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October 1, 2016

Three college football picks were released yesterday, a day in advance, for Saturday.
 

1: Take Washington State +3 spread (buy half a point) against Oregon for 3% of the bankroll.

How the mighty have fallen. The Oregon Ducks are in complete disarray at the moment and are about to face their first 3 game losing streak of the last decade! It's hard to remember the Oregon team that challenged the Auburn Tigers in the 2012 National Title game. That season the Ducks had held their opponents to just 19 points per game and was largely overshadowed by an explosive offense. Today, the Ducks are allowing teams a whopping 38 points per game! Their defense has become a huge liability for them and is going to be the reason why they lose this game tonight.

The Washington Cougars are a team that is built to exploit the weaknesses of the Oregon defense. This is a team that loves to air it out and Luke Falk is one of the best passers in the country that no one is really talking about. Last season Falk averaged nearly 400 yards per game through the air, and if you recall, was instrumental in WSU's upset of Oregon last year in Eugene! Last week the Ducks defense allowed a rookie QB, making his first collegiate start to go 23 of 32 for 333 yards, completing 72% of his passes! If they allowed an unknown QB to completely shred them through the air, imagine what is going to happen with a seasoned QB like Falk under center.

Washington State has been on the bottom of the Pac-12 for some time, but this is an incredibly dangerous offense and now they have the luxury of taking on an Oregon team that is reeling in their home stadium! Oregon was once a feared team because of their explosive offense. While they definitely play with tempo, their offense is now overshadowed by their leaky defense. Oregon is now forced to continue piling on the points, simply because their defense can't stop anybody.

Meanwhile, while Washington State has not typically been known for their defense, they do currently rank second in the conference in stopping the run, allowing just 103 yards per game on the ground. They are also tied for third in red-zone defense. Oregon currently leads the conference in rushing yards per game and they will pick up their yards on the ground, however injuries are starting to pile up for the Ducks. Even if they do have success on the ground, they will be hard pressed to stop the air-raid attack of Mike Leach's team. The Ducks had no answer for Falk a season ago and we don't expect they will have much success this time around either. We believe the wrong team is favored in this contest and if Washington can at least slow down the Oregon offense, they should be able to put enough points on this defense to come away with the outright victory.
 

2: Take Clemson +2 spread against Louisville for 3% of the bankroll.

There is certainly no question that the Louisville Cardinals have been impressive to start the season. Lamar Jackson is a dynamic player and the Cardinals have not only been winning games, but have been steam rolling their opponents the last few weeks. That being said, this will be the game that defines Louisville's season and answers all of the questions surrounding the hype that has been built up around them. Yes, they completely destroyed Florida State, but let's not forget that that contest was played in the confines of their home stadium in Kentucky. Marching into Death Valley, a place where the Clemson Tigers have dispatched 18 straight opponents is no easy feat and will surely test the hype that has been surrounding Louisville this season.

It seems that everyone is quick to look past Clemson in this contest, simply because they have, in the eyes of many, "struggled" and fallen short of the lofty expectations placed upon them thus far. It's important to remember that this is still the same team, with the same playmakers who gave Alabama a run for their money in the National Title game last season. You can bet that Deshaun Watson, a Heisman hopeful himself, is tired of all of the talk surrounding Lamar Jackson and what he has been able to do on the field thus far. He will use this opportunity to show everyone that he is the best QB in the country and is ready to lead his team back to the National Title game. The Clemson defense will be chomping at the bit in order to bring Jackson back down to earth and we believe they have the playmakers to do just that. The Clemson defense is severely underrated and we believe they will be able to force Jackson into some mistakes in this contest.

Other than home field, we believe another area that Clemson will have a decisive advantage is simply their experience. The Tigers are no strangers to playing in big games, in critical situations. Watson is a big-game players and knows how to handle the pressures associated with performing on the biggest stages. All eyes will certainly be on Jackson in this contest and it will be interesting to see if he can perform under pressure in one of the most hostile environments in college football.

This will undoubtedly be the most entertaining and high profile game on the card and as fans, we are extremely excited to see how it plays out. That being said, there is no doubting what Clemson has been able to do on their home field and this is their chance to derail the hype train and show everyone that they are still the odds on favorites to reach the National Title game once again. The oddsmakers originally opened this matchup up with Clemson being a field goal favorite at home and we believe that is arguably the correct line to make. Since then the line has shifted and Clemson now finds themselves in the unfamiliar role of home underdog. The line has simply moved too much and we believe everyone who has bought into the Louisville hype heading into this matchup is going to get burned. Louisville may give the Tigers a run for their money, but in the end we believe Death Valley claims another victim and Clemson walks out with the victory.
 

3: Take Western Michigan -3 spread (buy half a point) against Central Michigan for 3% of bankroll.

The Western Michigan Broncos were the preseason favorite to win the MAC conference this year and thus far they have not disappointed. Even being from the smaller MAC conference, the Broncos already hold notable wins over Power 5 conference teams, beating both Illinois and Northwestern on the road this season. This is their conference opener against the Central Michigan Chippewas and given their success already, against bigger and more well-known programs, we expect them to continue their dominance as they march towards the conference championship.

Central Michigan has already started to make a name for itself this season. They hold a notable, albeit controversial, victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater. They also gave the Virginia Cavaliers all they could handle last week before ultimately falling 49-35. While the final score shows a somewhat close loss for the Chippewas, it was not truly indicative of how one-sided that game actually was. Virginia dominated the action early and raced out to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter. What happened next is typical of what happens when a team dominates early; they got complacent. The Cavaliers allowed Central Michigan to score the next 28 points before ultimately pulling away late in the game. Central Michigan cannot afford to allow the Zach Terrell and Jamauri Bogan to race out to a big lead in this one, as this Western Michigan team is far too experienced to allow this team to complete a dramatic comeback. Central Michigan also didn't walk out of Virginia unscathed as 4 starters went down with injury in that contest. While all are listed as questionable for this contest, even if they do play it is unlikely that they are at 100% and that could certainly play a factor in this matchup.

This should be an entertaining matchup between two very underrated quarterbacks as Western Michigan's Zach Terrell takes on Central Michigan's Cooper Rush. Rush has quietly put together a solid season, already passing for nearly 1400 yards and 13 touchdowns. That being said, two of his wide receivers, Jesse Kroll and Eric Cooper are expected to miss this contest. Rush will also be without OL Derek Edwards for at least a couple of more game while he nurses his injured foot. The injuries are really starting to pile up for this team and that is likely to play a factor in this contest against a team as complete as the Broncos.

This should be an excellent matchup between two of the smaller conference teams, however at the end we believe that Western Michigan is simply the overall better and more dynamic team of the two. They have shown the capability to win games in multiple ways, whether it be on the ground, through the air or simply with their defense. Meanwhile, the Chippewas’ success is completely dependent on the play of Copper Rush and unless he has a career game today, Western Michigan will likely wear them down and pull away late for the big win and cover. There is a lot of value in this line as Western Michigan should win this one by a touchdown.




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