NCAA Football Week Two Picks ATS

Cincinnati Bearcats at Ohio State Buckeyes -16.5, Total: 55.5

I am one of the many that stopped watching the Buckeyes opening contest against Florida Atlantic after they jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead.  The cover seemed like a forgone conclusion, unfortunately for Ohio State backers the Buckeyes were not able to hold the cover putting a stop to the offense

Justin Fields looked like the real deal accounting for five touchdowns in his first start, he will have a stiffer challenge coming versus a Cincinnati frontline that made life miserable for UCLA.  Former Ohio State player, now Head Coach of Cincinnati Luke Fickell will have a veteran team that will not be intimidated by the name on the jersey.  Fickell has a tough defense that will be able to stop the run early and make a game of it.  

16.5 seems like the right gap due to the immense level of talent on Ohio State but the Bearcats bring a stout defense as well as a sharp veteran passer in Desmond Ridder.  This game will be a dog fight early, but Ohio States overall talent will win out.  I like Cincinnati to cover by my favorite play is the under. 

 Under 55.5, Cincinnati +16.5

Syracuse Orange at Maryland Terrapins -2, Total: 57.5

Syracuse’s offense seemed out of sync against the lowly Liberty Flames.  Putting up just 24 points against the Flames defense.  Syracuse’s new starting quarterback Tommy DeVito struggle on the road. He didn’t hit half of his passes, couldn’t do much down the field, and ended up throwing two picks. Syracuse will have a tough challenge against the stout Maryland defensive front. Maryland is coming off of domination of Howard winning 79-0 in week one while racking up eight sacks. 

Maryland will be able to keep the Syracuse defensive front at bay with their rushing attack.  The Terps were dominate on the ground with 317 rushing yards.  This game will be a struggle to find out which offense can find its flow first.  With Maryland at home and the early struggles of DeVito Syracuse can be in for a tough game. 

Pick: Maryland -2, Under 57.5

West Virginia Mountaineers at Missouri Tigers, -14, Total: 62.5

The Missouri Tigers shockingly took a loss as 17-point favorites against Wyoming.  Mizzou couldn’t hold onto the ball in their defeat with three fumbles, losing two of them.  

The Tigers defense was also a huge problem giving up over 297 yards on the ground. 

The Tigers were still solid on offense with Kelly Bryant throwing for over 400 yards and two touchdowns. Mizzou was the dark horse to win the SEC East but now will have to go back to the drawing board.  A matchup with the rebuilding West Virginia Moutaineers at home should be just what the doctor ordered.  West Virginia is coming off of a narrow victory versus respectable FCS James Madison.  Mizzou should be able to run their offense efficiently against the Mountaineers defense.  Look for the Tigers to jump out to a lead early and then step on the neck of their Big 12 foe.  

Pick: Mizzou -14, Over 62.5

Nebraska Cornhuskers -4 at Colorado Buffaloes, Total: 64.5

This line has made an interesting move.  Opening at -7 in favor of the Cornhuskers has moved all the way down to -4.  This is most likely due to the subpar performance from Nebraska in week one versus South Alabama.  There is a reason that teams schedule a lower level team early in the season, they can work out the kinks in the offense.  The Nebraska defense took a nice step forward as the game went on causing five turnovers and sacking the QB four times.  

Colorado was impressive against the powerful offense of Colorado State in week one, with a 21-point victory. First year head coach Mel Tucker was quick to point out the flaws from the Colorado defense though as they gave up 505 total yards along with 27 first downs.  The Buff’s will have a step up in competition versus Nebraska.  Scott Frost’s offense will find a way to turn it around in this matchup.  With the line continuing to fall you can get the Cornhuskers at a value.  

Pick: Nebraska Cornhuskers -4, WAY OVER

NCAAB Picks 2.15.19

Clemson Tigers at Louisville Cardinals -4.5, Under 131.5

Louisville enter this game on the wrong side of one of the biggest and most televised come backs of the season. The Cardinals came out on fire against the highly rated Blue Devils but were unable to handle the late pressure and dynamic offensive weapons.  They face a different challenge on Saturday with the Clemson Tigers in need of a marquee victory to put themselves back in contention for the NCAA tournament.

Like Louisville, Clemson is coming off a weekday loss to the Miami Hurricanes.  The loss brought an end to the Tigers four game win streak which saw them reemerge as a potential contender in the top heavy ACC. 

Chris Mack has proven his toughness as a coach and his team will back him up on Saturday. Clemson, despite being 21st in scoring defense, has their struggles with perimeter teams as they rank a dismal 279th in three-point field goal percentage defense (35.9 percent) this season. This will be a slow-paced game that will be controlled by the superior strength of Louisville’s Dwayne Sutton and Jordan Nwora.  I like the Cardinals to cover and the under

Maryland Terrapins at Michigan Wolverines -6

First instinct says that the Michigan Wolverines are getting to many points against a Maryland team that has taken two straight from Nebraska and the red-hot Purdue Boilermakers.  The difference for Maryland will be the defensive juggernaut Michigan.  John Teske and company will look to force the ball out of the hands of Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith, packing the defense on the interior and force the guards to make plays.

Michigan is 15-0 at home, Maryland has while Maryland is 0-18 on the road against top 25 teams.  Michigan is 9-1 ATS after a straight up loss. I see Maryland struggling on the road against causing a double-digit loss.

Tennessee Volunteers +3 at Kentucky Wildcats

Despite Tennessee’s record their still seems to be some debate about whether they are at the top of the SEC pecking order.  Entering this game as a 3-point dog seems like a bit of a surprise. The Volunteers will bring their veterans into a hostile environment that they have seen before.

On the season, the Volunteers are fifth in the nation with 85.4 point per game, while also just allowing 68.5 points per contest. They are also efficient with their shots, making them even more dangerous.  Tennessee is seventh nationally with a high 57.0 effective field goal percentage.

The Wildcats have made big improvements since their beatdown on opening night. They will be a force to reckon with in March but for now this Tennessee team is on a mission to dominate the SEC.  Grant Williams will be the player to watch, Kentucky will have no answer for him on Saturday.  Bet the Volunteers, consider the moneyline.

Other games:

Auburn -9.5

Drake -5         

Virginia Tech/ Pittsburgh over 133

UCF/ Memphis under 150     

Each Conferences Sleeper Team

Big Ten- Maryland Terrapins

I may be more of a believer in Maryland then most, but this team seems to have something.  Bruno Fernando is an elite big that could develop into an NBA superstar if put in the right situation. Fernando is an elite player that will be drawing double teams in big games. 

Guards Anthony Cowan, Aaron Wiggins and Eric Ayala will have open opportunities to get wide open shots from deep.  Ayala in particular will be huge shooting 47% from three on the season.  Wiggins and Cowan bring an 80% free throw shooting rate which can be a huge asset down the stretch in a close game.  Look at the UConn team that featured Shabazz Napier a few years ago, when they had a lead in the fourth quarter the game was essentially over.

The battle tested Terrapins currently hold an RPI of 27 and SOS of 27.  Two big matchups with Michigan will show the world what the potential of this team really is.

Big 12- Baylor Bears

If you have bet against the Baylor Bears this year you have probably found yourself cursing at the TV as they pull of another underdog upset. A team left for dead after their embarrassing opening night loss to Texas Southern has emerged as a potential contender in the Big 12.  It’s all pretty much pointless as we know Kansas is going to win the conference, but the Bears can be a problem for teams come March.

The Bears have quality wins over Iowa State, Oklahoma, TCU and Alabama have put Baylor back on the map after their brutal start.  Senior leadership of Makai Mason and King McClure will be huge in during March Madness.  Baylor shoots at a staggering 45% from the field while also being road warriors. Baylor is 4-1 straight up over its last five road games. This team is experienced and efficient.  A long run could be in store for the Bears.

ACC – Syracuse Orange

The perennial bubble team Syracuse should find themselves comfortably in the dance come tournament time, despite their poor showing at home against Florida State last night. The Orange are never a team to bet against, just ask the Duke Blue Devils.  This team has a SOS of 25 with quality non-conference wins over Ohio State and an emerging Georgetown team.

Frank Howard is the difference maker for Syracuse.  Howard is currently shooting above 40% on the season while be the floor general for a team that has to keep the ball moving for a chance to score.  3-point shooting with obviously be a factor as the Orange are about as bad as they come in that attribute shooting just 32% on the season.

Despite their shooting struggle Syracuse brings an elite defense and great experience on the floor.  They will be a team that no one wants to face in March.

SEC- Auburn Tigers

Most have forgotten that the Auburn Tigers were a top ten team at the start of 2019. Losses to NC State, Duke, Kentucky, at South Carolina and at Mississippi State took them out of the rankings but outside of the loss at South Carolina none of those horrible defeats.  Currently projected as a potential seven seed would put them in a great place come tournament time.

Bryce Brown and Jared Harper are as good as it gets backcourt tandom.  They should be getting back Center Austin Wiley for the stretch run as well.  Wiley a player that can anchor the defense averaging nearly two blocks per game in just sixteen minutes played per game. 

This team is too reliant on the 3-point shooting, if they are dropping they could be impossible to beat.  Their depth and running style will be a matchup that can where down opponents that have to play multiple games over a short time period.

Pac 12- Washington Huskies

There was really no other option.  They are ok in a PAC12 that is brutal.  They could win a game or lose in the first round.  Only other option was maybe UCLA. 

NCAA Picks ATS 1.25.19

Illinois Fighting Illini at Maryland Terrapins -9

Illinois can force a lot of turnovers.  Problem is their defense has no other real positives, opposing teams that can hold onto the ball shoot 47% from the field and 36% from behind the arc. They are going to look to push the pace on Saturday to stop the strength of the Maryland frontcourt

Maryland has the size downlow with NBA prospect Bruno Fernando, Illinois has no one on their roster that will be able to handle him. The Illini do have two 7’0 centers on the fringes of their rotation, but in the top seven, Giorgi Bezhanishvili is the only one who could be considered a “big man”, he will be no match for the bruising Fernando on Saturday. As long as point guard Anthony Cowan can continue his solid big ten play the Terrapins should roll to victory at home tomorrow.

The numbers back up Maryland as they are 5-0 ATS last five after a loss. Grab this game before the number goes up for Maryland.

Vanderbilt Commodores at Oklahoma Sooners -10

Oklahoma has been great ATS after a win.  The Sooners are 11-1-1 over their last 13 after a victory. They will get a Vanderbilt team that has been reeling since the loss of Darius Garland. Losers of six straight games, squandering a chance to have a historic win against #1 Tennessee. The Vanderbilt team won’t be able to work off what could have been a very big and needed emotional boost.  

Sooners are 7-1 at home this season with their lone loss coming to Kansas State. Oklahoma rides the momentum from their win over Oklahoma State to get the triumph here.

Marquette Golden Eagles -2 at Xavier Musketeers

The Marquette Golden Eagles have won six straight games, finding themselves just one half game behind the Villanova Wildcats for first place in the Big East. Star Marcus Howard has been the catalyst all season along with Sam Hauser. Hauser in particular has emerged as the #2 scoring option averaging 15 ppg this season.  The key to the game though will be sophomore Theo John. The emergence of the 6-foot-9 sophomore center has given the Golden Eagles a jolt defensively that has made them a better team. Marquette is holding opponents to 68.9 points per game on 40.1 percent shooting, noticeable improvements on last season’s numbers of 78.5 and 47.9, respectively.

The Xavier Musketeers have not had the season they hoped for after last year’s Sweet Sixteen team. Xavier absorbed a 70-52 beating in Milwaukee on Jan. 6, shooting just 31.5 percent while making 1 of 14 from 3-point range. Revenge will be on the mind of the Musketeers who are 0-3 currently against top 25 teams this season.  Naji Marshall one of the top scorers for Xavier all season is questionable with a shoulder injury.  His absence will change this line before the morning.  Either way Marquette is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 road games as the favorite.

Dictating the pace of this game will be important.  Xavier will want a grind it out inside game while Marquette is going to look to go up pace and find room for Howard to work. I like Marquette to win and cover.

Other Picks:

LSU -4.5

Bama +3.5

SLU -2.5

Under Texas/ Georgia

Under Texas AM/ Kansas State

Over Marshall/Southern Miss

NCAAF Picks ATS- Week 7

4-5 record last week was not ideal coming off a winning week, but it wasn’t a complete disaster.  This week seems like it has some trap games but I’m looking at a few games that are hard to ignore. Record last two weeks sits at 8-7

Central Florida -5 at Memphis

This game is going to be fun.  Two teams that don’t seem to worry to much about defense.  This game seems like it will be a trap for most sports bettors.  UCF has been leaky to say the least against the run, they now welcome the nations top underrated runningback in Darrell Henderson. Henderson, the nation’s leading rusher with 934 yards and averaging close to 12 yards per carry.

Memphis holds a great home field advantage in this AAC matchup.  The world is waiting for UCF to fall and this game is a target for most people.  I can see a lot of people taking the upset in this one, but I don’t see it.  Memphis will be hyped up and ready to play, look for them to jump out to an early lead and then watch them give it away.  UCF will stack the box to slow down Henderson.  You slow down Henderson you beat Memphis. Just ask Tulane.

Over the last three games against Tennessee, Mississippi State and LSU, the Florida defense has allowed no touchdown passes and came up with four picks.

PicksCentral Florida -5

Florida -7 at Vanderbilt

Does anyone remember when Florida dropped its season opener against Kentucky? If you say yes you are a liar.  Wins over LSU and Mississippi State have put the Gators back in the top 25, making them a serious threat again in the SEC.

The Gators secondary has been great, over the last three games against Tennessee, Mississippi State and LSU, the Florida defense has allowed no touchdown passes and came up with four picks.  Vandy has to throw to win.  Florida will run the ball and control the clock, while their defense shuts down Vandy.

PicksFlorida -7

Rutgers at Maryland -24.5

I am going to keep this one simple.  Rutgers was blown out by Illinois and Kansas and this isn’t basketball.  Rutgers is not a good team and they are going to Maryland.  Maryland takes the lead early and continues to pound it down the Scarlet Knights throat.

This is homecoming and Maryland is way better the Rutgers.  I tend to stay away from big spreads but this one is impossible to ignore.

PicksMaryland -24.5

Michigan State at Penn State -13.5

Michigan State has been bad against the pass. Opponents are averaging a ridiculous 305.2 yards per game through the air (122nd overall). Penn State QB Trace McSorley will look to pick apart the Spartans secondary.  Michigan State will stop the run as they have done most of the season but the dual threat McSorley will force them to play back and he will use his legs to move the ball.

Penn State is to good offensively for Michigan State to stop them, plus the Nittany Lions are at home.  Two touchdowns seems like a lot in a matchup of solid programs but Penn State being at home and James Franklin’s tendency to never take his foot off the gas seems like a car crash for Michigan State.

PicksPenn State -13.5

Other Picks

Western Michigan -14.5

Nebraska +4.5

Texas -14

Mizzou +28

Miami -6.5

Texas A&M -2.5

Colorado +7.5