We had a so-so week in the column last week, at 4-2. Matt was totally buoyed by Jack’s 3-0 week. Both bettors are on fire so far this year, however, so read on for some more free money!
Matt’s plays (YTD 11-6):
Clemson vs. Florida State (FSU +3.5; O/U 51):
I’m back to believing in Clemson football. Their offense seems to be getting better, but I am not sure how much they will need to score to win this game. Bryan Breese will be back this week, and he is one of the top playmakers in the country on the defensive side of the ball. Clemson has beaten both teams which FSU has lost to as well (NCST and Wake Forest). I just think this matchup is too favorable for the Tigers defense, which is still one of the best units in the country. Florida State is a much-improved team, and I am sure the environment in Tallahassee will be crazy. I just can’t see them scoring enough to beat out the Tigers. I like Clemson to win by more than a field goal, and I would lean under in this game as well.
Pick: Clemson -3.5
Washington St. vs Oregon St. (OSU -3.5; O/U 52.5):
A little PAC 12 after dark action here for my picks this week. Wazzu is one of my favorite teams to watch in the country this year, and the Cam Ward show is heading to Corvallis this weekend. If you haven’t seen any of his play yet this year, do yourself a favor and watch a few drives on Saturday night. It’s a fun offense and a fun team. It is also a good team. The score in the USC game is a little misleading from last week; they were only slightly outgained (they were almost identical on yards per play), turned the ball over 0 times, and their 4/13 on 3rd down and 11 penalty effort killed the Cougs. That’s seems fluky and I’ll bet they will be able to convert more of those drives into points this week.
Meanwhile, the Beavers are coming off an amazing win at the buzzer against a truly bad Stanford team. They are also down to a backup quarterback. I think the score of the Utah game from 2 weeks ago is more indicative of what this Oregon State team actually is (Utah won 42-16). They are a fine team, but I think Wazzu is better. I’m predicting the Cougs win outright, but I’ll just take the points just in case of any late-night madness.
Pick: Wazzu +3.5
Arkansas vs. BYU (pk; O/U 66):
Finally, we head to Provo for a matchup of 2 teams that I think have been a little disappointing to this point. To be blunt with this game, the total makes no sense to me at all. Against power 5 opponents this year BYU has played 3 games and has scored 26 against Baylor (took OT to get there), 20 at Oregon, and 20 last week against Notre Dame. Jaren Hall has not been playing well, and they can’t seem to put together a passing attack whatsoever. Their receiving corps is banged up as well.
If we do the same exercise with Arkansas and their P5 opponents this year, they scored 44 at home against South Carolina (scored 3 TD’s in the 4th quarter on drives which started in Gamecock territory; so a complete fluke), 21 at A&M, 26 against Alabama, and finally 17 in Starkville last week. KJ Jefferson missed last week, but all signs are pointing to him playing this week. To me, it doesn’t matter. Both teams want to play a physical brand of run-first football, and this total is something like 10 points too high. Under all day.
Pick: Under 66
Jack’s Picks: YTD 12-4
Tulane vs. USF
I’ve been fading USF all year, and I see no reason to stop now. The scare they put into a disinterested Cincinnati seems to have affected this line, so now I get more free money. USF and Jeff Scott are in a bad way. On the other hand, Willie Fritz and Tulane continue to win games. Some of these are nailbiters, sure, but Tulane is putting teams away this year. Their defense is stingy. Fade the Bulls, baby!
The Pick: Tulane -12
Mississippi State vs. Kentucky
This is another case of “good team vs. mediocre team”. I don’t understand why Vegas continues to put these close lines out for these games. Will Rodgers is one of the best QBs in the country, and the Bulldogs can play legit defense this year. Kentucky has looked moribund on offense and Stoops has had to deal with some major injury issues. Clanga rolls in this one.
The Pick: MSST -7
Nebraska vs. Purdue
(Don’t hate me).
This is a win-win for me. Purdue plays every team close, no matter the opponent. Nebraska appears to have some actual leadership for the first time in 5 years. I’m betting Nebraska keeps it close, and then I win money. If they don’t, and they get blown out, I also win because Nebraska is terrible.
The Pick: Nebraska +14