Week 8. Truly shocking. Last week was our first real separation Saturday as some teams eliminated themselves from conference/playoff contention while others (Tennessee) made it clear that they are the real fucking deal. Utah kept their conference hopes alive with a dramatic win over USC and TCU claimed (temporary) Big 12 supremacy with their win over OK State.
This weekend UCLA and Oregon will battle to be the final undefeated team left in Pac-12 conference play, TCU and Kansas State will wage war with the winner putting themselves in the driver’s seat for a trip to the Big 12 Championship Game, and a Clemson win over Syracuse would all but guarantee them their division in the ACC.
From a betting perspective, I had my worst weekend of the season. We are back into the red on the season total thanks to some pretty harsh results. There were definitely some bad bets in there but the two biggest bets of the day were Utah -3 who won by 1 and TCU -3.5 who won by 3. If TCU has to kick an extra point after scoring an OT TD and if Utah just kicks an XP and wins in OT then instead of being the biggest losing day of the year, it’s actually a small winning day. But them’s the breaks… on to this weekend.
CFB YTD: 76-66 -3.33u
UCLA @ Oregon (-6.5) o/u 71
These are the last two undefeated teams in Pac-12 conference play and the winner of this game will be in really good shape going forward to make the Pac-12 championship game. DTR and Charbonnet are one of the most electric duos in football at the moment. They just put up 500 yards of offense in a win over Utah before going into a bye week to get ready for this game.
Oregon is also off a bye and since getting rolled by Georgia in Week One they have quietly made their way back into the top 10. That being said their best win is against… Wazzou (?) or BYU (?), neither of whom may even be good. Their offense is undoubtedly electric and Bo Nix has been playing well but this will be the type of high-stakes game we have seen him fail in time and time again.
Both of these offenses are going to be able to put up insane numbers and I think it will be a back-and-forth shootout that will come down to who has the ball last. For that reason, getting the team I trust more (UCLA) catching 6.5 points is something I can’t pass up. UCLA has two wins (Washington and Utah) that are infinitely better than what we have seen from Oregon. In Oregon’s only real test they were embarrassed by the dogs. Roll Bruins.
Pick: 1.5u UCLA +6.5, o70.5
Mississippi State (+21) @ Alabama o/u 61
Back to the Cowbells. After taking their first loss of the season to LSU, they went on a 3-game win streak where they scored over 40 every game and dominated Texas A&M and Arkansas. They took a bad loss last week to a Kentucky team that has frankly had their number in recent years but I expect them to bounce back once again. With two SEC losses they are effectively out of the race in the division (although a win here would throw the West into mayhem) so this game against Bama is their last chance (until maybe the Egg Bowl) to make a real mark on college football this year.
Mike Leach would love nothing more than to be the man to eliminate Alabama from the playoff by handing them their second loss. We have seen Alabama’s secondary be exposed, obviously by Hendon Hooker last week, but Haynes King (who is a high school QB) had success against them and the Texas duo of Ewers and Card were able to move the ball through the air against them.
Now Will Rogers and one of the scariest passing attacks in football come to Tuscaloosa against a secondary that must have absolutely zero confidence right now. After getting chewed out in practice all week, I suspect this team will be desperate and my prediction is we see a lot of DPI calls against a Bama secondary that will be terrified to get beat over the top again. Bryce Young is not 100% healthy and I think this Cowbell defense will be able to get after him and make life difficult.
Pick: 1.5u Cowbells +21.5
Kansas State (+3.5) @ TCU o/u 53
I hate going against my beloved Frogs and I think they still could easily find a way to win this game but I’m not falling for the old 3.5 trick again. I think this could be very similar to the OK State game and be another shootout that comes down to the last possession or even heads to OT.
This K-State defense is much better than OK State’s and the rushing attack of Martinez and Deuce will be a much different look for TCU. K State also had the luxury of a bye last week while TCU fought for their lives through 2 OTs. I think K State will be more rested and better prepared here and in a coinflip game, I’ll take over 3.
Pick: 1.5u Kansas State +3.5
Friday Night Lights: 1u UAB ML (+105) @ WKU- UAB has an elite secondary to take away the WKU passing attack and McBride should be able to control the game on the ground for the Blazers.
1.5u Tulane, Clemson, Charlotte MLP (-111)– These are three spots I liked, but I was borderline on if the line was just a little too long. I did the math and realized that all three in a MLP would come out just around -110. Perfection.
1u Ole Miss ML @ LSU- It seems like the whole world is on LSU here but I have more faith in Lane. This LSU team is looking more competitive but I am still not a believer. Other than last week against Florida, all of their box scores are so fraudulent and they got stomped out when they had to play a real team in Tennessee. I think Ole Miss takes away the big plays that beat Florida last week and LSU will struggle to get stops.
1.5u UCLA +6.5, o70.5 @ Oregon- see above
1.5u Vandy +14 @ Missouri- Missouri is really really really bad. I think Vandy will care about this game a lot more and take it as their chance to finally win an SEC game for the first time in years.
1.5u Miss State +21.5 @ Bama- see above
2u South Carolina +3.5 vs. Texas A&M- Texas A&M is simply not good. They have not scored more than 24 points against an FBS opponent yet this year. Their two FBS win were a fluke 2-point win against Arkansas on a neutral field where they were outgained by 70 yards and an 8-point win against Miami at home where they were outgained by 130 yards. They got lucky to not have to face Bryce Young but gave up 288 rush yards to Bama in that game.
Marshawn Lloyd and this Cocks run game are salivating. Unlike the Aggie offense that hasn’t topped 24, South Carolina has scored 30 points in 4/6 games this year. The Gamecock defense is finally healthy and held Kentucky to just 14 points in their win two weeks ago. Coming off the bye, they will be even healthier and ready for this game. Williams Bryce will be swaying for this night game and the Aggies won’t be ready. Shane Beamer is also 5-0 ATS and 5-0 SU with three outright upsets when he has extra time to prep so Jimbo is in trouble here.
1.5u ECU +5 vs. UCF- UCF has had the chance to beat up on some bad teams at home the last few weeks. Believe it or not, they haven’t left the state of Florida yet this season. Their only road game was against FAU who is a joke. So this is their first real road test in a stadium where no one likes to play. I think this comes down to the wire.
1u Minnesota +5 @ Penn State- One thing you can always count on with James Franklin teams is that when their season ends (which it did after losing to Michigan) they will just quit. We might see multiple QBs in this game from them and just a general lack of effort. PJ Fleck should still get his guys up and Ibrahim should be able to run at will.
1.5u Kansas State +3.5 @ TCU- see above
Let’s bounce back and have ourselves a week.