NCAAF Week 10: 4-4-1, (50.00%) -0.4 Units
NCAAF Season: 34-39-3, (46.58%) -8.9 Units
A strong start but then rough finish last week brought me to a juice drinking 4-4-1 for -0.4 units. Season numbers still are shaky but things have been a bit better of late. I’ve now gone 20-16-2 in my last 38 plays which is 55.55%. Still a big climb back and hopefully work my way closer to even money this week. Here’s what I’ve got….
Penn State (-30.5): This feels like a pretty classic “take out your frustration” kind of spot for Penn State. Just a few weeks ago they were 7-0 and had a 35-20 4th quarter lead at Ohio State. They went on the eventually lose that game and then follow it up with another loss at Michigan State. So in 5 quarters of play they went from looking like they had a great chance to make the playoff to now sliding all the way down to number 14. You’d figure they’ve gotta be pretty angry and upset right about now. I think unfortunately for Rutgers they are going to be the ones made to pay for it. Rutgers and their lack of firepower isn’t exactly built to play from behind either. They have one of the worst offenses in the nation to go with one of the worst passing attacks. If they fall behind early, which it’s almost assured they will, then this thing could really start to avalanche on them. In his last two games Saquon Barkley has only 107 rushing yards on 35 carries so you can bet he’ll be chomping at the bit to put up some video game numbers in this one. This honestly feels like the kind of game where Barkley could go for 200+ on the ground. To me this one has 48-7 or something like that written all over it.
Duke (-3): Army is a nice story at 7-2 but they’ve only played one power 5 team all year, and it was a 38-7 loss to Ohio State. In addition to that they’ve lost to Tulane, beat EMU by 1 at home, Temple in OT at home, Buffalo by 4 at home, and frankly aren’t anywhere near as good as their record indicates. On the other end Duke has played all of it’s games except one against power 5 teams. If nothing else this team is battle tested and has at least been seeing solid opponents all season. After losing 5 straight a game against a team they are actually more talented than is probably a welcome sight for the Blue Devils. As is the case with all the service academy teams Army is run, run, run with the triple option attack on the ground. They’ve had success this year doing that against watered down opponents but Duke has athletes that are bigger, stronger and faster than they’ve seen this year except for that game against Ohio State. I’m just going to hope and trust that talent wins out here and that Duke gets the road Win.
Florida (+7): As the phrase goes you want to buy low and sell high. I’m not sure you’ll be able to buy on Florida any lower than where they are right now. The Gators come into this at 3-6 on the season and have lost their last two games by a combined score of 87-23. South Carolina on the other side has a spiffy 6-3 record but the fact is they are being outgained by an average of 53 yards per game on the season. Their offense is well below average, their defense is very mediocre and the truth is they’ve overachieved a bit to get to where they are. This should be a fairly low scoring game so 7 carries more weight than it would in BIG 12 style shootout. The total is only 45 so you figure it’s a 24-21 type of game and I just don’t think South Carolina has the firepower to score enough to cover. If Florida can even find it’s way to 20 or so I think there’s a very good chance that’ll be enough to cover right there. I’m hoping this is a week where some pride shows up for the Gators and they put together an inspired effort despite the fact it’s a lost season. At the end of the day though this is simply a buy low spot where it can’t get much lower for UF.
Utah (+1): I’m still not fully buying in on Washington State, especially on the road. They’ve only played three road games this season and to their credit they looked good in the first one beating Oregon 33-10. In the next two however they lost by a combined score of 95-40 to Cal and Arizona. Luke Falk will get all the attention in the QB this week but Utah QB Tyler Huntley is coming along pretty nicely himself. He had a horrible game a few weeks ago against ASU but aside from that he’s had a pretty nice season. Removing that game he’s completing nearly 70% of his passes with 12 TD’s and 2 INT’s and he’s turned himself into a dual threat option by doing some damage with his legs. Huntley now again seems to be fully healthy after dealing with a shoulder injury earlier in the year. As he rounds back into form the more dangerous the Utes offense will become. I think Utah is back heading in the right direction and I’ll take them here against a Washington State team that needs to show they aren’t a dumpster fire when on the road.
Purdue (+4): This is one of those games where at first look I’m sure the spread won’t make sense to many. #25 ranked and 6-3 Northwestern is only a 4 point favorite at home against 4-5 Purdue? On top of that just last week Purdue lost their starting QB David Blough for the season. So again, why is this line only 4 points? It’s basically implying that on and neutral field that these two teams are roughly even. Statistically that sure looks to be the case. As a team Purdue is outgaining opponents by 22 yards per game while Northwestern is outgaining their opponents by 24 yards per game. The Wildcats have won 3 straight games in OT and while it’s to their credit they won those games they could just as easily have lost all 3 and be 3-6 instead of 6-3 right now. What I’m getting at is there’s some lack of belief (and I believe rightfully so) on Northwestern and their 3 straight coin flip wins. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm has a nice system in place running some spread and trick plays and the thought is that even with Blough out the offense shouldn’t really take too big of a hit. I also think they’ll be a physical toll with the Cats playing 3 straight OT games and that they could be a bit worn down for this one. I think Purdue hangs around all night and takes this game into the last few minutes, they very well could win outright.
Air Force (-3): By now we’ve all heard about Wyoming QB Josh Allen and how big on an NFL prospect he is. That’s all fine and well but the truth is Wyoming has one of the worst offenses in FBS. As a team they are only averaging 283 yards per game and the struggles are equally bad on the ground as they are through the air. This team can’t run, can’t pass, and overall really struggles to move the ball. To their credit they’ve somehow found their way to a 6-3 record despite that anemic offense. The Cowboys are only 1-2 on the road this year and that 1 win was 28-23 over Utah State in a game they were outplayed but pulled out a win by somehow winning the turnover battle 5 to 1. In that game Utah State had a 23-14 edge in 1st downs and outgained the Cowboys by 70 yards. A few bad bounces and bad breaks against Utah State cost them a game they should have won. As far as Air Force goes you know what you’re going to get. Run, run, run and then run some more. I expect this to be a game where the Falcons control the clock, keep it on the ground and impose their will on Wyoming. Records wise it’ll look like an upset but I think Air Force is the better team and fully expect them to prove it on Saturday.