For any resources you could need like sports handicapping odds, handicapping stats, schedules, or handicappers free picks and tips please click on any of the links on the right hand side of this page.
CLICK A CAPPERS NAME TO SEE THEIR PREMIUM DAILY EXPERT PLAYS + PREDICTIONS!
WANT FREE SPORTS PICKS to your inbox? | Newsletter Sign-UP!
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|10-12-19||Penn State v. Iowa +3.5||Top||17-12||Loss||-108||72 h 10 m||Show|
25* Big Ten GAME OF THE YEAR on Iowa +3.5
The Iowa Hawkeyes finally got the humbling they needed last week on the road at Michigan. They lost that game 10-3 as their offense gave the game away. They committed 4 turnovers, including 3 interceptions from senior QB Nathan Stanley. Stanley is the kind of QB I trust to bounce back from such a bad performance. He still has a 60-to-19 TD/INT ratio for his career.
Now the Hawkeyes return home where they are 3-0 and winning by 33.0 PPG. This will be a night game for the Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium, which is one of the best atmospheres in the entire country. They have knocked off Michigan and Ohio State in recent years outright as home underdogs. In fact, Iowa has covered 70% of the time as a home underdog since 2000 in 22 attempts.
And Iowa wants revenge from a pair of tough losses to Penn State over the last two years. They lost 19-21 at home to Penn State as 12.5-point dogs in 2017. And last year they lost 24-30 at Penn State as 5-point dogs in a game they dominated everywhere but the scoreboard. And those were better Penn State teams than this 2019 version.
Yes, the Nittany Lions are 5-0, but they are a fraudulent 5-0. They have played four home games and just one road game at Maryland, which is essentially a home game for them as they had a ton of fans there. They have played the 86th-toughest schedule in the country. And that easy schedule is a big reason why I’m fading them this week.
The Nittany Lions were outgained by 72 yards at home by Buffalo in a very misleading final. They were also outgained at home by Pittsburgh in a lackluster 17-10 win. Pittsburgh is a poor man’s Iowa. This will be by far their toughest test of the season. Iowa has already played two very difficult games on the road against Iowa State and Michigan, so they are battle-tested.
Iowa has one of the best defenses in the country giving up just 8.8 points and 254 yards per game. The Nittany Lions are 0-17 ATS in their last 17 games vs. teams who give up 12 or fewer points per game. Penn State is 6-23 ATS in its last 29 road games after allowing 9 points or less last game. Iowa is 20-6 ATS in its last 26 vs. good offensive teams that score 37 or more points per game.
Plays against any team (Penn State) - after beating the spread by 40 or more points total in their last five games, a top-level team winning 80% or more of their games when playing a good team that wins 60% to 80% of their games are 42-13 (76.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Iowa Saturday.
|10-12-19||Nebraska +7.5 v. Minnesota||7-34||Loss||-109||72 h 8 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Nebraska +7.5
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are probably the most fraudulent 5-0 team in the country. Four of their five wins have come by 7 points or less, and the lone exception was a 23-point home win over Illinois last week in which the Fighting Illini were decimated by injuries. So, getting 7.5 points here with Nebraska is a tremendous value considering this is easily the toughest team they have faced yet.
Minnesota’s five wins have come against South Dakota State, Fresno State, Georgia Southern, Purdue and Illinois. They could easily be 2-3 instead of 5-0, too. They have played the 84th-toughest schedule in the country. I think they get a reality check here Saturday against the Cornhuskers, who are in must-win mode if they want to win the Big Ten West.
Nebraska is 4-2, but should be 5-1. They blew a 17-0 lead at Colorado and lost 31-34. Their other loss came to Ohio State, who may be the best team in the country. It’s a Nebraska team that has put up good numbers averaging 5.9 yards per play on offense and giving up only 5.1 yards per play on defense. And they’ve played the much tougher schedule having already played Ohio State.
I realize QB Adrian Martinez is questionable, but that is factored into the line. And it’s not like Martinez has been a world beater. Nebraska has a nice safety blanked in backup QB Noah Vedral, who spent time with Scott Frost at UCF and really knows the playbook. Vedral led the game-winning drive against Northwestern last week after Martinez left with injury. Not to mention another backup in Luke McCaffrey, Christian’s brother, is one of the top athletes on the team. The Huskers will be just fine if Martinez cannot go.
Minnesota had 239 more yards than Illinois last week, a banged up Illinois team. Well, Nebraska had 391 more yards than Illinois when they played them on the road earlier this season, which shows they are probably the better of these two teams, yet they are catching more than a touchdown. I simply believe Nebraska is undervalued right now after starting 1-5 ATS on the season, and they had a big second half of the season last year, which is something they can fall back on this year too.
Nebraska is 30-10 ATS in its last 40 games after failing to cover four or five of its last six games coming in. The Huskers are 6-0 ATS off three straight conference games over the last two seasons. Nebraska is 21-10-1 ATS in its last 32 road games. The Golden Gophers are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games following an ATS win. Roll with Nebraska Saturday.
|10-12-19||San Jose State v. Nevada -2||38-41||Win||100||69 h 37 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Nevada -2
I love the spot for the Nevada Wolf Pack in this game. They are coming off a bye week following an embarrassing home loss to Hawaii. Now everyone has written them off, and I have no doubt they were extra focused these last two weeks to correct their mistakes. They are primed for their best effort of the season at home against San Jose State this weekend now.
That’s saying a lot considering they already beat Purdue 34-31 at home, and that was back when Purdue was healthy and good. Their two losses have come to Oregon and Hawaii, who are both two very quality teams. Now they take a step back in class here against San Jose State, a team they should be able to handle.
San Jose State is getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers due to beating Arkansas 31-24 on the road. The other two wins came at home over Northern Colorado and New Mexico as favorites, which weren’t impressive. They also lost at home by 18 against a mediocre Tulsa team, and were blown out on the road 24-41 at Air Force. That was a 10-41 game against Air Force before they tacked on two garbage touchdowns late.
The bye week was the perfect time to name Malik Henry their new starting quarterback. Henry was the No. 3 ranked QB coming out of high school and has transferred to Nevada from Florida State. It’s a surprise he didn’t win the job from the start, and he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Having two weeks to get accustomed to the offense due to the bye week will be a huge advantage for him.
Nevada is 8-0 SU & 7-1 ATS in its last eight home meetings with San Jose State. It is winning these games by an average of 22.6 points per game. Getting the Wolf Pack as only 2-point favorites here is an absolute gift from oddsmakers. Nevada is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 home games after scoring 14 points or less last game. The Wolf Pack are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a bye week.
Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (San Jose State) - off a home win over a conference rival, winning between 51% and 60% of their games on the season are 30-6 (83.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Nevada Saturday.
|10-12-19||Alabama v. Texas A&M +17||47-28||Loss||-110||68 h 17 m||Show|
15* Alabama/Texas A&M CBS No-Brainer on Texas A&M +17
The Texas A&M Aggies are treating this game as their Super Bowl. They already have two losses on the season, so for them to really call this a successful year, they need to upset Alabama. Look for them to put forth their biggest effort of the season at home here Saturday with the 12th man behind them at Kyle Field.
Yes, Texas A&M has two losses, but they were competitive in both. They lost to Clemson 10-24 and to Auburn 20-28. Both teams are ranked in the Top 12 in the country. If they can play with both of those teams, they should be able to stay within 17 points of Alabama at home here Saturday.
Obviously, the Aggies have played a tough schedule having already had to play Clemson and Auburn. Alabama has played the much easier schedule as the toughest team they have faced is South Carolina, which is ranked 38th in the Sagarin ratings. Their other four wins have come against Duke, New Mexico State, Southern Miss and Ole Miss.
This Alabama defense has shown vulnerability due to injuries. They gave up 23 points and 459 total yards to South Carolina and 31 points and 476 total yards to Ole Miss. It’s safe to say they don’t have the same lockdown defense they have had in years’ past. Kellen Mond and company should be able to score with Alabama and take advantage of their soft defense.
Texas A&M has been able to play Alabama tougher than most teams in recent years. Indeed, six of the last seven meetings have been decided by 22 points or fewer. Jimbo Fisher will have his players ready for the fight of their lives this weekend to try and turn their season around. Plus, defensively the Aggies are elite, giving up just 17.8 points per game, 299.8 yards per game and 4.7 yards per play this season. I would argue they have the better defense this year.
Texas A&M is 8-1 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 62% or better over the last three seasons. Nick Saban is 9-18 ATS when the total is 56.5 to 63 as the coach of Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a win. The Aggies are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 home games. Take Texas A&M Saturday.
|10-12-19||Michigan State +11 v. Wisconsin||Top||0-38||Loss||-115||68 h 9 m||Show|
20* Michigan State/Wisconsin Big Ten No-Brainer on Michigan State +11
The Michigan State Spartans are way undervalued right now. They are coming off a 10-34 loss at Ohio State, and everyone seems to have given up on this team now. This is exactly the type of game I like backing the Spartans in as head coach Mark Dantonio always seems to get his team to respond. It’s a great time to ‘buy low’ on the Spartans this week.
Michigan State should be 5-1 this season with its only loss on the road at Ohio State. And Ohio State is making everyone look bad and may be the best team in the country. I say they should be 5-1 because they have outgained five of six opponents this year by an average of 160.4 yards per game. Their 7-10 loss to Arizona State was a fluke because they outgained the Sun Devils by 188 yards.
Wisconsin is overvalued due to being 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS this season. Now they are laying too many points this week against a Michigan State team that I believe is close to their equal. It’s exactly the type of matchup that these teams love, and so do teams like Iowa and Northwestern in the Big Ten West. Games that are expected to be physical, low scoring games are what these teams live for.
Favorites of more than 7 points with a total of 43 or less are covering just 43% of the time over the last 17 seasons, a sample size of more than 400 games. Favorites have a hard time covering when it’s expected to be a low-scoring game.
Plus, these teams now have a common opponent in Northwestern. Wisconsin beat Northwestern only 24-15 at home despite getting two defensive touchdowns. Michigan State beat Northwestern 31-10 on the road. Those results against a common opponent give me a lot of confidence that the Spartans can give the Badgers a run for their money, possibly pulling off the upset.
That 24-point loss to Ohio State also sets Michigan State up for a great situation. Michigan State is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games off a double-digit loss with its only loss coming by a field goal. We saw how well the Spartans bounced back off that fluke loss to Arizona State with their 21-point win at Northwestern. And the Spartans will be looking to salvage their season with an upset victory here Saturday.
Michigan State is 5-4 SU & 6-3 ATS in its last nine meetings with Wisconsin. The Badgers have only beaten the Spartans by double-digits once in the last nine meetings. Wisconsin is 0-6 ATS after gaining 300 or more rushing yards last game over the past two seasons. Dantonio is 9-1 ATS in road games with a total of 42 or less as the coach of Michigan State.
Plays against any team (Wisconsin) - after beating the spread by 40 or more points total in their last five games, a top level team winning at least 80% of their games playing a good team that wins 60% to 80% of their games are 42-13 (76.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Michigan State Saturday.
|10-12-19||Oklahoma v. Texas +11||34-27||Win||100||65 h 43 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma/Texas FOX Early ANNIHILATOR on Texas +11
The Oklahoma Sooners are overvalued after a 5-0 start against a very soft schedule. They haven’t played a team ranked higher than 43rd in the Sagarin ratings. The best team they have played thus far is Texas Tech, and two of their other premier games were against Houston and UCLA. The other two wins have come against South Dakota and Kansas.
Conversely, Texas has played the 16-toughest schedule in the country. Their 38-45 loss to LSU is looking better and better by the week. They have also beaten Oklahoma State, West Virginia, LA Tech and Rice thus far. I think the fact that the Longhorns are battle-tested is a huge advantage for them heading into this Red River Rivalry.
Texas always seems to play Oklahoma tough. Texas is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings with only one loss coming by double-digits, and that was a 12-point defeat. The Longhorns have covered those games by an average of 11.5 points per game. And we all know that Tom Herman loves playing the role of underdog. In fact, Herman is 13-3 ATS as an underdog as the coach of Texas.
Jalen Hurts has been up against a schedule of very soft defenses, and he’ll finally get some resistance here against Texas. His accuracy as a passer will finally get tested here. And the Longhorns have been good at stopping the run, holding opponents to just 117 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry. They will make Hurts try and beat them with his arm, and I’m doubting he’ll be able to do it.
Texas is 6-0 ATS in road games after playing a game where 60 or more total points were scored over the last three seasons. Herman is 11-2 ATS vs. good rushing teams that average 5.25 or more yards per carry in all games he has coached. The Longhorns are 7-2 ATS in their last nine neutral site games, while the Sooners are just 4-9 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games. Bet Texas Saturday.
|10-12-19||South Carolina +25 v. Georgia||Top||20-17||Win||100||65 h 39 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE MONTH on South Carolina +25
For starters, I love the fact that South Carolina is coming off a bye week. This has given them extra time to get healthy, and nobody needed it more than their two best offensive players in QB Ryan Hilinski and RB Rico Dowdle. Both are now probably and expected to play in this game against rival Georgia.
The Gamecocks bounced back nicely going into the bye with a 24-7 home win over Kentucky. They dominated that game by outgaining the Wildcats by 175 yards in the win. Hilinski has been impressive competing 61% for 912 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. Dowdle has rushed for 370 yards and four scores while averaging 6.6 per carry.
Georgia is coming off a misleading 43-14 win at Tennessee last week. This was a 15-point game with only eight minutes to go against a very bad Tennessee team that might be the worst in the SEC. But Georgia tacked on two touchdowns in the final minutes to cover, including a 69-yard fumble recovery for a score. It was such a bad beat for Tennessee backers that it ended up on SVP bad beats. I think Georgia is overvalued because they covered that game.
South Carolina always seems to play Georgia tough. In fact, the Gamecock’s have only lost once by more than 24 points to the Bulldogs in the last 42 meetings. That’s a 41-1 system backing South Carolina pertaining to this 25-point spread. Enough said. Take South Carolina Saturday.
|10-11-19||Virginia +2.5 v. Miami-FL||Top||9-17||Loss||-109||48 h 19 m||Show|
20* Virginia/Miami ESPN No-Brainer on Virginia +2.5
Wrong team favored here. The Virginia Cavaliers are a legit ACC title contender this season and have been the best team in the Coastal to this point. They will prove they are the class of the Coastal with a road win at hapless Miami Friday night.
The Cavaliers are 4-1 this season with wins over Florida State and Pittsburgh. Their only loss came on the road at Notre Dame in a game they led at halftime, but five turnovers did them in in a misleading 20-35 loss. The Cavaliers were only outgained by 5 yards by the Fighting Irish in the loss.
Miami is already regretting hiring the inexperienced Manny Diaz. The Hurricanes are off to a 2-3 start this season with their only wins coming at home over Bethune-Cookman and Central Michigan. And even that win against Central Michigan was ugly as they won 17-12 as 30.5-point favorites while getting held to just 301 yards of total offense.
The three losses have come against the best three teams they played. They lost to Florida on a neutral, to UNC on the road and to Virginia Tech at home. That 35-42 home loss to the Hokies last year was real poor when you consider VA Tech was coming off a 10-45 home loss to Duke. It was a Hokies team that many feel quit on their head coach, but they jumped out to a 28-0 lead and never really looked back.
There’s going to be a lot of people backing Miami in this game that say the Hurricanes dominated the box score in that game. While that’s true, you have to factor in that VA Tech got up 28-0, and the Hurricanes were in the hurry up the rest of the way. Of course they are going to put up big numbers against the Hokies’ prevent defense. There’s a reason N’Kosi Perry was beat out by Jarren Williams at quarterback in the offseason. And I don’t think Perry is going to have much success against this vaunted Virginia defense.
This is a Virginia defense that is only allowing 21.4 points, 275 yards per game and 4.3 yards per play. They are holding opponents to 78 yards per game and 0.9 yards per play less than their season averages. Virginia also had the better QB in Bryce Perkins, a dual-threat who have accounted for 10 total touchdowns this year while completing 67% of his passes.
Miami is 3-15 ATS in its last 18 off an upset loss to a conference rival as a favorite of 6 points or more. The Hurricanes are 1-8 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. Miami is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 October games. The underdog is 13-2 ATS in the last 15 meetings. Virginia is 4-0 ATS in its last four trips to Miami. Bet Virginia Friday.
|10-09-19||Appalachian State v. UL-Lafayette -108||Top||17-7||Loss||-108||9 h 12 m||Show|
25* Sun Belt GAME OF THE YEAR on Louisiana-Lafayette PK
I absolutely love the situation for the Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns tonight. They lost both meetings with Appalachian State last year, losing 27-17 in the regular season and 19-30 in the Sun Belt Championship Game. They were only outgained by 44 yards in the first meeting and actually outgained the Mountaineers by one yard in the title game.
It’s safe to say the Rajin’ Cajuns want some revenge tonight. Both of those meetings were on the road at Appalachian State. Now, the Rajin’ Cajuns get them at home this time around. It will be a rowdy atmosphere at Cajun Field for this week night game that has huge Sun Belt title implications.
Appalachian State isn’t as strong as last year, especially after losing head coach Scott Satterfield to Louisville. They have played the 143rd-toughest schedule in the country, which is a big reason why they are off to a 4-0 start. Three of their four wins have come at home, and their lone road win came at UNC 34-31 against a Tar Heels team that was in a clear flat spot.
Lafayette is the real deal this season. It is off to a 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS start as oddsmakers have failed to realize how good this team really is. They have covered the spread by a combined 73 points during their 5-0 ATS start, or by an average of 14.6 points per game. Their only loss came on the road at Mississippi State 28-38 as 18.5-point dogs. They should be favored in this game Wednesday night.
Lafayette is putting up elite numbers this year, too, to prove that this start is no fluke. They are averaging 44.4 points, 540.2 yards per game and 7.6 yards per play on offense. They are only giving up 21.4 points, 345.2 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play on defense. They are outscoring opponents by 23.0 points per game, and they are outgaining them by 195.0 yards per game and 2.5 yards per play.
Looking at the yardage totals for Appalachian State, it’s easy to see that their 4-0 start is very fraudulent, especially when you consider how easy their schedule has been. The Mountaineers are gaining 429.2 yards per game on offense and giving up 420.0 yards per game on defense. They are only outgaining opponents by 9.2 yards per game on the season.
Lafayette is 17-3 ATS in its last 20 games after gaining 475 or more total yards per game in their last three games coming in. The Rajin’ Cajuns are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Lafayette is 5-0 ATS in its last five games following a win. Bet Louisiana-Lafayette Wednesday.
|10-05-19||Liberty v. New Mexico State +5||20-13||Loss||-109||77 h 48 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on New Mexico State +5
You would be hard-pressed to find a team that has played a tougher schedule than New Mexico State has to this point. The Aggies have played the 15th-toughest schedule in the country according to Sagarin, and that’s a big reason why they are 0-5 this season. They have been a 17-plus point underdog in four of their five games, and a dog in all five.
They opened the season with road losses to Washington State and Alabama. They have played two of the best teams in the Mountain West in San Diego State and Fresno State at home. And their most winnable game was as 4-point dogs at New Mexico in a 52-55 loss in a huge rivalry game. They have managed to go 3-2 ATS, so they have exceeded expectations in terms of the spread. And they were competitive in every game as they were only outgained by 68 yards by SDSU, 109 yards by New Mexico and 71 yards by Fresno.
Now, New Mexico State is looking at this home game against Liberty as their best chance to get a victory. They don’t want to let this opportunity slip by, and they are hungry for their first win. They have a three-game road trip coming up at Central Michigan, at Georgia Southern and at Ole Miss after this. No question they have this game circled.
Plus, Liberty and New Mexico State are becoming rivals quickly. They played each other twice last year with the home team winning both meetings. New Mexico State won 49-41 at home as 3-point dogs and racked up 573 total yards in the victory. Liberty won 28-21 at home as 6-point favorites despite getting outgained 396 to 295. New Mexico State outgained Liberty by a total of 158 yards in the two meetings.
I think Liberty comes in overvalued off due to its three-game winning streak. They opened the season with a 24-0 home loss to Syracuse and a 14-35 road loss at Louisiana-Lafayette. But they have reeled off three straight home wins since against a soft schedule in Buffalo, Hampton and New Mexico. They only beat New Mexico 17-10 as 7.5-point home favorites last week.
So, Liberty has played four home games compared to just one road game. They have played the 121st-toughest schedule in the country compared to the 15th-toughest for NMSU. That difference in strength of schedule is the biggest reason I’m on New Mexico State this week. Plus, it’s a must-win game for the Aggies with the brutal schedule they still have ahead with three straight road games next. Bet New Mexico State Saturday.
|10-05-19||California v. Oregon -17.5||Top||7-17||Loss||-110||77 h 47 m||Show|
20* Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Oregon -17.5
The Oregon Ducks are undervalued due to losing to Auburn in their opener. They had that game in hand but allowed a big comeback late and lost 21-27 as 4-point dogs. Well, Auburn has gone 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS this season and is clearly one of the best teams in the country, so that loss doesn’t feel too bad now. And the Ducks know they still have a chance to win the Pac-12 and make the four-team playoff. They have been and will be motivated for style points the rest of the way.
Oregon has gone on to dominate in their three games since that loss. They beat Nevada 77-6 as 24-point home favorites, cruised past Montana 35-3, and topped Stanford 21-6 on the road as 10.5-point favorites. They haven’t allow a single touchdown in any of their last three games as this may be the best defense in program history. They are giving up just 10.5 points, 263 yards per game and 3.9 yards per play this season.
Justin Herbert returned this season for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to win the Pac-12. He has been a tremendous leader for this team and is having another monster season this year. Herbert is completing 74.4% of his passes for 1,127 yards with a 14-to-0 TD/INT ratio while averaging 8.7 yards per attempt.
California got off to a fraudulent 4-0 start and was and still is getting too much respect from oddsmakers because of it. This vaunted Cal defense gave up over 500 total yards to Ole Miss two weeks ago and were fortunate to win 28-20. They only beat North Texas 23-17 as 14-point home favorites, the same North Texas team that was just blasted by Houston last week despite the Cougars redshirting their top QB and WR before the game. And last week they were upset 17-24 at home by Arizona State while getting outgained by 120 yards.
Of course, it hurt that Cal QB Chase Garbers had to leave the game with a shoulder injury. Backup QB Devon Modster was forced into action and was terrible, completing 5-of-14 passes for 23 yards with an interception. Now Modster will have to start for them moving forward, and I just don’t see how Cal can score enough points to hang with Oregon. It’s a Cal offense that is only scoring 23.0 points per game this season after averaging just 21.5 points per game last year, and that was with a solid Garbers at QB.
Oregon beat Cal 42-24 on the road last year. Oregon is now 9-1 in the last 10 meetings with eight of those nine wins coming by 16 points or more. Oregon is 11-1 SU & 10-2 ATS in its last 12 home meetings with Cal, winning by an average of 18 points per game. The Ducks are 43-13 ATS in their last 56 games after allowing 3 points or less in the first half last game. Finally, the Ducks have had two full weeks to prepare for Cal, and they are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games off a bye week. Roll with Oregon Saturday.
|10-05-19||Northwestern v. Nebraska -7||10-13||Loss||-117||73 h 54 m||Show|
15* Northwestern/Nebraska FOX No-Brainer on Nebraska -7
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have every reason to be more motivated for this game than any game yet at this point in the season. They were just embarrassed on National TV by Ohio State, which is looking more and more like the best team in the country. And now they want revenge on Northwestern after blowing a big lead to the Wildcats last year.
In fact, the Cornhuskers have now lost in overtime to Northwestern each of the last two seasons. They led 31-21 at Northwestern with under three minutes to play. Northwestern scored 10 points in the final 2:27, including a TD with 12 seconds left to force OT. Then they won it on a field goal in the extra session. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Huskers, and one that certainly have not forgotten.
The Huskers should be 4-1 this season. They blew a 17-0 lead at Colorado in Week 2 for their other loss outside Ohio State. They are clearly improved. Scott Frost is trying to build something big here, which is why I’m not worried about how they’ll come back off that loss to Ohio State. Frost is a prideful guy who has rubbed off on his players and I have no doubt they’ll give a big effort this week.
While the Huskers are improved, Northwestern clearly isn’t the same team that won the Big Ten West last year. The Wildcats are just 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS this season with their only win coming 30-14 at home against a UNLV team that has looked atrocious this season. They also lost to a bad Stanford team 7-17 on the road, were blown out at home by Michigan State 10-31, and lost last week to Wisconsin 15-24.
I was on Northwestern last week as 24-point dogs at Wisconsin. It was a clear flat spot for the Badgers off their huge win over Michigan the previous week. And the Badgers were as flat as a pancake as expected. It was also a good matchup for Northwestern. Pat Fitzgerald’s teams always do better in games that are expected to be physical, low-scoring games. They don’t do as well against teams like Nebraska that can spread you out and use their speed.
This is a dynamic Huskers offense that is putting up 31.8 points, 438 yards per game and 6.1 yards per play. Adrian Martinez has remained healthy this season and is playing well, completing 59.5% of his passes for 1,099 yards with a 7-to-5 TD/INT ratio and 8.7 yards per attempt. Martinez has also rushed for 315 yards and three scores already. The Wildcats will struggle to contain his speed just as they did last year with the Huskers scored 31 points on them.
Northwestern has a putrid offense that won’t be able to keep up with Nebraska. The Wildcats are averaging just 15.5 points, 293 yards per game and 3.9 yards per play this season. QB Hunter Johnson has been a huge disappointment after transferring from Clemson. He also got hurt last week against Wisconsin, and though he’s probable this week, he won’t be 100%.
Nebraska is 16-3 ATS in its last 19 games vs. poor passing teams with a completion percentage of 48% or worse. The Huskers are 7-0 ATS after playing two straight conference games over the last two seasons. Nebraska is 13-3 ATS in its lsat 16 games after failing to cover the spread in four of its last five games coming in. The Huskers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games off a loss. A lot of bettors have given up on the Huskers after their no-show against Ohio State last week, and this is the perfect time to ‘buy low’ on them. Roll with Nebraska Saturday.
|10-05-19||Baylor v. Kansas State -2||Top||31-12||Loss||-107||92 h 58 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Kansas State -2
I think this is a good opportunity to buy low on Kansas State and sell high on Baylor after their performances last week. Kansas State lost by 13 to Oklahoma State and failed to cover the 4-point spread. That was a hungry Cowboys team as they didn’t want to open 0-2 in Big 12 play after a tough loss at Texas. And it’s always tough to win in Stillwater.
Baylor beat Iowa State 23-21 at home outright as 2.5-point dogs last week. A lot of people were on Iowa State in that game, so it’s a result that is giving Baylor a lot of respect. But now this will be just Baylor’s 2nd road game of the season. Their only other road game this year was a lackluster 21-13 win at Rice as 27-point favorites.
Kansas State is coming off a tough two-game road trip at Mississippi State and Oklahoma State. They were certainly happy to get a split there as they upset Mississippi State before losing to the Cowboys. But in their two home games this season, Kansas State has outscored its two opponents 101-14. Fans will be excited for the Big 12 home opener this week with Baylor coming to town.
It’s a good matchup for Kansas State. They have been soft against the run, but Baylor is a team that likes to put the ball in the air. And Kansas State is only giving up 127 passing yards per game, 51.1% completions and 5.4 yards per attempt. I really just think that Baylor is overvalued after starting 4-0 against such a soft schedule. Kansas State is way more battle-tested having already faced Mississippi State and Oklahoma State.
The Wildcats are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games. Kansas State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games off a loss. The Wildcats are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games after failing to cover the spread in their previous game. The Bears are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games after covering the spread in their previous game. Kansas State is 4-1 ATS in its last five home meetings with Baylor. The Wildcats are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games after being out-rushed by 200 or more yards in their previous game. Bet Kansas State Saturday.
|10-05-19||Illinois +14 v. Minnesota||Top||17-40||Loss||-109||72 h 19 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Illinois +14
This is easily the best team that Lovie Smith has had at Illinois. The Fighting Illini returned 17 starters this year. They opened 2-0 with conformable wins over Akron and Connecticut. But they have lost back-to-back heartbreakers to Eastern Michigan by 3 and Nebraska by 4. They are coming off a bye week, which helps them refocus off those two tough losses. And they should put forth a great effort here against Minnesota as a result this week.
Minnesota is a fraudulent 4-0 this season, and that’s why it’s time to sell high on them. All four wins have come by 7 points or less against an easy schedule of South Dakota State, Fresno State, Georgia Southern and Purdue. I expect this one goes down to the wire as well.
Illinois has been terrible the last two seasons, but yet they’ve had Minnesota’s number. They only lost by 7 as 14.5-point road dogs in 2017. And last year they pulled the upset in blowout fashion as 9.5-point home dogs 55-31. The Fighting Illini racked up 646 total yards against Minnesota last year, including 430 rushing.
This will easily be the best rushing attack the Golden Gophers have faced this year. Illinois averages 181 rushing yards per game and 4.6 per carry this season. Minnesota just can’t run the football. They average 116 rushing yards per game and 2.6 per carry despite the soft schedule. They are a one-dimensional passing team, which is why I don’t trust them.
The underdog is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. The Golden Gophers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games off an ATS win. It’s time to sell high on fraudulent, unbeaten Minnesota this week. And they could easily be looking ahead to their showdown with Nebraska next week. The Fighting Illini will give them more of a fight than they bargained for this weekend. Take Illinois Saturday.
|10-05-19||Eastern Michigan v. Central Michigan +6.5||16-42||Win||100||72 h 47 m||Show|
15* MAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Central Michigan +6.5
The Central Michigan Chippewas are improving rapidly under former Florida head coach Jim McElwain. He was one of the better hires of the offseason, and probably the best hire in the MAC. He is trying to turn the Chippewas into relevance again as this has been one of the better MAC programs throughout the years.
The Chippewas are 2-3 on the season, and all three losses have come on the road against some very good teams in Wisconsin, Miami and Western Michigan. After no-showing at Wisconsin, I was impressed with their last two road performances. They only lost 12-17 at Miami as 30.5-point dogs and held the Hurricanes to just 301 total yards in the defeat. And last week they lost 15-31 at Western Michigan as 16-point dogs in a very misleading final. They actually outgained Western Michigan by 5 yards in the defeat.
Since David Moore took over at quarterback after the loss to Wisconsin, this Chippewas offense has taken off. Moore has thrown for 854 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in three starts since taking over. Plus, Central Michigan has dominated in its two home games this season, beating Albany 38-21 as 13.5-point favorites and topping Akron 45-24 as 2.5-point favorites.
Eastern Michigan has played a very soft schedule, and all of their wins have been close. Yes, they are 3-1, but they only beat Coastal Carolina by 7, Illinois by 3 and Central Connecticut State by 5. They also lost by 21 at Kentucky. That 5-point win over Central Connecticut State only came after they blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in the final seconds. They were 33-point favorites in that game, so it was an awful effort and one that shows they are extremely vulnerable. They have no business being nearly touchdown road favorites here.
Central Michigan is 5-2 SU & 5-2 ATS in its last seven meetings with Eastern Michigan. The home team has won four straight meetings in this series. Eastern Michigan is 10-23 ATS in its last 33 road games off a home win. Chris Creighton is 2-9 ATS off two or more consecutive overs as the coach of Eastern Michigan. The Eagles are 12-27 ATS in their last 39 games following a win. The Chippewas are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Take Central Michigan Saturday.
|10-05-19||TCU v. Iowa State -3||24-49||Win||100||90 h 22 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Iowa State -3
The Iowa State Cyclones feel like they should be 4-0. They blew late leads against both Iowa at home and Baylor on the road in the closing minutes. They lost those two games by a combined 3 points. Now, this is a must-win game for them at home Saturday when they host the TCU Horned Frogs as they don’t want to fall to 0-2 in the Big 12. All goals are still in front of this team with a big finish. They started slow last year at 1-3, but rebounded for an 8-5 season. They brought 16 starters back from that team as well.
When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see Iowa State has been much more dominant than is 2-2 record would indicate. The Cyclones are averaging 500.0 yards per game and 7.1 yards per play on offense, and only giving up 352.7 yards per game and 4.6 yards per play on defense. They are outgaining their opponents by 147.3 yards per game and 2.5 yards per play on the year. This is still one of the better teams in the country, but since they are just 2-2 they are getting overlooked now.
TCU has played such a soft schedule and is just 3-1 this season despite playing three home games. They lost at home to SMU 38-41. That’s a good SMU team, but it’s still a bad loss. Their three wins have come against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Purdue and Kansas. And that win over Purdue comes with an asterisk. The Boilermakers were banged up and it was their first game without QB Elijah Sindelar. Plus, TCU was off a bye week, so it was a great spot for the Horned Frogs.
Once again, TCU is a one-dimensional running team, which isn’t going to bode well for them here against Iowa State. The Horned Frogs average 275 rushing yards per game, but they are completing just 52.3% of their passes for 213 passing yards per game despite the easy schedule. Well, Iowa State has been stout against the run, giving up just 119 rushing yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry. They held a really good Iowa rushing attack to just 112 yards on 37 carries, an average of 3.0 yards per carry.
The home team has won three straight and four of the last five meetings in this series. TCU is 0-6 ATS off two consecutive games where they forced one or fewer turnovers over the last two seasons. Iowa State is 7-0 ATS in October games over the last three years. The Cyclones are 6-0 ATS after having lost two of their last three games over the last three seasons. These three trends combine for a perfect 19-0 system backing the Cyclones. Take Iowa State Saturday.
|10-05-19||Purdue +28.5 v. Penn State||7-35||Win||100||69 h 48 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Purdue +28.5
The Penn State Nittany Lions come into this game way overvalued. They are 4-0 and coming off a 59-0 beat down as only 6-point favorites at Maryland, covering the spread by 53 points. Now the betting public is quick to jump on them after that performance, and quick to forget that they were in dog fights with Buffalo and Pittsburgh in their two previous games at home.
Indeed, in Week 3 Penn State actually trailed Buffalo at halftime as 31.5-point favorites. They were outgained by 72 yards by the Bulls in a very misleading final. Then in Week 3, Penn State only beat Pitt 17-10 as 17-point home favorites. The Nittany Lions were also outgained by 7 yards by the Panthers. That’s a Pitt team that lost by 16 at home to Virginia and barely beat Delaware 17-14 at home.
The Nittany Lions clearly got a boost from their bye week in Week 4 and came back and played their best game of the season. They won’t play a better game than they did against Maryland. But now this is a sandwich spot off the National TV win over Maryland, and with the meat of their Big Ten schedule on deck. Penn State could easily be overlooking Purdue and looking ahead to games against Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State the next three weeks. They’d be more than happy to get out with a win against Purdue, but they won’t be concerned with covering this massive 28.5-point spread.
Purdue comes in undervalued after opening the season 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS. Two of their losses came by 7 points or less to Nevada and Minnesota. They also beat Vanderbilt by 18 as 7-point home favorites in their lone cover. And their lone blowout loss came 13-34 at home to TCU in their first game without QB Elijah Sindelar. Plus, TCU was coming off a bye week. It was just a bad spot for them.
I was impressed with the way Purdue was able to hang against Minnesota last week without Sindelar. They only lost 31-38 and racked up 414 total yards on a solid Minnesota defense. Jack Plummer took over for an injured Sindelar early in that one and threw for 245 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Now that he has some experience under his belt, he should only continue to get more comfortable in Jeff Brohm’s explosive offense.
I know WR Rondale Moore is also out after getting injured last game, but he left that game early and only had two receptions for 18 yards. So Plummer is used to playing without him. Certainly these injuries to Sindelar and Moore hurt Purdue, but this line would probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 if both were healthy. Oddsmakers have over-adjusted for these injuries, and the betting public has bet this number up way too high now. It’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Boilermakers, and ’sell high’ on the Nittany Lions.
Penn State is 7-19 ATS in its last 26 home games after covering the spread in three of its last four games coming in. Jeff Brohm is 10-2 ATS vs. good teams that outscore their opponents by 10-plus points per game in his career as a head coach. Brohm is 20-6 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 58% or better in all games as a head coach.
Plays against home favorites (Penn State) - after beating the spread by 35 or more points in their last three games, who are undefeated on the season are 40-14 (74.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Boilermakers are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games following an ATS loss. The Nittany Lions are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win. Bet Purdue Saturday.
|10-05-19||Iowa v. Michigan -3.5||3-10||Win||100||51 h 0 m||Show|
15* Iowa/Michigan FOX No-Brainer on Michigan -3.5
The Michigan Wolverines were 12-point favorites over Iowa when this line came out in the offseason. It has moved nearly 10 points in Iowa’s favor. In my opinion, it’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Wolverines now that everyone has basically given up on them following their loss at Wisconsin two weeks ago. That loss to Wisconsin doesn’t look so bad now with the Badgers blasting everyone they have played to this point.
I know it was Rutgers, but I was impressed with how Michigan came back last week and handled their business following that loss to Wisconsin. They could have easily suffered a hangover after that loss to the Badgers. They didn’t. They beat Rutgers 52-0 and covered as 27-point favorites with ease. Keep in mind Iowa only beat Rutgers 30-0 as 17.5-point home favorites.
And that’s my issue with Iowa is the ease of their schedule to this point. They have played the 110th-toughest schedule in the country. They made easy work of Miami Ohio, Rutgers and Middle Tennessee State at home. In their lone real test, they won 18-17 at Iowa State and were fortunate to win that game. Iowa State outgained Iowa by 105 yards and deserved to win. Michigan is better than Iowa State.
The home team is 6-1 SU in the last seven meetings in this series. Iowa is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog of 7 points or fewer. The Hawkeyes are 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games vs. a team with a winning record. Kirk Ferentz is 13-23 ATS in road games off a win by 21 points or more as the coach of Iowa. Roll with Michigan Saturday.
|10-04-19||Central Florida v. Cincinnati +4.5||Top||24-27||Win||100||53 h 41 m||Show|
20* UCF/Cincinnati AAC ANNIHILATOR on Cincinnati +4.5
The Cincinnati Bearcats are ready to win the AAC this season. The conference goes through UCF, which has won it each of the last two years. But their run comes to an end this year, and it starts with losing at Cincinnati here Friday night in front of what will be a raucous home crowd at Nippert Stadium.
The loss at Ohio State for Cincinnati doesn’t look too bad now. Ohio State is blasting everyone. And the Bearcats have handled their business in impressive fashion in their other three games, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS. They beat UCLA 24-14 at home as 2.5-point favorites, covered as 17.5-point home favorites in a 35-13 win over Miami Ohio, and blasted a good Marshall team 52-14 as 4-point road favorites.
It’s very impressive how well the Bearcats have responded following that loss to Ohio State with back-to-back blowout wins over Miami Ohio and Marshall. Their defense is borderline elite, allowing just 20.7 points per game, 297 yards per game and 4.7 yards per play. Their defense is holding opposing offenses to 11.3 points per game, 89 yards per game and 1.1 yards per play less than their season averages. This will easily be the best defense UCF has faced to date.
UCF has become a huge public team because they’ve been so good against the spread over the past three seasons. And they opened up this season covering their first three games in wins over Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic and Stanford. But they have failed to cover the last two weeks as their lines have been inflated. They lost outright to Pittsburgh 34-35 on the road as 10-point favorites. And they failed to cover as 42.5-point favorites in a 35-point win over lowly UConn.
Without question, Cincinnati has played the much more difficult schedule this year. The Bearcats have played the 33rd-toughest schedule in the country. The Knights have played the 96th-toughest schedule based on the Sagarin ratings. Their one loss came to Pittsburgh, which was blasted at home by Virginia by 16 and also barely beat Delaware at home 17-14 last week.
It’s also worth noting that UCF had that dream crusher loss to Pittsburgh. This is a team that lost just one game over the previous two seasons combined and were at least in the playoff discussion. But now with that loss at Pitt they have no shot to make the playoff. I question how motivated they are going to be the rest of the way because of it. The Bearcats are 8-0 SU in their eight home games over the past two seasons, winning by an average of 26.5 points per game. Bet Cincinnati Friday.
|09-28-19||Colorado State +24.5 v. Utah State||24-34||Win||100||73 h 15 m||Show|
15* MWC PLAY OF THE DAY on Colorado State +24.5
The Utah State Aggies are coming off a historic season in which they went 11-2 SU and 9-3-1 ATS. But they only brought back nine starters from that team, including two on offense. The betting public has continued to back this team and they’ve been rewarded as the Aggies have opened 2-1 SU & 3-0 ATS.
Clearly, I believe Utah State is overvalued now. It’s time to ‘sell high’ on the Aggies, who barely covered in a 3-point loss to Wake Forest as 4.5-point underdogs. They also barely covered in a 6-point win over San Diego State as 4-point favorites. Now they are being asked to lay a whopping 24.5 points to a Colorado State team that is undervalued after opening 1-3.
The Rams have shown me enough against a tough schedule to believe they can stay within 24.5 points here. Their three losses have come to Colorado, Arkansas and Toledo all by 21 points or less. I’ve really been impressed with their offense, which is averaging 34.5 points, 552.2 yards per game and 7.2 yards per play. This offense can travel anywhere. Colorado State is now outgaining opponents by 113 yards per game on the season, so they are clearly better than their record would indicate.
Last week, Colorado State only lost 35-41 at home to Toledo as 7-point dogs. They racked up 694 total yards and and found their QB of the future in Patrick O’Brien, who started in place of the injured Colin Hill. O’Brien threw for 405 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while also rushing for 27 yards and a score.
Colorado State just has Utah State’s number. The Rams are 2-1 SU & 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings. They won 27-14 on the road as 9.5-point favorites in 2017, and 31-24 at home as 6-point underdogs in 2016. But last year’s performance was the most impressive despite losing 24-29 on the road. The Rams were whopping 30.5-point underdogs in that game and actually outgained the Aggies by 196 total yards and should have won that game outright.
Plays on road underdogs (Colorado State) - in a game involving two dominant teams who are outgaining opponents by 100-plus yards per game, after gaining 575 or more total yards in their previous game are 51-18 (73.9%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Rams are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a loss. Bet Colorado State Saturday.
|09-28-19||Ohio State v. Nebraska +18||Top||48-7||Loss||-110||80 h 57 m||Show|
20* Ohio State/Nebraska ABC No-Brainer on Nebraska +18
This line was Ohio State -10 when it came out in the offseason at the Golden Nugget. Oddsmakers have adjusted 7.5 points. I think the value is on Nebraska in this game.
Ohio State is overvalued off its 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS start this season against one of the easiest schedules in the country. They are coming off a 76-5 win over Miami Ohio last week.
Meanwhile, Nebraska is 3-1 SU but 1-3 ATS and undervalued now because of it. The Huskers should be 4-0 but they blew a 17-0 halftime lead at Colorado. And last week’s 42-38 win at Illinois was one of the most misleading finals of the week. Plus it was a lookahead spot to this Ohio State game, and the Huskers didn’t show up with their full focus.
Nebraska had a 32-14 edge in first downs over Illinois They had a 671-299 yard edge, outgaining the Fighting Illini by 372 total yards. But they were -3 in turnovers, which is the only reason it was close. Adrian Martinez was awesome, throwing for 327 yards and 3 scores, while also rushing for 118 yards. He is the reason they have a chance here against Ohio State.
Remember last year, Nebraska only lost by 5 at Ohio State as 17-point dogs. Now they are catching more than 17 at home this time around. It will be a raucous atmosphere in Lincoln Saturday night as fans and players alike have had this game circled all offseason.
Ohio State has been able to run all over the bad defenses they’ve faced, averaging 262 rushing yards per game and 5.9 per carry. Well, they won’t be able to run all over Nebraska. The Huskers have held opponents to just 117 rushing yards per game and 3.1 per carry this season. Their defense is vastly improved, and they have one of the most explosive offenses in the country at 38.0 points per game, 490 yards per game and 6.5 yards per play.
Nebraska is 28-11 ATS in its last 39 after failing to cover 3 of their last 4 games coming in. The Huskers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games. Ohio State is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games after gaining 450 or more total yards in four consecutive games. Nebraska is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 home games vs. good defensive teams that give up 14 or fewer points per game.
Plays on home underdogs of 14.5 or more points (Nebraska) - after two or more consecutive straight up wins, with a winning record on the season playing another winning team are 41-12 (77.4%) ATS since 1992. Bet Nebraska Saturday.
|09-28-19||Kansas State +5 v. Oklahoma State||13-26||Loss||-110||72 h 20 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Kansas State +5
The Kansas State Wildcats are one of the most underrated teams in all of college football. Chris Klieman was one of the best hires of the offseason coming over from North Dakota State where he won four FCS titles in five years. The guy knows how to coach, and the cupboard wasn’t bare at Kansas State with 14 returning starters.
I backed Kansas State in Week 3 as they went on the road and upset Mississippi State 31-24 as 7.5-point underdogs. Now they’ve had a bye week since, which means they get two full weeks to prepare for Oklahoma State. It’s a Cowboys team they have had a lot of success against, going 4-3 SU & 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
Oklahoma State is in a clear flat spot here. They are coming off a deflating 30-36 loss at Texas last week. They scored a late touchdown to get in the back door and cover, but for the most part Texas controlled that game the entire way. QB Spencer Sanders was only 19-of-32 passing with zero touchdowns and two interceptions against a bad Texas defense.
Kansas State has one of the best defenses in the country. The Wildcats are holding opponents to just 12.7 points per game, 256 yards per game and 4.9 yards per play. They are holding opponents to 8.7 points, 92 yards per game and 0.8 yards per play less than their season averages. It’s a defense that returned eight starters from last year and will be one of the best in the Big 12 this season.
Kansas State’s offense has averaged 44 points per game and rushed for 280 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry thus far. I have no doubt Klieman knows his best chance to win is to control the time of possession, and they’ll do that with their running game. The Cowboys have not been great against the run as they are giving up 176 rushing yards per game this season. It’s a great matchup for the Wildcats.
Klieman will take a page from Bill Snyder for sure in this one. The Wildcats have been able to run wild on the Cowboys in recent years during their 4-3 SU & 6-1 ATS stretch. Starting with last season, the Wildcats have rushed for 291, 217, and 345 yards in their last there meetings with the Cowboys. Based on what we’ve seen thus far, the Wildcats will have their way on the ground against the Cowboys once again.
Kansas State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven vs. a team with a winning record. The Wildcats are 22-9-1 ATS in their last 32 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Kansas State is 5-0 ATS in its last five games overall. The Wildcats are 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. The Wildcats are 5-0 ATS in their last five trips to Oklahoma State. Take Kansas State Saturday.
|09-28-19||Iowa State -2.5 v. Baylor||Top||21-23||Loss||-115||94 h 29 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE MONTH on Iowa State -2.5
The Iowa State Cyclones lost a game 18-17 to the Iowa Hawkeyes that they should have won. They outgained the Hawkeyes by 105 yards in that game, but were -2 in turnovers and led the whole way until the 4th quarter. But because they lost that game, the Cyclones are undervalued heading into conference play.
It just goes to show how good of a coach Matt Campbell is with the way his team responded last week. They could have easily been flat off that loss to their in-state rivals, but they came out and dominated with one of their best performances in program history. Indeed, the Cyclones beat Louisiana-Monroe 72-20, which was their most points scored in a game since 1906 when the forward pass was introduced. They racked up 714 total yards, including six total touchdowns from QB Brock Purdy.
The numbers really show just how dominant the Cyclones have been despite being just 2-1 and having a couple close games against both Iowa and Northern Iowa. Iowa State is averaging 39.3 points, 532 yards per game and 7.7 yards per play. They are averaging 12.2 points, 110 yards per game and 1.8 yards per play more than their opponents allow on average. Defensively, they are giving up 21.3 points, 333 yards per game and 4.4 yards per play. They are holding opponents to 7.5 points, 49 yards and 0.7 yards per play less than their season averages.
Baylor comes into Big 12 play overrated due to playing such a soft schedule. The Bears are 3-0, but just 1-2 ATS this season. Their three games have come against Stephen F. Austin, UTSA and Rice. Their performance against Rice last week shows they are vulnerable. They only beat the Owls 21-13 as 27-point favorites. That’s a bad Rice team that is 0-4 and has basically been blown out every game.
Campbell is 9-1 ATS when playing against a team that has greater than a 75% winning percentage as the coach of Iowa State. Campbell is 6-0 ATS vs. teams that outscore opponents by 17-plus points per game as the coach of the Cyclones. The Cyclones are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 road games. The Bears are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games. Take Iowa State Saturday.
|09-28-19||Virginia +12.5 v. Notre Dame||20-35||Loss||-103||69 h 45 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Virginia +12.5
I love the spot for Virginia here. They come in undervalued after nearly losing to Old Dominion in a 28-17 win as 27-point favorites where they needed a second-half comeback. It was a clear flat spot and a lookahead spot off their win over Florida State and with Notre Dame on deck. Now, with a bye on deck next week, Virginia will be ‘all in’ this week.
Notre Dame went 12-0 in the regular season last year and made the four-team playoff. After losing to Georgia 17-23 last week, Notre Dame now has almost no shot at making the playoff again. I think they’ll still be deflated from that defeat, and they won’t bring 100% focus into this game against Virginia. I also think the Fighting Irish are getting too much respect now after playing Georgia closer than oddsmakers thought. Everyone was on Georgia in that game it seemed like as they failed to cover as 14.5-point favorites.
Virginia has a legit defense that is holding opponents to 18.0 points, 264 yards per game and 4.1 yards per play. They are holding opponents to 76 yards per game and 0.9 yards per play less than their season averages. And the Cavaliers are led at QB by Bryce Perkins, who is completing 65.3% of his passes while also rushing for 193 yards and two scores. He is one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC.
Virginia’s 30-14 win at Pitt in the opener looks even better now. Pitt nearly upset Penn State on the road as a 17-point dogs, and they came back last week and upset UCF as a double-digit dog last week. That was the Cavaliers’ only road game this season, and it was their best performance of the year. Bronco Mendenhall will have them ready for a physical came against Notre Dame on the road here, which is just the way they like it.
I actually think Virginia is the more physical team up front on both sides of the ball. Notre Dame is giving up 204 rushing yards per game and 4.9 per carry this season. Virginia is only allowing 75 rushing yards per game and 2.2 per carry. The team that stops the run best usually wins, and there’s no question Virginia is better equipped to stop the run in this game based on what we’ve seen thus far.
Notre Dame is 8-24 ATS in its last 32 games vs. excellent defensive teams that allow 285 or fewer yards per game. Mendenhall is 11-1 ATS off a non-conference game as the coach of Virginia. The Cavaliers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 vs. a team with a winning record. Virginia is 5-1 ATS in its last six vs. Independent schools. The Fighting Irish are 2-10-1 ATS in their last 13 after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. Bet Virginia Saturday.
|09-28-19||Wake Forest v. Boston College +7||27-24||Win||100||69 h 44 m||Show|
15* ACC PLAY OF THE DAY on Boston College +7
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are getting way too much respect here from oddsmakers. They are off to a 4-0 start this season and overvalued as a result. They won three home games against Utah State, UNC and Elon, as well as a road win at Rice in their only game away from home thus far. They haven’t done anything impressive as they barely beat both UNC and Utah State and home. Utah State lost almost everyone from last year, and UNC was on a short week and coming off a huge win against Miami, putting them in a letdown spot.
Conversely, Boston College is undervalued because everyone remembers their shocking 24-48 home loss to Kansas. They clearly went through the motions in that game and didn’t even show up. Their other three games have been impressive, and more of a sign of the team they are than that Kansas game. They beat VA Tech 35-28 as 4-point home dogs in the opener, crushed Richmond 45-13 at home, and went on the road and beat Rutgers 30-16 as 7.5-point favorites. I like the way they responded from that Kansas loss with the win at Rutgers.
Now Boston College has been humbled and refocused after that Kansas loss. They still have everything in front of them as they are 1-0 in ACC play and can get to 2-0 here. I really like what I’ve seen from this Boston College offense as they have averaged 33.5 points, 457 yards per game and 251 rushing yards per game. The problem with their defense is that they have lost the time of possession, averaging just over 26 minutes per game on offense while their defense has been on the field for 34 minutes per game. That should change moving forward with how well they’ve been able to run the football.
This will be the best offense that Wake Forest has faced this season. The Demon Deacons have good defensive numbers, but that’s more due to the ease of the schedule of opposing offenses. They did give up 35 points and 596 yards to Utah State, and they will be hard-pressed to slow down AJ Dillon and Antony Brown in this one. Brown has a 6-to-0 TD/INT ratio and is averaging 7.8 yards per attempt, while also rushing for two scores this year. Dillon has rushed for 468 yards and accounted for seven total touchdowns.
Plays on any team (Boston College) - an excellent rushing team that average 4.8 or more yards per carry against a good rushing team (4.3 to 4.8 YPC), after allowing 100 or fewer rushing yards last game are 76-34 (69.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. Steve Addazio is 8-1 ATS vs. teams who commit one or fewer turnovers per game as the coach of Boston College. The Eagles are 12-3-1 ATS int heir last 16 conference games. Roll with Boston College Saturday.
|09-28-19||Northwestern +25 v. Wisconsin||15-24||Win||100||65 h 16 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Northwestern +25
Northwestern definitely came into the season overvalued after winning the Big Ten West in one of the best seasons in program history. And now they’re off to a 1-2 SU & 0-3 ATS start this season, failing to meet expectations. I believe this is the perfect time to ‘buy low’ on Northwestern now that everyone has counted them out.
It’s the perfect storm too because it’s the perfect time to ’sell high’ on Wisconsin. The Badgers are 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS this season with wins over South Florida, Central Michigan and then Michigan last week. Clearly, Michigan was overrated as they needed overtime to beat Army in their previous game. The Badgers will have a hard time getting up for Northwestern after their win over Michigan last week.
This is the role Northwestern has played their best under Pat Fitzgerald. Indeed, Northwestern has actually gone 10-8 STRAIGHT UP as a double-digit underdog over the last 10 years. Not only are they covering, they are winning outright in these spots more time than not.
Northwestern has been an underdog to Wisconsin each of the last five years. They have gone 3-2 SU & 4-1 ATS in those five games with both of their losses coming by 14 points or less. Northwestern loves a good Big Ten street fight where it’s a battle of the trenches. They are one of the few teams that can hold up against a team like Wisconsin with one of the best front seven’s defensively in the Big Ten.
The 10-31 home loss to Michigan State last week was closer than the final score showed. The Wildcats were only outgained by 74 yards, but they committed three turnovers, which proved to be the difference. I would argue Michigan State may have the best defense in the country, and Northwestern was able to run for 140 yards on them.
Fitzgerald is 8-0 ATS after gaining 3.75 or fewer yards per play in its previous game as the coach of Northwestern. Paul Chryst is 5-15 ATS after gaining 6.25 or more yards per play in their previous game as the coach of Wisconsin. The Wildcats are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Northwestern is 19-7 ATS in its last 26 road games. The Wildcats are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games off a double-digit home loss. The Badgers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games off a win. Roll with Northwestern Saturday.
|09-27-19||Duke v. Virginia Tech -2.5||Top||45-10||Loss||-110||49 h 33 m||Show|
20* Duke/VA Tech ESPN No-Brainer on Virginia Tech -2.5
The Virginia Tech Hokies had big expectations coming into the season due to returning 16 starters, including 10 on defense. But after getting upset by Boston College on the road in their opener, and failing to cover in wins over Old Dominion and Furman, I believe this is a great time to ‘buy low’ on the Hokies.
The Hokies have actually outgained all three of their opponents this season. The only reason they lost to Boston College was because they turned the ball over five times. In fact, they already have 9 turnovers this season through three games. That’s not going to continue.
Now Justin Fuente has had two full weeks to correct the mistakes with his team. I expect the Hokies to come through with their best performance of the season Friday night. They still have everything in front of them as they control their own destiny in the ACC and can still win the Coastal Division. If they are going to, this is a must-win against Duke.
I’m surprised at all the Duke love in this game. They lost by 39 to Alabama in the opener, and have played a few cupcakes since in NC A&T and Middle Tennessee. This is a Duke team that only returned 12 starters, including 4 on offense and lost their QB Daniel Jones as the 6th pick in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.
Virginia Tech owns Duke, going 13-2 SU in the last 15 meetings. They won by 17 on the road last year as 6.5-point dogs, and by 21 at home in 2017 as 17-point favorites. And it’s clear the Hokies are improved defensively this season with all they brought back.
They are holding opponents to 23.0 points, 329 yards per game and 4.8 yards per play. They are holding opponents to 50 yards per game and 0.6 yards per play less than their season averages. This inexperienced Duke offense will have a problem trying to move the football on this Bud Foster defense, which is back to the standards we expect from him and the Hokies after a down year last season. Duke is averaging 27 yards per game less than their opponents give up on average.
The Hokies are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Virginia Tech is 5-0 ATS in its last five Friday games. The Hokies still have one of the best home-field advantages in the country, especially during these weeknight games. The Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win. Bet Virginia Tech Friday.
|09-26-19||Navy v. Memphis -10.5||23-35||Win||100||26 h 33 m||Show|
15* Navy/Memphis ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Memphis -10.5
I always like fading triple-option teams like Navy when their opponent has extra time to prepare. And that’s the case this week as Memphis has nearly two full weeks to get ready for this game after last playing on September 14th. Plus, they’ve played Navy each of the last two years, so they know what to expect.
Memphis is legitimately one of the best Group of 5 teams in the country. And they’re off to a flying start this season, going 3-0 SU & 2-1 ATS. They beat Ole Miss 15-10 at home and outgained them by 191 yards in what was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. They beat Southern 55-24 and outgained them by 317 yards. And last time out they won 42-6 as 20.5-point favorites at South Alabama and outgained them by 282 yards.
The Tigers have been one of the most dominant teams in all of college football thus far. They always have an explosive offense every year, but the difference with this team is the improvement on defense. They returned eight starters on defense this season. They are holding opponents to 13.3 points per game, 226 yards per game and 3.9 yards per play. They are holding opponents to 8.7 points, 104 yards per game and 1.1 yards per play less than their season averages. Stopping the run will be key in this game, and Memphis is giving up just 116 rushing yards per game and 3.1 per carry thus far.
Navy isn’t the juggernaut it used to be. The Midshipmen are coming off a 3-10 season and a second consecutive loss to Army. They only returned four starters this season and are inexperienced. Sure, they are 2-0, but those two wins have come against Holy Cross and East Carolina. Holy Cross is one of the worst teams in FCS, and ECU is one of the worst teams in FBS. This is a huge step up in class for them.
I realize one of Navy’s three wins last year came against Memphis, but I think that works in our favor here. Navy won 22-21 and held the ball for nearly 43 minutes. Memphis moved the ball on them with ease, averaging 7.7 yards per play, but they committed four turnovers to give the game away. That places the Tigers in revenge mode, and with two weeks to prepare, they will be ready for this challenge. It will be a raucous atmosphere in Memphis for a Thursday night home game as well with the Tigers having one of the best home-field advantages in the country.
Memphis is 25-11 ATS in its last 36 games as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points. Current head coach Mike Norvell is 9-2 ATS as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points as the coach of Memphis. Ken Niumatalolo is 5-14 ATS in road games off a bye week as the coach of Navy. The Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven conference games. Memphis is 19-7 ATS in its last 26 games off a bye week. The Tigers are 18-8-1 ATS in their last 27 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
Finally, Memphis is 7-0 ATS under Mike Norvell off a bye week. They have covered their last five in this spot while covering the spread by a total of 56 points. This one has blowout written all over it. Take Memphis Thursday.
|09-21-19||Charlotte +42 v. Clemson||10-52||Push||0||79 h 6 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Charlotte +42
The Clemson Tigers are the No. 1 ranked team in the country and the defending national champs. With that distinction comes expectations from the betting public and oddsmakers that are very tough to live up to. Clemson is fortunate not to be 0-3 ATS this season, but because they are 2-1 ATS they are being overvalued this week.
Clemson beat Georgia Tech by 38 as 36.5-point favorites in the opener. Georgia Tech failed going into the end zone at the 1-yard line which proved to be the difference in covering or not. Clemson then failed to cover as 16.5-point favorites in a 14-point win over Texas A&M. And last week Clemson never led by more than 28 as 28-point favorites against Syracuse, but got a breakaway 57-yard run with 48 seconds left to win by 35 when they were just trying to run out the clock.
Now this is a terrible spot for Clemson. It’s a ACC sandwich spot. They were sky high last week in their ACC opener at Syracuse, and now they have an ACC game at North Carolina on deck next week. They won’t have their full focus here against Charlotte in this non-conference game, which is going to make it extremely difficult for them to cover this massive 42-point spread.
Not to mention, Charlotte looks pretty good. They beat Gardner Webb 49-28 at home in their opener. And they went on the road and only lost 41-56 at Appalachian State as 23.5-point dogs in Week 2. That’s an Appalachian State team that has been one of the best Group of 5 teams in the country in recent years. And last week they throttled UMass 52-17 as 20.5-point favorites.
As you can see, Charlotte has an explosive offense that is capable of scoring more points than anyone has yet on this Clemson defense. The 49ers are averaging 47.3 points and 522.3 yards per game and 7.8 yards per play this season. They have shown tremendous balance with 297 rushing yards per game and 7.1 per carry, and 226 passing yards per game and 9.0 yards per attempt. I believe the 49ers are one of the single-most underrated teams in all of college football based on what I’ve seen so far.
Dabo Swinney is 1-8 ATS in home games after allowing 17 points or less in three straight games as the coach of Clemson. His teams are only winning by 8.4 points per game in this spot. Charlotte is 4-1 ATS in its last five road games. Clemson is 2-6 ATS in its last eight non-conference games.
Plays against favorites of 31.5 or more points (Clemson) - outgaining opponents by 1.0 or more yards per play, after outgaining opponent by 125 or more total yards in two consecutive games are 23-4 (85.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays on road teams (Charlotte) - an excellent offensive team averaging 6.2 or more yards per play against a team with an excellent defense allowing 4.2 or fewer yards per play, after gaining 525 or more total yards in their previous game are 37-11 (77.1%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Take Charlotte Saturday.
|09-21-19||Wyoming v. Tulsa -3||Top||21-24||Push||0||76 h 2 m||Show|
25* CFB Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Tulsa -3
There’s a reason a 1-2 Tulsa team is favored over a 3-0 Wyoming team Saturday. And if not for the records, Tulsa would be a much bigger home favorite. But I think we are getting a ton of value here because of the records on Tulsa, and that’s why I’ve made this my 25* CFB Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR. This game has blowout written all over it.
Tulsa’s two losses are against Michigan State and Oklahoma State. And they went on the road and beat San Jose State by 18 as 6-point favorites in their lone win. They have faced a brutal schedule thus far, and I came away impressed by the losses to Michigan State and Oklahoma State as well.
Tulsa actually led Oklahoma State 21-20 in the second half before eventually losing 21-40 last week. They deserved to cover the 13.5-point spread, but Oklahoma State busted a long run in the final minutes when they basically could have kneeled on it. It was much closer than that 19-point margin would indicate. They also lost 7-28 at Michigan State to cover the 23.5-point spread, and they held the Spartans to just 303 total yards in the loss.
Tulsa’s offense is better than it has shown due to the tough schedule, but the defense has really impressed me the most. The Golden Hurricane are only allowing 28.0 points and 386 yards per game this season. They are one of the most improved defensive teams in the country the last few years. They are holding opponents to 61 yards per game and 0.9 yards per play less than their season averages this season.
Wyoming is overvalued due to being 3-0. Their win over Missouri in the opener at home was a fluke. They were outgained by 148 yards and had over a 20-point swing in turnovers go in their favor. They beat Texas State 23-14 on the road the next week, but were outgained by 151 yards in another fluky win. And we’ve seen how bad Texas State has been against everyone else this year. Then last week they only beat Idaho 21-16 at home as 27.5-point favorites. They were outgained by 16 yards by Idaho!
Wyoming could easily be 0-3 instead of 3-0 when you consider they were outgained in all three games. They are getting outgained by 105 yards per game on the season now. Their offense is averaging 66 yards per game and 0.5 yards per play less than their opponents average allowing. Their defense is giving up 95 yards per game and 0.6 yards per play more than their opponents normally average.
Tulsa hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2016 and that’s a huge goal of theirs this year. They realize this home game against Wyoming is a must-win for them if they want to go bowling. I have no doubt they will be ‘all in’ Saturday to try and get a win. Meanwhile, Wyoming is feeling fat and happy after that Missouri win in the opener, and they were fortunate not to get upset by both Texas State and Idaho in the two games since. Tulsa is a much different animal than those two teams.
The Golden Hurricane are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 vs. a team with a winning record. Tulsa is 18-7-1 ATS in its last 26 games off an ATS loss. Wyoming is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 September games. The home team has won four of the five meetings between these teams in this all-time series. Bet Tulsa Saturday.
|09-21-19||Auburn v. Texas A&M -3.5||Top||28-20||Loss||-105||75 h 6 m||Show|
20* Auburn/Texas A&M CBS No-Brainer on Texas A&M -3.5
I like the fact that Texas A&M is battle-tested already having lost 10-24 at Clemson as 16.5-point underdogs to cover the spread. The Aggies were only outgained by 100 yards by the Tigers in that tough atmosphere. They handled their business with blowout wins over Texas State and Lamar and covered the spread in both games. Now sitting at 2-1 this season, this game is very important to them in their SEC opener.
Adding to the motivation for the Aggies is the fact that they want revenge from a 24-28 road loss at Auburn last year. Texas A&M led that game 24-7 in the 4th quarter, but gave up 21 unanswered points to lose a heartbreaker. The Aggies feel like they gave that game away as they were clearly the better team and outgained Auburn by 145 yards in the loss.
Now the Aggies are back home at Kyle Field with home of the best home-field advantages in the country. Auburn freshman QB Bo Nix hasn’t seen an atmosphere as hostile as this one. Nix is only completing 52.4% of his passes on 84 attempts this season, so accuracy is an issue. I expect him to have his worst performance of the season thus far Saturday.
No question the Aggies have the clear advantage at quarterback with Kellen Mond in this one. Mond is completing 65% of his passes and has accounted for seven total touchdowns already. Mond has certainly played a lot better at home than he has on the road in his career. And his mobility will be a huge asset against an Auburn defensive line that is clearly their strength.
The 12th man at Kyle Field has been a problem for opponents recently. The Aggies are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games. Texas A&M is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games after allowing less than 20 points in its previous game. The Aggies are 23-6-1 ATS in their last 30 September games. The Tigers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with Texas A&M Saturday.
|09-21-19||California v. Ole Miss -2||28-20||Loss||-109||72 h 35 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Ole Miss -2
The California Golden Bears just got ranked after a surprising 3-0 start to the season. They are feeling good about themselves now and getting pats on the back. But I think this is the toughest test they’ve faced yet this season, and I expect them to fall flat on their faces.
Cal now has to go out East for a 12:00 EST start time to face Ole Miss. That means this will be a 9:00 AM body clock game for them coming from the West Coast. They aren’t used to playing games this early, while Ole Miss is.
This is an Ole Miss team that I expect to get better in a hurry as the season goes on. They brought in two new coordinators in Rich Rodriquez and Mike MacIntyre. Both are former head coaches in the Pac-12 who are familiar with California’s schemes. That will be a huge advantage for the Rebels as they prepare for the Golden Bears.
I think the Ole Miss players should now be accustomed to the new schemes that Rich Rod and MacIntyre have installed. I’ve particularly been impressed with the improvement of the Ole Miss defense thus far under MacIntyre. They are only giving up 20.3 points per game and 5.0 yards per play on the season. They are holding opponents to 12 points and 63 yards per game less than their season averages. It’s only a matter of time before this talented offense takes off under Rich Rod.
Cal has had a problem scoring the last two years offensively. The Golden Bears average just 23.3 points per game, 351 yards per game & 5.1 yards per play this season. They don’t look improved at all on that side of the ball. Cal will suffer its first loss of the season on the road against an up-and-coming SEC opponent in an early start time here Saturday.
Cal is 21-45 ATS in its last 66 games with a line of +3 to -3. The Golden Bears are 0-4 ATS in their last four non-conference games. They only beat North Texas by 6 as 14-point home favorites last week. They were outgained by both Washington and North Texas despite winning those games. Their luck runs out this weekend. Take Ole Miss Saturday.
|09-21-19||Southern Miss +39.5 v. Alabama||7-49||Loss||-110||72 h 35 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Southern Miss +39.5
This is one of my favorite spots to fade Alabama. The Crimson Tide are in a SEC sandwich game here. They just won their SEC opener last week at South Carolina, and now they step out of conference for a game against Southern Miss before dipping back into SEC action next week against Ole Miss. They won’t be fully invested in this game, which will make it tough to cover this massive 39.5-point spread.
Alabama is fortunate not to be 0-3 ATS this season. They only led Duke 14-3 at halftime as 33.5-point favorites but outscored them 28-0 in the second half to cover. Then they failed to cover as 55.5-point favorites against New Mexico State and as 26-point favorites against South Carolina in their two games since. This is another inflated number simply because it’s Alabama.
There’s been several concerns about Alabama despite the easy schedule thus far. Their rushing attack only produced 145 yards on 42 carries against Duke for 3.5 yards per carry. They only had 76 rushing yards on 25 attempts against South Carolina for 3.0 yards per carry. Defensively, the Crimson Tide have allowed at least 100 rushing yards in all three games this season. They clearly aren’t as strong at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball as they have been in years’ past.
I’d argue that Southern Miss could be the best team they’ve faced yet. This is a Southern Miss team that returned 16 starters and is among the favorites to win Conference USA this season. They’ve managed to go 2-1 to start despite playing a tough schedule that has featured road games at Mississippi State and Troy. The 15-38 loss at Mississippi State was a misleading final because they were only outgained by 42 yards. Then they outgained Troy by 98 yards in their 47-42 win last week.
This is a Southern Miss offense that returned 10 starters and is hitting on all cylinders. They are scoring 33.3 points per game and averaging 453 yards per game and 7.2 yards per play. They are averaging 79 yards and 1.2 yards per play more than their opponents allow on average this season. They can certainly move the ball and score on this Alabama defense that gave up 459 total yards to a bad South Carolina offense last week.
This is an early start time at 12:00 AM EST and won’t be the same kind of home-field advantage for Alabama as it would be if it was a night game. They are just looking to get in and get out with a victory. Southern Miss is 15-7-1 ATS in its last 23 non-conference games. The Golden Eagles are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 September games. Alabama is 1-6 ATS in its last seven vs. C-USA opponents. The Crimson Tide are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a win.
Plays against favorites of 31.5 or more points (Alabama) - outgaining opponents by 1.0 or more yards per play, after outgaining opponents by 125 or more total yards in two straight games are 23-4 (85.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays on road underdogs of 21.5 or more points (Southern Miss) - after gaining 525 or more total yards in their previous game, with eight or more offensive starters including QB returning, in the first month of the season are 22-4 (84.6%) ATS since 1992. Alabama is once again overvalued this week. Bet Southern Miss Saturday.
|09-20-19||Air Force +8.5 v. Boise State||Top||19-30||Loss||-110||57 h 6 m||Show|
20* Air Force/Boise State MWC GAME OF THE MONTH on Air Force +8.5
Air Force is a team I was very high on coming into the year. The Falcons are coming off a 5-7 season, but they were much better than their record would indicate last year. Four of their losses came by 3, 3, 4 and 6 points. In fact, all seven of their losses came by 10 points or less, so they were competitive in every game they played. They can only have better luck in close games this season.
Air Force returns a whopping 15 starters, which is a ton for a service academy. It’s their most returning starters since 2014, when they went 10-3. This is easily the best team Air Force has had in years, and I have no doubt they will be one of the most improved teams in the country.
The Falcons got off to a flying start by handling Colgate 48-7 as 20.5-point favorites in their opener. They rushed for 423 yards and will be a force on the ground again with four returning starters along the offensive line. Then after a bye, they went into Colorado last week and pulled off the 30-23 upset as 3-point underdogs. It was no fluke as they outgained the Buffaloes by 119 yards behind 289 rushing yards. They even turned the ball over three times and still won.
Few teams have played Boise State tougher than Air Force in Mountain West action in recent years. Indeed, Air Force is 3-3 SU & 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings with three outright upsets. And I just think this Boise State team is overrated after going on the road and beating Florida State in the opener. As we’ve seen since, that FSU team just isn’t very good. Boise State only beat Marshall by 7 as 14-point favorites at home two weeks ago before making easy work of Portland State last week.
The blue turf at Boise State just hasn’t been the advantage it used to be. The Broncos are 8-17 ATS in their last 25 home games. Boise State is also 7-15 ATS in its last 22 vs. a team with a winning record. Air Force is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games as a road dog of 7.5 to 10 points. Brian Harsin is 2-9 ATS as a home favorite of 7.5 to 14 points as the coach of Boise State. Bet Air Force Friday.
|09-19-19||Houston v. Tulane OVER 55.5||Top||31-38||Win||100||32 h 6 m||Show|
20* Houston/Tulane ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on OVER 55.5
This total opened around 60 and has been bet down to 56 and lower as of this writing. I think the value is now there to pull the trigger on the OVER. Bettors are overreacting to the fact that these teams are a combined 5-0 to the under this season. But two of those unders came by a combined 2 points.
These are two teams I have been high on early in the season. And a big reason I’m high on them is because of their offenses. I expect a shootout between two of the best offenses in the AAC on a fast track down in New Orleans. And the offenses have an advantage on a short week like this.
I loved the move by Willie Fritz to turn over his offense to new coordinator Will Hall. They have moved away from the triple-option and have gone to more of a spread option and faster tempo. The result has been 35.3 points and 436 yards per game this season. And that’s with a road game at Auburn on the schedule in which they scored just 6 points.
Houston’s offense is loaded with eight returning starters for new head coach Dana Holgorsen. That includes star QB D’Eriq King, who accounted for 50 total touchdowns last year despite missing two games. And Houston has played a brutal schedule thus far with road games against Oklahoma and Washington State. But they are still averaging 30.7 points per game.
Tulane’s defense hasn’t been tested against an offense as explosive as this Houston unit. And it’s worth mentioning that Houston has one of the worst defenses in the country. They are giving up 32.3 points per game, 506 yards per game and 7.6 yards per play this season. They were awful in the second half of the season defensively last year and only returned four starters on that side of the ball this year.
Houston is 18-5 OVER in its last 23 games as a dog of 3.5 to 10 points. The OVER is 6-1 in Cougars last seven games on field turf. The OVER is 4-0-1 in Cougars last five road games. The OVER is 5-1 in Cougars last six conference games. Finally, these teams combined for 65 points last year in Houston. They should have no problem topping 55.5 here in the rematch, especially with Tulane’s improved offense. Bet the OVER in this game Thursday.
|09-14-19||Texas v. Rice +32.5||48-13||Loss||-114||68 h 43 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Rice +32.5
The Texas Longhorns are in a massive flat spot here Saturday against Rice. Texas played in a huge game at home against LSU last week and came up short in a 38-45 shootout. Now they have their Big 12 opener on deck against Oklahoma State. I just can’t see them putting forth a very good effort here as they are deflated off that LSU loss, and they just want to get on to Oklahoma State and get out of here with a win against Rice. Asking them to cover 32.5 points in this flat spot is asking too much.
Texas allowed 573 total yards to a mediocre LSU offense last week. That came a week after they gave up 413 total yards against Louisiana Tech in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate. That’s a LA Tech team that went on to only beat Grambling 20-14 as 30-point home favorites last week. It’s a young Texas defense that returned just three starters and lost each of its top three tacklers from a year ago.
I have been impressed with this Rice team thus far. Former Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren has been trying to copy the blueprint at Stanford. He has recruited some big offensive linemen so the Owls can move people up front. They are trying to run the ball and shorten games, which gives them the best chance to be competitive despite the lack of skill talent.
Rice only lost 7-14 at Army as 23-point underdogs in their opener. That’s an Army team that went on to nearly upset Michigan, losing in overtime in the Big House last week. It’s also an Army team that won 11 games last year, so it just shows what Rice is capable of.
Last week, Rice lost 21-41 at home to Wake Forest as 20-point dogs to push the number. They showed they could throw the ball if needed, passing for 254 yards on 22-of-35 attempts. I know starting QB Wiley Green was injured in that game, but Harvard transfer Tom Stewart stepped in and did a great job. Stewart has been the better QB thus far, completing 63.3% of his 30 attempts compared to 52.6% on 19 attempts for Green. So I think the QB injury here is getting factored into the line too much.
The Owls are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall. They have been undervalued because the betting public has wanted nothing to do with them. Rice is 4-1 ATS in its last five vs. Big 12 opponents. Texas will be more than satisfied with a victory by three or four touchdowns, and don’t be surprised if this game is much closer than anticipated with the sandwich spot for the Longhorns. Bet Rice Saturday.
|09-14-19||Florida State v. Virginia -7||24-31||Push||0||67 h 14 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Virginia -7
The Virginia Cavaliers are a team on the rise under fourth-year head coach Bronco Mendenhall. He has improved this team in each of his first three seasons, going from 2-10 in Year 1 to 6-7 in Year 2 and 8-5 in Year 3 last season. Now he has his best team yet and some stability in the program with how well he has recruited. The Cavaliers are a legit contender to win the Coastal this year.
Last year, the Cavaliers lost five games, but three were by 4 points or fewer. They were in every game they played. Now they have 14 starters back and one of the best defenses in the ACC with eight starters back from a unit that gave up just 20.1 points per game.
Offensively, the Cavaliers return stud quarterback Bryce Perkins, which will help make up for the fact that they only return six starters on that side of the ball. Perkins threw for 2,680 yards with a 25-to-9 TD/INT ratio, while also rushing for 923 yards and nine scores. The offensive line returns three starters and they have 17 offensive linemen on scholarship, so Mendenhall now has the numbers he wants up front.
Virginia is off to an impressive 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS start this season. They beat Pittsburgh handily 30-14 on the road in Week 1 while limiting the Panthers to just 263 total yards. That’s a Pitt team that went on to beat a good Ohio team 20-10 at home last week. Then Virginia handled their business in a 52-17 win over William & Mary as 32.5-point favorites last week.
Florida State failed to make a bowl game last year at 5-7. Many thought they’d bounce back this season, but from what I’ve seen so far, they are just a bad, undisciplined football team. Florida State lost its opener 31-36 at home to Boise State as 6.5-point favorites. Then, the Seminoles were fortunate to escape with a 45-44 (OT) home victory over Louisiana-Monroe as 23-point favorites last week.
It’s clear the Seminoles have an awful defense. They are giving up 40.0 points and 520.0 yards per game this season. And that’s where the difference lies in this football game. Virginia has one of the best defenses in the country, giving up just 15.5 points and 228 yards per game through their first two games. These teams are similar offensively.
I also like the fact that this is a night game for Virginia, so it will be a rowdy atmosphere in Charlottesville. Fans are very excited about this team as they have a great chance to win the Coastal and get to the ACC Championship Game. Virginia has easily been the most impressive team in the Coastal thus far, and arguably the second-best team in the ACC behind Clemson.
I'm definitely starting to believe that Willie Taggart is an overrated head coach. If he can't make the talent work in Tallahassee, that's on him. And Taggart is 0-6 SU & 1-5 ATS as a road underdogs in his time between Oregon and Florida State with the five ATS losses coming by an average of 17 points per game.
Florida State is 0-7 ATS off a home game over the last two seasons. Virginia is 6-0 ATS in the first month of the season over the last two years. Mendenhall is 11-1 ATS off a non-conference game as the coach of Virginia. The Cavaliers are 8-0-1 ATS in their last nine games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. These four trends combine for a 32-1 system backing the Cavaliers. Take Virginia Saturday.
|09-14-19||Clemson v. Syracuse +28.5||41-6||Loss||-110||67 h 13 m||Show|
15* Clemson/Syracuse ACC ANNIHILATOR on Syracuse +28.5
I faded Clemson with success last week on Texas A&M. And I’m fading them again for many of the same reasons. Being the No. 1 team in the country and the defending national champs comes with expectations from oddsmakers and the betting public that are hard to live up to. The Tigers are lucky not to be 0-2 ATS as Georgia Tech fumbled going into the end zone, losing by 38 as 36.5-point dogs.
Last week, Clemson wasn’t all that dominant at home against Texas A&M. They won 24-10 as 15.5-point favorites and only outgained the Aggies by 100 yards. All the hype surrounding Trevor Lawrence may be getting to him. He has thrown two touchdowns against three interceptions and is only averaging 7.5 yards per attempt.
This is the perfect ‘buy low’ situation on Syracuse. Many thought Syracuse was the second-best team in the ACC coming into the season because they won 10 games last year. After beating Liberty 24-0, the Orange fell flat last week amidst the big expectations and lost 20-63 at Maryland. That was exactly the humbling they needed, and it was clearly a lookahead spot for them to this Clemson game, so you can understand the poor performance.
Syracuse is clearly better than they showed against Maryland last week. They returned 13 starters this year, including seven on defense and are better on that side of the ball than the 63 points they allowed to Maryland. Keep in mind they shut out Liberty the previous week. And offensively, Tommy DeVito now has two starts under his belt and should be much more comfortable moving forward. He has leading rusher Moe Neal and three of his top four receivers back from last year, so it’s only a matter of time before this Dino Babers offense takes off after scoring 40.2 points per game last year.
Syracuse has played Clemson as tough as anyone the last two years. They won 27-24 as 23-point underdogs in the Carrier Dome in 2017. Then they came back last year and led most the way at Clemson before giving up a late score to lose 23-27 as 24.5-point dogs. Imagine the disrespect they are feeling now as 28.5-point underdogs at home this year after taking Clemson to the wire each of the last two seasons. They will be playing with a chip on their shoulder this week. And it will be a great night time atmosphere with this game behind played at 7:30 PM EST inside the Carrier Dome.
Dabo Swinney is 4-12 ATS as a favorite of 21.5 to 31 points as the coach of Clemson. Te Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last six September games. The Orange are 5-0 ATS in their last five games off a loss by more than 20 points. Syracuse is 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight September games. The Orange are 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with Syracuse Saturday.
|09-14-19||Western Kentucky v. Louisville -10||Top||21-38||Win||100||64 h 44 m||Show|
20* CFB BLOWOUT GAME OF THE WEEK on Louisville -10
Louisville came into the season way undervalued. They went 2-10 last season and Bobby Petrino was let go before season’s end. Simply put, the Cardinals quit on Petrino. They lost their final nine games and were never really competitive. I have no doubt the talent level on that team was better than their 2-10 record. And keep in mind that Louisville had been to eight straight bowl games prior to last year. They had won 8 or more games in six straight seasons coming into 2018.
I loved the hiring of Scott Satterfield in the offseason. He came over from Appalachian State where he compiled a 51-24 record there. Fortunately for Satterfield, the cupboard wasn’t left bare. Louisville returned 16 starters in all. They should be one of the most improved defensive teams in the country with 10 starters back on that side of the ball.
So far, so good for Satterfield and company. I was very impressed with their 17-35 loss to Notre Dame as 18.5-point favorites in the opener. That’s a Notre Dame team that went 12-0 in the regular season last year and made the four-team playoff. And they played the Fighting Irish toe-to-toe, only getting outgained by 31 yards. The difference was the 3-to-1 turnover edge for the Irish.
Last week, Louisville took it to Eastern Kentucky 42-0 as 21-point favorites. They outgained Eastern Kentucky by 370 total yards and held them to just 172 yards of offense. It’s the type of team that Louisville would have struggled against last season. But this is clearly a revamped and revitalized Louisville squad under the leadership of Satterfield.
Western Kentucky is getting way too much respect for beating Florida International 20-14 last week. That’s an FIU team that lost 14-42 to Tulane in their opener. It’s clear that FIU was one of the most overrated teams in the country coming into the season.
I think the home loss to Central Arkansas 28-35 as 10-point favorites in the opener is a better sign of how good this Western Kentucky team is. Losing to an FCS opponent as a double-digit favorite is never a good sign. They gave up 404 passing yards to Central Arkansas in the loss.
Louisville is 16-4-1 ATS in its last 21 vs. Conference USA opponents. Western Kentucky is 4-11 ATS in its last 15 non-conference games. This spread is also low because Louisville only beat WKU 20-17 last year. But like I said, that was a team that quit on Petrino, and now they are ‘all in’ for Satterfield and playing up to their talent level. I expect this game to be over by halftime. Take Louisville Saturday.
|09-14-19||Air Force +5 v. Colorado||30-23||Win||100||61 h 44 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Air Force +5
The Colorado Buffaloes are in a massive letdown spot this week. They came back from 17-0 down at halftime to beat Nebraska 34-31 in overtime last week. They have their Pac-12 opener on deck against Arizona State next week, making this a sandwich game for them.
Now the Buffaloes have to try and get ready for the Air Force triple-option in just one week’s time, which is very hard to do. And this is a Colorado defense that has been absolutely gashed this season. They have given up 487 yards per game and 6.5 yards per play. They have actually been outgained on the season despite their 2-0 start, and I think they’re overrated because of it.
Air Force is a team I’ve very high on coming into the year. The Falcons are coming off a 5-7 season, but they were much better than their record would indicate last year. Four of their losses came by 3, 3, 4 and 6 points. In fact, all seven of their losses came by 10 points or less, so they were competitive in every game they played. They can only have better luck in close games this season.
Air Force returns a whopping 15 starters, which is a ton for a service academy. It’s their most returning starters since 2014, when they went 10-3. This is easily the best team Air Force has had in years, and I have no doubt they will be one of the most improved teams in the country.
The Falcons are off to a flying start by handling Colgate 48-7 as 20.5-point favorites in their opener. They rushed for 423 yards and will be a force on the ground again with four returning starters along the offensive line. And they had a bye last week to get ready for Colorado, giving them a big edge in rest and preparation.
The Falcons are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games, including 8-1 ATS in none-conference games overall the last three seasons. Colorado is 1-9 ATS after a game where 60 or more total points were scored over the last three seasons. The Buffaloes are 0-6 ATS in their last six home games vs. a team with a winning record. Colorado is 4-11-1 ATS in its last 16 games vs. a team with a winning record overall. Bet Air Force Saturday.
|09-14-19||Kansas State +8.5 v. Mississippi State||Top||31-24||Win||100||60 h 45 m||Show|
20* K-State/Mississippi State ESPN No-Brainer on Kansas State +8.5
Kansas State got a great hire to replace the legendary Bill Snyder this offseason. Chris Klieman won four FCS national titles in his five seasons at North Dakota State. And he stepped into a good situation at Kansas State with 14 returning starters.
The Wildcats are off to an impressive 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS start this season. They beat Nicholls State by 35 as 20.5-point favorites. They beat Bowling Green 52-0 as 24.5-point favorites. They have covered the spread by a combined 42 points in their first two games.
The defense has been really impressive and allowed just 140 total yards to Bowling Green last week. That’s a Bowling Green offense that had 620 yards and 46 points in their opener. The Wildcats also brought back a veteran QB in Skyler Thompson, who has played well. And the running game has produced an average of 347 yards per game and 6 yards per carry thus far.
Kansas State wants revenge from a 31-10 home loss to Mississippi State last year. But that was a Mississippi State team that was way better than this 2019 version. I am way down on these Bulldogs and the UNDER 7.5 wins for them was one of my favorite win totals coming into the season.
I think the loss of Dan Mullen will be felt this season. Jim Moorhead no longer has Mullen’s recruits to rely on. The Bulldogs returned just 11 starters this season. The defense lost three first-round draft picks. And they lost their stud QB in Nick Fitzgerald on offense.
I have not been impressed at all by Mississippi State thus far despite their 2-0 start. The only beat Louisiana Lafayette by 10 as 18.5-point favorites in their opener. They beat Southern Miss by 23 as 16-point favorites last week, but that was a misleading final. They only outgained Lafayette by 67 yards and Southern Miss by 42 yards.
The Bulldogs even took advantage of a combined 8 turnovers forced by their defense, yet still weren’t impressive. Kansas State isn’t the type of team that beats themselves. The Bulldogs won’t be gifted those same turnovers by the Wildcats.
I think Mississippi State could be overlooking Kansas State with its SEC opener on deck next week. Conversely, Kansas State has a bye next week, so they’ll be all in especially since they are seeking revenge.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Kansas State) - after scoring 42 points or more in two straight games are 43-15 (74.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. Kansas State is 21-9-1 ATS in its last 31 road games against a team with a winning home record. Bet Kansas State Saturday.
|09-14-19||Maryland v. Temple +7.5||17-20||Win||100||60 h 44 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Temple +7.5
Talk about an overreaction. Maryland has started 2-0 with two blowout wins over Howard (79-0) and Syracuse (63-20). Now they are ranked 24th in the country and getting a ton of hype. This is exactly the type of spot I like to fade teams in.
Temple didn’t play last week as they had a bye, giving them a full two weeks to prepare for Maryland. You know that they are going to be extra amped for this game hearing all the good things about Maryland in the media. And the Owls love being counted out as they have been one of the best money makers in college football over the last few years, especially in the underdog role.
New Temple head coach Rod Carey comes over from Northern Illinois. He won at least 8 games in five of his six seasons at NIU and three MAC titles. He brought over both his offensive and defensive coordinators from NIU, so there will be some stability here.
The cupboard clearly isn’t bare for Carey, either. Temple returned 14 starters from a team that went 8-5 last year. Their four losses during the regular season all came by 12 points or less, so they were competitive in every game. And one of those games included a 35-14 win at Maryland as 15-point underdogs. They outgained the Terrapins 429 to 195 in that beat down. So you can imagine how they feel about being 7-point dogs in the rematch.
Temple returns a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. They have seven starters back on offense from a unit that put up 34.7 points per game, including QB Anthony Russo and five linemen with starting experience. The defense also returns seven starters from a unit that allowed 27.1 points per game. Seven of the top 10 tacklers are back.
Temple took care of business 56-12 as 40-point favorites over Canisius in their opener. You would expect them to struggle a little in their first game with a new head coach, but that didn’t happen at all. They put up 695 yards on offense, including 507 passing yards as they weren’t afraid at all to let loose and air it out. Their defense gave up just 211 total yards, including 21 rushing on 26 attempts.
Stopping the run will be the key to stopping Maryland. The Terrapins have rushed for over 300 yards in each of their first two games, but those were against two bad defenses in Howard and Syracuse. Temple has been known for stopping the run and great linebackers. They have allowed 4.0 or fewer yards per carry in four of the past five seasons. I expect them to be great against the run again this season with five starters back in their front seven.
Plays on home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Temple) - a team that had a winning record last season, in non-conference games are 74-33 (69.2%) ATS since 1992. It’s really time to ’sell high’ on Maryland this week.
The Owls are 38-18 ATS in their last 56 games overall. Temple is 6-0 ATS in its last six games after gaining 280 or more passing yards last game. Maryland is 6-14 ATS in its last 20 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Terrapins are 6-23 ATS in their last 29 games following a win, and 7-25 ATS in their last 32 games off an ATS win. Maryland is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Roll with Temple Saturday.
|09-13-19||Washington State v. Houston +9||Top||31-24||Win||100||45 h 60 m||Show|
20* Washington State/Houston ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Houston +9
This is technically a neutral site game. However, it will be played in Houston at NRG Stadium, which is the home of the Texans. There’s no question the Cougars will have a home field advantage in this one.
It’s a Houston team I was high on coming into the season. They brought back eight starters on offense, including QB D’Eriq King, who accounted for 50 total touchdowns last year despite missing two games. They will never be out of any game with King running the show under first-year head coach Dana Holgorsen.
We saw that against Oklahoma in the opener as the Cougars got down by 25 points, but clawed back to get within 11 late in the fourth quarter. The Sooners tacked on a rushing TD from 21 yards out with 1:17 left to push the final margin back to 18 when they were just trying to run out the clock. That effort on the road against the Sooners shows shat Houston is capable of as Oklahoma is one of the best teams in the country.
Last week was clearly a flat spot for Houston and a sandwich game between Oklahoma and Washington State. It’s no surprise they came out flat and only beat Prairie View 37-17 as 36-point favorites. I think they are now undervalued because everyone is seeing that result and thinking that Houston isn’t very good. But human nature is the reason why they didn’t perform up to par in that game.
Now the Cougars will be ’sky high’ with Washington State coming to town. This is a Cougars team I’m way down on after a school record 11 wins last year. They are overvalued early in the season, especially after two blowout wins against a couple cupcakes to start the season.
They beat New Mexico State 58-7 as 33.5-point favorites and Northern Colorado 59-17 as 43-point favorites. New Mexico State is one of the worst teams in FBS and lost to Alabama 10-62 last week. Northern Colorado is one of the worst teams in FCS. They lost to San Jose State 35-18 in their opener, and San Jose State lost 16-34 at home to Tulsa last week.
The betting public is going to see those scores and automatically jump on Washington State. There’s clearly value with Houston because of it. Give Mike Leach props for a great season last year, but the schedule was very easy and gets a lot tougher this season. They also lost QB Gardner Minshew, who had a monster season after transferring from Eastern Washington.
I realize it has been basically plug and play at QB for Washington State. And the offense should be fine again, but the defense only returns six starters. They have allowed 336.0 yards per game to New Mexico State and Northern Colorado. Their defense was much better last year and that’s the biggest reason they won 11 games. They lost a lot of talent from that stop unit.
King and company should be able to score at will on them. Houston averaged 47.8 points and 541 yards per game in games in which King started last year. Now that he has two games under his belt in Holgorsen’s new offense, he should start to really shine after a somewhat slow start to the season. King has six total touchdowns (3 passing, 3 rushing) and only one interception thus far.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Houston) - a bad defensive team from last season that allowed 425 or more total yards per game, with eight or more offensive starters including their QB returning are 52-21 (71.2%) ATS since 1992.
Mike Leach is 0-7 ATS in road games after two consecutive games where his team forced three or more turnovers in all games he has coached. HIs teams have never covered in this situation. Bet Houston Friday.
|09-07-19||New Mexico State +55.5 v. Alabama||10-62||Win||100||46 h 38 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on New Mexico State +55.5
This game is all about fading Alabama in the big favorite role. Nick Saban is quicker to pull his starters than almost any other head coach in this situation. He wants to get his backups more playing time, and he doesn’t want to show too much, especially with their SEC opener on deck against South Carolina next week.
New Mexico State is not a good team, but they return 14 starters and are experienced. I think the fact they lost 7-58 to Washington State last week is pushing this spread up higher than it should be. Washington State threw the ball 49 times and only ran it 20 times. They were trying to get their passing game going with a new quarterback.
Alabama won’t be looking to throw the ball all over the yard. They will run it more than they pass it, which will keep the clock running and shorten the game, helping New Mexico State stay within this number. And I think NMSU’s offense was better than the 7 points showed last week as they had 317 total yards but committed three turnovers. Also, they held Washington State to 111 rushing yards on those 20 carries.
Saban is 3-11 ATS as a home favorite of 42.5 or more points as the coach of Alabama, including 0-4 ATS as a favorite of 50 or more points having never covered in this situation. These trends just show that he takes his foot off the gas all the time in this large favorite roles. He has respect for his opponents and doesn’t run up the score.
Plays against home favorites of 31.5 or more points (Alabama) - after outgaining its last opponent by 125 or more total yards against an opponent that was outgained by 125 or more total yards last game are 23-3 (88.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. We’ll ‘buy low’ on the Aggies after failing to cover against Washington State, and ‘sell high’ on the Crimson Tide after covering against Duke. Roll with New Mexico State Saturday.
|09-07-19||Central Michigan +35 v. Wisconsin||0-61||Loss||-104||45 h 18 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Central Michigan +35
The Wisconsin Badgers are coming off one of the most impressive wins of Week 1. They beat South Florida 49-0 as 10-point road favorites. Now it’s time to ’sell high’ on the Badgers, who come back as whopping 35-point favorites over Central Michigan this week.
While impressive, that win against South Florida I think has more to do with the direction of the Bulls than anything. Charlie Strong was a disaster in Texas and has been a disaster thus far at South Florida. This team lost their final six games last year once the competition got tougher after a 7-0 start. Wisconsin was simply able to maul them and continue USF’s downward spiral.
Central Michigan has been one of the best MAC programs throughout the years. But they are coming off a dreadful 1-11 season, so I think we are definitely ‘buying low’ on them to start the season. They had been bowl eligible in six straight seasons before bottoming out at 1-11 last year. There’s reason for optimism in Mt. Pleasant moving forward.
That’s because Central Michigan had one of the best hires of the offseason in Jim McElwain. He has been a winner everywhere he has gone, turning around Colorado State in his three years there before landing the Florida job. He has a 44-28 record as a head coach and is instantly one of the best coaches in the MAC now.
McElwain has always been an offensive guy, and he actually has some nice talent to work with in his eight returning starters. That doesn’t even count Tennessee transfer QB Quinten Dormady, who was a Top 20 recruit coming out of high school. Dormady won the job in camp and was great in Week 1.
Central Michigan beat Albany 38-21 as 13.5-point favorites int heir opener. This was an even bigger blowout than the score showed as they outgained Albany 529 to 244, or by 285 total yards. Dormady went 27-of-37 for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the win. The Chippewas rushed for 244 yards as a team as well.
Wisconsin just can’t seem to get over the injury bug that has plagued them the last few seasons. The Badgers have a ton of projected starters coming into the season that are out with injuries this week. They include NT Bryson Williams, S Scott Nelson, RT Logan Bruss and LB Chris Orr. That’s a lot of starters to be missing this early in the season for a team that returned just 12 starters and was projected to start eight sophomores.
Paul Chryst is 1-10 ATS after leading their previous game by 17 or more points at half as the coach of Wisconsin. The Badgers are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games following a win. Chryst is 3-11 ATS off a cover as a double-digit favorite as the coach of Wisconsin. The Chippewas are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning record. Take Central Michigan Saturday.
|09-07-19||Nebraska -4 v. Colorado||Top||31-34||Loss||-109||45 h 9 m||Show|
20* Nebraska/Colorado FOX No-Brainer on Nebraska -4
The Nebraska hype in the offseason was definitely off the charts. And they failed to live up to it in Week 1 as they won just 35-21 as 35-point favorites against South Alabama. Now that the hype has cooled, I think it’s time to jump on Nebraska against Colorado this week as only 4-point favorites.
The comments coming from Nebraska’s locked room after the game were the type of comments I like to hear. Both head coach Scott Frost and QB Adrian Martinez were disappointed. Frost said that’s one of the worst offensive performances he’s ever been a part of, and Martinez said their performance was unacceptable.
I have no doubt the Huskers will put their best foot forward this week. Not just because they weren’t satisfied with their performance against South Alabama, but also because they want revenge on Colorado from a 28-33 home loss to the Buffaloes last year. That was a very misleading loss as the Huskers outgained the Buffaloes 565 to 395, but lost the turnover battle 3-0.
Colorado is getting a lot of respect now after beating Colorado State 52-31 as 11-point favorites in their opener. That was a misleading final too as the Buffaloes were outgained in the game and actually gave up a whopping 505 total yards to the Rams. But they won the turnover battle 4-0, which was the difference. And that’s a Colorado State team that has been trending in the wrong direction in recent years.
Colorado is a rebuilding team this year with a first-year head coach in Mel Tucker. They return just 11 starters. The Buffaloes do have a good offense with seven starters back, but their defense only has four starters back and should be one of the worst units in the Pac-12. That was on display last week as they gave up those 505 yards to Colorado State.
Even thought this is technically a home game for Colorado, it won’t feel like one. That’s because Nebraska fans travel almost as well as anyone, and it’s a short trip to Boulder. They will have nearly 50% of the fans there as I know for sure Colorado allotted at least 30% of the tickets for Nebraska fans. So this will be closer to a neutral site game, and Nebraska is much better than -4 against Colorado on a neutral.
Colorado is 0-9 ATS after a game where 60 or more points were scored over the last three seasons. It is losing by 11.0 points per game in this spot. The Buffaloes are 0-7 ATS after allowing 475 or more total yards in their previous game. They are losing by 10.8 points per game in this spot. We’ll buy low on the Huskers in after last week’s performance and in a revenge spot here. Bet Nebraska Saturday.
|09-07-19||Texas A&M +17.5 v. Clemson||10-24||Win||100||45 h 8 m||Show|
15* Texas A&M/Clemson ABC ANNIHILATOR on Texas A&M +17.5
Being the No. 1 team in the country coming off a national championship comes with a heavy price tag when it comes to betting. That’s the case for the Clemson Tigers, who are going to have inflated spreads week in and week out moving forward. It’s going to make it very difficult for them to cover consistently knowing that the betting public will be quick to back them at any numbers, forcing oddsmakers to inflate their spreads.
Clemson was fortunate to cover as 36.5-point favorites in a 52-14 win over Georgia Tech last week. Georgia Tech was putting in a new system under a new coach going away from the triple-option from year’s past, so this was always going to be a tough test for them. And Georgia Tech fumbled on the 1-yard line going into the end zone for a touchback, and their four turnovers overall were the difference in them covering or not.
Texas A&M will be the best team that Clemson faces during the regular season, and it’s not even close. I think the Aggies are fully capable of hanging with Clemson, and they proved that last year. Clemson only won 28-26 as 11.5-point road favorites at Texas A&M. I’d argue the Aggies deserved to win that game as they outgained the Tigers by 88 yards and racked up 501 total yards in the loss.
Jimbo Fisher is one of my favorite head coaches. He won a National Championship at Florida State and won 10-plus games in five of his final six seasons. Then he came to Texas A&M and in his first year went 9-4 for their first season of nine-plus since since 2013. And Fisher is killing it in recruiting, which will keep the Aggies as an SEC West contender for years to come.
Only 11 starters are back for Texas A&M, but more of his recruits will be seeing playing time this year, which makes them more veteran than that 11 number shows. And the offense is loaded with seven returning starters, including stud QB Kellen Mond, who accounted for 31 touchdowns last year. He accounted for four touchdowns in their 41-7 win over Texas State last week as 34-point favorites.
Clemson also has a loaded offense with eight starters back, but they have some of the same problems as Texas A&M on defense. Both squads return just four starters on defense. The Tigers lose their entire defensive line from last year to the NFL. I know they have talented replacements, but I think Mond can have more success just like he had last year against their defense. Mond threw for 430 yards and three touchdowns against Clemson last year.
Texas A&M is 12-1 ATS after playing a home game over the last three seasons. The Aggies are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games. The Tigers are 2-5 ATS in their last seven non-conference games. Texas A&M is 21-6-1 ATS in its last 28 September games.
Plays on road teams (Texas A&M) - after a game where they forced four or more turnovers against an opponent after a game where they committed three or more turnovers are 40-13 (75.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take Texas A&M Saturday.
|09-07-19||Rutgers +20.5 v. Iowa||Top||0-30||Loss||-106||66 h 46 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Rutgers +20.5
Rutgers came into the season undervalued after going 1-11 last year. I backed Rutgers over UMass in Week 1 and they delivered with a 48-21 victory as 17-point favorites. After a slow start, they showed some great resiliency and scored the final 41 points of the game.
This is easily Chris Ash’s best team yet in his 4 years here. The offense looks to be greatly improved after putting up 554 yards on UMass. Texas Tech transfer McLane Carter threw for 340 yards in the win, and the Scarlet Knights may finally have a quarterback. They have always had a competitive defense under Ash, which helps keep them in ball games.
Rutgers is now 6-0 ATS in its last six games overall dating back to last season. They covered in each of their final five games of the season against Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State last year. They nearly upset Northwestern losing by just 3 as 20-point dogs. They also lost by only 4 as 24-point dogs at Michigan State.
The Iowa Hawkeyes aren’t a team built to cover these big spreads. They run a ball control offense and a bend but don’t break defense. It’s tough for them to score enough points to cover these lofty margins. They didn’t cover as 25-point favorites against Miami Ohio last week. And they even scored 2 touchdowns in the final 6 minutes of that game to turn a 10-point game into a 24-point win.
Iowa has a huge game on deck next week against Iowa State. They could easily be looking ahead to that Top 25 showdown and overlooking Rutgers. Either way, I think Rutgers is talented enough to stay within 3 touchdowns of the Hawkeyes. Kirk Ferentz is 19-31 ATS as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points as the coach of Iowa.
Plays on road underdogs (Rutgers) - after gaining 475 or more total yards in their previous game, with eight or more offensive starters including their QB returning are 124-69 (64.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Rutgers Saturday.
|09-06-19||Marshall +12.5 v. Boise State||Top||7-14||Win||100||27 h 40 m||Show|
20* Marshall/Boise State ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Marshall +12.5
The Marshall Thundering Herd have been a power in Conference USA since Doc Holliday has been there. He enters his 10th season this year having won eight or more games in five of the last six years overall. Coming off a 9-4 season last year, the Thundering Herd return 14 starters and are among the favorites to win C-USA.
Marshall gave up just 21.9 points per game last year and brought back six of its top nine tacklers from that unit. The stop unit will be good again, and this figures to be one of Marshall’s best offenses in years with eight starters back, including QB Isaiah Green.
That Marshall offense impressed in Week 1 by beating VMI 56-17. It’s worth noting it was a 49-7 game heading into the 4th quarter before the Thundering Herd called off the dogs. Green threw for 238 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 46 yards on eight carries in the win.
Boise State used a lot of energy coming back from 31-13 down at Florida State to win 36-31 in the heat and humidity last week. Now the Broncos are on a short week here and probably won’t have a ton left in the tank. It’s also a letdown spot after that huge road win in Tallahassee.
The blue turf in Boise State isn’t the advantage it used to be. The Broncos have consistently been overvalued at home. They are just 7-16 ATS in their last 23 home games. Brian Harsin is 0-7 ATS as a home favorite of 10.5 to 14 points as the coach of Boise State. Harsin is also 1-9 ATS after gaining 375 or more passing yards last game as the coach of the Broncos.
Plays against home favorites (Boise State) - after allowing 100 or less rushing yards last game against an opponent that outrushed its last opponent by 200 or more yards are 44-16 (73.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Marshall Friday.
|09-02-19||Notre Dame v. Louisville +18.5||35-17||Win||100||102 h 24 m||Show|
15* Notre Dame/Louisville ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Louisville +18.5
This is a great opportunity to buy low on Louisville and sell high on Notre Dame in Week 1. Louisville is coming off a disastrous 2-10 season last year that came out of nowhere. Meanwhile, Notre Dame went 12-1 and made the four-team playoff, so expectations are way high on them now.
Simply put, players quit on head coach Bobby Petrino last year. They lost their final nine games and rarely were competitive. Petrino was fired with two games left. I have no doubt the talent level on that team was better than their 2-10 record, and now new head coach Scott Satterfield should get the most out of these players.
Satterfield comes over from Appalachian State where he posted a 51-24 record in his six years there. Fortunately for Satterfield, the cupboard isn’t bare as the Cardinals return 16 starters. This should be one of the most improved defenses in the country with 10 starters back on defense.
Offensively, the Cardinals return six starters, including starting QB Jawon Pass. He has had a lot of success in the simplified offense in the offseason and is ready to take this offense to the next level. He has stated that he wants to prove to himself and his teammates that they are better than they showed last year, and now it’s time to prove it on the field in Week 1.
Notre Dame has 13 starters back and is certainly talented, but they have rarely been this heavy of a road favorite under Brian Kelly. They will have to replace their top two playmakers in RB Dexter Williams and WR Miles Boykin. Defensively, the Fighting Irish lose three of their top five tacklers from last year and three NFL draft picks.
Louisville had been to a bowl game in eight straight seasons prior to going 2-10 last year. They had also won 8 or more games in six straight seasons coming into 2018. I just don’t think this program will stay down for long, especially with a coach the caliber of Satterfield running the show. The Cardinals will give the Fighting Irish more than they bargained for in Week 1. Roll with Louisville Monday.
|09-01-19||Houston v. Oklahoma UNDER 80||31-49||Push||0||78 h 55 m||Show|
15* Houston/Oklahoma ABC No-Brainer on UNDER 80
This UNDER bet has a lot to do with Oklahoma. After having a dominant offense over the last two years with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray running the show, the Sooners are sure to take a big step back offensively this year with Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts. He is just as good of a runner or better than both those guys, but he is nowhere near the passer that they were.
Not to mention, only four starters return on offense. The Sooners lose leading receiver Marquise Brown and his 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns to the NFL. Four NFL draft picks are gone from an offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award after being named the nation’s top O-Line. They have three sophomore starters and just 36 career starts returning up front.
I expect Oklahoma to have one of the most improved defenses in the country after a subpar season that saw them allow 33.3 points and 454 yards per game. They fired Mike Stoops midseason and now have replaced him with Alex Grinch, who was the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State last year. Grinch has a ton of talent and experience to work with as the Sooners return eight starters and eight of their top nine tacklers.
Houston has some talent on offense with QB D’Eriq King and all of his top playmakers back. But there will be some growing pains early under new head coach Dana Holgorsen and his new scheme. His scheme is much more complex than the one they ran last year, and it won’t be hitting on all cylinders in Week 1 against this tough Oklahoma defense.
Houston was decimated by injuries lsat year down the stretch and the numbers took a hit because of it. I know that they only have four starters back on defense this year, but this unit can only stay healthier. And they are more experienced than that considering several players were forced into action due to the injuries. Houston is projected to start nine upperclassmen, which shows the experience.
Simply put, I believe this total has been inflated based on what these teams did last year. The Sooners were 9-4 to the OVER while the Cougars were 10-4 to the OVER last year. Oddsmakers have been forced to adjust accordingly, and this 80-point total is simply too high now.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is 63 or higher (Houston) - in non-conference D1 games, with an experienced QB returning as a starter, in the first two weeks of the season are 37-12 (75.5%) since 1992. The UNDER is 4-1 in Cougars last five vs. Big 12 opponents. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|08-31-19||Louisiana Tech +20.5 v. Texas||14-45||Loss||-102||55 h 31 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Louisiana Tech +20.5
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs have been as consistent as they come under 7th-year head coach Skip Holtz. They have won anywhere from 7 to 9 games over the last five seasons since going just 4-8 in his first year on the job. It’s a team that has proven they can play with the big boys throughout the years, and they are also a contender to win Conference USA.
The Bulldogs gave up just 23.0 points per game on defense last year and should be good again on that side of the ball with five of their top eight tacklers back. The improvements should come on offense after averaging just 24.7 points pre game last year. That was a real down season for a Holtz offense because they had scored 30-plus points per game in the four seasons prior. Look for them to get back up above that number this season.
The offense returns six starters and almost all the top playmakers. QB J’Mar Smith is back after throwing for 3,160 yards and 15 touchdowns while also rushing for three more. Leading receiver Adrian Hardy (75 receptions, 1,145 yards, 6 TD) is also back, as is leading rusher Jaqwis Dancy (667 yards, 9 TD). The offensive line returns three starters and 78 career starts and should stay healthier than last year. This is the 25th-most experienced team in the country.
I just don’t understand all the hype for the Texas Longhorns this year. They are getting a lot of respect for going 10-4 last year and beating Georgia in the bowl. That was a Georgia team that didn’t want to be there after losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game that cost them a spot in the four-team playoff. And keep in mind seven of Texas’ 10 wins last year came by 7 points or fewer, so they were fortunate in close games. They only won one game by 20-plus points all season.
Now Texas is one of the least-experienced teams in the country with just eight starters back. The defense returns just three starters and loses seven of their top 10 tacklers from a year ago. This will probably be Tom Herman’s worst defense since he’s been here. The offense returns just five starters, loses its leading rusher and receiver, and just two starters are back on the offensive line. Sam Ehlinger is a nice talent, but he will have his hands full early in the season getting in sync with his O-Line and skill players.
This is definitely a lookahead spot for Texas. They have a massive game with LSU on deck next week at home. They could easily be overlooking Louisiana Tech. And we’ve seen the Longhorns struggle in these early season games against non-conference teams recently. They’ve been upset by Maryland as 17 and 13-point favorites each of the last two years. And they barely beat Tulsa 28-21 at home as 22-point favorites last year.
Louisiana Tech is 7-1 ATS as a dog of 20-plus points over the last 10 yards. Skip Holtz is 7-2 ATS as a dog of 20-plus points in his career as a head coach. Holtz is 27-14 ATS in road games as the coach of Louisiana Tech, including 14-4-1 ATS as a road dog over the past five years. Herman is just 6-15-1 ATS as a home favorite. The Bulldogs are 38-18 ATS in their last 56 road games overall. Roll with Louisiana Tech Saturday.
|08-31-19||Virginia -2.5 v. Pittsburgh||Top||30-14||Win||100||54 h 56 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Virginia -2.5
The Virginia Cavaliers are a team on the rise under fourth-year head coach Bronco Mendenhall. He has improved this team in each of his first three seasons, going from 2-10 in Year 1 to 6-7 in Year 2 and 8-5 in Year 3 last season. Now he has his best team yet and some stability in the program with how well he has recruited. The Cavaliers are a legit contender to win the Coastal this year.
Last year, the Cavaliers lost five games, but three were by 4 points or fewer. They were in every game they played. Now they have 14 starters back and one of the best defenses in the ACC with eight starters back from a unit that gave up just 20.1 points per game.
Offensively, the Cavaliers return stud quarterback Bryce Perkins, which will help make up for the fact that they only return six starters on that side of the ball. Perkins threw for 2,680 yards with a 25-to-9 TD/INT ratio, while also rushing for 923 yards and nine scores. The offensive line returns three starters and they have 17 offensive linemen on scholarship, so Mendenhall now has the numbers he wants up front.
Pittsburgh came out of nowhere to win the Coastal last year. They did so despite finishing with just a 7-7 record, and they clearly weren’t the best team in the Coastal. Now the Panthers have just 101 starters back this year and I expect them to be one of the worst teams in the division.
The losses on offense are huge as they return just five starters and lose two 1,000-yard backs in Quadree Ollison (1,213 yards, 11 TD) and Darrin Hall (1,144 yards, 10 TD). They rushed for 228 yards per game last year, but only passed for 142 per game. So now they are going to have to throw the ball more with Kenny Pickett, who only completed 58.1% of his passes last year and just isn’t that good. Only one starter returns on the offensive line and just 37 career starts. Pickett will struggle once again this season, especially in Week 1 against one of the best defenses in the country.
Pittsburgh had just a mediocre defense last year that gave up 27.8 points and 388 yards per game. After having nine starters back on that unit, the Panthers now only have five starters back on defense. That was supposed to be six, but then their best defender in DE Rashad Weaver (47 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 14 TFL) suffered a season-ending ACL injury in fall camp. So they now lose four of their top six tacklers and this unit won’t be better than last year.
Virginia wants revenge from a 13-23 home loss to Pitt as 7-point favorites that ultimately cost them the Coastal. I think the Cavaliers come into the season with a chip on their shoulder, while Pitt is still feeling fat and happy after winning the division. The Cavaliers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 Saturday games. The road team is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings. The favorite is 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings. Take Virginia Saturday.
|08-31-19||Boise State v. Florida State -5.5||Top||36-31||Loss||-110||46 h 26 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Florida State -5.5
This game has been moved from Jacksonville to Tallahassee due to the pending hurricane, so it will be a home game for the Seminoles. It’s a Florida State team I’m buying low on early in the season.
The Seminoles went 5-7 last year for their first losing season since 1976. They had won 10-plus games in 5 straight years prior to last season. It was a clear rebuilding year for first-year head coach Willie Taggart. But unlike most programs, it only takes one year to rebuild Florida State because they recruit so much talent.
I trust Taggart because he has been a winner everywhere he has gone. And I think he rights the ship this year with 16 returning starters and a Top 10 recruiting class. This team will be playing with a chip on their shoulder early. The hire of offensive coordinator Kendall Briles was one of the best hires in the country.
Briles guided Houston to 44 points per game & 513 yards per game last year. In 2017, he was in charge of a Florida Atlantic offense that put up over 40 points pre game and nearly 500 yards per game while winning 11 games. We saw how much their offense struggled without him last year. And Briles oversaw a Baylor offense that averaged over 40 points per game and 500 yards per game in his two seasons as coordinator in 2015-16.
This will be one of the most improved offenses in the country with eight starters back. Sophomore James Blackman has been named quarterback and I like that move over Wisconsin transfer Alex Hornibrook. The offensive line was a mess last year, but it won’t be this year. And the defense should also be vastly improved with eight starters back.
Boise State has 13 starters back. They are probably the class of the Mountain West this season, but that’s not saying much. The biggest concern is losing a 4-year starter at quarterback in Brett Rypien who leaves as the school’s 2nd-leading passer. Hank Bachmeier is a true freshman who will be making his first start. He’s talented, but I can’t foresee his first start going well against an opponent the caliber of Florida State. That’s especially the case the top 2 receivers and leading rusher Alex Mattison also gone from last year’s team.
In recent years we’ve seen Boise State struggle in these early non-conference games. They lost by 22 to Ole Miss, by 19 to Virginia and by 23 to Oklahoma State all within the last 5 years. This is easily one of the toughest non-conference games they’ve ever faced. Florida State has the talent edge and it’s really not even close. I expect Taggart to get the most out of that talent starting in Week 1. Bet Florida State Saturday.
|08-30-19||UMass v. Rutgers -15||Top||21-48||Win||100||48 h 33 m||Show|
20* CFB Friday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Rutgers -15
Rutgers enters the 2019 season with the nation's longest losing streak at 11 games. The betting public wants nothing to do with this team, and I think we are getting them cheap in Week 1 as a result. They should absolutely crush UMass in their home opener Friday night.
Rutgers decided to stick with Chris Ash after their 1-11 season. I think it was a good move to keep some chemistry here and now Ash has easily his best team yet. And Rutgers wasn’t as bad as their 1-11 record last year either as they nearly beat both Northwestern and Michigan State late in the year. They lost 15-18 to Northwestern as 20-point dogs and 10-14 at Michigan State as 24-point dogs.
We saw last year just how underrated this team was down the stretch as Rutgers went 5-0 ATS in its final five games overall while covering against Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State. Four of those five games were competitive and decided by two touchdowns or less, which is impressive against that gauntlet.
I remember taking Rutgers in their opener last year and they rolled to a 35-7 victory as nearly identical 16-point favorites against Texas State. UMass is a team that is similar to Texas State talent wise as the Bobcats were one of the worst teams in the country, and this year the Minutemen are the worst team in the country according to Phil Steele, and I certainly agree.
UMass only returns eight starters this season and is the single least-experienced team in the country this year. They went 4-8 last season and head coach Mark Whipple stepped down. In comes Walt Bell, who was the offensive coordinator at Florida State last year in one of the worst offensive seasons in history for the Seminoles. Whipple certainly left the cupboard very bare here at UMass.
The Minutemen will certainly have one of the worst defenses in the country, so even a team like Rutgers should be able to score at will on them. The Minutemen gave up 42.9 points and 485 yards per game last year. Now they return just three starters on defense and are extremely inexperienced. They lose their leader in Bryton Barr (147 tackles, 10.5 TFL), who had 75 more tackles than their next leading returning tackler. This defense could be even worse in 2019.
The losses are massive on offense as well. Only five starters return, and they lose all of their top playmakers. UMass loses QB Andrew Ford, who was their starter before going down with injury. They also lost QB Ross Comes, who had a 14-to-3 TD/INT ratio in Ford’s absence. Also gone is leading rusher Marquise Young as their top returning RB rushed for only 139 yards last year. And last but certainly not least, stud WR Andy Isabella (102 receptions, 1,698 yards, 13 TD last year) is now in the NFL.
Rutgers has had a solid defense the last two years, but it’s the offense that has held them back. They were -14 in turnovers last year and gave the ball away too much. But with eight starters back on offense, this can only be one of the most improved units in the country. Ash hasn’t named a starting QB yet, but his team knows who it will be, and that’s all that matters. Sophomore Artur Sitkowski had a forgettable freshman campaign with 18 interceptions. So Texas Tech transfer McClane Carter and BC transfer Johnny Langan are now here to push him. Whoever is under center will have no problem moving the ball against his soft UMass defense.
Ash has been a double-digit favorite twice the last two years. He has covered in those games by an average of 17.5 points per game. UMass is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 games during the first two weeks of a season. The Minutemen are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games as a dog of 10.5 to 21 points. The Scarlet Knights are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. Independents. Rutgers is 5-0 ATS in its last five games overall. The Minutemen are 0-4 ATS in their last four vs. Big Ten opponents. Bet Rutgers Friday.
|08-29-19||Florida International v. Tulane -2||Top||14-42||Win||100||50 h 20 m||Show|
20* CFB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Tulane -2
The Tulane Green Wave made their first bowl games since 2013 last year and capitalized with a 41-24 win over Louisiana in the Cure Bowl. Willie Fritz is one of the most underrated coaches in the country with what he is doing down in New Orleans.
Fritz has gone from 4 to 5 to 7 wins in his first three seasons on the job. And now he enters Year 4 with his best team yet. And I love the fact that Fritz realizes this triple-option offense will only carry him so far, so he brought in a new coordinator this year in Will Hall. He comes over from Memphis and will be running an up-tempo offense that Florida International will not be prepared for.
The Green Wave return all of their best playmakers on offense for Hall to work with. QB Justin McMillian is back and is a dual-threat guy. The top two rushers are back in Darius Bradwell (1,134 yards, 11 TD) and Corey Dauphine (785 yards, 7 TD), as is leading receiver Darnell Mooney (48 receptions, 993 yards, 8 TD).
I’m also very excited about a defense that returns eight starters and will be the best stop unit that Fritz has had at Tulane. The Green Wave only had five starters back last year and allowed a respectable 27.5 points per game. They are loaded up front along the defensive line with all of their starters back, including Patrick Johnson (49 tackles, 10.5 sacks).
Florida International has exceeded expectations in the first two seasons under Butch Davis. They have gone 8-5 and 9-4 the last two years and have come very close to winning a C-USA title. And they have 16 starters back this year and will be solid again, but I just think they’re getting too much respect early in the season.
FIU feasted on an easy schedule last year as their schedule ranked 123rd in the country. Tulane played the 79th toughest schedule. Conference USA in general is one of the weakest conferences in the country, while the AAC is one of the most underrated, which teams like UCF and Cincinnati have proven in recent years.
FIU only beat two teams that made bowl games last year in Middle Tennessee and Toledo, and they won both those games by a field goal. Five of Tulane’s six losses last year came against both teams, and three of them were by a touchdown or less. Four of them were on the road, while the other two at home came in overtime to Wake Forest and by 4 to SMU.
I think the biggest matchup here that is going to go in our favor is FIU’s inexperienced offensive line up against Tulane’s dominant defensive line, which is the best in the AAC. FIU only gave up 8 sacks last year, while Tulane had 41 sacks as a team. But FIU loses three starters along the offensive line and will be tested like they haven’t been yet.
Not only will the Green Wave control the line of scrimmage on defense, they’ll also control it on offense. They rushed for 218 yards per game and 4.7 per carry last season and will be potent on the ground again. FIU’s weakness last year was up front as they allowed 192 rushing yards per game and 4.9 per carry.
Tulane is 6-0 ATS in home games in the first half of the season over the last three seasons. It is winning by 17.0 points per game in this spot. Fritz is 6-0 ATS in the first two weeks of the season as the coach of Tulane. The Green Wave are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 vs. C-USA opponents, while the Golden Panthers are 2-5 ATS in their last seven vs. AAC foes. Bet Tulane Thursday.
|08-24-19||Arizona v. Hawaii +11||Top||38-45||Win||100||98 h 6 m||Show|
20* Arizona/Hawaii 2019 CFB Season Opener on Hawaii +11
It’s an exciting time of year with college football starting back up on August 24th. And I’m expecting we could have a huge upset right out of the gates here as Hawaii is more than capable of hanging toe-to-toe with Arizona in the opener. I’ll take the whopping 11 points for some insurance, though.
Hawaii OVER 5.5 is one of my favorite season win total bets this year. There’s several reasons why I’m high on this team. They return a whopping 18 starters in Year 4 under head coach Nick Rolovic, and this is easily his best team yet. That’s saying a lot after the Rainbow Warriors went 8-6 last season.
QB Cole McDonald was one of the best quarterbacks in the country that not many people heard about. He threw for 3,875 yards with a 36-to-10 TD/INT ratio, while also rushing for 359 yards and four scores. Most impressively, he put up those numbers despite missing two starts, and played through a torn ligament in his knee for much of the year.
Now McDonald is back healthy and heading an offense that returns nine starters after returning just three last year. This is a much more veteran unit that returns all 5 O-Line starters and adds in an Arizona transfer and two JUCO’s who redshirted last year. McDonald has two stud receivers in Cedric Byrd and JoJo Ward, who combined for 130 receptions, 1,835 yards and 18 touchdowns last year.
Defensively the Rainbow Warriors should be greatly improved. They gave up 35.1 points and 440 yards per game last season with just five returning starters. Now they have nine starters back on defense, including each of their top three tacklers from a year ago. With how good the offense is going to be, the defense just needs to be average for this team to win its share of games.
Arizona UNDER 6.5 is one of my favorite win total bets as well, so this is an easy choice here. The Wildcats went just 5-7 in Kevin Sumlin’s first season on the job after he was oustered from Texas A&M. Sumlin has always been able to recruit decently, but he’s just obviously not a very good head coach.
You’re going to hear a lot about Arizona QB Khalil Tate once again this season. He was among the Heisman favorites last year, but injuries hampered him last year and he hardly used his dual-threat ability, only rushing for 224 yards and two touchdowns. He had to become a pocket passer, which he’s clearly not as he completed just 56.3% of his passes last year. I think he’s one of the most overrated players in college football, and he’ll once again be protected by the play calling because he means to much to their team, so he won’t run that much.
Making matters worse for Tate is that each of his top four receivers from last year are now gone. The Wildcats are expected to start a pair of freshmen at receiver, and chemistry and communication will be an issue in Game 1. I think their offense will be fine, but it’s no more potent than what Hawaii will put on the field with McDonald and company.
Defensively, the Wildcats are no better than Hawaii, either. They gave up 32.6 points per game and 432 yards per game last season despite having eight returning starters. They also have eight starters back this season on D, so the improvements can’t be great. This is one of the worst defenses in the Pac-12 and the talent level just isn’t there to make much progress.
Last year, Arizona lost at home to BYU 23-28 as 10-point favorites. They also lost at Houston 18-45 as 3-point underdogs. The year before they lost at home to Houston 16-19. And the year before that, they lost at home to BYU 16-18. They have obviously been vulnerable early in the season in non-conference play, and I think that’s the case here against a Hawaii team that is one of the most underrated in the country.
Last year, Hawaii went 4-1 in non-conference play en route to a 6-1 start. They upset Colorado State as 16-point road dogs, upset Navy as 11-point home dogs, and beat both Rice and Duquesne handily. Their only loss in the non-conference was at Army 21-28, and that was a terrible body clock game that started at 9:00 AM for them. They hung right with an Army team for four quarters that won a school-record 11 games last year.
Hawaii is notoriously underrated to start each season, going 26-11 ATS in the first two weeks of the season since 1992. Arizona is 12-27 ATS in its last 39 games as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points. The Wildcats are just 4-13 SU & 4-13 ATS in all games played away from home the last three years. Arizona is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 true road games. The Rainbow Warriors are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 vs. Pac-12 opponents. Bet Hawaii Saturday.
|01-07-19||Alabama -200 v. Clemson||Top||16-44||Loss||-200||32 h 2 m||Show|
20* Alabama/Clemson National Championship No-Brainer on Alabama ML -200
One of the best-kept secrets is betting favorites on the money line in Championship-type games. Whether it be the Super Bowl or the National Championship of college football, you almost always get a cheaper price on the favorite on the money line than it should be.
That’s because with so much action on these standalone games, there’s a ton of liability for sports books on the underdog on the money line. They take way more bets on the dog on the money line than they would in any regular game. So they have to adjust their money line prices so they don’t get killed if the underdog wins the game outright.
A typical 5.5-point favorite is around -240 on the money line. So we are basically getting 40 cents of value here taking Alabama on the money line. I don’t expect this to be a blowout, but I do expect Alabama to win, so I’m more than willing to lay the -200 on Alabama on the money line just to win the game. I think this is the best bet you can make in the National Championship Game.
Alabama certainly wants revenge from losing a heartbreaker on the final play of the game to Clemson a few years ago. And they are also motivated to cement themselves as arguably the greatest team in college football history. They have come this far in the face of all the hype from the media, remaining grounded. And I expect them to complete their mission and win this game Monday night.
This is certainly the best offense the Crimson Tide have ever assembled under Nick Saban, which is why they can stake their claim as the greatest ever. They are scoring 47.7 points per game and averaging 527.6 yards per game. What makes that so remarkable is that they’ve been able to rest their starters in the second half of most of their games this season. And they once again have an elite defense that yields just 16.2 points per game.
I think the fact that Alabama didn’t cover the 14-point spread against Oklahoma last week also has them undervalued. They stormed out to a 31-10 halftime lead and simply took their foot off the gas. Oklahoma got 24 points in garbage time in the second half with the game already decided. Too Tagovailoa showed zero ill-effects of the ankle injury, completing 24-of-27 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns.
Conversely, I think Clemson is getting way too much respect due to its 30-3 win over Notre Dame. Clearly, the Fighting Irish played an easy schedule this season and weren’t one of the four best teams in the country. But it’s worth noting the Fighting Irish had their chances to put up points. In fact, Notre Dame had six drives that went into Clemson territory, and they came away with just 3 points on those six drives. That’s pretty hard to do.
Speaking of easy schedules, Clemson played a very easy schedule in the ACC, which was way down this season. They have only faced three teams in the Top 30 and one team in the Top 10. Meanwhile, Alabama has faced seven teams that rank in the Top 30 and three teams that rank in the Top 10. The’ve obviously beaten all seven. The Crimson Tide are way more battle-tested than the Tigers are coming into this game.
Nick Saban is 15-1 (+14 units) against the money line after failing to cover three of his last four games as the coach of Alabama. The Crimson Tide will cement themselves as arguably the greatest team in college football history with a win over Clemson. Bet Alabama on the Money Line Monday.
|01-01-19||Texas +14 v. Georgia||Top||28-21||Win||100||211 h 51 m||Show|
20* Texas/Georgia Sugar Bowl BAILOUT on Texas +14
This game is all about motivation. The Texas Longhorns are happy to be here. Whether or not they beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship, they most likely would have been penciled into the Sugar Bowl. So they aren’t disappointed at all with being in this bowl game.
Conversely, Georgia played in the National Championship Game last year against Alabama. They lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship after blowing a double-digit lead to Jalen Hurts, their second blown double-digit lead in as many tries against the Crimson Tide. That loss cost them a spot in the four-team playoff. The Bulldogs aren’t happy at all to be playing in the Sugar Bowl. It was playoffs or bust for them.
The motivational edge will help Texas make up for their talent edge that clearly goes to Georgia in this one. Fortunately for us, talent doesn’t always win out in these bowl games. And we’re getting two touchdowns here with the more motivated team. I’ll take my chances almost every time.
I also like backing head coach Tom Herman as an underdog. Herman is 12-2 ATS as an underdog in all games he has coached between Houston and Texas. He has won most of those games outright, and his teams are outscoring the opposition by 6.0 points per game in these spots. He certainly knows how to get his team motivated when they are being counted out, which is exactly what he’s doing leading into the Sugar Bowl as nobody outside the locker room is giving them a chance to beat Georgia.
Herman is also 10-1 ATS vs. excellent rushing teams that average 5.25 or more yards per carry in all games he has coached. Texas does a good job of stopping the run, holding opponents to 136 rushing yards per game and 3.9 per carry this season. The Longhorns are holding their opponents to 44 rushing yards per game and 0.8 per carry less than their season averages this year. That will help them slow down a Georgia offense that averages 252 rushing yards per game and 6.1 per carry this season.
Plays against favorites of 10.5 to 21 points (Georgia) - a hot team having won eight or more of their last 10 games, a team that wins more than 80% of their games on the season playing a good team that wins 60% to 80% of their games are 61-27 (69.3%) ATS since 1992. Bet Texas Tuesday.
|12-31-18||Missouri v. Oklahoma State +8||Top||33-38||Win||100||182 h 52 m||Show|
20* Missouri/Oklahoma State Liberty Bowl No-Brainer on Oklahoma State +8
It’s time to ‘buy low’ on Oklahoma State and ’sell high’ on Missouri in the Liberty Bowl. The Tigers are getting too much respect with how they finished the season, while the Cowboys are getting zero respect with how they finished the year. That has created some line value here on the Cowboys catching more than a touchdown to the Tigers in this matchup of old Big 12 rivals.
Oklahoma State finished the season 2-5 SU & 3-4 ATS in its last seven games overall. But four of those losses came by 7 points or less, and four of them were on the road. That includes their 47-48 loss at Oklahoma as 21.5-point dogs which showed they could play with anyone. They also beat West Virginia and Texas at home, two of the best teams in the Big 12.
Missouri is getting respect due to its 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS finish to the season. But two of the wins came against bad Tennessee and Arkansas teams who didn’t make a bowl. They only beat Vanderbilt by 5 as 14.5-point favorites, and Vanderbilt barely made a bowl and went on to lose to Baylor in their bowl game. The win over Florida looks impressive, but not when you consider that it was a huge hangover spot for the Gators off their loss to Georgia the previous week that cost them the SEC East title.
The Cowboys will never be out of this game due to an offense that ranks 10th national in yards per game (500.2) and 14th in scoring (38.4). QB Taylor Cornelius threw for 3,837 yards with a 28-to-11 TD/INT ratio while also rushing for 385 yards and 10 scores. I realize leading rusher Justice Hill (930 yards, 9 TD, 5.9/carry) is out, but his absence is being overblown. Backup Chuba Hubbard (595 yards, 6 TD, 5.6/carry) isn’t much of a downgrade. He’s actually an upgrade in the passing game over Hill, averaging 10.1 yards per reception on his 19 receptions compared to 5.2 on 13 for Hill.
The Cowboys are 8-1 ATS in their last nine non-conference games. Oklahoma State is 5-1 ATS in its last five games following a loss. The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning record. The Tigers are 1-8 ATS in their last nine December games. Missouri is 1-4 ATS in its last five games following an ATS win. The Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. Big 12 opponents. Bet Oklahoma State Monday.
|12-29-18||Oklahoma v. Alabama UNDER 77.5||34-45||Loss||-107||138 h 7 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma/Alabama Orange Bowl Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 77.5
Alabama has one of the best defenses in the country. The Crimson Tide only give up 14.8 points and 295.4 yards per game on the season. And consistently, they’ve been up enough to put their backups in in the second half. When one team has a defense this good, and the total is 77.5, there’s value with the UNDER.
I know Oklahoma doesn’t have a great defense. But they consistently face better offenses when playing in the Big 12. The Sooners give up 32.4 points and 448.1 yards per game on the season. But even factoring in their bad defense, when you combine what they give up on average to Alabama, you get 47.2 points per game. That’s still more than 30 points less than this posted total of 77.5. There’s still value with the UNDER.
I realize both Alabama and Oklahoma have elite offenses. In fact, these are two of the best offenses in the country. And if both defenses only had a week to prepare for these offenses, it would favor the over. But it favors the under since both teams have had basically one entire month to prepare for one another. Oklahoma won’t be surprising Alabama’s defense, and Alabama won’t be surprising Oklahoma’s defense.
I think this number is inflated largely due to the shootout between Georgia and Oklahoma last year in the first game of the four-team playoff. But you can bet Nick Saban is going to come up with ways to slow down Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray and company. And Oklahoma’s defense will be able to hold Alabama’s offense in check, especially with QB Too Tagovailoa hampered with an ankle injury.
I expect Alabama’s strategy to be to slow this game down with its running game. The Crimson Tide will be trying to control the time of possession with their running game. They rush for 202 yards per game and can certainly move the chains with heir running game and keep Murray and company off the field. That’s their best strategy to win this game, and I expect Saban to deploy this strategy. They won’t be trying to simply outscoring Oklahoma in a shootout.
Oklahoma is 19-4 UNDER in its last 23 December games. Alabama sis 10-2 UNDER in tis last 12 games following three or more consecutive overs. Alabama is 43-21 UNDER in its last 64 games vs. good rushing teams that average 200 or more rushing yards per game. The UNDER is 7-2 in Sooners last nine vs. SEC opponents. The UNDER is 8-3 in Sooners last 11 bowl games. Roll with the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-29-18||Notre Dame +14 v. Clemson||Top||3-30||Loss||-124||134 h 7 m||Show|
20* Notre Dame/Clemson Cotton Bowl No-Brainer on Notre Dame +14
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are better than they get credit for. They are getting disrespected despite being 12-0 this season. Their schedule looked very tough coming into the season, but turned out to be less difficult than expected. But the same can be said for Clemson, which beat up on a weak ACC this year.
I think Notre Dame feels disrespected being not only underdogs, but double-digit dogs in this matchup. Everyone thinks back to when they lost to Alabama in the National Championship a few years ago. But that was a different team, and this one is way better on offense than that version of Notre Dame was. This Fighting Irish team has a legit chance to win the national title, or at least beat Clemson in the first round of the four-team playoff. Head coach Brian Kelly will certainly be playing the underdog card leading up to this game.
While Notre Dame opened the season overvalued with Brandon Wimbush at quarterback, they transitioned into a great offensive team with a still elite defense once Ian Book took over. Book is completing 70.4% of his passes for 2,468 yards with a 19-to-6 TD/INT ratio while averaging 8.8 per attempt. And he’s not exactly a stagnant QB who only stays in the pocket. Book has rushed for 250 yards and four scores on 78 attempts this year. He can run the ball if he needs to.
Clemson will be without three suspended players. One of those is a first-round draft pick in DT Dexter Lawrence, and the other are role players in TE Braden Galloway and OL Zach Geilla. The loss of Lawrence is a big one as he’s one of the best players in the country.
Only five times in college football history has an undefeated team played another undefeated team and been a 7-point plus underdog. Well, Notre Dame is that team catching 7 or more points. In fact, the Fighting Irish are catching 14 points or less in most spots. The team catching 7 or more points is not only a perfect 5-0 ATS, but also a perfect 5-0 SU in this situation. The dog has won straight up every time.
Also, favorites in the last 16 Clemson bowl games have gone 4-12 SU & 2-14 ATS. Clemson is 4-14 ATS in its last 18 games after covering the spread in six or seven of its last eight games coming in. The Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in their last four neutral site games. Notre Dame is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five vs. a team with a winning record. The Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Take Notre Dame Saturday.
Note: I know this line shows Notre Dame +14 with extra juice. I personally have a bet on Notre Dame +13. And I think they're worth a bet all the way down to +10.
|12-29-18||Florida +7 v. Michigan||Top||41-15||Win||100||130 h 7 m||Show|
20* Florida/Michigan Peach Bowl Early ANNIHILATOR on Florida +7
Dan Mullen has already put Florida on the map in his first season in Gainesville. He took over a team that went 4-7 last year and turned the Gators into a 9-3 team and SEC contenders. And now the Gators will relish this opportunity to face Michigan in the Peach Bowl after missing out on a bowl game last year.
Michigan won’t be so happy to be here. The Wolverines were in prime position to make the four-team playoff. But they once again lost to Urban Meyer and Ohio State 62-39 in their season finale. That loss cost them the Big Ten title and a spot in the four-team playoff. I just don’t see Michigan being able to get back up off the mat after such a demoralizing defeat.
The same thing happened last year when Michigan went on to lose to South Carolina as 8-point favorites in the Outback Bowl. They also lost to Florida State as 7-point favorites in the 2016 Orange Bowl. Jim Harbaugh just hasn’t done a very good job in big games as the coach of Michigan.
Mullen did a great job improving this Florida offense to 34.5 PPG this season. And the Gators have yet another elite defense just as they do every year, giving up 20.4 PPG. The Wolverines also have an elite defense, but they have taken a hit with several players sitting out this game.
They will be without starting DE Rashan Gary, starting LB and Big Ten DPOY Devin Bush and leading rusher Karan Higdon. Florida expects to have everyone available for this bowl game. I think the Gators could have beaten the Wolverines at full strength, let alone without 3 of their best players.
Adding to Florida’s motivation is the fact that they’ve never beaten Michigan, going 0-3 in the all-time series. Two of those losses have come the past two seasons as they lost 41-7 in the 2016 Citrus Bowl and 33-17 in the 2017 season opener in Arlington. The Gators want revenge, while the Wolverines could be getting a case of ‘Florida fatigue’ having just beaten this team twice in the past two seasons.
Mullen is 9-0 ATS off two straight non-conference games in all games he has coached. Michigan is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games after allowing 17 points or more in the first half of two straight games.
Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Michigan) - off a road loss to a conference opponent, a top-level team that wins 80% or more of its games playing a good team (60% to 80%) are 24-5 (82.8%) ATS since 1992. Bet Florida Saturday.
|12-28-18||Iowa State +3 v. Washington State||26-28||Win||100||115 h 8 m||Show|
15* Iowa State/Washington State Alamo Bowl BAILOUT on Iowa State +3
The Iowa State Cyclones have only been to 13 bowl games in school history. They will be going for back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in program history. They will also be going for their 9th win of the season, which would tie a school record set back in 2000. Prior to that season they hadn’t reached even eight wins since 1978. It’s safe to say the Cyclones are happy to be here, and they have every reason to be highly motivated for a win.
The job Matt Campbell is doing at Iowa State is remarkable. He is only in his third season and already has this team to two bowl games and a combined 16-9 record over the past two seasons. After a 1-3 start against a brutal schedule, the Cyclones reeled off five straight wins. They got into Big 12 title contention before a loss to Texas. But they won their final two games and now have a chance to make history.
The run started when freshman Brock Purdy took over at quarterback. He is completing 66.3% of his passes with a 16-to-5 TD/INT ratio and averaging 10 yards per attempt. He has also added a dual threat to the offense with 262 rushing yards and three scores. He has one of the best backs in the country to hand the ball off to in David Montgomery, who has put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Purdy also has a matchup nightmare to throw the ball to in Hakeem Butler, who has 1,126 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns while season while averaging 22.1 yards per reception.
While the Iowa State offense has made big strides this season, it’s the defense that has allowed them to win so many games over the past few seasons. The Cyclones have the second-best defense in the Big 12 this year. They are giving up just 22.5 points and 351 yards per game this season. They are holding opponents to 8.5 points and 63 yards per game less than their season averages. It’s a defense that is built to stop the Big 12 offenses, which makes this a great matchup against Washington State’s pass-happy attack that belongs in the Big 12.
I think Washington State actually had to be disappointed to be in the Alamo Bowl. The Cougars were ranked in the Top 10 down the stretch and actually had an outside shot to make the four-team playoff. But they once again lost to Washington in the Apple Cup in their season finale, so instead of playing the Pac-12 Championship and possibly the Rose Bowl at worse, they now have to try and get back up off the mat to play Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl.
Matt Campbell is 3-1 in all bowl games dating back to his time at Toledo. Mike Leach is just 1-3 in bowl games as the coach of Washington State. They lost handily 17-42 to Michigan State last year in the Holiday Bowl. I think Leach will have his hands full getting these Cougars motivated to play this game after what happened against Washington in the Apple Cup.
Iowa State played a much tougher schedule than Washington State this season. Iowa State played the 29th-toughest schedule, while Washington State played the 53rd. And Pac-12 teams have been terrible in bowl games in recent seasons. In fact, the Pac-12 is just 3-13 SU & 2-14 ATS in their last 16 bowl games over the past few seasons. It’s a conference that was way down this season, which is why I question how good all these Pac-12 teams are in these bowl games.
Campbell is 13-4 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record as the coach of Iowa State. Campbell is 8-1 ATS when playing against a team that wins more than 75% of their games on the season as the coach of Iowa State. Campbell is 12-2 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 10-plus points per game as the coach of the Cyclones. Leach is 2-11 ATS after having won eight or more of his past 10 games in all games as a head coach. The Cougars are 0-5 ATS in their last five vs. Big 12 opponents. Take Iowa State Friday.
|12-28-18||Syracuse v. West Virginia||Top||34-18||Win||100||111 h 23 m||Show|
25* Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Syracuse PK
It’s safe to say the Syracuse Orange are happy to be in a bowl game. Head coach Dino Babers delivered in a big way in his third season on the job. The Orange went from 4-8 last year to 9-3 this year and a chance to win 10 games for the first time since 2001. Two of their losses came to playoff teams in Clemson and Notre Dame, and they nearly upset Clemson on the road. They will be playing in their first bowl game since 2013 as well.
I certainly question West Virginia’s motivation. The Mountaineers had a chance to play in the Big 12 Championship in their season finale against Oklahoma. But they lost a 56-59 heartbreaker to the Sooners, and now they have to watch Oklahoma go on to the four-team playoff, while they’re stuck in the Camping World Bowl. They won’t be motivated at all for this game.
That’s especially the case now that Will Grier has decided to skip this bowl game and get ready for the NFL. Also out is left tackle Yodny Cajuste, who is also an NFL prospect. You don’t simply replace a QB the caliber of Grier. He has completed 67% of his passes for 3,864 yards with a 37-to-8 TD/INT ratio this season while averaging 9.7 yards per attempt.
Backup QB Jack Allison has only attempted 10 passes all season, and he’ll get the start Friday. The sophomore won’t have the services of star receiver Gary Jennings Jr, either. Jennings leads the Mountaineers in receiving yards (917) to go along with 54 receptions and 13 touchdowns. He is sitting out with an ankle injury.
The quarterback on the other sideline is a good one. Syracuse’s Eric Dungey played in all 12 games for the first time in his career this season, though he still had some injury issues but gutted it out. He completed 59.8% of his passes for 2,565 yards with a 17-to-7 TD/INT ratio. He is also the team’s second-leading rushing with 732 yards and 15 scores on the ground. He has accounted for 32 total touchdowns and will be a big reason why the Orange win this game.
While the Syracuse offense is explosive in averaging 40.7 points and 468 yards per game, it’s the defense that has made the biggest improvement. The Orange are allowing a respectable 27.7 points per game this season. They are right on par with WVU defensively as the Mountaineers yield 26.5 points per game. And there’s no question the Orange have the advantage on offense now with Grier, Cajuste and Jennings out.
Dana Holgorsen is 6-15 ATS with two or more weeks to prepare as the coach of West Virginia. Holgorsen is 1-4 SU & 0-5 ATS in his last five bowl games with their only win coming by a single point 43-42 over Arizona State in 2015. They lost by 16 to Utah in 2017, by 17 to Miami in 2016, by 8 to Texas A&M in 2014 and by 24 to Syracuse in 2012. The Mountaineers have rarely even been competitive in bowl games under Holgorsen. In fact, dating back further, West Virginia is just 5-16 ATS in its last 21 bowl games.
West Virginia is 0-7 ATS in its last seven December bowl games. The Mountaineers are 7-21 ATS in their last 28 games played on a neutral field. West Virginia is 10-24 ATS in its last 34 vs. ACC opponents. The Orange are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a win.
Plays on all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Syracuse) - off a double-digit road win, a good team (60% to 80%) playing a team with a winning record are 26-9 (74.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Syracuse Friday.
|12-22-18||Houston v. Army -4.5||Top||14-70||Win||100||72 h 19 m||Show|
20* Houston/Army Armed Forces Bowl No-Brainer on Army -4.5
A military team in a military bowl that’s happy to be here. Sign me up. Army has already had a phenomenal season, but there’s still work to be done. The Black Knights can earn a school-record 11th win with a victory over Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl. They will be max motivated to accomplish that feat.
Houston is a team that has all kinds of issues heading into this game. They lost starting QB D’Eriq King in their 11th game of the season. King is a huge loss as he has a 36-to-6 TD/INT ratio, while also rushing for 674 yards and 14 scores this season. Backup Clayton Tune is only completing 44.7% of his 85 passes and is a massive downgrade as he’s not a dual-threat like King was.
The Cougars are also missing four defensive linemen on their two-deep, including DT Ed Oliver, who will be a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. These defensive line injuries will make it extremely difficult for them to stop Army’s rushing attack. In fact, Houston has the worst defense of all the bowl teams, giving up 489 yards per game. And they were awful stopping the run down the stretch, giving up a whopping 278.2 rushing yards per game in their last six games, including 300-plus three times.
Well, Army is the second-best rushing team in the country at 296 yards per game on the ground. And QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr. is actually a threat to throw it this year as he’s averaging 10.6 yards per attempt with six touchdown passes. Army is also 2nd in the country in time of possession (38:51), while Houston is 129th in time of possession (25:04). The Black Knights will wear down this Houston defense and pull away in the second half.
I have a hard time believing Houston wants to be here. They had a chance to win their division and play for the AAC title, but lost in the season finale 31-52 at Memphis. They gave up 610 total yards, including 401 on the ground in that loss. And now they have to go up against a team in Army that is going to chop block them the whole game. No team can be too excited to face the triple-option, an offense designed to punch you in the mouth. Houston players will quit early in this game.
One hidden factor here is that Army recruits as well as almost anyone in the state of Texas. The Black Knights actually have 23 players from Texas on their roster. And this game will be played in Forth Worth, Texas, so they are using this opportunity as an excellent recruiting tool.
Military teams are 33-13 ATS in their last 46 bowl games. Military teams are 23-4 ATS in their last 27 bowl games when facing a team that wins 60% or more of their games. The Black Knights are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. They’ll cap off a record-setting season with their 11th victory Saturday. Bet Army in the Armed Forces Bowl.
|12-22-18||Wake Forest +3.5 v. Memphis||37-34||Win||100||69 h 50 m||Show|
15* Wake Forest/Memphis CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Wake Forest +3.5
I think this this is a case where one team wants to be here, and one team doesn’t in the Birmingham Bowl between Wake Forest and Memphis. Wake Forest is the team that wants to be here. That was evidenced by the way they finished the season just to get into a bowl game.
The Demon Deacons needed to pull off two huge upsets on the road in their final three games just to get to 6-6 and bowl eligible. They beat NC State 27-23 as 18.5-point road underdogs. Then they blasted Duke 59-7 as 9-point road dogs in their season finale. You would be hard-pressed to find two better wins in the ACC than those two for the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson is doing a tremendous job here with the Demon Deacons in making them relevant again. And Clawson is 2-0 in bowl games at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons upset Temple as 12-point dogs in 2016. They also beat Texas A&M in a 55-52 thriller as 3-point favorites last year. They are certainly happy to be here with how hard they had to fight to get here, and I think that will show on the field Saturday.
QB Jamie Newman has been much more effective than Sam Hartman was before him, and he thrived once he was given the starting job after Hartman suffered a season-ending injury. Newman is completing 61.4% of his passes with an 8-to-3 TD/INT ratio while averaging 7.5 yards per attempt. Hartman is completing 55.3% and 6.8 per attempt. Newman has also been the better runner with 3.8 yards per carry compared to 2.6 for Hartman, and both have a significant amount of carries, so Newman being more of a dual-threat is definitely a factor.
Memphis does not want to be here. The Tigers are still reeling from blowing an 18-point halftime lead against UCF in the C-USA title game. They scored 38 points in the first half, but were held to just 3 points after intermission and completely imploded. It was the second blown lead against UCF this season in two losses to the Knights. Now they have to watch UCF go play LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, while they’re stuck in the Birmingham Bowl and have to face a 6-6 Wake Forest team.
Memphis will be without its best player in this game in RB Darrell Henderson, who is one of the best running backs in the country. He is sitting this game out to get ready for the NFL Draft, where he should be one of the first RB’s taken. Henderson has rushed for 1,9-9 yards and 22 touchdowns while averaging a ridiculous 8.9 yards per carry this season. You just don’t replace that type of production.
The Tigers have not fared well in bowl gams over the past three seasons, going 0-3 SU & 0-3 ATS. They lost by 21 to Auburn as 3-point dogs in 2015, by 20 to Western Kentucky as 7-point dogs in 2016, and were upset by Iowa State as 3-point favorites on their home field last year.
Memphis has played the 103rd-ranked schedule in the country, while Wake Forest has played the 53rd-toughest schedule. That’s a big difference in strength of schedule, and facing a team like Memphis will be a step down in class for Wake Forest compared to what they’re used to seeing in ACC action.
Teams that clinch a bowl game in their final game of the season have gone 41-21 ATS over the last 10 seasons. This is a great trend and it just goes to show that teams that had to fight to make a bowl in their final game are happy to be there and usually play well in their bowl game. And Memphis lost their offensive coordinator and their defensive coordinator prior to the bowl game, so they won’t be as well prepared as they normally would be going into a football game.
Memphis is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games after gaining 525 or more total yards in two consecutive games coming in. The Demon Deacons are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games, while the Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last six bowl games. Take Wake Forest Saturday.
|12-20-18||Marshall -2.5 v. South Florida||38-20||Win||100||29 h 50 m||Show|
15* Marshall/USF Gasparilla Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Marshall -2.5
South Florida was a complete fraud during its 7-0 start this season. They had narrow single-digit wins over East Carolina (20-13) as 19-point home favorites, Tulsa (25-24) as 10-point road favorites and UConn (38-30) as 33.5-point home favorites. Looking back, ECU, Tulsa and UConn were awful, and all three had a shot to beat them.
Then reality set in down the stretch. South Florida went 0-5 in its final five games with all five losses coming by double-digits. The schedule got tougher, and the Bulls were completely exposed. And now they are going to have to try and get back up off the mat for their bowl game, and I’m not seeing it. Especially since it’s not a destination bowl game as they will be playing on their home field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Fans won’t be that excited to watch a team that closed the season on a five-game losing streak.
Marshall is happy to be here. The Thundering Herd put together an impressive 8-4 season with two of their losses coming to ACC opponents in NC State and Virginia Tech. And the loss to Virginia Tech in the finale has them undervalued. The Hokies needed that win to make a bowl game, and it was a rescheduled game in the final week. The Thundering Herd were already going to a bowl game and didn’t need a win.
Marshall head coach Doc Holliday certainly knows how to prepare his teams for bowl games. Indeed, Holiday is a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in his five bowl games at Marshall. Not only are the Thundering Herd winning, then are dominating their opposition in these bowl games. They are winning by an average of 11.8 points per game in those five games.
USF QB Blake Barnett is banged up with an ankle injury. He will play, but he could be hampered and not as big of a rushing threat. That’s big because he has rushed for eight scores this year. Barnett is a horrible passer with an 11-to-11 TD/INT ratio. And if he gets hurt, both of the backups are completing less than 50% of their passes in their combined 73 attempts this season.
South Florida’s offense will struggle to move the football on what is a very good Marshall defense. The Thundering Herd are holding their opponents to just 22.0 points and 335.6 yards per game. They are holding their opponents to 5.2 points, 41 yards and 0.7 yards per play less than their season averages. Conversely, the Thundering Herd should be able to move the football at will against a USF defense that is yielding 31.5 points and 442.2 yards per game.
South Florida is 0-9 ATS in its last nine home games after having lost five or six of its last seven games coming in. Marshall is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 bowl games, including the 5-0 ATS in Holliday’s tenure as stated before. The Thundering Herd are 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 non-conference games. The Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. C-USA opponents. The Bulls are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games. Bet Marshall Thursday.
|12-19-18||Ohio v. San Diego State +3||27-0||Loss||-100||173 h 2 m||Show|
15* Ohio/SDSU Frisco Bowl ANNIHILATOR on San Diego State +3
I think San Diego State comes into the bowl season undervalued due to its 0-3 finish to the season. That followed a 7-2 start as this was one of the better Group of 5 teams in the country up to that point. But the poor finish can easily be explained.
Let’s go back to the UNLV loss which started the streak. San Diego State saw that Fresno State had lost to Boise State the previous night, meaning that they could afford a loss to UNLV and still have a shot to win their division. And they promptly lost 24-27 as 24-point favorites. Then everything was on the line the next week against Fresno State, and they lost 14-23. And it was then an obvious hangover spot the next week in the 30-31 loss to Hawaii.
There’s no question that head coach Rocky Long and his players want to get that sour taste out of their mouths. They’ll be ‘all in’ for this bowl game against Ohio, and I look for them to dominate from start to finish. MAC teams have been awful in bowl games over the past several season, and that will continue this season. Ohio coach Frank Solich is just 5-9 SU all-time in bowl games, and 3-6 at Ohio.
While Ohio has a very good offense, they have a weak defense that gives up 26.7 points, 399 yards per game and 6.2 yards per play on the season. Compare that to San Diego State, which gives up just 21.7 points, 327 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play, and we are clearly backing the superior defense.
San Diego State’s offense was held back by injuries all season. That made them a bad bet as big favorites, which they were consistently. But this offense is as healthy as it has been all year, and they are healthy as a team as a whole with only two players on the injury list heading into this bowl game. They key is having QB Christian Chapman and his 8.9 yards per attempt and RB Juwan Washington and his 870 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns back healthy. These are the two leaders of this offense and they’ll be looking to go out with a bang.
And this is a great matchup for the Aztecs’ defense. The strength of the Ohio offense is their running game, which produces 262 rushing yards per game and 6.1 per carry. Well, the Aztecs have the fourth-best rushing defense in the country. They give up just 94 rushing yards per game and 2.7 per carry this season. They have the ability to make Ohio one-dimensional, and the Bobcats just aren’t very good when they have to throw the football.
And keep in mind San Diego State is usually laying points, but here they are getting points, and it all stems back to that misleading poor finish to the season. As a dog this season, the Aztecs have stepped up. They beat Arizona State outright as 5.5-point dogs. They went into Boise State and won outright as 13-point dogs. And they covered as 10-point dogs at Fresno State.
Ohio is 1-10 ATS in road games off three consecutive games where they committed one or fewer turnovers. The Aztecs are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 road games following a loss by 3 points or less. Rocky Long is 9-2 ATS in road games vs. teams who average 450 or more yards per game as the coach of San Diego State. The Bobcats are 6-17 ATS in their last 23 games following a win by more than 20 points.
The MAC is 6-24 SU in bowl games over the last six years, including 1-12 SU the last three years. San Diego State is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games as an underdog. Betting on teams in bowl games off a SU loss as a favorite against a team that is coming in off back-to-back wins are 44-14 ATS since 1981. Bet San Diego State Wednesday.
|12-18-18||Northern Illinois v. UAB -1.5||Top||13-37||Win||100||270 h 50 m||Show|
20* NIU/UAB Boca Raton Bowl No-Brainer on UAB -1.5
The UAB Blazers are a tremendous story. To go from not having a football program at all for two years to going 8-5 in 2017 and then 10-3 and a Conference USA Championship this season is one of the most remarkable feats I’ve ever seen in college football. These players love head coach Bill Clark, and they’ll be highly motivated to get another win to cap off this impressive season.
I like their chances of winning this game against a Northern Illinois team that just isn’t very good. Yes, the Huskies won the MAC, but that conference was way down this season and always struggles in bowl games. And they had to erase a 29-10 deficit in the second half against Buffalo to win 30-29. They’ve already reached the pinnacle.
I’ll gladly fade NIU head coach Rod Carey, who just can’t seem to make anything work in bowl games. Carey is 0-5 SU & 0-5 ATS in his career in bowl games, and not only are his teams losing, they are getting crushed. Carey’s teams are getting outscored by 25 points per game on average, and they losing by 18 points per game against the spread on average. In none of those five games did they even stay within a touchdown of the spread!
Yes, Northern Illinois has a good defense, but their offense is atrocious. QB Marcus Childers only averages 5.4 yards per attempt with a 15-to-10 TD/INT ratio on the season. He also rushes for just 2.8 yards per carry on his ridiculous 176 rushing attempts this season. The Huskies score just 20.7 points per game this season. They are getting outgained by 22.8 yards per game on the year. It’s just not an offense I’m willing to get behind, and I’ll gladly fade it.
UAB does have a respectable offense that puts up 29.3 points and 400.1 yards per game. They also have an elite defense that gives up just 17.3 points and 300.2 yards per game on the year. They are outgaining their opponents by 100 yards per game, which is the sign of a good team and one I want to put my money behind, especially laying less than a field goal here.
Keep in mind UAB’s season stats got skewed a little too in the final game of the regular season. They already had a trip to the C-USA Championship clinched, and they didn’t even show up in their 3-27 loss to Middle Tennessee in which they were outgained by 305 yards. They rested their starters, and then came back the next week and won 27-25 at Middle Tennessee in the rematch. So if you throw out that meaningless game, the Blazers have outgained the other 12 opponents by over 1600 yards on the season and by 134 yards per game.
The Huskies are 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 neutral site games. Northern Illinois is 1-5 ATS in its last six vs. C-USA opponents. UAB is 32-10 ATS in its last 42 games following a two-game road trip. Again, the Huskies are 0-5 ATS in their last five bowl games. And the MAC is 6-22 SU over the last five years in bowl games, and 1-10 SU the last two years. Bet UAB Tuesday.
|12-15-18||Middle Tennessee State +7 v. Appalachian State||Top||13-45||Loss||-110||78 h 2 m||Show|
20* MTSU/App State New Orleans Bowl BAILOUT on Middle Tennessee +7
Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield has moved on to coach Louisville. Teams in December bowl games whose coaches were either fired or left to coach elsewhere last season went 1-5 ATS. It always leaves a lot of questions surrounding the program and a ton of distractions for the players when a coach leaves.
I don’t think Appalachian State will be focused at all with Satterfield gone. The Mountaineers have already accomplished all they wanted to this season, and losing to Middle Tennessee isn’t going to change that. They won the Sun Belt title and have already won 10 games, so there’s nothing left for them to play for.
Middle Tennessee comes in with a sour taste in its mouth from a 2-point loss to UAB in the Conference USA Championship Game. The Blue Raiders have gone 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games following a loss, so they have been a resilient bunch. And I look for that to be the case again here as the Blue Raiders clearly want to be playing in this game.
This is the final opportunity for head coach Rick Stockstill and son Brent Stockstill to go to battle together. Stockstill is a redshirt senior quarterback who will be playing his final game at Middle Tennessee. He is the leader of this team and will have his guys ready to go. Stockstill was already the school’s all-time leading passer prior to this season, and he is completing 70.4% of his passes with a 28-to-8 TD/INT ratio this year.
The Blue Raiders come in playing their best football of the season. They have gone 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. They have outgained each of their last five opponents by an average of 145.4 yards per game. That’s impressive when you consider they’ve played C-USA champ UAB twice and Kentucky on the road during this stretch.
There’s no doubt the Blue Raiders have played the tougher schedule of these two teams as well. They played three SEC bowl teams in Georgia, Kentucky and Vanderbilt all on the road in the non-conference. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers played the 132nd-ranked schedule in the country this season. They’ve played an extremely weak slate since their loss to Penn State in the opener, and they’re still getting too much respect from that OT loss.
I’m getting the more motivated team, and arguably the better team, catching a touchdown in the New Orleans Bowl. Sign me up. Bet Middle Tennessee State Saturday night.
|12-15-18||North Texas +8.5 v. Utah State||13-52||Loss||-105||71 h 3 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early Bowl ANNIHILATOR on North Texas +8.5
The North Texas Mean Green certainly want to be here in this New Mexico Bowl Saturday. Sitting at 9-3, they have a chance to win 10 games for the first time in nearly 70 years. They are 2-7 all-time in bowl games, so they don’t get to go bowling very often. And they want to make amends for their loss to Troy last year. Plus, head coach Seth Littrell turned down the Kansas State job to stay here, so his players will go to war with him.
This is a very experienced Mean Green team that returned 17 starters from a team that also won nine games last season. And they were even better this year, as their three losses all came by 8 points or fewer and by a combined 13 points, and they led by double-digits in all three. That’s how close this team was to being 12-0.
Improvement came from a defense that gave up 35 points and 431 yards per game last season. The Mean Green this season only give up 21.8 points and 359.5 yards per game. And their offense exceeded last years numbers slightly and remains elite, scoring 36.4 points per game and averaging 472.8 yards per game. QB Mason Fine was already the school’s all-time leading passer coming into the season, and had another big year, throwing for 3,734 yards with a 27-to-5 TD/INT ratio.
My favorite stat on this North Texas team is that they were the only team in the country to outgain every opponent they played this year. Even Alabama was outgained by Georgia in the SEC Championship. The Mean Green are outgaining opponents by 113.3 yards per game on the season. That’s the sign of a good team and one that I have no problem getting my money behind.
Utah State head coach Matt Wells has moved on to greener pastures, taking the Texas Tech job. He is going to bring his assistants with him, though those assistants will stick around to coach the bowl game. I expect a lack of focus from these Utah State players given the coaching situation. Plus, teams in December bowl games who lost their head coach last year went 1-5 ATS.
Another reason the Aggies will be lacking motivation is because they blew a huge opportunity in their regular season finale with a heartbreaking loss to Boise State. That loss cost them a trip to the Mountain West Championship Game. Now they have to try and get up to face North Texas when they’d much rather be up against a Power 5 team like both Fresno State and Boise State get the opportunity to as rewards for playing the MWC Championship. Utah State doesn’t want to be here at all.
I’ll gladly back the more motivated team here in North Texas catching more than a touchdown against Utah State in the New Mexico Bowl. Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Utah State) - off a road loss to a conference opponent, a team that wins more than 80% of their games playing a good team that wins 60% to 80% of their games are 24-4 (85.7%) ATS since 1992. Take North Texas Saturday.
|12-08-18||Navy +7 v. Army||Top||10-17||Push||0||46 h 11 m||Show|
20* Army/Navy CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Navy +7
The Army Black Knights will be going to the Armed Forces Bowl on December 22nd to face Houston. They have a lot to look forward to still. As a result, they won’t be as motivated as Navy in this matchup, which missed out on a bowl game this season with a 3-9 record. This is Navy’s bowl game.
And you can bet Navy wants revenge from back-to-back losses to Army in this series, losing 21-17 in 2016 and 14-13 last season. The difference here is that Army goes from being the hunter to the hunted here. Army hasn’t been favored in this rivalry game since 2001. Now, all of a sudden the Black Knights are whopping 7-point favorites this year. It’s simply too much.
Army feasted on an easy schedule this season that ranked 99th in the country. The Black Knights haven’t faced an FBS opponent since their 17-14 home win over Air Force back on November 3rd. They closed the season playing Lafayette and Colgate, and they haven’t played a game since November 17th, so they could certainly be rusty. It could take them a quarter or two to fully get into this game.
Navy played the 66th-toughest schedule as their schedule was much more difficult than that of Army. That contributed to their 3-9 record, but so did several close losses along the way. Navy lost three games by a total of 9 points this season to SMU, Tulane and Temple. All three of those teams will be going to bowl games, and they played nine bowl teams this season. To compare, Army only played six bowl teams.
I like the way Navy finished the season. They went 3-0 ATS in their final three games. They gave UCF all they wanted on the road in a 24-35 loss as 23.5-point underdogs. They then beat Tulsa 37-29 at home as 5.5-point favorites. And they finished going on the road losing 28-29 at Tulane as 6-point dogs. Tulane had a huge second half comeback and needed that win to make a bowl. They won on a 2-point conversion in the final minutes.
Navy is 6-0 ATS in road games off three straight games where they committed one or fewer turnovers over the past three seasons. Army is 16-35 ATS in its last 51 games off a bye week. The Black Knights are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a losing record. The Midshipmen simply want this game more, and even if they don’t win there’s a great chance they stay within a touchdown, just as they did the past two seasons. In fact, each of the last four meetings were decided by 7 points or fewer. Bet Navy Saturday.
|12-01-18||Northwestern v. Ohio State -14||Top||24-45||Win||100||67 h 47 m||Show|
20* Northwestern/Ohio State Big Ten BAILOUT on Ohio State -14
Because Ohio State came out No. 6 in the playoff rankings this week, they know they need style points to get in. This really feels like a few years ago when they needed style points against Wisconsin. They were actually underdogs in that game and won 59-0. They got in over TCU because of it, and went on to win the national title.
Ohio State knows how to put the hammer down when it needs to. And the Buckeyes certainly put the hammer down last week by scoring 62 points against Michigan’s No. 1 ranked defense in the country. I don’t think I’ve seen a more impressive performance all season. And it just shows what the Buckeyes are capable of when they are locked in. They’ll be locked in Saturday night looking to impress the playoff committee again.
I’ve thought Northwestern was overrated most of the season. They’ve squeaked out a ton of close wins this season to win the Big Ten West division. And basically everyone else in their division fell apart around them to help them out.
This is a Northwestern team that is only outscoring opponents by 2 points per game this season. They are actually getting outgained by 27 yards per game in Big Ten play. Their offense ranks 126th out of 130 teams in yards per play (4.6). They are one-dimensional, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry. It’s an offense that puts up just 23.7 points per game this season, and I just don’t believe Clayton Thorson is capable of matching the Buckeyes score for score.
I like the fact that this game is played indoors in a dome in Indianapolis. That’s going to favor Ohio State’s high-powered offense. The Buckeyes average 43.3 points and 544 yards per game this season. When I’m laying double-digit points, I need it to be with an elite offense that I know is going to hang a big number. Ohio State certainly fits the bill.
I don’t believe this game will ever be close with the exception of early on in the first quarter. But say Ohio State is up by 10 in the final minutes. They won’t simply kneel on it. They’ll go down and try to score for style points because they need to leapfrog Oklahoma or whoever else is in their way in the playoff standings. So we have that in our back pocket if we need it. I don’t think we’ll need it, though.
The Buckeyes are 7-2 ATS in their last nine neutral site games. Ohio State is 5-1 ATS in its last six meetings with Northwestern. Urban Meyer is 13-1 ATS off an upset win as an underdog in all games he has coached. Take Ohio State Saturday.
|12-01-18||Georgia +14 v. Alabama||28-35||Win||100||62 h 31 m||Show|
15* Georgia/Alabama SEC ANNIHILATOR on Georgia +14
The betting public is infatuated with Alabama right now. They are just betting the Crimson Tide blindly because they have been so good to them all season. It’s time to ‘sell high’ on the Crimson Tide this week because bettors are clearly paying a tax to bet them at this point in the season. They should not be two touchdown favorites over Georgia, one of the top teams in the country.
The tax caught up to the Crimson Tide two weeks ago in their 50-17 win over The Citadel. That game was tied 10-10 at halftime believe it or not. And last week they only led Auburn 17-14 at halftime and did not deserve to cover the 25.5-point spread. But they outscored the Tigers 35-7 after intermission to get the cover. Georgia will offer a lot more resistance than any other team Alabama has played this season.
Georgia has had revenge in mind since a 26-23 (OT) loss to Alabama in the National Championship Game last year. They led that game 13-0 at halftime and feel like they let it slip away. I am 100% confident we’ll get the biggest effort of the season from Georgia in the SEC Championship Game this week, and that should be enough to stay within two touchdowns of the Crimson Tide, possibly pulling off the upset.
I think Georgia’s 16-36 loss at LSU was a blessing in disguise back in early October. They gave that game away by committing four turnovers. They have only committed five turnovers in five games since, and they’ve gone 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Their only non-cover came in a 39-point win as 41.5-point favorites over UMass. Big deal. They have won all five games by at least 17 points.
Alabama hasn’t had to face an offense as good as Georgia’s this season. The Bulldogs score 40.1 points per game an average 481 yards per game. Their ground game is elite once again as they rush for 260 yards per game and 6.3 per carry. And Jake Fromm is completing 69.1% of his passes with a 24-to-5 TD/INT ratio while averaging 9.6 per attempt. He held his own against Alabama as a freshman last year and was the biggest reason they had a shot to win that game. Fromm won’t fold in the SEC Championship Game having that experience in his hip pocket.
Georgia is 9-1 ATS after having won four or five of their last six games over the past two seasons. The Bulldogs are 12-3 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. Georgia is 10-2 ATS vs. good rushing teams who average 4.75 or more yards per carry over the last two years. The underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.
Plays on neutral field underdogs (Georgia) - an excellent rushing team that averages 225 or more rushing yards per game, after gaining 225 or more rushing yards in four straight games coming in are 23-3 (88.5%) ATS since 1992. Roll with Georgia Saturday.
|12-01-18||Memphis +3.5 v. Central Florida||Top||41-56||Loss||-115||61 h 7 m||Show|
25* Conference Championship GAME OF THE YEAR on Memphis +3.5
I was on the Memphis Tigers last week in a dominant 52-31 win over Houston. They took advantage of Houston’s starting QB being out, and now they’ll take advantage of UCF’s starting QB being out this week as well. The wrong team is favored in this matchup, and I love everything about Memphis in this AAC Championship Game Saturday.
The streak ends here. UCF has won 24 consecutive games over the past two seasons, but all of that was with QB McKenzie Milton at quarterback. He has accounted for 80 total touchdowns over the past two seasons, more than any other player in college football. He is simply irreplaceable.
UCF’s backup is freshman Darriel Mack Jr. He has gotten some action this season in either mop up duty or like last week against USF in the second half after Milton went out. He has not been impressive at all. Mack Jr. is completing just 48.8% of his 43 attempts and averaging only 4.0 yards per attempt. He hasn’t thrown a single touchdown pass on those 43 attempts, either.
Mack Jr. is more of a running quarterback as he has rushed for 281 yards on 40 attempts. Well, that plays right into the hands of Memphis, who have the better defense in this matchup, especially against the run. The Tigers are only giving up 3.9 yards per carry on 40 attempts per game this year. That is the strength of their defense.
UCF has been good at stopping the pass, but terrible at stopping the run. The Knights give up 212 rushing yards per game and 4.5 per carry, including 262 rushing yards per game in their last four games coming in. The Tigers average 276 rushing yards per game and 6.4 per attempt. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still a great passing team at 254 yards per game and 8.6 per attempt behind Brady White, but their strength is their ground game.
And Memphis has one of the best running backs in the country and a future NFL star in Darrell Henderson. He has rushed for the second-most yards in the nation with 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging 8.6 per carry. He is a huge back who is tough to bring down, and he has tremendous explosiveness and quickness for a big guy. Henderson rushed for 199 yards against UCF in their first meeting.
Speaking of that first meeting, Memphis will be playing with triple-revenge from three losses to UCF over the past two seasons. They blew a 30-14 lead over UCF and lost 30-31 at home in their first meeting this season. They also lost during the regular season last year at UCF and again at UCF 55-62 in overtime in last year’s AAC Championship Game. To say they want revenge would be a massive understatement, and they don’t care that Milton is out, they just want to beat this UCF team so badly.
I don’t think UCF should be favored at all without Milton. And I just don’t see how the Knights can keep up on the scoreboard with this high-powered Memphis offense that averages 43.8 points and 530 yards per game this season. They hung 52 on Houston last week and amassed 610 total yards, including 410 rushing. They have gone 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall and are playing their best football of the season down the stretch when these games matter most.
Memphis is 7-0 ATS vs. poor rushing defenses that allow 200 or more rushing yards per game over the last two seasons. It is winning by 30.3 points per game on average in this spot. Bet Memphis Saturday.
|11-30-18||Utah v. Washington -5||Top||3-10||Win||100||43 h 43 m||Show|
20* Utah/Washington Pac-12 Championship No-Brainer on Washington -5
The Washington Huskies were one of the most overrated teams in the country all season. So despite the fact that they went 9-3 SU, they went just 3-9 ATS. They were consistently laying too many points week in and week out because many expected them to be a playoff contender coming into the season.
This is the role I like them in. The Huskies are only 5-point favorites here against the Utes. Two of their three covers this season came as a small favorite or underdog. They won 21-7 at Utah in their first meeting as 4-point favorites, and then last week put together their most complete performance of the season in a 28-15 win at Washington State as 3-point dogs.
The line in that first meeting with Utah is important. Washington was a 4-point favorite in that true road game, and now they are only a 5-point favorite on a neutral field in the rematch. When you adjust for Utah’s massive home-field advantage, Washington would have been around an 8-point favorite on a neutral back then. So we are getting value here.
And I think Utah has gotten worse since that game while Washington has gotten better. The Utes have lost starting QB Huntley and starting RB Moss, their two best players on offense. Washington State has gotten a healthy Myles Gaskins back at RB after missing a few games and TE Hunter Bryant who missed the first nine games of the season.
The Huskies outgained Washington State by 250 total yards last week. They rushed for 258 yards, including 170 and three touchdowns from Gaskins. And Bryant is one of the most talented tight ends in the country, so Jake Browning is glad to have him back. He caught three balls for 108 yards and a touchdown in the snow against the Cougars.
Meanwhile, Utah had to erase a 27-7 deficit in the second half last week to come back and beat BYU 35-27. The Utes did not deserve to win that game at all as they managed just 296 total yards and were outgained by 61 yards. But they used a lot of energy to erase that deficit, and they haven’t had a bye since mid-September. They are running on fumes right now.
Washington gets an extra days’ rest after playing Washington State last Friday, while Utah had to play a late-night game on Saturday. And the Huskies just had their bye on November 10th, so they are by far the fresher team. It explains their solid play to close out the season, and I think they have another big performance in them here Friday night as they claim the Pac-12 title in blowout fashion. Bet Washington Friday.
|11-24-18||BYU +12 v. Utah||Top||27-35||Win||100||71 h 49 m||Show|
20* BYU/Utah FS1 Late-Night BAILOUT on BYU +12
This is a very precarious spot for the Utah Utes. Even though it’s a rivalry game, I don’t expect them to be motivated at all. That’s because they have their big game on deck next week in the Pac-12 Championship against the Washington/Washington State Apple Cup winner. And if they win that game, they’ll go to the Rose Bowl.
I just don’t foresee the Utes being motivated at all to face BYU this week. And even if they were motivated, it would be tough for them to cover this 12-point spread because BYU simply doesn’t get blown out. I have no doubt the Cougars will want this game more, and I’ll gladly back the more motivated double-digit underdog in this matchup.
Utah lost its two best players on offense in a 20-38 loss to Arizona State. The Utes were able to win their next two games against Oregon and Colorado without those two players, but I think it catches up with them here. Those two players are QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss, who rushed for 1,092 yards and 11 touchdowns in the first nine games this season.
BYU has had a nice bounce-back season this year and they want to cap it off with an upset win over retire rivals. They are 6-5 this season, but three of those losses have come by 5 points or less. Like I said, this team just doesn’t get blown out. And I think they’ll hold their own in what is sure to be a defensive battle with a total set of only 44. I love taking double-digit dogs in expected defensive battles.
BYU is 6-0 ATS in November road games over the last three seasons. Plays on underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points (BYU) - off a home win by 17 points or more against an opponent that’s off a double-digit road win are 37-14 (72.5%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Take BYU Saturday.
|11-24-18||Kansas State +14 v. Iowa State||Top||38-42||Win||100||68 h 48 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Kansas State +14
The Iowa State Cyclones had their dreams crushed last week. They went into their showdown with Texas last week controlling their own destiny to get to the Big 12 title game. Simply win that game and this week against Kansas State, and they would have made the conference championship game.
But they got worked and lost 10-24 in a game that wasn’t even that close. And for a program like Iowa State, it was an extra crushing loss because they almost never get the opportunity they had last week. And now they will have a hard time getting back up off the mat to face Kansas State this week.
We know Kansas State will be motivated. The Wildcats currently sit at 5-6 and one win shy of bowl eligibility. They have won their last two games against Kansas and Texas Tech to put themselves in this position. And that 21-6 win against Texas Tech as 6.5-point dogs was mighty impressive. They held the high-powered Red Raiders to just 181 total yards. And they are capable of shutting down this mediocre Iowa State offense as well.
Now team has owned Iowa State quite like Kansas State. Indeed, the Wildcats have gone 10-0 SU in their last 10 meetings with the Cyclones. And now they’re catching 14 points, which makes absolutely zero sense. The Cyclones have struggled to score points against the Wildcats in recent years, and that will be the case again Saturday. Especially in this ‘hangover’ spot off the loss to Texas. Bet Kansas State Saturday.
|11-24-18||Rutgers +27.5 v. Michigan State||10-14||Win||100||65 h 48 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Rutgers +27.5
Quietly, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights have been big money makers down the stretch. They haven’t quit. They have gone 4-0 ATS in in their last four games overall. They only lost 15-18 as 20-point home dogs to Northwestern, 17-31 as 29-point road dogs at Wisconsin, 7-42 as 37-point home dogs to Michigan, and 7-20 as 28-point home dogs to Penn State.
Rutgers has covered the spread by a combined 49 points in its last four games. The betting public wants nothing to do with 1-10 Rutgers, which is why they are consistently catching too many points here down the stretch. And oddsmakers still haven’t adjusted as they are once again catching 27.5-points this week against Michigan State.
I just can’t see Michigan State being motivated enough to beat Rutgers by this kind of margin. The Spartans are 6-5 this season and off back-to-back losses to Ohio State and Nebraska in which they scored a combined 12 points in those two losses. And that’s the issue here with the Spartans. Can they even score 28 points?
Michigan State has a putrid offense that is putting up just 20.3 points per game this season. And Rutgers has a respectable defense that is allowing 409.8 yards per game on the year. The Scarlet Knights are definitely good enough defensively to hold Michigan to less than 28 points. And their offense should contribute a touchdown or two.
The total set in this game is only 37 points. I always like taking big underdogs in games that are expected to be low scoring. Basically they are saying the score is going to be 32-5 based on this total. I think Rutgers can score 7, and I don’t think Michigan State can score 32.
Plays against home favorites (Michigan State) - after going under the total by more than 28 points in their previous game, in weeks 10 through 13 are 33-9 (78.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Michigan State is 10-27 ATS in its last 37 games after scoring 7 points or less in the first half of two straight games. Mark Dantonio is 0-6 ATS after scoring 6 points or less last game as the coach of Michigan State. Bet Rutgers Saturday.
|11-24-18||Tennessee v. Vanderbilt -3||13-38||Win||100||65 h 45 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Vanderbilt -3
Both Vanderbilt and Tennessee have a lot to play for here Saturday. The winner will be going to a bowl game, while the loser will be staying home for bowl season. And it’s Senior Day for the Commodores on their home turf. I just think Vanderbilt is the better team, and they should be laying more than a field goal at home here to the Vols because of it.
Vanderbilt has impressed me a lot here down the stretch. They have played well in five straight games coming in, and that consistency is why I like them so much. It started five weeks ago when they led Florida 21-3 at home, but couldn’t hold on in the second half, losing 27-37 and failing to cover as 9.5-point dogs only after a 43-yard field goal by Florida with 37 seconds left.
Since that defeat, Vanderbilt has gone 4-0 ATS in its last four games, consistently being undervalued. They only lost 7-14 at Kentucky as 10-point dogs, upset Arkansas 45-31 as 2-point road dogs, only lost 28-33 at Missouri as 14.5-point dogs, and beat Ole Miss 36-29 at home as 3-point favorites.
Tennessee has not played well down the stretch, going 1-2 ATS, with their only win coming at home over Kentucky in a clear flat spot for the Wildcats after losing to Georgia the previous week. They only beat a bad Charlotte team 14-3 at home as 21-point favorites. And they lost 17-50 to Missouri as 6-point home dogs last week.
While Vanderbilt has been able to stay remarkably healthy this season, Tennessee has not. They have seven players who are out for the season, and several others who are probable or questionable, including QB Jarrett Guarantano. This guy has taken a beating all season from poor offensive line play, and it’s starting to take its toll. He is dealing with a head injury, and if he takes another big hit Saturday, he’ll get the hook quick. And the drop-off from him to backup Keller Chryst is significant.
No question we are backing the better offense and the better quarterback here in Kyle Shurmur. The senior will be looking to make a statement in his final home game. Shurmur has thrown for 2,477 yards with a 20-to-6 TD/INT ratio this season while completing 61.4% of his passes in the rugged SEC. He has a stud running back to hand the ball off to in Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who has rushed for 976 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging a jaw-dropping 7.1 per carry.
Tennessee’s offense averages just 23.6 points per game overall and 21.3 points per game in conference play. And this is a pretty evenly-matched game defensively, tho the Vols give up more points overall (27.0) and in conference play (35.9) than Vanderbilt does overall (26.2) and in conference play (31.7). So we’re getting the better offense at home on Senior Day playing for a bowl game. That’s worth more than 3 points in my eyes.
Vanderbilt is 4-2 SU & 5-1 ATS in its last six meetings with Tennessee. The Vols are 0-4 ATS in their last four games vs. a team with a losing record. The Commodores are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win. Vanderbilt is 4-0 ATS in its last four conference games. Take Vanderbilt Saturday.
|11-24-18||Marshall v. Florida International +3||28-25||Push||0||61 h 47 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER On Florida International +3
I’ve cashed in FIU each of the last two weeks. They won 45-7 as 10.5-point favorites at UTSA and 42-35 as 3.5-point favorites at Charlotte. And I’m on FIU again this week simply because I believe they continue to be undervalued here as 3-point home underdogs to Marshall.
Motivation is a big reason I’ve been on FIU. Three weeks ago, win out and they controlled their own destiny to get to the C-USA title game. They’ve completed the first two steps, and now I expect them to finish it off and improve to 7-1 in C-USA with a win over Marshall Saturday.
Marshall is in a questionable motivational spot. Sure, they are still alive for the C-USA East title, but they would also need some help. They would need Middle Tennessee to lose at home to UAB, a team that has nothing to play for this week. I just really like the motivational spot better for FIU here, especially at home on Senior Day, and I simply believe they are the better team as well.
This FIU offense has been impressive this season, averaging 35.5 points per game. And their defense has held opponents to 24.4 points per game. James Morgan is having a huge season at quarterback for the Golden Panthers, completing 65.5% of his passes, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt, and compiling a 26-to-5 TD/INT ratio.
Marshall has an uninspiring offense that is putting up 28.1 points per game this season. Against the same two opponents FIU played the last two weeks, they only managed 30 points against Charlotte and 23 against UTSA. FIU scored 45 on UTSA and 42 on Charlotte. I just don’t think the Thundering Herd have the firepower to keep up in this one.
Marshall is 19-34 ATS in its last 53 games as a road favorite. The Golden Panthers are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. FIU is 6-1 ATS in its last seven vs. a team with a winning record. The Thundering Herd are 0-6 ATS in their last six games after allowing more than 20 points in their previous game. Marshall is 1-5 ATS in its last six games following a win. Roll with Florida International Saturday.
|11-23-18||East Carolina +19.5 v. Cincinnati||Top||6-56||Loss||-110||41 h 48 m||Show|
20* AAC GAME OF THE WEEK on East Carolina +19.5
East Carolina may be just 3-7 on the season, but they have the stats more of a 7-3 team, which has them undervalued at this point in the campaign. The Pirates are actually outgaining their opponents by 58 yards per game on the season.
The problem for the Pirates has been turnovers. But they finally won the turnover battle last week, and they beat UConn 55-21 as a result. And I think they can hang with Cincinnati this week. This is a Cincinnati team that has committed at least three turnovers in four of their last six games coming in.
It’s also a Bearcats squad that had their dreams crushed last week in their 25-point loss to UCF. That game decided which team was going to the AAC Title game, and they fell flat on their faces. I don’t expect these Cincinnati players to get back up off the mat in time to face lowly East Carolina. They probably think they can just show up and win, but that won’t be the case.
Especially now that stud freshman Holton Ahlers has taken over at quarterback. He has really thrives the past five games since taking over against mostly a brutal schedule that has included Houston, UCF, Memphis and Tulane. Ahlers has thrown for 1,601 yards with an 11-to-2 TD/INT ratio this season, while also rushing for a team-high 571 yards and six scores on 5.2 per carry. He is one of the best freshman QB’s in the country that not many folks know about.
Cincinnati is 0-6 ATS after allowing 37 points or more last game over the past three seasons. The Bearcats are 0-7 ATS in home games when the total is 49.5 to 56 over the last three years. I don’t expect the Bearcats to show up at all this week. That’s going to make it extremely difficult to cover this 19.5-point spread. Bet East Carolina Thursday.
|11-23-18||Houston v. Memphis -7||31-52||Win||100||37 h 19 m||Show|
15* CFB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Memphis -7
The AAC West title is on the line here when Houston visits Memphis Friday afternoon. I think the home team has a ton of advantages here that will allow them to not only win, but also cover this generous 7-point spread. Lay the wood on the Tigers here Friday.
For starters, the Liberty Bowl in Memphis has been one of the best home-field advantages in the country. The Tigers have gone 27-6 SU at home over the past five seasons. They are 5-1 at home this season and outscoring their foes by 28.7 points per game. Their only loss this season came 30-31 to unbeaten UCF after they blew a big lead in the 2nd half. Houston’s not nearly as good as UCF.
That’s especially the case now that Houston lost its all-everything QB D’Eriq King to a season-ending injury in the win over Tulane last week. It’s the one player they could not afford to live without. King threw for 2,982 yards with a 36-to-6 TD/INT ratio this season, while also rushing for 674 yards and 14 scores. He was their entire offense. Now they have to get freshman QB Clayton Tune ready to make his first-ever road start in a hostile environment. Tune is only completing 47.6% of his 42 attempts this season, and he’s not a dual-threat.
The Cougars will now have a very hard time keeping up with this high-powered Memphis offense Friday. The Tigers are scoring 43.1 points per game and averaging 523.0 yards per game on the season, including 51.5 points per game and 602.8 yards per game at home. That’s why I have no problem laying the seven points with the Tigers here.
Houston is 3-11 ATS off a home win over the last three seasons. The Tigers are 6-0 ATS in November games over the last two years. The Cougars are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games on field turf. The Tigers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight Friday games. With what’s at stake here, we’ll get an ‘A-Plus’ effort from Memphis, and Houston won’t be able to match it due to the injury to King. Roll with Memphis Friday.
|11-23-18||Nebraska +9 v. Iowa||28-31||Win||100||37 h 19 m||Show|
15* Nebraska/Iowa Big Ten No-Brainer on Nebraska +9
I certainly don’t mind buying stock in Nebraska right now. The Huskers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. Their only non-cover was a 45-9 win over Bethune-Cookman as 46.5-point favorites in which they pulled their starters after a 38-3 halftime lead. They have been way undervalued since their 0-6 start to the season.
The Huskers haven’t been blown out at all here down the stretch. They covered as 18.5-point dogs at Wisconsin, as 3.5-point dogs at Northwestern in a 31-34 (OT) loss after they blew a 14-point lead late, they beat Minnesota 53-28 as 4-point home favorites, only lost 31-36 at Ohio State as 17-point dogs, crushed Illinois 54-35 as 17-point home favorites, and knocked off Michigan State 9-6 as 1-point home favorites last week.
How they’ve played against all of those teams shows me that they can certainly hang with Iowa, which has lost three of its last four coming in with its only win coming against lowly Illinois. The Hawkeyes seem to just be going through the motions since their dreams of winning the Big Ten West were crushed.
Nebraska certainly has the offense to keep up with the Hawkeyes. They are scoring 30.0 points and averaging 459.6 yards per game in conference play this season. And their defense has only gotten better as the season has gone on. That was on display last week when they held Michigan State to just 6 points and 289 yards of offense. And Iowa has a very similar offense to Michigan State.
No question Nebraska wants revenge from back-to-back blowout losses to the Hawkeyes by 30 and 42 points. But those games were with the anemic Mike Riley at the helm. Scott Frost has changed the culture here already, and he certainly wants his team to know that it’s extremely important to win these rivalry games. No question we’ll get an ‘A-Plus’ effort here from the Cornhuskers knowing this is their final game of the season.
Nebraska is 9-1 ATS off a home win over the last three seasons. Plays on road teams (Nebraska) - with an excellent offense that averages 6.1 or more yards per play, after gaining 3.75 or less hard per play in their previous game are 23-4 (85.2%) ATS since 1992. Take Nebraska Friday.
|11-22-18||Mississippi State v. Ole Miss +11.5||35-3||Loss||-110||29 h 28 m||Show|
15* Mississippi State/Ole Miss SEC ANNIHILATOR on Ole Miss +11.5
The Ole Miss Rebels sit at 5-6, needing a win to make a bowl game. They have lost four straight coming in, but it’s not for a lack of trying. Their four losses have all come by 15 points or less, and their offense has been good enough to win every game. I think they’re undervalued due to going 0-5 ATS in their last five games, and now we will ‘buy low’ on them here as double-digit home dogs to Mississippi State.
They were only 5.5-point home dogs to Auburn and 2-point home favorites against South Carolina during this stretch. And Mississippi State isn’t necessarily better than either of those teams, yet they are laying 11.5-points to the Rebels. They were also only 11-point road underdogs to LSU and 21-point home underdogs to Alabama. That fact alone shows you there’s value with the home dog here.
Ole Miss had 447 total yards against Auburn, 616 total yards against South Carolina, 440 total yards against Texas A&M and 578 total yards against Vanderbilt in their last four games. With this offense, they are never out of any game. And I just don’t think Mississippi State has the firepower on offense to put them away.
This is a Mississippi State offense that is only averaging 17.0 points and 301.3 total yards per game in SEC play this season, and that even includes the 52 points they scored against Arkansas. So they have been horrible. The Bulldogs are 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS on the road this season, averaging just 10.2 points and 292 yards per game. Ole Miss is 3-3 at home, scoring 41.8 points per game and averaging 572 yards per game.
Mississippi State is 0-6 ATS after having won three of its last four games over the past two seasons. Plays on any team (Ole Miss) - off five or more consecutive ATS losses against an opponent that’s off one or more consecutive ATS wins are 39-11 (78%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Ole Miss Thursday.
|11-20-18||Northern Illinois v. Western Michigan +7||21-28||Win||100||6 h 15 m||Show|
15* NIU/WMU MAC Tuesday No-Brainer on Western Michigan +7
We’re definitely getting a ‘buy low’ opportunity here on the Western Michigan Broncos Tuesday night. They have lost three straight coming in, including upset losses to Toledo and Ball State. And now we’re catching more points than we should be with them at home tonight.
I think their misleading 41-42 loss to Ball State has a lot to do with it. Western Michigan racked up 548 total yards in that game and held Ball State to 349, outgaining them by nearly 200 yards. They obviously should have won that game. And they committed six turnovers the game before against Ohio to give that game away as well.
Look for the Broncos to be the more motivated team here at home on Senior Night Tuesday. They want to end their season with a victory over one of their biggest rivals here in Northern Illinois. And they want to get to 7-5 on the season to make sure they get to a bowl game, as just because they are bowl eligible doesn’t mean they’ll be going to a bowl game for sure.
What I do know for sure is that Northern Illinois is in a tough spot mentally here. The Huskies have already clinched the MAC West title, so they’ll be going to the MAC Championship Game no matter what happens here. Their lack of motivation showed last week in a 7-13 upset home los to Miami Ohio. And I don’t see them showing up for this game tonight, either.
Western Michigan is 21-7 ATS in its last 28 games vs. good rush defenses that allow 120 or fewer rushing yards per game. Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (WMU) - good rushing team (190-230 RYPG) against a team with a good rushing defense (100-140 RYPG), after outrushing their last opponent by 150 yards or more are 31-10 (75.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Bet Western Michigan Tuesday.
|11-17-18||San Diego State +15 v. Fresno State||Top||14-23||Win||100||116 h 41 m||Show|
20* SDSU/Fresno State MWC Late-Night BAILOUT on San Diego State +15
This is the perfect opportunity to ‘buy low’ on San Diego State and ‘sell high’ on Fresno State. We’ll ‘sell high’ on the Bulldogs, who have been the best point spread team in the country over the last two seasons, going 21-4-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall. Now they are being asked to lay a whopping 15 points to a San Diego State team capable of winning outright.
We’ll ‘buy low’ on the Aztecs, who are coming off the biggest upset loss of the week last week. They lost 24-27 at home to UNLV as 24-point favorites. Now the betting public wants nothing to do with the Aztecs this week after seeing that result. But there’s a perfectly good explanation for it when you read between the lines.
San Diego State woke up Saturday morning knowing they could lose to UNLV and STILL win the Mountain West’s West Division title. That’s because they saw Fresno State lose to Boise State Friday night. That meant Fresno State was 5-1 within the conference, and San Diego State was sitting at 4-1. So a win or loss didn’t matter. The Aztecs knew that they could win the tiebreaker over Fresno State simply by winning this week. And that’s the scenario.
No question we are getting extra value here on San Diego State because they lost to UNLV last week. And it’s value we’ll take advantage of. This line probably would have been closer to 7 had they not lost to UNLV. And I have no doubt we get a big effort here from the Aztecs in bounce-back mode with the division title on the line.
San Diego State has actually gotten two huge pieces back recently from injury that will make them a tough out here against Fresno State. QB Christian Chapman has returned to the lineup and has played in just four games this season. He completes 67.3% of his passes, which is a huge upgrade over Ryan Agnew, who completed just 51.9% in his absence.
The other huge player the Aztecs got back was RB Juwan Washington. He has rushed for 674 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 5.1 per carry in only six games this season, which means he has missed four games. He is the most talented player on the entire roster and gives the Aztecs a fighting chance to pull this upset Saturday night.
The Bulldogs still have the edge on offense, but I give the edge to the Aztecs on defense, and that gives them a fighting chance. San Diego State is only allowing 20.7 points, 302 yards per game and 4.6 yards per play this season. They are holding opponents to 7.5 points, 83 yards and 1.1 yards per play less than their season averages this season. They have played a much tougher schedule than Fresno State has, too. And keep in mind San Diego State won 19-13 at Boise State as 13-point dogs, while Fresno State lost at Boise State 17-24 as 2-point favorites.
San Diego State is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 road games off a loss by 3 points or less. The Aztecs are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. good offensive teams that score 34 or more points per game. San Diego State is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games on field turf. This line has gotten out of hand. The Aztecs will come to play with the division title at stake, while the Bulldogs could suffer a hangover from that loss to Boise State last week. Bet San Diego State Saturday.
|11-17-18||Rice +44 v. LSU||10-42||Win||100||113 h 41 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Rice +44
I always like fading SEC teams in this spot. They step out of conference late in the season to face a non-conference opponent. They are never motivated for these games, and they aren’t looking to run up the score, either. They are looking to play their starters for a half before giving way to the backups. It’s as easy as it gets taking the big underdog in these spots.
My favorite SEC candidate to fade in this spot this week is LSU, though there’s plenty to choose from. But LSU makes the best candidate because they don’t put up big numbers offensively. Heck, I’d be surprised if they even score 44 points, which is what it’s going to take and then some to cover this 44-point spread.
LSU is winning with defense, not offense this season. The Tigers are only averaging 26.7 points and 362.3 yards per game on the year. We saw LSU step out of conference earlier this season and only beat LA Tech 38-21 as 18.5-point favorites. And that game is significant because Rice just played LA Tech.
In fact, Rice actually led LA Tech in the second half on the road last week. But they ultimately lost 13-28 as 23-point underdogs, easily covering the spread. And they have gone 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall as they have consistently been catching too many points. They only lost by 19 as 23-point dogs at FIU and by 24 as 29.5-point dogs at North Texas. They are once again catching too many points this week.
The clock is constantly going to be moving, which will shorten the game and help Rice cover here. That’s because both of these teams rely heavily on the run to move the football. LSU averages 42 rushing attempts per game compared to only 28 passing. Rice averages 37 rushing attempts per game compared to 31 passing. It’s no surprise that both teams have won the time of possession battle this season.
I also like the quotes I’ve read from Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren heading into this one. “We can’t come out of the tunnel and let Death Valley or Mike the Tigers score points for them. We’ve got to make them line up across from us, go toe-to-toe and earn everything they get. And we’ve got to give it back to them. That’s what I expect from our guys. Nobody outside these walls believes we can do it. We know we can. So let’s go. Let’s just go play football and enjoy every minute.”
I guarantee you LSU doesn’t have that same mindset. They think they can just show up and win, which they probably can, but not by 44 points. And they’ll certainly be more worried about their road game at Texas A&M next week that will likely decide whether or not they will make it to a New Year’s Six Bowl. Their concern is staying healthy and just getting out with a win, not with a cover.
Plays against home favorites of 31.5 or more points (LSU) - after allowing 10 or less rushing yards last game are 35-17 (72.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Tigers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven non-conference games. The Owls are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Roll with Rice Saturday.
|11-17-18||Indiana +28 v. Michigan||Top||20-31||Win||100||118 h 34 m||Show|
20* CFB Line Mistake GAME OF THE MONTH on Indiana +28
I liked the fight I saw in Indiana last week as they beat Maryland 34-32 at home to keep their bowl hopes alive and improve to 5-5 on the season. I look for the Hoosiers to fight again this week to try and knock off the big, bad Michigan Wolverines. And they are catching 28 points to boot, so we have a ton of room to work with.
We see this almost every season where a team gets ranked highly in the playoff rankings. And with that high ranking comes expectations from oddsmakers that are tough to live up to. Michigan failed to cover as 37-point favorites at Rutgers last week, and they are going to have to play a near-perfect game to cover against Indiana this week.
You also have to consider the mental state of the Wolverines right now. They don’t need style points, they just need to win out and they’ll get in the four-team playoff. Plain and simple. So they won’t be looking to pour it on here against Indiana, only to get out with a win. And then you consider that Michigan will likely be overlooking Indiana and looking ahead to the huge showdown at Ohio State next week, and we are getting a ton of value here with the Hoosiers.
Indiana hasn’t lost by this margin all season. All five of their losses came by 26 points or fewer, including their 26-49 road loss at Ohio State as 27.5-point underdogs. That game was much closer than the final score showed. They only lost to Michigan State by 14, a Spartans team that was coming off a bye. And they only lost by 5 as 14-point dogs to Penn State. They have played the best teams in the Big Ten East tough thus far.
Michigan’s offense only averages 422 yards per game. Indiana’s offense averages 411 yards per game, which is 43 yards per game more than their opponents normally give up on average. The Hoosiers have faced the gauntlet in terms of strength of opposing defenses, and they’ve bene able to score plenty of points to be competitive. So they won’t be phased by this Michigan defense they are about to see.
Michigan’s defense hasn’t faced many quarterbacks the caliber of Indiana’s Peyton Ramsey. He is an accurate thrower who completes 67.3% of his passes, and he has some mobility as he has rushed for 266 yards and four touchdowns this year. His escapability will be key here in creating some plays with his legs that Michigan doesn’t usually have to account for.
Indiana also will be revenge-minded. The Hoosiers have lost two of their last three meetings with the Wolverines in overtime, and the other was a 10-point road loss. So they have played the Wolverines right down to the wire each of the last three seasons. Plus, the Hoosiers haven’t lost any of their last seven meetings with the Wolverines by more than 24 points, which makes for a 7-0 ATS system backing them pertaining to this 28-point spread.
Jim Harbaugh is 1-8 ATS off a win by 35 or more points as the coach of Michigan. Harbaugh is 0-6 ATS off a blowout win by 35 points or more against a conference opponent as the coach of the Wolverines. This is also a 100% never lost system pertaining to Harbaugh at Michigan in this spot. Take Indiana Saturday.
|11-17-18||Florida International -5.5 v. Charlotte||42-35||Win||100||107 h 11 m||Show|
15* Conference USA PLAY OF THE DAY on Florida International -5.5
I was on Florida International -10 at UTSA last week and they delivered with an emphatic 45-7 victory. I’m back on them again for many of the same reasons, and for the simple fact that they should be laying more than 5.5 points to Charlotte this week.
FIU is a highly motivated team right now. That’s because a win this week would tie them for first place with Middle Tennessee for the C-USA East Division lead. And they beat Middle Tennessee 24-21, so they own the tiebreaker. Essentially, they control their own destiny. Win out and they will win the East Division and earn a trip to the C-USA Championship Game to face UAB. I expect them to handle their business this week.
Charlotte is in a world of hurt right now offensively. They lost starting QB Chris Reynolds a few weeks back to a season-ending ankle injury. He was completing 64.9% of his passes with a 6-to-2 TD/INT ratio at the time of his departure. Backup Evan Shirreffs just hasn’t been nearly as good, completing only 51.9% of his passes with a 2-to-4 TD/INT ratio. Reynolds averaged 7.6 YPA compared to 6.1 YPA for Shirreffs as well.
That helps explain why Charlotte’s offense has struggled so badly over the last four weeks. They are averaging just 11.5 points per game and 253 yards per game in their last four games. I just don’t see how Charlotte can possibly hang with this high-powered FIU attack that is averaging 34.8 points per game on the season. Offensively, this is a huge mismatch, and we’ll gladly bet the better offensive team here.
FIU is 13-2 ATS in its last 15 games off a game with a turnover margin of +3 or better. Charlotte is 1-8 ATS in its last nine games off two consecutive games where it committed one or fewer turnovers. The Golden Panthers are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games off a win by 21 points or more.
Plays against home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Charlotte) - after having lost five or six of their last seven games against opponent after having won three of their last four games are 27-4 (87.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take Florida International Saturday.
|11-17-18||Northwestern v. Minnesota +3||Top||24-14||Loss||-120||116 h 45 m||Show|
25* College Football GAME OF THE YEAR on Minnesota +3
This game has everything I look for when seeking out a pick to use as my 25* College Football GAME OF THE YEAR. We have one team who will be max motivated in Minnesota up against another team in Northwestern that is likely to just go through the motions. And we’re getting the max motivated team as the underdog.
The reason the Golden Gophers will be max motivated is because they sit at 5-5 and need a win to get to a bowl game. And with a road game at Wisconsin on deck, this is their best chance to get it. It’s also Senior Day for Minnesota here. So they have every reason to want to lay it all on the line to win this game.
Conversely, Northwestern just clinched everything with last week’s 14-10 win at Iowa. They clinched the Big Ten West Division title, which means they will be going to the Conference Championship Game to face either Michigan or Ohio State. And they clinched a bowl berth with their 6th win.
I expect the Wildcats to fall flat on their faces this week as they don’t care one bit whether or not they win this game now. They’ve been getting patted on the back all week at school and having everyone tell them how good they are. They probably also partied more than usual this week leading up to the game. It’s just not a spot where you want to be betting on the Wildcats this week.
Plus, one of my favorite trends this season is that the underdog in Northwestern games is now 9-0-1 ATS on the season. I used this trend last week when I backed the Wildcats as my 25* Big Ten GAME OF THE YEAR. And I’m using it again this week to fade them in this horrific spot. Pat Fitzgerald knows how to motivated his team when they are the underdog, but not when he has expectations and he is favored.
Northwestern was favored by 3 at home against Duke and lost 7-21. The Wildcats were favored by 21 against Akron and lost outright 34-39. They were favored by 3.5 against Nebraska and won 34-31 only after a last-second miracle, but failed to cover. And they were favored by 20 at Rutgers and barely escaped with an 18-15 victory.
Minnesota’s 41-10 win over Purdue as 11-point underdogs last week was one of the best performances of the season. The Golden Gophers came into that game knowing they needed to beat Purdue and Northwestern to make a bowl, and step 1 is completed. They held that high-octane Purdue offensive attack to just 233 total yards in the win.
The Golden Gophers have a huge home/road split this season. They have yet to win a road game, but they are 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS at home this year, outscoring their opponents by 14.9 points per game in the process. And home-field advantage has been huge in this series in recent meetings as the home team is 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
Minnesota is 24-9-2 ATS in its last 35 November games. The Golden Gophers are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games following an upset win as a double-digit underdog. Bet Minnesota Saturday.
Note: I know this line has flipped to Minnesota -2.5 as of this writing Saturday morning. I still like Minnesota as a 25* up to -3 today.
|11-17-18||TCU v. Baylor -2||Top||16-9||Loss||-109||105 h 12 m||Show|
20* TCU/Baylor Big 12 Early ANNIHILATOR on Baylor -2
The books have been off on TCU all season. They are just 4-6 SU & 1-9 ATS this year. Yet they keep getting respect from the books week after week. And they’re getting too much respect again this week as only 2-point road underdogs to the Baylor Bears.
Things have gotten so bad for TCU that they lost outright to Kansas as 13-point favorites. They have completely fallen apart since losing to Ohio State in Week 3. They are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games since then and have failed to cover by a combined 101 points in those seven games! Books haven’t even been close on this team.
While TCU still has a respectable defense, though were forced for 52 points against Oklahoma and 47 against West Virginia. But the defense isn’t the issue. It’s the putrid offense that has been held to 17 points or fewer in five of their last seven games. That’s just not going to cut it in the Big 12. They lost starting QB Shawn Robinson to a season-ending shoulder injury on October 22nd, and then lost their best playmaker in KaVontae Turpin on October 23rd due to a suspension.
I don’t even think TCU wants to make a bowl game at this point, they just want the season to be over. The Horned Frogs lost 10-47 at West Virginia last week and looked to have quit. We actually saw this a few years back in 2013 with the Horned Frogs as they finished 4-8. Sitting at 4-6 on the season, a 4-8 finish is highly likely at this point.
Conversely, Baylor wants to get to a bowl game. The Bears are in the second year under Matt Rhule and have been one of the most improved teams in the country. They sit at 5-5 on the season and one win shy of a bowl berth. They’ll be highly motivated to clinch that bowl bid here at home Saturday instead of waiting until next week against Texas Tech.
I was impressed with the way Baylor played against Iowa State on the road last week. If they didn’t have struggles in the red zone and two missed chip shot field goals, they probably would have won that game. They actually outgained the Cyclones 505 to 355 in that game, or by 150 total yards. Iowa State has the best defense in the Big 12, so putting up 505 yards on them is no small feat.
The Bears received good news early this week when it was announced that QB Charlie Brewer wouldn’t be suspended for this game after getting ejected against Iowa State. Brewer is completing 61.6% of his passes for 2,164 yards with 14 touchdowns and only six interceptions on the season, while also rushing for 223 yards and four scores. He has really taken a big step forward as a sophomore this season, as has the rest of this team under the guidance of Rhule.
TCU is 0-6 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 58% or better this season. The Horned Frogs are 0-7 ATS in conference games this season. This is simply as obvious as it looks folks. The Horned Frogs are once again getting respect from the books that they don’t deserve here. Roll with Baylor Saturday.
|11-17-18||Arkansas +20.5 v. Mississippi State||6-52||Loss||-109||105 h 12 m||Show|
15* SEC PLAY OF THE DAY on Arkansas +20.5
I usually look to fade teams the week after they play Alabama. There’s usually a ‘hangover’ effect from the loss to the No. 1 team in the country. Simply put, teams won’t be nearly as motivated against their next opponent. And teams certainly are beat up physically from facing the Crimson Tide. Such is the case for Mississippi State this week.
I faded LSU in the same spot last week off their 29-0 loss to Alabama. And they failed to cover as 14-point favorites against Arkansas. And now I’m backing Arkansas again this week because they are once again facing the team that played Alabama last week. They keep getting these good scheduling spots to close out the season.
Quietly, Arkansas has gone 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall. The betting public wants nothing to do with this team because they are just 2-8 SU on the season. They are catching too many points every week, and that’s again the case here this week as nearly three-touchdowns underdogs to the Bulldogs.
I’m not sure how Mississippi State is expected to cover three touchdowns when they have had a hard time even scoring three touchdowns. Indeed, the Bulldogs have failed to top 28 points in any SEC game this season. They are scoring just 11.2 points per game and averaging just 272.3 yards per game against SEC opponents this season. Arkansas held LSU to just 24 points last week, and they should be able to hold Mississippi State to 24 or fewer, too.
The Razorbacks have been respectable against the run this season, giving up just 155 rushing yards per game and 4.0 per carry. That will be the key to their cover this week because Mississippi State is only completing 50.2% of its passes and is not known as a passing team. The Bulldogs average 212 rushing yards per game, and that’s their strength. They are very predictable.
Arkansas is 13-2 ATS in its last 15 road games with a total set of 45.5 to 49 points. The Razorbacks are 7-0 ATS off a home loss to a conference opponent over the last three years. Arkansas is 6-0 ATS vs. excellent rushing teams that average 5.25 or more yards per carry over the last three years. The Razorbacks are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a loss. These four trends combine for a 31-2 system backing the Razorbacks. Bet Arkansas Saturday.
|11-17-18||Ohio State -16.5 v. Maryland||52-51||Loss||-103||105 h 12 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Ohio State -16.5
I cashed in Ohio State last week against Michigan State, and style points was the theme. They took care of business in a 26-6 win as only 3.5-point favorites. The Buckeyes need style points this time of year because they are 10th in the latest playoff rankings. And they’ll be looking for more style points this week against Maryland.
Let’s just look at the last four meetings in this series, and you’ll love Ohio State as much as I do this week. The Buckeyes are 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings, winning by 48, 59, 21 and 28 points. They have won those four meetings by an average of 39 points per game. And we’re only having to lay 16.5 with the Buckeyes this week? Sign me up.
The reason Maryland struggles against teams like Ohio State is because they can’t keep up with them offensively. Maryland is a run-first team that struggles against teams that can stop the run. That was on display two weeks ago when they lost to Michigan State 24-3 at home, the same Michigan State team Ohio State just beat by 20 on the road.
Maryland only averages 131 passing yards per game, but 235 rushing. Well, Ohio State has been good at stopping the run this season as they give up just 143 rushing yards per game and 4.2 per carry. The only teams that Ohio State has really struggled against are teams that can throw the ball, which includes their narrow wins over Nebraska and Penn State, and their loss to Purdue. They won’t struggle against this predictable Maryland outfit.
Maryland is 0-8 ATS in its last eight games after gaining 350 or more rushing yards in their last game. They ran all over Indiana last week and still lost 32-34. Again, that’s the same Indiana team that lost by 23 to Ohio State. The Terrapins are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games vs. good passing teams who complete 62% of their passes or better. They are losing by 30.6 points per game on average in this spot. Look for the Buckeyes to hang a big number on the Terrapins and cover this generous number with ease. Roll with Ohio State Saturday.
|11-17-18||South Florida v. Temple -13.5||17-27||Loss||-112||105 h 11 m||Show|
15* AAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Temple -13.5
It was obvious that South Florida’s 7-0 start was a fraudulent one. They were outgained by 176 yards by Georgia Tech and found a way to win. They were also outgained by 116 yards by ECU and won 20-13. They only beat Tulsa by one and UConn by 8, and those are two of the worst teams in the AAC.
But once the competition ramped up in recent weeks, the Bulls were exposed for the frauds that they are. They lost 36-57 at Houston and were outgained by 215 yards. They lost 15-41 to Tulane at home, getting upset as 6-point favorites. And they lost 23-35 at Cincinnati last week. It’s worth noting the Bearcats had the ball down to the USF 1-yard line in closing seconds and took a knee.
Now they have to face Temple, which I believe is the best team in the AAC. They beat Cincinnati earlier this season and have been playing great football. They should have beaten UCF a few weeks ago as they outgained them by 40 yards but blew a late lead and lost 40-52 on the road. And then last week they went on the road at Houston and won 59-49 as 3.5-point dogs. South Florida was blasted by both Houston and Cincinnati, and they’d get blasted by UCF, too. They’ll get blasted by Temple this week.
This is a Temple offense that is hitting on all cylinders right now. They put up 40 points and 670 total yards on UCF two weeks ago, and then 59 points and 537 total yards on Houston last week. When I’m laying double-digit points like this, I want it to be with an offense that is going to put up a big number. And there’s no question the Owls are going to hang a big number on this poor USF defense that has allowed an average of 38.2 points per game in their last six games. That’s real bad when you consider UMass, Tulsa, UConn and Tulane were four of those six opponents.
I have to believe Temple remembers their 7-43 road loss at South Florida last year. The Bulls weren’t afraid to run up the score on them, and the Owls won’t be afraid to run of the score this season to return the favor. Temple won 46-30 in their last home meeting in 2016 as 6-point underdogs. And this is the first time in recent seasons that Temple actually has the better team between these two. They should have no problem winning by two-plus touchdowns here on Senior Day, which is also extra motivation for them.
The Owls are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 conference games. The Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last six conference games. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Temple is 8-0 ATS after scoring 37 points or more last game over the last three seasons. The Owls are 7-0 ATS when playing against a good team that wins 60% to 75% of their games over the last three years. The Owls are 9-1 ATS vs. poor defensive teams that allow 425 or more yards per game over the past three seasons. These last four trends combine for a 28-1 system backing the Owls. Take Temple Saturday.
|11-16-18||Memphis v. SMU OVER 72||Top||28-18||Loss||-110||90 h 6 m||Show|
20* Memphis/SMU ESPN 2 Total DOMINATOR on OVER 72
Get ready for plenty of offensive fireworks Friday night in this standalone game between Memphis and SMU in AAC action. Both teams will be full speed trying to put up as many points as possible, and there will be very little defense being played in this battle between two teams known for offense and not so much for defense.
Memphis is putting up 44.6 points and 531.9 yards per game this season behind a balanced attack that produces 270 rushing yards per game and 262 passing. SMU is scoring 32.3 points per game this season and has improved as the season has gone on under Sonny Dykes. The Mustangs put up 45 points against Houston and 62 points against UConn in their last two games coming in.
The problem both of these teams have is that they cannot defend a lick. The Mustangs are giving up 36.8 points per game, while the Tigers are yielding 30.5 points per game on the season. The Tigers have gone OVER the total in three straight coming in, while the Mustangs have gone OVER in each of their last two contests.
I think we get a similar output to last year when Memphis beat SMU 66-45 for 111 combined points and a total of 71.5. The Tigers racked up 664 total yards in the win, while the Mustangs managed 477 themselves. That was a similar total to this 72.5-point number we’re seeing here. And I just think it’s two low as both of these teams get to at least 35 points in this one with Memphis likely topping 50. After all, Memphis has scored at least 48 points in each of its last four meetings with SMU.
Memphis is a perfect 7-0 to the OVER in road games vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 58% or better over the last three seasons. We’re seeing 89.1 combined points per game on average in this spot. The OVER is 9-1 in Tigers last 10 games after gaining 450 or more total yards in their previous game. The OVER is 4-0 in Tigers last four November games. The OVER is 5-0 in Mustangs last five November games. These four trends combine for a 25-1 system backing the OVER. Bet the OVER in this game Friday.
|11-15-18||Florida Atlantic v. North Texas OVER 61||Top||38-41||Win||100||67 h 31 m||Show|
20* FAU/North Texas CFB Late-Night BAILOUT on OVER 61
I think we’re getting value on the OVER tonight between FAU and North Texas because both of these teams have been under teams of late, especially the Mean Green. North Texas has gone under the total in all 10 of their games thus far, which is almost unheard of. But that trend stops tonight.
The problem recently with betting overs in North Texas games is all the poor offenses they’ve been up against this season. But they have still combined for 61 or more points four times with their opponents this season, and most of those were against the best offensive teams the’ve faced in SMU, Arkansas and Old Dominion.
FAU has gone under the total in three of their last four games coming in. The one exception was against the best offensive team they faced in FIU, and they combined for 63 points with the Golden Panthers. The fact of the matter is that these are two of the best offensive teams in Conference USA, and we’re going to see plenty of points between them as a result to top this 61-point total.
North Texas boasts an offense that puts up 37.2 points and 464.7 yards per game this season. Florida Atlantic’s offense is putting up 31.1 points and 476.5 yards per game on the year. The Owls are getting better as the season goes on offensively. They put up 49 points and 596 yards against FIU and 34 points and 576 yards against Western Kentucky in their last two games coming in.
These teams met twice last year. The first meeting was a 69-31 FAU blowout with 100 combined points and a total of 67. The second meeting was in the Conference Championship Game with FAU winning 41-17 and 58 combined points with a total of 71.5. So the fact that the total was 67 and 71.5 in the two meetings last year and now it’s only 61 in the rematch this year shows there’s clearly value with the OVER. I expect both teams to top 30 points in this one. Bet the OVER in this game Thursday.
|11-10-18||Clemson v. Boston College +20||27-7||Push||0||50 h 17 m||Show|
15* Clemson/Boston College ACC No-Brainer on Boston College +20
It’s time to ‘sell high’ on the Clemson Tigers this week. Bettors are clearly being asked to pay a tax to back Clemson now after what they’ve done in recent weeks. Not only are they 9-0 and the No. 2 ranked team in the country, but they’re 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall, winning by 60, 34, 49 and 61 points. But that was against the bottom of the ACC in Wake Forest, NC State, FSU and Louisville.
Now Clemson actually has to play what I believe is the second-best team in the ACC in Boston College. The Eagles are 7-2 SU & 7-2 ATS this season and have been covering machines over the past two years. Yet, they are getting absolutely no respect from oddsmakers this week as 20-point home underdogs.
This will be a night game in the cold in Boston. The Eagles are used to these conditions, while the Tigers are now. And Boston College is 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS at home this season, outscoring opponents by a whopping 24.6 points per game on average. They are outgaining their foes by 207 yards per game at home as well, averaging 504 yards per game on offense and giving up only 297 yards per game on defense.
Clemson doesn’t need style points any more. They just know that they need to win out to make the four-team playoff because they aren’t going to drop from the No. 2 ranking if they just keep winning. They certainly wouldn’t drop all the way to No. 5 if they win out, but it’s ugly. And so they can win this game and we can still win catching 20 points on the Eagles.
One matchup I like here is this Boston College offensive line against Clemson’s defensive line. The Tigers get all the accolades for having a NFL talent across their defensive line, but the Eagles have NFL talent on their offensive line as well. In fact, I believe this is one of the Top 5 offensive lines in the country. And they’re well-equipped to handle this Clemson defensive front. The Eagles are rushing for 229 yards per game this season and have one of the better running backs in the country in A.J. Dillon. Dillon and company can control the clock, move the chains and keep that Clemson high-powered offense off the field.
Boston College is 11-1 ATS against ACC opponents over the last two seasons. The Eagles are 6-0 ATS vs. good offensive teams who score 31 or more points per game over the last two years. Boston College is 9-1-1 ATS in its last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with Clemson. Bet Boston College Saturday.
|11-10-18||LSU v. Arkansas +14||Top||24-17||Win||100||75 h 24 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE MONTH on Arkansas +14
I always like fading teams after they play Alabama. This is the perfect spot to fade LSU. Their dreams were crushed last week with their 29-0 loss to Alabama. They could have won the SEC West and been a playoff contender if they had won that game, but they were thoroughly outplayed. It was a bigger blowout than the 29-point margin suggests even as they were outgained by 380 yards and managed just 196 total yards on offense.
Now the Tigers somehow have to try and get motivated to face a 2-7 Arkansas team, and I don’t think they will. They certainly won’t be motivated enough to cover this 14-point spread. The Razorbacks come in on two weeks’ rest fresh off their bye as well, so they should be sitting on a big effort here. I’ll gladly back the more motivated home team in this matchup.
Having a first-year head coach in Chad Morris, the Razorbacks won’t quit on their season, and they’ve shown no signs of doing so. They have been undervalued here down the stretch, going 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. They beat Tulsa 23-0, only lost by 4 to Ole Miss after blowing a late double-digit lead, and they only lost by 7 at Texas A&M as 19-point dogs. They covered as 35-point dogs against Alabama and actually scored 31 points on the Crimson Tide, which is the most they have allowed to anyone all season.
The Razorbacks also get some key players back healthy this week off their bye. And LSU usually plays Arkansas the week after Alabama. That helps explain the fact that the Razorbacks are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings, including 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Fayetteville. Arkansas is 6-0 ATS off a home conference loss over the last three seasons. The Razorbacks are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a loss. The Tigers are 0-4 ATS int heir last four games following a double-digit home loss. The Razorbacks are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Take Arkansas Saturday.
Guaranteed Winners or your money back and Free Picks in the NFL football, NBA basketball, MLB baseball, NCAA college football and basketball, Nascar Racing, Arena Football nhl hockey leagues and more.
We are part of the internets Premier Sports Handicappers League with full documentation of all members on this sports betting news and info portal. Free Membership, Join Today and start Winning!
For any resources you could need like sports handicapping odds, handicapping stats, schedules, or handicappers free picks and tips please click on any of the links on the right hand side of this page.