We have a late breaking article coming in! Before the action REALLY kicks off on Friday night, my old friend Matt is here with some nice betting picks for this week.
Wake Forest vs. Vanderbilt (Vandy +13; O/U 65):
This is just a numbers game to me. Sam Hartman is back for Wake Forest, and he commandeered the Demon Deacons to the number 3 scoring offense in the country in 2021 (41 ppg). He also returns his top receiving threat from last year in A.T. Perry. Defensively, they were well below average last year (88th in scoring D, 83rd in yards per play, 106th in yards per carry). I just don’t think they will offer that much more resistance compared to last year.
On the Vandy side, they have scored 63 and 49 points in their first 2 games this year (albeit against Hawaii and Elon), and have done so mainly with their ground game. I like what they have on offense this year (QB Mike Wright is electric), however defense is a completely different story. They surrendered 31 points and almost 500 yards of offense in their game against the mighty Elon Phoenix last week. Last year the Commodores had one of the worst defensive units in the country. So, I don’t believe that either team will be too concerned with trying to play any defense. I love Wake Forest and that offense, and if they are at all emblematic of what we saw last year, I would not be surprised to see them throw up a 50 spot here. Vandy will do their part to score the rest I need for the over.
Pick: Over 65
Iowa St. vs. Iowa (Iowa -4; O/U 40):
Am I aware of Matt Campbell’s struggles in this matchup (Iowa has won every matchup since he’s taken the job)? Yes. Do I trust the Cyclones to win this game? No. Do I need the Cyclones to win this game to cover the spread? No.
This is a fade of Iowa’s offense (if you can even call it an offense) more than anything else. Their offense tied FCS South Dakota State’s 3-3 last week. Who knows how that game shakes out were it not for the two safeties Iowa’s D was able to score (that’s 7-3 the old-fashioned way). To me anything over a field goal in this game is a take for the Cyclones. I could see Iowa having a lead throughout a low scoring game, and Iowa State getting a nice backdoor score at the end. And besides, Matt Campbell will surely get the monkey off his back at some point, right?
Pick: Iowa State +4
Syracuse vs. UCONN (UCONN +22.5; O/U 49.5):
Syracuse was impressive offensively last week, and they trounced Louisville in the dome. Sean Tucker is a fun player to watch at RB, and the pass game looked pretty good compared to the last couple of seasons. However, this has been a consistently bad offense unit for several years, and this line feels like a little bit of an overreaction to last week. Dino Babers is coaching for his job, and he could be looking forward to one of the Orange’s most important matchups of the season next week against Purdue. I could easily Syracuse going as vanilla as possible on offense and sleepwalking through this game.
Meanwhile, Jim Mora has the Huskies looking semi-competent through his first two games at the helm. They were able to easily cover week 0 at Utah State, who won the MWC championship last year and returned their coaching staff and QB. Then, they handled an FCS opponent last week in Central Conn. St. (any win is a huge win for UCONN). The Huskies struggling to score does scare me a little, but this just feels like the classic “too many points.” So, I’ll hold my nose here and take the home underdog.
Pick: UCONN +22.5