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CFB Week 6 Picks

My “make or break” week last week was much more “break” than it was “make”. I went 3-5-1 which puts me at 8-12-1 on the 2020 CFB season heading into Week 6. This is like a 12 car pileup – it’s so bad that you can’t look away. As always, fade at your own risk. Here are my week 6 picks:

Louisville -4.5 at Georgia Tech, o/u 64 – 7PM, Friday on ESPN

Georgia Tech is a team that just squeaked by FSU in their first game of the year and followed that up with back-to-back losses including a 37-20 loss against Syracuse.  Giving up 37 points to Syracuse is a bad look for anybody.  The Yellow Jackets have a freshman QB in Jeff Simms who has thrown for 2 TDs and 6 INTs in their last two games.  On the bright side, he leads the team in rushing yards and their running back duo of Gibbs and Griffin have been running the ball great as well.  

Louisville is also coming off of back-to-back losses but after having a bye last week, I think they show up with a little more fire under their belly than Georgia Tech.  Malik Cunningham is a ton of fun to watch and can turn any average play into a highlight reel.  With the Yellow Jackets allowing over 440 yards of offense, I think that Cunningham and the rest of Louisville’s offense will run away with this one.  Only having to lay 4.5 here almost feels wrong.

My Pick:  Louisville -4.5, this is a 3 out of 5 confidence rating.

Duke -2 at Syracuse, o/u 51.5 – 12:30PM on ESPN3

The Blue Devils are off to their worst start in 14 years going 0-4 so far this season.  Syracuse is coming off of a bye week and had their first win of the season against Georgia Tech the week prior.  All-in-all this will be a terribly ugly game and the only reason I’m even touching it is because I don’t think Duke should ever be the favorite, no matter who they play.  Syracuse’s offensive line seemed to be somewhat capable against Georgia Tech which allowed Tommy DeVito to have a decent game (194 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT).  Duke’s pass rush is nothing special so hopefully Syracuse can keep DeVito protected again to help Syracuse win this thing outright. The one (yes, only one) good stat-line I could find between these two bottom-tier teams is that Syracuse has come up with 10 takeaways in 3 games; that could be the difference maker this week for them.  Syracuse ML is only +105, so I’m not going to risk a 1 point loss for the potential to win an extra 0.05 units.

My Pick:  Syracuse +2, this is a 3 out of 5 confidence rating.

UTSA at #15 BYU -34.5, o/u 63 – 3:30PM on ESPN2

There is no team in the nation right now that has been playing better than the BYU Cougars.  This spread is huge, but BYU has won each of their first three games by at least 31 points.  They’re second in the nation in scoring and ypg.  Their defense is ranked fourth allowing only 8 ppg and has given up a nation’s best 214.3 total yards per game.  BYU can and has done it all this season; you could fill a Book [of Mormon] with what they’re doing right and it’s only been three games.

UTSA is having a great season as well.  After becoming the first 3-0 team in the nation, they fell to UAB last week 21-13.  They struggled to stop the run against UAB and that could spell major trouble for them in week 6.  However, they’re 3rd in the nation in takeaways and we all know how quickly turnovers can change a game. They’ll need their defensive line, which has been dominant, to pressure Zach Wilson to hopefully force a few turnovers.  But who am I kidding?  That will not happen.  BYU is an absolute force and will continue to climb the rankings.  34.5 is a ton of points but you have to lay them here.  I can live with BYU not covering; I can’t live backing a Conference USA team versus the hottest team in the nation.

My Pick:  BYU -34.5, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

#7 Miami at #1 Clemson -14, o/u 62.5 – 7:30PM on ABC

Easily the game of the week and potentially the game of the year with the Miami Hurricane’s clashing with the Clemson Tigers on Saturday night.  The only thing that could spoil all of the fun is some weather from Tropical Storm Delta.  Rain always spoils the fun but more importantly it spoils the over.  Pair the rain with a matchup between two top 20 defenses and we have entered Under City.  It hurts me to say that since betting the under sucks and we have two of the Heisman favorites facing off, but I can’t bet with my heart here. 

D’Eriq King and Trevor Lawrence combine for 14 TDs and 0 INTs.  Cam’Ron Harris is averaging over 5 yards per carry for Miami while Travis Etienne is averaging over 6 yards per carry for Clemson.  Just an incredible matchup no matter what way you look at it. Clemson is the better team here, but winning by more than two touchdowns against a Miami team that looks like a legit contender seems like a high order.  I’ll watch the line or buy half a point to make the spread +14.5 here for Miami.

My Pick:  Miami +14.5 and UNDER 62.5, the under is my lock of the week.

Check out my Twitter for more week 6 picks throughout the day and check out the Podcast for more picks!

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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