17 point dog, and now we are getting 4 points of value.
Ken Niumatalolo also was the QB here and is very aware of the challenges traveling to play Hawaii and the distractions. You really have to be disciplined and there are not many more disciplined teams than a service academy like Navy. I expect them to be ready and they will give this Hawaii defense who lost 6 of their top 9 tacklers last season and did not face a triple option team in 2017. I just don't see them being able to stop Navy having not seen the triple option in 2 years so I expect Navy to put up their usual 40+ points in week 1.
|09-01-18||Michigan +1.5 v. Notre Dame||17-24||Loss||-108||46 h 50 m||Show|
Michigan +1.5 3.3% play
There has been a lot of talk about Michigan and how they do in step up games, but when you look at Notre Dame under Brian Kelly they may even be worse. JIm Harbough is getting beat up in the press, and this is the type of game he absolutely needs and I think he gets with his most experienced roster yet with 17 returning starters and transfer Shea Patterson. The loss of Tarik Black is a big one at WR, but they can overcome that with a star QB in Patterson. Michigan’s defense is arguably the best in the country, and return 9 starters with Don Brown’s system and the defense played better than expected a year ago. Now without Amazon following them around I feel like this is a breakout year for the Wolverines and watch out for Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich to make some noise on the defense in this game against a one dimensional Notre Dame team.
Notre Dame is one dimensional until proven otherwise. They lose their top RB, WR, and 2 offensive lineman to the NFL, and Wimbush returns, but has not impressed in camp following a season he completed less than 50% of his passes. Notre Dame went 0-3 when they could not rush for more than 3.5 yards per carry. 2.72 in losses, 7.19 in wins and that will be the key here as they lost to teams ranking 32nd, 20th, and 78th against the run a year ago. Michigan fully healthy should shut this unit down in my opinion.
Notre Dame is also basically a dog here when they are ranked higher in the polls is very puzzling. As I spoke in the off-season fading the ap top 10 pre-season teams in their first 3 games gets you a 56% ATS mark since 2013. Taking out last year’s anomaly it’s actually 60% winners. Notre Dame also off a 8-5 ATS season has failed to follow that up with a winning season under Kelly going 14-24 ATS the following year, 5-9 ATS as a home favorite, and just 8-22 ATS vs. power 5 opponents. The only thing that is helping Notre Dame here is that they are at home, but under Kelly they have actually lost at home 5 times in the last two years alone and to teams like Duke, and Navy so you are not talking about top tier teams.
|09-01-18||Appalachian State +24.5 v. Penn State||38-45||Win||100||42 h 54 m||Show|
App State +24 2.2% play
You will be paying a premium to back Penn State who is #10 in the pre-season polls but will be taking a step back offensively and defensively this year. Penn State returns just 10 starters and I know they have their starting QB back, but they lose their offensive coordinator who changed everything for this program the last two years where they went 19-8 ATS mainly because of the offense. James Franklin was on the hot seat before that going 10-16 ATS.
App State is a tough team that plays will in these big games. They lost by only 21 at Georgia last year, a team that played for the National Championship, and nearly beat Tennessee who was ranked in the top 10 in 2016, losing by just 7 points on the road. There are a lot of things to like including Penn State looking ahead ot a big in-state road game at Pitt in week #2. With inexperienced offensive coordinator calling the plays I don’t expect to see the ultra aggressive offensive style of pay.
|09-01-18||UMass +18 v. Boston College||21-55||Loss||-108||39 h 4 m||Show|
Umass +18 3.3% play
I like Umass here who played last week and scored 63 points. They have a ton of talent on offense led by seniors including QB Andrew Ford. They have gone 5-1 ATS vs. power 5 schools the last two seasons and nearly won outright last year in SEC country against the likes of Tennessee and Miss State. They have had all offseason to think about the possibilities of defeating an in-state big brother like Boston College who got a ton of hype in the offseason. So much hyp that their season win total rose from 5.5 to 7 points. They’ll have to contend with a Umass team that is 8-2 ATS the last two seasons as an away dog who will be playing with a ton of confidence following last week’s game.
Boston College was a run first team in 2017 and I don’t expect much to change in 2018 as they ran the ball 62% of the time. That keeps the clock ticking and gives us a good chance of covering the 18 with Umass who has a good offense and the potential of pulling an upset.
|08-31-18||Syracuse -5 v. Western Michigan||55-42||Win||100||6 h 53 m||Show|
Syracuse -5 2.2% play
I really like for Syracuse to make a statement in this game against Western Michigan. I think we are getting a bit of line value from previous season when Western Michigan competed with the big boys. Syracuse is also an under rated team this year. People forget they knocked off Clemson and went 4-8 with the #2 toughest schedule in the country while dealing with tons of injuries including their QB Dungey who is back in this game playing behind an experienced offensive line.
The offense returns 8 starters, and it will be Dino Baber's best offense in his third year here. I actually think they will have a lot of success running and throwing the ball this year. They'll be going up against Western Michigan's defense which is predicted to take a step back this year. They lost their star CB and all 3 of their starting linebackers. Syracuse also has Wagner on deck while Western Michigan has Michigan so you tell me who has focused on this game more in the off season. Syracuse really can't afford to lose this game and need to get off to a good start for a change.
I think Syracuse should win here by double digits. The MAC has not done well against ACC going 3-25 since 2010 being outscored by 17.8 points per game. Since 2015 it's gotten worse they have gone 0-12 and have been outscored by 26.1 points per game. This is an unusual situation where the game means more to the Power 5 school than it does to the MAC school.
|08-30-18||Northwestern +2 v. Purdue||31-27||Win||100||9 h 4 m||Show|
Northwestern +2 2.2% play
I'm taking the Wildcats as the most experienced team here with a veteran and future NFL QB in Clayton Thorson who should be back after suffering an ACL injury in the bowl game last year. I also peaked at the total given that Purdue's offense will be improved and the defense will take a major step back, but Pat Fitzgerald's teams typically stay under the total early in the season and that line has moved almost 4 points.
Northwestern has been a profitable play as a road dog going 10-3 ATS since 2014 season and I think they have the more complete team here. Northwestern's defense returns 7 starters and have ranked in the top 30 in run defense in each of the last 3 years. Northwestern's secondary is experienced after suffering injuries in 2017 and that should help them particularly in the red zone. Purdue does need to run the ball to set up the pass as they were +1 yards per carry and 10 rushing TD's to 2 in wins vs. losses last year. Purdue may be able to pass the ball and score some points, but without balance I don't see them really being able to score TD's. Purdue had 398 yards passing against Northwestern last year and only scored 13 points to put thing into perspective.
I really do like Jeff Brohm as a head coach, and in year 2, power 5 head coaches have success, but mostly as under dogs. I'll fade Brohm here as Purdue is getting too much respect and hype based off last year's results when Brohm even admitted he inherited quite a good team in 2017. This year will likely be a step back.
|08-30-18||Wake Forest -6 v. Tulane||23-17||Push||0||9 h 46 m||Show|
Wake Forest -6 3.3% play
I think we are getting some line value here with Wake Forest at Tulane. I know a lot of folks are high on Tulane with year #3 of Willie Fritz system, but I think they are still a year away. Their defense returned only 5 guys while losing 3 on the defensive line. Wake Forest offense which has broken school records the last two years and started sophomores on their offensive line 2015 returns all 5 of their guys along the offensive line.
Wake Forest starting QB Kendall Hinton is suspended for this game, but I really think Wake Forest is going to be able to control the line of scrimmage. Their offense should put up enough points while Tulane which runs the option should be able to move the ball a bit here as well. However, Wake Forest is used to seeing the option. They faced Tulane last year, and they have regularly faced Georgia Tech and/or Army each season.
Dave Clawson is a very under rated head coach and what he has done at Wake Forest has been truly impressive. I look to go against the popular dog play here and take Wake Forest to open the season after extra time to prepare for the option and win big.
|01-08-18||Alabama v. Georgia +5||Top||26-23||Win||100||74 h 54 m||Show|
Georgia +4 5.5% POD
I give a small edge in coaching to Alabama with Nick Saban having an 11-0 record 9-2 ATS vs. former assistants, but note that he was on average a 17 point favorite in those games. No coach ever spent more than 5 years with Saban while Kirby Smart spent the last 8 years up until 2015. Georgia's offensive coordinator Jim Chaney I have over Jeremy Pruitt who takes over Tennessee after this game. Chaney spent years with NFL teams and in the SEC, but more importantly brought his offensive line coach Sam Pittman. Pittman knows how to run the ball and get his line to block. Just ask Arkansas and Brett Bielema how they did after Pittman left.
Special Teams is about even as both teams have special kickers and neither team has a punt or kick return for a TD. Georgia's Rodrigo Blankenship hit a 55 yarder before the half which changed momentum int he game against Oklahoma. They also blocked a kick to win the game, but Alabama has been known to win games with special teams in this type of game.
Georgia's offense vs. Alabama's defense is a big key. Alabama got healthy, but lost another linebacker in their game against Clemson. Alabama has not been as dominant vs. good rushing teams as they have in the past shutting down just 1 of the 5 top 45 rushing offenses they faced. On average allowing 139 yards per game in those 5 games and 7 TD's. Meanwhile Georgia's rushing attack has faced 6 top 45 run defenses and only 1 team in a road game at Auburn shut them down, but their coaching staff made adjustments and they rushed for over 200 in the SEC Championship.
Georgia's Jake Fromm is the key here as they can make all the throws that Jarret Stidham did when Auburn beat Alabama with their balance attack. For a true freshman he's been extremely impressive and even getting the confidence of coaches to change the play at the line of scrimmage. If you want to beat Alabama you better have a QB and Georgia certainly does. You can get more info on the Georgia offense vs. Alabama defense in this week's podcast where I gave Georgia in overall slight advantage.
Alabama's offense vs. Georgia's defense is another advantage in my opinion for Georgia. On paper Georgia ranked 32nd in stopping the run, but they faced 7 teams in the top 25 in rushing offense. They faced some weird ones too with Georgia Tech's triple option, Oklahoma's #1 offense and RPO spread offense, along with facing Auburn's offense twice. They shut down 4 of the 8 rushing offenses in the top 45 that they faced. Their run defense is much better than it looked a week ago and a big reason why we have them as dogs. Alabama doesn't have a 1,000 yard rusher this year. Meanwhile they still ranked #10 in rushing offense from a ypc perspective and #15 in QB Rating.
We saw Clemson really shut down Alabama's offense and we saw Auburn do the same thing in the Iron Bowl. This Georgia defense is really similar in a lot of ways and can do the same thing. Alabama's Jalen Hurts has faced a weaker schedule having faced on average a 66.8 run defense. Georgia has the #6 pass defense to go along with that, and we have seen Hurts struggle to get much going. He's faced 6 top 50 passing defenses. He eclipsed 200 yards 1x, and was held under 121 passing yards 3 times. He ranked 96th in sack % because he'd rather take a sack than throw an interception. I see Georgia getting after him here they held Brandon Wimbush a mobile QB from Notre Dame to 1 yard on 16 carries.
Georgia may not have as impressive numbers here or there, but they have gotten better as the season progressed especially on offense. They are coming off a game where they made a major come back, and have a ton of confidence in offense and now they get to face a one dimensional offense. Alabama certainly has the receivers, but Georgia is going to make Hurts beat them and his numbers despite not turning the ball over against the top 50 passing defenses he's faced have not been impressive. Either I think this game comes down to a field goal these two teams really are even, but Georgia is the more complete team with balance on offense and they have faced a tougher schedule.
|01-01-18||Alabama -3 v. Clemson||24-6||Win||100||11 h 9 m||Show|
Alabama -3 4.4% play
As a Clemson fan I hate making this play. I think they are really disrepsected being an under dog here, but I think a deeper look at the match-up and it's rightfully so. Not only did Clemson get in a tough situation with the location of this bowl game being in New Orleans which is a major advantage to Alabama, but they have to go up against a highly motivated Alabama team that was almost left out of this playoff that lost to Clemson in last year's national championship. Nick Saban 10-2 in revenge games. Although I don't buy into the revenge angle a lot these days I think it certainly applies here.
Clemson, was lucky to win last year's bowl game, and lucky to cover the year before. It took their best two performances of the year offensively in those games and it was Deshaun Watson show. Mike Williams, at WR also was a key aspect of the win last year and they just don't have that guy they can throw it up to down the field. Kelly Bryant has been fantastic, but he's not as much of a thrower as Watson. Look out for Hunter Renfrow to be taken out of this game as he killed Alabama the last two years. Clemson played exceptional in their step up games against Auburn, Louisville, Virginia Tech, and Miami, but 3 of the 4 teams that have played so far lost their bowl games. Virginia lost by 10, Miami lost by 10, and Louisville lost by 4 as a 7 point favorite over an SEC team. Last year it was evident that the ACC was ahead of the SEC. While I still think that's the case front top to bottom. I think the top tier SEC schools are a bit better than the top ACC schools. These two faced two common opponents in Florida State & Auburn. When you look at it Alabama faced them at the worse times. They faced Auburn on the road completely healthy while Alabama was missing 3 starting LB's. They faced Florida State in week 2 when they were ranked #2 in the country and still had their QB. Clemson faced Florida State at home with a freshman QB, and their season goals already lost. They faced Auburn on what I believe was neutral turf and before Auburn really found their offensive identity.
Yes, Clemson defense statistically was as good as Alabama, with a better pass rush and slightly more exploitable in run defense. I just don't see it being a good match-up for Clemson here against Alabama and their very good rushing offense which ranked #1 this year. Brett Venables also had issues stopping Alabama's offense the last two years with two different coordinators as Alabama scored 45 and 31 points. Alabama with more than 2 weeks to prepare has been very good offensively since 2012 in 11 games they averaged 35 points per game. These were all games against P5 opponents either in the playoff game or first game of the season. Alabama the last three years played Florida State, Wisconsin and USC to open the year.
The health of Alabama, the extra time to prepare, no Deshaun Watson, location favoring Alabama, the revenge factor are all reasons why I like Alabama to come away with the win and cover.
|01-01-18||South Carolina v. Michigan -7.5||26-19||Loss||-100||46 h 42 m||Show|
Michigan -7.5 -1.05
This game reminds me a lot of Michigan's bowl game 2 years ago against a Florida team that had a very bad offense and good defense. Michigan defeated them 41-7 in that bowl game. I think the extra time off helps Michigan more than it does South Carolina, and I think Michigan is looking to make a statement. Brandon Peters will start at QB which makes a world of difference as he is more mobile and has a better arm. He is also trying to make a statement that this is his team and that incoming transfer Shea Patterson is not just going to take over. I think it starts with Michigan's defense that should dominate allowing for the offense to be on the field a ton.
Michigan's defense has been dominant and is #3 in the country. South Carolina lacks any difference makers on offense after they lost Deebo Samuel vs. Kentucky for the season. They faced two similar top 10 defenses in their last 4 games of the season and put up 10 points against Georgia, and 10 points against Clemson. Michigan is the same type of defense with extra time to prepare against a South Carolina team that fired their offensive coordinator. We have seen how teams have done playing without their coordinators this bowl season.
I think we are getting line value here as South Carolina were out gained on the season by 35 yards per game, but managed to go 8-4. They went 0-4 against teams that were able to run the ball which is exactly what I think Michigan can do in this game. With Peters at QB Michigan's running game was as good as it was all year rushing for over 230 yards per game and 12 TD's in 4 games. They were even moving the ball on Wisconsin on the road early in that game before Peters was knocked out with a concussion. When Peters took over it was evident the difference between the two and the offense. South Carolina does have the #37 run defense, but they have faced an average opponent ranking 70.1 in rushing yards per carry in their wins while their losses have come against #48.5. Michigan is #50 having faced a very challenging schedule of 5 TOP 25 run defenses. South Carolina not in that boat and when Michigan did not face a top 25 run defense they won on average by 18.5 points per game.
|12-29-17||USC +8 v. Ohio State||7-24||Loss||-110||8 h 24 m||Show|
USC / Ohio State Over 64.5 3.3% PLAY / USC +8 2.2% PLAY
Both teams rank in the top 15 in explosive plays and both offensive strengths are their opponents defensive weaknesses. USC gave up 49 and 35 points the two times they faced a good running team who also had a good running QB. Ohio State has averaged 53 points per game when they don't face a top 50 run defense. Ohio State has faced 4 passing teams ranked in the top 50 in QB rating and gave up on average 36.6 points per game, but it could have been more especially against Oklahoma. Ohio State shut out in their bowl game last year, but scored 44, 42, 42, and 35 in their previous 4 post season games, and USC scored 52 and gave up 49 in last year's Rose Bowl against Big Ten Penn State.
On the spread side this is just too much value to pass up with the Trojans against Ohio State. This line is inflated based on what Ohio State did last year in their bowl game, and based on Urban Meyer's success of going 10-3 SU& ATS in bowl games. I understand the line and many people will point to USC's thrashing against Notre Dame who run a similar one dimensional run first offense, but USC was crippled along the defensive line with injuries. They had 20 guys who missed the game with injuries. They got healthier down the stretch and even managed to hold Stanford's rushing to 151 yards in the PAC 12 Championship. It's easier to scheme and game plan against the run and make a QB beat you. For USC's offense they have that QB that will play at the next level and he can carry this team to win the game or even a back door cover.
Ohio State has faced 4 top 50 passing teams and they are 2-2 losing by 31 and 15 points. Allowing an average of 36 points per game. Their two wins came against Wisconsin by 6 and Penn State by 1. If Sam Darnold doesn't turn the ball over they should stay in this game. Darnold 17-4 TD/INT ratio down the stretch. Bake Mayfield shredded this secondary and they won at Ohio State by 15, but it could have been a lot worse.
The other thing to point out is how bad Ohio State's special teams has been especially in the kickoff return defense and USC has dynamic players back there and rank #8 in KO return efficiency.
|12-29-17||NC State v. Arizona State +7||52-31||Loss||-110||6 h 49 m||Show|
Arizona State +7 3.3% play
We have a unique situation with a coach being fired and sticking around for the bowl game to coach while the new coach is out recruiting. Originally I thought that might be a nightmare of a situation, but the more I am reading the more I am understanding that Todd Graham is respected around this program. He has recruited all of these players who are a tight nit group and want to send their coach out with a win. I think it also helps that Graham has not had to worry about recruiting the last few weeks like most of these bowl coaches.
This game is being played in Texas and typically the PAC12 enjoys a big crowd edge against the ACC. They have dominated the ACC since 2010 going 18-2 which really surprises me. As many of you know I have been high on the ACC even calling them the best conference dating back to last year. I don't think they are the best this year, and I think there are some opportunities to fade teams out of the ACC in this bowl season.
Looking at what these two teams bring to the table you have to like Arizona State as over a TD under dog. They have faced the better schedule and even have gone 5-2-1 ATS as a dog with 4 outright upsets this year. They beat teams like Oregon, Washington, Utah and Arizona while NC State beat Louisville, BC And Marshall not much to show for an 8-4 season that could have been much better. Todd Graham has also been good in bowl games.
In terms of the match-up we have Arizona State's #29 passing attack facing the #43 passing defense, but they are without Bradley Chubb seen working on speed drills in practice while the rest of the team took their normal reps. As I expect he is now listed as doubtful for this game. Chubb is a monster and a one man wrecking crew, but they'll be without him and that is bad news for NC State's defense whose weakness is the green secondary. Ranking #43 is great, but they faced many teams without a pulse at QB. An average opponent ranking #73. Arizona State's offense did that against some very good defenses as well ranking on average 58.9. Just in their wins they have proven they could beat good defenses, Oregon, Washington, Utah to name a few. I look for receiver N'Keal Harry & Kyle Williams to have a big days.
NC State, I have bet on a few times this year and I think like many folks we had higher hopes for them. They have a ton of talent, but they just beat themselves. THey are one of the worst special teams units in the country at #104 while Arizona State is #32. Their FG kicker is 9-19 on field goals and Arizona State's red zone offense and defense have an edge here. You'd also expect Arizona State to have some turnovers, but they have lost only 11 all season which is the lowest since Graham has been here. I was tempted to take this game on the money line, but NC State does have talent here with Finley at QB and Hines & Samuels. I can see a field goal game going either way.
|12-29-17||Texas A&M v. Wake Forest -3||Top||52-55||Push||0||24 h 14 m||Show|
Wake Forest -3 5.5% POD
This game is being played at BOA in Charlotte which gives Wake Forest a home field advantage. I also think there is a lot of value here with Wake Forest who had better results and faced a tougher schedule. On average they ranked #41.2 facing an average opponent ranking #56.1, while Texas A&m ranked #71 facing an average opponent ranking #59.7. A&M went 1-4 against 5 bowl teams while Wake Forest went 4-5 against 9 bowl teams. The ACC also has gone 2-1 SU & ATS in bowl play so far compared to a weak showing for the SEC at 0-1 with Missouri losing to Big 12 Texas as favorites. Even dating back to last year it has been evident that the ACC is better than the SEC.
Another edge besides strength of schedule is the fact that Texas A&M has an inexperienced guy calling the shots in Jeff Banks. Banks is the special teams coach as Kevin Sumlin was let go and Jimbo Fisher took over. This has not worked out well thus far in bowl games. Banks special teams unit was a strength of this team ranking #40, but I think that has everything to do with the talents of Christian Kirk. For Wake Forest, Dave Clawson has won everywhere he's gone. He came in and fixed the biggest issue for Wake Forest was their size on the offensive line and has turned this offense around starting in 2015 when he started 4 freshman on the OL. This year this year they allowed 19 fewer sacks and averaged a yard more per carry and QB John Wolford also saw the benefit as he tossed 25 TD's and 6 INT's for the #12 ranked QB rating in the nation. That rating is legit too as Wake Forest faced off against a ton of top passing defenses with an average rank of #43.1.
Wake Forest goes up against Texas A&M's #83 pass defense. Wake Forest faced three teams not in the top 50 in pass defense and they scored 43.3 points per game. A&M's pass defense is a bit misleading I'll admit at #83 hailing from the tough SEC, but the SEC was down this year. A&M faced 5 teams in the top 50 in QB rating and they went 1-4. They beat an Ole Miss team that was starting a backup QB after Shea Patterson was lost for the season. In those 4 games they allowed 36.6 points per game. A&M has a nice pass rush, but Wake Forest was only sacked 17 times on the year.
A&M's offense was hit or miss this year, and they'll struggle in my opinion facing the #25 passing defense. Wake Forest plays an aggressive style and even their run defense is better than the stats state as they faced an average rushing rank of #40.4. A&M ranks 83rd in rushing ypc after facing an average rushing defense 68.2, again the SEC is over rated! A&M generally took care of the ball with only 16 TO's and have a +4 margin, but they had 8 TO's in 3 games which were the only 3 times they faced a top 25 pass defense which Wake Forest is. Wake Forest however +7 in TO margin only turned it over 11 times and 5 of those came in games against top 30 pass defenses. They only turned the ball over 1 time in road games at Clemson and Notre Dame which is extremely impressive.
|12-28-17||Michigan State -1.5 v. Washington State||Top||42-17||Win||100||21 h 31 m||Show|
Michigan State -1.5 5.5% POD
This Michigan State team has a huge chip on their shoulder as they feel slighted for not being picked for the New Year's Day Outback Bowl. instead their rival who they beat, Michigan was chosen. I think they will give it their best to win and dominate this game and I think they can over a Washington team that has plenty of holes.
First of all we need to bring up Washington State's game last year against Minnesota team that had 10 guys suspended or more yet they were unable to win losing 12-17. The previous two years they played in 3 point games against Rutgers so Washington has struggled in the Leach era against the Big Ten. Leach is actually only 4-8 ATS in bowl games and goes up against Dantonio who is a very good coach and will have his team ready for this game.
Aside from the motivation I like the match-up here for Michigan State who rank #10 in pass defense and won't have to worry much about a rushing offense as Washington State ranks 129th in the nation in rushing offense. Luke Falk, QB at Washington State will have his hands full here against a press man to man coverage. He'll also be missing his top 2 WR for this game.
For MIchigan State's offense it's all about QB Brian Lewerke. I think Lewerke was a bit banged up at the end of the year, but he is a guy who threw for over 885 yards in two games against very good defenses in Northwestern #26th in YPP allowed and Penn State 22nd in YPP allowed. He really only had one bad game against Ohio State on the road in a very bad spot. I would not be surprised to see Michigan State come out throwing against Washington State who will be without their best defensive player in Hercules Maat'fa for the first half for a suspension. They can then use their size late to wear down Washington State's smaller defensive front. Washington State #58 in rushing ypc defense. Michigan State's 3 losses came against very good run defenses ranking #19 on average. When they can run the ball they typically win and Washington showed it in the Apple Cup that Washington State struggles against a well coached physical style opponent.
There are other factors I like here as Washington State has the #115 special teams and have turned the ball over 29 times this season. I thought Washington State's defense carried them this year and should keep this game close, but Falk will have some mistakes and they will continue to struggle in these type of match-ups.
|12-28-17||Virginia Tech v. Oklahoma State -5.5||21-30||Win||100||22 h 57 m||Show|
Oklahoma State -5.5 3.3% play
This is a bit of a square play for me, but I have said all along that I thought the Big 12 was a bit better than the ACC from top to bottom. This to me is a bad match-up for Virginia Tech. Oklahoma State is a balanced offense that probably would have better numbers had their offensive line not been banged up in the middle of the season. Virginia Tech leans on their defense more than the offense, but they only topped 24 points once all season against a power 5 opponent. I don't see how that would get it done against Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State outgained their power 5 opponents by 156.3 yards per game and 8 went to bowl games. Virginia Tech outgained their p5 opponents by 29.8 yards per game while 6 are in bowl games. Both teams faced a similar strength of schedule. Virginia Tech faced around a 72.1 opponent while Oklahoma State faced 73. Virginia Tech ranked on average 44.8th in the country in key stats, while Oklahoma State ranked 29.3. Both teams beat up on the weaker teams, but a key look in at who they lost to reveals Oklahoma State is the play for me. Virginia Techs' #13 passing defense only faced 1 top 60 passing offense in West Virginia. West Virginia threw all over Va Tech and outgained them by 123 yards, but lost the game. Mainly, because they turned the ball over and they ranked 100th against the run and 75th running the ball. Oklahoma State ranks #3 in passing, #38 in rushing ypc, and their run defense ranks 17th. They are a more complete football team, and in Virginia Tech's games against top 50 rushing teams they went 1-3 on the year. Those 4 opponents did not have a passing attack even remotely close ranking 61st, 114, 116, and 71st. Oklahoma State lost 3 games and each one came against a top 50 offense. Virginia Tech ranked #84 in yards per play offense. Their QB Josh Jackson is the key, but Oklahoma State has had success against mobile QB's this year holding Kenny Hill to just 15 yards. Jackson has to be able to run the ball for them to stay in this game, and I just don't see it happening. Lastly against common opponents Oklahoma State outgained Pitt & West Virginia in 2 road games by a total of 439 yards while Virginia Tech at home and neutral field were outgained by 114 yards. Virginia Tech's losses came by 14, 18 and 6 points to Georgia Tech. Last year in Fuente's first year they lost 4 games by 21, 14, 10, and 7. So in 7 loses for Fuente they have lost on average by 12.8 points per game and I can see a similar result here with Oklahoma State winning by 10-14 points.
|12-28-17||Virginia -1 v. Navy||7-49||Loss||-105||19 h 31 m||Show|
Virginia -1 4.4% play
I really like this match-up for Virginia in their first bowl appearance in 6 years. If this wasn’t being played on Navy’s home field this might be a max POD. Nonetheless, Virginia is about 150 miles away and should still have plenty of fans in the stands to balance it out a bit. The ACC went 3-0 vs. the AAC this year outscoring them by 30 points. Wake Forest (ACC) also beat Temple (AAC) as double digit dogs last year in the Military Bowl.
Navy has had an uncharacteristic year and they lost again to Army to end the year. You always expect the service academies to play well in the bowl games in terms of effort, but I think Virginia just may want this a little more. I also will make the statement again having TV cameras around your program constantly is not a good thing. Navy had Showtime following them around and I don’t think it was a coincidence that it was their worst season in some time.
Virginia has the defense to stop the option and there is no threat of a pass game with this Navy team. Whether it’s Malcolm Perry who can’t throw past 10 yards or Zach Abey who locks into one guy the Virginia defense knows they have to stop the option. Bronco Mendenhall has always been great at defending the option 8-2 SU & ATS dating back to his days at BYU. They also beat Georgia Tech this year as dogs and held them to 220 rushing yards 78 came on 1 run, while Georgia Tech had to pass a season high 24 times. Only two teams held Georgia Tech to less running yards, Clemson & Georgia, both playing in the college football playoff. LB Micah Kiser will be the difference he had 18 tackles in the game against Georgia Tech. Quin Blanding at S is another NFL future player along Chris Peace at LB this defense has the experience and knowledge to shut Navy down enough to win this game.
Navy’s defense is going to have issues here. Their secondary ranks 120 th in opposing QB rating. Virginia’s Kurt Benkert has thrown 17 TD’s and 4 INT’s in wins and 8/6 in losses. He’s had a tough schedule facing 5 Top 30 passing defenses this
|12-27-17||Southern Miss +15 v. Florida State||13-42||Loss||-102||20 h 50 m||Show|
Southern Miss +15 2.2%
How can Florida State be a 17 point favorite right now with that offense, an interim coach, and a thinning roster playing without their best defensive player Derwin James. Many will point to their last game against LA Monroe to end the season as they won 42-10, but LA Monroe ranked 128th in YPP defense while Southern Miss ranks #31.
Let’s also talk about Conference USA who is 4-4 in the bowl games this year. They are 1-4 on the year against ACC, but their weaker teams faced off. Their 2 bowl teams MTSU & Marshall went 1-1. Marshall lost to NC State by 17 points. Southern Miss is better than Marshall, and NC State is better than Florida State having beaten them at Florida State.
Hard to gauge if Florida State is going to be interested. I have no doubt they like the interim coach Odell Haggins, and the players will want to look good for Taggart, but how much effort is this coaching staff really putting in right now against Southern Miss who is much more excited to be here and should have the crowd edge here.
The keys to the game are whether or not Southern Miss can stop the run. Florida State’s offensive line has not been very good and Southern Miss had 94 tackles for loss this year. They rank #30 against the run and have beaten 5 teams with better rushing averages than Florida State. Southern Miss also shut down the two power 5 teams they faced in the running game holding both Tennessee and Kentucky to under 3 yards per carry. I think they can have similar success in this game.
For Southern Miss offense they rely heavily on big plays and the steady running game of veteran Ito Smith. Florida State is definitely vulnerable against big plays especially without Derwin James as we saw last year. I think FSU will stop Ito Smith, but could allow some TD’s on big plays that will allow Southern Miss to stay in this game. Overall Florida State’s wins have come against very poor opponents with an overall average ranking of 75.7 when I average their ratings for (YPP O, YPP D, Rush YPC O&D, QB Rating O&D), and their losses came against an average 37.6. Southern Miss is a balanced team ranking 38.8 and has strengths in the right areas to contend in what I figure would be a low scoring game.
|12-26-17||Utah -6.5 v. West Virginia||30-14||Win||100||46 h 1 m||Show|
Utah -6.5 2.2% play
Even though we are playing a premium to back Utah and Kyle Whittingham who is 10-1 in bowl games I am fine doing so. Mainly, because it's just a bad match-up for West Virginia who is playing without their QB Will Grier. There is a big drop off in my opinion with Chris Chugunov. They will also be playing without two offensive line man and RB Justin Crawford who rushed for 1,061 yards this season. The fact that Utah is also strong against the pass ranking #28 in opposing QB rating is a big deal. They are strong along the defensive line, and right now that is West Virginia's weakness heading into the bowl game. In fact in their 5 losses they faced an average pass defense ranked 53.6 while in their wins they faced an average pass defense ranked 108.5.
Utah should be able to score points and with a high total of 57 it makes me like the 6.5 even more. Utah's offense is a bit under the radar as they haven't been healthy much of the season. When they have Tyler Huntley at QB and Darren Carrington at WR they are a different team. Both will play in this game. Utah also has a fantastic shot at running for over 150 yards where they average 40 points per game this year in 5 games they achieved that. Honestly, they probably would have more if Huntley was healthy more this year. The only time they did not eclipse 30 points was in a road game at USC where they lost 27-28 by going for 2. West Virginia's run defense is the big weakness. They have given up 170 or more yards in 8 out of 11 games. You bet Whittingham will take advantage of that weakness and Zack Moss can have a big day.
Speaking of weaknesses. West Virginia #109 in special teams going up against Utah who ranks #12.
|12-23-17||Army v. San Diego State -6.5||42-35||Loss||-110||26 h 11 m||Show|
Off to a very bad start this week. Last night we lost the starting QB from FIU on the first series, and UAB looks like hot garbage, but confident a hot streak is on the horizon.
San Diego State -6.5 3.3% play
As you are all aware I'm a big Army supporter, and had them the last two years on the money line as max plays over Navy. This is just a bad match-up for Army in my opinion. This is by far the most complete team they will have faced outside of Ohio State of course. Rashaad Penny will play at RB for San Diego State, and he is a dynamic player. When we look across the board San Diego State is top 50 in YPP offense, defense, rushing ypc offense and defense, and QB rating offense and defense. They come in top 30 for 4 of those 6 categories. Compare that with Army who is in the top 100 in ypp offense and rushing ypc. San Diego State even has the edge in special teams and TO margin.
We know Army has to run the ball to win games. They'll go up against a San Diego State defense ranked 22nd against the run. They are also used to seeing the option each year facing Air Force, and Rocky Long for years has had a lot of success defending the option. To beat San Diego State you must have a QB, in their two losses they faced an average opponent QB rating of 39, Army ranks 130. You also must have a good defense particularly against the run. Army ranks 102nd in ypp defense, and 108th vs. the run. Army can defend the option but against a pro style offense like this with the threat of the QB and speed they will struggle and give up some points like they did against North Texas in their 49-42 loss to close the year before the Army/Navy game. In San Diego State's 2 losses vs. Fresno & Boise State they both had very good defenses ranking 13th and 25th in yards per play allowed and 15th and 34th vs. the run. San Diego State also struggled and should have lost against Northern Illinois earlier in the year who also had a top defense.
|12-22-17||Central Michigan +3.5 v. Wyoming||Top||14-37||Loss||-115||42 h 57 m||Show|
Central Michigan +3.5 5.5% POD
This game is at elevation in Idaho which favors Wyoming who is used to playing in it, but in a match-up like this where the defenses should dominate I don't anticipate elevation playing too big of a factor, but we could have snow. The winds won't be too crazy so I don't anticipate the offenses being impacted too much. When we look at Wyoming they are getting too much credit here being favored. Josh Allen, the QB many NFL teams are interested in will be playing and I think that has a lot to do with the 3-3.5 point move, but I don't' agree with it. If you are a top 5 NFL QB draft pick you make the players around you better. Allen really has not done that, and part of it is how bad his offensive line has been ranking 124th in adjusted line yards. He's gotten no help from the running game either ranking 121st in ypc, while his QB rating is good for 104th. Central Michigan on the other hand has been in this role all year long. Favored in just 4 games they were able to win 8 and one could argue they were the best team out of the MAC. CMU has beaten up on poor offenses. Their 8 wins have come against an average offensive opponent ranking 109th in YPP and again Wyoming comes into this game ranking 124th so it fits what they have done all year. Their 4 losses have come against an average offense ranking 45.3 and as I mentioned that just isn't Wyoming. It's not as if Wyoming's offense has struggled because of strength of schedule. Their offense has faced an average defense ranking 75.4. Their wins have come against the bad defenses with an average rank of 103rd while their losses have come against an average defense ranking 42.2. Well, Central Michigan ranks 22nd in yards per play defense. When looking at Wyoming we know they have a very good defense. Ranking 12th in yards per play allowed while facing an average offense ranking 75.6. I looked deeper at what type of teams they struggled against. It was against teams with good QB play. Shane Morris from CMU is a good QB as the Chippewas ranked 54th in QB rating against an average opponent of 66.2 on defense which is a strong schedule. Wyoming against top 60 passing offenses went 1-4, and their 1 win came against a team that was not good defensively ranking 107th in yards per play defense. Central Michigan ranks 22nd. Meanwhile Central Michigan only went 2-3 against top 60 passing defenses. However their 3 losses came against teams who could move the ball ranking 54th, 20th, and 6th in yards per play, Wyoming ranks 124th. This recent line move offers tremendous value. I don't often like taking a team after finishing the season strong heading into a bowl with the long time off they lose their momentum. However, I like what I have seen many times form Central Michigan. I think they are the better team, and I could argue they faced a stronger schedule. They have won in situations against similar Wyoming teams more often than Wyoming has won against Central Michigan teams.
|12-22-17||UAB +7.5 v. Ohio||6-41||Loss||-135||41 h 10 m||Show|
UAB +220 4% PLAY
The Sun Belt the last two years has gone 4-0 against the MAC. Frank Solich in bowl games for Ohio has not done a good job going 2-8 dating back to his days at Nebraska. They have actually lost their last two years in bowl games against the Sun Belt, but are 7 point favorites here? UAB’s Bill Clark has done an amazing job for a team that wasn’t around the last two years and was up for coach of the year honors.
The idea that UAB faced a weaker schedule doesn’t mean a lot to me here. UAB played up to their competition while Ohio seemed to play down. When looking at the average opponent rank in their wins they stepped up their play against their better opponents. For example they faced an average YPP defense of 75.1. Their wins came against an average 64.3 and their losses vs. 94. For Ohio the opposite was true. They faced an average opponent defense ranking 71.7. Their wins were against teams that didn’t play defense with an average rank of 81. Their losses came against defenses ranking 55.5 on average. UAB plays defense ranking 48th in YPP and that was better than Ohio’s 57th rank.
The big key is the running games and running defense as both teams will run the ball 60% +. On paper Ohio has the edge as they rank they are 10th in rushing yards per carry, and 28th in rushing yards per carry defense. However, they went up against an average opponent ranking 80.6 in defense and 86.7 in offense. Compare that with UAB who ranked 50th in rushing yards per carry against an average defense ranking 71.5, and their defense ranked 81st, but they faced an average opponent ranked 66.3. Again they stepped up their play when they faced better rushing teams with a 3-0 record against teams in the top 50 in rushing ypc. Their wins came against an average opponent ranking 60.9 and their losses came against a 75.8.
UAB also has the edge in adjusted line yards on the OL & DL coming in at 35 to 60, and 44 to 79. UAB also better in TO margin, but are not as good in special teams. Special teams would be the only reason I see them not winning this game.
|12-21-17||Temple v. Florida International +7||Top||28-3||Loss||-105||26 h 31 m||Show|
FIU +7 4.4% PLAY
This game takes place in St. Petersburg, FL which is much closer for the FIU athletes. This game will be in a dome, and I think that favor FIU's offense here. I also like the coaching edge with Butch Davis 5-2 in bowl games, with Geoff Collins coaching in his first. I looked in depth at what both teams can do on the line of scrimmage and running the ball. FIU wants to run the ball and they rank 56th in yards per carry. They'll be going up against a Temple defense that has not been good against the run ranking 83rd, but some of that has to do with strength of schedule as they have faced an average opponent rush defense ranking 45th. However, FIU does have balance with the QB so it's not like Temple can sell out to stop the run. FIU faced 4 TOP 50 rushing defenses and they beat 2 of them. Looking at Temples ability to run the ball and it gets worse for Temple who ranks 88th in ypc, and that was against an average opponent run defense ranking 78th. They lost to 3 teams who did not rank in the top 70 in run defense much like FIU who comes in ranking 93rd, but had a tough schedule facing an average opponent offense ranking 56th. FIU went 5-1 against teams ranking 75th or worse against the run. Overall I give the edge running the ball in this game to FIU and it makes sense when we compare the offensive lines in this game. Temple ranks 118th in adjusted line yards, while FIU ranks 56th. Let's look at the passing attacks. As you may know Temple got a ton of credit down the stretch as they switched their QB to Frank Nutile and he did play better than Logan Marchi, but still turned the ball over 7 times. Marchi also went against passing defense ranked 103, 120, 111, 45 (loss), and 127. So I would believe most QB's could put up decent and probably better numbers than he did in those 5 games. Overall Temples passing offense still on the season ranked 82nd in QB rating and they faced an average opponent ranking 81st in QB rating defense. Not really impressed with Temples' offense at all. FIU meanwhile has a senior QB in Alex McGough who had a very good year and this offense had a QB rating ranked #29 in the nation and faced a tougher schedule facing opponent defenses ranking #65. Temple does have a clear edge in pass defense, but they only rank #65 and against teams ranked in the top 50 passing the ball they actually went 2-4 on the season. FIU, very bad against the pass, but they did have a tough schedule with an average opponent ranking #67. Temple may be able to move the ball in the air in this one, but I would expect FIU to force some turnovers. Slight edge to FIU here as well. I remind you that FIU is a dog. Mainly because of Temple's success down the stretch and their alleged strength of schedule. However, they turn the ball over far too much to be laying 7 points in FIU's home state. They have no edge in special teams ranking #22 to FIU's #21. They don't have a coaching edge, and their offense which would have to score a lot of points to cover this spread really is not good at throwing or running the ball. FIU's defense in my opinion is a bit under rated ranking #92 in yards per play, but an average opponent rank of #67. When facing an opponent offense ranking 60th or worse they went 6-1.
|12-16-17||Middle Tennessee State +4 v. Arkansas State||Top||35-30||Win||100||72 h 23 m||Show|
Middle Tennessee +3.5 5.5% POD
Since 2014, Conference USA is 15-5 against the Sun Belt and 4-2 this year. Their 2 losses came with their 2 worst teams Charlotte & UTEP facing two bowl teams from the Sun Belt. The 4 wins all by a TD or more. Middle Tennessee is a dog, because they only won 6 games, and Arkansas State is that sexy team with the sexy QB in Justice Hansen. However, the Blue Raiders were picked to win C-USA by many and in game 2 they went into Syracuse and won. The same place Clemson lost on the road later in the season. Also worth noting is Middle Tennessee played 6 bowl teams with 3 power 5 opponents. Arkansas State only had 2 opponents that are in bowls and played FCS and 1 power 5 opponent being Nebraska who did not get to a bowl game.
Middle Tennessee lost their QB in after week 2 and the season really turned for the worse. They were already without their starting RB, Terrelle West to start the year. Both are healthy for the bowl game and when Stockstill is playing this offense ranks 36 points per game and without just 19.5. This is a very balanced offense with West back healthy he had 170 rushing yards in their last game and they have an extra week to prepare for this game vs. what Arkansas State has.
Before we get to Middle Tennessee State's defense let's take a look at Arkansas State. This offense was amazing this year and Justice Hansen who threw for 3,630 yards 34 TD's and 15 interceptions. A closer look though reveals the defenses they have faced have been trash. An average opponent ranking 93.5 in yards per play allowed. Hansen has gone up against some of the worst passing defenses in the nation. 8 out of his 10 opponents were 91st or worse in pass defense. He faced Troy 65th, and lost and beat New Mexico State who ranked 52nd. MTSU faced 6 passing offenses in the top 60.
MTSU ranked 20th in yards per play allowed with their defense really picking things up this year. In years past it was really their weakness that kept them from bowl wins. This year they had no choice but to play defense with Stockstill gone for most of the season. Middle Tennessee is also 12th in yards per completion which could cause some issues for Arkansas State's passing game while the run defense has been solid all year allowing just 5.61 yards per carry.
Arkansas State's defense probably has seen one offense better and that was SMU who put 44 points up on them. There are a lot of ways MTSU can win this game. Arkansas State has no business being a favorite when they have turned the ball over 18 times in 6 road games this year. They are also averaging nearly 2 more penalties per game than Middle Tennessee ranking 125th in the nation. The one big strength their defense has that I can not deny is Ja'von Rolland-Jones who has 13 sacks in 11 games. However, MTSU typically under Stockstill gets rid of the ball fast he took just 14 sacks a year ago. This year the offensive line ranks 17th in sack rate on passing downs. I think Middle Tennessee comes into this game with a bit of a chip on their shoulder having not won a bowl game since 2009. Their leader Stockstill can lead them to a bowl game now that he's back and that's exactly what I'll predict.
|12-16-17||Oregon -7 v. Boise State||28-38||Loss||-110||70 h 47 m||Show|
Oregon -7 3.3% Play
In my podcast I had mentioned there would be value on Oregon because Jim Leavitt their defensive coordinator was staying. There are still rumors that he may go to Florida State, but for now at least it seems like he's coaching for this game and that's a big deal as he dramatically improved this defense making them a top 30 unit with 5 yards per play allowed. Last year they allowed 6.4 which would have put them 115th in the nation to put things in perspective. Boise State's offense is not what it once was and they have been juggling QB's which I never like. Aside from some early big scoring games they have struggled against top 50 defenses scoring just 27ppg compared to 39.2 against non-top 50. They also scored 17 in back to back games against Fresno State. Fresno State a very balanced defense against the run and pass much like Oregon who is also top 50 in opponent passer rating and opponent yards per rush. I'm expecting a similar output from Boise State's offense who could be missing their best player in RB Alex Mattison who is questionable for this game.
Oregon's offense has had its ups and downs this year and are likely without RB Royce Freeman here. Freeman is going to sit out to rest for the NFL draft. I never agree with that, but I say they are better off and have plenty of talent behind Freeman to fill in the gap. Justin Herbert, the QB will play in this game and if you have watched Oregon this year they are just a different offense with him in there. With Herbert the offense averaged 52 points per game and without only 15ppg. I paid dearly for backing Oregon a couple times without Herbert. Boise State is very good on paper just like they always are, but in reality they haven't faced any balanced offenses. Colorado State would be close and they put up 52 points on Boise State. Virginia had the QB bomb away for 42 points, and they gave up 47 to Washington State and their backup QB with a one dimensional attack.
I would lean toward the over if I caught it early, but don't be surprised to see Boise State's offense really struggle here. If I caught wind of Leavitt definitely leaving then I would like the over a lot more.
|12-16-17||North Texas +7 v. Troy||30-50||Loss||-115||162 h 24 m||Show|
North Texas +215 2% play
Seth Littrell and his coaching staff a bit less distractions and are probably more excited to be here with a chance at a 10th win which would tie their program record. Troy had many bigger games this year including their win against LSU on the road, but the biggest win of the year came on the road against Arkansas State to share the Sun Belt Championship. Arkansas State had owned them previously and Troy finally got over that hump. I'm not saying Troy won't want to win this game, but of the two I have to think North Texas is a bit more excited here.
We saw and bet against North Texas in the C-USA Championship, but it was because of the match-up. Against Florida Atlantic whose main strength is the running game they were in a tough spot. North Texas defense is not good against the run especially not good running games. This is a winnable match-up for them as Troy's offense ranks 85th in rushing yards per game. Troy's defense is also very strong ranking #27 overall in yards allowed, but their one weakness is against the pass ranking #69. North Texas sports a balanced offense that ranked 19th in total yards, but their strength is behind their QB Mason Fine. Troy's defense is also a bit misleading as they have only faced 4 teams inside the top 100 in yards per play. Boise State, New Mexico State, LSU, and Arkansas State. Every other team they had faced was ranked 115th or worse. North Texas ranks #34 with their balanced offense.
North Texas also comes from the better conference. Conference USA is 15-5 the last 4 years against the Sun Belt and have covered 2 of the 3 bowl games they have matched up in during that time. North Texas a relatively big dog where we typically see CUSA a larger favorite. I think there is very good value here in the dog and I like them to pull the upset.
|12-02-17||Miami-FL v. Clemson -10||3-38||Win||100||9 h 29 m||Show|
Clemson -10 2.2% play
Clemson is a fully balanced team in playoff mode right now and I don’t think Miami who is probably low on confidence after their game against Pitt is ready for this step up game. This is the best offense, and the best defense that Miami has played all year and certainly the best team. Miami has only faced two teams ranked in the top 50 in yards per play. Toledo put 30 points on them really early in the season and Notre Dame I think we realized was over rated and one dimensional. Clemson is not one dimensional despite what the media may say. They can absolutely move the ball on the ground or the air and have a mobile QB. Miami’s 10th ranked defense might get exposed a bit here.
Defensively, Miami’s inexperienced offense has not faced a team like Clemson. They have had issues blocking up front and it showed against Pitt who has the #81 ranked yards per play defense. Clemson #2 at getting to the QB in sack rate, and Miami again has not faced a top 30 pass rush all year, but Miami ranks 69th in protecting their QB and they have been worse of late. This is also a coaching mismatch let’s be honest. We have Miami OC Thomas Brown going up against Clemson Brent Venables.
This is also a game of experience. Clemson has been in this game many times before and in the last two years have played in a ton of big games. Miami, it’s their first time in the ACC Championship game and while they played well in their step up games, those games were at home. Clemson in step up games won and covered the spread with ease. At ranked South Carolina last week, against Auburn in week 2, @ Louisville a ranked team at the time, and Virginia Tech another road game. Clemson won and covered each step up game and I don’t care about paying a premium to play them in this spot as I expect a cover and double digit victory.
|12-02-17||Fresno State +9.5 v. Boise State||14-17||Win||100||48 h 42 m||Show|
Fresno State +9 3.3% play
These two teams just met last week and while it was evident Boise did not show up to play in the loss I don't think this hurts Fresno State one bit. I think it gives Fresno State a bit of confidence. They had beaten Boise State by 1 point in 2013, but had lose every other game dating back to 2007. I think that gives them confidence and looking at all the numbers they actually have the better defense. I love taking the better defense getting over a TD in a championship game.
So both teams passed the ball more times than they ran the ball last week. That went against their season averages of running the ball more during the regular season. Boise runs the ball 53% of the time while Fresno comes in at 55%, but last week Boise decided to run it 46% of the time, and Fresno 45%. I expect them to both try to run the ball again early in this one which favors Fresno State. Fresno State ranks 64th in ypc compared to Boise State who ranks 80th. Fresno also faced the tougher schedule facing an average opponent ranking 57th compare to Boise opponents at 60.75. Fresno also had wins over run defenses ranking 20, 31, 27, and 18th. Run defense favors Boise State who ranks 18th, compared to Fresno at 36th, but it's closer than that with Fresno facing an average opponent rushing offense ranking 54.9 compared to Boise's 64.5. At the end of the day I think both these teams will struggle to run the ball and there is no edge giving one team the opportunity to run away with this game. I think these teams are very much even and we are getting 9 points to play with.
I've heard sharps mention Boise -9 based on last week's -7 spread on the road as line value as they should be -13 this week. I disagree. I think Vegas set that line knowing these teams were going to have a vanilla game plan. When you look at recent common opponents between these two teams Vegas values Boise State at about 4 points better add on the 3 for home field advantage and this line should be around 7 points. However, Boise State at home under Bryan Harsin has not been very good. Especially with his recruits in there as they have gone 3-12 ATS in their last 15 home games. They covered their last two as big favorites at home, but against just awful defenses in Nevada and Air Force. As a 15.5 point favorite against Wyoming who has a good defense they failed to cover.
So we saw a similar situation last year with Wyoming facing San Diego State 2 weeks prior to the championship game and we saw a 4 point swing. Wyoming out gained San Diego State in both games. They won the regular season match-up 34-33, and lost the championship game 27-24. Both games were close and I expect the same thing here with Fresno and Boise State.
|12-02-17||South Alabama +10 v. New Mexico State||17-22||Win||100||43 h 60 m||Show|
South Alabama +300 2% play
This is a live dog here with South Alabama’s head coach Joey Jones hanging it up after this game. He’s 52-49 as the only head coach for South Alabama. I think his players will give it their all and they have already upset the best two teams in the conference in Arkansas State & Troy. They did it with their defense holding them under 100 yards rushing. New Mexico State only averages 3.8 yards per carry and have been held under 100 yards 6 times this season. South Alabama also forced turnovers +8 in those two games. New Mexico State’s Tyler Rogers has 15 interceptions on the year. South Alabama is a team that in 2016 with just 6 wins had a lot of bad losses, but somehow were able to beat Miss State on the road 21-20, and San Diego State. South Alabama also has an extra week to prepare and again I don’t think it is a meaningless game for them as I expect them to try to ruin New Mexico State’s hopes of going bowling with a win here.
|12-02-17||TCU v. Oklahoma -7||17-41||Win||100||65 h 11 m||Show|
Oklahoma -1 / Georgia +8.5 4.4% Teaser (Over 56% ATS Career on NCAAF Teasers)
Oklahoma - I actually took Oklahoma a while back at +1200 to win the national championship, but I have great respect for TCU’s head coach Gary Paterson, and that is why I’m using Oklahoma in a teaser even though I like them to win this game 10-14 points. I don’t see anyway Kenny Hill and TCU will be able to beat Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma here. I bet Oklahoma in the first match-up as a POD you can find that analysis here. In that game I mentioned TCU’s defense had actually struggled vs. good offenses stating, TCU facing top 50 offenses (20, 3, 14th, 1) they gave up an average 500.75 yards per game and 32.25 points per game in those 4 match-ups. Oklahoma scored 38 in the first half and cruised after having the big lead.
TCU obviously very good at adjustments and shut Oklahoma out in the second half, but again I don’t think Oklahoma was really showing their full offense in the second half. I also think Oklahoma was humbled the week they had to bench Baker Mayfield for a few snaps last week, and the offense has only gotten better with the emergence of RB Rodney Anderson who is a threat at RB 151 yards 2 TD’s in the first match-up and out of the backfield as a receiver, 5 receptions for 139 in the first match-up. Look for TCU to take him away, but as we know Oklahoma has many weapons.
For TCU Kenny Hill has to show me something here, and he looked good against Baylor at home last week after missing the Texas Tech game, but Baylor doesn’t play defense at all ranking 115th in yards per play allowed. I still think Oklahoma’s defense doesn’t get enough credit. They will have the chance to make adjustments too and I think it’s easier for Oklahoma’s defense to make adjustments on TCU than TCU on Oklahoma, because TCU’s offense is not as dynamic. Unless Kenny Hill is going to come out throwing the ball 40+ times I don’t see them catching Oklahoma off guard in this one. I like the value of this game with a teaser as I see Oklahoma having issues at times in this game, but at the end of the day they’ll win.
Georgia – Do not be prisoner of the moment with Auburn knocking off two teams in 3 weeks who were ranked #1 with Georgia being one of them. That was a huge emotional victory a week ago for Auburn where they really had to give it their all and are more banged up for this game. It’s also important to note that Auburn will now be on the road. I know it is a neutral site, but it will be played in Atlanta.
Georgia in the first match-up climbed to a 4 point favorite and I took Auburn in that match-up so I am flipping sides here a little, but I like the value we are getting. If this game took place on a neutral field just 3 weeks ago the spread would be -5 or even -6 Georgia. Now we are working with nearly 8 points of line value + our 6 on the teaser gives us a full 2 TD’s of line value. Now that’s not to say Georgia is the better team, but I think they will be in a dog fight (no pun intended)
Georgia actually looked good in the first quarter in this game easily going down the field and scoring a TD to take a 7-0 lead. I think their offense will look good here and Jake Fromm is fully capable of having a better game now that he knows what to look for from this Auburn defense. An Auburn defense that just allowed 211 yards rushing to Alabama. I think Georgia should also have confidence with a balanced attack here. It won’t be as difficult to run on Auburn when they are not in Auburn’s home building.
Now Georgia actually did a good job holding Auburn’s running game intact for the most part they only scored 1 rushing TD, but Kerryon Johnson was just that good rushing for 167 yards on 32 carries. However, Johnson is banged up and I am sure he will go, but how long before he injures his shoulder again in this game? The drop off at RB is significant in my opinion. Next, we have Jared Stidham his home and away splits are interesting. He has a 175 QB Rating at home and a 137 on the road which is still good, but Georgia is one of the best passing defenses in the nation. Georgia actually had 6 QB hurries and 2 sacks in the first game. We know Auburn’s pass blocking has improved throughout the season, but it’s still something you have to factor into this game. Georgia’s front 7 havoc rate ranks 37th compared to Auburn at 74. At the end of the day I think these two teams are pretty even. The game should be a pk, but it’s not because of recent Auburn wins, I’ll look to fade them and hope Georgia can pull the upset as I am holding a +1800 ticket for them to win the national championship.
|12-02-17||Memphis +7.5 v. Central Florida||Top||55-62||Win||100||94 h 15 m||Show|
Memphis +7.5 5.5% POD / Memphis +250 1%
We have two very similar teams meeting again in Florida for the AAC Championship game. These two met back in week 3 and it was a UCF win 40-13. Central Florida opened as a 2.5 point favorite in that game and climbed to 5.5 at close. We really did not know much about that team, and Memphis did not either. Fast Forward and neither of these teams have lost a game since and it's an interesting rematch between the two, but we are getting 4.5 - 5 points of line value, because on a neutral field these two teams are as evenly matches as possible.
Both head coaches are looking to better jobs next year most likely, and they are backed by two very good balanced offenses while both defenses really leave a lot to be desired. Central Florida 96th vs. the pass, Memphis is 98th, and on paper we should have a high scoring game, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a lower scoring game here.
In the first match-up Memphis pretty much played as bad as you can with 4 turnovers. It was their first road game of the season and it really looked like it. The turnovers were pretty bad there was a fumble in the red zone that took away at least 3 points off the scoreboard. Shortly after Central Florida had a 95 yard TD run recapping momentum and taking a huge 16-7 lead at the time. Later in the second quarter Riley Fergusson threw an interception that was tipped as Memphis was driving which was returned 35 yards and later UCF scored a TD making it 23-7. At that point the balanced offense that Memphis does possess was sort of out the window. In the third Fergusson threw another interception as Memphis was driving. This one was just a bad throw, but probably took another 3-7 points off the board for the Tigers. The third interception came after a huge 3rd and 12 where the receiver dropped a wide open catch. On 4th down Fergusson forced a ball that was dropped again by his receiver and picked off setting UCF up in their own territory leading to another TD. All in all there were also 3 fumbles in this game which UCF recovered each and every one. Simply luck if you ask me. I expect this game to be tight much like UCF's last game.
UCF was actually lucky to beat USF who out gained them by 120 yards and won on a 95 yard kickoff return for a TD. In reality UCF's defense has not looked as dominant down the stretch they have been worse in run offense and defense as the months have progressed yet they have been helped by a very easy schedule. Their 3rd down play which really won them the game in the first match up as they converted 10-18 and allowed just 4-12 and 1-4 on 4th down has been a struggle lately. They are converting just 38% over their last 4 games and have allowed 40% conversion over their last 4 games. Memphis defense has gotten better throughout the season allowing 52% conversions in September, 44% in October, and then 32% in November.
It was just a bad game for Memphis they match-up pretty well in this game and definitely have the ability to win this game.
|11-25-17||Notre Dame -2 v. Stanford||20-38||Loss||-110||29 h 40 m||Show|
Notre Dame -2 4.4% POD
This game actually has a lot of implications. Stanford is hoping to win and get into the PAC 12 Championship game if Washington can beat Washington State. Notre Dame is looking for a 10th win to play in the New Years 6 which is entirely possible. When you look at Notre Dame they have played extremely well and their only two loses have come at the hands of Miami and Georgia.
For Notre Dame, they have struggled this year when they have faced top 25 defenses. Their loss against Georgia was against the countries #8 defense, they struggled against Michigan State #17, but got a big win. They struggled at Miami #12. Now they face Stanford who is #70 in yards per play allowed, and actually 89th vs. the run. This is not your prototypical Stanford defense. Even Cal last week ran all over Stanford nearly pulling the upset. Cal has the #126 ranked yards per carry rushing offense and they averaged 5.54 ypc on the road at Stanford. Notre Dame is #2 in the nation and is the best rushing offense that Stanford has faced all year by far. For Notre Dame they are arguably facing the worst running defense they have faced all year.
Notre Dame's defense is another key here. I don't think Bryce Love is healthy and we have seen Cal, and Oregon State be competitive with Stanford. Oregon State without Love, and Cal was able to take Love out of the game. Notre Dame clearly has the capability and talent to take one player out of this game and I think they'll be able to do that, and I won't be surprised if Love gets banged up again in this game.
Lastly, I'm not a big supporter of the PAC 12. I think it's a weak conference and has even fallen below the Big 12. While Notre Dame is Independent they tend to play a lot of ACC and Big Ten opponents.
|11-25-17||Washington State +10.5 v. Washington||14-41||Loss||-110||29 h 34 m||Show|
Washington State +10.5 3.3% Play
Meanwhile Washington was lucky to get by Utah at home as a 17.5 point favorite. A Utah team that was playing without some of their best players. Washington's defense gave up 30 points in back to back games. Washington State's offense is completely one dimensional, but I expect they can score enough to keep them in this game.
Washington State under Mike Leach as a road dog in the Pac 12 is 14-7 ATS. You would think they would be at a disadvantage on the offensive and defensive line, but in adjusted yard rankings Washington State is better than Washington in both categories. As much as I mentioned Washington State being better this year. It also a fact that Washington is not as good as last year. They are averaging .5 yards less per play. Jake Browning has 18 TD's and 5 interceptions, but last year he had a 43/9 ratio and now he goes up against a Washington State defense that thrives on getting to the QB. Washington State's defense is allowing a 104 QB rating. A year ago they allowed 138 and 12 more passing TD's. Washington State must force turnovers and win the turnover battle if they'll win this game, but I see no reason why they should get beat by double digits.
|11-25-17||Alabama v. Auburn +5||14-26||Win||100||24 h 37 m||Show|
Auburn +5 3.3% play / Auburn +175 1% play
Auburn has a far superior strength of schedule here playing at Clemson, at LSU, they also got Georgia at home from the East who they dominated. Alabama really can't claim a quality win other than Miss State on the road whom they should have lost to. Miss State just lost last night as a 15 point favorite to Ole Miss. Auburn much more impressive in their game over Ole Miss. Auburn also against the two teams Alabama struggled against (Texas A&M & Miss State), both games decided by one possession. Alabama won 58-43 combined. Meanwhile Auburn won 97-37.
I think Auburn's defense here is getting a bit disrespected and Alabama really has not faced a team this balanced in the sense that they can play defense at a top 10 level and they can play offense at a top 10 level. Maybe LSU was close ranking 38th in yards per play offensively and 23rd defensively, but Auburn is #20 and #5. LSU also faced Alabama on the road (24-10 loss). LSU is also a run first team and they don't get as much out of their QB. Auburn is ranked #6 in QB rating behind Jared Stidham who has 16 passing TD's and 4 INT's.
Let's not forget Auburn is home here and when they have a good team they normally win this game. Especially when they are at home. I think Alabama is a misleading team this year I don't think they are as good as their stats say.
|11-24-17||California +7 v. UCLA||Top||27-30||Win||100||50 h 16 m||Show|
California +7 4.4% POD / California +235 1%
This game is a very important for both teams with a 6th win and a bowl game on the line. However, I feel it's much more important to the Cal team who have a first year head coach who has transitioned the program to a completely different style of football. The extra practice would be a huge benefit. On the other side you have UCLA, with Josh Rosen who likely will be a top 10 draft pick playing after their head coach was fired. Does Rosen want to risk an injury? Does he even want to get to a bowl game? I have far more questions on the UCLA side than Cal. Even if UCLA comes to play I like what I have seen from this Cal team in this role this season.
Wilcox has a very good defensive mind, and I think they are able to take Rosen out of this game a bit. I read an article about how Cal is awful against the pass. Really? They have faced 3 future NFL QB's this year. Ole MIss, Shea Patterson, Washington State's Luke Falk, and USC's Sam Darnold. They won 2 of those 3 games as an under dog and held the trio of NFL QB's to 4 passing TD's and 8 interceptions. Now they'll be facing Josh Rosen, who I admit is the best of the bunch, but I don't see him having the mindset to beat a Cal team who will be full invested in a win.
Now, you also have an advantage with Cal's under rated running team. Patrick Laird has really come on to be a force. They ran for 155 yards at Stanford last week and while Stanford has not had the best defense this year they are still much better than UCLA who ranks 119th in the country vs. the run. This sets up well for Cal to not only stay in the game, but pull the upset as I think they will.
|11-24-17||Western Kentucky -2.5 v. Florida International||17-41||Loss||-110||46 h 5 m||Show|
Western Kentucky -2.5 2.2% play
Whoever can pass the ball better in this game will win the game. Again, I am going with the road team as the more focused team the day after a holiday. Western Kentucky, who I have been down on all year has continued to get better. I have been impressed with their defense especially, and I can see them really dominating this game.
Mike White started this season slow, but he has put up monster numbers with 3,471 passing yards 22 TD's and 7 INT's. He's really starting to connect with his receivers and in their wins this year he has a 17 TD / 3 INT ratio with a 157 QB rating. In their losses they have a 123 QB rating. They key is to pass the ball here for them since they are so bad running it. Good news is that they go against a defense that's not very good. Florida International can't get to the QB, and they rank 105th in opposing QB rating. In their losses they have allowed a 191 QB rating. Overall they have allowed 17 passing TD's to just 6 interceptions. I think Western Kentucky can play this game pretty comfortably.
Offensively I don't think FIU can keep up. Alex McGough is a solid QB, but 13 TD and 7 INT's is not going to get it done against Western Kentucky's #12th ranked passing defense. I played Middle Tennessee last week and they were able to move the ball against Western Kentucky, but that offense is far superior than FIU. I really think Western Kentucky have turned the corner from their early season struggles which was to be expected after losing Jeff Brohm to Purdue and hiring a new coaching staff that had no coaching experience.
|11-24-17||Northern Illinois -3 v. Central Michigan||24-31||Loss||-110||39 h 29 m||Show|
Northern Illinois -3 3.3% Play
Northern Illinois will be playing this game with fire as they can get to the MAC Championship game with a win, and a Toledo loss. Toledo will be playing 30 minutes earlier so the game will be going on at the same time. I expect head coach Carey will try to avoid letting his players know what's going on in the game between Toledo and Western Michigan. For Central Michigan this game really means nothing other than jumping Northern Illinois in the standings. Northern Illinois also lost this game last year and would like to have revenge.
I really like how this game matches up here. For one the road team actually has an advantage being on the road the day after a holiday they should be more focused. The other thing is Central Michigan's strength is passing the ball and stopping the pass. They are ranked 98th vs. the run. Northern Illinois is actually a top pass defense 38th in opposing QB rating and 6th in sack %. Central Michigan relies heavily on the pass, and the 3 times they have faced a good pass defense ranking in the top 10 they scored 10, 8, and 14 points losing all three games by 17, 20, and 20 points. Here they just have to lose by 4 or more. Expect Northern Illinois pass rush led by Sutton Smith (13 sacks) to really be the reason Northern Illinois can come out of here with a double digit victory.
In addition to that edge Northern Illinois has a balanced offense. They can run and throw the ball. So even though Central Michigan is poor against the run, they can't sell out against it because Northern Illinois is fully capable of passing the ball. The other thing to note here is 15mph winds. Less than ideal for a pass happy Central Michigan. I believe Northern Illinois will be better int he red zone. I don't expect a super high scoring game, but Northern Illinois should walk away with a big win.
|11-23-17||Ole Miss v. Mississippi State -14.5||31-28||Loss||-110||27 h 17 m||Show|
Miss State -14 -120 buy 1/2 - 2.5% Play
I get that this is Ole Miss bowl game, but I think they are a very flawed team. It's obvious that their head coach Matt Luke is not coming back, and that this team is in a tough situation following a game against Texas A&M where they finally played a bit tougher competition. Now this is an even bigger step up playing their hatred rival, but Miss State is poised to play their best game as well and I like the match-ups in this one. Miss State also fighting for a win here and a win in their bowl game to get to 10 wins. Their only losses were against Auburn, Alabama, and Georgia so they have had a pretty challenging schedule.
Ole Miss is ranked 119th vs. the run in terms of rushing yards per carry allowed. Now they have faced 3 teams in the top 31 and have given up 40, 44, and 66 points in losses. Miss State is ranked #24 running the ball and also have a mobile QB. The last time they faced a mobile QB it was Alabama and they gave up 66 points as Jalen Hurts ran wild for 101 yards on only 10 carries. So that is strength vs. weakness which favors MIss State who has also won big against the average to good teams. With the exception of Arkansas last week. That actually gives us some value and if you can't get -14 at -120 odds I think you are still safe. Against Arkansas they got off to a horrific start down 14-0 after a fumble return for a TD and they won 28-21. However, that was on the road and off a tough game against Alabama that they let slip away. Here they are in a much better spot in my opinion to win and win big.
Ole Miss is a one dimensional offense that really hasn't faced a lot of top passing defenses. Their back up Jordan Ta'amu has looked good, but it started to show last game against a good defense. A&M ranked 66th vs. the pass and can also get to the QB. A&M shut them out in the second half and that was in their own building. Miss State has the #33 passer rating defense and is top 10 at getting to the QB. They are even better on defense at home and this is a night game as well where Miss State is even better. I think they'll be focused to get out to a good start considering how they left their last game. This is a completely different challenge for the Ole Miss QB and Ole Miss is already -8 TO margin. I expect Miss State to get out to a fast start which should create an issue with Ole Miss motivation. If we get to the half and they are down don't expect much effort from this team late. I can see Miss State scoring in the 40's and holding Ole Miss in the 20's. Don't fall into the trap of taking the dog in this rivalry game.
|11-18-17||California +16 v. Stanford||14-17||Win||100||47 h 20 m||Show|
California +16 3.3% play
Cal has been in this game the last two years losing by 13 and 14 points. I think they are a better team this year especially since they brought in a new coach in Wilcox who has created a very good defense and a more balanced offense. What if I told you Cal had the better defense from a yards per play perspective? You would be shocked, but that's exactly the case here as Cal is ranked 59th and Stanford is ranked 67th.
Cal has an extra week to prepare against a one dimensional offense in Stanford. I could actually see Cal winning this game especially since they need a win to get to a bowl. Stanford is off a huge win over Washington, but still need to win this game to get to the PAC 12 Championship. They do have Notre Dame on deck which makes this interesting.
Either way Cal's defense is playing better allowing 14 points per game and 86 yards per game under what they allowed last year. An extra week to prepare for Bryce Love and I see Cal giving Stanford some issues here.
|11-18-17||Missouri v. Vanderbilt +9.5||45-17||Loss||-110||53 h 37 m||Show|
Vanderbilt +280 2% playYou may have remembered Vanderbilt needing 2 wins in their final 2 games to get to a bowl last year. They beat Ole Miss as 9.5 point dogs 38-17, and beat Tennessee 45-34 as a 7 point dog. This year they need the same thing and it starts this week against Missouri, and on the road against Tennessee. Two winnable games. Here they'll host red hot Missouri. At some point this hot streak for Missouri has to end. They have been covering the spread by outrageous numbers of 25 points, 27.5, 26.5, and 33 points against the spread just over the last 4 weeks. That has led to Missouri getting a ton of credit from the bookmakers. This situation hey are in is a bit different than the last 4 weeks when they faced Idaho, Uconn, and two SEC teams at home who fired their HC's this year. Now Missouri goes on the road to face a capable Vanderbilt team. I realize they got smoked a week ago against Kentucky, but -4 TO's will do that. Kentucky actually only outgained Vanderbilt by 59 yards so this game was a lot closer than it seemed. There are a few big differnces in this match up. For one it's a road SEC game, and secondly Vanderbilt is not under fire like Tennessee & Florida was. They also have a capable QB in Kyle Schurmur who has passed 21 TD's and 7 INT's. Missouri just faced 105 and 117th ranked passing programs and they did so at home. Missouri actually ranks 69th in QB rating, but before their last 3 games it was actually a lot worse. They have benefited from the schedule of late that's for sure. Vanderbilt should be able to move the ball through the air in this game. Missouri is -6 TO margin, and Vanderbilt will be extra concentrated on taking care of the ball after being -4. I expect them to take care of the ball Drew Lock is known for turning the ball over
|11-18-17||Purdue +8 v. Iowa||Top||24-15||Win||100||43 h 56 m||Show|
Purdue +8 5.5% POD / Purdue +250 1% play
Iowa just came off two gigantic games against Ohio State and Wisconsin. I don't know how they get up for this game to be honest and Purdue matches up well. Purdue also wants and needs this game more as they are 4-6 and need to win out to get into a bowl game. Jeff Brohm has Purdue competitive in just every game and I don't see any reason to believe that won't be the case here. I really don't think the line is right for this one. Iowa is -84 yards per game in conference play, but they have that big win against OHio State that nobody will forget. Purdue is just -2 yards per game in conference play and have a very good run defense. Iowa when held under 135 yards average only 13.25 points per game. I really think this Purdue team can keep Iowa's rushing totals in that area. There will be 19 mph winds and it'll be 40 degrees in this one making the running game that much more important so let's take a look at how these two match-up. Surprisingly Purdue has the better rushing offense and rushing defense. Purdue averaging 4.4 ypc and 4.34 in conference play they have the #11 offensive line in adjusted line yards. Iowa just 3.68 ypc and 3.58 in conference play ranking #74 on the offensive line. Defensively Purdue allowing just 3.71 ypc and 3.58 ypc in conference play while Iowa allowing 4.35 ypc and 4.44 in conference play. Purdue ranks #1 in adjusted line yards on the defensive side of the ball given their strength of schedule while Iowa ranks 108th. Iowa has faced an average rushing offense ranked 74th while Purdue has faced an average rushing offense ranked 48th. On the flip side Iowa has faced a stronger rushing defense average at #32 compared to Purdue at #55. At the end of the day these teams are both well coached, and this game means more to Iowa and we are getting over a TD against two teams where the game should be shortened. I wouldn't be shocked if Purdue pulls the upset here.
|11-18-17||Fresno State -2.5 v. Wyoming||13-7||Win||100||46 h 56 m||Show|
Fresno State -2.5 3.3% Play
Wyoming has covered 7 games in a row and are winning games based on their defense and ability to force turnovers. They are ranked #1 in the country in TO margin with +17. They have been fortunate because they haven’t faced many teams that have a good TO margin ratio. The teams that were above average in takeaways were also giving the ball away. Half of their opponents were ranked 100 or worse in either takeaways or giveaways. Boise State was the only team with a good TO margin ratio at +8 and Boise won 24-14. Fresno comes into this game at +8 and ranked 17th in the nation having turned the ball over only 9 times.
Fresno State needs to win this game to get to the conference championship. A win and they are in with the tie breaker over San Diego State. Fresno has Boise on deck so I doubt they want to leave it to that game especially when they are facing a Wyoming team that’s ranked 124th in yards per play. They have played some bad defenses along the way as well and can’t seem to get anything going despite having an NFL caliber QB in Josh Allen.
Allen is actually questionable for this game along with Fresno’s starting QB Marcus McMaryion. However, both of these teams run the ball 55% of the time anyway, and the weather looks to be less than ideal for passing with 18 mph winds. With that said let’s look at the running games and running defenses of each team.
First of all the strength of schedule is in favor of Fresno State. They faced an average run defense ranking 58.8, while Wyoming has faced a run defense ranking on average 68.3. Fresno clearly the better running game in the top 50 in the nation and averaging 4.76 ypc, and 4.91 in conference play compared to Wyoming who is ranked 123rd nationally. Wyoming averaging 3.09 ypc and 3.38 in conference play. Run defense, Fresno State has faced an average rushing offense ranked 44.7 while Wyoming has faced 63.6. With that said Fresno despite facing the stronger schedule has better numbers against the run. Fresno allowing 3.64 ypc, just 3.45 ypc in conference play with just 3 rushing TD’s allowed in conference play. Wyoming’s defense 3.66 ypc on the season, and 3.72 ypc in conference play while allowing 7 rushing TD’s in conference play.
Fresno needs this win, they don’t turn the ball over and it could be argued that they have the better defense. While that may not show up statistically they have by far faced a stronger schedule as we have outlined which typically messes with stats a bit.
|11-18-17||Michigan +7.5 v. Wisconsin||10-24||Loss||-115||63 h 20 m||Show|
Michigan +7.5 4.4% Play
I don't want to get caught up in the strength of schedule here, but there is a difference in strength of schedules, and I think Michigan actually matches up well here against Wisconsin. Last year it was a 14-7 victory for Michigan, and this team is not looking ahead to Ohio State. Jim Harbough needs a big win like this, and I think his team at this point is a bit under rated given their rank. They lose a fluke game against Michigan State, a game that they lost by 4 points, but had a -5 TO margin ratio. If you are -5 TO's you expect to lose b y much more in my opinion.
For Wisconsin they just don't have the offense in my opinion to outscore and cover a large spread against a top 5 defense. Wisconsin just lost their best WR for the season in Sephus, and their QB Hornibrook has thrown 12 interceptions and is really average with below average arm strength. Their Heisman hopeful Johnathan Taylor actually has 6 fumbles on the year. Wisconin has faced just 1 team in the top 65 in yards per play offense and that was Florida Atlantic before they were a dominant offense back in week 2. Michigan ranks 71st, but they have played a slew of top 50 defenses. Michigan's offense is actually playing with confidence right now and over their last 3 games have averaged 6.7 yards per play which would actually put them 11th in the country. While, Wisconsin actually ranks 26th overall with 6.2, but over their last 3 games they are averaging 5.2 which would actually put them 90th. Brandon Peters has taken over at QB and has looked far better than O'Korn and Speight, but when you look at Michigan is really a mirror image of what Wisconsin is and likes to do.
Both teams run the ball 60% of the time, and are supported by below average QB's, and lean on their defense to pick up the win. Both defenses are top 5, and Wisconsin has faced some good defenses, but nothing to this caliber. They have been able to wear defenses and offensive lines down this season, but I just don't see it happening here. Actually when looking at offensive and defensive line adjusted yards Michigan ranks 11th and 10th on the DL & OL while Wisconsin comes in 43rd, and 20th. Michigan also has a major advantage in both areas in power success rate. That's a huge advantage here as it's supposed to also be windy. Michigan's QB Peters has the better arm, he has the better athletes and so far he's taken care of the ball as well. Neither team protects their QB well. Michigan ranks #1 in getting to the QB in the nation while Wisconsin is right there so again another area where these two teams are very much even. At the end of the day it's a lot of pressure for Wisconsin that I think they can handle, but this is just too many points. JIm Harbough has lost 8 games since coming to Michigan. 6 of the 8 games were by 7 or less points. Wisconsin really not a team that blows you out unless they are getting turnovers which they have been able to secure the last two games forcing Indiana & Iowa into late game turnovers. Michigan has only turned the ball over 14 times this year with only 5 on the road. They have played 5 games since their game against Michigan State where they turned the ball over 5 times. In their last 5 games they have turned the ball over a total of 2 times.
|11-18-17||Central Florida v. Temple +14||45-19||Loss||-110||39 h 22 m||Show|
Temple +14 3.3% play / Temple +447 1% play
Temple needs this game big time if they are going to go to a bowl game with 5 wins and they have an extra day to prepare. Central Florida is undefeated and playing with a ton of pressure. Not only do they have a bit of a look ahead with South Florida next week waiting for them, but their head coach Scott Frost is being rumored for the Florida head coaching jobs and others. We have seen this before before Justin Fuente and Tom Herman the last two years took on bigger jobs at Virginia Tech and Texas their team were big favorites and lost outright.
Temple is playing their best football right now and it's the offense that is playing well over the last 3 games 6.6 yards per play which would put them top 20. It's no surprise that happened when they went to Frank Nutile at QB who is playing well and the run game also benefited with two 200+ rushing yard games out of their last 3. Defensively they are the best defense that Central Florida has faced all year.
UCF has not faced a top 60 defense all year. Temple is a defense that can get to the QB they currently rank 15th in sack rate and are even better at home. That's something that QB that Central Florida could struggle with here. They have faced just one team in the top 50 in sack rate (SMU) and they forced UCF into 3 TO's. Central Florida +11 on the season relies on winning the turnover margin to win games. Their defense has shown holes in their last two games, and in their last two road games the offense only put up 31 points in each. Who did they face in those road games? The 112th, and 118th ranked defense form a yards per play allowed perspective. Temple comes in ranking 56th.
|11-18-17||Texas +3.5 v. West Virginia||28-14||Win||100||39 h 5 m||Show|
Texas +3.5 3.3% play
Texas has major defensive strengths in this one something West Virginia has struggled against. They have done well vs. the run and the pass. Texas weaknesses right now are the injuries they have had to withstand, but let's be honest they need to win to get to a bowl game. This is another opportunity for Tom Herman to beat a ranked opponent as well and we know Herman's success against ranked foes, and as a dog. The good thing is I think we see more of Sam Ehlinger finally. I gambled and thought he'd play against TCU, but he didn't and I paid for it. He got a drive against Kansas, and I feel like it will only be a matter of time before he gets in this game and makes a difference.
Texas defense though is the major reason I'm backing them here. They have held both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to season lows in points. West Virginia's offense as unstoppable as they have looked are beatable. In their last two games they were actually shutout in the 2nd half. That's a major red flag, and I think there is a major coaching advantage on the Texas sidelines. This Texas team is desperate for a big win as well. As well as they have played in games they were under dogs their fans and boosters expect wins. Texas is 5th in the nation in points allowed in the second half so if they can get out to a fast start I can see them winning this game outright.
|11-18-17||UL-Monroe +37 v. Auburn||14-42||Win||100||39 h 54 m||Show|
LA Monroe +37 3.3% play
This is the ultimate sandwich game for Auburn who just got done defeating #1 Georgia, and then they have Alabama on deck for the Iron Bowl and a chance at the SEC Championship game. I don't see them taking this game very serious and we have seen Auburn relax against weaker talent. They came off a game against Clemson at the beginning of the year and beat Mercer 24-10. They are also 0-3 ATS in their last 3 the week before Alabama. They are also 2-10 ATS when laying 20+ points.
For Monroe they cans core points. They put up 52 points on App State their last time out. App State is a good defense. To put it in perspective App State gave up 221 yards on 44 carries and 3 rushing TD's to Georgia. Monroe had 213 yards on 38 carries and 3 TD's. Monroe also has just 11 TO's on the year and they will run the ball 55% of the time. Auburn will run it 68% of the time at home. This game should tick tick tick and 37 points is a bargain! Oh, and Monroe has an extra week to prepare for this one.
|11-17-17||Middle Tennessee State -3 v. Western Kentucky||38-41||Loss||-105||12 h 11 m||Show|
MTSU -3 -105 2.5% PLAY
I like the Blue Raiders in this spot as Western Kentucky is struggling to get that win to get to a bowl game. It's no coincidence that they are 0-3 in their last 3 by running into a couple of quality teams that can pass the ball. All year they had faced just 1 team in the top 120 in passing QB rating. They faced 120, 85, 122, 123, 127, and 129. Sure their pass defense was going to look prolific and still is ranked 12th. It then faced 46, 61, 69 and got particularly exposed in the Vanderbilt game and again they will get exposed here tonight.
Middle Tennessee got Brent Stockstill back and this is his third game back so the rust is off. This is a balanced offense much more balanced than Western Kentucky. They protect and get to the QB better as well. With Stockstill they are a top 25 passing offense. Western Kentucky's pass defense is ranked 125th in sack rate. Giving Stockstill time is not a good thing as he should pick this defense apart on his way to scoring 30+.
For Western Kentucky, they average less than 3 yards per carry. They go up against a defense that can certainly stop the run. Middle Tennessee also ranks 47th in opposing QB rating. Western Kentcuky will get some yards in this one, but at the end of the day they can not protect their QB. White has been sacked 32 times this year and they rank 79th in sack % on drop backs. Middle Tennessee should be able to force them into some long third downs that they won't be able to convert. Middle Tennessee lost this 100 mile rivalry game by 1 point last year and 30 the year before. They want this one and I think they have the better overall team and coaching staff.
|11-15-17||Toledo -17 v. Bowling Green||66-37||Win||100||12 h 11 m||Show|
Toledo -17 2.2% play
Toledo will bounce back here on the road against an awful Bowling Green team. Toledo gave up 38 points on the road against Ohio last week in a meaningless game for them. They win out and they return to the MAC Championship game which I believe they will. For Bowling Green they have gone 2-8 to this point and have lost big against the conference best teams, 31 to Northern Illinois, 18 to Ohio both games at home. This team has not played well at home at all. Their road games have been a completely different story.
Toledo’s defense is the key here, because we know the offense will score against a Bowling Green defense that’s the worst in the MAC. I expect they will play much better. There have only been a couple of teams that scored more than 21 points on Toledo before last game, and all of them had mobile QB’s. Tulsa, Miami, Nevada, and Ohio all have mobile QB’s. Bowling Green does not have a mobile QB.
Line value – we are certainly getting line value here at 17 points, because of how Toledo looked in one game against Ohio. Toledo has held conference opponents to 16 points per game before the Ohio game. Bowling Green is averaging just 23.6 on the season and I think Toledo will have a good game plan to win this one easily even without their RB Terry Swanson. Logan Woodside and Swanson’s backup should have a field day against this offense that is allowing 5.55 ypc in conference play, 5.61 at home along with a 141 QB rating. Bowling Green has faced only 1 team inside the top 60 in QB rating and that was in their last game against Buffalo. They allowed Buffalo to pass for 406 yards 3 TD’s and 0 INT’s. Buffalo was ranked #35. Toledo comes into this game ranked #4. Toledo should also win the turnover battle here. They have only lost it 3 times this season, and have 9 total turnovers on the season compared with Bowling Green’s 23.
Chip's NHL 'Top-Rated' Power Play
Chip Chirimbes the 'A'- Play legend is off Friday's 'Top-Rated' Power Play winner Nashville (-) 5-3 over Calgary. Chip is now 10-1 91% with his 'Top-Rated' NHL releases and 11-3 76% overall. Saturday, Chip is releasing his 'Top-Rated' NHL Power Play winner between Nashville and Edmonton. Get it for only $39.