NCAAF Week 5
Last week was like a bad weekend in Vegas, and you just have forget about waking up at 4:00 AM at the Bellagio Fountains wondering how you got there. Er, I mean, let's just move on and pretend the whole thing didn't happen. After the appalling bad luck we had last week, let's hope we accumulated some good karma heading into this one. We got barbecued last week going 1-5 and now we're at a paltry 10-11 on the year, but it's only up from here so we trek on. Interestingly, the leans for the year are now at 12-6-1 so I'd almost recommend you tail those instead... Anyway, if you're interested in reading just how unfortunate we were last week, feel free to access the link right below this text and buckle up for something so dark that Edgar Allan Poe couldn't have come up with a storyline so bleak. This is probably my favorite slate of games so far in the young season and can't wait for the constant entertainment that awaits us here.
#8 Arkansas +18.0 @ #2 Georgia
If you read my week one article you know I'm very high on Georgia this season. But laying 18 points against a top 10 team in the nation seems ludicrous. With some programs I could see a hangover game looming in Arkansas' position, but listening to what they've been saying, the coaches have them completely focused on winning, one game at a time. To be clear, I don't see them beating Georgia in this spot, but they've shown us everything they've needed to show us to this point in the season. Georgia's defense is elite, but none of the offenses they've gone against rank inside the top 90 in yards per game (YPG) or top 75 in points per game (PPG). The Bulldogsâ offense looks revamped and constantly improving, but they still don't have everyone back, which will play a factor in this ballgame. I'd say the biggest thing I'll be looking out for is Georgia's ability or inability to run the ball on Arkansas as they've mysteriously not had a rush for longer than 24 yards all season(???). Absolutely unheard of for them as a program. Interestingly, they've also yet to give up a run for that same number all season, which Arkansas loves to do to open up their offense. I see this game as low scoring and lean the under as well, but it's just a ton of points to lay in what should be a lower scoring affair.
Texas -5.0 @ TCU & Over 65.5
Texas may not "be back" in the CFP picture or higher bowl game status, but their offense is dang good. People will ultimately remember their Arkansas game this season, but their offensive line has been dominant in the two games since and still improving. Beating Rice 58-0 isn't uber impressive, but beating TTU 70-35 and amassing 639 yards on 8.5 yards per play (YPP) absolutely is. Conversely, TCU just lost to SMU off of a bye week, allowing SMU to accrue 595 yards of offense. My only pause for concern is that Texas faces off against Oklahoma the following week and may try to look ahead, but I'm not seeing it, as Texas needs to prove themselves week in and week out to the college football world. I don't want to overreact to their dominance last game, but realistically, I also believe people went the other way and wrote them off after the Arkansas loss. I really like these two plays.
#7 Cincinnati -1.5 @ #9 Notre Dame & Under 50.5
This line hasn't moved enough since opening and I'm not sure it can move enough to not take Cincinnati to cover in this game. Notre Dame just put up 242 yards of offense and 3 RUSHING YARDS IN THE WHOLE GAME AGAINST WISCONSIN (WHY IS THIS NOT BEING TALKED ABOUT MORE?). Oh, and newsflash, Desmond Ritter is not Graham Mertz and won't gift-wrap 21 points to Notre Dame here. The Fighting Irish have also been out-gained in 3 of their 4 games this season. Moreover, ND has allowed 5 sacks per game this year, which ranks 124th in the country. Cincinnati is also coming off a bye and this is the last tough game standing between them and an undefeated season. Finally, although Jack Coan will be starting against the Bearcats, his ankle is certainly not 100 percent and will make escaping pressure even more challenging. If Cincy hadn't played at Indiana in a tough environment I could see the angle of saying 'the moment' this weekend will be too big for them. But they've already done that and it won't be too big of a moment for them. Luke Fickell will be coveted by every team with a head coaching vacancy following this season. Cincinnati by a million and I'll put my rommates' cars on it (they haven't agreed yet, but whatever).
#12 Ole Miss +14.5 @ #1 Alabama
I can guarantee you Lane Kiffin has had this game circled on his calendar the minute last year's shootout of a game ultimately ended up in Alabama's favor. Like, I'd say he wants to win this game more than he'd want to win any other game in his life aside from a national championship. Conveniently, Ole Miss happen to be off a bye this week as well. We can run through the numbers here, but we all know who these teams are. I think Bryce Young and Matt Corral will both put up great numbers, but Bama's offense overall isn't as efficient as last years team, namely at the running back position. I'm not completely sold on Ole Miss's defense to be as great and improved as people think they are, but they'll do just enough to keep the game interesting for sure. Time for us to sit back and enjoy watching one of the best offensive teams in the country try to take down Goliath.
Vanderbilt -14.5 vs. UConn
This might be a low point in my life, and if it doesn't hit we will all pretend like I never actually placed a bet on the Commodores to win and cover in a football game. And I won't try and sell you on how bad UConn is and how what Georgia did to Vanderbilt last week wasn't actually as bad as it seemed. And I really won't mention how the Commodores have 5 touchdowns to 8 turnovers on the season, because none of that really matters. We aren't here for data on this one, we're here for the feeling I get from this game. Now, I wan't you all to go look at the rest of Vanderbilt's schedule. They won't win another game - everyone in CFB knows it and they do too. But if they lose this game or come close to it, there would be a greater argument for replacing their eligibility with a prep school or moving one of the Dakota's FCS school up rather than keep Vanderbilt's program alive. And that right there is why they'll do anything in their power in this game to avoid the embarrassment. Sigh, for my sake and your own sanity Vanderbilt, go out and show the world that you're a top 125 team in the country.
Kent State -16.5 vs. Bowling Green
Kent State obliterated Bowling Green last year, 62-24, living up to their name "Golden Flashes" and possessing the #1 ranked scoring offense in the country in their shortened COVID season. And although they lost some receiver talent, they retained a ton of production on their lines and all of their running backs as well as super senior QB Dustin Crum. You haven't heard much about them this year yet because their three FBS games have been against Texas A&M, Iowa, and Maryland. Yikes. So the only reasonable thing that can happen is they finally play someone at a lower level than they are and wipe the floor with them. Not to mention the Falcons just went to Minnesota and upset them in dramatic fashion while only amassing 192 yards of offense. That screams hangover game to me. I see this matchup as more along the lines of 24-28 points in the Golden Flashesâ favor as their MAC season officially kicks off this weekend.
#5 Iowa -3.0 @ Maryland
Iowa is far and away the better team, but the game features major stylistic differences. Also, I promise Mike Locksley is not a good coach. He fooled me through two games in 2019 and I refuse to fall for it again. Taulia Tagovailoa is just a difficult person to publicly bet against.
Memphis @ Temple Under 59.5
Temple has yet to allow over 365 yards of offense in a game this year including holding Boston College to just 221 yards. This will be the worst offense Memphis has faced this year so their defense should perform better.
Minnesota @ Purdue Under 47.5
Purdue should be able to make Minnesota throw the ball, which we know they can't do too well. Purdue is also averaging just 18.7 PPG against P5 teams.
Liberty +2.0 @ UAB
If Liberty can stop the run and protect Malik Willis better, they'll win this game.
Boston College +15 @ #25 Clemson
Clemson's put up 226 YPG against FBS teams. Should they be favored by 15 over anybody right now? Can they even score that many in regulation?
#20 UCLA -3.0 vs. Arizona State
ASU has been running effectively on inferior teams, but UCLA's run defense has been pretty good so far this year. If ASU can't run on them, UCLA could win big.
Written by Alex Hill
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