NCAAF Week 3: 2-4-1, (33.33%) -2.4 Units
NCAAF Season: 5-9-1, (37.50%) -4.9 Units
Off to a shaky start so far this year in College Football and it’s as simple as that. No excuses, no whining and crying, I just haven’t been doing well and I need to get things on track. Then again it’s only been 15 total plays so I’m not exactly going to jump off the deep end either. I know this thing is going to turn and that turn will begin this week. Here we go….
Boston College (+34.5): I’m of the opinion that Clemson is currently the best team in the nation, that said I could see them sleepwalking through this one on Saturday. They are coming off big games against Auburn and Louisville, and have another huge game next week at Virginia Tech. Sandwiched between those 3 monster games is this one with lowly Boston College. If you’re Dabo Swinney it’s easy to get your guys pumped up for Auburn, Louisville and Virginia Tech, it might not be as easy to get them fired up about playing Boston College. There’s really no chance Boston College wins this game outright but I do think they can stay within this number. This feels like a roll the ball out there and go through the motions game for Clemson where they win by 20 points or so on talent alone even if they do happen to be sleepwalking a bit. X’s and O’s wise there isn’t much to this one, it’s strictly a situational play.
Florida State (-13): It may have been easy for many of you to forget all about Florida State. They had that 24-7 loss to Alabama in week 1, they lost their starting QB and haven’t played since. Due to Hurricane Irma by the time the Seminoles take the field on Saturday they’ll have had 20 days between games. That break couldn’t have come at a better time as it’s given now starting QB James Blackmon plenty of 1st string practice reps. Blackmon isn’t the player Francois is, but lets not kid ourselves if the kid is playing at Florida State you know he’s got some serious talent. Let’s not forget Florida State was ranked #3 in the nation coming into the season and have now had 3 weeks to chew on that Alabama loss. I suspect they’ll be chomping at the bit to get back on the field and take out their frustrations on someone. I don’t think NC State is horrible or anything but this line being only 13 especially in Tallahassee feels about 2 or 3 points too low. I lined this one at 15.5 myself so at 13 I’m in.
Old Dominion (+29): Another situational spot here taking Old Dominion against a Virginia Tech team that could be looking ahead to it’s huge game with Clemson next week. Virginia Tech has looked great through 3 games being led by Freshman QB Josh Jackson who has drawn comparisons to the last Freshman QB who played at Va Tech, some game named Michael Vick. This play however isn’t about fading the Hokies, it’s about going against them in a spot where they are likely to not be all the way there mentally. These kids all know what is looming on September 30th… defending national champion and currently number 2 ranked Clemson is coming to town. As much as everyone will tell you it’s a “take it a game at a time” situation it’s hard to believe they take the field on Saturday without an eye looking forward to the Clemson showdown. Old Dominion was trounced by UNC last week which for our purposes is excellent as it probably gets us a few more points that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Much like the Boston College play this one is strictly situational.
Nebraska (-13.5): I think we’ve got a nice little bounce back spot for the Huskers here against Rutgers. I won’t try and tell you Nebraska is very good this year, the truth is they aren’t. I will however say they are better than what they showed on Saturday against Northern Illinois. Frankly that was an embarrassing loss for the Huskers as they paid NIU $825,000 to come into their building and beat them. It’s worth noting the week before in Oregon that despite losing Nebraska was actually very competitive and only fell 42-35. This week the Huskers get to stay at home, right the ship and take out a little frustration against a shaky Rutgers team. The Scarlet Knights haven’t played a road game yet this year and already have a home loss to Eastern Michigan. I think Nebraska takes care of business here and wins by 3 TD’s or more.
New Mexico State (-18): It isn’t often you a team like New Mexico State favored by 18 points over another FBS team. I don’t care enough to look back and find out but my guess would be it’s been a long, long team since NMSU has been laying a number like this against a team that wasn’t FCS. That says less about how good NMSU and more about how awful UTEP is. I don’t want to be mean or anything but UTEP is absolutely horrible, just a flat out terrible football team. They were beat down 56-7 in Week 1 against Oklahoma, but I can give them a pass on that. Oklahoma is elite and realistically that game was over before it started. In their next two games however, both at home mind you, they were beaten by a combined 94-30 against Rice and Arizona who aren’t exactly powerhouses. UTEP literally might be the worst defensive team in the nation and I expect the Aggies to have all kinds of fun offensively. On top of all of that is the fact this is a revenge game for NMSU who lost by 16 at UTEP last year. I think they get their revenge on Saturday and do so in a big, big way.
TCU (+11.5): A lot of my approach to betting is a buy low, sell high mentality. Right now you can’t sell much higher than where Oklahoma State is. After their latest offensive explosion against Pitt they’ve got everyone’s attention and have moved all the way up to #6 in the nation. Mason Rudolph and all his weapons make for an extremely dangerous offense but at the end of the day I think this line is inflated a bit. For as good as Oklahoma State is, TCU isn’t exactly chopped liver. The Horned Frogs are also unbeaten and find themselves ranked #16 in the nation. They’ve already easily won at Arkansas and taken care of the other two inferior squads on their schedule. This line opened at 10.5 which was already a point and a half higher than where I had it, now at 11.5 it’s to a point where I just can’t pass.
Air Force (+3.5): About as big as letdown spots get for SDSU here against Air Force. The Aztecs two weeks ago won at Arizona State which for a Mountain West team is a big win. Any MWC win at a PAC-12 school is big so they were already riding high. Then they followed it up with another win over a PAC-12 school by beating Stanford and afterwards having their fans storm the field. SDSU now finds themselves #22 in the nation and getting a little national attention. Can they bring themselves back to earth off of that high and take care of business at altitude against Air Force? I’m not so sure. The Falcons are fresh off a trip to Michigan where they hung around with the Wolverines for most of the game so there’s not a chance SDSU and their national ranking will intimidate them a bit. Dealing with the triple option is a pain in the ass under any circumstances but doing so at high altitude makes it even more of a task. I think this is a coin flip game and in such a game I’ll happily take my chances with 3.5 points in my pocket.