There’s no way to sugarcoat it, last week was a disaster.
Everything went off the rails as soon as Mark Stoops took his timeout with three seconds left to attempt the cover late on the road against Georgia. We were cruising towards a 4-3 start to the day, not good, but not bad either, when we lost that game and then, boom, we lost the next four night bets in succession. A double loss on Ole Miss-Vols, Bama crushed Mississippi State and then Oklahoma covered for the first time all season against an FBS opponent.
A 3-8 day.
That’s our second straight losing week of picks after five straight winning weeks to begin the season, which drops us to 44-37 on the season, a 54% winning rate.
It’s time to get back on a winning track this week with 14 winners in what, I’ll be honest with you, is one of the weakest slates of games I’ve seen in some time. There isn’t a single matchup featuring two top 25 teams. But that doesn’t make the money cash any less.
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Okay, let’s get rolling with the picks. We’re going 14-0:
Coastal Carolina -5 at Appalachian State and the over 61
Fun fact, Jamey Chadwell is 17-1 in the past two years as head coach of Coastal Carolina and the Chanticleers have crushed most of their opponents this year, including three straight games hanging 50 or more on their opponents.
Yes, Boone, North Carolina isn’t an easy place to play, but this App State team hasn’t really shown itself to have the firepower to keep up with Coastal Carolina, at least not so far this year.
I see a high scoring, fun ride tonight — yes, it’s tonight — with Coastal winning and the over hitting.
So let’s get this week started right with a 2-0 opening Wednesday night double header.
Northwestern +23.5 at Michigan
This has trap game written all over it — a noon kickoff with Michigan already thinking about next week’s game at Michigan State.
Meanwhile Northwestern plays a boring, plodding style of football, but they are coming off a win over Rutgers, which is giving them some momentum.
Michigan wins, but only by two touchdowns. Call it 28-14 Wolverines, giving you a comfortable cover of nearly ten points.
Cincinnati at Navy +28
I’m going to be betting against Cincinnati as big favorites down the stretch here because I think the psychological weight of being No. 2 in the country is going to impact them quite a bit.
Here they are going on the road against a Navy team that is 1-5, but has been fairly competitive in the past four weeks against pretty solid opponents. They lost by eight at Houston, beat UCF, lost by a touchdown against SMU and then lost by 18 against Memphis.
The Midshipmen haven’t been blown out since Week One, and I think they show up to play at a high level, especially early, against the Bearcats.
If you love America, you take Navy to cover.
Wisconsin at Purdue, the over 39.5
When you see a college football over/under in the thirties, you have to take it.
Especially if it’s a Power Five game.
There’s just too much insanity that can happen in a college game to go under a number this low. I understand the Wisconsin defense has given up only 14 points the past two games, but they’re stepping up in class here.
And I trust Jeff Brohm to find some level of success against the Badgers this weekend.
So give me the over and let’s ride.
Oklahoma State +7 at Iowa State
Remember when all the blue check brigade members told you Mike Gundy was going to lose his job and his team would never trust him again after he wore an OAN tshirt? Well, Gundy seems to have rebounded quite nicely, leading his Cowboys to a 6-0 start, including a big win on the road at Texas last weekend.
Maybe that’s why the line is so slanted in Iowa State’s favor, but, honestly, the Cyclones haven’t done anything to impress me all season long. They’ve lost to Iowa and Baylor, narrowly scraped by to begin the season against Northern Iowa, and now you’re telling me they are a full touchdown favorite against Oklahoma State?
I just don’t see it.
Give me the fighting Gundys to cover and pull off the upset outright in Ames.
BYU -3.5 at Washington State
The Washington State situation is a total mess right now with the head coach and four assistants fired this week for refusing to take the COVID vaccine. That’s enough to make you nervous about backing Wazzou, but add in BYU’s success this year against the Pac-12 — BYU has beaten Arizona State, Utah and Arizona already — and I like the Cougars to bounce back from back-to-back losses and win and cover against WSU on the road.
Oregon at UCLA -1
It’s time for the yearly Playoff dreams of a Pac-12 team to collapse.
The Ducks have done their best to uphold the honor of western college football, but UCLA and Chip Kelly put an end to the Duck title quest on Saturday in the Rose Bowl.
This Oregon team, truth be told, has been incredibly erratic in the Pac-12 ever since pulling off the upset of Ohio State. The same can be said of UCLA, honestly. (And virtually every Pac-12 team every year.)
These two teams may end up rematching for the Pac-12 title game, but for now, I’m taking UCLA to win and dash Oregon’s hopes of returning to the Playoff for a second time.
Clemson at Pittsburgh -3
Clemson isn’t very good this year. I don’t know how many more games we need to see of Clemson playing poorly for everyone to recognize this fact.
Meanwhile Cody Pickett and Pitt — save an embarrassing collapse against Western Michigan — are perfect this year and have moved into the catbird seat to win the ACC.
This feels like a coming out party for Pickett and Pitt.
I like them by double digits over Clemson on Saturday, and I love them as a 3-4 point favorite. Hope on board the Pat Narduzzi express.
Mississippi State at Vanderbilt +21
The Commodores had a crushing collapse late at South Carolina that cost them their first SEC win.
But I think this line is too high with Mississippi State coming to town.
Vandy covers but loses by ten, giving you a comfortable win on the number.
LSU +9.5 at Ole Miss
Lane Kiffin is hinting Matt Corral might not play, which has led this line to be removed some places, but I don’t buy that. And even if Corral is playing, I do suspect he’s pretty beaten up after carrying the ball 30 times against Tennessee.
Which is why I think there’s really good value on LSU here.
The Tigers know Coach Orgeron is finished with the Bayou Bengals, and I think that removes any pressure they might feel about this football game. If they just go out and play relaxed, I think they have a decent chance to win what is likely to be another wild football game for the Rebels.
Remember that while Ole Miss is 5-1, they’ve survived two straight weeks of opponents throwing into the end zone — or running out of bounds — at the end of the games with a chance to win. I expect another close one on Saturday against LSU.
Which is why I’m hopping on the Tiger train.
Tennessee +25.5 at Alabama
This may be a pick that makes me look like an idiot because it’s possible Tennessee put everything they had into the game against Ole Miss and doesn’t have anything left. But it looks like Hendon Hooker is going to play, and if that happens, this Vol team isn’t that bad of a football team.
I mean, I’m not saying they’re going to threaten Alabama in any way — Nick Saban is 14-0 against the Vols and only two of those games have been remotely close — but I do think this line is inflated based on how badly Alabama beat Mississippi State.
And on the chaos from Neyland last Saturday night.
It’s still the third Saturday in October, damn it. Bama wins by three touchdowns, but you cash a winning ticket.
South Carolina +21 at Texas A&M and the under 45
This Gamecock offense is really, really tough to watch this year.
Which is why I think the air is taken out of this game from the start, and we have a 21-10 type Aggie win. That number gets you in under the total by nearly two touchdowns.
So let’s roll and make 14-0 a reality.