Week 10 Edition
The college football season may be winding down, but I’m just heating up. I went 9-2 last weekend, and I’m 15-4 over the past two weeks. Let’s hope I don’t come down to Earth this week.
Last Week: 9-2 (.818)
Last Five: 29-15-1 (.655)
Total: 48-34-1 (.584)
#9 Auburn (-26) over Vanderbilt
Underdogs in conference games–like Vanderbilt is tomorrow–are 163-125 (56.6%) on the season. But I’m not thrilled with the fact that the Commodores rank near the bottom in the country in yards per play. No, like, they’re literally at the bottom. Auburn’s offense, on the other hand, has averaged 48 points per game in their last four contests. The Tigers will do enough to withstand a good Vanderbilt defense and win by at least four touchdowns.
Mississippi State (+13.5) over #4 Texas A&M
I just mentioned how underdogs in conference games are profitable. Let’s take it a step further: when underdogs in conference games receive less than 35% of bets (Mississippi State is only receiving 26%), they have covered the spread 59% of the time this season. Combine that with the fact that the Bulldogs are home underdogs and I am confident that they will give the potentially-playoff bound Aggies a battle.
Northwestern (+7) over #8 Wisconsin
Wisconsin doesn’t have an offense! Their quarterback sucks! How are they favored on the road against a Northwestern team that is much better than you think? That’s right, the Wildcats are 18th in the nation in Football Outsiders’ FEI metric–which measures total efficiency. Plus, all four of their losses have either been by less than a touchdown or to a ranked opponent. I like Northwestern to upset the Badgers outright.
#2 Clemson (-26.5) over Syracuse
I’ve noted in past weeks that home favorites receiving less than 50% of bets from the public have covered over 60% of the time this season. Clemson is in that position against a horrible Syracuse team ranked 72nd in ESPN’s Football Power Index tomorrow. They’re only being backed by 40% of the public, so history says it is time to jump on the second-ranked Tigers, even with the high spread.
Arkansas (+5.5) over #11 Florida
The Gators have a great defense, but their offense–which is averaging a measly 4.5 yards per play in their last three games–leaves a lot to be desired. I bet the Razorbacks, who are coming off a bye, cover the spread and pull out the victory straight up.
#22 Florida State (-5.5) over N.C. State
75% of the public likes the Seminoles to cover the 5.5 point spread. However, this line was at -8 earlier in the week, and it has dropped in favor of N.C. State despite the overwhelming majority taking Florida State. Sharp money is clearly on the Wolfpack, but I’m still going to side with the ranked Seminoles. After all, this N.C. State team just lost to Boston College. I’m not going to get cute: Sometimes you just have to take the better team.
#10 Nebraska (+17) over #6 Ohio State
I’ve picked against Ohio State each of the last three weeks with the spread. It’s worked every time. Time to get off the ship? Hell no! Nebraska is 16th in the nation in FEI and the Buckeyes have struggled mightily on offense in recent weeks. This spread is too damn high: Take the Cornhuskers.
California (+16.5) over #5 Washington
There’s a school of thought that Washington will come out motivated after being snubbed by the College Football Playoff committee. Nonetheless, I like Cal’s offense and I believe in taking home underdogs with the spread.
Game of the Week
#13 LSU (+7.5) over #1 Alabama
Did you know that LSU is third in the nation in yards per play since Ed Orgeron took over for Les Miles? Simply put, he’s unleashed Leonard Fournette in recent weeks, and the Tigers have looked unstoppable. Moreover, Alabama’s last four visits to the Bayou have been decided by less than a touchdown. Even though the Tide shut down Fournette last season, I think this meeting will be different. I still think Alabama will remain undefeated…but boy will it be close.