As discussed in yesterday’s TNF preview, I’m hoping I don’t have an Eagles like hangover this week in my college football picks. Last week I was seeing the board clearly and the numbers were all clicking. Hawaii pulled out the late victory to not only to cover the -3 spread but also regain the coveted Paniolo trophy. Texas against the spread and money line pick may have been the crown achievement of my gambling career. I had people coming up to me on the streets thanking me for that one. I even had one couple tell me they finally have enough money to send their daughter to college. Those are the moments that really make this all worth it. However, its time to move on and focus on the Week 7 slate. Not the strongest slate of games this week but there are a couple out there with serious playoff implications. Lets dive in!
“Am I getting enough points to fade Bama?” Game of the Week:
Missouri Tigers @ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide -28
Anyone who has bet on Alabama the last two weeks knows it has been an absolute roller coaster. Each of the last two games, Alabama has been covering monster spreads for most of the game only to give up the backdoor heartbreak special touchdown right at the end for anyone on the Tide. Last week was especially cruel as Alabama scored to go up 41 with under two minutes to and appeared seal the victory. But then Arkansas took the kick back into Alabama territory and scored with 13 seconds left shattering the hearts of degenerates across the country. HOWEEVVVA (Stephen A. voice), despite tough losses the last two weeks I implore you to take Bama again this week. Now Missouri isn’t a scrub like the Tide’s last two opponents. Mizzou QB Drew Lock is at the top of draft boards for the 2019 NFL draft, with one article comparing him to Patrick Mahomes. This will definitely be the best QB Alabama has faced up until this point but it doesn’t matter to me. Lets look at few tidbits why I’m all over the Tide in this one:
- Since 2015, Missouri is 5-12 ATS on the road, worst mark in the SEC
- Missouri’s top WR Emanuel Hall is not expected to play Saturday
- Alabama is 22-0 SU in its last 22 games at home, winning by an average of 31.77
- Missouri has allowed 28.8 points per game, which ranks 84th in the nation and 284.8 passing yards per game, which ranks 117th in the nation
This one is easy for me. Nick Saban will not allow his team to not cover three straights game. He won’t, I promise you. Lay the points with Bama and scream, “ROLL TIDE!”
Weekly Indiana Hoosier Quest for Six:
Iowa Hawkeyes @ Indiana Hoosiers +5.5
I will not let Indiana football trigger me, I will not let Indiana football trigger me, I will not let Indiana football trigger me. After last week’s debacle vs. Ohio State that led to me having to pay a handsome fee to Apple to get my phone fixed, I know I can’t let my emotions get to me when watching this Hoosier team. Similar to how Notre Dame smacks the “Play like a Champion today” sign, I have a “I will not let Indiana football trigger me” sign in my room to remind me I shouldn’t get too upset at what this team does. But lets focus on this weeks game vs. Iowa, which is a huge one for the Hoosiers. With a lot of tough games coming up, if Indiana wants to go bowling this year they have to win this one Saturday. It’s homecoming this weekend in Bloomington, which doesn’t mean anything considering the Hoosiers haven’t won a homecoming game since 2010. In come the Hawkeyes who are the same they always are. They play stingy defense (allowing 16.6 ppg) and play a methodical, grind you out type of offense. You’d think 5.5 is a big number for Iowa to be favorite on the road, but not so fast my friend.
- Since 2015, Iowa is 8-2 ATS as a road favorite winning by an average of 17.1 PPG; this includes a 17 point win last week at Minnesota
- Also since 2015, Indiana is a measly 1-9 SU as home dogs (WOOF!)
All the numbers are pointing to the Hawkeyes in this one. But you know what, throw the numbers out the window in this one! Indiana realizes the importance of this game if they want to go to a bowl this season. I regret this already and will probably regret it five minutes into the game, but I’m all over the Hoosiers this weekend which will probably lead to another cracked phone.
Gamecast Game of the Week:
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders @ Florida International Golden Panthers -3; O/U 56.5
Blue raiders, golden panthers what a great mascot matchup in this one. I would love to see a Mascot game between these two teams in the old NCAA football video games. To see eleven Blue Raiders going at eleven Golden Panthers would be must see TV. Now you may remember Middle Tennessee from their March Madness runs the last couple of years that included upsets over Michigan State and Minnesota. Now for the football team? They have actually had some success making a bowl game in four of the last five seasons.
FIU is no push over also having won eight games last season. They are coached by Butch Davis who you may remember was the coach at the U who built those teams up into the powerhouse they were in the early 2000s. It’s amazing to me a guy like that who goes from coaching Miami and the Redskins then finds himself coaching at Florida International. Perhaps some indiscretions during his time at North Carolina led him to coaching in C-USA, but it’s certainly a far fall from grace for a guy who is credited for building up one of the best college football teams of all time.
Looking for a play in this one? Take the over at 56.5. Both of these teams can put up points and a game with this electric of mascots certainly won’t be boring.
Late Night Desperation Game of the Week:
Boise State Broncos @ Nevada Wolfpack +16.5; O/U 61
Another rivalry game in this week’s installment of the LND game of the week. I’m 2-0 so far in my picks in these games so listen the f*** up! I wish this game was being played on the blue turf in Boise which would would add to the purity of the late night desperation game. You wake up from a day of boozing and turn on this one to see the blue turf and think what did I drink today? Makes you wonder if your eye sight is permanently damaged from whatever shenanigans you got into during the day.
Getting back to the game, this rivalry has had some memorable games in the past. In 2010, Nevada upended Boise State’s undefeated season in overtime and a chance to play in the National Championship game. This game actually featured a lot of future NFL players including Colin Kaepernick, Doug Martin, Rishard Matthews and Titus Young (get out soon!). Since then, Boise State has won the last five matchups. In this one I like Boise State and the under. 16.5 is a big number in a rivalry game on the road but Boise is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games at Nevada. I usually don’t like betting the under in many games but the under has hit in five of these teams last six matchups. Ride Boise, they probably still have some left over players from the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, and hopefully this game helps quell any ill effects from the days activities.
Premier Games of the Week:
#2 Georgia Bulldogs @ #13 LSU Tigers +7.5; O/U 50.5
State to keep an eye on: Since the start of last season, LSU is 4-0 ATS, with three outright wins, as an underdog
After last week’s loss to Florida, LSU’s playoff hopes are dangling on a string. They are currently in a run of four straight games vs. ranked opponents but luckily for them the next three are all in Baton Rouge. It’s going to be an uphill battle for Coach O and the Tigers but playing in front of the raucous crowd in Death Valley certainly helps. Joe Burrow is definitely more competent then any other recent LSU quarterback, but he has thrown for under 200 yards in four of LSU’s six games. It doesn’t get much easier for him with a stingy Georgia defense coming to town ranking top-20 in passing and rushing defense, along with only allowing 13 PPG.
Along with that great defense, Georgia’s offense is putting up 43 PPG. Their running game is averaging 245 YPG good for 16th in the country. They can throw multiple guys at you out of the backfield, including leading rusher Elijah Holyfield son of Evander Holyfield. Sophomore QB Jake Fromm has taken the next step this year completing passes at a 72.8% clip along with 12 touchdowns to only two interceptions. However, this will definitely be his toughest test yet facing an LSU defense only allowing 18.5 PPG. Where am I leaning in this one? Lets take a look at the trends coming into this one:
- LSU is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games in conference
- Georgia is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 on the road
- Georgia is 3-5-1 ATS in its last 9 games against LSU
This is a tough one for me. LSU at home always seems like a sure bet especially when getting 7.5. Yet, I’m leaning Bulldogs in this one. Georgia is getting to the Alabama level where they are loaded with NFL level talent all throughout their roster. They were on the verge of winning it all last year and expect them to be right in it again this year. Georgia’s defense will give LSU problems all day and the Bulldogs explosive offense will make too many plays for LSU to be able to keep up.
#15 Wisconsin Badgers @ #12 Michigan Wolverines -10; O/U 49
Stat to keep an eye on: Wisconsin is 15-5-1 ATS, with nine outright wins, in its past 21 games as an underdog
Since the opening night dud against Notre Dame, Michigan has feasted on weaker opponents during an easy stretch of their schedule. Now we get to see what Michigan is really made of with three tough games ahead. Just like LSU, Michigan still has an outside chance of making the CFP and cannot afford any more slip ups. Expect this game to be a classic Big 10 drag em out, run-run-pass-punt type of game. It’s supposed to be a crisp 45 degrees around kickoff for this one in Ann Arbor.
Seeing the spread at -10 is a little head scratching to me. Yes, Michigan has won five straight but the best team they played in that stretch was Northwestern in which they barely squeaked out a win. This will be Shea Patterson’s toughest test since that flop of a performance in South Bend. This is the guy that was supposed to finally give Harbaugh his quarterback who could take Michigan to the next level. To finally start competing with Ohio State again. Saturday night in Ann Arbor will be a huge test for Shea magic.
Wisconsin certainly has shown they weren’t worthy of a preseason top 5 ranking. They are extremely benefited by the fact they play in the Big Ten West making it a much easier path to double digit wins. Nonetheless, this is the same Wisconsin team we’ve become accustomed to, they run the ball well (4th in the country) and play good defense (allowing 16 PPG). Alex Hornibrook is Alex Hornibrook, which means blehhh. Nothing exciting about watching him play football and I think the most impressive thing about him is the fact all his passes don’t get intercepted. This is a well-coached, fundamental team that will not be intimidated by the Big House.
I like Michigan to win this game at home but I’m taking the points with Wisconsin. The Badgers are 9-1-1 ATS in its last 11 games vs Michigan. Michigan has been propped up a few points for their recent stretch of wins but they aren’t ten points better then Wisconsin. Expect a low scoring, grind em out game where Shea Patterson is able to make bigger plays then Alex Hornibrook.