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November 12, 2016

There are 3 college football picks on Saturday.
 

Take Purdue +14 spread (buy half a point) against Northwestern for 3% of the bankroll.

After a couple of fiery offensive performances in the middle of the season, the Northwestern Wildcats have seemingly reverted back to what they have been best known for; a mediocre defense and inconsistent offense. After two losses to both the Ohio State Buckeyes and Wisconsin Badgers, the oddsmakers are projecting the Wildcats to bounce back in impressive fashion as they take on a Purdue team who has struggled to find a way to win themselves. While we don't completely disagree with the thought of Northwestern winning this ballgame, to expect them to do so by more than 2 touchdowns on the road, seems like an extremely tall task to ask of a team that has shown their ability to struggle on the offensive side of the ball. While Justin Jackson, Austin Carr and Clayton Thorson are starting to receive some media recognition, this is still a team that has a way to go before they can be considered at the top of the Big 10.

Purdue meanwhile has been the stepping stone of the Big 10 for some time now. They are a team that struggles to put everything together a play a fundamentally sound, full 48 minutes. They have had issues with turnovers and protecting the football, but this is also a team that has shown some flashes of talent throughout this season. David Blough is starting to emerge as an actual quality quarterback. Against a rather stout Minnesota defense, Blough managed to go 29 of 48 for 3 touchdowns and just a single interception. He has thrown for 2727 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season and starting to gain more awareness in the pocket. The passing game has really been their only mode of offense as they come in ranked 16th in the nation in passing yards per game.

While Purdue hasn't exactly been great this season, the Wildcats simply don't have the offense that is built to completely blow teams out. If Blough can limit the turnovers in this contest, his ability in the passing game should be enough to keep the score manageable. The Boilermakers losing streak currently sits at 4 games and there is no question that they are motivated and looking to snap their recent skid. Purdue is certainly capable of pulling off the upset, but even if they don't, they should be able to keep this game down within this generous number, even if a backdoor cover is the way they get there. The value is with the points and the home team in this one.
 

Take Army +14 spread (buy half a point) against Notre Dame for 3% of the bankroll.

This is a somewhat interesting matchup as the much more well-known and herald program in Notre Dame will be staying home this postseason while the Black Knights are on the brink of reaching just their second bowl game in the past 19 seasons, needing to win either this weekend against Notre Dame or December 10th vs. rival Navy to gain the needed edibility. Given how well the Midshipmen have been playing this season, a win against a ND team that has struggled for much of the season on the defensive side of the ball makes for a much easier matchup for the Black Knights to come away with a victory.

Head coach Jeff Monken continues the option tradition at West Point. They potent rushing attack ranks near the top in the nation and actually outgains their service member counterparts by just over 20 yards per game on average. Navy was able to absolutely torch the Irish defense last week as they amassed 325 yards on the ground. While we expect ND to adjust this week and potentially stack the box against the Knights, stacking the box to stop the run can also be a dangerous proposition against the Triple-Option as one blown assignment will often result in a huge gain, or worse, a touchdown.

While the offense has typically been the staple of this Black Knights team, it has been their defense that has garnered the attention this season, currently ranking nationally 6th in yards allowed, 6th against the pass and 13th in points allowed. A four-headed monster drives the D from the middle, with linebackers Andrew King, Jeremy Timpf, Alex Aukerman and Kenneth Brinson continuing where they left off from last season and leading the way for the Black Knights.

Notre Dame was expected to do big things this season and have severely disappointed. Their offense has been inconsistent, even though Deshone Kizer has proven to be a playmaker. Their defense has been shredded time and time again and Head Coach Brian Kelley's time in South Bend is likely coming to a conclusion. Given their struggles, one has to wonder exactly how much motivation this team has left. Even if they do manage to have success against the Triple-Option, their defense is a liability. Army has mastered the ability to slow down the game and control the time of possession. Their ability to consistently move the chains and keep the clock running will keep Notre Dame's offense on the field.

With veteran's day having just past, expect the Army players to come into this contest motivated to secure their first Bowl appearance in nearly 2 decades. Even if Army falls short of the outright victory, Notre Dame cannot be trusted to win football games, let alone cover a hefty number such as this, especially in a game played on a neutral turf. The points will come into play in this one.
 

Take Baylor +17.5 spread against Oklahoma for 3% of the bankroll.

The Oklahoma Sooners program is a storied franchise whose name carries a ton of weight! That being said, the oddsmakers often overvalue a program such as Oklahoma and that is what we feel they have done in this instance as the Sooner prepare to take on the Baylor Bears.

There is no question that the perception of Baylor has taken a hit, especially in the last couple of weeks. The Bears lost a close game at Texas and followed up that performance with a 40-point blowout loss at home to the TCU Horned Frogs. That loss severely discredited the Bears and that is something that we will use to our advantage in this contest.

After starting a perfect 6-0 on the season, the Baylor Bears have now lost two straight and have done so in somewhat dramatic fashion. However, this is a team that still has the quick strike ability that we have been accustomed to seeing. Their lack of strength in the non-conference have certainly hurt them this season, however this is their chance to prove that they are still a quality program against a quality opponents.

As good as Oklahoma has played over the last few weeks, they are still the same team that had been easily handled by both the Houston Cougars and Ohio State Buckeyes. Both Houston and OSU have something in common with the Bears and that is a quick strike style of offense. Baylor is one of the best teams in the country at moving the ball down the field and spotting a team that can drive the length of the field in under 2 minutes is a dangerous proposition.

Baker Mayfield has certainly been a leader of this team on the offensive side of the football, however the Sooner defense has been mediocre at best at times this season. Even if Oklahoma jumps out to a double-digit lead in this contest, we don't expect them to be able to extend that margin. The Bears were completely embarrassed last week and we believe they will be hard pressed to allow themselves to be blown out in two straight games. Even if Baylor fails to capture the victory, with Seth Russell at the helm, he should be able to control the offense enough to keep this score well within the three touchdown mark it will take for Oklahoma to Cover this spread. These odds are simply an overreaction to the Bears loss to TCU last week and it will be a much different performance in this contest as the Bears keep this well within the generous point spread.




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