Last week was…interesting. On one hand, 4-5 is not a terrible record. But boy did I whiff on some of the losses. Florida State -3 over Louisville? Yeah, that didn’t turn out so well. Boston College to keep it close at Virginia Tech? Nope. 49-0 Hookies.
I’m hoping for a more consistent Week 4. However, full disclosure, I’m a little pressed for time right now, so I’m trying to bang these predictions out right before the Patriots beat the Texans. Maybe less time and energy spent analyzing these games will serve me well.
*Note- All odds courtesy of Vegas Insider (not all games on Bovada had lines posted)
**Note- Home team in Italics
#14 Tennessee (-6.5) over #19 Florida
I like the Vols to cover at home in a crucial matchup against the Gators for a few reasons. First, Florida is currently receiving 73% of spread bets. Betting against the house is never a bad strategy, right? Also, Florida starting quarterback Luke Del Rio is banged up after last week’s game and hasn’t practiced much this week. I think that gives Tennessee’s defense an edge, particularly if Del Rio doesn’t play. And lastly, despite almost losing to Appalachian State in Week One, the Vols are ranked 8th in ESPN’s Football Power Index. The better team will hold serve at home.
#23 Ole Miss (-7) over #12 Georgia
The Rebels may have two losses, but they’ve come at the hands of Florida State and Alabama. Simply put, Ole Miss is very good despite what their record says. This week, they face a Georgia team that benefited from five Missouri turnovers in a narrow win last Saturday and is ranked only 35th in ESPN’s FPI despite their current AP ranking. Chad Kelly and the Rebels take this one by a couple touchdowns.
#11 Wisconsin (+5.5) over #8 Michigan State
I doubted the Spartans last week against Notre Dame…and I’m betting against them again against Wisconsin. I don’t know, I guess I just don’t like Michigan State.
#13 Florida State (-5) over South Florida
The Seminoles are only getting 5 points after they lost by 40+ last week? I bet Florida State comes out with a real chip on its shoulder.
Oregon (-10.5) over Colorado
The Ducks lost last week; but–as usual–they have a very good offense that is currently ranked 4th in yards per play. I think they’ll do enough to beat Colorado by multiple touchdowns.
Auburn (+3.5) over #18 LSU
I have a simple betting strategy I like to use at times: Bet on teams coming off a loss with the spread when they play against a team coming off a win. Auburn just dropped a home contest to a very good Texas A&M team while LSU beat Mississippi State. You might think this makes LSU enticing to bet on, but it pays to be a contrarian. This game should be low scoring, which gives value to Auburn plus 3.5 points.
Texas State (+34.5) over #6 Houston
As good as Houston is, 34.5 points on the road is wayyy too much for anyone on the road.
#3 Louisville (-26.5) over Marshall
The Cardinals, who lead the nation in yards per play and are 6th in opponent yards per play, are heading to the College Football Playoff. Book it. Even though they could be in for a let-down game against a mediocre Marshall team, I’ll take them to win by more than four touchdowns.
Game of the Week
UCLA (+3) over #7 Stanford
It’s hard to go against Christian McCaffrey and the Cardinal, but I’m going with an upset at the Rose Bowl Saturday night. 83% of public bettors are backing Stanford even though they are on the road facing a UCLA team that is a little desperate after an opening season loss to Texas A&M. Moreover, though the Bruins may not have looked great on offense yet this season, that might be all the more reason to buy low on Josh Rosen and UCLA.