I’m not gonna lie to you guys, it got ugly last week. People involved in the industry said that Vegas was going to clean up last weekend, and boy were they right. I had my worst Saturday of the year, dropping an ugly 2-5 record. The losses came early and often, ranging from NC State to Hawaii, and everything in between. The highs are great, and the lows are humbling. But gambling is so fun, and we must move on. You win and have fun, or you lose and learn. I’m ready to have a great Saturday, let’s ride.
Last Week: 2-5
NCAAF this season: 32-31
#21 Appalachian State at South Alabama, 12pm
I want South Alabama to be good, believe me. The abbreviation for this school is USA, I want to love them. But I can’t. The Jaguars are 1-6 on the season, and are averaging just 11ppg in their last 5. They stink. They have to take on one of the best offenses in the country in App State. I have been pumping the gas on App State all season, and now they are in the rankings. They have a nasty 1-2 punch with QB Zac Thomas and RB Darrynton Evans. Evans has been a monster this season, averaging over 6 yards a carry to go along with 10 TDs. His counterpart Thomas is the reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year, and has helped lead the Mountaineers to a 6-0 record.
App State has been a wagon this year, going 5-1 ATS. South Alabama is the lowest scoring offense in the Sun Belt, and have only eclipsed 21 points a single time this season. South Alabama’s defense is nothing impressive, and when they played Memphis, another high powered offense, they got slaughtered by 36. USA won’t be able to slow down the high scoring Mountaineers, and App State’s rapidly improving defense will keep the Jaguars at bay.
Pick: Appalachian State -27.5
Southern Mississippi at Rice, 1pm
Rice is 0-7, but they have been knocking on the door of victory in the last few weeks. They took a 6-1 LA Tech team to OT a few weeks ago, and had the lead until the last 5 minutes against Texas-San Antonio last week, before falling yet again. But changes are here, as Rice has made the move to Tom Stewart at QB. Stewart came on in relief of the starter last week, and helped Rice take the lead. He came in, went 9/11 with 88yds and 1 TD to help Rice almost pull the upset. The boys have been fighting hard, and return home Saturday for military appreciation day. They are ready to get a bump, and get a win.
Southern Miss presents a challenge with their offense. The Golden Eagles have been popping big numbers all year, but have dropped their last 3 games on the road. Southern Miss loves to air it out, but Jack Abraham struggled last week on the road, getting intercepted 4 times. Rice has been battling lately, and only lost to Baylor by 8 at home earlier this year. I think Rice is due for a win, and more importantly, so do the sharps. Despite Southern Miss receiving about 66% of the bets, the line has moved from Rice +12 to Rice +10.5. The public is on USM, but I’m going to follow the smart money on Rice.
Pick: Rice +10.5
#9 Auburn at #2 LSU, 3:30pm
Auburn is one of the biggest frauds in the country. There, I said it. On opening weekend, we all watched Bo Nix rally his troops in the second half as Auburn came from behind to beat Oregon. Nix lead a miraculous last minute drive and threw a TD pass with just seconds on the clock to shock the Ducks and make himself a household name. Since then, Nix hasn’t done much. This year, Nix has thrown for over 210 yards just one time, and has frankly seemed like a liability. Ya, I know Auburn has run up the score against teams like Arkansas and Mississippi State, but those teams are terrible. When he has played 2 ranked SEC teams, Texas A&M and Florida, he threw for a combined 245 yards, 1 TD and 3 INTs. That’s not good.
Florida is a really good football team, but they still lost by 2 TDs to LSU. Coach O has one of the best offenses in the country, led by Heisman front runner Joe Burrow. Burrow has been destroying every defense he has faced, including Florida. Auburn’s defense has been a bit suspect this year, and will get beat up by LSU. That’s a fact. Nix is going to have to lead his offense and keep pace with Burrow, and he won’t. Trask, the Florida QB, is better than Nix, and he couldn’t match Burrow. Nix has done nothing to make me think he will lead his offense against the best defense he has faced this year. He is a freshman that is in over his head. Death Valley will chew him up and spit him out.
Pick: LSU -11
#15 Texas at TCU, 3:30pm
Man, does anyone know what the heck happened to Texas last week? Is Les Miles really turning around Kansas this fast? The Jayhawks went from getting embarrassed at home to Coastal Carolina, to crushing BC on the road, and then hanging with Oklahoma and almost BEATING Texas last weekend. I am going to say that Kansas is on the rise, and that Texas just has a bad defense. They got ran up by LSU, and now Kansas. This is, after all, still the Big 12. You can’t blame Sam Ehlinger though, he threw for 400 yards and tossed 4 TDs against the Jayhawks. Additionally, he ran for 90 more. What you can blame, is the trash defense. So much for “DB U” that the secondary was calling themselves, as Kansas threw all over them.
The good news for Texas is TCU has a terrible, terrible defense. Long gone is the stingy Gary Patterson defense, as they are now a full fledged Big 12 team. The Horned Frogs have been bad this year, and have dropped 3 of their last 4. TCU’s best win is probably a road victory over Purdue, who is just 2-5 this year. In the last 2 weeks, TCU got blown out by Iowa State, and beat by a Kansas State team that isn’t supposed to be good. TCU has been a huge disappointment this season, and they don’t have the offense to keep up with Texas. TCU QB Max Duggan has only eclipsed 200 yards through the air once this season. He hasn’t been intercepted yet this season, but that means he’s not taking any risks. You need to take risks to beat Texas, and Duggan won’t. Don’t overthink this.
Pick: Texas -1.5
Texas State at Arkansas State, 7pm
Arkansas State comes into this game as an offensive juggernaut, there’s no denying that. But the Red Wolves have turned cold since losing their starting QB, and have dropped 2 in a row. While the backup has played alright, it’s the defense that has really let ASU down. The Red Wolves have given up over 1,200 yards in their last 2 games, with no signs of getting better. Texas State is no offensive offensive powerhouse, but they do have a stronger than average defense for the Sun Belt. The Bobcats rank significantly higher defensively than the recent opponents of Arkansas State, so that could present problems. Texas State has won 2 of 3, and are getting too many points.
Pick: Texas State +12
#8 Notre Dame at #19 Michigan, 7:30pm
Michigan returns home licking their wounds, and in danger of taking their third loss of the season. Shea Patterson had a decent day throwing the ball against Penn State, putting up 276 yards through the air, but no TDs. Michigan fell behind early in that game, and the Wolverines couldn’t rally late. The Big House will be rocking for this night game, and should have an impact on Notre Dame’s passing game. Michigan’s strong defense has a weakness in the secondary, but Ian Book is overrated, in my opinion. I expect these teams to lock horns in a low scoring game. Notre Dame looked really good on the road against Georgia, but I don’t know how impressive that is anymore. Brian Kelly has yet to win a game at Michigan, but that probably ends today. None the less, I like the under more than anything tonight.
Pick: Under 50
California at Utah, 10:15pm
Utah is good. Like, really good. It’s a shame that they lost to USC’s 3rd string QB earlier this season, because that cost them a chance at the Playoff. Utah has an incredible defense. Utah has the best defense in the Pac 12, and one of the best in the nation. The Utes are only surrendering 252 yards a game, which is top 5 in the country. Cal is in the midst of a free fall after losing their starting QB Chase Garbers. Their backup QB is questionable to play against Utah, and the third stringer is a freshman. Utah is going to feast, no matter who is under center.
Yes, I understand Cal has a good defense, and specifically, a really good secondary. But they are not that good. Cal’s front 7 is questionable, and you can run on them. Cal lost at home last week, giving up 21 to Oregon State. If the Beavers can do that, Utah can do a whole lot worse. Utah is at the top of the conference, and needs to impress the committee with blow out wins. Cal is in a downward tailspin, while Utah is flying high. The Utes played Arizona State last week, and only allowed 4 completions. That is so scary. Cal, pardon my French, is screwed.
Pick: Utah -20.5
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