After watching last week's games, Alabama and Georgia are the two best teams in the nation, and I'm not sure it's particularly close. Actually, from what we've seen from them so far, I know it's not close. Meanwhile, Casey Thompson and Texas' offense let us down big time last Saturday. It's rare when you have a 200+ yard rusher and 414 yards of total offense end up with 1 touchdown, 4 field goals, and a turnover on downs in 6 red zone attempts. Blashpemous and inexcusible. Three of my losing bets last week weren't grounded in numbers/statistics and instead I went with my heart, which is a surefire formula for losing. Won't happen again - this is a get right week for us. And though us fans won't have quite the same expectations for incredible matchups like last week, it's another CFB week that we get to witness and enjoy. So let us be entertained and make money (and popcorn if you're Lane Kiffin) at the same time. Here are the picks
#15 Coastal Carolina Team Total Over 43.5 @ Arkansas State
Here's a fun fact some of you may not have known: Butch Jones is the head coach of Arkansas State as of this year. Let me tell you how his team's defense has performed so far. Every opponent they've faced this year has put up their season high in points and yards against them. Let that sink in real quick. They rank 129th out of 130 FBS teams in defensive output this year. Coastal Carolina, against better defenses, is averaging 48 points per game (PPG) and have topped this number in 4 of 5 contests. They prefer to run the ball and have posted 200+ yards rushing in every outing while Arkansas State has allowed 200+ against every FBS team they've played this year, including allowing 500 yards on the ground last week against Georgia Southern. If Coastal Carolina doesn't score at least 44 in this game I'll sleep on the porch of my apartment every day until Halloween. That's how sure I am of this play hitting. Also, the line is at -150, which I was hoping would move the point total up to 44 or 44.5 but it hasn't yet. So, unfortunately we will have to lay some extra vig to win a unit on this bet but it's going to hit regardless so it doesn't matter.
Wisconsin -10.0 @ Illinois
Wow, what a world we live in. We are betting a team that just got it handed to them two weeks in a row. But you can think of it as we're betting against Illinois rather than for Wisconsin if that makes you feel better! Here's the thing, the Illini are averaging just 3.75 yards per carry (YPC) against Power 5 teams this year. Conversely, it took Michigan 44 attempts to be the first team to cross the 100 yard mark against Wisconsin this season. Which means, Illinois will have to beat the Badgers through the air. I'm here to tell ya, it ain't happening. Their quarterbacks are averaging just 5.6 yards per attempt, and have thrown for just 7 touchdowns in 6 outings this year. Meanwhile, this will be the second easiest secondary the Badgers have faced this year, the easiest being Eastern Michigan in which they won 34-7. If the under wasn't just 42.5 I'd like that too, but I wouldn't risk it being any lower than 45. My last wave of confidence for you is that the last time these two met, Graham Mertz went 20/21 for 250 yards and 5 touchdowns (assuming he is the starting QB this week). They've got to cover at some point this season, so it might as well be this week for us.
#1 Alabama -18.0 @ Texas A&M
This was a game I'd been eyeing since right after week 3 in hopes TAMU wouldn't have fallen apart. Regardless, Jimbo Fisher is getting paid the big bucks over at A&M and his main objective was to simply beat Alabama (well not simply, but you get my point). Alas, through the last three years they've lost by 22, 19, and 28. And at least two of those teams were better than this current one. The stats sure favor Bama to cover, but sometimes you don't even need those. Saban is like the opposite of a genie where all your hopes, dreams, and wishes come to die instead of getting fulfilled. I'm honestly not sure how I see the Aggies scoring over 14 here, which means Alabama would just have to get 31 themselves. And let's be honest, Saban is a bit sadistic when it comes to whooping up on teams/coaches that are championed by the masses to beat him. Conversely, some of the alternative plays I could see happening are Alabama's Team Total Over 34.5 or their first half spread of -10.5.
#14 Notre Dame @ Virginia Tech Under 47.0
Third straight game a team will be coming off a bye week going up against Notre Dame. And to say Blacksburg isn't exactly a tame place to play at night would be quite the understatement. VT haven't allowed over 370 yards in a game this year and haven't gained more than 380 in one either, including a 21-10 win over Richmond where they only gained 318 yardsâ¦? I believe ND should have success running the ball some, but their drives will be long, tedious, and time consuming. Meanwhile, VA Tech will need much better play out of QB Braxton Burmeister, who to this point I believe has just been exceptionally mediocre. On a neutral field and equal rest I'd take Notre Dame over the Hokies, but I'll happily settle for the under while Notre Dame continues to search for their identity (as well as consistent starting QB play). Under 47 is the way.
Akron @ Bowling Green Under 46.0
This game game could potentially be the lowest scoring game of the week. And there's no way in the world I'll be tuning in, but we can certainly profit off of it. Here's a quick rundown of these two teams, though, and why I believe points will be at an ultimate premium. Akron, regardless of being 1-4 with a lone win against an FCS team, has run more than they've thrown in every game this season. For better or worse, it's their identity. Meanwhile, since week 1, BGSU is only giving up 3.67 yards per rush per game, against far superior offenses. Conversely, the Falcons will be looking to throw the ball often until they're up, at which point they'll start slowly winding the clock out on the ground. Except the lone time they've crossed the 100 yard rushing mark the whole season came against FCS Murray State. I don't want to pretend like Akron's defense is great, but it'll be enough for us to keep the under on this game safe.
#13 Arkansas Team Total Over 30.5 @ #17 Ole Miss
For those of us that watched the Ole Miss game on Saturday - what's their weakness? The answer is their line play, specifically the defensive line. They get bullied and they aren't built to stop the run. Okay. Then so what's Arkansas' strength? Their offensive line and backfield. Georgia has an NFL video game sliders all the way up type of defense, but before that game, the Razorbacks had reached 200+ yards on the ground every single game. KJ Jefferson will have another week to recover and I believe the Razorbacks will have a better chance getting their offense back on track. Plus, Ole Miss have allowed Tulane, Louisville, and Austin Peay to average 21 PPG against them, and none of them run the ball as often as Arkansas. Finally, Mississippi will be pushing tempo a ton which means either short scoring drives or short punting drives. Either way, it's more opportunities for Arkansas. I'm honestly not sure if Arkansas' defense will be able to stop Ole Miss, so I don't have a play/side there, but I absolutely see the Razorbacks at least getting 4 touchdowns and a field goal.
Georgia Tech @ Duke Over 61.0
GT is averaging almost 400 YPG while giving up 360. Duke is averaging 500 and giving up 420ish. As long as there arenât a ton of penalties and turnovers, this should hit. But it's also GT and Duke and they aren't the most consistent teams. The Yellow Jackets Team Total over is 30.5 as well and I like that one too.
Virginia at Louisville Over 69.5
These teams are combining to average 970 yards of offense per game this year, but the number is too high to be comfortable with. A few untimely turnovers or empty red zone drives could cost the over to hit.
Tennessee -10.5 vs. South Carolina
Sigh. I'm not ready to be hurt mentally, emotionally, and financially by Tennessee again just yet. They're the better team and if they take care of the ball should have a fairly easy cover. I'm just not ready.
#2 Georgia -15.0 @ #18 Auburn
I really like this line but don't want to overreact to recent weeks. Bo Nix will not have back to back games pulling off magic. This is certainly a good teaser option if you're into those plays.
#4 Penn State +2.0 @ #3 Iowa
Staying away from this game, but Iowa's coach has been there for 23 seasons and has lost at least 2 games every single year. This is the toughest test they have left and sometimes you just make plays based off a coach's history.
Written by Alex Hill