Looking for teams with a chip on their shoulder as large as mine …
Week 4 Review: 1-4. Winner: Penn St-Indiana under 53.5. Losers: Wisconsin -2, Duke-UNC over 72.5, Rutgers +15, and Ole Miss +14.5.
Hungry for a bounce-back after a Week 5 set of picks that didn’t feature a single bet that was ever really in doubt by late 3rd quarter, losing 4 of 5 I was eager to sweat it out more often than not. Wisconsin just clearly isn’t what they’ve been on offense, for 25 plus years, the last two seasons. Sure, Penn St, Notre Dame and Michigan are all very good defenses, but they’ve gotten worse since that opener against PSU. Ugly red zone plays cost them in that game, not getting to the red zone has been the story the last couple. A little too eager for parity and chaos in the Ole Miss call. There was reason to think their offense could make it a game, but going against a highly (!!!) motivated Saban at home was not wise with a full board of alternatives. Same goes for expecting a rather obviously spent Rutgers team to play loaded-as-always Ohio St to within two scores. Can’t make those mistakes again. Let the 5-0 rebound commence!
Bet 1: South Carolina at Tennessee under 56.5 (11am CT, ESPN2; all odds via PointsBet)
It’s my belief the total is overcorrecting for Tennessee’s 62-point breakout against Mizzou. That was more of a Mizzou thing than a Tennessee thing, just look at how the Tigers’ run defense is about 6 standard deviations worse than average. The Gamecocks on the other hand have consistently been playing lower scoring rock fights. Through 5 games, a team has scored over 23 points only 2 out of 10 chances. If Tennessee cracks 30, it won’t be in a one-possession game.
Bet 2: North Carolina -17 vs Florida St (2:30pm CT, ESPN)
North Carolina has been simply dominant at home (very much not so, when away from home, however). Covering 17 with the defense we’ve seen will not be a problem, even accounting for a sprinkling of added FSU confidence after picking up their first win. Revenge for 2020’s upset on the mind, should realistically be up by 17 by half.
Bet 3: Auburn +15 vs Georgia (2:30pm CT, CBS)
Could I end up looking like an idiot? Sure. Shame on me for not inking UGA in at 12-0 without a sweat here on October 8th, but what can I say. Jordan-Hare has slayed many a great team, and we don’t even need it to really happen, just a game. Just make it a game. JT Daniels is listed as doubtful, and I think that is also an accurate description of a Stetson Bennett led team covering 15 this Saturday.
Bet 4: Virginia Tech vs Notre Dame under 47 (6:30pm CT, ACCN)
Are we still pretending ND was remotely as good as their preseason rating or Wisconsin win would suggest? If so, enjoy the last 24 hours or so of it. While I’d like for the Hokies to be an easy play off the bye, their offense is just too bad to be confident they actually win. They’ll win if they score 20 points though.
Best Bet: Utah +130 moneyline at USC (7pm CT, Fox)
Each side has had to deal with tons of adversity already on this short season. While the Utes’ has been much more tragic, at least they have the proven head coach coming off a bye week. While USC was able to get the dominant win at Colorado that should be expected of all halfway decent teams, they continue to get penalized at an alarming rate. Clay Helton is gone, but a disciplined reliable team that does not make. Sophomore QB Cam Rising has been a jolt to Utah’s spirits after the brief failed Charlie Brewer experiment, and look for the team to rally behind the southern California native in his return.
Savor your college football Saturdays, they don’t last forever! (12-10 ATS on the season)