Last Week Recap:
We had a profitable 4-3 week (5-4 for the season) that easily could’ve and should’ve been 6-1. I will say, though, I’m pretty sure my Louisville-Syracuse bet might’ve been the most points missed on a bet I’ve ever made, so that was an abysmal pick. Aside from that, we had a bad beat in the Tennessee game under - a late fumble by the Vols’ 4th string QB with like a minute left inside their own 20 led Ball State to kick a field goal down 59-7 in the 4th quarter… I’ve genuinely never seen a coach from a G5 school do something like that before. The Arkansas-Cincinnati game was at 7-0 with less than a minute left in the first half, so naturally they exploded for 48 points combined in the last 31 minutes of the game. Either way, we profited, so we look to trek on and aim to go 7-0 this week, since we didn’t last week.
#1 Alabama -11.5 1st Half at Texas
Alabama struggled on the road at times last year. The three-headed dragon of Quinn Ewers, Bijan Robinson, and Xavier Worthy might be a formidable enough foe to keep up with Alabama this game. Those are the only two possible statements you could use to try and convince yourself this game won’t be a blowout. I’m not saying it can’t happen. But I’m trusting my gut that Alabama, who’s superior in every aspect, will blowout Texas this Saturday. This write-up will focus the least amount on the numbers than any other one, but Nick Saban is known as the program killer for a reason. The Tide win big in Austin, and the University of Texas will spend the rest of the season recovering.
Missouri at Kansas State Under 57.0
Kansas State’s secondary and offensive line saw a pretty big change from last year to now, and those are by far their weak points. Missouri completely reloaded defensively this year garnering nine transfers on that side of the ball, and by all accounts they should be improved from last year to now. The Wildcats’ main weapon is Deuce Vaughn, but they also picked up Adrian Martinez in the portal if you want to include him. I’m not convinced they’ll be able to keep the pocket and run lanes clean for either of them, though, with a much improved D-line for the Tigers. Conversely, with the exception of Luther Burden, K-State’s 23rd ranked defense from a year ago shouldn’t have many problems preventing Missouri from scoring or moving the ball. So unless you think Brady Cook can lead Missouri to a win or 30 points in his first real start on the road, it doesn’t look like this game is seeing the total reach the upper-50’s. For what it’s worth I also lean the Kansas State -7.5 line, but it’s yet to be seen just how much more disruptive Missouri’s front will be this season, especially going against a mediocre dual-threat quarterback.
Marshall at #8 Notre Dame Under 51.0
The Thundering Herd relied almost completely on running back Rasheen Ali last year, behind his 1,735 yards from scrimmage and 23 rushing touchdowns. He’ll be unavailable for this game along with a flurry of offensive linemen from a year ago. Notre Dame, however, brings back almost every key piece from last year’s dominant defense. Perhaps even more notable, is the fact they just held a top-2 offense in college football to 21 points. And that was even with their offense only amassing 10 points and 12 first downs. The Fighting Irish will be much more in control of this game (taking up clock on sustained drives), allowing their nasty defense time to rest and wreak havoc on an inexperienced Marshall offensive line and quarterback. Marshall’s defense was stout last year in their own right and it remains to be seen how many points Tyler Buchner can bring for Notre Dame this year, given his past struggles. I’ll also play Marshall’s team total under points once the line is released, as it should be somewhere between 14-15.
Maryland -27.0 at Charlotte
Phew, where to start here? Charlotte lost so much production from their 5-7 roster a year ago it’s a miracle they’re able to put a product on the field. And, realistically, it’s like they almost haven’t put out a product on the field. So far, they’ve gone 0-2, losing to FAU 13-43 and William & Mary 24-41. Read that sentence again. That alone warrants a bet against them. Conversely, Maryland beat Buffalo 31-10 week 1 without Taulia Tagovailoa even throwing a touchdown pass. That also means the Terrapins are outscoring their opponents 115-36 in their last 3 outings dating back to last year. These are also the types of games Mike Locksley lives for and keeps his job for, as he never lets off the brakes no matter the score against inferior opponents. Don’t overthink this one, Maryland should win by five touchdowns at the minimum.
#9 Baylor at #21 BYU Under 54.0
Dave Aranda led the Baylor Bears to a 12-2 season last year, outperforming expectations. They did it mostly on the backs of their defense, which allowed just 18.3 PPG, good for 10th in the nation. Their offense was slightly above average but lost their top four pass catchers, best two runners, and starting quarterback from a year ago. BYU lost star running back Tyler Allgeier, but Jaren Hall is set to have a solid 2022 campaign. Most importantly, though, the defense should be much improved from last year’s subpar output. With Aranda’s genius defensive mind, I believe the Bears stay disruptive against an offensive line that allowed five sacks in this game a year ago. Conversely, Baylor’s offensive is not as likely to be as successful as they were in 2021 and I don’t see either team reaching 30 points in what should be a hard-nosed football game, after BYU fixes their few holes defensively (and on special teams) from this past week. Jaren Hall might prove me wrong, but I believe this will be a gritty contest, resulting in a 27-21 win for one team or the other.
Mississippi State -10.5 at Arizona & Under 60.0
Jedd Fisch’s Arizona squad went just 1-11 last season, and hardly improved as the season progressed. So, they went out and snagged 10 transfers in the portal, the most notable being talented new QB Jayden de Laura. So, when they come out week 1 this year and beat San Diego State by 18, you’d be led to believe that they’re far improved this year. What most people don’t realize, though, is just how much talent and production the Aztecs lost. Now, the Wildcats may be improved this year, but I don’t see this as a good matchup for them. Their linebackers are inexperienced and the defensive line is built more for stopping the run, so that obviously doesn’t bode well going against an experienced air raid offense. Additionally, Arizona will look to open up the game through the air, but MSU’s linebackers and defensive backs have spent the entire offseason getting battle tested by their own great QB, Will Rogers. For reference, since the Alabama game in week 7 last year, they’ve allowed just 210 passing yards per game on 30 attempts per game (and the run defense has been just as stifling, if not more-so). I’m taking the Bulldogs by at least two touchdowns, probably more. Call it 35-17.
Kansas +13.5 @ West Virginia
I believe Lance Leipold has the best chance of any recent Kansas coach to bring them to relevancy. It started last year with their big win over Texas. Their defense was one of the worst in college last year, but luckily for them they return a ton of experience as well as brought in eight new transfers for that side of the ball. I expect them to lose by 7-10 points and keep the game respectable.
#16 Arkansas -9.0 vs. South Carolina
Cincinnati figured something out at halftime of their game in Fayetteville, so there’s a chance South Carolina will have seen something to exploit in the Razorback defense. It still remains to be seen how well South Carolina’s line can protect Spencer Rattler, but what I’m more concerned about for the point spread here is the special teams prowess of the Gamecocks in games like this to swing momentum.
Written by Alex Hill