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CFB Week 12 Picks

Back to back 4-1 weeks!  24-25-1 overall and I’m officially back in this thing.  Let’s get over the hump this week.  Also, my apologies for not writing an article last week, but if you are here from Reddit, you should have seen my picks there; you can also hear my picks on the Podcast.  Last week’s slate was the worst of the year and while this week looks better, I’m still not finding myself thrilled about any of these matchups.  Regardless, let’s get in to my week 12 card:

Appalachian State at #15 Coastal Carolina (-5.5), o/u 48 – NOON on ESPN2

I was pumped for the Coastal game last week against Troy and heartbroken when it got cancelled.  Coastal Carolina coming out of nowhere and making a ton of noise has made them one of my favorite teams to follow this season – right alongside BYU, for similar reasons (CC’s teal field is a nice touch as well).  So far this season, Coastal Carolina’s dominance on both sides of the ball is what has made them a legitimately good program; not a gimmicky one who just seems to win by scoring 80 points per game.  They’re 15th overall in Total Defense and 37th overall in Total Offense.

Appalachian State is comparable in that sense (21st overall Total Defense, 31st overall Total Offense), but they’ve had a few bumps in the road.  While Coastal has never failed to show up, Appalachian State couldn’t beat a very good Marshall team and just squeaked out a 17-13 win last week against a Georgia State team that Coastal defeated 51-0. I see this Coastal Carolina team continuing their undefeated streak and I don’t think 5.5 is enough.

My Pick:  Coastal Carolina -5.5, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

#7 Cincinnati (-6) at UCF, o/u 64 – 3:30PM on ESPN

I was dead wrong last week picking ECU to cover against Cincinnati.  I like Cincinnati as a program, I just thought the ECU could hang around while Cincinnati might be getting in their own head about an undefeated season.  Clearly I was wrong and hopefully that won’t come back to bite me this week.

Cincy has been an absolute money-maker this year, going 5-2 ATS.  UCF at 2-5 ATS, is quite literally a money-shredder.  What worries me in this game is that UCF is an offensive powerhouse, averaging over 620 yards per game.  UCF nearly allows as many yards per game on defense (448) that Cincinnati averages on offense (470), yet they score enough to where it doesn’t even matter.  Don’t forget that UCF was also #11 in the country before they went on a bit of a skid following a tough loss to Tulsa (Football).

A perfect season and the CFP looming over Cincinnati’s head still worries me. However, Cincinnati’s defense is for real and they have shown no mercy to lesser opponents all year.  That’s the type of stuff you love to see, especially from a college program.  UCF’s powerhouse offense will be tamed by Cincinnati’s stingy defense and the Bearcats will not slow down no matter the score.

My Pick: Cincinnati -6, this is my week 12 lock.

#14 Oklahoma State at #18 Oklahoma (-7), o/u 59.5 – 7:30 on ABC

The Bedlam Series.  Oklahoma currently leads this series 89-17 all-time and is on a 5-game winning streak.  You might as well throw all of that out of the window this season with how good Oklahoma State has been.  If not for a tough OT loss to Texas, we would probably be talking about them as the likely #4 seed in the CFP.  Which, by the way, I don’t think any Big12 team has a chance at seeing now.

The breakdown of this matchup seems pretty simple:  Oklahoma has the edge offensively, while Oklahoma State has the edge defensively.  I thought I would just look at some common opponents to get a better understanding of what to expect.

Oklahoma State CowboysOklahoma Sooners
Kansas, W 47-7Kansas, W 69-3
Texas, L 34-41 OTTexas, W 53-45 4OT
Kansas State, W 20-18Kansas State, L 35-38
Iowa State, W 24-21Iowa State, L 30-37

Oklahoma has looked like themselves the last few weeks, but look at the opponents:  Kansas (0-7), Texas Tech (3-5) and TCU (3-4).  I am still a believer in the Cowboys even though they lost to Texas and we haven’t seen them in action in two weeks.

My Pick:  Oklahoma State +7, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

#20 USC (-3) at Utah, o/u 58 – 10:30PM on ESPN

Like I said earlier, this week really isn’t moving the needle for me.  I don’t like USC and Utah hasn’t even played their first game of the season (it’s week 12!).  Why am I even touching this game?  It’s probably the Oregon fan in me needing a PAC12 game on my card.  It’s also probably the Oregon fan in me that is going to take USC -3 in hopes that they can go undefeated to face Oregon in the PAC12 Championship and hopefully give the Ducks a playoff birth.

I wish I had more of an analysis for you here but the main element I’m looking at is simply 2 games to none.  USC has played 2 games and has 2 wins.  Utah has yet to see the field. Also, considering USC has the most returning production in the PAC12 while Utah has the least, laying only 3 feels like a bargain.  I’ll also take the over.  Because, PAC12.

My Picks:  USC -3 and OVER 58.  These are both 3 out of 5 confidence ratings.

Follow me on Twitter for more week 12 picks and let me hear it about what I got wrong. See you all next week!

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CFB Week 5 Picks

2-2 last week makes me 5-7 on the year.  Obviously, I’d prefer to be 7-5 but you know who is 7-5? YOU!  Because you are now fading me every single week.  The only thing worse than going 5-7 would be going 6-6.  I’m giving you what not to take; which, in a roundabout way, means I’m giving you what to take.  Now, I’m still losing money here.  I’m not about to spend the next 5 weeks trying to get back to even so we have a do or die Week 5.  Nine plays and I can feel a heater coming on.

I’m going to give my usual analysis of my favorite games for week 5 and then just some quick picks at the end for the record books.  Fade at your own risk:

Louisiana Tech at #22 BYU -24, o/u 59 – Friday, 9PM on ESPN2

CFB Week 5 - La Tech at BYU

Friday Night Lights.  This is a matchup between a pair of 2-0 programs.  BYU is off to a historic start beating Navy 55-3 and following that up with a 48-7 victory over Troy.  La Tech smoked an FCS team (Boooo!) and squeezed out a 1-point victory against Southern Mississippi.  Stay with me here.  Southern Mississippi lost to Tulane 66-24, who lost to Navy 27-24, who lost to BYU 55-3!  So, if Team A > Team B > Team C > Team D ≈ Team E, is Team A > or < Team E?

Sorry, that’s completely pointless since BYU is already favored by 24 points; I’m just a sucker for a good old transitive property scenario.  On a serious note, BYU looks incredible.  Quarterback Zach Wilson is completing nearly 80% of his passes and the defense is allowing only 5 ppg.  Louisiana Tech has shown that they can put up points, but against an FCS team in Houston Baptist, that doesn’t hold much weight.  Troy also put up 47 the week prior to being held to only 7 by BYU.  I’ll ride with the Mormon’s till I die, but much like them, I can’t only have 1.

My Picks:  BYU -24 and OVER 59, this is a 5 out of 5 confidence rating.

UTSA at UAB -20.5, o/u 54.5 – 12:30

I really like UAB every year and Conference USA is one of those weird, fun gambling conferences.  The UTSA Roadrunners are coming off a 37-35 win over Middle Tennessee to become the first 3-0 team in the country, which is great for them.  However, they were a two-point conversion away from going to overtime with an 0-2 Middle Tennessee team that scored 14 points total in their first two games.  UTSA’s offense is solid but their defense is lacking.  At the end of the day, they are 3-0 and they’re 6-3 ATS in their last 9 (1-2 this season).  

UAB is 2-1 including a tough loss to a good Miami team.  This will be their first in-conference game and they’re undefeated at home since the programs resurgence in 2017 – that’s 19 straight wins at home.  They’re also 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games in October.  This line did open at 18.5 and most of the money is coming in on UTSA, I’m not a big “fade the public” guy, but I feel better being in this position.  With that being said, I won’t touch -21 or higher.

My Pick:  UAB -20.5 this is a 2 out of 5 confidence rating.

#17 Oklahoma State -21.5 at Kansas, o/u 54 – 3:30PM on ESPN

I’m 2-0 in Oklahoma State games and Kansas STINKS.  I was unsure last week with Spencer Sanders being out, but Oklahoma State’s offense seemed to click pretty well with Shane Illingworth under center and the run game looked how everyone expected it to look this season.  They did only score 27 last week so we’re not seeing the offensive firepower that they’re known for and a 3-score spread feels daunting.  However, Kansas’ defense is giving up over 40 ppg in this young season and I think this could be OSU’s breakout game.  Regardless, the deciding factor in this game will be Oklahoma State’s defense.  Everyone overlooks it because they want to see the high powered offense, but the defense quietly racked up 5 sacks last week and is only allowing 10 ppg. Oklahoma State will put up more than 40 points in this game.

My Pick:  Oklahoma State -21.5, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

Tulsa at #11 UCF -21.5, o/u 72 – 7:30PM on ESPN2

A golden matchup.  Last season, UCF went 9-3.  In those 3 losses, they lost by a combined 7 points.  If the wind blew a different direction last year, we could very easily be talking about UCF going for their 4th consecutive undefeated regular season right now.  With how strange of a year this is, the self-declared National Champions of UCF have as good a shot as ever to make a run for the CFP.  Dillon Gabriel is coming off back-to-back 400 yard, 4 TD games and UCF has put up a combined 100 points in their first 2 games of the season.

Tulsa football is just that:  Tulsa Football. They are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 and 6-2 in their last 8 against the Golden Knights.  Unfortunately for the Golden Hurricanes, they have the honor of playing the #11 ranked team in the country in back-to-back games.  They’re coming off of a 16-7 loss to then #11 Oklahoma State where their defense looked stout, but their offense left a lot to be desired.  On the bright side, they did defeat the Golden Knights last season 34-31 and have had two weeks to prepare due to last week’s postponement.  Can they defeat UCF again this week?  I don’t think so.  Can they cover 3 scores? Probably.  What I’m really looking at here is a powerful UCF offense versus a decent Tulsa offense; who I believe, played an underrated Oklahoma State defense in their first contest.  I expect a high-scoring affair.

My Pick:  Tulsa +21.5 and OVER 72.  The over is my lock of the week.

Final Week 5 Picks:

  • Baylor -3 at West Virginia
  • #25 Memphis at SMU, OVER 74
  • #18 Oklahoma -7 at Iowa State

Follow me on Twitter for added picks and check out the Podcast every week!