Jack is on vacation this week, so it’s just Matt’s picks. Luckily, he’s still a winner.
Matt’s plays (YTD 12-8):
Boise St. vs Air Force (AFA -1.5; O/U 47.5):
This Mountain West Conference matchup has some serious implications for the Mountain division. This is a must win for Air Force for them to have any shot at going to the conference championship game. Boise State has seen a bit of a resurgence on offense their last 2 weeks since QB Hank Bachmeier has jumped into the transfer portal (scored 40 and 35 against SDSU and Fresno St. respectively). However, those two teams are putrid offensively, and Boise was able to control the ball all game. Taylen Green is their new QB, and he has brought juice to the ground game. This will be his first ever road start, though,and playing a disciplined Air Force team on the road here is a tough spot.
I like Air Force to be able to run their brand of offense in this spot. They’ll be able to mitigate some of Boise’s recent success with ball control. With their backs against the wall at home, thisis a perfect spot for a veteran coach, Troy Calhoun, and one of the most experienced rosters in the country. I’ll lay the number with the Air Force. This number has been moving toward the Broncos all week, so if you are going to bet you may want to wait until closer to game time.
Pick: Air Force -1.5
Minnesota vs. Penn St. (PSU -4; O/U 44.5):
This is a huge spot for both of these teams coming off of disappointing performances against ranked opponents. Minnesota looked completely lost on offense against Illinois last week save Mo Ibrahim. QB Tanner Morgan may not be able to participate, and if that is the case, they will be going with freshman Athan Kaliakmanis. He went 2/6 for 17 yards with 2 picks in his first career action last week. Now the Gophs may be asking him to make his first career start on the road in the 2ndbiggest stadium in America. Good luck with that.
Penn State must be disappointed in that Michigan performance last week. However, I still think they have more to offer offensively than the Gophers, and they will be primed to get up off the mat at home. The environment will be electric, and this looks like a perfect get right spot. Even if Tanner Morgan suits up, I am not afraid of this number.
Pick: PSU -4
Miss St. vs Alabama (ALA -21; O/U 60.5):
Nick Saban has owned Mississippi State in recent memory. He’s won the last 4 matchups by an average of 35 points per game. This is a better Miss St. team than some of those in the past, but have fun going to Tuscaloosa to play a night game with the Tide coming off a heart-breaking loss. Even more interesting is the last 2 regular season losses which Alabama endured prior to last week (2021 against Texas A&M and 2019 against LSU) they beat the brakes off Mississippi St. the following week both times(49-9 last year and 38-7 in 2019). It is an unfortunate trend for the Bulldogs, but they appear to be Nick Saban’s punching bag to cope with his rare losses in the regular season.
I expect recent history to continue, but 21 is a big number. I think Alabama is firing on all cylinders out of the gate and scores early and often. Following that logic, I’ll take Alabama laying 11.5 in the first half, which is a little safer in my eyes than the 21 points for the whole game.
Pick: Alabama 1H -11.5