October 3, 2015 (11:00 AM ET)
Saturday's 3 college football plays were released yesterday, a day in advance.
1) Take Arkansas at +7 spread (buy half a point if necessary) against Tennessee for 3% of the bankroll.
Simply put, this is a terrible spot for the Tennessee Volunteers. After being dubbed a "Dark Horse" in the preseason by many NCAAF experts, the Tennessee Volunteers continue to looks like the team that we have been accustomed to seeing and continuously find ways to lose football games. Last week they had the victory firmly in hand leading 27-14 in the Swamp before allowing Florida QB Will Grier to complete a 65 yard TD on 4th and 14 with just over a minute to go! To make matters worse, the Vols had a chance to win the game as time expired but they watched as their game winning FG sailed wide right to ultimately seal their fate. A loss like that is forgivable in a season, however this is not the first time Tennessee has salted away a lead. Two weeks prior they allowed a 17-0 lead to evaporate late in the game against the Oklahoma Sooners. This seems to be a trend for the Vols and now they have to face what we can only expect to be a pissed off Arkansas team.
The Razorbacks are another team that were dubbed to be a contender in the stacked SEC; however they have proven otherwise with three straight defeats. Despite their struggles, Arkansas has been extremely competitive in their contests. They had a very talented Texas A&M team dead to right in their last contest, holding an 8 point lead with under 3 mins to go. Somehow, Bret Bielema’s squad managed to give up a late TD and allow a 2 point conversion to ultimately lose in overtime. Losing the way that they did will no doubt light a fire under the Razorbacks and they will like nothing else but to take out their early season frustrations on the Volunteers.
Arkansas has had quite a bit of success against the Volunteers in recent meetings having gone 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings; including 5-1 ATS in the last 6 they have been listed as the underdogs. Arkansas always seems to have to play an extremely tough schedule. Last season they played the toughest schedule in the country and that sets them up in a unique situation today. Off back to back losses, both straight up and ATS teams are 21-6 both SUATS and teams are 17-2 ATS when facing a .750 or less opponent.
Both teams have shown that no lead is seemingly safe this season, which is why we believe the points will be so valuable in this contest. Tennessee is a team that has talent and Butch Jones was supposed to be the one to bring all of that talent together and help them take the next step, so fat that hasn’t happened. The Volunteers still have a lot of growing and maturing to do. They could very easily be 4-0 on the season, but the fact is, good teams close out and win games, we haven’t seen that from the Vols yet. The Razorbacks like to “dirty” up the game and play smash mouth football. They had the perfect strategy against a high powered A&M team and that was control the time of possession. The Vols have struggled in closely contested games this season and if Arkansas can limit the damage done by the spread offense, they should keep this one close enough to contend for the outright victory.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Arkansas is 10-4 ATS against a team with a winning record.
- Arkansas has covered 4 of its last 5 road games.
- Arkansas is 11-5 against the spread in their last 16 games.
2) Take Georgia on the Money Line (-125) against Alabama risking 3.75% of the bankroll to win 3%.
Nick Saban is a tremendous football coach and has done an amazing job in his tenure bringing this Alabama program from the basement of the FBS, there certainly is no question of that. The Crimson Tide are perennial powerhouses in the SEC and are always a threat to win a game each and every time they step out on the field. That being said, this Alabama team is much different from years past. They seem vulnerable in many areas that have not been much of a concern in years past. Yes they are stout in their front 7; however their secondary has proven to be somewhat of a liability. We saw that last season in the shootout with both Ohio State and Auburn as well as this season against Ole Miss.
They also have a wild card at the QB position in Jake Coker. Coker has the appearance and at time has looked like a gunslinger which is not the type of QB Alabama is used to having at the helm. Where Alabama has thrived in the past has been being a run-first type team. From Mark Ingram to Trent Richardson to Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon, this is a team where the RB was the main star and focal point on the team. That was the formula that brought in multiple National Titles and created the Alabama dynasty, yet some reason they have seemingly gotten away from that.
This will be the Tide's first matchup in over 70 games being listed as underdogs! They are nearly always the favorites (and typically for good reason) yet the oddsmakers felt comfortable giving the mighty Tide free points and we believe for good reason. There is no doubt a lot of people jumping at the opportunity to get Alabama getting a couple of free points, but we won't be taking the bait.
The Georgia Bulldogs are a quality program and have been waiting for a contest like this to prove themselves. The Bulldogs have a similar makeup to that of the Ole Miss Rebels in that they have a solid defense, they have a quality running game and they have a QB who doesn't make many mistakes and isn't afraid to air the ball out. While most teams are intimidated by the Tide, the Rebels went right after them and did so in their own backyard, exposing the glaring weaknesses that we described above. Georgia can use a similar game plan and has a true Heisman candidate in Nick Chubb ready to wear down the defensive line. They also have a gifted QB in Greyson Lambert who has been one of the most efficient passers in the country thus far this season. Lambert has a 76.5% completion percentage this year and has racked up 733 yards to go along with 7 TDs and 0 Interceptions thus far. To think that he won't be able to find the holes in the Bama secondary would be a mistake.
Alabama already has 1 loss on the season already while the Bulldogs come into this contest undefeated. Many find it hard to believe that the Tide's season would ultimately be over with another loss on their resume and they would probably be correct. That line of thinking has led many people to blindly bet the Tide just on the assumption that it would be near "impossible" for a Nick Saban led team to already be out of the running, however we believe it will happen. It takes a very special performance for any team to beat Alabama, but we believe the Bulldogs have it in them. It will likely be a back and forth and closely contested affair, but in the end, with this game being played in Athens, the Bulldogs should come away with the victory.
3) Take Iowa at +7 spread (buy half a point) against Wisconsin for 3% of the bankroll.
For years the Wisconsin Badgers have been a force in the Big 10 Conference but things have seemingly changed, as there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding this Wisconsin squad in the post Melvin Gordon era. To replace a playmaker like that on a team that hasn't exactly been known as an offensive threat through the air is an extremely daunting task. Wisconsin opened the year with a decided loss against Alabama and since then all of their competition have come against lesser opponents. Last week they rolled to a 28-0 victory over Hawaii and while that may seem impressive a season or two ago that score would have been double that. Joel Stave is not a QB that strikes fear in the heart of opposing defenses and that could be Wisconsin's downfall in this contest. Wisconsin's ability to put points on the board is dependent on their ability to run the football. The problem for them in this contest is Iowa’s defense. The Hawkeyes are ranked 20th in the nation in overall defense and has allowed just 84.0 rushing yards per game to their opponents. They are also one of only two teams in the nation that hasn't allowed a rushing score yet (the other team is Navy).
The key for Iowa in this matchup is to win the battle in the trenches. The Badgers have a very young and inexperienced offensive line, so if the Hawkeyes can bully their way up front, they will have a great shot at stalling Wisconsin’s ability to move the ball. Mostly know as a run-first type offense, the Hawkeyes have evolved and become an incredibly balanced team on offense. CJ Beathard has taken ownership of this team and has done a great job leading them through the air. He is completing 68.2 percent of his passes and has thrown for 962 yards, 6 touchdowns and just one interception. He has thrown at least 1 touchdown pass in six of his last seven games.
Iowa is a team that has also shown very little struggles playing on the road. With their balanced attack, they can adjust to any venue, using their ground game to methodically move down the field while also using their passing game to make big plays down the field to silence the crowd. The Hawkeyes come into this contest 5-0 ATS in away games after back to back home contests. Iowa's head coach Kirk Ferentz is a sparkling 14-3 ATS in road games with revenge from a home loss. The Hawkeyes were in a similar situation earlier this season and managed to come away with a 31-17 win and cover against in state rivals the Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa has managed to cover the spread in 8 of the last 11 meetings in this series including 4 straight in games played in Wisconsin. In what should be a closely contested matchup, the points have a ton of value. Wisconsin is not the team that they once were on the offensive and we expect Iowa to control the line of scrimmage and possibly come away with the outright victory. Even if they fall short of the win, they should easily find a way to stay within this number.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Hawkeyes are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 road games.
- Badgers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a win.
- Hawkeyes are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
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