Week Five Edition
***Looking to bet on College Football, but not sure where to go? MyBookie.ag is the spot for you. Check out their spreads and props by clicking here. Like what you see? Then sign up for an account by clicking here. Use the promo code “CHECKDOWN” and MyBookie will match 100% of your initial deposit for deposits over $100 and 50% for deposits under $100.
Last Week: 4-3 (.571)
2017: 16-10 (.615)
*Total: 88-69-2 (.560)
*Total dates back to last season
Home team in italics
#16 Washington State (+4.5) over #5 USC
The Trojans may be undefeated, but they are just 1-3 against the spread and have allowed roughly 25 points per game through four weeks. Now their defense will face their toughest test of the young season against quarterback Luke Falk (14 touchdowns, 1 interception) and a Washington State offense averaging close to 44 points per game. You can’t really make much of an argument that the Cougars’ offense isn’t for real, either. They were 16th in the nation in scoring last year, too.
Washington State’s defense is certainly a question mark, but I think this is a tough spot for the Trojans. They’ve been overvalued since the season began, and I don’t think their defense will contain WSU’s explosive offense. This will be Week Five’s first major upset.
#7 Georgia (-7.5) over Tennessee
Normally I love taking a home underdog getting less than 30% support from the public, like Tennessee. But here’s why I’m not: Georgia has a far superior yards per play differential. The Bulldogs are averaging 5.7 yards per play while giving up only 3.9 (that’s 5th best in the nation). The Vol’s, meanwhile, have a negative differential (-0.3). I’ll take Georgia by two touchdowns.
#24 Mississippi State (+9.5) over #13 Auburn
Auburn’s defense is phenomenal (3rd in the country in opponent yards per play), but its offense is weak (90th in yards per play). And despite getting drilled by Georgia last week, Mississippi State is potent enough to keep this game within ten points. I’ll take the Tigers to win, but it will be close enough for the Bulldogs to cover.
#15 Oklahoma State (-10) over Texas Tech
Don’t read too much into Oklahoma State’s surprising loss at home last week to TCU. The Cowboys’ offense–and particularly its passing game, which ranks 3rd in the nation in yards per pass attempt–is still phenomenal. Plus, Oklahoma State has been very unlucky this year with regard to turnovers. For starters, fumble recovery rates are completely random; and through four weeks the Cowboys have the 14th-worst recovery rate in the country. This even explains why Oklahoma State lost to TCU: the Cowboys did not recover a single one of the four fumbles that hit the turf in that game.
I’m still high on Oklahoma State–take them with the points.
Game of the Week
#12 Virginia Tech (+7.5) over #2 Clemson
Clemson is great. But it’s tough to win on the road in college. Think about how many highly-ranked teams fall to “inferior” opponents on the road, or at least struggle to pull out a victory (i.e. Penn State at Iowa last week).
After losing by just seven points to the Tigers in the ACC Championship last season, Virginia Tech is off to a 4-0 start in ’17 and has held opponents to an average of just 7.75 points per game. That stat bodes well for them in this matchup: Clemson’s quarterback, Kelly Bryant, is shaky, as he’s thrown more interceptions (3) than touchdowns (2) through four weeks.
Aided by home-field advantage, the Hookies will give the defending champions a serious scare. But I don’t just like them to cover the 7.5 point spread…in my upset pick of the week, I’m taking Virginia Tech to beat Clemson.