Last Week: 6-6
What went right: USF, Illinois, A&M (mortal lock), Hawaii, Auburn, SDSU
What went wrong: Sakerlina (yeesh), ND (bigger yeesh), Fresno, Memphis, Ducks, SMU
Hedged bet: Told you to take the over (o/u 60.5) in Illinois/Purdue if the rain held. It was a deluge all week in B1G territory. I steered clear because of that, and hope you did too.
Still haven’t had a losing week, so, that’s good. But with teams getting banged up, byes and rivalries dotting the landscape, and trap games erry’where, Week 9 had the potential to be a bloodbath. We avoided that, at least. This week has a lot more of the same, particularly in the Power 5. So, this week we shall turn primarily to the G5, where the lines have been more favorable...and basically have been all year, for that matter.
Not with a 10’ Pole and Stolen Money:
Appalachian State (-16) vs. GSU: Georgia Southern is an interesting team; even on the road, they rarely take a bad loss. And I doubt this is the week it happens either. App State has a great G5 defense, but it is a little soft against the run (4YPC allowed). Meanwhile, GSU does have a good running defense. Triple option teams are really, really hard to run it up on with just a week to prepare, and this one can stop the ground game to boot. Bad matchup for two run-first teams. If you must, then take the Eagles on the road.
Michigan (-21.5) at Maryland. The Wolverines should utterly crush this terrible Terrapins team. But, you can forgive Michigan if they’re a bit hungover following the biggest win over the Irish in the history of the series. Throw in Road Harbaugh, the inability to cover slot receivers, and Mike Locksley needing some sort of momentum — even being competitive against a blue blood — and this is just a terribly risky waste of money.
While you’re at it, you can miss me with ND (-17.5) hosting Virginia Tech, and KSU -6.5 at Kansas. That latter one especially: The Jayhawks with an offense and the Wildcats coming off the biggest win of the year...on the road...against their archrivals? Yuck.
Prudent investors would also do well to steer clear of Utah -3.5 at Washington. How many times have we (deservedly) warned you away from Road Utah? And at the P12’s most hostile venue? Hell naw.
Time is very short today, so we’ll roll with these using a minimal of editorializing. You can figure out why on your own :P
Memphis -5.5 vs. SMU: These two are so close on paper, but Memphis has been better at home than SMU has been on the road. Tigers
NCSU +8 at Wake: I’d like the Deacs more if this were, say, 4 or 5 points. But, their defense is just bad enough to win a 45-38 kind of game. Wolfpack.
FIU -17 vs. Old Dominion: This is my candidate for one-sided beatdown of the week. Panthers.
Speaking of, the UTSA Roadrunners have a woeful offense and an atrocious running defense. Both are bad news against A&M (-38), who will run the ball at them 70 times. Take the Aggies.
Troy (-1) vs Coastal: The Chanticleers defense can keep games interesting, but you have to score to beat Troy. And this team can’t. Trojans.
Colorado State (-8.5) vs. UNLV: The Rams have rebounded as well as anyone in the country and are fueled by a very potent offense. It’s too much for the anemic Rebels on the road. Rams.
Georgia (-6) vs. Florida (JAX): The Gators have shown that theirs is a deceptive defensive ranking. They’ve not been able to figure out how to tackle on the edges and they give it up tons and tons on offense. Both are areas where the Dawgs live and die. Gators lose by two scores. If you want a mortal lock of the week, and I am 1.000 on these this year, it is this one. Dawgs cover -6.
FSU -3.5 vs. Miami: Bad blood aside, the ‘Noles are the more talented team, with the better offense...and they’re at home where they have been much better of late. It’ll probably be within a score, but I do see a job-saving win here by Willie Taggart and Co. Seminoles.
Tulsa +10.5 at Tulane: The Golden Hurricane are like Rice and Ga. Southern — it’s not a team that gets blown out often, despite what the records would suggest. They do a little bit of everything not too badly and should have beaten both SMU and Memphis. They may not win, but they probably keep it interesting. Golden Hurricane.
Clemson -39 vs. Wofford. The Tigers have been running it up the last few weeks as the rest of the world has passed them by and no one is watching a terrible ACC. The Terriers don’t suck too badly for an FCS team, but they’ve got nothing to match this. Tigers huge.
Arkansas +7.5 vs. Mississippi State: If you’ve paid attention to the Bulldogs the last two-and-a-half weeks, you see that this team has flat given up, and you can mark that point midway through the Tennessee game. Arkansas has not. That is to Chad Morris’ credit, perhaps the only one he deserves. And, for all its woes, the Hogs’ defense forces a ton of turnovers and the offense can be efficient...at times. You have to throw to beat the Piggies, and these ‘Dogs can’t. This game will be awful, and Arkansas is awful, but they certainly give enough of a damn that they will cover a touchdown and a hook at home. Take the Hogs.
Tennessee -12 vs. UAB: Ride the hot hand, and the Vols have it. The October Vols are nothing like the September ones. Tennessee comfortably.
Oregon State (+5.5) at Arizona: Buckle up. This one is going to be a roller coaster, and at the end of the day, I like OSU’s passing game more than Arizona’s defense. Beavers in the road upset.