The college football season moves along to another week, and although there are some cancellations/postponements this week, there are still a lot of good matchups out there. That means there are bets to be placed.
Last Week: 6-5
Let’s have another winning week!
Arkansas @ Florida Over 60
I think we will see excellent dueling quarterback play in this game. Florida’s Kyle Trask is having an incredible season, and has put himself firmly in the Heisman conversation. His connection with Kyle Pitts is pretty much unguardable, and together they are leading Florida’s offense to over 42 points a game. They hung 38 on Georgia in the first half alone last week. Trask got the Florida starting job in the first place by beating out none other than current Arkansas QB Feleipe Franks. You think Franks will be ready to prove himself and have a bit of a chip on his shoulder in this game? I sure do. Franks is not putting up Trask-like numbers, but he is playing very well completing 67% of his passes for 14 TD’s and just 3 INT’s, two of which came all the way back in Week 1 against Georgia. Both defenses are giving up over 25 points a game, and with quick-striking offenses on display, I see a high-scoring affair leading to an Over happening Saturday in Gainesville.
Notre Dame @ Boston College +14
Doesn’t this just seem like a huge letdown game for Notre Dame? They finally got over the hump and took down a #1 team, winning in double overtime at home against #1 Clemson. Now, they travel northeast to take on a 5-3 Boston College squad that also gave the Tigers all they could handle, losing a hard-fought battle 34-28 at Clemson. Boston College QB Phil Jurkovec is a Notre Dame transfer. Much like Franks at Arkansas, I think Jurkovec will be fired up to face his former team. Jurkovec has been fantastic, as he has thrown for over 200 yards in every game except one, and that one was in a 48-27 rout against Georgia Tech where BC got up big early and ran the ball for 264 yards (Jurkovec rushed for 94 himself). BC has the team, offense, and poise to hang with the Irish, and I will gladly take the two touchdown cushion at home.
Penn State @ Nebraska Under 56.5
Has there been a more disappointing start to this season than Penn State? The Nittany Lions are 0-3, and have seemingly gotten worse each week. The offense has gone backwards each week, scoring 35 in the opener, 25 in week two, and just 19 last week against Maryland. Their defense has been underwhelming, giving up over 35 points in each of their first three games. It is now gut-check time for them. As shaky as the defense has been, the Nebraska offense has not been very threatening. The Huskers have put up just 17 and 13 points respectively in their first two games. They are able to put together some decent drives, but tend to stall out without finding the end zone. I think Penn State will be more motivated defensively this week against a slow-moving Nebraska offense who can’t really decide on a QB yet, and doesn’t really have an effective downfield passing game. Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey have split time, and both have been inconsistent when throwing the ball. Penn State has some notable injuries on offense, and Sean Clifford is pretty much being asked to do everything. He has five interceptions in three games. I think all of this favors a sloppy game and an Under here.
Oregon -10 @ Washington State and Over 57.5
I bet Oregon on the spread against Stanford last week, as well as the under. Both hit. Now, I am back for more. It was extremely lucky though, as Stanford missed 4 field goals (yikes). Just one of those going in would have pushed the total over. But that’s how it goes sometimes! Now, Oregon travels to Pullman to take on Washington State. Believe it or not, Washington State is 10-0 ATS in their last 10 meetings against Oregon. No more. I like Oregon to end the streak and win by at least 10 in this one. QB Tyler Shough looked great last week, throwing for 227 yards and a touchdown, as well as rushing for 85 yards and a touchdown. The offense was clicking, and the Ducks were in control for the vast majority of the game. Stud RB C.J. Verdell averaged 5.3 YPC and eclipsed the 100-yard mark and had a touchdown en route to a 35-14 Ducks win. I don’t think the Washington State defense will be able to limit this Ducks offense. Although they have struggled ATS, Oregon has scored 37.5 points per game in their last 10 contests against Washington State. The Cougars offense actually outscored Oregon last week, putting up 38 points against Oregon State. They were very balanced, as they threw for 227 yards and rushed for 229. I think they will be able to have decent success against a Ducks defense that allowed Stanford to move the ball fairly well, as the Cardinal had over 400 yards of total offense. They scored 14 points, but they had their chances, and it would have been 26 points if those 4 field goals weren’t missed. I think this will be a relatively high-scoring game, with Oregon coming out on top by double digits. Let’s go 2/2 again!
Georgia State @ Appalachian State -16
Appalachian State has dominated this series. Since 2014, App State is 6-0 against GSU, with margins of victory of 44, 34, 14, 21, 28, and 29. They are 5-1 ATS in those games. There is a huge advantage for App State on the defensive side of the ball. App State’s defense is only giving up 17.5 points a game, whereas Georgia State is giving up over 40 a game. Last week, the Panthers gave up 34 points to an 0-8 ULM team that only averages 16 a game. App State’s rushing attack, and offense as a whole, should have a field day. GSU was shutout entirely against the Sun Belt’s other top team Coastal Carolina two weeks ago, and I don’t see them having much success against App State’s tough defense this week either. The Mountaineers will be happy to be back at home this week after back-to-back games on the road, and I think they take care of business against Georgia State.
South Carolina @ Ole Miss Over 70
The Gamecocks travel to Oxford off back-to-back losses and only scored three points last week against Texas A&M, losing 48-3. What better way to get the offense back on track than facing an Ole Miss defense that has only allowed less than 400 yards just once and is giving up over 40 points per game? I think SC’s offense will have a big bounce back game. For Ole Miss, the Lane Train offense keep chugging along. Ole Miss has the 4th best passing game in the SEC, and what may be surprising is that they also lead the conference in rushing. South Carolina has given up over 200 yards rushing in each of their last three games, and I don’t think they have the defense to limit the passing game either. Ole Miss plays extremely fast, which leads to lots of possessions and limited clock movement between plays. The last time these two teams met was a 48-44 shootout win for the Gamecocks in Oxford, and that was without Lane Kiffin’s offense for the Rebels. Give me the Over here.
Middle Tennessee @ Marshall -24
Marshall is undefeated and ranked #16 in the country. They have the third-best defense in the nation, allowing just 9.5 points per game. Impressive to say the least. They lead the nation against the run, and have yet to allow over 100 yards in a game on the ground. Middle Tennessee’s offense is very hit-or-miss. QB Asher O’Hara is leading Conference USA in passing yards (1,509), tied atop the conference in completion rate (65.2 percent), and tied for second in touchdown passes (11). However, he also leads the conference in interceptions with eight, and sacks taken with 18. They have no running game, as O’Hara himself is their leading rusher. This forces some ill-advised passes downfield, where the turnovers occur. Marshall’s defense should have a big day and be able to get multiple sacks as well as force some turnovers. That gives the ball to their ground-and-pound rushing attack that will face a Middle Tennessee rushing defense giving up nearly 250 yards per game on the ground. QB Grant Wells should also have success throwing the ball to a number of his talented wide receivers. This will be the Thundering Herd’s third straight home game, and they have outscored opponents 147-26 at home this season. I don’t care who you are playing, that is impressive. I see that trend continuing with Marshall winning big.
Army +4 @ Tulane
Tulane is rolling as of late, as they have won two in a row to reach the .500 mark at 4-4. They have scored 38 points in each of their last two games, and return home to NOLA to face 6-1 Army, who suffered their only loss of the season to #7 Cincinnati. This matchup will be all about the run game. Tulane is 4-1 when they rush for at least 200 yards, and 0-3 when they don’t. Army has not allowed 200 rushing yards in a game this season, and held Cincinnati to just 69 yards. It is going to be tough sledding for the Tulane rushing attack. On the other side of the ball, the Green Wave have a solid run defense of their own. They are only allowing 128 rushing yards per game. The problem is that Army has the #2 rushing offense in the country, averaging over 300 yards per game on the ground. Tulane had a terrible loss earlier this season at home against Navy, who also relies heavily on the run. Tulane was up 24-0 at halftime, then proceeded to lose 27-24. Navy was able to win with just 204 yards on the ground. Army has a much better offensive attack. To be fair, in that game Tulane had not yet turned to freshman QB Michael Pratt, who continues to have a sensational first season. I think this is going to be a close game that could very well come down to the final possession. It pains me to bet against one of my alma maters in Tulane, but in an ideal world, the game is tied in the final seconds and Tulane kicks a last-second field goal to win, while Army still covers the +4. Let’s hope for that.
TCU @ West Virginia -3
West Virginia is a way better team at home than on the road. They are 4-0 at home and 0-3 on the road. At home, the Mountaineers have yet to surrender 260 total yards in a game to their opponents. On the contrary, they are giving up over 300 yards per game on the road. As a whole, the WVU defense is top 5 in the country in total yards per game (271) and passing yards per game (161.6). TCU’s offense isn’t exactly a juggernaut, and WVU will be the best defense they have faced this season. Even with limited fans, the Mountaineers prefer playing at home, and I think their defense will give them the edge in this one.
Title Photo: John Raoux / AP