College football season is back in full swing with conference play gearing up. Tailgates, fall weather, flannels all the signs that college football is back. This week’s slate of games features a ton of top 25 match-ups with huge playoff implications. I’m going to dive into these match-ups along with some other games to keep your eye on this weekend.
“Am I getting enough points to fade Bama?” Game of the Week:
Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns @ Alabama Crimson Tide -48.5
–48.5!!! It may be a daunting number for gamblers to lay 48.5 points and need ‘Bama to win by SEVEN touchdowns. However, let me ask you this. Do you really want to be on the side of Louisiana Lafayette when Tua throws three touchdowns in the first quarter? Alabama has an average margin of victory so far this season of 41, with three of those four games coming vs. Power 5 teams. What makes this Alabama team so scary this year is, along with the usual dominant defense, they have one of the best offenses in the country averaging 53.8 PPG. Alabama is a wagon and you’ll feel dumber taking the points and praying for the Ragin Cajuns to somehow cover this spread. (BTW if you are thinking of taking the points and need some information on Louisiana Lafayette, I covered them last week in my Gamecast Game of the Week)
Weekly Indiana Hoosier Quest for Six:
Indiana Hoosiers -16.5 @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Anyone familiar with Indiana might think Quest for Six is referring to the basketball team trying to hang championship banner six in Assembly Hall (Side note: Archie Miller will do this is the next five years). However, this Quest for Six is referring to IU trying to get to six wins to become bowl eligible. As a Hoosier alum and person with financial interest in the football team’s wins over, this is a huge game. After starting the season 3-0 and some hype building around this team, Indiana fans were brought back down to Earth with last week’s dud against Michigan State. With a tough Big 10 schedule on the horizon, Indiana needs to win this game if it wants to go bowling this year. Seeing Indiana this heavily favorite in a road game makes me nervous but let’s look at Rutgers past few games:
Not an impressive stretch for the Scarlet Knights. Kansas is always regarded as the worst Power 5 team in the country and the only reason I know Buffalo has a football team is because Khalil Mack went there. This is a big number for the Hoosiers to be favorite on the road but Rutgers is a Division 2 program masquerading as a Big Ten team.
Gamecast Game of the Week:
Liberty Flames @ New Mexico Lobos -6.5
Anyone who may not be familiar with these teams, here are a few fun facts:
- Liberty is one of six remaining FBS teams regarded as an independent (can you name the other five?)
- The Lobos head coach, Bob Davie, is the old Notre Dame head coach.
- Retired NFL RB Rashad Jennings went to Liberty. I think everyone had added and dropped him multiple times from their fantasy teams over the years.
Finding a stream for this game will be difficult if you somehow end up with money on this one. If I have to make a pick I ride with the Lobos with this game taking place in Albuquerque. If the ABQ is anything like it was in Breaking Bad, I expect this to be a rowdy crowd all hopped on what remains of Heisenberg’s blue meth.
Late Night Desperation Game of the Week:
Toldeo Rockets @ Fresno State Bulldogs -8; O/U 61.5
Every gambler knows the feeling of getting annihilated with your bets during the day and doubting whether you even have the capital to bet on NFL Sunday. Then you scroll through your phone and see the west coast games yet to kick off. Usually knowing nothing about the teams playing at these late hours, you just blindly throw money on them praying the bet hits to salvage your day. For everyone who finds themselves in this spot this week and deciding what to put their money on, I LOVE the over in Toledo-Fresno State game.
- Toledo is currently 8th in the country scoring 51 PPG while Frenso State is 17th at 43.7 PPG
- Since 2013, Fresno State overs have hit 69.6% in non-conference games the 2nd highest % in the country
- The over is 3-0 in Toledo’s games this season
Bet the over in this game. Whether your hungover from day drinking or you’re going out with friends and rather have a game to follow then talk to them, this is your game.
Premier Match-ups of the Week:
#12 West Virginia Mountaineers @ #25 Texas Tech Red Raiders +3.5; O/U 74.5
Stat to keep an eye on: Texas Tech is 0-7 SU as a home dog since 2015
Nothing better to wake up to on your Saturday morning then seeing a Big 12 shootout in Lubbock. This game will feature two of the best quarterbacks in the country. West Virigina’s Will Grier is regarded as one of the top QB prospects in the upcoming NFL draft and Alan Bowman for the Red Raiders is second in the country in passing yards. In a make or break year for Kliff Kingsbury in Lubbock, the team is off to a hot start coming off a huge win at Oklahoma State last week. A win Saturday vs. the Mountaineers will go a long way for Kingsburry’s job security.
West Virginia does have a high-powered offense led by Grier but the defense is no joke also. They are currently tied for first in the country in scoring defense only allowing 12.3 PPG. However, they haven’t played a team of this caliber offensively yet so it’ll be interesting to see how they hold up.
If I’m gambling on this I still like the over. It’s the Big 12, its Lubbock, you’ll feel sick to your stomach when this game is 21-14 after the first quarter. My advice? Jump on the over it’s more fun and lay the points with West Virginia since they are the better team and get your Saturday off to a good start.
#7 Stanford Cardinal @ #8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish -5.5; O/U 52
Stat to keep an eye on: Since 2012, Stanford is 6-3 ATS/5-4 SU as a road dog
Last week it looked like Stanford was going to suffer its first loss of the season at Oregon but they stormed back from 10 points down with 4 minutes left to win in overtime. Coming into this year, everyone thought it would be the Bryce Love Heisman show but he hasn’t been able to replicate last year’s success. It has been the passing attack led by K.J Costello and receiving of JJ Arcega-Whiteside (what a fucking name) that has been the bright spot for this Stanford team.
After two uninspiring starts from Brandon Wimbush , Brian Kelly made the change to Ian Book last week vs. Wake Forest and it certainly paid dividends. Granted Wake Forest isn’t a powerhouse but putting up 566 total yards of offense on the road had to feel good for a Notre Dame team that struggled offensively the first three weeks of the season.
At 5.5 points, I love Stanford in this spot. Notre Dame is is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home against Stanford. This seems like the typical Notre Dame game where their fans start getting excited and talk about them as a potential playoff team, only to lose in some sort of heartbreaking fashion. Then those fans start to call for Brian Kelly’s head and reminsice about the days Notre Dame was a powerhouse back in the 1930’s-40s. (Side note Brian Kelly killed a kid. People forget that)
#4 Ohio State Buckeyes @ #9 Penn State Nittany Lions +3.5; O/U 71
Stat to keep an eye on: In the Urban Meyer era, Ohio State is 25-2 ATS as a road favorite.
Despite being the best game of the week, if you’re someone who doesn’t support programs with ‘questionable’ moral standards, then this isn’t the game for you. But just looking at what will take place on the field Saturday night in State College will make this a can’t miss game. Ohio State has been absolutely dominant so far this season and looks like a shoe-in for the college football playoff. However, it was only two years ago they were in this same spot vs. Penn State. The white out game in Beaver Stadium at night where a blocked kick return touchdown for Penn State nearly derailed Ohio State’s season. Since James Franklin took over as head coach, Penn State is 25-5 SU at home winning by an average of 17.8 PPG. Additionally Penn State still has their quarterback from that game, Trace Mcsorely, who is Baker Mayfield lite. He plays with the same swagger as Baker and has the experience to lead Penn State to a huge upset win.
Unlike Penn State, the Buckeyes quarterback is different from that 2016 thriller and that’s why I like them in this game. Dwayne Haskins has been the best quarterback in the country this season, sporting a 75% completion percentage and 16-to-1 TD:INT ratio. Haskins ,who I think will end up winning the Heisman this year, has taken the Ohio State offense to another level after 8 seasons of J.T. Barrett under the helm. Despite the hostile environment and missing Nick Bosa, I expect Ohio State to win this game and have no trouble moving the ball on Penn State’s weak defense.
(Final note how fucking crazy is that Urban Meyer stat?! 25-2 ATS as a road favorite! Incredible feat for a guy with memory issues.)