|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-07-19||Alabama v. Clemson +6||Top||16-44||Win||100||9 h 14 m||Show|
Clemson +6 5.5% NCAAF POD
I absolutely think Clemson has the ingredients to upset Alabama. Alabama has shown some vulnerabilities in the last few games against worse teams. Looking at Clemson’s body of work and statistical resume, they mostly mirror Georgia on offense, and Miss State on defense. Georgia has a weakness in stopping the run, and Alabama exploited it as they rank 53rd while Clemson ranks #1. Miss State who held Alabama to 24 points in their own building has one weakness and that’s the QB play, and we already know that Trevor Lawrence is cool calm, and has an NFL arm. He threw for 327 yards against Notre Dame, a team that ranked 4th vs. the pass. Alabama’s secondary is definitely vulnerable as they lost a ton of talent to the NFL last year. They really only played two offenses that could run and pass all year. That came against Georgia and Oklahoma who both put up big offensive numbers on them. Oklahoma got behind 28-0, but out played Alabama in quarters 2, 3, and 4. Clemson also has an advantage as Alabama ranks 72nd in explosive defense. They rank 46th in explosive run defense specifically, so Clemson, a team that has talent at WR with Tee Higgins, a big body guy, Justyn Ross, the speedy guy, Amari Rodgers and Hunter Renfro the third down guys to go along with Travis Etienne at RB and QB Trevor Lawrence runs the RPO as good as anyone I have seen all year.
Alabama’s offense is their best that I can ever remember, but they face the best defense they have faced all year in this game. The front 7 is the strength of Clemson, and at some point Tua is going to have to make plays in this game. I do think the weakness for Clemson is in pass defense, but it’s hard to even know that for sure as they also did not play in a lot of close games, but Jake Bentley, South Carolina put up 35 points and 510 yards passing including a couple of plays over 67 yards. I think Tua will have a big play or two in this game so if you have a prop option to take him over 45 yards for longest pass I would take it. Clemson does have an explosive defense ranked 11t in allowing explosive plays, but I think their schedule has a lot to do with it. Clemson did not face a balanced offense all year until Notre Dame, but Notre Dame’s weakness offensively was running the ball ranking 45th. Clemson has shut down the 3 top 20 rushing offenses they faced, but all 3 did not have any QB play with Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, and Pitt combining for 38 total points. Again value for the over, because we have seen Clemson struggle against a team that can throw the ball.
Common opponents - Texas A&M, and Louisville. You could argue Alabama played better against A&M, and Clemson played better against Louisville. Clemson actually played better in the trenches on the road than Alabama did at home. Clemson +44 yards holding A&M to 71 yards rushing while Alabama -21 yards giving up 130 rushing yards. Clemson also started Kelly Bryant at QB in that game, and it was their first road game against Jimbo Fisher who was very experienced in facing Clemson. Against Louisville, Alabama had an advantage of preparing for them all off season and they out gained them running the ball 222 to 16. Clemson, outgained them on the ground 492 to 81 yards.
The key here is going to be pass rush for both teams. Christina Miller is ? for Alabama with a hamstring and I have a hard time believing if he plays he will be effective, and will probably hurt it again. Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence is suspended, but his spot is given up to Sr. Albert Huggins, a better pass rusher which I feel helps them more in this matchup. I think Tua is going to make a mistake in this game. We saw Georgia really pressure Tua and their pass rush ranked 88th. I think DC Venables can take a lot from that matchup and Tua tends to rush some decisions and try to play hero which could lead to a turnover in this game. Down the stretch Alabama was -3 in TO margin over their last 6 games while Clemson was +3 over their last 6 games.
Special Teams edge to Alabama, but their punter is not good, and Nick Saban does not really have a lot of confidence in his kicker. Alabama has the potential to return a kick for a TD, as Clemson has given up 2 this season. I give Clemson the edge in the red zone as they have better #’s for TD % on both offense and defense with a total edge of 20% and their offense has only improved since Lawrence took over. They also have been penalized fewer. Alabama was penalized 9 times in their game against Oklahoma which clearly cost them the cover.
Last but not least is coaching. Obviously Nick Saban is going to get the edge over Dabo Swinney, but when Saban does not have extra time to prepare which he doesn’t here his defense has not played well against Clemson. In the first National Championship Saban knew this and had to steal a possession by kicking an onside kick, and the next year Clemson won on the last play of the game 35-31. I think both of these offenses have been better than those two games. Last year Clemson’s offense was completely one dimensional and they lost 24-6 with Saban having extra time to prepare. However, the assistants is the key here, and they have a HUGE advantage for Clemson. This is the 4th time in 4 years they are strategizing for this game. Clemson has 2 co-OC’s who have been here since 2015 as Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott are having their best season. They will go up against an inexperienced Alabama DC in Tosh Lupoi, 2nd year, and Pete Golding 1st year. Alabama also has a first time offensive coordinator in MIke Locksley who also has already taken the Maryland job. He’s done a great job, but he goes up against Brent Venable who has been with Clemson since 2012.
|01-01-19||Texas v. Georgia -11.5||28-21||Loss||-111||3 h 19 m||Show|
Georgia -12 2.2% play
I think Georgia is excited to be here, and I think they have a point to prove against Big 12 runner up in Texas. Texas seems like they are on their way back and they have had a nice season, and Tom Herman is 12-3 ATS as a dog as a head coach, but I think they are going to really have issues here against Georgia. I don't think they will be able to get off the field here, as Georgia has one of the best third down offenses, and Texas offense is one dimensional. Georgia will have issues with the tall receivers from Texas with their star CB sitting this one out, but I don't think it will matter I see Georgia scoring 40+ points here with their elite offense which ranked 6th compared to Texas who ranked 67th. Texas also feasted on a very easy schedule, and really didn't play any defenses that were this good against the pass. I think Georgia cruises 45-24.
|01-01-19||Washington +7 v. Ohio State||23-28||Win||100||24 h 32 m||Show|
Washington +7 3.3% play
If you don't have a +7 right now at your book you should get one with nearly 70% of the best on Ohio State, based on their last 2 games alone, and Urban Meyer's last game, but Washington is not going to just hand them this game. This is a Washington team that prides themselves on developing and recruiting NFL caliber corner backs, and I think that gives them the edge in this match-up going up against Ohio State's #3 passing game behind Haskins who had an unbelievable season. Washington can also stop the run, and have edges on defense.
Washington runs a different defense than MIchigan, who Ohio State lit up to end the season. That Michigan win looks a lot less impressive now when you factor in Michigan got blown out in their bowl game too. Washington has not had a bad game and all of their losses came by less than the TD with losses of 5, 3, and 2 points. Where I think Washington has the biggest advantage is in the running game. Myles Gaskin should have a big day here going up against Ohio State's 81st ranked defense. I also think the innovative offensive mind of Chris Peterson should be huge here as Ohio State ranked 124th in explosive plays allowed. Washington on the flip side ranks 3rd in explosive plays allowed which is a big part of Ohio State's offense. While I think Big Ten is the bigger conference, I feel like this spread should be more like 3-4 points and it's at 7.
|01-01-19||Kentucky +6.5 v. Penn State||27-24||Win||100||21 h 38 m||Show|
Kentucky +6 NCAAF POD
Just 36% of bettors are backing Kentucky here, as many feel like they were a fraudulent team. I backed this team many times and faded them in the Tennessee game they lost to end the year following their loss against Georgia. This is an emotional team and a team that is highly motivated to get to 10 wins, which would be a first in 40 years. Kentucky is a senior laden team especially on defense. A couple of those guys came back when they could have played in the NFL and left early, and again they could sit out this game, but they are playing this game, because it means something to them as Josh Allen has never won a bowl game.
Kentucky's offense is the reason nobody wants to back them, but with Bennie Snell a little more healthy here, and motivating his team along with Terry Wilson, a mobile QB who has shown flashes with his arm at points this season. Penn State's defense which is young has not faced a mobile QB All year except MIchigan's Shea Patterson who rushed for 42 yards and a TD as they gave up 42 points. Wilson is much more dynamic, and I think he could be the difference maker here. Penn State's defense gave up over 2,000 yards rushing this year. They were not terrible, but they definitely can be run on, and Kentucky has dominated the line of scrimmage against far better defenses including Florida, and Miss State. A Florida team they beat on the road that just got done dominated Michigan, a team that beat Penn State 42-7.
Penn State has Trace McSorley playing in his last game, but they are used to playing in bigger games, and against bigger programs. I don't see how this game excites them and I don't think they'll be able to match Kentucky's intensity here. At the end of the day the large spread is all about perception. These teams are very similar in a lot categories including success rate differential which Kentucky is +5.2% compared to Penn State at +5.6%.
|01-01-19||LSU -7 v. Central Florida||40-32||Win||100||1 h 8 m||Show|
LSU -7.5 3.3% PLAY
The AAC is getting too much credit this bowl season, and they have not showed up, 0-5 ATS. They have losses of 18, 3, 56, and 29 this bowl season. They went 0-2 vs. the SEC in the regular season losing by 27.5 points. LSU played the far tougher schedule, and arguably the toughest in the country. The one thing about LSU that we know is the fact that they play hard for Ed Oregeron no matter the situation. I really can't say that about Auburn, a team that Central Florida beat last year. Central Florida has also done a lot of talking this past year so I think if LSU has an opportunity to run it up here they absolutely will.
I don't know how anyone could back UCF in this game, and I did back them their last 2 games of the season, but this is stepping it up in competition. Over their last 5 games they allowed 290 yards rushing a game. It's a major weakness for Central Florida's defense which is not nearly as good as the unit from a season ago. Central Florida will have a tough time stopping LSU, and if LSU can control the game they should win by double digits. I think Joe Burrow at QB is going to have a big day running the ball here, and nobody is talking about it.
UCF also is starting a backup QB in Mack. He did impress me with his legs, and arm against Memphis, but Memphis has the 79th ranked pass defense. LSU has a top 10 unit, and even with guys missing the game they should press the receivers at the line. We will know right away with Dave Aranda's style if they will be able to dominate the game. I am betting they will. Central Florida relies on big plays, and LSU ranks 14th in explosive defense.
|01-01-19||Iowa +7.5 v. Mississippi State||27-22||Win||100||20 h 42 m||Show|
Iowa +7.5 3.3% play
Iowa played few defenses that would be considered top 25 at the time and they averaged 13.3 points per game. For sure this is the best defense they have faced in Miss State, but Miss State has to score points as well, and their offense against elite defenses averaged just 7.8 points per game over 5 games. Miss State has a one dimensional attack with NIck Fitzgerald running the ball, something Iowa which ranks 10th in yards per play defense, and 13th against the run will be able to contain. This is the best rushing defense Iowa has had in a few years, and their defensive line is going to play with a chip on their shoulders here. All we have heard is Miss State's defensive line is great, but Iowa's DE Darker Hesse and AJ Epenesa lead a group that is 18th in sack %, and they go up against Miss State, a team that ranks 110th in protection.
This is a low total so grabbing Iowa at +7.5 with a total of 41 is worth taking.
|12-31-18||NC State v. Texas A&M -7||13-52||Win||100||5 h 49 m||Show|
Texas A&M -7 -115 3.5% play
These two teams are heading in opposite directions right now. A&M is trending, and they will face an NC State with their best skill player on offense in Harmon WR, and LB in Pratt sitting out along with their OC who will be there, but took the App State job.
A&M's weakness is pass defense, and finishing games, and that's what they focused on in bowl prep, and I think it makes a difference especially since Jimbo Fisher is very familiar along with DC Mike Elko from their time in the ACC preparing for NC State. NC State has the veteran QB in Finley heading to the NFL, but they still need to run the ball well to make him successful. In their 3 losses they ran for just 2.52 ypc, and here they face a similar run defense to Clemson where they scored just 7 points. A&M ranks 11th in run defense, and that ranking comes while facing a tough opponent rushing offense ranking 45th in rushing yards per carry. This could create a few third and longs, that will be the difference in this game in my opinion.
NC State's secondary is not very good either. They faced a very weak SOS ont he season with an opposing QB rating on average around 83, and rank 61st. They really haven't played any balanced offenses with the exception of Clemson who won 41-7. A&M has an elite RB in Williams, a growing QB who can make all the throws in Mond, an emerging WR's who are sophomores. Mond, also a threat to run which makes this offense even more challenging to defend. The SEC also a perfect 7-0 ATS vs. the ACC This season.
|12-31-18||Missouri -8.5 v. Oklahoma State||33-38||Loss||-110||3 h 41 m||Show|
Missouri -9 1.1% Free Play
This is the worst Oklahoma State defense in over a decade and they are going up against a balanced offenses which is something they have only experienced once this year, and they gave up 48 points to Oklahoma. If Mike Gundy was not on the other sideline this would be a larger play, but I totally respect what Gundy has done here, and he is 8-4 in bowl games. With all of that said Oklahoma State is a popular dog, and those type of teams we like to stay away from in bowl season.
Oklahoma State, can be shut down on the ground against a Missouri run defense that ranks 28th, and that's against a very tough schedule with average rushing offenses ranked 42.5 on the season. Here they face Oklahoma State who ranked 62nd, but are without their top RB and best offensive player Justice Hill. When this team did not run for 200 yards they went 2-5 on the season. Oklahoma State's 26th ranked offense is a bit over rated when you factor in they haven't played many good defenses. Average opponent defense ranking 79.09 in ypp defense. This spread makes a lot of sense when you start digging, because if Oklahoma State can't run the ball, they will be in third and longs and they rank 73rd at protecting the QB. They also are 114th in TO margin to go along with the worst defense they have had in a while they also are one of the better teams in terms of TO margin. They were -8 this year, but in the past few years they were +3, +11, +13.
|12-31-18||Michigan State +1.5 v. Oregon||Top||6-7||Win||100||3 h 2 m||Show|
Michigan State +1.5 5.5% POD
It has been a rough go of it with these max plays, and we got very unlikely in my opinion and should have covered with Alabama -14, and Iowa State +125, Iowa State covered on the spread not the ML. Here we are again, and I am going to back the team with the better defense.
There is value on Michigan State in my opinion. The discussion will be how bad their offense has been, but they have had a ton of injuries, and coming into this game I would predict that they have some things figured out. I expect they will get back to running the ball with LJ Scott expected to go along with QB Brian Lewerke. Oregon's weakness is in run defense. They ranked 48th in rushing yards per carry, but they faced a very easy schedule with an opponent ypc average of 83rd. Compare that with MIchigan State's run defense which ranks 2nd facing an opponent ypc average of 49.16. When held under 4 yards per carry, Oregon is only 1-4 this season with the only win coming against San Jose State. Michigan State has only allowed 1 team over that mark, Penn State, a game they still won on the road.
Michigan State has faced 5 really good offenses, and they held up in each one against OHio State, Penn State, Purdue, Arizona State, and Nebraska allowing 16.2 ppg on average in those games. There is no reason to believe they can't do the same here. I think their offense is undervalued because of the injuries. The extra time off allowed Michigan State to get healthier, but also work in some of the younger guys with confidence at the skill position. Watch out for Darrell Stewart, who only had 368 yards receiving on the season to have a big day. Also Mark D'antoio a far better coach than Cristobal. He's 5-1 SU & ATS in bowl games over the past 6 years with their only loss to Alabama. Oregon lost as a big favorite 28-38 to Boise a season ago.
|12-31-18||Virginia Tech +7 v. Cincinnati||31-35||Win||100||2 h 44 m||Show|
Virginia Tech +7 3.3% play
This one just touched 7, and I have to grab it. There are a few things I like about this match-up including the fact that the ACC has actually done poorly against P5 conferences, but have dominated the group of 5 going 18-4 +15.7 ppg, and 12-9-2 ATS, + 2-0 ATS with 2 outright upsets as a dog in the bowl games with Wake Forest & Duke coming up with upsets against G5 conferences.
The public is all over Cincinnati right now as I have two sources at 56 and 58%, but I'm not buying it. Virginia Tech lost key starters on the defense, a thin group, and left them with a very young defense which clearly showed as DC Bud Foster had a rough year, but with young players that are talented they just need extra reps. They have had a ton of extra practices, and I think this team is motivated to win this bowl game and finish with a winning record. I don't see this young Hokies team wanting to be the first team since 1992 to finish with a losing record. Also, I love backing teams that were 5-6 fighting to get to a bowl game. Those teams since 2008 are an incredible 42-21 ATS in their bowl games.
Virginia Tech has the edge on offense, and played their best two games to close the year against similar competition to Cincinnati. They beat a good Virginia team, a team that just dominated an SEC team, and they beat a group of 5 team by 21 points in Marshall. Both of those teams were top 50 defenses much like Cincinnati and Virginia Tech put up 30+ points. Justin Fuente is a great offensive mind and is 2-1 in bowl games. I think it would be hard for Cinci to win this by more than a TD. Virginia Tech also has edges in special teams and TO Margin, and their fans travel well, and they are 225 miles closer to this stadium. I feel like they will have the crowd edge to go along with all of this. I won't be shocked if the Hokies pull the upset.
|12-29-18||Oklahoma v. Alabama -14||Top||34-45||Loss||-109||29 h 36 m||Show|
Alabama -14 5.5% NCAAF POD
Alabama with extra preparation under Nick Saban has been a very profitable ATS situation. I think Alabama's defense really plays a great game here and give Oklahoma and Kyler Murray issues all day. I think there is something to be said about Oklahoma getting the Heisman Trophy award to Kyler Murray over Tua, and Oklahoma getting the Joe Moore award for the best offensive line.
The last two times Alabama was a double digit favorite in the playoff they won by 17 and 38 points. Nick Saban is not going to keep his foot off the gas here knowing how dangerous the Oklahoma offense is. There will be talks about Alabama's struggles against mobile QB's, but that is old news. Alabama now prepares against 2 mobile QB's in practice with Jalen Hurts, and Tua, and this is extra time for Alabama to prepare for Murray. Alabama certainly has the athletes to contain Murry on the outside, and I think the defense dominates this game while Alabama's offense may not punt in this game.
I think the -14 is giving us value here as Alabama did not play great down the stretch, but the time off gives them a chance to regroup offensively.
|12-29-18||Notre Dame +11.5 v. Clemson||3-30||Loss||-110||5 h 48 m||Show|
Notre Dame +11.5 3.3% play
These are two similar teams with similar strength of schedules that are not great SOS's. Their opponent YPP differential are both -.225 & -.26. Notre Dame in my opinion had the slightly tougher schedule with their travel situation which featured 2 west coast trips, and having Michigan to start the year.
The ACC, the conference that Clemson plays in was down this year. They have looked great in games against the group of 5, but against Power 5 Conferences the ACC is 0-3 with losses of 32, 24, and 16 points. The two games Clemson stepped out of conference play were against 2 SEC opponents, and they gave up 510 and 600 yards. Speaking of the SEC, Notre Dame last year beat LSU in their bowl game, and lost to Georgia by only 1 point. I think this is just far too many points and the line should be around 7-8 points.
Both teams lean on their run, but will need to lean on their QB play at some point to win this game, and when we look at what each pass defense has done against top 60 passing offenses there is no question Notre Dame played better. They both played 3 top 60 passing offenses. Clemson played an average opponent passing offense in ranking 32.6 in QBR in those 3 games, and allowed 378 yards/game and 8 TD and 3 INT's. Notre Dame comes into this game ranking 24th. Notre Dame's defense faced 3 top passing offenses ranking on average 22nd, and Notre Dame allowed just 249.6 yards per game, 2 TD and 3 INT's. So why is Clemson heavily favored? I think it's perception, and the fact that the last time Notre Dame was in a spot like this they got kicked off the field by Alabama in 2012 losing 42-14.
These two teams have 4 common opponents i Wake Forest, Syracuse, Florida State, and Pitt. Clemson was an impressive +275 yards per game, and outscored them 191-46. While Notre Dame +168 yards per game and outscored them 153-57. That difference of 107 yards equates to 9 points for Clemson's offense and just 5.57 points for Notre Dame's defense when we factor in yards per point. Notre Dame also has edges in special teams, and TO margin ranking which should factor in this game. I know the public seems to be on the Irish, but I think Clemson could be looking past this game a bit to Alabama. That sounds like crazy, but these kids know they are DD favorites, and want Alabama badly. They also have player 3 player suspensions leading up to this game. At the end of the day I think Notre Dame who is being over looked will have a shot to win this game if they play their best game.
|12-29-18||Arkansas State +1 v. Nevada||13-16||Loss||-110||3 h 49 m||Show|
Arkansas State +1 3.3% play
Arkansas State has been very goo din non conference games, and I trust them more in a spot they are familiar with as Nevada has not been to a bowl since 2013. Nevada plays in the better conference, I'll admit, but it's very much front loaded with teams like Utah State, Fresno State, and Boise. After those 3 teams it goes down hill fast in my opinion. Arkansas State lost to some pretty good teams this year including Alabama, Georgia Southern, and App State. There is no shame there at all.
The big advantage here in my opinion is Nevada an inconsistent team turns the ball over far too much. Ranking 108th in TO margin compared to Arkansas State who ranks 14th. I think that will be a difference here, and I think Arkansas State has played the far tougher schedule, and they have a +7.10 % success rate on the season compared to Nevada at 2.7%. Arkansas State, has a future NFL caliber QB in Justin Hansen who has gotten better year by year. He finished the year with 27 TD and just 6 INT's. The Sun Belt's top teams have performed very well this bowl season and have gone 3-1 SU, and I expect it to be 4-1 after this game.
|12-29-18||Florida +6 v. Michigan||41-15||Win||100||20 h 25 m||Show|
Florida +6 3.3% play & ML at +210 for 1% play
Florida has all of the motivation here, and it's evident by their NFL prospects playing in this game and not sitting out while Michigan has 4 key guys starting out. Starting Tackle, RB Higdon, and their two best defensive players in Gary & Bush. Michigan also has no motivation to beat Florida as they have beaten them the last two years without any issues, while Florida will want to cap their season get to 10 wins by beating a team they have lost to the last two years.
Dan Mullen is 5-2 in bowl games and I would argue they have the better coach in this one. The key for Florida is the ability to run the ball and I think they can run the ball. They ranked 24th in yards per carry this season, and down the stretch Michigan gave up a lot of rushing yards against below average rushing offenses in Rutgers, Indiana, and Ohio State combining for 5.08 yards per carry, and all rushed for over 170 yards. Florida also has the speed to beat man to man, which is something they will see and Feleipe Franks is a much better QB this year than what Michigan saw to open last season.
Michigan's offense without Higdon will be a difference maker in my opinion, and I think Florida who has a very good defense will give Shea Patterson issues. Michigan only average 19 points per game against top 25 defenses this year. I consider Florida a top 25 defense that can get to the QB. Their weakness is maybe stopping the run, but in a powerful SEC conference it's no surprise that they struggled at times. The SEC went 9-2 ATS against other Power 5 conferences this year compared to the Big Ten which went 6-6. I think Florida has a shot to win this game, and if I like them at +6 I have to play the ML as there has been a lot variance this bowl season.
|12-29-18||South Carolina -3.5 v. Virginia||0-28||Loss||-106||1 h 34 m||Show|
South Carolina -3.5 1.1% Free Pick
I don't agree with this line move at all. I know there are guys sitting out for South Carolina, but I still think this is a team from a far superior conference. This season the ACC went 4-8 in the regular season vs. other power 5 conferences which includes 3-8-1 ATS and -5.38 points per game. Add in the bowl season and that number balloons to 3-11-1 ATS and -9.1 points per game. The SEC has been the more dominated conference, and South Carolina was picked by many to be the dark horse in the SEC East.
Virginia has had a nice season, but the way they gave away two games lat against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, and the fact that this game is just 90 miles away from South Carolina's campus gives me a great value on South Carolina now that the line has dropped below 4 points. This is a South Carolina team that put up 35 points on the Clemson defense.
|12-28-18||Auburn v. Purdue +3.5||63-14||Loss||-110||20 h 22 m||Show|
Purdue +3.5 2.2% play
It's very obvious that Purdue will be the team with more motivation. Their fanbase and alumn have gobbled up most of the tickets for this game, and with the news of Jeff Brohm remaining at Purdue, instead of going back to Louisville there is a lot to be excited about. This is an emotional team that has come up big in big moments. This is a chance to finish the season, beat an SEC team, and finish with a winning record. Their honorary captain Tyler Trent will be there, and that should only motivate this team more.
Guz Malzhan, in an effort to safe his own ass fired the offensive coordinator and is taking over the offensive play calling for this game, but they still have issues along the offensive line, and Purdue's defense also, an aggressive style that could give this offensive line issues. Purdue's offense is the biggest reason I'm backing them. They should be able to score points and Rondale Moore should have a big game, against an Auburn defense that is 87th in explosive defense, and even worse on standard downs. Jeff Brohm, is an excellent play caller and I expect that they'll be able to put up points, he's 8-2 ATS as a dog with 5 outright upsets. Make it #6.
|12-27-18||Miami-FL -2.5 v. Wisconsin||3-35||Loss||-110||6 h 53 m||Show|
Miami -2.5 2.2% Play
Both of these teams were in the pre-season Top 10 and have had disappointing seasons. Miami played Wisconsin in Miami in their bowl game last year and blew a 10 point lead. I think they want revenge, and Wisconsin doesn't have a QB to bring them back from that type of a deficit. Wisconsin also a shell of themselves on defense this year, and the offense turns the ball over far too often. I expect Miami to get a couple turnovers, and they are an emotional team that should really feed into the motivation of revenge. I do worry about the cold, but 40 degrees in NY this time of year is not bad. Miami is starting Malik Rosier who gets a second chance and Mark Richt has also been very good in bowl games. This is an opportunity to also send Manny Diaz the DC for Miami out a winner, and I think the defense plays well for him here.
|12-27-18||Duke +4 v. Temple||Top||56-27||Win||100||3 h 50 m||Show|
Duke +3.5 -105 4.5% NCAAF POD
There is a lot to unpack in this game, but I am going to start with bettin value. Duke lost it's last two games by a combined score of 94-13. They lost their last game by 30+ and Temple won their last game by 30+, Value on Duke here, who was really unhealthy down the stretch, and I think Daniel Jones their NFL caliber QB was hurt all season long, and the extra time to rest is certainly a good thing for this offense. They have a key player on the defense in Giles-Harris who is questionable, but I'm betting he plays along with Humphreys who are two key players on the defense. THey are NFL caliber LB's, and I'm not worried about them sitting out to protect their health for a possible NFL draft. Humphrey's said - "I don't think that's a Duke thing," Humphreys said Tuesday. "We're going to play every game that we can. We're going to do it because we love the guys around us. I don't think that will happen at Duke." The defense is healthier, they started the season allowing just 341 yards the first 7 games, and allowed 529 the last 5. I think that changes here.
Duke, and coach David Cutcliffe with extra time to prepare has been a different team. Cutcliffe is 8-2 ATS in his career in bowl games, and at Duke he has eclipsed 31 points each time they have gotten here. There is concern that Duke's offense won't show up, but in two games against decent opponents Temple gave up 45 points to Boston College, and 52 to Central Florida. I'm not going to buy in too much to Duke's offensive struggles as injuries to their QB had a big impact on their stats this season. Temple also has an interim coach Ed Foley, who will not get the job, but I hear is very pumped up for this bowl game. He was in 2016 as well in a similar situation where Temple won their last 6 games, they won 6 of 7 here, and they lost to Wake Forest, an ACC team as 12 point favorites. Here they are 3.5 point favorites against another ACC team. The ACC went 18-4 +15.7 points per game and 12-9-2 ATS vs. Group of 5 teams, and as mentioned before Temple did not win or cover in their only game against the ACC this year.
To put a bow on this game. Temple needs to force turnovers to win. They forced 12 in their final 3 games, but Duke has only turned the ball over 17 times all season. Temple +10 in wins and -5 in losses. Temple, I think more likely to lose the TO battle as they have turned the ball over in every game this season. Temple also committing +3.5 more penalties, they are worse in third down offense, defense and red zone offense TD%. I think the wrong team is favored. If I hear Giles-Harris is a GO, I'll be back for a ML play.
|12-26-18||TCU +1.5 v. California||10-7||Win||100||5 h 5 m||Show|
TCU +105 4% NCAAF POD
I think the Big 12 a much better conference this year than the PAC 12, as the Big 12 went 14-6 and 11-8-1 ATS vs. non-conference opponents compared to the Pac 12 which went 11-9, and 9-11-1 ATS. Against P5 opponents they were -12.4 points per game, and the Big 12 was +2.98. Gary Patterson, TCU's head coach 9-7 in bowl games, and has never lost to the PAC 12 with a perfect 6-0 record. His team played in bowl type games down the stretch and won as a big dog against Oklahoma State sending them to a bowl game. Teams in that situation are typically good bets in bowl season. TCU also 4-8 ATS, since 2005 teams that don't cover 33% of their games in the regular season but still get to a bowl game are covering 59% ATS in their bowl game.
TCU's season got away from them in a 4 game stretch in which they turned the ball over 13 times, which is over half of their 22 TO's on the season. IN wins they are +6 TO margin, and -12 in losses. Cal, actually turned the ball over more than TCU with 26 TO's, and I think TCU can win that again here as they turned the ball over much less down the stretch, and when they moved to Sr. QB Muehlstein, a Sr. with not a lot of talent, but knowledge of this offense they did not turn the ball over much.
With two elite defense taking the field here you have to look at Cal's offense which averaged just 15 points per game against top 40 defenses. TCU offense features an explosive player that can take over the game in Jalen Reagor, an impressive player, just go look at the Oklahoma State game. Nonetheless, Cal is very aware of him, and I expect an experienced HC in Gary Patterson to use him as a decoy, and that could get them some offense. I really don't understand why Cal is favored. The defenses are about equal, TCU's offense is just a tad better, and they have the more experienced coach. TCU also with the tougher schedul facing 9 bowl teams vs. Cal's 5, and have the advantage on the offensive and defensive line despite the injuries they have fought through. Patterson, wants to finish the season with a winning record and bowl teams who are 6-6 have traditionally done very well in bowl games.
|12-22-18||Houston v. Army -5||14-70||Win||100||26 h 33 m||Show|
Army -5 1.1% Free Play
Well known is the fact that Houston has lost their best defensive player Ed Oliver, and best offensive player QB King for this game. That's factored into the line here, and HOuston fired their defensive coordinator while Army's left for the North Carolina job. I think the Army DC being lost is not as big of a deal when you factor in how well these kids know the defense with a lot of experience on that side of the ball. Their strength is defending the run, and that's what Houston will need to do in this game.
Houston not the same without King, and their defense has suffered from being on the field too much. They lost 3 of their last 4 games by 10, 14, and 21, and I expect a similar situation here as Army is better on 3rd down, 4th down, and in the Red Zone. They also should dominate the time of posession as they are #1 in the country compared to Houston's 130th ranking. Jeff Monken is an excellent coach, and Army travels well to Texas this is their third year heading to Texas for a bowl game where many of their players are from. They have traveled to Texas 5 times over the last 2 years and average 48.8 points per game when they come here. I could see them putting a 42 points up in this one as Houston's defense is missing 4 defensive lineman. Gave up 300 yards rushing to Navy earlier in the year and 36 points.
|12-15-18||Middle Tennessee State +7 v. Appalachian State||Top||13-45||Loss||-110||71 h 24 m||Show|
MTSU +7 5.5% NCAAF POD
Conference USA runner up Middle Tennessee vs. Sunbelt Champion App State. I voted Sunbelt as the better overall conference, but I feel like MTSU has more motivation here when you factor in Father and Son QB & Coach will be playing in their last game together for Middle Tennessee. The Stockstill’s have had a solid 4 year run, and they go up against another Sun Belt team in a bowl game. Last year they beat Arkansas State. App State loses their head coach to Louisville and DC- Mark Ivey will take over here.
Middle Tennessee has put up pretty good offensive and defensive numbers this year despite having played 3 teams from the best conference in the nation in the SEC. Strength of schedule clearly on the side of Middle Tennessee. When you look at these conferences they are pretty close, but CUSA challenges themselves more with 23 games this season vs. the Power 5 and 11 vs. the SEC where they went 7-4 ATS.
The Sun Belt on the other hand just 12 games vs. the Power 5 and went 3-9 ATS. Yet this is clearly the best team from the Sun Belt, but I think losing your head coach Scott Satterfeld is a big lose, he was the coach here for 5 years, and all of these players played for him now suddenly he’s gone. The team just won the Sun Belt Championship game which was the inaugural game. They beat a team that was 116th in yards per play allowed, and a team that could not stop the run ranking 99th. MIddle Tennessee comes into this game with stronger #s and match up better in my opinion.
App State’s defensive weakness is against the pass, and that’s what MIddle Tennessee does best with Stockstill at QB. On the flip side App State’s strength of running the ball has gotten weaker over the last few weeks. Really ever since they lost Jalin Moore the team hasn’t been the same offensively. They will go up against a 60th ranked defense that is better than that ranking when you factor in they have faced 3 SEC opponents. THe last two weeks they faced UAB, a team that runs the ball over 60% of the time, so I think they’ll be ready for this game. This game will be in New Orleans inside so weather won’t impact this game at all and I like for MIddle Tennessee to have a shot to win the game outright.
|12-15-18||Eastern Michigan +3 v. Georgia Southern||21-23||Win||100||7 h 10 m||Show|
Eastern Michigan +3.5 -120 4% Play
You can find Eastern Michigan at +100 or +105 at +3, so buying the half point here is worth it to me with a team that typically plays in a lot of close games. The public is heavily on Georgia Southern from the Sun Belt, and I don't understand exactly why. While the MAC Conference has not done well in recent years, just 1-4 last year in bowl games I think that gives us some value. Eastern Michigan is a team that played very well out of conference play beating Purdue on the road, something Ohio State could not do, playing right with San Diego State on the road in which was their third road game in a row. This team is very excited to be here, and plays with a lot of passion and heart, and I expect that their preparation had just a little more effort than Georgia Southern, the favorite.
Georgia Southern will run the option, and that typically gives teams issues. However, we saw one team with a worse run defense than Eastern Michigan - Louisiana Monroe ranks 79th to Eastern Michigan's 69th hold Georgia Southern to 138 yards and 3 yards per carry. Why? Monroe had an extra week to prepare. Here we have Eastern Michigan who already saw the option and plenty of time to prepare. Eastern Michigan lost one game by more than a TD and yes that was against Army who also runs the option. However, Eastern Michigan held Army to just 4 yards per carry their second fewest yards per carry on the season. The issue was they could not stop Army on third down. What differs between Army and Georgia's Southern's offense is Army has a lot more experience running it to perfection and they are much more efficient. Army one of the best in the country converting third downs at a 55% clip compared to Georgia Southern's 39% third down clip. Eastern Michigan one of the better 3rd down defenses holding opponents to 37%, and in the red zone their defense is excellent holding opponents to 47% TD's. It's also not like Georgia Southern has been consistent running the ball they have struggled in other games against Troy, who does have a good run defense, but also against Texas State who ranks 85th in run defense. So 2 poor run defenses have held Georgia Southern in check.
Georgia Southern also relied greatly on turnovers, and lead the nation at +22, as they did not have a single game with a negative TO margin, and only one at even. I think that can change having not played in a few weeks, getting used to hard hitting football I would not be shocked if Eastern MIchigan forced some fumbles here. Eastern Michigan 9th in TO margin, so it should be a good match-up there. This game will have limited possessions with two run first teams and the total is a very low 45 and has dropped from the 47.5. Take the dog in bowl games where the total is less than 55 and you would cover the spread 55% of the time. Another winning trend is fading the % of bets on a side, and you have to do it late when public money comes in, and as of this morning we have well over 60% of the money coming in on Georgia Southern, despite not getting the best of the line move which has moved more than 5 points. Taking Eastern Michigan is well worth the value here.
|12-08-18||Navy +7 v. Army||Top||10-17||Push||0||100 h 34 m||Show|
Navy +7 5.5% NCAAF POD
This is a lot of points in a game that will have limited possessions due to the style of play that these two will face off with. Navy has played a lot better down the stretch of the season, and this game is always tight, because these teams know how to defend the option. Navy looks to avenge losing the last two years and they haven't covered the spread in 5 years. However, this is a large shift in this series and I don't believe it is justified. Army regularly the dog now a big favorite, and they won outright the last 2 years by 1 point, and 4 points, and have been an average dog of 11.8 points the last 5 years, and now they are a 7 point favorite. I don't think their is a talent gap that large, and Navy plays a tougher schedule. Army usually playing well in the dog role is now a TD favorite, and I just don't buy it. I've been very impressed with what Jeff Monken has done here, and I have bet on Army on the ML the last few years, but this year I'm going with the value side and backing a Navy team that has played a lot better.
|12-01-18||Northwestern v. Ohio State -14||24-45||Win||100||124 h 11 m||Show|
Ohio State -14 3.3% play
Northwestern has played over their head all year long, and I'm going to grab this number now before it gets to 14.5, I can always play it back at +14.5 or higher if I feel Northwestern is the right side as I think it will go there. Ohio State has every reason to blow out Northwestern, and I think they can. We have seen some pretty lopsided games in the Big Ten Championship before especially when a team is not guaranteed a spot in the college football playoff, and need to impress. The last time this happened Ohio State beat Wisconsin 59-0. I think Ohio State figured some things out on both sides of the ball that showed up in their last game. Right now they are competing with Oklahoma for that final spot, and they need to be more impressive. If Texas for some reason wins earlier against Oklahoma, I will look to buy back at +14.5 or higher.
|12-01-18||Memphis v. Central Florida -3||41-56||Win||100||42 h 56 m||Show|
UCF -3 3.3% play
I like the bump we are going to get from UCF’s team here with a ton of play for. Not only are they going to be coming out to play for their fallen QB Milton, but they are playing for a second undefeated season in a row. Everyone is saying Milton is worth 7 points, but I’m not buying that and I think there is a ton of value here on UCF at -3. Darriel Mack is not the passer that Milton was there is no question, but he’s a much better runner, and gives this UCF offense something different for Memphis to defend. Mack is extremely athletic and has 281 yards rushing on only 40 carries. That’s over 7 yards per carry. Memphis won’t have a passing game either so all this talk about Mack not being able to throw very well does not worry me, because UCF’s pass defense and pass rush is so much better than Memphis that it will even out.
Memphis rushing offense and defense completely different in their home/away splits. They average 1.88 yards per carry less on the road, and allow .97 yards per carry more. Last time I checked UCF actually has the better rushing team here ranking 8th, but faced a tougher schedule now they add in a dynamic running QB, and Memphis could be in a bit of trouble here on the road.
Home field advantage is another great equalizer and I think the fans are going to be jacked up for this one. When we look at the strength of schedule UCF has faced an average defense ranking 65.2 in ypp, compared to Memphis at 85.63. THeir defenses are also pretty similar but again UCF faced an average ypp offense 60.4, compared to MEmphis 73.09 rank. Another thing many are not talking about is UCF ranks 2nd in TO margin, and it’s a big part of their defense compare that with Memphis who ranks 59th. There is also a special teams advantage here as UCF ranks 62nd compared to Memphis 112th rank and finally red zone defense. Memphis allowing over 70% red zone trips to turn into TD’s, while UCF is allowing 50%, UCF also not giving up a ton of explosive plays ranking 53rd in explosive defense compared to Memphis ranking 86th.
|12-01-18||Texas +8 v. Oklahoma||27-39||Loss||-105||24 h 54 m||Show|
Texas +8 4.4% Play
Texas brought in David Beaty (KANSAS HC) to help with Oklahoma tendencies, I can only view this as a positive, because if Texas can pick up on anything defensively to help them get off the field that will help their chances of covering this game. Now, a lot has been made of the match up being decided by 7 or less points the last six meetings and Tom Herman's success as a dog, but that's not why I'm betting on Texas. Sharps pointing to Oklahoma, are stating that Oklahoma dominated the box score int he first matchup, and while that is true it really is misleading, because Texas doesn't have an explosive offense, and that's totally fine they were still 50% successful on offensive plays, and it's actually better that they run a methodical offense, that dominates time of posession. They rank 20th in TOP, and had a +8 minute advantage in the first game. They were also up by 21 points in the 4th quarter before Oklahoma came back in a frenzy.
I think Texas has a lot to learn from their last match up and the oddsmakers are saying not much has changed and I agree. The one thing that did change was the defensive coordinator for Oklahoma was fired, and Rufin McNeil has taken over the last 6 games. they got an initial jump but against two bad offenses in TCU & Kansas State. Over the last 4 games the defense has been desperate to try to even switch up their defensive formation to a 4-3 against Kansas, and they gave up 40 points and over 340 yards rushing. I just don't think this team has the playmakers, and they don't match-up well against Texas tall receivers, and the physical play that Texas brings in the running game is another advantage for Texas here.
Texas is getting healthier, and Oklahoma might be without two starting CB's here who are questionable for the game. I do question Ehlinger's arm health and that would be my one and only concern about this game. I think Texas will hold onto the ball and limit the plays Oklahoma has, but at the end of the day they are built for this match-up. It has been the reason they have given Oklahoma issues over the years, and I don't see anything changing in this game as Texas will be in the game at the end with a chance to win.
|11-30-18||Northern Illinois +3.5 v. Buffalo||Top||30-29||Win||100||23 h 20 m||Show|
Northern Illinois +3.5 4.4% NCAAF POD
Northern Illinois & Buffalo have 6 common conference opponents, and Northern Illinois is +74 yards per game, while Buffalo is only +24 yards in those games, yet Buffalo is a favorite over a field goal, because Northern Illinois dropped their last two games that were meaningless considering they had this trip locked up 3 weeks ago. Northern Illinois also comes from the stronger West Division in this conference, and has a lot of experience getting to Detroit. Buffalo has been here once, 10 years ago. In non-conference play Northern Illinois by far faced a tougher schedule with Iowa, Utah, BYU, and Florida State while Buffalo had Temple (okay), Delaware State, Army (got blown out), and Rutgers.
Buffalo is led by their QB Tyree Jackson, who has been a shell of himself over the past three games, he passed for 126 yards/game, 49% completion percentage, with only 2 TD's and 3 INT's. The passing defenses he's faced over those three games rank 102nd, 88th, and 92nd. The "alleged" NFL talent with the big arm has not impressed me down the stretch, and Northern Illinois has the 30th ranked pass defense, with one of the best pass rushers and they rank 26th at getting to the QB. Ohio, who ranked 69th vs. the run, and 88th vs. the pass, and 55th in sack rate held Buffalo to 17 points. I expect Northern Illinois to make this their type of game.
Northern Illinois will play great defense, special teams, and control the line of scrimmage. Northern Illinois has a running QB in Marcus Childers who had 456 rushing yards in conference play. Buffalo's rush defense was really challenged by Ohio giving up over 400 yards, and could not defend their QB Nathan Rourke who had 77 yards rushing. When Northern Illinois played Ohio they controlled the line of scrimmage holding Ohio to 46 yards, as they ran for 255. I expect Northern Illinois with the better defense to do the same in this game, and the fact that they are dogs on a neutral field has me excited to be betting this one. Northern Illinois also the better special teams here ranking 43rd. compared to Buffalo's 90th ranking.
|11-24-18||BYU +11.5 v. Utah||27-35||Win||100||24 h 42 m||Show|
BYU +11.5 2.2% play
Utah has the PAC 12 Championship game next, and again are playing without 84% of their offense with Moss, and Huntley out for the season. It was evident in their last game against Colorado as they struggled on offense especially in the first half as it was 7-7 before the cruised to a 30-7 victory. BYU's offense is better, and their defense is better than Colorado.
The Holy War is a huge rivalry game that has been decided by 7 points or less in 17 of the last 22 meetings. Utah really benefited from +3 TO margin, and special teams play last week. BYU actually has a very good special teams unit ranking 23rd compared to Colorado last week ranking 120th.
BYU ranks 30th defending the run, and Colorado just got done holding Utah to 169 yards last week, I'm expecting BYU who has faced tougher competition than Colorado to hold Utah's running game in check, and their special teams will keep this game close. When Utah is held under 180 yards they are just 6-10 the last 3 years, and if you put this spread on those games they would be just 3-13 ATS. So far it doesn't look like Utah misses Moss and Huntley, but I think it finally shows here in a close battle, as Utah looks to the PAC 12 Championship game.
|11-24-18||LSU v. Texas A&M -3||72-74||Loss||-115||26 h 17 m||Show|
Texas AM -3 -115 3.5% PLAY
This is a good match-up for the Aggies who are 6-0 ATS at home this season. They are the unranked team facing a top 10 team, but are favorites? I'll take the Aggies who have played the tougher schedule, and the better match-up. The weakness of A&M is their secondary, but LSU prefers to run first, and A&M has arguably the best run stop unit of any team in the country. LSU only averages 3.61 yards per carry ont he road, and I predict they'll be held under 100 yards in this game. That means Joe Burrow has to win the game, and his team is just not protecting him well enough to take advantage of the Aggies pass defense as they rank 91st, and go up against A&M who ranks 11th at getting to the QB. Since A&M will create plenty of 3rd and 8's this is a major issue in this game.
On the flip side the Aggies have a very balanced offense, they can run and they can pass, and I think they will have success at home at night and LSU's defense is really banged up right now and will be without 3 starters in the secondary. LSU's defense has been run on particularly on the road, so I'm betting we see that again, which should only help out Kellen Mond when he decides to throw the ball.
|11-24-18||Tennessee +3.5 v. Vanderbilt||Top||13-38||Loss||-114||23 h 15 m||Show|
Tennessee +3.5 5.5% NCAAF POD
I’ll take the better defense that has had success on the road in conference play, and has dominated this series 28-1 from 1983-2011, but Vanderbilt has won 4 of the past 6. The winner gets to a bowl game, and Tennessee has nothing to lose in this game in the new Jeremy Pruitt era, while Derek Mason is on the hot seat for Vanderbilt.
Tennessee’s defense is holding SEC foes 20 yards below their season average while Vanderbilt is letting those foes 73 yards above their season average. These two teams have 5 of 7 common opponents in the SEC. Tennessee clearly the more difficult schedule with games against Alabama, and Auburn while Vanderbilt had Arkansas and Ole Miss. In the 5 common opponents Tennessee did better in net yardage in 4 of the 5 games, and than Vanderbilt did, and the one they did not was the MIssouri game which happened just last week, but Tennessee lost their QB and best WR very early in that game and both are probable for this game. Vanderbilt last week beat Ole Miss, one of the worst defenses in the SEC held them to 378 yards as they were out gained by 191 yards at home.
This is a big game for Tenn and Jeremy Pruit to regain control of this rivalry, and I think we are getting hidden value here based off last week’s results alone. The better, defense, has already played close at South Carolina, and beat Auburn on the road, look for Tennessee to pull the outright upset here.
|11-24-18||Auburn v. Alabama -24||21-52||Win||100||24 h 59 m||Show|
Alabama -24 2.2% play
This might be the worst offense for Auburn in nearly a decade, and it might be the best offense Alabama has had. Alabama scored just 14 points in last year's Iron Bowl loss, and I think they'll look to get revenge on their in state rival. Alabama over the previous 9 years averaged 35.77 points per game, and their lowest point total was 14. I think Alabama's defense holds Auburn to 7 points or less as the defense has been absolutely dominant the second half of the year, and rank 22nd vs. the run, which is something Auburn must to in order to stay in this game. Well, Auburn ranks 86th in rushing yards per carry on the year, and their offensive line can not protect Stidham. Alabama 9th vs. the run, and 6th at getting to the QB. Auburn lost by 17 at Georgia, but it could have been more as they could not stop the run late. Alabama I think runs away with this game in the third quarter after getting a big lead in the first half.
|11-24-18||Marshall -3 v. Florida International||28-25||Push||0||64 h 55 m||Show|
Marshall -3 4.4% play
Marshall vs. FIU, FIU is a 1 point dog while Marshall can’t get into the C-USA Championship game even with a win here, and MTSU loss, which would create a 3 way tie in the East. You have to think they will take it out on FIU and try to win this game. I feel like FIU has been one of the luckier teams in the nation. They barely got by Charlotte this past weekend as we gave them out at +6 and they lost by 7. Charlotte outgained them by 44 yards, but were -12.8 field position and -2 TO margin. Marshall held that same team under 200 yards in Week 11, and held UTSA under 200 yards this past weekend. Their defense is playing well, and I think they beat up on FIU.
|11-24-18||Michigan v. Ohio State +5||39-62||Win||100||20 h 14 m||Show|
Ohio State +5 3.3% play
This is Urban Meyer's first time as a home dog since he was a home dog in 2003 at Utah. Ohio State is 14-2 ATS their last 16 as a dog, and 6-0 SU/ATS under Meyer, and it makes a lot of sense, because they have more talent than most teams, and when it gets to the point that they are dogs, they tend to play their best. I think it's kind of crazy that they are more than a FG dog at home in this spot, but they haven't looked good the last two weeks, but still everything that they set out to do this season is in front of them. Urban Meyers has a top flight offense with a QB, that should give Michigan's secondary troubles.
Ohio State's defense has been the issue, but I think they can rebound here against a Michigan offense that is very easy to prepare for and I think Ohio State's issues have mostly been giving up explosive plays. Michigan's offense 77th in explosive plays, Ohio State's defense 122nd in explosive defense. Michigan may get a few big plays, but overall I think Ohio State can hang in this game on that side of the ball. At home they are allowing nearly 2 yards per carry less against the run, and that's what Michigan relies on the most.
The only thing that worries me in this game is the health of Urban Meyer. Is he 100%, obviously not, and rumors are all over that he will be retiring after this year, but I am going to say he does not retire. He's the better coach here, Jim Harbough has not proven anything this year, and all of the pressure is on Michigan. They have not won a big game under Harbough, and now they have to do it as a favorite, and on the road. I just don't see it. Buckeyes may win this one outright.
|11-23-18||Oklahoma -2.5 v. West Virginia||59-56||Win||100||48 h 53 m||Show|
Oklahoma -2.5 3.3% play
To me this game is all about line value and what I think is a big coaching edge for Oklahoma. everyone is down on Oklahoma’s defense right now, and that is reflected in this line, but what has West Virginia’s offense really proven, against good QB’s? Oklahoma has the most balanced offense in the country with the #2 passing team and the #1 rushing team from efficiency perspective. West Virginia is just not as balanced ranking 61st at running the ball, and I do think Oklahoma whose run defense is better than last year and have held 8 of 10 opponents under 200 yards rushing will be able to put this all on the shoulders of Will Grier. Grier will have a fantastic day, but don’t be surprised if he makes a mistake in the red zone. He’s got to be nearly perfect to pull the upset here, and we have seen in years past that they just don’t match up well.
The last 4 years West Virginia has been dominated by Oklahoma losing by 28,28,20, and 12. Last year Grier did not play, but you could honestly argue this Oklahoma team and offense is better than last year. I have been really impressed with Kyler Murray and he has truly proven me wrong. As bad as Oklahoma’s defense has been in their last two games I think that gives them motivation to come into this game with a chip on their shoulder. This game is the biggest game of the year with a chance to stay in the college football playoff, and really solidify their spot with an impressive win. Lincoln Riley has done well in these Big 12 match-ups, and I think that will continue on Friday night.
|11-23-18||Central Florida -14 v. South Florida||38-10||Win||100||47 h 4 m||Show|
UCF -14 3.3%
You may hear a lot of sharps pointing to a hangover for UCF after Gameday was on campus last week, but I don’t see it playing an instate rival South Florida. Central Florida has all the motivation to run the score up here, to get more looks at the college football playoff and I think they totally can do it when you look at South Florida’s schedule their defense has not played well in many games against teams that are very good at running, but average or below passing and vice versa. They faced one opponent that was great at both, and that was Houston. They gave up 57 points in that game, and I think we could see similar results here.
Houston’s 14th ranked rushing offense has faced opponent average run defense ranking 79th, compare that with UCF’s 12th ranking facing OA run defense ranking 63rd. The QB play also obviously better although not by much. UCF ranking 6th, vs. OA pass defense 76th compared to Houston 9th and 78.
UCF continues to find ways to win and cover the spread, and I think they are totally aware of the spread going into these games, and the players want to cover it and prove they are better than the experts are giving them credit for. USF’s strength is running the football, but if they get down early they are going to struggle to come back considering they can’t protect the QB and rank 87th in QB Rating going up against the strength of UCF which is their pass defense. This cover may come late, but I think there is too much value with UCF despite all the reason some will give you to bet against them. It may be a square play, but these square plays have been cashing. UCF, also major advantage in TO margin, and special teams something nobody will talk about. UCF 2nd in TO margin compared to USF 81st ranking which will come into play here, and special teams UCF 65th rating compared to South Florida’s 103rd.
|11-23-18||Nebraska +9 v. Iowa||28-31||Win||100||40 h 57 m||Show|
Nebraska +9 4.4% NCAAF POD
The weather is calling for light rain and 12mph winds, but I don’t expect it to impact the game very much. Nebraska is peaking right now playing their best football, and we know they are going to get effort from Scott Frost, as the team continues to impress, and I just feel like this game means more to Nebraska than it does Iowa. I think they arguably have the best offense that Iowa has faced this year. When you compare them against comparable balanced offenses vs. comparable strength of schedule defenses faced we come up with Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin for Iowa. Iowa’s defense did not play well in any of those games giving up on average 32 points per game and went 1-2. Iowa’s rushing offense is the best of the 4 in my opinion because you have a mobile QB in Adrian Martinez, who is a future Heisman winner in my opinion. Martinez has 553 yards rushing on the year as a freshman, but he’s also a very accurate natural passer completing 64% of his passes for 15 TD’s and 7 INT’s.
Nebraska probably should have won a couple other games, but Martinez missed time, and this team had turnover and penalty issues earlier in the season. On the year they average 8.1 penalties per game, and over their last 3 they are down to 5.7. On the year they have -1 TO margin, but over their last 3 games (November) they are +5 TO margin.
I also think we are getting some value, because if you look at the finals last week. Nebraska won 9-6 over Michigan State, while Iowa thumped Illinois 63-0, but Iowa only put up 400 yards of total offense to get there as they benefited from 4 ILlinois turnovers, and 2 non-offensive TD’s. Nebraska’s offense actually played much better against Illinois with 54 points, but 606 yards. I think the line here is totally off based on full season statistics, and Nebraska will probably bring more effort here, and I think they benefit from being the road team away from the distractions of Thanksgiving.
|11-22-18||Mississippi State -11 v. Ole Miss||35-3||Win||100||27 h 11 m||Show|
Miss State -11 3.3% play
Miss State the far superior team and a borderline top 10 team, but their strength of schedule which ranks 4th in the country has held them back a little. Miss State's defense is a top 5 unit, and every single time Ole Miss has faced a top tier defense they have gotten blown out. I mentioned this in my weekly podcast that they have lost by more than 14 to A&M, Auburn, LSU, and Alabama, and I could argue that Miss State's defense is the best of the bunch.
Miss State obviously has revenge after losing 31-28 last year, and they lost Nick Fitzgerald very early in that game. I think they come out here and dominate.
|11-17-18||Iowa State +3 v. Texas||10-24||Loss||-120||21 h 37 m||Show|
Iowa State +2.5 3.3% play
Texas a home favorite under Tom Herman is 7-13 ATS, while Matt Campbell and Iowa State are 16-6 ATS as a dog. Herman, easily has to be distracted with the accusations from form colleague Zac Smith saying he cheated on his wife and right now the injuries are just too much to overcome for Texas, as they will now be without their second WR, and their secondary has had a ton of losses. Brock Purdy, is a difference maker for Iowa State at QB. With Purdy, Iowa State ranks 33rd in the nation in offense, but without him they ranked 81st.
Looking at all the numbers, Iowa State is the better offense, has the better defense, their pass defense and run defense are clearly better, and they also have the ability to get to the QB and put pressure on Sam Ehlinger. You could say that they both have impressive wins against common opponents, as Texas beat Oklahoma on neutral field while Iowa State lost by 10, and Iowa State dominated West Virginia at home while Texas lost on a last second pass from Will Grier. Overall, I think Iowa State has been the better team, and I question what Texas has left after playing 6 straight games decided by 7 points or less. Now they have to play another high energy game against a physical team that is going to be relentless with their energy. I just don’t know that they can match it especially when Iowa State will get RB David Montgomery with fresh legs in the second half.
|11-17-18||Duke v. Clemson -27||6-35||Win||100||119 h 57 m||Show|
Clemson -27.5 3.3% play
Grabbing this number now before it goes to 28 or 28.5 as it looks like it will. Clemson won 27-7, but are off a misleading box score. Many will point to the fact that Clemson did not score an offensive TD, and they knocked BC's starting QB out of the game, but I will point to the situation was clearly against Clemson. Trevor Lawrence making his first start north of Virginia, on the road, at night, with Gameday, and freezing temperatures. Yet they still put up nearly 500 yards of offense were +3.99 yards per play +311 yards, and -2 TO margin and still covered the spread.
Duke has not played a defense remotely close to Clemson who is playing their best right now. This team is in playoff mode. Duke barely got by MIami 2 weeks ago despite putting up just 290 yards. Their defense is not very good right now as they have given up 1,099 yards and 10 rushing TD's in their last 3 games. Now they have to face a team that actually has a QB that can throw it and they have to do this on the road. My money is on the big favorite here at home at night.
|11-17-18||UAB v. Texas A&M -16.5||20-41||Win||100||20 h 43 m||Show|
Texas A&M -16.5 3.3% play
Head Coach Jimbo Fisher has stated that A&M needs to finish and learn to dominate. The UAB team that comes into this game 9-1 will have their focused. This is especially true as they let the Auburn game get away late when they had a 10 point lead. We saw it late in the Ole Miss game as A&M did not stop, and had a late cover at Ole Miss. I see a team that is far superior in talent, and the match-up favors A&M and at home the Aggies are 5-0 ATS, even outgained Clemson by 88 yards.
Texas A&M has faced one of the toughest schedules all year, while UAB has faced one of the weakest.
This is a big mismatch when you factor in that UAB is a one dimensional offense that relies heavily on the running game. They run the ball 65% of the time, and rank 26th doing it, but here they’ll face a running defense that ranks 9th in stopping the run, and they have faced an average rushing offense of 39.33. A&M’s weakness is in pass defense, but that’s not something UAB does well ranking 85th despite facing an average opponent QB Rating defense of 87.7.
This is going to be a game dominated in the trenches by A&M, and as I mentioned earlier they won’t let up. I see this game a similar final to when UAB stepped up against Florida last year losing 36-7 as a 10.5 point dog.
|11-17-18||Syracuse +10 v. Notre Dame||3-36||Loss||-110||15 h 14 m||Show|
Syracuse +10 3.3% play
Syracuse faced 4 teams that finished the year ranked last year, and 3 of those games were on the road against LSU, NC State, and Miami, they lost those 3 games, but all by single digits. They beat Clemson at home last year, and this year they faced Clemson on the road, a team we would all say is better than last year’s Clemson team, and Clemson had revenge, and it was a travel spot for Syracuse, and they still lost by single digits. Syracuse is a couple of plays away from being 10-0.
What has Notre Dame proven? Their best win so far is week 1 vs. Michigan, a totally different team. I get that Notre Dame is a completely different teams since Ian Book took over, but let’s look at some of the passing defenses he has faced since taking over, Wake Forest 79th, Stanford 88th, Virginia Tech 83rd, Pitt 95th, Navy 127th, Northwestern 57th - They had just 24 points late vs. Northwestern and won by 10 by luck. Here Syracuse brings the #49th ranked pass defense, and they are aggressive and rank #16 in sack rate. This is the spot that Syracuse can win the game in my opinion, because Ian Book who did not play this game is going to come into a game where against a fast athletic defense, and he might be off just enough to allow Syracuse to get an early lead.
Syracuse 9-2 ATS as a dog over their last 11, and Dino Babers is a very good coach, 9-2 ATS as a dog and 3-0 this year with an average margin of cover of 20ppg in that role this year. He has one of the best punters in the game, and that is another advantage that’s just not factored into this line as it has led to Syracuse average field position start on offense on the 36.7 yard line. Notre Dame is playing with all the pressure, with many media outlets looking toward the USC game, and checking off the W’s and getting them to the college football playoff, but I think Syracuse will have a shot to win this game late. The game is at Yankee Stadium, this is the 3rd time Notre Dame is traveling in 4 weeks with one of those trips to San Diego.
Aside from Notre Dame facing one of the best pass defenses and pass rush units all year, they are facing by far the best offenses all year long. NOtre Dame ranks 9th in yards per play allowed, but they have not faced many balanced offenses like Syracuse, and an offense that will move fast, and keep you on your toes. Notre Dame has faced an average offense ranking 76.1, an average rushing offense ranking 72.5, and an average passing offense of 76.5. Notre Dame also hasn’t faced a team with a running QB, so Eric Dungey can give this Irish defense a new look that they haven’t seen all year.
|11-17-18||Florida International v. Charlotte +6.5||42-35||Loss||-115||4 h 21 m||Show|
Charlotte +6 3.3% play
FIU controls their own destiny to get to the Conference USA Championship game, but Charlotte is desperately trying to get to a bowl game with two wins to close the season. They upset a Southern Miss team last time at home, and went toe to toe with Marshall on the road through the first 3 quarters. This is a hidden gem when you factor in the match-up, and with 3 common opponents Charlotte +147 yards per game compared to FIU who is +67 yards.
Charlotte has faced a far tougher schedule and they went on the road and held SEC TEnnessee to a season low 197 yards, this is a legitimate defense with the strength in stopping the run ranking 13th in the country. What does FIU like to do? They run the ball 56% of the time, and they average 4.91 ypc in wins, 3.15 in losses, and 3.58 ypc on the road. I think FIU struggles to run the ball here, and this will be a close defensive game throughout. I would not be shocked to see Charlotte pull the upset as they lost by only 1 point on the road last year to a more experienced FIU team.
|11-17-18||Utah v. Colorado +7||Top||30-7||Loss||-105||14 h 17 m||Show|
Colorado +7 -105 5% NCAAF POD
Colorado has a very good home field advantage, and they were giving Washington State a game last week as they trailed by 3 at the half, but ultimately they had too many mistakes, -3 TO margin, and their WR Shenault was rusty. Utah, won at home last week despite being without their starting QB Huntley, and RB Zach Moss who made up 84% of their offense. Shelley and Shyne, stepped in well at home, but now they are going on the road where Utah has not played particularly well in terms of their statistical splits. I expect a desperate Colorado team, fighting for their head coaches job in their last home game of the season. Utah 1-4 ATS their last 5 road games as a favorite with 3 outright upsets. I think Colorado has a shot here for their 6th win.
|11-17-18||Northwestern v. Minnesota -2||24-14||Loss||-110||20 h 18 m||Show|
Minnesota -2 3.3% play
Despite this line moving so much I still think there is value. I mentioned it earlier in the week at +2.5 as a lean in my podcast, but I’ll still back the Gophers here at home as Northwestern has nothing to play for being that they clinched a spot to play in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship game. Northwestern has gone 6-1 in conference play, but have been outgained by 28 yards per game. They had 3 guys in the secondary out last week, and miraculously won at Iowa. They have been one of the luckiest teams this season.
Minnesota fired their defensive coordinator, and the defense played much better last week limiting Purdue to a season low 233 yards, in a 41-10 win. This young Minnesota team has played significantly better at home +15 points per game +89 yards per game. Northwestern, the last 4 games held to 296 yards per game, and Thorson has not looked great completing 52.8% of his passes. I think these teams are pretty even, but the situation heavily favors Minnesota. Also, I can’t dive into too many stats, as Minnesota is just a different team than earlier in the season. The firing of Robb Smith could be the biggest impact, as he ran a very difficult scheme for a young defense. THe defense now as PJ Fleck has said, “sound, simple, fast.” The “simple” defense for a young athletic defense is the big key, and a struggling Northwestern offense should have issues as they rank 76th in TO Margin.
|11-17-18||TCU -1 v. Baylor||16-9||Win||100||15 h 17 m||Show|
TCU -1 4.4% PlayThis won't be a popular pick with 36% of the action right now, and ironically as I was looking and getting excited about TCU, the line moved 3 points in the span of an hour from +2 to -1. TCU's losses have 2 things in common, they are -12 TO Margin, and they have allowed a 158 QB rating. 5 of their 6 losses were against a top 35 passing offense, with Kansas being the one outside the top 35, but they had a 97% post game win probability there. Kansas, however 3rd in TO Margin. TCU played opponents who average #41 in TO margin in those 6 losses. Here they face Baylor who ranks 111th in TO margin, and they rank 69th in QB rating, against a poor schedule (78th average opponent pass defense). TCU's offense is taking better care of the ball and in their last two games they are actually +2 TO margin. The fact that Baylor ranks 111th in TO margin might be advantage for TCU. TCU's offense also shouldn't be in 3rd and long situations going up against 104th ranked rushing defense they should be able to move the chains a bit easier than they are used to. For Baylor, they need to run the ball. In their wins they average 5.6 ypc, and in their losses 3.04 ypc. TCU ranks 36th in yards per carry allowed and only Oklahoma eclipsed 5 yards per carry, and only 2 teams eclipsed 150 yards rushing, Ohio State, and Oklahoma. I see TCU dominating the line of scrimmage in this game, and that usually equals a victory. The situation also favors TCU needing 2 wins to get to a bowl they are the more desperate team while Baylor just needs 1 win in their final 2 games. Baylor has definitely been luckier with wins this year, they have two nice wins, against Kansas State, and Oklahoma State where they had post game win probability of 28% and 35%, their other wins came against UTSA, Abilane Christian, and Kansas. I think TCU who is banged up on defense has a good matchup and good line value here.
|11-16-18||Memphis v. SMU +7.5||Top||28-18||Loss||-110||6 h 54 m||Show|
SMU +7.5 4.4% NCAAF POD
Let's first take a look at the situational spot that favors SMU. They have revenge in a very meaningful game. Both teams can clinch their division and get to the Championship game if they win out. Memphis could be peaking ahead to their showdown with Houston next, a team that SMU beat at home already especially the fact that Memphis won 65-45 last year, and that's where the revenge comes in. In that game Memphis was coming off a bye, and had the extra time to prepare, but here they are on short rest, and traveling. They did this earlier in the season and lost at Tulane in blowout fashion. Home/Away splits are huge here, as Memphis has only beaten a bad East Carolina team on the road losing to Navy, Tulane, Missouri, and SMU at home played right with Cinci, beat Navy, and beat Houston, the leader in the division.
Now let's look at the statistics and analytics. Overall, SMU's offensive statistics are misleading, as they have played a lot better of late. They have also faced a far tougher schedule with an average opponent ypp defense ranking 55.11 compared to Memphis who has faced 94.33. Defensively it looks like these two teams are the same ranking 63rd (Memphis), and 65th (SMU) in yards per play allowed, but a closer look reveals that once again Memphis has faced a weaker schedule facing 79.22, while SMU's average opponent ypp offense ranks 55.33. Need more? SMU's opponents average defensive success rate 40.16%, compared to Memphis 43.77. Opponent average offensive success rate 42.97% to 40.71% in favor of SMU. So once again it's clear that SMU not only has faced a tougher schedule, but it has been drastically tougher.
On paper this looks like a bad match-up for SMU ranking 82nd in rushing defense, but they held a Houston rushing offense under 200 yards, and that Houston rushing offense is similar ranking 14th in ypc, vs. avg opponent defense 87.5. Memphis comes into the game ranking 5th in yards per carry, and they have the leading rusher in Henderson who will flash across the media reports, but they have faced an average defense ranking 91.11 in stopping the run. Also, SMU likes to pass more than they run, but are facing Memphis #7 ranked pass defense, but hold on that pass defense ranks 7th against an average opponent QB rating of 88.88.
SMU, can get to the QB and protect their QB more in this game which is a huge advantage. They have edge in overall ranking and strength of schedule so the big key will be for SMU on defense to get Memphis into third and longs to get off the field with their pass rush. Memphis just 62nd at protecting their QB despite facing an opponent average sack rate of 96.44 in the country. Memphis ranks 41st at getting to the QB in terms of sack rate.
Special Teams is something often overlooked, but it clearly will come up in this game, and SMU has a huge advantage ranking 27th, compared to Memphis 123rd ranking. TO margin, another thing you have to look at and SMU ranks 8th in TO Margin having faced an opponent average TO margin ranking 56, compared to Memphis who is 59th, and has faced an opponent average ranking of 81.
|11-14-18||Miami-OH +6.5 v. Northern Illinois||Top||13-7||Win||100||13 h 37 m||Show|
Miami Ohio +6.5 -105 4.5% NCAAF POD – no need to buy the half point.
Miami is playing their best football right now, and with near wins on the road against Buffalo, they were in that game, and at Army and then their win last week against Ohio at home, I am impressed. This is not out of the ordinary for this team to go on a run at the end of the season with this head coach and QB Gus Ragland. Miami Ohio will be the more motivated team here on Wednesday night as they need wins in their final two games, while Northern Illinois has clinched a spot in the MAC Championship after Ball State shocked Western Michigan in OT last night.
Northern Illinois I would argue is a bit over rated at 7-3, as they have gone 3-0 in coin flip games while Miami Ohio 4-6 has gone 0-4 in coin flip games. I think these teams are pretty even otherwise, and getting 6.5 points to a team with a very good defense, going up against a one dimensional offense with more motivation on the side of Miami makes me really like this game here.
Northern Illinois 126th in ypp offense, has faced some of the best defenses in the country, but here they will face one of the better defenses in MAC play as Miami Ohio ranks 41st in ypp defense, and 11th vs. the run which is the strength of Northern Illinois. Miami Ohio also ranks #1 vs. the pass and has faced better passing teams than Northern Illinois who ranks 94th in QB Rating.
Gus Ragland will be the difference here, going up against Northern Illinois struggling pass defense. Ragland has been able to make good decisions all year, and he’s rarely sacked which is the one thing Northern Illinois pass defense relies on. Northern Illinois defense as a whole is elite ranking 10th in ypp allowed, but they have weaknesses having faced offenses that just aren’t very good ranking 82.2 on average in ypp. Yet they still have -0.2 ypp differential on the season. Their run defense ranks a peculiar 100th in ypc allowed. Miami Ohio’s rushing offense is better than their 71st ranking having faced an opponent defense ranking 46.7. So, I think Miami Ohio can score in the 20’s and cover this spread and possibly pull the upset.
|11-10-18||LSU v. Arkansas +14||24-17||Win||100||45 h 52 m||Show|
Arkansas +13.5 3.3% play w/ Arkansas +445 7:30pm on SEC
Arkansas has a shot here if this turns into just a game in the trenches. LSU ranks 82nd in running the ball compared to Arkansas who ranks 35th, and really coming on strong in their last 4 games. I get that Alabama probably did not have their full attention, but Arkansas did put up 31 points on Alabama at home. LSU, just got their bubble burst against Alabama and you have to wonder where they are mentally. Arkansas has also been good at stopping the run ranking 61st compared to LSU who has now fallen to 80th.
Arkansas has faced LSU the last 4 years following their game with Alabama. They lost badly the last two years, but had won the previous 2, and the only time they came off a bye like they are here they shut out LSU 17-0. Arkansas has 7 losses, but they are still playing for their first SEC win. With MIss State, and Missouri on deck this is their best shot believe it or not because those are road games. LSU has not exactly been lights out on the road, and their wins look a lot impressive now. Their game on neutral field against Miami to open the season does not look good at all, their 1 point miracle win at Auburn looks bad, as Tennessee beat them by 6. Their loss by 8 at Florida even looks worse when you consider Florida has lost twice at home as favorites losing last week by 21 to Missouri, a team that did not have an SEC win, and to Kentucky by 8 earlier in the season.
In 3 of the last 4 games LSU has given up over 200 yards, and I expect Arkansas to be in this game, because of their play in the trenches. Chad Morris style is really more in the passing game, but Arkansas is running the ball over 54% of the time. I also think a first year head coach coming off the bye is always dangerous. We saw it earlier this season in the SEC with Jeremy Pruitt winning as a big dog at Auburn.
|11-10-18||Auburn v. Georgia -14||10-27||Win||100||45 h 31 m||Show|
Georgia -14 3.3% play on ESPN @ 7:00PM ET
The only thing keeping this from a premium play is the fact that Georgia might not have any motivation to blow an opponent out at this point they control their own destiny, but with U Mass on deck, I think Georgia could want to make one last statement, and they absolutely can if they want to.
I really see Georgia clicking right now, and I was on Kentucky last week, because I thought they could out play Georgia in the trenches. Georgia had already out played just about every team in the trenches this season, but Georgia clearly dominated 331 to 84 yards rushing. I see the same sort of thing happening here as Auburn struggles on third down, and their defense is going to spend a lot of this game on the field.
Auburn’s defense is the only thing keeping them in games. Auburn was held under 300 yards yet again, but somehow win the games A&M self imploded in the 4th quarter. I think that gives us roughly 3 points of line value in this game, as Auburn’s offense won’t be able to do much here. They rank 112th in the country running the ball. Jarret Stidham’s offensive line is not protecting him, and Georgia’s pass defense has been really good, and their pass rush is just starting show up with 4 sacks a week ago.
Georgia has been dominating at home winning 10 straight by 28.6 points per game, and they have won all of their games by 14 or more points this year. They are at home and have clear advantages in special teams, and TO margin.
|11-10-18||North Carolina +11 v. Duke||35-42||Win||100||38 h 50 m||Show|
North Carolina +11 3.3% play
Normally I’d look to fade a team coming off their 7th loss of the season, but the Tarheels have been in a ton of games this year rarely losing by double digits, and they are facing their rival who they lost to the last 2 years. We have a typical sell high buy low situation as North Carolina just got beat by Georgia Tech by 10, and Duke beat Miami on the road. Many will point to the fact that these two have the common road game at Miami. North Carolina lost a mid week game by 37 points, while Duke won by 8 in a sloppy game last week with weather having a huge impact, but this is giving us 2 or 2.5 points of value in my opinion.
When North Carolina had the mid-week game here they were -4 TO margin, but only -25 total yards, and -14 yards in the trenches. Duke, was -154 yards in the trenches last week. When we look at Duke’s 3 losses to Virginia, Virginia Tech & Pitt they were - yardage in the trenches in all 3 games at -391 yards while North Carolina was only -117 yards. Duke has been especially bad of late, and their LB Joe Gile-Harris is doubtful to return for this game.
North Carolina has a talented running game ranking 34th in the country, and that should allow them to move the ball on a Duke team that is really struggling to stop the run right now. This is Duke’s biggest favorite role vs. UNC since 1989, and I really don’t see why. I get UNC is 1-7, but they were in the game against Georgia Tech last week, Virginia the week before, they lost by 3 to Syracuse on the road, 3 to Virginia Tech, they beat Pitt by 3, and they would have beaten Cal earlier in the year, and only lost by 7 despite a -4 TO margin. UNC also has advantages in special teams ranking 13th vs. Duke’s 74th rating, and their pass rush that ranks 17th could give Daniel JOnes issues here. The only thing that worries me is UNC turns the ball over, which is why it’s not making a higher rated play here.
|11-10-18||Maryland v. Indiana -1.5||Top||32-34||Win||100||38 h 32 m||Show|
Indiana -1.5 4.4% NCAAF POD @12PM on BIG 10 NetworkHoosiers in a good spot here, while Maryland is not. Indiana is coming off a bye with Michigan on deck and desperately need a win to stay in bowl contention. Head Coach, Tom Allen, admitted it was the right time for the team to get away for a bit after 3 physical games against Iowa, Penn State, and Minnesota it was good to get some rest, and it looks like a key defensive player in TD Roof will be back to help defend the run first Maryland team. Maryland is the definition of a one dimensional attack. They run the ball 63.47% of the time, and rank 10th in yards per carry, but they have faced some weak defenses that have inflated those numbers having faced on average a defense ranking 71st. On paper Indiana's defense is ranked #71, but they have only given up over 200 yards once this season. Tom Allen, is a defensive coach and in a bye week should be able to come up with a game plan to stop a one dimensional attack like Maryland. Maryland the last 3 season when they are held to under 200 yards rushing are only 2-18!! One of those 2 wins was against Indiana, but this Indiana offense should give Maryland some issues. Indiana's QB Peyton Ramsey has completed 68% of his passes and that has been against defenses ranking #46 against the pass. The offense is extremely efficient ranking 33rd, and will play a Maryland defense that ranks 119th in defense efficiency. Maryland's real strengths are against defending explosive plays where they rank 5th, but that's really Indiana's game plan, and I think it will show up as Indiana will be able to wear down a Maryland team that has to be emotionally beat down at the moment with all the negative surrounding the program I see them losing out and missing a bowl, and it will probably be for the better. We can't leave out special teams, and penalties where Indiana also has significant edges having the #21 ranked special teams compared to Maryland's #45, and they commit 2.1 fewer penalties per game. Indiana also +3.7% success rate per game compared to Maryland who is -3.2%.
|11-10-18||TCU +12 v. West Virginia||10-47||Loss||-110||37 h 20 m||Show|
TCU +11.5 3.3% play - 12pm on FOX
West Virginia has played nobody on defense this year with the exception of Iowa State and they lost that game badly. The next best defense is Texas who ranks 67th in yards per play, but a team that stronger vs. the run than they are against the pass as we saw last week. West Virginia got their asses beat at Iowa State, and although this game is at home I think West Virginia could be overlooking TCU, a team who is very similar to Iowa State on defense, and also ironically beat Iowa State 17-14 earlier this year.
Will Grier got sacked 7 times against Iowa State, and here he faces a similar pass rush in TCU that ranks 30th, Iowa State ranks 32nd in sack % against similar strength of competition. West Virginia hasn’t protected Grier well ranking 78th in pass protection. TCU actually ranks better in offensive and defensive success rate when we compare against Iowa State, and their only glaring weakness is against the pass where they rank 61st, but against an average 46th ranked passing offense compared to Iowa State who ranks 37th, vs. #59 strength of schedule.
TCU has had injuries, and they have had turnovers, those are two biggest issues, but this is a team with the coaching edge here, and if there were ever a buy low situation it is here. I think the QB switch to MIke Collins, due to Shawn Robinson’s injury is a good one. They are now only turning the ball over 1.3 x per game prior they were turning the ball over 3 and 4 times a game which has cost them easily in several games.
West Virginia has showed issues in the past playing with pressure at this point in the season. With Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma on deck, this is a team that is flawed in my opinion. They commit double the penalties comparedw ith TCU, and TCU also enjoys a better special teams ranking 25th.
|11-07-18||Ohio v. Miami-OH +4.5||28-30||Win||100||8 h 25 m||Show|
Miami Ohio +4.5 2.2% play
Miami has been playing better having just taken two of the best non power 5 teams to the 4th quarter in Army and Buffalo who combine fora 16-3 record. Meanwhile Ohio just got down pounding the crap out of 3 awful teams. Western Michigan the most recent one, who were fighting injuries including losing their starting QB. Ohio who relies on the run 63% of their play calls are running plays behind their QB Nathan Rourke who is a dual threat guy. They just went up against 96th, 126th, and 97th ranked rushing defense, and here they'll face Miami Ohio who ranks 29th. MIami Ohio also even better in conference play allowing 3.17 ypc, and they are +1.55 ypc in conference play which is better than Ohio's advantage.
Ohio was typically a team relying on defense in past year, but this year their defense has looked pretty awful ranking 100th in yards per play and 101st in success rate allowed. I think Gus Ragland who did not play last year in this match-up can take advantage in a game that they are desperate for a win. Ragland the Sr. QB has this offense on a roll having scored 30+ points in 6 straight games. They have a balanced group and going up against an Ohio defense that has not been very good. Their 100th ranked ypp defense is against an average opponent ranking 81.25 in offensive YPP.
|11-03-18||Alabama -14 v. LSU||29-0||Win||100||28 h 22 m||Show|
Alabama -14.5 3.3% play
I'm not afraid of this historical point spread here, as this is the largest home dog role for a top 4 team ever, but... Alabama is a historically great team, that I get has not been challenged, but that is great material for Saban to feed his kids for 2 weeks. LSU, is also really not the 3rd best team in the country, and we just be honest about that? LSU ranks 92nd in yards per play on the season, and Joe Burrow's QB Rating ranks 108th. Burrow is not the type of player that can give Alabama's defense any kind of issues, and they have not been particularly good at protecting him ranking 78th in pass protection while Alabama is 18th at getting to the QB. Burrow averages 6.9 yards per attempt, 82nd, and he is only completing 53.8% of his passes and while he has 250 yards rushing the majority of that came on a couple big plays. Make no mistake about it he is not a mobile QB.
Alabama's defense in my opinion is under rated. I expect their best effort in this game. They really haven't had to play all year long, and going into this game they will have that feeling that they do. Nick Saban also great with 2 weeks to prepare and is the far better coach. If they get up big I think the lead only grows as they should have success running the ball against an LSU front that is without their best defensive player in Devin White for the first half, and they have been particularly bad against the run ranking 59th this year. They also have not faced a team that can throw and pass like Alabama, and I expect a 41-14 type of a final here.
|11-03-18||Louisiana Tech +23.5 v. Mississippi State||3-45||Loss||-103||31 h 53 m||Show|
LA Tech +23.5 2.2% play
I have actually done quite well backing this team in my career and have done so twice already this year. We took LA Tech +21 at LSU and LA Tech -10.5 winner over UTSA back on 10/13. They are 21-7 ATS as a road dog, and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 against the SEC. This is a big sandwich game for Miss State who just beat a good Texas A&M team in misleading fashion, and have Alabama on deck. Last year they had the same spot, and hosted Umass as a 34 point dog, and they nearly lost the game holding on 34-23. Miss State has a history of poor play vs. group of play dating back to 2016 they lost at home to South Alabama 20-21, beat Umass by only 12, lost to BYU by 7, beat Samford by only 15, beat Miami Ohio by only 1, beat La Tech last year by 36, but that was at the beginning of the year.
Louisiana Tech has an extra day to prepare here, and have an excellent coach in Skip Holtz. I mentioned Miss State's victory last week was misleading. They scored 2 TD's on third and long, and picked Miss State in the end zone up 21-13, and scored on an 84 yard play. A&M as good as their defense has been is 129th in explosive plays allowed. Louisiana Tech's defense is 53rd, and that's mainly because they have a very good pass rush led by sack daddy Ferguson who should pass Terrel Suggs for the most sacks of all time (44) before the season is out. I expect a somewhat vanilla approach from Miss State in this game with Alabama on deck, and they are going up against a very good defense that ranks 37th in yards per play. Louisiana Tech's offense has struggled but they have faced a tough schedule, and the offense looked much better against LSU than MIss State did in their common opponent game.
|11-03-18||Notre Dame v. Northwestern +10||31-21||Push||0||44 h 44 m||Show|
Northwestern +10 3.3% play
I still do not know how good Notre Dame is and I am very skeptical. Notre Dame is just 3-14 ATS the last 4 years in the month of November when you have to pay a premium to back them. They are just 3-11 ATS the week after Navy, and this year they have a particularly difficult spot traveling back from San Diego where they played Navy last week. They’ll be playing at Northwestern for the first time in 42 years, Notre Dame usually hosts this game or it’s played at Soldier Field, and it will also be a rare night game. The only thing keeping this from a higher rated play is the fact that Northwestern has a more important game next week against Iowa, but being in a dog role against Notre Dame a nearby rival and powerhouse I doubt they’ll be looking past this game. Northwestern did beat Notre Dame the last two meeting outright as a 28 point dog and 17 point dog. Now a lot of people are saying the stadium will be 80% Notre Dame fans, but I don’t agree with that at all I think it will be closer to 50-50, but probably 60-65% Notre Dame fans.
These are great situation edges, and I didn't even mention Northwestern who is 9-0 ATS their last 9 as a dog. I am also 3-0 ATS backing NW this year, and 10-3 ATS over our last 13. Notre Dame has played a far weaker schedule when you look at it the defenses they have faced rank on average 85.6th in the nation in yards per play. Ian Book has had a nice start since taking over, but I think he’s getting too much credit when you factor in he’s thrown 4 interceptions, quietly, in his last 3 games and since taking over he has faced pass defenses ranking 99th, 100th, 77th, 89th,and 123. Meanwhile, Northwestern’s pass defense ranks 42nd, the bend but don’t break unit will create some issues for Notre Dame here in my opinion, especially in the red zone where they are holding opponents to 47% TD rate.
NW’s run defense is not nearly as good as it typically is ranking 68th, but at home they are a lot better allowing 1.51 yards per carry less than their road games. Still, in wins they are giving up plenty of rushing yards, and they just find other ways to win like special teams. Northwestern has the edge in that category which is a big key to go along with home field advantage.
Northwestern’s offense has struggled this year on paper, but they have faced some tough defenses. They have an NFL QB in Clayton Thorson who did not play well last week, but they still beat Wisconsin. Thorson has struggled, but they have faced on average a defense ranking 41st against the pass. Compare that with what Ian Book has faced since taking over and you can see we are getting value with Northwestern. Notre Dame also is not a team with much of a pass rush. They rank 73rd in getting to the QB and that is against an opponent average sack % allowed ranking 71st in the country. Basically they are slightly below average, and have faced teams who protect their QB slightly below average. Notre Dame has also struggled against pass happy teams. Vanderbilt #47 in pass play % lost at Notre Dame 22-17, but should have won the game behind a similar QB in Kyle Schurmur. Ball State, ranks 21st in pass play %, and also right in the game with Notre Dame losing 24-16. Well, Northwestern’s rushing offense woke up a bit last week, but they still rely on the arm of Thorson as they are 6th in the nation in pass play %. I think this is a one possession game late just as Northwestern was with Michigan, a team that would be favored on a neutral field over Notre Dame despite losing in week 1.
|11-03-18||Georgia v. Kentucky +8.5||34-17||Loss||-110||24 h 1 m||Show|
Kentucky +8.5 2.2% play
This is the best defense that Georgia has played on the road the last two years. Kentucky ranks top 20 in opponent QB rating, sack %, and they are 12th vs. the run. Georgia has played two similar defenses on the road who were top 25 in pass defense with Jake Fromm and they lost both by 22, and 23 points to Auburn & LSU, who are two teams also not known for their explosive offense. Fromm really struggled in those two games, and I expect he will struggle here on the road against Josh Allen and company. Fromm vs. LSU/Auburn a combined 2 TD's 2 INT's 29-62 46.7% completion rate, with 393 yards. LSU has the #87 pass rush, and #58 run defense to go along with those #'s, and Kentucky is 12th vs. the run, 15th in pass rush. Auburn last year was 18th in opponent QB Rating, 27th pass rush, and 27th vs. the run as the closes example to this Kentucky defense that has been tested at this point by good passing offenses (Missouri), and good rushing offenses.
On the flip side if we look at Georgia's impressive performance last week, and we were on the wrong side with our POD on Florida +7. Georgia scored all 4 TD's on third down, and they had +3 TO margin. What is also hidden is Florida's QB Franks missing a wide open receiver for a TD on the first play of the game which would have completely changed the momentum, because what happened next was a fumble by a Florida RB and suddenly it's 10-0. Kentucky's strength is obviously running the ball, and they rank 26th doing so, and will be going up against a small inexperienced front 7 that can be had. Georgia 72nd vs. the run compared to Kentucky #12 rating and they have not faced stronger rushing offenses than Kentucky. If they want to crowd the box I think Terry Wilson is fully capable of taking advantage. Georgia ranks 110th in sack % so it's not like they can come after the mobile QB. I hope the game plan features Kentucky throwing a couple of deep passes early and they get a lead that they can lean on Benny Snell and Terry Wilson at home.
|11-03-18||Air Force +6.5 v. Army||14-17||Win||100||37 h 38 m||Show|
Air Force +6.5 3.3% Kickoff at Noon CBS SportsThe weather does not look good for two option teams that run the ball 77% of the time it should be no problem with 17mph winds and light rain. Air Force already beat Navy, and a win here gets them the Commander-In-Chief trophy back. Army snapped their 5 game losing streak to Air Force last year with a dominating victory 21-0 on the road as they were +300 yards rushing. This is a different Air Force defense this year who has been much better against the run, and have already been tested by Navy. Against Navy they only allowed 129 yards rushing and 3.15 yards per carry. That was the same Navy team that rushed for over 400 yards against them last year. Air Force was +3 rushing TD's in that victory, and +128 rushing yards which should give them confidence going into this game. On paper it appears that Army has a much better rushing unit ranking 43rd in ypc vs. 69th, but Air Force has faced tougher defenses who rank 59th vs. the run compared to Army's opponents who rank 72nd. Also, Air Force has played a lot of opponents that are used to their style of play considering they play in a conference. Army is independent and thus play many opponents that are seeing the option for either the first time or not in consecutive years. In fact 5 of their 8 opponents they have not faced Army in the last few years. Duke, a team used to seeing the option was able to handle Army pretty easily. We know Air Force see's it twice a year, and we already have data on them being a much improved unit on that side of the ball in their game against Navy. I love what Jeff Monken is doing here at Army, and I have backed them many times, but this just seems like the type of game that is going to come down to the wire and a field goal.
|11-03-18||Texas A&M +4 v. Auburn||24-28||Push||0||37 h 35 m||Show|
Texas A&M +3.5 3.3% Noon kickoff on ESPN
We are getting an extra point compared to A&M’s road game last week at Miss State +2.5, and that was a night game, this one played at noon a less intimidating atmosphere. I don’t care of Auburn and Gus Malzahn are off a bye, he is 20-39-2 ATS since 2014, and I think the Aggies simply match-up well against Auburn. Also, Aggies final last week against Miss State was extremely misleading. Nick Fitzgerald had 2 third and long TD passes including a 84 yarder on 3rd and 20, and there was a 14 point swing with A&M trailing 21-13 late threw an interception in the end zone and Miss State went on a long TD drive.
Auburn is a team that needs to run the ball. When they don’t rush for over 200 yards they are just 4-11 since 2016, and TExas A&M has an elite run defense right now they rank 20th in yards per carry and that has come against some of the best rushing offenses. They have not allowed any opponent to average more than 5 yards per carry or rush for more than 147 yards. The average rushing offense they have faced comes in at 23.8, and Auburn’s struggling unit comes in at #97, and they have that ranking facing #66 run defense. Their top RB JaTArvious Whitlow is questionable for this game with an ankle injury which is not a good sign for a RB.
If Auburn goes to the pass they will be in trouble as they have not been able to protect Jarret Stidham very well and he has struggled. TExas A&M one of the best in the nation at getting to the QB ranking 6th despite a challenging schedule. I think A&M should be a 4 point favorite on neutral field, and early sharp money agrees pushing this line from 6 down to 3.5, but don’t worry there is still value as the road team is 6-0 SU&ATS in this series since the Aggies joined the SEC.
|10-30-18||Miami-OH +7 v. Buffalo||42-51||Loss||-110||12 h 27 m||Show|
Miami Ohio +7 3.3% play
Miami Ohio only 2 big losses came at the hands of Cincinnati, a team that is having an excellent season, and that game came in inclement weather, and Minnesota, a team form the BIG TEN with much more talent. The non-conference schedule for Miami Ohio having played Marshall, Minnesota, and Cincinnati is much stronger than Buffalo’s schedule against an FCS, Temple who was playing poorly at the time, and Rutgers. Miami Ohio also outplayed a non-conference common opponent on the road in Army losing 30-31, vs. Buffalo who lost 13-42.
The key for Miami Ohio is to run the ball here. The weather will be good enough to throw it if you want to, but that would not be smart for Miami Ohio who will be going up against a Buffalo defense that is very good against the pass ranking 11th in the nation, and 25th in sack%, 26th in yards per pass attempt defense. Buffalo’s weakness is against the run where they rank 58th in yards per carry allowed and that has been against an average opponent ypc offense ranking 83rd. Miami Ohio in conference play has averaged 5.04 ypc with 11 TD’s, and they are averaging 5.62 yards per carry in wins, and 2.82 ypc in losses. They have definitely focused more on running ball in conference games which I think is a good thing here on the road as they have average 42 carries in their 4 conference games compared to 26 in non-conference games. They have 3 excellent rushing games, and the good news is they were able to run the ball at Akron, a team that on paper looks like they are better at stopping the run than Buffalo. In that game they ran 38 times for 208 yards and 4 TD’s in the 41-17 win. Buffalo in conference play has allowed 4.23 yards per carry. They allowed Akron who ranked 120th in yards per carry at 3.2 to rush for 3.75, and against Central Michigan who ranks 101st they allowed the Chippewas to rush for 168 yards and 4.8 yards per carry. Miami outplayed Buffalo at the line of scrimmage in last year’s match-up rushing for 172 to 69 yards. Akron was another common opponent for these two teams, and Miami Ohio outplayed them at the line of scrimmage 208 rushing yards 4 TD’s to 56 and 0TD’s. Miami Ohio did that on the road while Buffalo hosted Akron
I think Miami Ohio’s defense is being overlooked here in this spread. Miami Ohio ranks 24th in yards per play allowed, and that has come against a slightly better strength of schedule in terms of offenses they have faced. They rank 30th vs. the run which is the big key here considering Buffalo runs the ball 56.6% of the time. Miami Ohio 2.86 ypc allows in their wins and 1 TD, and 3.88 in their losses. Buffalo has been a team that has been steamed all year, and I greatly agree with that as I think they were a very under rated team and I backed them a few times as well, but it’s now at the point of resistance for me. This is a big game to decide the MAC East, and I feel like it should be a close game as Miami Ohio takes care of the football and has a slightly better special teams team two huge keys in a game like this.
|10-27-18||Texas A&M +1.5 v. Mississippi State||13-28||Loss||-110||43 h 3 m||Show|
Purdue +8 w/ Texas A&M +7.5 4.4% NCAAF Teaser
Purdue +8 - I’m going with the better team here and I’m not expecting a “let down.” Jeff Brohm is a very good coach, and Purdue is fighting to get to the Big Ten Championship, a real possibility right now. MIchigan State’s injuries are just piling up, and they can’t run the ball ranking 120th in the country, and that will allow Purdue’s aggressive defense to force some mistakes from Brian Lewerke who has nobody to throw the ball to now that Felton Davis, his top target is out for the season. Michigan State had defensive backs running routes and getting targets last week against Michigan.
Purdue is just the better team, and Michigan State won’t have enough offense against an under rated Purdue defense. Purdue is very balanced in all aspects, and David Blough should have a big day much like Clayton Thorson did here a few weeks back as Thorson threw it all over the yard. Purdue’s offensive scheme is very unique for the Big Ten, and they have arguably the most explosive player in the conference in Rondale Moore who is a mismatch here and is averaging 14 yards every time he touches the ball.
People are talking about the “let down” for Purdue, but what about Michigan State, their Big Ten aspirations are very dim after losing to big brother, and with all the injuries I can’t see the confidence is even close to the confidence on the other sideline with Purdue. These teams may have the same record, but Purdue is literally a few plays away from being 7-0.
Texas A&M +7.5
The only thing that makes me nervous about this game is Miss State looked awful a week ago at LSU, and everyone is throwing them in the trash. We did the same thing after they lost to Kentucky and Florida, but then backed them against Auburn, a big win 23-9, but we have seen Auburn trending in the other direction. Here Texas A&M off the bye matches up very well with Miss State.
Miss State could be without their top RB HIll who is questionable and that means NIck Fitzgerald will be asked to do even more following a physical game at LSU last week. He goes up against a Texas A&M defense that is legit against the run ranking 14th in the country despite facing a challenging schedule. On average the Aggies have faced a rushing YPC offense ranking 27th. This spells trouble for Miss State who rushes for 7.13 ypc in their wins with 14TD’s but just 3.72, and 1 TD in their 3 losses to run defenses ranked 59th, 56th, and 14th.
Texas A&M has a stiff task though going on the road to play a night game against a very good defense. Their is one spot that the Aggies might have an advantage and that’s Kellen Mond. Mond has had some very good games this year including 430 yards passing against Clemson 3 TD’s and 0 INT’s, and against South Carolina before the bye he threw for 353, 1 TD and 0 INT”s vs. South Carolina. Clemson ranks 17th in opposing QB rating, and South Carolina ranks 38th. Miss State ranks 14th, but they have yet to face a QB that can throw the ball with an average opponent QB rating of 78.67. A&M also ranks #3 in the country in special teams to Miss State’s 23rd ranking.
|10-27-18||Kentucky +7.5 v. Missouri||15-14||Win||100||40 h 56 m||Show|
Kentucky +7.5 -120 3.5% play
Kentucky is being completely disrespected here, and that is the one thing that motivates this team more than anything. I don’t really understand the love for Missouri. I get that Kentucky’s QB Terry Wilson threw for 18 yards last week and the strength of MIssouri’s defense is the run defense, but the Kentucky Vanderbilt game was all about getting out with a win. There was 20 mph winds in that game, and Kentucky controlled the line of scrimmage 280 rushing yards to 68.
Missouri has a QB, and Kentucky’s pass defense has been excellent ranking 16th in the country, they also get to the QB ranking 15th in sack %. Drew Lock looked great last week in putting up 60+ points, but that’s just what he does. He dominates poor competition and then he struggles against bowl teams. In his career 21 passing TD’s and 28 INT’s against teams who go to a bowl.
Missouri’s pass defense is a real weakness ranking 104th and 115th in sack %, so I actually expect Terry Wilson could have a decent game here and create some balance for Kentucky. If he struggles I don’t think Kentucky hesitates bringing in the backup QB here. Kentucky ranks 13th in explosive plays allowed, and Missouri has struggled in the red zone this year while Kentucky is allowing just 35% TD percentage. Another advantage in favor of Kentucky.
|10-27-18||Georgia v. Florida +7||Top||36-17||Loss||-115||39 h 18 m||Show|
Florida +7 -115 5% NCAAF POD
Georgia has not looked good in the trenches in their two games against top 30 opponents Missouri, and LSU. Though they won at MIssouri they gave up 4 rushing TD’s, and were lucky to have been +2 TO margin. They lost at LSU 2 weeks ago at the line of scrimmage as LSU rushed for 275 yards compared to Georgia’s 113. Florida hosted LSU and beat them by out rushing them 215 to 180. I really don’t see much separating these two teams other than the QB position which I give an edge to Jake Fromm, but he has a ton of pressure on him this week with a freshman QB breathing down his back all year long.
The big question here is whether or not Florida can run the ball? I believe the answer is yes, and I think they will outgain Georgia on the ground in this game. Florida has faced tougher run defenses #63 compared to #73 for Georgia in run defense, and their offense has faced a much tougher run defense schedule facing #56 run defense on average compared to Georgia who has faced #70. Georgia ranks 73rd in yards per carry allowed, and hasn’t faced a ton of teams that excel at running the ball. Florida ranks 28th in running the ball and 56th at stopping the run, but they have been getting better with every week.
I mentioned the QB play of Fromm being the one advantage that Georgia had, but Georgia is not the same team as last year. They have not protected Fromm or given him much time as they rank 81st in sack % allowed and that’s with facing an average pass rush ranking 83.5. Here Florida comes in ranking 18th at getting to the QB. Feleipe Franks for Florida has taken care of the ball and the offensive line has done a great job at protecting him as they rank 32nd in pass protection efficiency and will go up against a Georgia defense that ranks 107th at getting to the QB.
Florida also has the edge in special teams, and Georgia’ spunting game has been very shaky this season which could lead to a field position edge for Florida. Florida also ranks 11th in TO margin having faced an average opponent ranking 62 in TO margin. Compare that with Georgia who ranks 41st having faced an opponent ranking 75th. More than likely that tells us that Florida should win the TO battle if anything, and that makes sense as they have been really good at getting to the QB.
|10-27-18||Wisconsin v. Northwestern +4.5||17-31||Win||100||36 h 55 m||Show|
Northwestern +4.5 2.2% play
Wisconsin really has not proven anything to be a big road favorite against a division opponent fighting to get into the division lead. Northwestern is always a solid under dog, now 8-0 ATS in their last 8. Wisconsin looked back to normal last week as they pounded Illinois 49-20, but I would argue otherwise, and we saw Northwestern look awful in a 18-15 win over Rutgers.
Northwestern has faced the #30 ranked schedule compared to Wisconsin who has faced #77. They lose at home to BYU, and that looks much worse now. They were losing in the 4th quarter at Iowa and were lucky to come back and win by 11 in misleading fashion. Their big win over Nebraska also misleading. This Northwestern team played Michigan much tighter in a 20-17 loss at home, and they went on the road and beat Michigan State by 10 points. Their is something to be said about a team that plays a different brand of football than anyone else in the Big Ten. Northwestern throws the ball 60% of the time with their QB Clayton Thorson who is likely heading to the NFL next year. Thorson threw 3 TD passes last year against Wisconsin on the road, and this year he goes up against a Wisconsin secondary that is really banged up. The weather looks ideal with only 6mph winds and no rain. Thorson should have a big day and Northwestern’s defense which is always a strength has played much better at home this year.
The big question for Northwestern is whether or not they can stop Wisconsin’s running game that ranks 63rd in yards per carry, and I would say yes. Northwestern allowing 1.75 yards per carry less at home, and facing a one dimensional offense. Alex Hornibrook is just not a good QB. I really don’t know why he gets as much credit as he does, but Northwestern’s secondary should probably force a few turnovers in this game and if they do they’ll have a shot to pull the upset.
|10-27-18||Army v. Eastern Michigan||37-22||Win||100||36 h 49 m||Show|
Army pk 3.3% play
For Eastern Michigan this is their 9th game in 9 weeks, and the idea that Army looks ahead to the Air Force game is just not true. They beat Temple and Wake Forest the last two years the week before Air Force, and MOnken has called Eastern Michigan one of the best teams they’ve played all year.
Actually Eastern Michigan is much like Army in the fact that they play hard, but Eastern Michigan has not yet figured out how to win the close games while Army has been very good in one possession games over their last 20. Monken is a very underrated coach for Army and he has this team rolling right now. He will sell the poor effort last week in the 4th quarter and Army will get off to a great start and dominate time of possession.
We all know Army will run 88% of the time, and they are going up against an Eastern Michigan run defense ranking 101st in yards per carry allowed. In last year’s matchup they allowed Army to roll for 413 yards. Army’s starting QB is ? for this game, but the Sophomore Cam Thomas should be able to step in no problem as this is a system, and Thomas had 137 yards rushing a week ago vs. Miami Ohio defense that ranks 30th against the run. Army also enjoys edges in penalties per game by 3/game, special teams, and third downs where they are +23% compared to Eastern Michigan who is -6% allowing 41% third down conversions on defense.
|10-25-18||Toledo v. Western Michigan -4.5||51-24||Loss||-110||2 h 32 m||Show|
Western Michigan -5 2.2% play
This is a bad spot for Toledo, who is down this year. They have a quick turnaround (played Saturday) and have to go on the road after their defense was on the field for 96 plays, and 40 of the 60 minutes. Western Michigan who loves to run the ball should be able to control this game, as they rank 27th in yards per carry going up against a Toledo defense that ranks 111th in defending the run. Western Michigan is also pretty good throwing the ball ranking 38th in QB rating while Toledo has not been able to protect their QB ranking 11th in QB Sack % allowed. That's not a good situation to be in going on the road against a team that ranks 42nd in sack %.
|10-23-18||Troy v. South Alabama +13||Top||38-17||Loss||-110||12 h 29 m||Show|
South Alabama +13
Does this sound like a team you want to back as a double digit road favorite? In their last game with a backup QB that they are with for the rest of the season they lost 3 TO’s, had 10 penalties, and went 4-15 on third down. Troy has played on average a 114th ranked defense, and they are still holding onto their victory at Nebraska which looks less and less impressive, and Nebraska was without their starting QB Adrian Martinez and their backup is a huge downgrade.
Meanwhile South Alabama comes in under the radar and have faced a very challenging schedule, but with 10 days to prepare and a weak opponent last time out to get their confidence going should be in good position to pull the upset. Take a look at South Alabama’s schedule they have already played 4 road games, and they have played 3 of the best group of 5 teams in the nation in App State, Memphis, and LA Tech. They then had to face a triple option Georgia Southern team in their 3rd straight road game. I am not surprised this team struggled one bit. Their offense has struggled ranking 127th in yards per play, but that has come against an average defensive opponent ranked #49.5 in defense compare that with Troy’s 114thranking and QB Evan Orth should have a quality game here. Orth is completing 67.2% of his passes has 7 TD passes and 3 INT’s on the year. South Alabama’s strength of schedule is the hidden gem here. They look like this awful 2-5 team facing a 5-2 team, but have faced teams who are top 50 in a lot of categories. They have also faced on average a top 50 YPP offense at 49.67, opponent rushing ypc of 49.33, an opponent QB Rating of 50.33, an average QB rating defense of 50.33.
|10-21-18||Nevada +3 v. Hawaii||40-22||Win||100||34 h 43 m||Show|
Nevada +3 3.3% Play
This is Hawaii's 9th straight game traveling back and forth from Island can take it's toll. Here they get a Nevada team hungry for a win after facing the conference's two best teams in Fresno and Boise State. They got their QB Ty Gangi back in last week's game against Boise State and he looked excellent throwing for more than 300 yards. Nevada here has by far the better defense when we look at the fact that they rank 72nd in yards per play allowed facing an average offense ranking 67.8 in yards per play. Compare that with Hawaii who ranks 102nd and has faced opponents ranking 102.5 in yards per play on offense.
Both of these teams want to pass the ball, but it may come down to the running game, and Nevada has a distinct advantage here. Nevada ranks 53rd in rushing yards per carry and will go up against a defense that ranks 83rd, that defense has not seen many teams that can run the ball on average 91st in ypc. On the flip side Nevada is 38th in stopping the run. I think this will allow Nevada to get Hawaii into some third and longs, and they have a good enough pass rush to give Hawaii issues and force some TO's. Hawaii QB's have been sacked 21 times this year and they rank 77th in sack % allowed. That has come against very weak pass rushes ranking on average 93rd in sack %. Nevada comes in at #59, led by NFL Prospect Malik Reed, 5 sacks on the year. There is a reason why Hawaii ranks 100th in TO margin. They haven't been able to protect McDonald, and that's been against poor defenses. On average Hawaii has faced a defense ranking 88 in yards per play, 100th in opposing QB rating. Add it all up and I think Nevada will be a live dog.
|10-20-18||Vanderbilt v. Kentucky -11.5||Top||7-14||Loss||-110||44 h 51 m||Show|
If you have been following me this year you know I am a fan of Kentucky backing them against Florida and Texas A&M. This is a great matchup for Kentucky coming off a bye where Vanderbilt is off back to back physical games in SEC play where they were dominated at the line of scrimmage. Kentucky will also get another night game at home, and the weather favors their style of play as there will be 15mph winds.
Vanderbilt’s strength is their QB play of Kyle Shurmur as they throw the ball 53% of the time. I don’t see him being as effective here. For one he is going up against the 8th ranked pass defense, and 29th ranked pass rush, but the wind will keep this game more on the ground. Vanderbilt is 58th in yards per carry and have faced a run defense ranked 58.3 on average. Here they face the #22 defense which has been tested having faced #48.4.
Kentucky, off the bye and not only do they have a dominating running back in Benny Snell, but they have a mobile QB in Terry Wilson which is something that Vanderbilt has not faced this year. Kentucky will run the ball over 65% of the time which is their average so their game plan in the weather won’t have to change much. They’ll go up against a Vanderbilt run defense that ranks 86th. This running game that is 16th in yards per carry is well tested having faced #54.8 on average.
These two have common opponents in SEC play and Vanderbilt played both of those games at home against Florida and South Carolina. It’s obvious that Kentucky is the better team as they outgained those two opponents by 120 yards while Vanderbilt was outgained by 490 yards, and Kentucky has to play Florida on the road. Vanderbilt also -24% success rate in the Florida game last week so their 10 point loss was actually really misleading as they should have lost by more.
Vanderbilt has struggled big time in conference play, and we are still getting value here on Kentucky in my opinion who should control the line of scrimmage. VAnderbilt in 3 SEC games between Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina were outgained on the ground 261-112 on average. Compare that with Kentucky who faced Florida Miss State, South Carolina and they outgained them on the ground on average of 242-104. Expect 300+ yards on the ground for Kentucky as they wear out Vanderbilt in the second half and win this one by 3TD’s.
|10-20-18||Mississippi State +6.5 v. LSU||3-19||Loss||-110||43 h 22 m||Show|
Miss State +6.5 2.2% play
Both of these teams are pretty similar in the fact that they want to run the ball and try to do so at 60% of the time. Neither team has an efficient QB, and that makes the running game that much more important. I think MIss State has the advantage being fresher off the bye while LSU just played 3 SEC games in a row with the last 2 coming against physical opponents Georgia and Florida. LSU’s run defense which will be the key here showed some vulnerabilities against Florida where they gave up over 200 yards. Miss State held Florida to 118 yards. The only team able to run the ball on Miss State was Kentucky, and Kentucky has a much better rushing attack and a mobile QB in Terry Wilson. Nick Fitzgerald was finally turned loose with 20+ carries against Auburn, and since they had the bye I see the same thing here as Fitzgerald has to be fresh. Nobody ran for more rushing yards against LSU last year than MIss State who ran for 285 on them.
Let’s take a look at the how LSU and Miss State stack up in the running game. Miss State ranking 6th in yards per carry have faced an average opponent defensive ypc of 68.4, here they face LSU’s #48th rank, and LSU’s rushing defense has only faced an average opponent ranking 55th in rushing offense. This is the best rushing offense they have seen all year. LSU’s rushing ranks 43rd, and they have gotten that done against #58 defense, and here they’ll place a battle tested MIss State run defense that ranks 42nd. Miss State has faced a bevy of quality rushing offenses ranking on average 31.6. When we look at their loss to Kentucky we can see Kentucky is far better, and has faced a far tougher rushing offense/rushing defense schedule than LSU. It’s understandable that Miss State struggled in that game. Miss State’s defense has the front speed that can set the edge led by MOntez Sweat. Although Joe Burrow ran for 60+ yards last week he is not a threat, and the majority of that came on one play.
I also expect Miss State will be able to throw a few new wrinkles into this game off a bye. Joe Moorehead also a first year head coach and that bye is always more valuable to a first year coach following the bye.
|10-20-18||Wake Forest +10.5 v. Florida State||17-38||Loss||-110||40 h 55 m||Show|
Wake Forest +10.5 4.4% play
What has Florida State proven to show that they should be a double digit favorite? They nearly upset Miami, I get that, but they only had 200 yards in that game of total offense. Florida State should have lost to an awful Louisville team teh week before that, and they were dominated on the road against a slightly above average Syracuse team. Meanwhile Wake Forest comes off a game where they were embarrassed by a hungry Clemson team. They too are off a bye, and have played Florida State well and tight the last few years.
Wake Forest, by far has faced the stronger schedule having faced Notre Dame, Clemson, and BC. Florida State has one of the worst offensive lines in the country. They have faced an average run defense ranking 95.4, and they rank 128th in the country in rushing yards per carry. Many will point out WAke Forest’s 126th ranking, but they have faced a lot of great rushing attacks thus far ranking on average 61st in yards per carry. They have only given up 2 rushing TD’s all season if you take away the Notre Dame & Clemson games where they gave up 12.
Offensively I think Wake Forest has balance and their up-tempo style should allow them to move the ball and score points in this game. The Florida State defense is good vs. the run, but they have faced teams that can’t run the ball, and they are giving up a ton of yards on defense ranking 51st in QB rating defense they have faced on average a QB rated offense ranking 88.4. This game means much more to Wake Forest who wants to get to a bowl game Dave Clawson 16-11-1 ATS following a SU loss. Meanwhile Florida State has a game against Clemson at home next.
|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.
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