Another college football weekend is upon us, which means it’s time for me to ~hopefully~ win some bets. It has been a rough go of it for my first three weeks of posting my college football picks, and last week I was 4-6. I never said I was good at this folks!
Last Week: 4-6
Time go get hot.
Arizona State @ USC Over 56
The Pac-12 is back! The first Pac-12 game of the season will kick-off tomorrow at noon ET, which is 9 am local time in LA. That is kinda wild to think about. USC’s offense will be led by sophomore QB Kedon Slovas, who threw 30 TD’s last season and averaged nearly 300 yards per game. He will have a plethora of weapons around him, and I expect USC to light up the scoreboard in their air raid system Saturday. The Trojans put up 32 points a game last season, and I think they will give Arizona State a lot of problems. For the Sun Devils, QB Jayden Daniels is a very talented dual-threat QB who was quite impressive last year as a freshman. He rarely turned the ball over, and threw for nearly 3,000 yards, and rushed for 350 yards as well. With this being the opening game for both teams, I think there will be an offensive advantage on both sides compared to defense, as the abnormal offseason created stricter rules for practice during the pandemic. That, along with the 9 am local start time leads me to think that there will be several missed assignments and missed tackles on the defensive side of the ball. I’m taking the Over.
Clemson @ Notre Dame +5.5
This is tough. Notre Dame is 6-0 and ranked #4, and Clemson is 7-0, and ranked #1 in the country. However, they will be without Trevor Lawrence for the second straight week. Notre Dame is 29-3 in their last 32 games, have won 12 in a row, and have a 22 game winning streak at home. However, they are 1-19 vs Top 5 opponents in the last 20 years. Can that change Saturday night? It has to. Clemson has never been more vulnerable in the Dabo/Trevor Lawrence era than now. ND has to have a good showing in this one. They are at home, and although there will be a limited crowd in attendance, it will be a tough ask for Clemson freshman QB D.J. Uiagalelei in his first career road start. The Fighting Irish usually fall flat in games like these, but I’m taking Notre Dame +5.5. I hope I don’t regret it.
Florida +3 @ Georgia
In their last 6 quarters, Georgia has scored 14 points. They were entirely shut out in the second half against Alabama, and beat Kentucky last week 14-3. In Florida’s four games this season, they have scored 51, 38, 38, and 41 points, averaging 42 a game. QB Kyle Trask is having a tremendous year, and his #1 target Kyle Pitts is nearly unstoppable in the red zone. Georgia’s defense is solid, but they let Mac Jones and Alabama throw all over them two weeks ago, and I think Trask and the Gators will have a lot of offensive success in this one. I’m backing the Gators here.
Michigan -3.5 @ Indiana
Not a lot points to Indiana here. Michigan has won 24 games in a row against Indiana. 24! That is insane. They have won 39 of the last 40 matchups, with the lone win coming in 1987. Truly remarkable. IU may be 2-0, but it has been somewhat shaky thus far for the Hoosiers. Indiana is not converting third downs, as they are last in the Big Ten at 26%. They were severely out gained by Penn State 488-211, and needed a minor miracle to win the game in OT. Last week, the Hoosiers forced three turnovers, but still gave up 21 points to a below-average Rutgers team. For Michigan, they are coming off arguably the worst loss of the Harbaugh era. You think his guys will be fired up? I think they will. Harbaugh cannot afford another performance like last week. I’m taking the Wolverines to bounce back, continue their winning streak against IU, and cover the 3.5 point spread.
Nebraska +3.5 @ Northwestern
Northwestern is looking good so far this season as they are 2-0 with a blowout win against Maryland, and a one-point road win over Iowa. They come in to Week 3 of the Big Ten season as home favorites against Nebraska. They are feeling good. Meanwhile, Nebraska has played just one game, a 52-17 loss to Ohio State on the road. That game was two weeks ago, as their game against Wisconsin was cancelled due to covid. That gives Scott Frost and Nebraska an extra week to rest up and prepare for this game in Evanston. I think they will be ready. Northwestern is somewhat of a hot pick, but I’m backing the Huskers here on the road.
Oklahoma State @ Kansas State Over 45.5
This is a very low total for a Big 12 game. Oklahoma State is coming off their first loss of the season, as they lost to Texas at home 41-34 in OT. Their best offensive player, Chuba Hubbard, struggled on the ground, yet they were still able to put up 31 points. I think Hubbard bounces back with a big game against a K-State defense that is giving up over 160 rushing yards per game. On top of that, Hubbard had an insane 296 yards against the Wildcats in last years matchup. For Kansas State, their offense has been somewhat inconsistent, but in the three home games they have played this season, they have scored 55, 31, and 31 points. The Over is 11-3 in the last 14 meetings between these two teams, and I think that trend continues Saturday, especially with a low number like this.
Stanford @ Oregon -8 and Under 51
I don’t usually like betting two things for the same game, but I really like both of these plays in the Stanford Oregon game. Oregon’s defense last year was one of the best in the nation, as they ranked 9th in the country in points allowed. That defense is experienced, and could be even better this season. Stanford had a rough go of it on offense last year, especially on the ground, ranking 11th in the Pac-12. They were also 108th in the country in total scoring. Top offensive lineman Walker Little has decided to opt-out, so that seemingly gives the Oregon pass rush an advantage in trying to get to QB Davis Mills. The best returning player from either of these teams is Oregon running back C.J. Verdell. He has been a monster the past two seasons, rushing for over 1,000 yards in each season and averaging 6.2 yards per carry last year. Expect the Ducks to feed Verdell a lot in this one, especially with young QB Tyler Shough now at the helm in place of Justin Herbert. The weather also looks a bit iffy, as rain is expected in Eugene. That favors the run game, as well as the Under. I think Oregon wins by two scores and the total stays Under. Let’s go 2/2 on this one!
Tulane @ East Carolina Over 62
Tulane dominated Temple 38-3 last week in New Orleans, as their defense had their best game of the year. However, they now go on the road to face an ECU team that is better than their 1-4 record indicates. In road games this year, Tulane is giving up 37 points a game, including 51 and 49 in their last two. On offense, the Green Wave are averaging 36 points per game this season, and freshman QB Michael Pratt is playing better and better each week. Tulane runs the ball very well, putting up 225 yards on the ground per game, and ECU has trouble stopping the run, giving up 205 yards per game. Tulane plays fast, and can put up points quick. ECU’s defense is last in the AAC, allowing 37 points a game. The Pirates offense is solid, as junior QB Holton Ahlers has 9 TD’s in his first four starts, and a plethora of skilled receivers to throw to. Tulane’s passing defense has had a tough time this season, and they should have their hands full Saturday in Greenville. I think these factors favor an Over.
Appalachian State -20 @ Texas State
App State has one of the best running games in the country. They have three RB’s, Daetrich Harrington, Marcus Williams Jr, and Camerun Peoples, who have at least 25 carries, 250 yards, and over 5 yards per carry this season. That is the ultimate three-headed monster of a rushing attack. In addition, QB Zac Thomas is a dual-threat, as he has 238 yards rushing and over 6 yards per carry. That is bad news for a Texas State defense that is giving up over 180 rushing yards per game. The Bobcat offense isn’t exactly stellar either, as they are 85th in the country in total offense. The App State defense has been exceptional, ranking in the top 20 in yards allowed, and giving up just 17.6 points per game. Texas State is 1-7 with their lone win coming against 0-7 ULM. Although they have kept games relatively close, going 4-4 ATS this season, everything points to App State winning big in this one.
Western Kentucky @ Florida Atlantic Under 40
The Under on an extremely low number like this can only mean one thing: bad weather. Saturday in Boca Raton is supposed to be a monsoon, with heavy rainfall and winds of 20+ mph. There won’t be a lot of successful big passing plays, and special teams will be very challenging. I expect both teams will keep the ball on the ground a lot, which will keep the clock moving. Aside from the weather, there are other reasons that lead to this one being a low-scoring game. Both offenses are not even averaging 300 yards a game this season. FAU is only posting 18 points per game, but their defense is giving up just 13 a game, including just 3 in their game last week at home against UTSA. For WKU, the Hilltoppers have now had 4 straight games of scoring 14 points or less. I don’t think they will be able to get much going offensively in this one against a stout FAU defense. Bad weather and two low-scoring offenses lead me to take the Under here. Expect a sloppy game.
Title Photo: ACC Network on Twitter @accnetwork