We are going to forget last week happened. I went 1-3… I only picked 4 games last week since it was a limited card with tough lines. I think we have a great chance to bounce back this week with plenty of games to chose from! Also, thank God Big10 football is back!
Florida State +4 @ Louisville: This line made sense a few weeks ago, when FSU was still beholden to James Blackman as their starting QB. Now they have switched to Louisville transfer Jordan Travis. He is a massive upgrade. He came in during the middle of the Jacksoville State game when FSU was losing through 3 quarters. He erased that deficit and then came back to beat UNC last week as 2 touchdown underdogs. Travis is best as a dual threat and does a great job of limiting the turnovers that Blackman was prone to. Travis averaged 6.7 yards per carry against UNC last week. That will pose a large problem for Louisville who has a bottom 25 rush defense. The real disappointment for Lousiville has been their offense. Despite some elite talent at the skill positions, they are below average in nearly every offensive category. FSU has new momentum and Louisville will continue to disappoint. Take FSU +4!
Tulsa -10.5 vs. USF: This is not your father’s Tulsa team. They might be a force to be reckoned with this year. This is a great situational spot for them as well. They come in off a shocking upset of UCF where they won as 20 point dogs! This would be a letdown spot, but they’ve now had 2 weeks off to prepare for Southern Florida. USF has come off of 2 hard fought shootouts where they put up some points. They come in tired against a well rested team that might have the best defensive line they’ve faced so far. USF also has a laundry list of injuries to contend with. The last few games have clearly taken their toll. I know USF has put up points in their last 2 games, but that was weak competition. Tulsa held Oklahoma State and UCF to 42 combined points. That is a great accomplishment against those 2 potent offenses. Tulsa wins this by 3 scores. Take Tulsa -10.5!
Pittsburgh +9.5 @ Notre Dame: Sometimes certain teams can punch above their weight class against particular programs. That is certainly the case with Pittsburgh when the travel to South Bend on Saturday. Pitt has covered four of the past five times facing a ranked Notre Dame team. In those 4 games they’ve even won 2 straight up. Pitt also does well playing against top ranked opponents. Coach Narduzzi is 4-1 ATS against top 5 opponents. It is easy to see why. They tend to slow down the pace, play great defense, and put up enough points to cover numbers against weak opponents. This pitt defense is actually better than in years past. ND is a great running team, but just average in the passing game. Stopping the run is Pitt’s specialty. They are second in the country in run defense only giving up 2.1 yards per rush! I always love betting against ND when they are forced to pass the ball. Notre Dame is overrated as well. They’ve beaten Duke, South Florida, FSU (with Blackman as qb), and Louisville. I expect a hard fought lower scoring game here. 9.5 points is a gift and I would not be surprised if Pitt won outright.
Rutgers +13.5 @ Michigan State: I always love grabbing points in a game with a low total (45 here). I know it is hard to bet on Rutgers, but there is reason for optimism. They have a new head coach in Greg Schiano and they have been able to get some impressive (impressive by Rutger’s standards) transfers on the offense. This is more of a bet against MSU. Mel Tucker now takes over after a great tenure by legendary coach Mark Dantonio. Tucker does not come into a good situation and I’m very concerned about how late of a hire he was. This tells me that he wasn’t MSU’s first or even second choice to take the job. It seems like they settled. The Spartans were awful on offense last year (109th in the country). I just don’t see MSU scoring enough to cover a big number here. Not to mention that Tucker wasn’t exactly a great defensive coach at Colorado. They gave up 30 points per game. Since the start of 2018, MSU is 6-11 ATS as a favorite and has lost 5 games outright. They are even worse as a double digit favortite… 2-9 ATS in their last 11. It’s a hard pill to swallow but take Rutgers +13.5.
Clemson -46 vs. Syracuse: Syracuse won the turnover battle to Liberty 2-1 and still failed to cover by 20 points. The week prior they won the turnover battle to Duke 4-0 and failed to cover by 16 points. For reference, when a team wins the turnover battle by 4+ they win ~96% of the time. The point is, that despite being put in favorable situations, Syracuse can’t win or even cover against lesser opponents. Clemson is the best team in the country, and I don’t think its very close. I know this is a massive number and clearly a square play. But hey sometimes its hip to be square… Clemson beat Georgia tech by 66 last week. Dabo hasn’t forgotten when Syracuse upset them back in 2017 as huge underdogs. If he has the chance to embarrass them, I think he will. Take Clemson minus the massive number.
Ohio State -26.5 vs. Nebraska: Ohio State was very unlucky to not make the national championship last year. In my opinion they were the best team in the country last year. The rumor is that Ryan Day thinks this is the most talented team he’s ever had. That’s saying something considering how good his first few years have been. Scott Frost may be a good coach, but his start at Nebraska has been shaky at best. They’ve had 2 straight years with massive turnover problems combined with not being able to cause TO’s themselves. Nebraska’s 2 best pash rushers are now in the NFL. The returning starters have combined for only 14 sacks. The cornhuskers lost to OSU by 41 last season and I think the time off only helps the well-coached Ohio State squad. Take OSU -26.5.
Iowa State +3.5 @ Ok State: Iowa State and coach Matt Campbell love the underdog spot. They are 21-8 ATS as a dog under Campbell’s tenure. Not only that he has covered 6 straight games vs. AP top-10 teams. I think ISU has been undervalued by the markets ever since their loss to ULL. ULL is not a bad team, and anyone can lose to them on a given day. Keep in mind, ISU has won and covered 2 straight against Oklahoma and Texas Tech. OK state’s offense depends on running the football, but ISU has the 13th ranked rush defense in the country. This game will likely come down to a field goal and getting the hook on a key number here is super important. Take ISU plus the points.
Michael’s 2019 CFB Record: