October 24, 2015 (11:00 AM ET)
Today's 3 college football plays were released yesterday. We swept the card winning all 3 picks last Saturday and have profited from 6 of the first 7 college football Saturdays of the season! Today, we aim to make it 7 out of 8.
1) Take Miami at +7.5 spread against Clemson for 3% of the bankroll. (Released on Friday)
The Clemson Tigers come into this contest undefeated and ranked #6 in the country, and while they have no doubt been winning games, we're not completely sold that this Tigers team is worthy of their lofty ranking at this point. What many may not have been paying attention to is the fact that this contest against the Miami Hurricanes will be only the second road game that Clemson has played on the road this season which was a narrow 20-17 win against Louisville early in the season. They have had the luxury of playing at home and racking up impressive showings however being able to duplicate those performances on the road, especially against a team as well balanced as the Canes is an entirely different beast.
Miami comes into this contest with 2 losses already on the season; however they are not a team these Tigers can sleep on as they are an extremely well rounded team. They move the ball on offense and know how to get stops on defense when needed. In their 30-20 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies last Saturday, they forced four turnovers with Junior cornerback Artie Burns picking off 2 passes from Brandon Motley to lead the Canes’ defense . The offense didn’t need a dominant performance as they combined for just 395 total yards but quarterback Brad Kaaya threw for 296 yards and two passing touchdowns. On the year, Kaaya has 1,795 passing yards, to go along with a 10 touchdowns and just a single interception.
While many are no doubt talking about the impressive Clemson offense, Miami has an offense just as good as the Tigers. The Canes have a number of talented wideouts able to stretch the field, a dynamic running back in Joseph Yearby who has big play ability in the open field and most importantly, Brad Kaaya who is no doubt a star in the making and will be something special in the next couple of seasons. Miami also has a balanced defense capable of making big plays when needed. Despite both Clemson's and Miami's overall records, these teams are very similar to one another, however the difference is that Miami is still looking for that ‘signature win’ over a top team and a win over a nationally ranked Clemson team would surely provide that.
The great thing about the game of football is that any team is capable of winning any game. It's not always about which team is better; it's about which team is better that particular day. There has been a lot of talk in the media about the fact that Clemson has won 36 straight games against unranked opponents. It almost seems like a foreshadowing when the media brings up those kinds of facts and statistics that is acts almost like a ‘jinx’ to a team / record. While superstition certainly doesn’t play a role in the handicapping process, this game simply has all of the makings of an upset. Let’s not forget that there is a slogan officially dubbed ‘Clemsoning’. That is due in part to Clemson losing they games that many expect them to win and it’s interesting that Clemson is 2-11 ATS after 6 consecutive wins. This is the spot in the season where Clemson typically stumbles and this will be the best offense that Clemson has faced all season.
Clemson is in a tough spot in this one and will likely be a bit out of sorts playing on the road for the first time in weeks. There is an adjustment period that is usually needed and the Canes will feed off of that. As we had stated, Miami has big play capability and if they come out of the game firing, they could put Clemson in trouble early. It’s important to know that Al Golden is 14-1 as a home underdog of 24 or less points in his career, including going 10-1 ATS in conference play. Miami is more than capable of pulling off the upset in this game; however they should at the very least keep this a competitive game. The Tigers will be lucky to come out of this game with a victory, let along by more than a touchdown.
2) Take Cincinnati at -12.5 spread against Connecticut for 3% of the bankroll. (Released on Friday)
Even though it may not seem it given whom the competitors are; this is actually a big game for both of these teams as each rank near the bottom of the conference. For those who have been following the Cincinnati Bearcats know that they are a much better team than their unflattering 3-3 overall record would suggest as this team has gone against a taxing slate of games so far this season. The fact that they are still somewhat underrated and suffered a few setbacks actually plays to favor in this spot as their somewhat unappealing overall record has lessened the value of the line in this matchup. Given the disparity of talent between both of these teams, this line could have arguably been much higher had it not been for a couple of near losses on the Bearcats resume.
The fact that Cincinnati is also coming off somewhat of a heartbreaking loss should only add to their motivation in this contest. The Bearcats held a 24-17 lead heading into the 4th quarter against the BYU Cougars out in Provo. Unfortunately, the Bearcats could not hold on as they allowed the Cougars to score 21 unanswered points and Tommy Tuberville actually had his players quit fighting with more than 2 minutes left in the game. There is no doubt that was a demoralizing loss, but knowing the type of coach Tuberville is, he has been prepping his team and firing them up to take their frustrations out on the Huskies in this contest. The loss to BYU will surely stick soundly in the minds of some people, however it’s worth mentioning that prior to their trip to Provo, they managed to knock off and upset a good Miami Hurricanes team by 11 as a touchdown underdog at home. The Bearcats are simply a completely different team on their home field and we expect them to show everyone that in this contest.
The UConn Huskies meanwhile are certainly making strides as a team, but they are still struggling mightily on the offensive end of the ball. They finally have a consistent starting QB under center in sophomore Bryant Shireffs, but they are still a ways away from keep up with the kind of offensive production that the Bearcats have. The Huskies have long survived on their bend but don’t break style of defense, but their offensive production have always been light years behind. Their resume this season certainly isn't worth bragging about and even their wins have been by the closest of margins. Against a team that is ranked in the Top 10 in the country in offensive efficiency and yards per game, it's highly unlikely the Huskies will be able to keep up on the scoreboard.
It really is as simple as that. The Bearcats are a completely different beast offensively at home. Whether with Gunner Kiel or Hayden Moore under center, Cincinnati should be able to move the ball up and down the field with relative ease finding their playmakers in the open field. The only hope that the Huskies have in this contest is that they can hold the Bearcats to field goals rather than touchdowns. While they may be able to salvage some possessions, it is only a matter of time before the numerous playmakers on the Cincinnati offense breakout and put this game away.
This contest has the potential to be a one sided blowout and we believe that's exactly what it will be. Cincinnati managed to come away with a blowout victory last season in Connecticut and we believe it will be much of the same on their home field. Connecticut and Shireffs will likely make some plays and be able to put some points on the board, but the Bearcats should have no problem winning this by 2+ touchdowns.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Huskies are just 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games in October!
- Huskies are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
- The team installed as 'favorites' has covered the last 5 meetings between these two schools!
- The Huskies are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings and are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Cincinnati.
3) Take Georgia Tech at +7 spread against Florida State for 3% of the bankroll. (Released on Friday)
This is no doubt a matchup between two teams on the opposite ends of the spectrum and public perception has a huge influence on which side is currently being pounded. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets stock is at an all-time low after having lost their last 5 straight games. This was a team that was projected to possibly contend for the ACC title in the offseason, but has certainly fallen short of those lofty expectations. That being said, there is a reason why many projected this team to potentially lead the conference. They have a bevy of playmakers on their team and have one of the most dynamic offenses in the entire country. Unfortunately their defense has not been up to the task and the team has suffered a few close losses this season. Despite their inability to finish off teams and come away with the victory, the Yellow Jackets have been fairly competitive even in defeat. Most recently they suffered a 3 point loss at the hands of the defensive minded Pittsburgh Panthers. It's their ability to keep games close that shows the value in them being home underdogs.
The Florida State Seminoles are again a powerhouse in the ACC. They come into this contest an undefeated 6-0 on the season and 4-0 in conference play. It would be easy for them to overlook what on the surface appears to be a hapless Yellow Jackets team and that's exactly what we expect to happen. Georgia Tech is not a team that many can afford to sleep on. They have big play ability given their Triple Option attack and have shown on more than one occasion this season their ability to make a house call if defenders are not playing disciplined with their assignments.
There is no doubt the Yellow Jackets will be motivated in this contest, not only to snap out of their recent 5 game losing streak, but to secure a victory over the #9 ranked team in the country. In their meeting last season, Tech pushed the Noles to limit and although they lost, it was an extremely close game (37-35) which was played on a neutral field.
A big reason for the Seminoles success this season has been because of the play of Dalvin Cook. Cook has been instrumental in moving the football and putting points on the board for the Noles. Everett Golson is a veteran quarterback but his inconsistent play has been masked by the production of Cook. It's worth mentioning that Cook has been hampered by a hamstring injury and re-aggrevated that in the Noles last game against Louisville. Even though we expect him to suit up and play a hamstring injury is not an easy injury to deal with. It could quite possibly limit his minutes and will at the very least limit some of the explosiveness we have all been accustomed to seeing from him.
Strength of schedule will also likely play a factor in this contest as there is no doubt that Tech is the more battle tested team at this point in the season. Looking at the competition both have played, Tech has played a murderer's row of teams the past few weeks that include Duke, Notre Dame and Clemson all on the road! Meanwhile the Noles toughest tests this season have been the past two weeks where they have taken on Miami and Louisville, both at home. This will be a tough matchup for Florida State whose only two road opponents this season have been the anemic offenses of Boston College and Wake Forrest. In their two games the Noles have only managed to put up an average of 19 points on offense! That surely won't be enough to get by this motivated Georgia Tech team.
It would be a surprise to many if Georgia Tech was able to somehow pull the upset in this contest, but we don't believe it is completely out of the realm of possibility. Even so, we do not need the Yellow Jackets to win this game; we just need them to keep things close. Over the last 3 seasons, Tech has not once been listed as an underdog by this many points and there is good reason for that. The recent perception has certainly been skewed here and we are going to take advantage as the Yellow Jackets are the ones who end up cashing our tickets.
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