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CFB Week 9 Picks

Welcome to the Winners’ Circle ladies and gentlemen.  Going 3-2 last week, with how my year has gone thus far, feels like I had the weekend of a lifetime.  I cannot wait to be brought back down to earth with this horrible Week 9 slate.  Given how many early games I have on my card, be sure to check out my Twitter for more picks throughout the day on Saturday.

Next week, I’ll have my overall records per confidence rating.  What’s the point in even having them if I can’t provide data on each one?  So stay tuned.  Let’s get into my Week 9 Card:

East Carolina at Tulsa -17, o/u 61 – 9PM on ESPN2

Friday night lights, meet Tulsa Football.  I’m clearly a big Tulsa guy and at 3-0 ATS this season I’d be a fool to turn away now.  I’m more of a “ride streak” guy than I am a “due to lose” guy.  Last week I mentioned how well-balanced this Tulsa team is and they showed exactly that in their contest at USF.  The Golden Hurricane’s running attack scored four touchdowns while their defense held USF to 2 for 15 on third downs.  

As far as common opponents, East Carolina lost their first contest of the season 51-28 to UCF, a team that Tulsa beat 34-26 in early October.  East Carolina is probably the worst defense in this conference and are ranked outside of the top 100 for schedule difficulty while Tulsa is top 35.  Clearly, Tulsa is the superior team here and I expect them to win by three touchdowns.

My Pick:  Tulsa -17, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

Boston College +31 at #1 Clemson, o/u 61 – NOON on ABC

Does Clemson run it up on Boston College after last week’s performance against Syracuse?  Will Clemson be looking ahead to next week’s showdown at #4 Notre Dame?  Both are very possible, with very different outcomes on the game.  Boston College is a respectable 4-2, holding teams to only 25 ppg.  Phil Jurkovec and BC’s passing attack have had themselves a great year which I expect to keep them in this game.  When I say keep them in this game I mean they’ll probably lose by 28 points.  Who cares, that’s a win.

My Pick:  Boston College +31, this is a 3 out of 5 confidence rating.

Memphis at #7 Cincinnati -7, o/u 55.5 – NOON on ESPN

UCF, SMU and Memphis all seem like the same team to me, in that there isn’t much defense and none of those teams play smash mouth football.  Cincinnati has only allowed 12.5 ppg in 4 game this season and score 37 ppg.  It’s shocking to me that the #7 team in the country is only a 7 point favorite here, especially when they play such a physical style of football against a team that shouldn’t be able to handle it.  I’d expect this week to look like Cincinnati’s first four games.  Holding Memphis to 20 or less while putting up over 30.

My Pick:  Cincinnati -7, this is my week 9 lock.

Michigan State at #13 Michigan -24.5, o/u 52.5 – NOON on FOX

Rutgers got its first conference win since 2017 last week against MSU.  That’s how bad Michigan State is.  Now, to defend MSU’s defense, the offense did turn the ball over 7 times, so holding Rutgers to only 38 is almost impressive. Michigan smoked Minnesota last week, but overall it was a weirdly sloppy game.  I was still impressed by their performance but the overall sloppiness left a bit to be desired, especially if they want to give Ohio State a run for its money.  With that being said, I expect Michigan’s defense to have an even more dominant game this week than they had at Minnesota (5 sacks, 8 TFL).  Joe Milton was also impressive for someone I wasn’t very high on.  I know I just tried to compliment MSU’s defensive performance last week, but at the end of the day they gave up 38 points to RUTGERS.  Michigan should have their way with this MSU team for the third straight year (65-17 combined in their last two matchups).

My Pick:  Michigan -24.5 this is a 3 out of 5 confidence rating.

Missouri at #10 Florida -13.5, o/u 61.5 – 7:30 on SECN

I’ll keep this one short and sweet.  The Florida Gators’ offense is spectacular, their defense is the furthest thing from spectacular.  Their games this year have totaled: 86, 62 and 79.  We may very well see over 1,000 yards of offense from this game as both Missouri and Florida average over 400 yards per game.  Until shown otherwise, I’m going to assume Florida overs to be automatic.

My Pick:  OVER 61.5, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

New Podcast episodes every Friday for CFB, NFL and more gambling picks! Week 9 CFB and Week 8 NFL this week.

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CFB Week 2 Picks

It’s obviously very difficult to know what to expect from any team in the first few games of a season in any sport, but especially college sports because of the amount of turnover you see year-to-year.  So, one of the most important statistics for the first couple of week’s is going to be looking at teams’ returning production. 

Charlotte at Appalachian State -17, o/u59 – Saturday, NOON on ESPN2 

Both of these teams are in the top 30 overall with offensive returning production.  Both teams still have their dual-threat QBs and still have their main receiving corps. Appalachian State is a team that went 13-1 last season with the 9th overall scoring offense averaging 39 ppg. Charlotte is a team that averaged 30 ppg last season and runs a spread offense that really started to click by the end of the year where they won their last 5 conference games.  

On the flip side of this, both of these teams are in the lower half of returning production on defense.  While App State only allowed 20 ppg, they did lose nearly half of their defense so I expect them to take a step back.  Charlotte lost nearly 60% of their defense including their schools all-time leading tackler as well as their all-time sack leader.  A team that allowed over 32 ppg last season could see an even larger number this year.  I see the over hitting pretty easily, the only thing I could see getting in the way is some rain in the forecast to cause some issues in the passing game.

My Pick:  OVER 59

Duke at Notre Dame -19.5, o/u54.5 – Saturday, 2:30PM on NBC

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – NOVEMBER 09: Josh Blackwell #31 and Michael Carter II #26 of the Duke Blue Devils chase Ian Book #12 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish out of bounds during the first quarter of their game at Wallace Wade Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

This is the only game on my card that will have fans in attendance – around 15,000. Notre Dame isn’t known as a particularly tough place to play, so I don’t see the attendance being a factor; but I still thought it was worth noting. These two teams faced off last year and Notre Dame won handily 38-7.   Last year, Duke was a sub .500 team at 5-7 and has seen a pretty big shake up overall, a new QB and 3 new coaches paired with limited time to prepare with coronavirus. They do have a lot of returning talent on the defensive end, but for a team that gave up 30 ppg, I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.  Notre Dame is on their best stretch of football in recent memory and most importantly they’re 24-14-1 ATS in their last 3 seasons.  They have a heisman candidate QB in 5th-year-senior Ian Book who will be working behind 6 returning offensive lineman.  Notre Dame is a playoff hopeful who I can see going 11-1 this year (losing to Clemson).  I’m taking Notre Dame minus the points and expect a similar score to last years matchup.  Some rain in the forecast as well – maybe take a peak at the under.

My Pick:  Notre Dame -19.5

Clemson -33 at Wake Forest, o/u60 – Saturday, 7:30PM on ABC

Oct 6, 2018; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne (9) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson was 8-1 ATS in conference games last season which includes a 52-3 win over Wake Forest.  A 33 point spread is scary enough, but – something to ease your mind – Clemson was 5-1 ATS last season when the spread was over 30 points.  Clemson is a team that is in the lower-tier of returning production, but of those returning you have the best QB in the nation in Trevor Lawrence, you have Travis Etienne who is probably the best back in the nation and Clemson’s entire defensive line is back.  Wake Forest is the polar opposite.  They lost their quarterback, running back, top 3 receivers and almost their entire offensive line.  If the score wasn’t so outrageous in last years contest I would say to expect an even better showing from the Tigers. I’m taking Clemson -33 and I’m going to take the first half line as well.

My Picks:  Clemson 1H -21 and Clemson -33