Hi, folks. We’ll have our regularly schedule GAM post later this week.
But, I wanted go ahead and share a few of the weeknight games with you. I broke all seven of them down over here, and I’ll give you guys three of them. Football is back tonight, and it may just be a good game to boot (emphasis on might).
Without further preamble, here is what the data suggests will happen on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday:
Appalachian State -4 at ULL — Ignore the road game here for ASU; ULL has one of the worst performance-adjusted home fields over the past three years: not even three full points (2.97). But, neither are there real trends to follow spread-wise. ULL hasn’t covered as a home underdog well, nor has ASU covered as a road favorite very well. In some fairness, ASU tends to be way, way overpriced on road, with an average road favorite of -11.33. This is not such a game, however. And they both excel as underdogs, when they can play the disrespect card.
The numbers tell you roughly what your eyeballs do. The Ragin’ Cajuns have regressed this year; not just offensively, either. It’s not only players distracted by big paydays. Napier knows his ass is gone to a Power 5 in about 3-4 months, and he looks (and has looked) fairly mailed-in on the year.
ULL has particularly been crapulent at times on defense, giving up almost as many explosive plays in the first 6 games of the year as they did all all of 2020. And, well, ASU has just been the better team across the board: played and beaten better teams; played better in their loss; have the better running game; have the better passing game; have the better defense (esp. their red zone unit); have the better kicking game; and have converted opponent mistakes better.
Even giving ULL their almost-3 for being at home; we don’t get the Cajuns springing an upset, much less covering. We do get a more respectable loss though.
Mountaineers do Mountaineer things. Again. After probably looking like crap for an entire half. Again.
34-26, ASU (-8.65 at 88%), and it’s probably going to be a bit higher scoring than you’d suspect too.
San Diego State -9 at San Jose State — NoCal vs. SoCal; power running Aztecs who lead the MWC in TOM against a tissue-soft Spartans team that has to throw to win and is dead-last in the MWC in TOM.
Sensing a trend here? San Diego State is better in every conceivable way, and they have a very portable style of play. You learn a 32 Belly in Pee Wee; it’s not particularly exotic. So, a road game isn’t quite the impediment here for SDSU as it would be for others. (And certainly not at one of the worst homefields in the country, and the second-lowest in the MWC behind only UNLV, at -.81 points).
This is just manning up, controlling the clock and point of attack, forcing TOs, and then rolling up and rolling over a softer team. Football, in a word.
The Spartans are in the midst of a sophomore slump, and do way too many things too poorly to compete in this one. The Aztecs are just better, and this SJSU team doesn’t have the defense, and is far too careless, to hang the L on them.
The Aztecs by two touchdowns: SDSU -14.82 at 93%
Navy +11 at Memphis — Remember last week when I said I’ll just trust the numbers and take a bad FSU Seminoles team to cover +17 at Chapel Hill? Welp. They did. And in the process kicked the shit out of the Tar Heels, buying Mike Norvell a much-needed W.
You’re going to just have to trust me here when I say that the data on this one shocked me too.
In Annapolis, the Middies would be favored by -6, -6.5 points or so. On a neutral field, that drops to about -3.75. And on the road, in Memphis, it’s telling me that Navy is still the better team. From a pick’em to Navy by .5.
The Tigers defense is as bad as we’ve ever seen it, the offense has regressed, and Memphis is turning it over far too much. Their special teams are still the nation’s best, so if this turns into a kicking contest, the Tigers get the advantage. And, yes, they do play a lot better at home. But spread-wise, UM is awful against Navy, and has been forever.
I’ll just have to trust the numbers again, even though I remain remarkably skeptical. But I was skeptical last week too, and skeptical of UConn at Vandy, and ODU at Marshall etc. The numbers don’t lie. Navy, as it has done 6 of the last 7 times against Memphis, and shall cover. How? Not sure. But I’m going with it. (Also, Silverfeld has been flat out rotten against the number: he’s just 2-6 as a home favorite, with two S/U losses).
Navy -.56 at 64%, Navy +11 at 86.51%. TL; DR — Navy won’t lose by 11+ points.
Again, this is one of those picks where I just have to trust performance-adjusted metrics, so I will. Navy is the call, and an outright win is very possible.
We’ll back back later this week, but for now, enjoy this trifecta — one for each weeknight. And the other 4 games, including Clemson at Syracuse and Oregon hosting a scrappy Cal team, are over at my companion site.