Welcome back kids! Wow how about last week huh?! I told you all I would do better by you moving forward and boy did we kick that off to the right start. 4-1 on favorites
which should have been 5-0 barring the unfortunate injury to Duke Johnson and a 7-3 total record for the week. If you were smart enough to take advantage of that, I congratulate you. If not, you can’t say you didn’t know any better. Now on to this week’s spread, which unfortunately for you and I both, is quite frankly atrocious. There are a lot of tough reads and games that don’t look to be very entertaining either. With that being said, I’ll be providing a slightly different line up for you, with the hopes that the strongest plays will carry us all through the week, and the “Honorable Mentions” list is just for confirmation if you already had an eye on one of those games. As a consolation for this, I will be bringing back some bonus NFL action this week to tide you over until we get back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Note: To reiterate, although we have more than five picks listed as my strongest plays, I am not suggesting that you go big on any of these. Everything for me is a small play this week.
FSU/Boston College – BC 1st half, or +17 for the game
A lot of points here. The only thing that could screw this up entirely would be if FSU finally came out and kicked the shit out of someone like they should as an undefeated team. Either that or the fact that Burt Reynolds will be planting the spear in this game, and could be the only mentor to teach Jameis the style and class behind not shaving (points). BC is coming off a bye week though, and FSU is coming off an intense win against Miami. They could also be looking ahead to next week’s only other remotely competitive game, before GA Tech in the ACC Title game, against Florida. BC in the first half would be my preferred play, but I don’t hate the +17 in the game. Either way, I’m still squarely on the other side of the Noles.
Baylor/Oklahoma St. – Baylor -29
As anyone who knows me can tell you, I don’t like favorites; much less one that’s this big. The bright side is that typically when a spread is this big for a favorite, you can usually start to apply the same rules behind finding value to the opening line and the line movements throughout the week. This game opened at a 26.5 spread in favor of Baylor and is steadily climbing, currently at a position around -29. In these scenarios, the bookmakers want that line to be as high as they can get it to try and dissuade the public and the sharps, as the worse case scenario for them is having both heavy on one side. It takes a lot to get the general public off a position, so you could pretty much count them in on the Bears here regardless. But, as I have mentioned before, the big money is what causes line movements, and that’s where you find your position here. Add to that the two biggest actual in-game factors of revenge and style points. Baylor lost last year 49-14 in Stillwater, and they will certainly be looking to exact revenge on a declining Ok St. Team, who could also be without their starting QB. Now when we consider Baylor’s position in the CFB Playoff rankings, there is a lot that the Bears need to fall their way in order to find a way into one of those top 4 seats, and besides winning the game, style points will be one of the only other factors within their control the rest of the season. Look for the Bears to be in that business this Saturday as they make an attempt to force Mike Gundy to consider that Florida offer that is certain to come across his desk at some point later this year.
Virginia/Miami – Virginia +6
This line seems light, however this also seems like a great situational spot for Virginia. Miami suffered a heartbreaking loss last week after dominating the first half against FSU, but then having to deal with an injured Duke Johnson and conservative play calling down the stretch that eventually cost them the game. Virginia on the other hand is coming off a bye, and earlier in the year almost upset UCLA, and DID “upset” an overrated Louisville team. Many are picking the outright upset here as well, and I don’t blame you for sprinkling the Money Line, however I’ll just stick with the home dog and the points.
USC/UCLA – USC +4
A great rivalry, a shot at redemption for USC, and a game that should be close no matter what. UCLA is starting to find some big play potential on offense, and Hundley has had significant success recently running the ball, but USC is much better than their 7-3 record indicates. UCLA could also be on high knowing that winning out put them in the Pac-12 championship against Oregon, and a chance to play spoiler in the Playoff. USC plays undisciplined at times and can hurt themselves significantly, but I think they simply have greater big game potential, especially if they can get a big lead and sustain it. However, while UCLA should be a dark horse pick running into next year, I will take the points in an emotional matchup for both sides.
Missouri/Tennessee – Tennessee -3.5
Last week, when I correctly predicted the Mizzou game, I mentioned that I didn’t feel they would win the next two games they needed to officially take the SEC East crown. I also already told you that this week was, IMO, the most likely spot for them to fall, in Knoxville against the Vols. Unfortunately, Tennessee is dealing with some suspensions of late, and LB AJ Johnson will probably never see the field again according to some reports out of Knoxville. That being said, Josh Dobbs is finally starting to show some consistency and improvement, especially with the big plays. Mizzou QB Maty Mauk has not played great on the road, and with it being an SEC division game, I don’t see that changing here. With Tennessee coming off a bye, at home, and looking for bowl eligibility, I see them ready and willing to upset the SEC East race. I’ll lay the points in this game.
California/Stanford – Cal +5.5
Stanford’s offense is garbage. They also really seem to enjoy turning the ball over. While Cal has been inconsistent at times this season too, this is another one of the annual rivalry games in the Pac-12, and all of those factors don’t add up to a 5+ point favorite, on either side. Give me Cal and the points.
Purdue/Northwestern – Purdue -1
Northwestern’s win last week was huge emotionally for that team. That being said, I don’t think their game last week was really indicative of any actual improvement, rather more of an aberration. Also, this line opened at -3 in favor of Northwestern. Anyone catching on here?
UAB/Marshall – UAB +20
This will be the best team Marshall has faced all year, and they’re still a big underdog. Add in some additional emotion on the UAB side with the threat of losing their entire program. Give me UAB and the points.
Note: Lots of leans here, but there were just some things about each of these that made me back off.
Arizona/Utah – Under or Zona (+4.5)
Iowa/Wisconsin – Iowa (+10.5)
Wyoming/Boise State – Wyoming (+12.5)
Minnesota/Nebraska – Minnesota (+10)
Notre Dame/Louisville – Notre Dame (-3)
Arkansas/Ole Miss – Arkansas (+3.5)
Colorado/Oregon – Colorado (+32.5)
Rutgers/Michigan State – Rutgers (+22)
Vanderbilt/Mississippi St. – Vandy (+31)
I still have not regained my confidence in NFL betting since about 4 weeks ago, when the favorites started covering all their games, and in turn costing me money. Last week however was a turnaround of sorts, and therefore I don’t mind giving out a few additional picks from the pro game. You’ll only get three, and there won’t be any analysis. They’re simply big spreads
GOOD LUCK KIDS! AND AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR READING/FOLLOWING!!!
As always, this info is for entertainment purposes only, and we at eightyfivesouth do not condone or encourage illegal activities.