It was another wild weekend of college football. The Red River Shootout turned into the biggest blowout of the weekend, Alabama barely survived against Haynes King, Tennessee is legit (?), South Carolina upset Kentucky (duh), and we hit our biggest bet of the season so far. It was a fun Saturday of ups and downs but it all sets up this weekend. This is the best college football slate of the season so far and it’s not close.
We have SIX ranked vs. ranked matchups, two of them top-10 matchups. Oklahoma State and TCU are playing what could be an elimination game for the Big 12 title game. The loser of Tennesee/Alabama puts themselves in a big hole when it comes to making the playoff. USC and Utah face off with major Pac-12 implications. It’s all glorious. That being said, let’s just get into these games.
CFB YTD: 71-59 +3.58u
Penn State (+7) @ Michigan o/u 50.5
I am not sold on this Michigan team. They are only 1-2 ATS in Big Ten play and that cover came against Iowa in a game that they did not look very impressive but Iowa was just Iowa. They were tied at halftime against Indiana last week. I just think this team lacks the things that got them to the next level last season. They don’t have the dominant edge rush that Aidan Hutchinson provided and they can’t throw the football.
Sean Clifford knows this Michigan team well and coming off of a bye, I think this offense will be ready to execute against the Michigan D and get points up. Michigan’s run-first attack could be effective but it will be a much more methodical approach that could allow Penn State to jump out early or at least just hang around all game. Penn State went to Auburn and dominated and went to a good Purdue team and won. They have been great on the road and I expect them to keep it close at the Big House.
Pick: 1.5u Penn State +7
Alabama (-7) @ Tennessee o/u 66.5
This is the big one. The major question mark around this game is Bryce Young and in my mind, he is the entire handicap. If Bryce Young plays, he will decimate this Tennessee secondary and the Bama defense will be able to do just enough to make sure Bama wins and covers this game. If Jalen Milroe plays, Tennessee should win this game outright. They won’t be able to keep up with what Hendon Hooker can do if Milroe is playing.
I believe Bryce Young will play and be close to 100%. So I am laying with Alabama and if the news drops before kick that Young isn’t playing, I will buy out and bet some Tennessee moneyline.
Pick: 1.5u Bryce Young (-7)
Oklahoma State @ TCU (-4) o/u 68.5
I am probably one of the 5 biggest TCU fans on the planet. They made us sweat a bit last week against Kansas but took care of business in the end. This week they play maybe my biggest rival in college football, Spencer Sanders. This guy has tortured me for nearly a decade by being terrible in every game of his career except the ones I bet against him in.
Well, it all comes down to this. I think Max Duggan will be able to shred this OK State defense which has been AWFUL. The TCU defense should be able to generate a couple of takeaways and I think they get the massive win here.
Pick: 2u TCU -3.5
NC State @ Syracuse (-3.5) o/u 42
Syracuse is favored in a ranked-on-ranked matchup with conference implications in mid-October. Who could have seen that coming? Well, Devin Leary is out for this game and their new QB can’t throw more than 5 yards down field. Dome Magic is a very real thing and I think Garrett Shrader will be able to produce some explosive plays against NC State despite their strong D. Back the Orange.
Pick: 1.5u Syracuse -3 (bet to 4)
Clemson (-3.5) @ FSU o/u 51
This is the one. Wake should have beat Clemson. NC State could have and just didn’t make the big plays when necessary. But Jordan Travis and FSU are going to do it. I’ve been on the right side of FSU every week since Week One when I backed them against LSU (except for when they blew out BC but Jurko fetish so doesn’t count). I know this team well and I really like what they can do against Clemson.
Most importantly, Jordan Travis can make the explosive throws that Sam Hartman did to really shred this Clemson secondary. Secondarily, the athletes on FSU’s defense, particularly in the front 7, should be able to contain DJU. Through the air he didn’t impress me much against NC State, it was on the ground that he killed them. I think FSU will take away that scrambling and those designed runs and really make life hard for DJ.
FSU football is back. Tallahassee is gonna be rockin. Noles.
Pick: 1.5u FSU +4
USC (+3.5) @ Utah o/u 65
This is probably my favorite bet of the weekend but also one of the scariest I have placed all year. USC has crushed me all year and Utah has let me down on several occasions. However, I think this is very similar to the Oregon State game where I actually won fading USC and frankly OSU should have won the game. Cam Rising can do all of the things that hurt this USC defense. Explosive plays and he doesn’t turn the ball over. I have no doubt that Utah will score.
Defensively, Utah can get after the passer and make things hard on Caleb Williams just like the Beavers did. USC only scored 17 points in that game. Their second-lowest total on the season is 30. This Utah crowd is going to be insane and this is undoubtedly one of the hardest places in the country to play. I think Utah takes care of business and picks up a signature win here to keep their Pac-12 hopes alive.
Pick: 2u Utah -3
Rest of the Card
Normally I write out my full card here but there are so many amazing games this weekend that most of my card is the marquee matchups. So I am just going to quickly write-up the rest of my non-marquee picks here.
1u Auburn +14.5 @ Ole Miss- Ole Miss is quietly undefeated and heads to LSU next week for a massive one. With Auburn struggling this year I could see Lane overlooking this one and thinking ahead to beating Brian Kelly. Auburn is rough and this one might not be fun but I think Auburn stays within the number.
1.5u Iowa State +16.5 @ Texas- Texas is coming off a 50-point blowout against their arch-rivals and has a humongous game at Oklahoma State next week. This is a textbook sandwich spot. Also, Matt Campbell just doesn’t get blown out. The Clones are coming off three straight one-possession losses in games that the spread was 4 or less. That is the type of game where Matt Campbell has always struggled. This is where he thrives. They keep it close and give Texas a scare.
1.5u Miss State/Oklahoma MLP (+110)– Did you really think the Cowbells wouldn’t make an appearance here? They were sweat-free in our big bet last week and Leach continues to roll. They still control their own destiny in the SEC West and beyond. Will Levis is expected to be back this week but I don’t particularly care. Kentucky is fraudulent with or without Levis and Will Rogers should light them up.
On the other side, Oklahoma is getting Gabriel back and they should be able to light up this Kansas D. Jalon Daniels is out for the year and I think the wind will just be taken out of Kansas’ sails a bit after last week’s loss. Oklahoma gets back on track here.
1.5u Maryland -10.5 @ Indiana- I already bet Iowa State, Mississippi State, TCU, and faded Clemson so what is left to complete the Blakey Locks bingo?? Taulia, of course! Maryland is coming off a close loss to Purdue after four straight covers but I like this team a lot. The defense is improved from last year and Taulia just keeps getting better. I think they get back on track against an Indiana team that really just stinks out loud.
That’s it for now folks! Stay tuned for any adds or buy-outs with all this crazy QB news! But for now…