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We are right back in the saddle for another big weekend of college football. I’ve spent all week staring at the data, breaking down the teams and I’ve found five more wins for us, so let’s get after it!
FRIDAY, Liberty -6.5 @ Syracuse (-112)
I love this game, gang. Malik Willis and the Liberty Flames have been slow-starters early this season. I think we benefit from that. Despite what we all think of them, they have covered each of their first three games. Syracuse is a different story, rotating quarterbacks in an attempt to find consistent offense. They put some big points up against FCS Albany, but their quarterbacks were average, still. Liberty still has Hugh Freeze leading this offense into the Carrier Dome. One season ago, they were 17-point victors in the same place a season ago. Give me offense, or give me death by Flames. HAMMER TIME (3-1 this season) on Liberty -6.5.
This one is pretty simple to me. Central Michigan is better overall than FIU is even though their record shows them at 1-2. They’ve road-warriored at two SEC teams and the first one they played well, especially in the first half. FIU is kinda, sorta no good: 88th in total defense and 76th in scoring offense. I also don’t like them trying to do this thing on the road and in the early slate of games. Too early for the Panthers, let me have the Chippewas to take advantage.
I will not lie to you loyal readers, this one is a bit of a flier. The Broncos top the country in points scored per game and Utah State is 22nd. That’s fair. The total of 69 or higher has showed up 7 times this season and 4 times it’s gone over. The stars may align there but let me toss this on ya: Boise State averages allowing 27.3 points per game (not great) and Utah State allows 30.7 per (also bad) but it’s not a total of 70! Also, 4 of the 6 games these two have played in this season have gone under 69.5, including all three from Boise. Four of the last five meetings between these two have also gone under 69.5 points. My final point, this game is happening at 10a local time. Let’s fly for the early wake-up call and play this under.
Value is a sweet commodity and UCLA’s loss to Fresno State last week brought us some this week. We have to decide which version of these two teams we believe are true early. Fresno was a good team headed into last week’s game against UCLA and won with a gutsy performance from Jake Haener. They lost a good game to a good team. Stanford has a legitimate win against USC and a road victory against SEC doormat Vanderbilt. But I can’t shake the early game against Kansas State from my memory. I stand, for now, with Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins -4.5.
I tried very hard to forget that South Carolina/Georgia game. Those two teams are on different levels, just ask Carolina head coach Shame Beamer. Kentucky struggled against FCS Chattanooga last week but that’s 100% because they were eyeing this game. Believe it or not, Kentucky sees this game as a must-win to keep their eyes on the hopeful SEC East prize. Five of the last six meetings have gone to the ‘Cats. Four of those five wins were by more than the listed -4.5 price. Kentucky has been a good quarterback away from being really good and transfer Will Levis looks like he may be their answer. If he’s not, Chris Rodriguez has the stones to run hard against a good defense (198 yards against Missouri). I’m on the ‘CAYTS -4.5.