Washington at UCLA – Prediction

Washington Huskies -3 at UCLA Bruins 

Friday night features a premier Pac 12 matchup between two undefeated teams when the Washington Huskies wil hit the road to take on the UCLA Bruins. 

It’s hard to imagine a better start to a season for Kalen Doer in his first season with the Huskies.  Doer and new QB, Indiana transfer Micheal Penix Jr. have lit up the scoreboard  averaging 44 points per game including a recent domination of Stanford in their first PAC 12 contest.  Penix Jr. is leading the nation in passing after four games, he has dynamic receivers on the outside, three different receivers have led the Huskies in yards, eclipsing the century mark in each game, most recently it was Romeo Odunze that dominated the Stanford secondary. The UCLA defense has not allowed anything on the ground this season, Penix will be looked at to carry the load on the offensive end.

UCLA is led by QB Dorian Thompson- Robinson and RB Zach Charbonnet, both have been spectacular to start the season. Thompson-Robinson is coming off a game where he completed 84% of his passes against Colorado, Charbonnet had an easy night running the ball just 9 times for 104 yards, 3 of those runs ended in the endzone. The Bruins offense is built around the run, they will manage the game and look to keep Penix and the Huskie offense off the field. The more time the UCLA defnese is able to rest the more they will be able to get pressure on the QB. 

Neither team has ultimately been tested by high level competition. The Huskies victory over Michigan State at home isn’t as good as it once seemed to be.  The Bruins have a better defense, a veteran QB and RB. The Washington defense has found success putting pressure on the QB, the mobility of Dorian Thompson-Robinson should be able to negate the pass rush, opening up time for receivers to make plays. This one will come down to the final drive and I think the ability of UCLA to control the ball with their run game will ultimately be the difference. 

Pick: UCLA ML, take the points if you want

Big 12 Championship- This is going to be a grind

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Baylor Bears +5.5 Total: 46.5

The Big 12 Championship game looks kind of odd without Oklahoma participating, nevertheless there will be a team from the state that is looking to find itself in the college football playoff.  The Cowboys are one win away from forcing themselves into the conversation, the Baylor Bears will look to be dream killers on Saturday in what is sure to be a hard hitting affair. 

This will be the second time these two teams have met, the first was won by Oklahoma State 24-14.  The Cowboys were able to overcome three interceptions thrown by QB Spencer Sanders. Oklahoma State dominated on the ground, led by Jaylen Warren’s 125 yards and two touchdowns.  Sanders was able to add 76 yards on the ground but this time around he will have to limit the turnovers and utilize their strong run game.  

The Baylor Bears will have a similar offensive game plan, they are a run first team that has averaged over 200 yards per game on the ground.  In their first meeting the Bears fell behind early 14-0 and were outgained in the first half 240 – 90. The Oklahoma State defense is good all around but they thrive against the run, allowing just 2.8 yard per rush. Baylor will likely be without QB Gerry Bohanon, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, if he does play he will have to graduate from game manager to big play threat to challenge the Cowboy defense.  If Bohanon can’t go, the Bears will have to lean on Redshirt Freshman Blake Shapen.

The Big 12 has a rare matchup of defensive minded teams in their championship game. This one will be old school.  Both teams will battle in the trenches which will slow the pace down a lot.  Oklahoma State has a lot more to play for, if Sanders can avoid the turnovers that have plagued him in big games this season this should be a win and an easy cover. I like the Cowboys to win by a touchdown.  

Ok State being the choice to win the game also means I think they will dictate the pace.  That means running and controlling the clock. This game will be played on a neutral field at AT&T Stadium.  While I am sure based on location the fan bases will be split, I look at this like an away game for both teams.  These two are a combined 8-2 to the under on the road and I expect that trend to continue.

Pick: Under 46.5, lean hard OK State -5.5

NCAAF Pick Nov 20- ACC QB Showdown

Virginia Cavaliers at Pittsburgh Panthers -14.5, Total 66

The Virginia defense stinks. If you take away their shutout of Duke they haven’t given up less than 28 points on the season, that includes beatdowns from North Carolina, Wake Forest and BYU.  In those three games they gave up an average of 54 points per game.They will face a Pittsburgh offense that is averaging 36 ppg (4th nationally) and led by future NFL first rounder Kenny Pickett.

The Cavaliers season has been a roller coaster.  Starting the season 2-2 before reeling off four straight wins over Louisville, Georgia Tech, Duke and Miami. Their momentum was abruptly stopped when they got run over by BYU. That game came with an extra kick inthe gut as star QB Brennan Armstrong sustained an injury that forced him to miss the Notre Dame game.  Without Armstrong the highly vaunted Cavalier offense could not move the ball scoring just 3 points behind backup Jay Woolfok. There are reports that Armstrong should be back for this game, if he is the Virginia offense should be able to move the ball.

The Pittsburgh defense has struggled over the last three weeks, giving up 23,29 and 38 over the last three weeks.  Their early season games against Tennesee and Western Michigan showed the vulnerabilities in the defense.  With the potential return of Armstrong, the Pittsburgh defense will have to deal with a dual threat QB that can expsoe them.  Armstrong is third in college football with 3,557 yards and added 7 rushing touchdowns.  

I am playing under the assumption that Armstrong will be on the field.  If that is the case I am taking the points with Virginia and I am hammering the over. This game will be a shoutout between two extremely talented QB’s against lackluster defenses. 

Pick: Virginia +14.5, over 66

NCAAF Picks ATS Week 10

Liberty Flames at Mississippi Rebels -10  Total: 67.5

The Liberty Flames will get their chance to take on one of the big boys when they face off against the Ole Miss Rebels.  

The Flames defense will have their hands full with future pro and potentially top overall draft pick, QB Matt Coral.  Coral will not have his full allotment of receivers but the Rebels will still be able to produce offense on the ground against a Liberty defense that gave up over 200 yards on the ground to both North Texas and UMass.  Corral actually leads the Rebels in rush yards this year with 519 to go along with ten rushing touchdowns, his ability to scramble will be tough for the Liberty defense to contain.  Henry Parrish Jr and Snoop Conner are both explosive out of the backfield, each average over 5 yards per carry. As a team Ole Miss averages over 6 yards per play on offense ranking them in the top ten in all of football.

Liberty will have a chance because they have a dynamic QB in Malik Willis.  Like Coral, Willis leads his team in rush yards, 684 yards while completing 66% of his passes.  The Liberty offense should have their way with a subpar Ole Miss defense.  The Rebels give up 429 yards of offense per game, most notably they give up a ton on the ground. Their inability to stop the run will force the defense to get worn down, Ole Miss ranks 107th in defense time on field.  This will be a huge factor in Liberty cashing in on offense. 

These two squads will both be fired up for this game and we will see a great matchup of the two most athletic and talented QB’s in all of college football. Both defenses will give up large chunks of yards and both defenses will not be able to keep the other out of the endzone.  The total has been set to low for this one.  I am on the over and lean Liberty with the late cover.

Pick: Over 67.5, Flames +10 

San Jose State Spartans at Nevada Wolf Pack  -10

Nevada has scored 49, 55, 34 and 51 while going 4-0 at home this season.  They have one of the most potent offenses through the air in all of college football, averaging 384 yards per game.  QB Carson Strong is coming off of a huge game against UNLV, throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns.  Strong has built up a resume fit for a top NFL prospect, throwing for a total of 2,883 yards and a 24:5 TD to interception ratio.  Nevada in total averages 37.63 points per game, ranking 15th in the nation. This is a team that has built everything around the offensive side of the ball. 

The Nevada defense is not great, but they are able to force teams to play their way by jumping on them early with the high powered pass attack.  San Jose State does not have the offense to keep up with the Wolf Pack.  Nevada will be able to score, if they limit turnovers and control the field position the Spartans will not be able to keep up with the pace. 

San Jose State is just 1-5 ATS on the road in their last six. Nevada is 4-1 ATS in their last five. The Wolf Pack have to jump out early and when they do they will get the crowd into the game and that will lead to an easy victory and cover.

Pick: Nevada Wolf Pack -10

Houston Cougars at USF Bulls +13

The Houston Cougars have won seven games in a row after upsetting the SMU Mustangs 44-37.  Houston QB Clayton Tune has completed 69% of his passes for 1,883 yards and 16 touchdowns.  Houston is 5-3 ATS and an impressive 3-0 ATS on the road this season.  

USF had some issues holding onto the ball last week against Eastern Carolina.  QB Katravis Marsh threw three picks in their 29-14 loss.  The Bulls have lost four of their last five games.  USF has given up 31.88 points per game (105th in nation), their two wins came against Temple and Florida AM.  The defense is pretty bad, the offense isnt much better.  USF QB Timmy McClain has only completed 56% of his passes, they lean on the run game to produce offense.  Houston has been top ten against the run on the season, they are going to force the Bulls to beat them through the air.  They are not built to do that.   

The Cougars are one of the hottest teams in the country. Their offense is playing at an elite level.  Getting a matchup with a terrible USF team is a great way for Clayton Tune and company to show their dominance. This game will never be close.  Number should be way higher. 

Pick: Houston Cougars -13 

NCAAF Picks ATS Week 9

Michigan Wolverines at Michigan State Spartans +4

Michigan State has been one of the biggest surprises in all of college football. Under second year coach Mel Tucker the Spartans have thrived on both sides of the ball.  The Spartans have Heisman candidate Kenneth Walker in the backfield.  Walker has run for 997 yards and 9 touchdowns on the season. The Spartan offense will lean on the run, but they also have a solid passing game behind QB Payton Thorne.  Thorne has thrown for fifteen touchdowns and just four interceptions.  The Michigan front is tough but they will be forced to stack the box to stop the run, which will allow for man coverage for Thorne to pick apart.  Thorne has two different receivers, Jayden Reed and Josh Nailor, both have 27 catches and both are going to be big problems for the Michigan defense.

Michigan has the exact same strategy on offense.  They will lean on the run in order to set up the pass. The Wolverines have two runners, Blake Corum and Hassan Hankins both have run for over 600 yards on the season. The Michigan State defense has been very good against the run.  The Spartans are holding opposing Big Ten teams to just 3.3 yards per carry.  If Michigan cannot establish the run they will have to rely on Cade McNamara for the first time this season.  McNamara is averaging just 21 throws per game and has only thrown two balls over 40 yards. 

Both teams average 200 yards on the ground, both average 30+ points per game.  Both have solid defenses, giving up just 18 ppg (Michigan) and 14 ppg (Michigan State).  The difference will be the QB play. Payton Thorne has the ability to take over the game, Cade McNamara has not shown that same ability.  Jim Harbaugh has not won the big game in his career at Michigan, this one is the biggest game of 2021.  The Spartans are not the team of 2020, their explosive offense will set them apart on Saturday, as well as their advantage at home.  I love the Spartans at +4, but it’s worth it to go after the ML.

Pick: Michigan State Spartans ML +160 or +4 for safety net

Arkansas State Red Wolves at South Alabama Jaguars -9

South Alabama QB Jake Bently has led the Jaguar offense all year.  Bently has thrown for 1,825 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.  The Jaguars are 3-1 ATS at home this season.  The offense will be able to put up points against a putrid defense, but their key advantage will be on the defensive side of the ball. South Alabama is top 5 in the country against the pass.  Bently and company will be able to put up points at will and their defense matches up perfectly with the Red Wolves biggest strength.

Arkansas State has lost 6 in a row, including all three of their road contests.  The Red Wolves have been a powerhouse through the air this season (348 yards per game).  Most of their air yards have come due to the inability to stop the opposing offense.  The Arkansas State defense ranks dead last in the country against the run and dead last in rush offense. The Red Wolves inability will make it tough for QB James Blackmon to run the offense that they want.  

South Alabama is coming off of a bad loss to UL Monroe, they will be motivated in front of their home crowd to make a statement.  The defense will be the difference in a high scoring affair.  The Jaguars will take a few punches but they ultimately will take the lead and run with it. 

Pick: South Alabama Jaguars -9

Kentucky Wildcats at Mississippi State Bulldogs 

Kentucky is coming off of a miracle cover over powerhouse Georgia two weeks ago. They got a week off and now will go on the road to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs.  The Wildcats are 2-0 ATS on the road, both against SEC opponents.  In contrast the Bulldogs are just 1-3 ATS at home.  

The Bulldogs are good offensively.  QB Will Rogers has completed 73% of his passes, helping his team to average 423 yards of offense per game (50th in nation).  Rogers has had his struggles during the season, throwing seven interceptions and getting sacked 20 times.  Mississippi State will have to try and limit the Kentucky pass rush. The Wildcats are very good at applying pressure at 6.78% sack percentage while only giving up 17 ppg on the season. 

Kentucky will not have a walk in the park on offense.  The Bulldogs shut down the run, allowing just 98 yards per game. The matchup of the Miss State defense against star RB Chris Rodriguez should make for an interesting matchup.  Rodriguez has rushed for 775 yards, adding 5 touchdowns as the cornerstone of the Kentucky offense.  Kentucky QB Will Levis will give him some room to run, his dink and dunk game should allow them to move the ball downfield and wear down the defense.  

This game is going to be a gritty matchup between two teams that rely a lot on their defense.  The Bulldogs have had a problem protecting the QB and that will be exasporated on Saturday.  Kentucky will get pressure on Will Rogers which will lead to turnovers and Wildcat touchdowns.  

Pick: Kentucky ML -105

NCAAF Picks Week 8

North Carolina State Wolfpack at Miami Hurricanes +3

The season has not been going well for the Miami Hurricanes.  Devastating losses to UVA and UNC over the last two weeks have them currently sitting at 2-4 and little to know hope of doing anything of note this season.  Miami lost starting QB D’eriq King for the season and added starting RB Cameron Harris to the DL last week. The depleted offense has QB Tyler Van Dyke at the helm.  He has thrown for just 52% with 5 TDs and 3 interceptions. The Hurricanes are running into a red hot defense coming off a beatdown on the road against Boston College. NC State has given up just 14.33 ppg, and just 315 yards per game on the season.  

The NC State offense is led by QB Devin Leary’s 73% completion percentage, 15 TD to just 2 interceptions. The Wolfpack are just as effective on the ground as well as in the air. The two headed monsters of RB’s Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person Jr. have combined for almost 900 yards and four touchdowns.  Both rank in the top ten in the ACC for total yardage.  

NC State is 6-2 ATS in their last eight, they are looking to take control of the ACC and to do that, they have to take down the Hurricanes. They have a strong defense going against an undermanned Miami offense.  The Wolfpack will dominate, similarly to what they did against Boston College.   

Pick: NC State -3

Illinois Fighting Illini at Penn State Nittany Lions -23

Penn State’s dream season hit a snag last two weeks ago against the Iowa Hawkeyes.  They got a bye last week, allowing them to regroup and get ready for a matchup with Big Ten bottom dwelling Illinois Fighting Illini.  

The Penn State defense has been stout, holding opposing offenses to just 13.8 ppg. They hold down opposing offenses by limiting big plays.  They are top 5 in yards per play this season.  The Nittany Lions held Wisconsin to 10, Auburn to 20, Indiana to 0 and Iowa to just 23. The defense will be able to dominate, the Illinois offense that is averaging just 17 ppg.  

On offense Penn State will have a healthy Sean Clifford, their offense disappeared against Iowa once Clifford left the game. The passing game is ranked 23rd in the nation averaging 268 yards through the air.  Jahan Dotson has been a great target for the Nittany Lions, he has averaged 82.3 yards per game.  Penn State will have a lot of opportunities for big plays while they lean on the run game to establish the offense.  The Nittany Lions have two strong RB options with Keyvone Lee and Noah Cain.  

Illinois scored a combined 9 points in their last two Big Ten games and now face the best defense in the conference. The Fighting Illini will not be able to get anything going on offense, their defense should be able to keep them in it for a little while, eventually they will wear down and Penn State will dominate.  

Pick: Penn State Nittany Lions -23

LSU Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels Total: 76

The Rebels are down their two top receivers Johnathan Mingo and Braylon Sanders.  The absence of his main targets forced Ole Miss QB Matt Correal to utilize his legs more which led to more hits.  Correal is questionable for this game, if he is able to go he will likely not be on the same level as he usually is. If Correal is not at his full abilities the Rebels offense will rely on their SEC #1 ranked run game. But that may play right into the hands of their opponent. 

The LSU run game made an appearance last week in their upset over the Florida Gators. The Tigers should be able to move the ball on the ground against a 111th ranked Rebels run defense.  Tyrion Davis-Price is coming off of a dominant 287 yard performance.  If Davis-Price can continue to be effective on the ground, LSU will be able to manage the clock and turn this game into a battle of the trenches. 

Both teams have been miserable on defense. Still, ther combined totals against are under 75 and each teams combined total ppg on offense is under 75.  Ole Miss will have to run the ball more due to the injury to Correal, while LSU will want to run the ball to keep the opposing offense off the field.  If this game is turned into a battle of the rushing offenses, not only do I see an under hitting but a potential ML wager on LSU may be in play. 

Pick: Under 76

NCAAF Picks ATS Week 7

Auburn Tigers at Arkansas Razorbacks Total 53.5

The Razorbacks have become one of the most exciting teams in college football this season.  The rebuild of the hogs has been one of the best stories of the college football season. They can get another statement win on Saturday when they take on the vulnerable Auburn Tigers coming off of a tough loss to Georgia last week.

KJ Jefferson has been awesome for the Hogs, he totaled 6 touchdowns against Ole Miss.   Jefferson and the Arkansas offense have been dominant against anyone not named Georgia.  Arkansas will be able to score points at home behind their run game.  This offense has been able to find holes in most defenses with aggressive play calling.  The Razorbacks entered this season with literally zero expectations, so they can go all out in every game.  

Auburn has averaged 35 points per game this season.  Most of those points were accrued against shotty defenses.  They were able to put together two 60+ point performances against Alabama St and Akron. The Tigers have two monsters at RB in Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, both have run for over 450 yards this season.  Hunter is the big play back, while Bigsby is the consistent power runner that will break down a defense.  They got to face off with an Arkansas defense that gave up 100 yards on the ground to two separate Ole Miss RBs. Bo Nix finally had his consecutive passes without an interception streak ended against Georgia’s top ranked defense.  

Arkansas gave up 89 points in their last two games, which included 600 yards last week. Auburn may prefer to slow down the pace but they will have too many chances for explosive runs from Tank Bigsby.  The Razorbacks will be able to provide enough offense to keep them in the game.  This won’t be the shootout that last week’s Ole Miss- Arkansas game was but it will be feisty and high scoring, Auburn will prevail by just outscoring an Arkansas team that doesn’t have the defensive players to stop the run.  The Razorbacks are also 3-0 to the over in their home games this season. They can score enough to make this interesting at least.

Pick: Over 53.5, Auburn ML

BYU Cougars at Baylor Bears -6.5

The BYU Cougars were on track to make an outside run at the the college football playoff  until they were tripped up at the hands of the Boise State Broncos.  The Cougars were uncharacteristically loose with the ball, turning it over four times at home.  This was QB Jaren Hall’s first game back after sitting out the previous two games, throwing for 300 yards and a touchdown.  Boise State was able to bottle up the scrambling ability of Hall, holding him to negative yardage.  Hall will need to be able to utilize his scrambling ability to keep the Bears defense off balance.  If the Baylor linebackers are forced to shadow Hall, it should open up running lanes for the Cougars stud running back Tyler Allegier.  Allegier is 6th in college football running for 642 yards on the season.  

Baylor has been a bit of a surprise to start the season. Their most recent blowout victory over West Virginia brought their record to 5-1 overall, 4-2 ATS.  The Bears win with offense, averaging 38 ppg and averaging 450 yards per game.  QB Gerry Bohannon was electric against the Mountaineers, throwing for 336 yards and 4 touchdowns.  The Bears have been great at home going 3-0 SU and ATS.  The Bears have the ability to put points up on you in a hurry, if they can hold downt he run game of BYU they should have success on the defensive end. 

The Baylor Bears have Texas, TCU and Oklahoma coming up over the three weeks following this matchup. It would not be shocking to think they will be distracted in an obvious look ahead spot.  The Bears should have enough to win this game but they will not be able to run all over a stingy BYU defense that has already shut down Pac 12 powerhouses Arizona State and Utah.  BYU will try to run the ball to grind down the clock and not allow the Baylor offense to be on the field.  Baylor is at home and brings more offense to the table but the Cougars should be able to stick around in this one.  I’m rolling with the Cougars, if they don’t turn the ball over they are a handful to deal with. 

Pick: BYU Cougars +6.5 

Utah State Aggies at UNLV Rebels

Utah State kicked off their season with a trio of victories over Washington State, Air Force and North Dakota.  Their momentum was immediately stopped when they ran into the class of the Mountain West in losses to both Boise State and BYU. They will travel to face off against a UNLV team that has been playing better but has been unable to get over the hump in their historic losing streak. 

The Aggies have a vaunted passing game, averaging 303 yards through the air (15th in nation). Their uptempo offense has been a problem for opposing defenses, they have averaged 495 total yards per game. QB Logan Bonner has thrown for 1,235 yards, while his top target Deven Thompkins has put up 639 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Aggies also have a strong ground game averaging 175 yards per game.  Utah State has a favorable matchup along with a whole week to prepare.  They have taken advantage of lesser competition all season and should be able to do it again on Saturday. 

UNLV has lost 11 straight games.  Their most recent loss to UTSA they were torched through the air by Frank Harris for 278 yards and 2 touchdowns.  The Rebels will have to find a way to get pressure on Logan Bonner.  Bonner has had problems with turnovers over the last two weeks.  If UNLV is able to force takeaways they can stay in the game.  The Rebels have only forced 6 takeaways through their first five games and will have to be prepared for the fast paced Aggies that are averaging 80 plays per game this season.  

UNLV has to run the ball and control the clock, they do not have a defense that can match up with Utah State.  It’s simple, if Utah State holds onto the ball, they should be able to score at will.  Aggies will win in a route.  

Pick: Utah State Aggies -6

NCAAF Week 6 Picks ATS

East Carolina Pirates at Central Florida Knights -10

Two teams heading in different directions meet this weekend when the East Carolina Pirates, coming off of 3 straight wins, take on the Central Florida Knights, coming off of 2 straight losses.  

Central Florida brings name value to this game, which is why they are getting ten points against a powerful offensive unit.  The Pirates are averaging 30 ppg this season behind fourth year QB Holten Ahlers and freshman RB Keenan Mitchell.  The latter has been a force on the ground, averaging 9.4 yards per carry on the season, coming off a dominant effort against Tulane.  Mitchell went for 222 yards and two touchdowns against Tulane.  The ECU offense will have an advantage against the Knights.  UCF will not be able to stop the ground game and as long as they hold onto the ball they will be able to score at will.

UCF will have to deal with the loss of QB Dillon Gabriel.  In his place is Mikey Keene, who has been solid this season but does not bring the resume of Gabriel.  UCF will have to take advantage of the ECU’s poor pass defense, that is giving up 320 yards through the air. They will have to throw because it looks like leading rushers Isaiah Bowser could possibly miss the game.  

Both of these teams share the same problem, they seem to ignore the defensive side of the ball.  The Knights are not the contenders of a few seasons ago, they will have trouble pulling away from East Carolina, this is a one score game and potentially an upset pick. 

Pick: East Carolina Pirates +10, over 67

Michigan State Spartans at Rutgers Scarlet Knights Total 50

Michigan State has exploded up the CFB rankings with a hot start to the season. With victories over Northwestern, Nebraska, Western Kentucky and Miami the Spartans have found themselves ranked #11 in the country. They also take care of business, covering the spread in 3 of 4 games.  The Spartans have been a top notch offensive team all season, they have averaged 37 points per game.  RB Kenneth Walker has been an unstoppable force, he leads the nation in rushing yards with 680 and top five in TD’s with 8.  Rutgers will have to stack the box to slow him down,  but all they will be able to do is slow him down rather than stop him. If they do stack the box, QB Payton Thorne will pick them apart efficiently.  Thorne has 11 TDs and just one interception on the season.  He will get a lot of man to man coverage that his talented receivers will be able to exploit.  

Michigan State’s secondary has been troubling.  Last week the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers lit them up and it was the same story against Miami and Northwestern.  They have given up an average of 300 yards through the air this season.  Rutgers is a run first team but QB Noah Vedral has the ability to throw the deep ball and will test the secondary.  Rutgers has been dominated by superior talent but they should be able to put the points up on the board to keep it competetive at home.  

Michigan State has hit the over in 3 of 5 games and will be able to move the ball for explosive plays consistently on the ground. Rutgers will just need to get in the end zone twice against Michigan State, I see this as a route for the Spartans in the second half leading to a nice higher scoring victory.

Pick: Over 50

Alabama Crimson Tide at Texas A&M Aggies

The Aggies are coming off of two straight SEC losses, one on the road to a revamped Arkansas team and at home against Mississippi State. They will welcome in the Alabama Crimson Tide who reminded us who is the top dog in the conference and in all of college football by putting a beating on Ole Miss last week 42-21. 

Texas A&M has not only lost their last two games, but they have looked abysmal on offense.  In both losses they totaled less than 300 yards of total offense and still have a lot of questions at the QB position.  The Aggies have more turnovers than touchdowns this year. A team that can’t hold on to the football will now get to face the SEC’s top turnover margin team.  Bama will be able to get constant pressure on QB Zac Calzada and force him into long yardage situations, the worst nightmare for A&M.  

Since their close call to Florida three weeks ago the Crimson Tide have been as impressive as can be.  They held Heisman hopeful Matt Corral to just 213 yards and one touchdown.  They ran all over Ole Miss, gaining over 200 yards on the ground.  Alabama RB’s are dealing with some injuries but should be good to go on Saturday.  The Crimson Tide will have to deal with a tough Aggie defense but they are still going to be able to put up the points necessary to pull away in the end.  The A&M offense does not have the ability to put up the points to make this one interesting. Let’s not ignore the fact that Aggie Head Coach Jimbo Fisher has given Saban’s squad some nice bulletin board material with some comments in the Houston Chronicle.  The dogs will not be called off and Crimson Tide will make another SEC statement.

Pick: Alabama -18

College Football Picks Week 5

USC Trojans at Colorado Buffaloes +7.5, Total 51

Colorado enters this game losing their last three while scoring just 20 total points.  Colorado’s offense has been unable to provide any production this season.  Starting QB Brendon Lewis has only thrown for 338 yards in their four games and their leading receiver has a grand total of 45 yards.  It’s safe to say that Colorado would prefer to keep this a slow paced game that will allow them to run the ball. 

USC has looked unfocused after the loss of Head Coach Clay Helton, recently giving up 45 points in their most recent loss to Oregon State.  The Trojans have a solid QB in Kedon Slovis, but the Colorado defense has been solid against the pass and will make it tough for the USC offense.  

These two teams have both had their struggles this season.  The Buffaloes lack of offense is troubling, but being at home should help the offense run and allow them to play their slow down pace.  USC is too stacked on the offensive end to lose this game but the way both of these teams are playing I would look for this to be a sloppy affair on both ends. USC will pull away late because they actually have options that will help them score.  I think USC pulls away late but this game will finish with Colorado scoring under 14.  I like the Trojans but I love the under.

Pick: USC -7.5 Under 51

Troy Trojans at South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina is actually 3-1 ATS this season. Most of those games have been them as underdogs.  They enter a matchup with the Sun Belt Conference’s Troy Trojans as seven point favorites off the heels of a tough loss to Kentucky last weekend.  Troy is also coming off a conference loss to UL Monore.  Both teams will look to bounce back in a rather interesting stylistic matchup. 

The Trojans bring a suffocating defense to the table.  Through four games they have allowed fewer than 100 yards rushing and have sacked the QB 18 times in their four games.  Their dominant run defense will be in great shape facing a South Carolina run game that has been one of the worst in college football, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry and 84 yards per game. South Carolina is going to have to throw the ball.  

Troy has not played the level of competition that South Carolina has but the Trojans have a solid passing game, averaging 273 ypg.  The key for Troy will be continuing to put pressure on the QB and stop the run game.  Gamecocks QB Luke Doty has only thrown for 311 yards on the season and should see tons of pressure on him all day.  This game will stay close, I think it is more likely a 3 point game rather than a 7 point game.  The Gamecocks will win but it will not be easy.

Pick: Troy Trojans +7

Michigan Wolverines at Wisconsin Badgers

If you look at the records and stat lines this one seems like an easy choice.  The Badgers are coming off of a horrid performance down the stretch against Notre Dame over the weekend where QB Graham Mertz threw 4 interceptions.  Wisconsin actually led that game 13-10 going into the fourth quarter before a kickoff return by Notre Dame led to a lopsided beatdown. 

Wisconsin now has two losses in which they realistically played better than both teams. Penn State and Notre Dame both were outplayed until  QB mistakes cost them the outcome.  The pressure applied to Mertz was causing all sorts of trouble for the Sophomore. Michigan has not generated much pressure on the QB this season which should limit mistakes. 

The Badgers will be at home sporting the best run defense in all of college football while the Michigan Wolverines have become overly reliant on the run this season.  They have run the ball on over 70% of their plays this season. Michigan will have to generate offense through the air, something they have not been able to do this season.    The lack of offense will play into the hands of the Badgers and allow them to control the ball.  When Michigan can’t run they will make mistakes and the Wisconsin defense at home will thrive.

Pick: Wisconsin ML

Best Bets NCAAF Week 3

Cincinnati Bearcats -3.5 at Indiana Hoosiers 

It’s strange to see a Big Ten team as a home underdog to a team outside of the power five.  That’s the case as the Bearcats head to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers.  

Hoosier QB Michael Penix Jr. has struggled since returning from his torn ACL of 2020.  A tough first contest against Iowa led to three picks and an embarrassing open to the Big Ten schedule, that was followed by a dominant effort against Idaho, in that game Penix threw for just 56 yards before getting pulled due to the lopsided score.    The Hoosiers will now have to face a veteran defense that has completely dominated the opposing offense and is coming into this matchup with a lot of confidence.  

The Bearcats have been running the ball consistently behind Jerome Ford who scored three times against Murray State.  Cincinnati’s QB Desmond Ridder has controlled the ball in their first two games throwing for six touchdowns.  The Cincinnati defense forced three picks last week and will put a lot of pressure on Penix Jr which will lead to turnovers and the Hoosier defense will have no answers for the combination of Ridder and Ford.  

This game will be the first test for the top ten ranked Bearcats, the road crowd will get Indians hyped but this is a talent mismatch.  Cincinnati is led by multiple veterans that will be able to handle the energy of the crowd.

Pick: Cincinnati Bearcats -3.5

Colorado State Rams at Toledo Rockets -14

The last time the Toledo Rockets were on the field they nearly shocked the football world by giving the Notre Dame Fighting Irish all they could handle. Rockets QB Carter Bradley lead the way going 17/27 for 213 yards, most notably he took care of the ball with zero picks while throwing downfield.  The Rockets have a strong running game led by Bryant Koback who finished last week with 122 yards on just 22 carries.  Koback has over 30 career college touchdowns and was on pace for double digits last season if it was played in full.  

Colorado State has had a horrible start to 2021 losing their first two games, one to South Dakota State and the other blowing a lead against SEC bottom dweller Vanderbilt last week. The Rams gave up an average of 175 yards on the ground and they will have a big problem coming their way with the Rockets run game.  

The Rams have not shown the ability to hold a lead on the defensive end while the Rockets have shown the ability to move the ball at will against any level of competition. Against South Dakota State the Rams were dominated by Jack Rabbit’s RB Pierre Strong Jr, going for 138 yards and two touchdowns. The Rockets will use the run game to control the ball and grind out points.  The Rams will not have an answer on the defensive end which will force them to make mistakes on the offensive end.  

Pick: Toledo Rockets -14

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Buffalo Bulls Total 58

Everyone’s favorite underdogs the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will hit the road against the MAC’s Buffalo Bulls for an exciting mid major match up.  Coastal Carolina is coming off of a thrilling 27 point cover over Kansas while the Bulls are coming off of a disappointing effort against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  This game opened with Coastal Carolina as a 10 point favorite, which ballooned to 13.5 points.

The Chanticleers come out flat against Kansas in their season opener.  Kansas QB Justin Bean was able to move the ball at will in the first half.  Bean did it on his feet while Buffalo QB Kyle Vantrease will look to do it with his arm.  Vantrease will be backed up by RB Kevin Marks and Ron Cook Jr.  The Bulls play at an upbeat pace which should cause trouble for the Chanticleers defense.  

Grayson McCall and company will do what they always do and move the ball through the air and on the ground with an assortment of pieces on the offensive end. Tight End Isaiah Likely is an NFL talent while WR Javion Heiligh has scored two tuddys on the season, both will be matchup problems for the Buffalo Bulls. 

This is simple.  We know the Chanticleers will score, Buffalo has a history of scoring.  The Bulls were stopped by Nebraska last week but I think they will bounce back against a Coastal Carolina team that has not shown the ability to shut down any offense. 

Pick Over 58