Last week was pretty meh. A lot of the big matchups were disappointing, we didn’t have any major upsets (Wake Forest and TCU’s upsets were both pretty trendy picks), and from a betting perspective we basically just pushed money around. However, it is a new week. We have three top-25 matchups, Saban gets to destroy Jimbo, and College GameDay is coming to Lawrence.
So much of my mental fortitude is going to be used on the Mets wildcard series this weekend but I will do my best to push positive vibes onto these games as well. Let’s get into the picks including my biggest CFB bet of the year.
CFB YTD: 64-52 +2.99u
Tennessee (-3) @ LSU o/u 65
“Can’t fade LSU at Death Valley!” This will be a popular theme this weekend but over the last 15 seasons, LSU is just 46-48-3 ATS at home. That’s not terrible by any means but it’s just meh so throw that out the window. This is also an 11 AM local kick which does the Vawls a lot of favors. Death Valley is much less intimidating during the day when LSU fans only have a couple of hours to drink.
LSU is FRAUD. They beat a really bad Auburn team last week but they were outgained by nearly 200 yards and only had 85 passing yards. The Vawls are coming off a bye and should be very prepared here. Last year, an unranked Tennessee went to a ranked Kentucky team after their bye week and got a win, dropping 45 in the process. I think they will be able to put up their points and LSU is incapable of keeping up.
Pick: 1.5u Vawls -3
Utah (-3.5) @ UCLA o/u 64.5
Since losing their opening game to Florida, Utah is 4-0 SU and 4-0 ATS covering by 11.75 PPG. I have liked this team all year and I think they will roll through this game with a huge matchup against USC next week. UCLA is coming off a big upset win against Washington and I think Utah will take advantage of the hangover. Cam Rising for President.
Pick: 1.5u Utah -2.5 (still like this to -4)
GAME OF THE YEAR (SO FAR): 2.5u TCU/Mississippi State MLP (+100) vs. Kansas/Arkansas
These are two of my favorite teams in college football this year and I think they are both in perfect spots to roll this weekend. TCU is going into Lawrence looking to spoil the GameDay party. Kansas escaped with a win last week against Iowa State but was outgained by 100 yards. They were outgained by almost 100 yards in their OT win against WVU. They were outgained by Houston in that win. Overall this year, Kansas is averaging 399.8 yards of offense and their opponents are averaging 430.8 yards of offense.
Basically, they are frauds. It’s a great story- they deserve to be ranked and they deserve GameDay but TCU is going to spoil the party. Joe Gillespie can basically copy Iowa State’s defensive game plan that crushed Jalon Daniels last week. Then offensively TCU is not Iowa State. They are the 6th best offense in the country by YPG and should be able to hang 50 on this Kansas D.
For the Cowbells, they get Arkansas in an ideal spot. Arkansas has had an emotional rollercoaster the last three weeks- they almost lost to Missouri State and Bobby Petrino, then they played a massive game against Texas A&M that they should have won but choked away, then last week they got stomped by Bama in the 1H just to come all the way back just to get stomped in the final few minutes. Then they have no break as they have to go to BYU next week.
Mississippi State is finally playing the football we knew they could. They put up nearly 500 yards of offense against Texas A&M who have one of the better defenses in the nation last week. This Arkansas secondary is BAD. Like bad bad. Will Rogers should put up 500 yards himself in this game and the Cowbells will get enough stops to make sure they get a home W here.
1.5u Friday Night Lights- Nebraska -3 @ Rutgers- Nebraska may have finally found something as they looked good in a win against Indiana. Maybe the team that looked so promising in the preseason will be able to piece a few wins together here. Rutgers is awful. They only won by 2 points against an awful Temple team, lost by 17 to Iowa which is like losing by 40 to any other team, and last week were embarrassed by Ohio State. Nebraska wins here.
1.5u Tennessee -3 @ LSU- see above
2.5u Miss State/TCU MLP– see above
1u Florida -10.5 vs. Mizzou- Mizzou has a major emotional letdown coming here after nearly pulling off the upset of the season against Georgia last week. Mizzou beat Florida in OT last year so no doubt the Gators’ players have revenge on their minds. Florida had Eastern Washington last week which is basically a bye and AR15 is finally finding his groove. Gators big.
1u GA State -2.5 vs. GA Southern- State finally broke through and got their first win against Army last week. I think they keep that confidence rolling and get a home win in a shootout here.
1u Wisconsin -9.5 @ NW- Jim Leonhard has been hyped up as the next big name in the CFB coaching carousel and I think he proves it here. He is a great motivator and should have the guys fired up to roll against an awful Northwestern team.
1.5u Utah -2.5 @ UCLA- see above
1.5u South Carolina +10.5, 0.5u SC ML +202 @ Kentucky- I made this bet before the Will Levis news started to pick up traction. If you didn’t get in above a TD then I would wait this out and see where the line settles when Levis news becomes official either way.
1u Bama -23.5, 1u Bama 1H -13.5 vs. TAMU- Bryce Young’s status is somewhat up in the air but I like this regardless of the QB situation. Gibbs is a monster and Bama should be able to run the ball at will. Jalen Milroe looked good in limited action and the Tide coaching staff will plan him a perfect game if he is indeed the starter on Saturday. Saban already hated Jimbo and after their offseason cold war, I expect Saban to try to drop dick on Jimbo here. Bama huge.
1u Stanford +7 vs. Oregon State- Stanford has had a brutal schedule so far and their pass defense has been victimized by elite competition. I think this is their chance to keep it close, let McKee cook, and potentially win a conference game.
That’s all folks! As always…