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November 5, 2016

A total of four picks were released yesterday for Saturday.

Sports Profit System has won 12 of its last 14 college football selections and is having an excellent season!

#1: Take Miami Florida -3 against Pittsburgh for 3% of the bankroll.

There is no question that the perception of this Miami team has been severely skewed. After starting the season 4-0 and ranked number 10 in the country, Mark Richt's team has certainly hits the skids, having lost their last 4 games. Four straight losses both straight up and against the spread will certainly have a negative impact on a team, however, that is where we believe value lies. There is no question this team is going to be looking to end their recent misfortunes and it likely couldn't come at a better time as they match up with the Pittsburgh team extremely well.

The Pittsburgh Panthers are unquestionably a scrappy team, who have proven to have a lot of heart on the field, however if there is one area where they have truly struggled it is in defending the pass. Pittsburgh comes into this contest ranked 125th versus the pass. Miami has actually been stellar on the offensive end this season and comes into this contest ranked 48th in the country in passing averaging 252 yards through the air. Brad Kaaya was expected to do big things in the league this season, but has somewhat struggled somewhat simply because he has been forcing passes into tight windows. Against a leaky Pittsburgh defense, Kayaa should have a strong outing as he looks to lead his team out of their losing streak.

Where the Hurricanes have really shined this season has been on the defensive end as they come into this matchup tied for 16th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 18.9 points a game. Against a Pittsburgh team who has somewhat struggled on the offensive side, the Miami defense could be primed for a strong showing in this contest.

Pittsburgh has played well to start the season however we believe they are simply outclassed against a Miami team who will be looking to turn their fortunes around and end their losing streak. This game may be close in the early going, however with Miami playing at home, we expect that they will feed off the energy of the crowd and make the key plays down the stretch to end their losing streak and come away with a big win and cover.

#2: Take LSU +7.5 spread against Alabama for 3% of the bankroll.

The question around the college football world is, 'Can anyone beat Alabama'? Despite early season challenges from ranked opponents such as Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide have remained unchallenged for the most part. Alabama’s closest win against the aforementioned team a 19-point victory over Arkansas. The Crimson Tide utterly dominated USC by 46 points, blew out Tennessee by 39 points, and manhandled Texas A&M in a 33-14 victory. This matchup with LSU presents an interesting challenge for the Tide as they travel to Baton Rouge to play in a night game in Death Valley, a situation where the Tigers have been nothing short of dominant for over of a decade! LSU is an astonishing 55-4 at home at night dating back to the 2005 season and could be the biggest threat to the Tide's undefeated season. 

This is the lowest spread that Alabama has been asked to cover this season and given the sheer dominance that they have displayed, we find the spread to be rather interesting. Since their early season loss to Auburn and the firing of Les Miles, the Tigers have posted 3 straight victories including a 38-21 victory over then number 23 ranked Ole Miss two weeks ago. Ironically, it was the Rebels that gave Alabama their biggest scare of the season earlier this year and the Tigers completely dominated them from start to finish. Simply put, since the departure of Miles, this entire LSU team has played much better on both sides of the ball since Coach Ed Orgeron took over. For a long time, LSU had been deemed a one-dimensional offense with a strict focus on the run. The game plan to stop them was simply, bottle up the running back and shut down the offense. Orgeron has since opened the playbook allowing junior quarterback Danny Etling to take shots down the field. Since the change in game plan, Etling has connected on 64% of his passes for more than 700 yards with 4 in his last three games. This has had a profound effect on opposing defenses as they are no longer able to simply sell-out on the run which has allowed guys like Leonard Fournette and sophomore running back Derrius Guice big opportunities in the running game.

There is no question that Alabama has an outstanding defense and they currently lead the nation in defensive scores (by a large margin). That being said, LSU's defense ranks right up there with the Tide in all defensive categories, with the exception of defensive scores. The Tigers have allowed their opposition just 317 yards per game this season! Talent wise, it could be argued that (talent wise) LSU's defense is just a bit better than Alabama's, especially against the pass.

Alabama vs LSU is always a highly anticipated matchup; however, this matchup could be one of the most important in recent memory. The Tigers near perfect record at home at night is on the line and this could be the statement win that Orgeron has been looking for to permanently cement his spot and remove the 'Interim' tag as Head Coach. Over the last few seasons, Alabama has been known to slip up at least once and it has typically come against SEC rivals. Could this be the matchup where the Tide stumbles and LSU pulls the upset? It's certainly possible. If the Tigers can keep this a low scoring game and limit the turnovers, they should have a shot to make some plays at the end of the game. It's hard to imagine any team beating Alabama this season, however this is certainly the situation where it could happen. The line is short for a reason and getting the Tigers at home, in a night game at more than a touchdown is simply too good to pass up.

#3: Take North Carolina -10 spread against Georgia Tech for 3% of the bankroll.

This is an important ACC matchup as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets invade Chapel Hill to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Georgia Tech has had a streaky season thus far. The Yellow Jackets opened the season with three straight wins over Boston College, Mercer, and Vanderbilt before dropping three straight to Clemson, Miami, and Pitt. Georgia Tech rebounded with back-to-back wins over Georgia Southern and Duke to rest at 5-3 on the season. The thing about Georgia Tech is that they have beaten the teams that they were supposed to beat this season, however they have stumbled each time they have taken a step up in competition and this will certainly be one of those times as they face an extremely potent Tar Heels offense.

Where the Yellow Jackets have certainly been lacking is on the defensive side of the ball and have been especially vulnerable to the pass. They have allowed an average of 226 yards through the air and nearly 200 yards on the ground. Against an extremely potent and balanced offensive attack of North Carolina, they Yellow Jackets could be in for a long afternoon if they are not able to make stops and get off the field on 3rd down.

Mitch Trubisky figured to be the difference maker in this contest. He has a canon for an arm and has been making great decisions with the football this season which is a huge reason why he has an impressive 18-2 touchdown to interception ratio. Given the Yellow Jackets vulnerability to the pass, if the O-line can provide adequate protection, Trubisky should be able to carve up the GT secondary especially considering that he is averaging just over 300 yards per game through the air.

Defending the Triple-Option is extremely tough; however, UNC is familiar and has experience defending this type of attack. If they can stay disciplined with their assignments and force the Jackets to stay behind the down and distance, they should be able to limit the amount of points that GT is able to put on the board. UNC prefers to turn their games into a shootout and that is simply not a style of game that Georgia Tech can win given their limitations on offense. This may be a close game in the early going, but the Yellow Jackets will have a hard time keeping pace on the scoreboard which should lead to a rather easy double-digit win for the Tar Heels.

#4: Take Northwestern +7 spread against Wisconsin for 3% of the bankroll.

The Wisconsin Badgers head to Northwestern to take on the Wildcats in what has routinely been a very difficult matchup for the Badgers. These two teams are very similar in that they have typically relied on a run-heavy offense coupled with a stout defense. It's been these similarities that have proven to give Northwestern an edge in this series in the past.

After a pretty shaky start, Northwestern has been playing much better as of late which could pose problems for Wisconsin in this matchup, especially considering their defense comes into this on ranked 31st in the nation in points allowed and 39th in stopping the run. Pat Fitzgerald's team is rarely flashy on offense, but in the past few weeks they have been playing with a confidence and swagger that we have not seen in years past. This is arguably the best Northwestern team that Wisconsin has seen and should challenge once again for the outright upset. The Wildcats will likely come into this contest boasting even more confidence after their showing against Ohio State last week in Columbus. The Wildcats were on the wrong side of a 24-20 decision but they had the Buckeyes tied at 17 in the third quarter and took OSU to the limit as massive underdogs. They were able to wear down Ohio State and made life difficult for J.T Barrett, something Wisconsin couldn’t accomplish in when they met the Buckeyes in Madison.

There is no question that Wisconsin is one of the top teams in the nation, however they have taken a very hard road to get to this point and could come into this contest a bit worse for wear. They have faced a gauntlet of tough opponents in recent weeks that include LSU, Michigan, Ohio State and most recently, Nebraska. Their victory over Nebraska was a hard-fought battle as they knocked the Huskers from the ranks of the unbeaten. They have leaned on their defense for much of the season as they are just 96th in the nation is total yards gained. After weeks of facing the best that the nation has to offer, one has to wonder how much the Badgers defense have left in the tank and when exactly will it will breakdown. Considering that Northwestern is in the familiar role of spoiler and have had success against Wisconsin in the past, we wouldn't be surprised if they have success against the Badgers' D in this one. 

There is no question that Wisconsin's game plan each and every matchup is to run the football. That is the basis of their offense. Their play at QB has been mediocre at best with both Bart Houston and Alex Hornibrook seeing time under center. Neither QB is elite and both have been prone to making rookie mistakes as they have combined for 9 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. Northwestern does not have the same issues at QB as Clayton Thorson has emerged as a standout dual threat. Thorson has thrown 15 touchdowns so far but has also contributed on the ground with four more scores. He is the second leading rusher on the team and there should be lanes for him to escape against a blitz happy Badger defense. RB Justin Jackson is also dynamic running the football and is the type of player who seemingly gets better as the game wears on. Austin Carr is a marquee threat in the passing game and has put up big numbers against Wisconsin in the past. He is the type of receiver that warrants double coverage and if the Badgers decide to do so, as many teams have in the past, Thorson has proven to make the correct reads and force opposing defenses to pay for overplaying Carr.

There is no doubt that Wisconsin has been the better team on paper in every recent meeting with Northwestern but there is just something that the Badgers cannot solve, especially at Ryan Field. We really don’t expect that to change in a clear or obvious way given the offensive struggles by Wisconsin and this one has all the makings of a close, four quarter battle. A very close game could be trouble for Wisconsin as their kicking game has been some inconsistent with Andrew Endicott missing a field goal and extra point during the Nebraska game. The fact that Northwestern has managed to win six of the last ten meetings and Wisconsin has not won in Evanston dating all the way back to 1999 shows that the home team getting a full touchdown has a tremendous amount of value!

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