Last Week: 11-5
2020 Season: 105-63
Mortal Lock of the Week: 12-0 — Boise demolished that terrible Colorado State team, and barely had to break out the offense to do it.
Long week, folks. A paralegal tested positive for the Koof, so I had to spend all day Wednesday mitigating that. Then, Wednesday night, one of the chest freezers in the garage went out, and there were gallons and gallons of water to clean and tons of paper to be salvaged or trashed. So, I’m getting a late start.
However, a few of you did email me this week, and I told you to take Tulsa (-5.5), that the O/U on Buffalo was 59.5, but that my model suggested a 49-10 game, and that the home edge for Kent was probably going to push that -25.5 into a solid take. Unfortunately, win many-lose some, Buffalo did not cover -30, uncharacteristically showing mercy when up by 25.
But, better late than never, eh? We’ll begin this week by telling you two things.
- As promised, I did the spillover GAM site on Patreon. I’ll probably just do the other half of the picks there as blog posts rather than emailing you a newsletter. No one wants more email.
- And, second, we have to know the games to avoid...the games that Vegas is going to make a killing off of and that are just lines that are too sketchy to recommend.
Not with a 10’ Pole and Stolen Money
ECU -3 1⁄2 at Temple — The Pirates and Owls have been prone to explosive outbursts this season, but can’t quite get over the hump to turn them into wins. And there’s no statistical reason for it either; nor does it matter if they are home or away. This is a toxic line and a true tossup.
Nubber -15 1⁄2 vs. Illinois — Most of the things I said about Louisville apply here to Nebraska. The offense isn’t quite so explosive, but they’ve had a lot tougher schedule too. Illinois has weirdly played better on the road than at home, and they have improved every week. I don’t like the UNL defense (though I think their offense has a good showing). Still, three scores is asking too much for this team.
Va. Tech -3 at Pitt — LOL. Not a chance in hell, buddy.
Large Spreads Worth Your Time
Alabama -30 vs. Kentucky —The Wildcats devour bad passing games and force turnovers a’ plenty if you will let them. Their defense is such that they can be good, but they have to have all 11 guys executing perfectly on every snap. When it doesn’t happen, or when teams are not tripping over themselves, the Kitties are outmatched in talent by nearly everyone in the conference and prone to allowing explosive plays. The UK aggressive man scheme is going to give Mac plenty of ways to shake off the rust, and the UK offense is one that Alabama’s slowly improving defense should have success against: Lower your head, crash the line, make tackles. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Alabama 52 Kentucky 13
UGA -24 1/2 vs. Mississippi State — Battle of the Bulldogs. Too bad only only one is going to show up. This ‘State offense is putrid, outside of Marks; the UGA defense is too aggressive; too few playmakers for the Starkvegas puppies; and an interior line that can be pounded on and pounded on until they break. It won’t be the aesthetic masterpiece that Alabama’s victory was, but UGA has heard for two weeks now how much they suck. So has Mississippi State for that matter. The difference is, one of them actually does. Georgia plays to shorten the game, forces turnovers (and gives up a few big plays), and gets a physical win on both sides of the ball. UGA 38 — MSU 10
Florida -31 1⁄2 at Vanderbilt — I wish I loved anything like Dan Mullen loves being a dickhead. He’ll do it this weekend too. Unlike some coaching staffs (COUGH), getting a Heisman is a priority for his players. The award is not about the award itself...it’s about recruiting and selling prestige. In the SEC, that can be enough to sway a guy that’s on the fence. Gators damn’ near hit 70. Florida 67 Vanderbilt 21
Underdogs with Bite
Ohio State -21 vs. Indiana — No, your eyes did not deceive you: a three-touchdown spread between two Top 10 teams. But, as charmed as IU’s season has been, they’re riding off of an overachieving passing game and some self-destruction by Penn State in the season opener. Ohio State will win this game..and they’ll do so handily. The only question is by how much? I tend to think 17-20 points. In two of their three outings, the secondary has given up a lot of big plays and scores. And it’s not like they’re that good to begin with; talented, yes. Good? Not there yet. On offense, Fields should have some success against IU, but really watch the Hoosiers interior, where they are the softest. OSU will pound the rock mercilessly, and when IU gets impatient, the Buckeyes will pounce. This will be a beating most of the game, but I have IU getting the backdoor underdog cover late to save face. OSU 42- IU 24
Liberty +3 1⁄2 at NC State — DYK that in one game, NCSU gave up almost 400 yards rushing? In a few, they’ve given up over 400 yards passing? They’re bad across the board. DYK that Liberty averages 200+ on the air and the ground — pick your poison, they’ll find a way to beat you elsewhere. DYK that Liberty actually has the better adjusted defense entering this one? That Hugh Freeze DGAF about playing in Raleigh? That he’s angling for his third straight road win over the ACC? That he’ll get it too? The wrong team is favored. Liberty is the better coached team and that matters, even if the talent disparity lets the Wolf Pack get some cheesy touchdowns. Liberty 38 — NCSU 34
For Your Consideration:
BEDLAM! I really like what this Oklahoma team has morphed into over the past two months. Conversely, I really don’t like that the Pokes still haven’t found an offense. This is a game where both sides will try and win on the ground, but in the end it will be the Sooners pass rush and keying on Chuba that matters the most. Only one side is bringing a pistol to the high noon shootout. Sooners 37 — Cowboys 28
Troy -11 1⁄2 vs. MTSU — The Blue Raiders are simply godawful, especially in two core areas: scoring and stopping competent passing games. Troy’s defense isn’t quite the group it has been of late, but the offense has finally gelled and if they’re not looking ahead to their tough stretch run, the Trojans should breeze through this one. The Raiders will get a few on the board, but not nearly enough to mitigate that secondary. Troy 41 MTSU 23
UTSA -8 at Southern Miss — You only think you’ve seen a surrender cobra before. The Eagles ought to actually make that their mascot. They can’t score. They can’t stop anyone. They throw it everywhere despite the strength of the offense being in the backfield. And they host a .500, very hungry Roadrunners’ team with a stout defense finally looking to get back to the postseason. MEEP MEEP MO’FO. UTSA 30 Southern Miss 13
Arkansas State -6 at Texas State — I love the Bobcats defense; hate the offense. They’ll need some points here and they won’t get them, or enough stops, to get the W. Take the Red Wolves.
Air Force -8 vs. New Mexico — The Lobos are better than 0-3, and have been pretty good against the run. But it just hits differently when it’s played a mile high and against the flexbone...with dudes diving at your knees for three hours. AFA is a very hard place to get a win at, and UNM won’t. AFA 30 — UNM 20
LSU -2 at Arkansas — This spread was weird. It began Arkansas -1, and the line moved three points to favor the Tigers. That’s right too. The Hogs are facing another monstrous wide receiver this week, and they’ve not fared well against those types. They’ll force turnovers, and they’ll exploit that bad LSU defense, but it won’t be enough firepower, especially on the outside. LSU 38 Arkansas 30
Appalachian State +5 at Coastal Carolina — Forget the talk about Coastal’s offense, which is unreal fun to watch. This one will be won by the defense...and Coastal’s is better here too...especially at home. It’s a nice marquee matchup, but the Chanties are legit and I simply don’t like or trust what the Mountaineers have done against good defenders this year. Coastal 33 — Appalachian State 20
Mortal Lock of the Week
Missouri -6 at South Carolina — The Gamecocks offense gave it their all last week...and it still wasn’t enough against the war crime defense that Ole Miss trots out. The USC defense? Well...they allowed 700+ yards and then Jaycee Horn peaced out on the season and then Will Muschamp got fired.
How will USCe respond? Against a Mizzou team playing for a chance to get to .500 and earn a bowl they were screwed out of, and with an excellent offensive mind of their own, I’d wager not well. Everyone has given up on this team except for the team itself. And with just three games remaining in its season, with UGA still on tap, I’d bet they have abandoned the notions of postseason play too.
A hungrier, healthier Missouri team grabs the much-needed win in Williams-Brice as the Gamecocks players eyes are turned towards Napier, Chadwell, Sarkisian or Venables...and see bites on what USC is selling in 2021. But that won’t matter this week...unless Missouri starts turning it over a ton. They have had that problem this season, but the DB turnover and accompanying miscommunications and busts will be a net-plus in the Tigers’ column.
Mizzou 38 — USC 28