Ed. Note: We are 5-2 in the weeknight games already — and only missed 6-1 by 1⁄2 a point! So, go forth and prosper this weekend, my fellow degenerates.
Last Week: 9-6
2020 Season: 79-51
Mortal Lock of the Week (8-0): Told ya’ that wouldn’t be as close as the score. The Bearcats are legit.
What Went Right: UGA under, BC as a huge ‘dog, ISU, BYU...again, Texas underdog (and I called that outright win/OSU choke too!), Ohio State, etc.
What Went Wrong: A whole lot of spreads by favorites got annihilated in outright losses: K State, LSU, Meatchicken, and RU all got obliterated (well, not obliterated in Ann Arbor, it just felt that way). Suffice it to say, Vegas had an outstanding week at America’s expense. But, least these chumps had to good grace to outright lose if they can’t cover a spread. SMH.
This week we welcome to the show the Big 10’s perennial whipping boys/lap dogs, the MAC and PAC12. Since we’ve added a bunch more teams and are now near a complete complement, I had to break this down into two editions. The MAC special is here, and below we welcome the P12 to our degeneracy. On with the show.
Not with a 10’ Pole and Stolen Money:
UNC -11 at Duke — LOL. F’ you, Mack Brown Football Team On The Road. #NeverAgain. This team has been awful away from Chapel Hill. Cutcliffe is a better coach too, for what that’s worth. UNC could win by 20 or lose by a touchdown.
UCLA -6 1⁄2 at Colorado — The retread and his trash team go to Boulder to face one of the guys who left the Bruins in such a mess. This will be a slapfight of the stupidest sort. Stay away.
SJSU -10 at San Diego State — I love the Aztecs, and especially at home. But with A&M transfer Nick Starkel at QB, there’s a lot to love about the Spartans too. This is the perfect offense for the wide-open MWC. So, if SDSU can’t force turnovers and establish themselves against a surprisingly solid SJSU front, then I’m not sure they can pass their way to a victory. It’s still a limited offense. An outright upset is in play if the cards fall into West Coast Sparty’s lap. Steer well clear of this one.
Michigan -3 1⁄2 at Indiana — The Wolverines have far too much talent to look as bad as they did last week. I don’t know that they win this game, much less cover. In fact, I think they do neither. But, just in case athleticism wins the day, better stay away (or take the Hoosiers at home, if you insist on gambling.)
Bet The House, Baby
Oklahoma -38 vs. Kansas — We don’t like many big spreads this week, but we love this one. Since the RRR, the Sooners have won twice on the road by at least three scores. This Kansas team has lost by 40, 41, and 30. They even lost to Coastal...by three scores...at home. Sooners will show no mercy as they get that young starting offense more reps than is savory. Oklahoma 65 Kansas 13
Mississippi State -19 1⁄2 at Vanderbilt — Should any team in this league lose to Mississippi State by three scores? No. But Vandy is not any team. It is a team vying to be an historically bad one in SEC play — and it’s also one that looks to have given up. Rogers’ mobility gives the Bulldogs offense more spark — we saw that plainly. Coupled with the lack of Kylin Hill drama (he’s off to the NFL), a health Jo’Quavious Marks (he’s fine), and a very good defense, and that’s more than enough to get it done here for CLANGA. Mississippi State 31 Vandy 0
Texas A&M -10 at Sakerlina — Why is this so low? Probably that whole Jimbo-underachieving thing coupled with that whole Gamecocks-play-over-their-head thing. Both of those will be true again, for what it’s worth. But that just makes this one closer to 17 than 21. Aggies 34 Sakerlina 17
Coastal Carolina vs South Alabama + 18 1⁄2 — The ole’ data machine tells me that this one is closer to a 16 point game than an 18 1⁄2 point tiff. But, the Chanticleers have been merciless at home this season; they have been an outrageous +6 in TOM at home; and this is South’s first road trip of any significant length. Sometimes you ride trends, and my eyeballs tell me this is 21-24 pointer. Coastal 41 — South 20. (Now if this doesn’t hit, remind me next week why you never overrule the numbers.)
Marshall -44 1⁄2 vs. UMass — UMass was mauled in their first game of the season by a far worse Georgia State team. The Thundering Herd probably have the best G5 defense and MU won’t allow a double-digits in this one while the offense rings up the Minutemen like McRib value meal. Marshall 59 UMass 6
For Your Consideration:
Tulane -5 1⁄2 at ECU (O/U) — Tulane still can’t stop the forward pass. And ECU still can’t stop much of anything. I don’t like this spread, but I do like the total — over 60 1⁄2 . This one is gonna’ get weird.
La Tech +2 at North Texas (0/U) — What happens when two of the Top 15 passing offenses meet two of the Bottom 15 passing defenses? Points, all the points. It’s ridiculously high, but I’m rolling with over 71 1⁄2. If you thought Tulane / ECU was weird, wait till this one, something like 48-45 would not shock me at all.
Oregon State -1 1⁄2 vs. Wazzu — Rolovich is new in Pullman, but is not a new head coach. He’s a June Jones run n’ shoot disciple who put in good work at Hawaii, and he even has some of the pieces he needs to implement his offense. That said, it’s bad news when the first game a suspect defense with a new scheme gets to play is against the high-flying Beavers. This will be your #PAC12AfterDark game, and should be a fun one. But take the home team. Oregon State 38 Wazzu 34
Nevada -16 1⁄2 vs Utah State — Has anyone destroyed a series of programs quite so fast like Gary Andersen has done at Wisconsin, Oregon State, and now even Utah State? This team is awful; the Wolfpack are not, esp. that swarming defense. *Ride the ‘Pack 35 - 10*
BYU -3 at Boise State — If I were a Broncos fan, I would be concerned about facing BYU with an untested secondary and a defensive line that was helpless against AFA. This is not Air Force. The Cougs are more athletic, more physical, more seasoned, are deep at running back, have great special teams, and overall are just salty as hell. Only the +10.1 PPG home field for the Smurf Turf prevents this one from being a multi-score game. The Cougars pass their first show-me test. BYU 31 Boise State 24
Army -5 1⁄2 vs. Air Force — One of the unspoken crappy road teams in football: Air Force. Dominant at home — the triple option and playing at 5000 feet does that. But, they are far more mortal when hitting the road. And they don’t travel just anywhere this week; they head to West Point to face the outlandishly physical Black Knights...a team with a better passing game than AFA, that runs the same offense as AFA, and that boasts a better defense than AFA. Slobberknocker central, for sure. But the Cadets take a big step in gaining the 2020 Commander in Chief trophy. Army 27 — Air Force 17
Cincinnati -13 1⁄2 vs. Houston — Gracious, is this .500 Cougars team not as good as their record. Goodness, is this Bearcats team better than theirs...and they’re undefeated. Holgo is stealing money; Fickell is underpaid. That about sums it up. Cincinnati abuses this squad at home. Big day on the ground for the Bearcats. Cincy 45 Houston 23
Underdogs with Bite
Liberty + 14 1⁄2 at Virginia Tech — Do you trust this Va. Tech team at home? Or on the road? Or anywhere? Liberty is coming off a bye. Hugh is a sneaky bastard too. Is the upset in play? Maybe. Va. Tech has lost to worse teams than this one. The Flames will have some problems containing Khalil Herbert, but I don’t know that Hokies can ever quite pull away either. That hook dooms gamblers. 34-21
Miami -11 1⁄2 at NC State — Given how the ‘Canes have played against bowl-ish type teams and on the road, and how well the Wolfpack have looked of late, call this one a hunch. The ole’ pewter says the ‘Canes should win by about 9 points. I think it may be closer than that...and certainly not double digits. Want a four-alarm upset alert? Try the Wolf Pack at home. NC State 29 Miami 26
Notre Dame +7 vs. Clemson — I know, I know. I’ve been ragging on the Irish’s lack of team speed and spotty offense all year. But have you seen the Clemson secondary...or the OL, for that matter? This team does not like to be bullied. The Irish are strong enough to do it up front too. No Sunshine. True Freshman on the road against Touchdown Jesus. Walk-on corners, converted wide-outs...hell, even white guys on defense. That’s a lot of impediments here for Dabo. Etienne goes off sporadically, but not consistently enough, and a Tigers’ late turnover is the difference. Notre Dame 28 Clemson 27 (...either that or Notre Dame implodes hilariously. Either one will be funny. #MissingRing #NeverForget)
UTSA +4 1⁄2 at Rice — Never bet on food. Or, more relevantly, when a good defense meets a team that plays good defense at home, expect a close game. This one will be. I like the battle-hardened Roadrunners just a little more, though. UTSA with the road “upset,” 26-23
Florida +3 1⁄2 vs. UGA — Cocktail Party time. You cannot convince me that this Georgia team will get enough stops combined with enough offense to pull this one out. Florida will get scored on, even by a pedestrian-to-bad UGA offense. That’s just the matter of it. But if we know anything about Kirby, it’s that his corners can be had when in aggressive man. The Dawgs will play it though — asking Georgia to not blitz is like asking your lady to not eat your french fries: no matter what they say or intend, it’s always going to be on the menu. And, even if UGA sells out on the outside and it succeeds, the ‘Dawgs have no answer for Kyle Pitts. He’s an instant mismatch on anyone in the country. The wrong team is favored. Buck the trend, and ride the Gators. Cousin Eddie gets the Buttcut-sized monkey off his back and sets up ‘Bama - Florida (Round 10) in Atlanta.
Tennessee +2 1⁄2 at Arkansas — The Vols are a turnover machine, and especially with Gitmo likely starting. The Vols have more talent, but the Hogs defense makes more plays and puts its offense in a position to win. This is a must-win for a Volunteers team that is teetering on the verge of collapse. But there is no pressure in the world for the home Hogs. Feleipe Franks isn’t great, but he’s better than anyone UT suits up. That’ll be the difference. Arkansas with the “upset”.
Mortal Lock of the Week
You know what? I had a different game here initially (Oklahoma. And you’re free to select that one if you will). But, the more that I think about, there’s another one that I like here too.
SMU -17 at Temple — This Owls team is just...a calamity. They found a way to give Navy the Middies their only victory of the year; they lost by five scores to Tulane on the road; they have allowed 31, 39, 41, and 38 points on defense. They are last or next-to-last in every major defensive category. They have given up 10 passing scores in just four games — and two of those teams ran the triple option. They’ve turned the ball over 9 times in four games (and two of those teams they played were previously winless Navy and winless USF), and now they have to
travel to Fort Worth to face one of the AAC’s most surprising defenses, one that is +5 in TOM, and has the second-most lethal offense, behind only UCF. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
The Owls offense has been competent against godawful teams. So, I expect them to get a few shots in here. But the Mustangs are just light years ahead of Temple at this point in the season; they’ll be able to run and pass with impunity. SMU 54 — Temple 29. And, hey, if you’re not comfortable with this one, Oklahoma is always up there.