October 8, 2016
Please scroll down to view Saturday's three selections and their respective write-ups!
In addition, one NFL pick has been released so far, for Sunday.
#1: Take Oregon +9 spread against Washington for 3% of the bankroll.
This is an interesting matchup where we believe perception has played a hug role in the current line. The Washington Huskies are finally starting to get a return on their rather lofty investment of Chris Petersen. They are ranked No 5 in the AP polls and are coming off arguably their biggest win of the Petersen era, a complete and utter destruction of the Stanford Cardinal. There is no question that things are looking up in Washington and that that victory over Stanford has certainly opened up some eyes on this Washington team.
While Washington's stock is arguably the highest it has been all season, the opposite is true of the Oregon Ducks. Oregon has dropped three straight games for the first time since 2007 and are now in the unfamiliar role of home-underdog, a place they haven't been since 2009. Autzen Stadium has always been one of those feared places that opponents have dreaded playing. The Ducks run an extremely efficient offense on their home field so making them even a slight underdog is always a dangerous proposition. We believe the oddsmakers have completely missed the mark in this contest, making the Ducks near double digit home dogs!
This line seems even more absurd considering the fact that Oregon has owned the series meeting recently, going a perfect 12-0 (11-1 ATS) in the last 12 meetings. While there is certainly no question that the roles have likely reversed for this matchup, the fact that Washington has struggled against this team should not be overlooked. Oregon is an extremely dangerous opponent and has shown the ability to put points on the board against anyone. Washington will be fortunate to leave Autzen Stadium with a win, let alone a double digit one.
Don't let the recent performances of these two teams skew your perception. Oregon will be in full bounce back mode in this contest looking to avoid a 4th consecutive loss, while Washington could come into this contest with a bit of a hangover from their dominant win over Stanford. This is a matchup that will be much closer than the oddsmaker are predicting and we wouldn't be surprised to see the Ducks come away with the "upset" victory. That being said, we'll gladly take the points and the extra added insurance.
#2: Take NC State -2.5 spread against Notre Dame for 3% of the bankroll.
Notre Dame is one of the most herald names in the world of college football, there is certainly no question of that. Their name carries a legacy that goes back decades and carries a lot of weight each and every season. That being said, other than their namesake, this is not a very good football team. Yes, their offense is the catalyst with Deshone Kizer under center, however their defense is one of the worst in the entire country. Only one team this season has failed to score more than 30 points on the Irish and even after firing defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder after their loss to Duke two weeks ago, things didn't get much better on the defensive side of things as they proceeded to give up 33 points to Syracuse.
Their lack of defense has forced the offense to be proficient in order to keep them in ballgames. Eventually that is going to catch up with the Irish and we believe that will be their main downfall in this contest as they travel to take on a very balanced and underrated NC State team. NC State has pretty much flown under the radar in the early going this year and we expect that this will be the signature win that the need in order to put them on the map QB Ryan Finely has been the anchor of this team and has shown great awareness in the pocket and is a QB who simply doesn't make a lot of mistakes. Ball security has been something that this team has prided themselves on. Finely has 9 touchdowns already this season and has yet to throw an interception. He has also been incredibly efficient on third down, which has allowed him to keep drives alive and methodically march his team down the field. We expect that to be key in this contest.
The ground game has also been very productive for the Wolf Pack as they are averaging 208 yards on the ground this season with Matthew Dayes leading the backfield. They are an incredibly balanced offense and given how out of sorts the Irish defense has looked at time this season, they should have little issue moving the ball this afternoon. On the other hand, Notre Dame has been known to make big plays downfield behind the arm of Kizer. That being said, the weather for this contest could certainly play a factor with hurricane Matthew coming up the coast. If that is indeed the case, the rain and wind will certainly play a factor in the passing game and could limit the big play potential of the Irish. If that is the case, that will almost certainly lend itself to the Wolfpack's advantage as they have been one of the better teams in the ACC at defending the run, allowing just 99 yards on the ground this season.
This will only be Notre Dame's second road game of the season and will arguably be their toughest contest to date. This is an opportunity for the Wolfpack to prove that they are among the top teams in the ACC this season and a statement win over the Irish will go a long way in cementing that fact. The Notre Dame defense will let their team down once again as NC State goes on to win in front of their home crowd. At less than a FG, the value is with the Wolfpack.
#3: Take BYU +6 spread against Michigan State for 3% of the bankroll.
The BYU Cougars have been no strangers to playing closely contested games this season. Through 5 games this season, their contest has been decided by an average of just 2.2 points! This is a team that has shown their ability to play in low scoring, grind it out defensive games and has also shown their ability to play in high scoring shootouts as evidenced by their most recent 55-53 win over Toledo. This matchup with Michigan State has all of the makings of one of those defensive, low scoring battles and if that is indeed the case, we believe the points will once again prove to be valuable.
Even though BYU is just 2-3 on the season, they have played statistically the absolutely toughest schedule to start the season and could realistically be 5-1 had a couple of bounces gone their way. That being said, this is certainly a team that has shown their ability to adapt to whatever style of gameplay that their opponents bring to the table. They have made plays when they need to and have gone on drives when their backs have been against the wall. At the moment, Michigan State is a team that is reeling. They have dropped two straight and their offense has cooled from a fairly hot start. They are a team that has predicated themselves on defense, but even their defense has been lacking as of late. They used to be herald as a run stopping unit, but each of the last two contest they have given up over 149 yards on the ground. Against a BYU ground game that is producing nearly 200 yards on the ground, that could be a recipe for disaster for the Spartans.
Turnovers have also been an issue for the Spartans in the early going. In their first 4 games this season, they have already turned the ball over 8 total times! The BYU defense has been as opportunistic as they come this season, already collecting 13 turnovers in their first 5 games! Turnovers can be a momentum killer and nothing dictates the flow of a game more so than an untimely turnover. If Michigan State cannot protect the football, it is going to be difficult not only for them to cover this rather large impost, but they will be fortunate to win the game.
If you're a fan of smash mouth football, then this is likely the game to watch. This is a game that is going to be won in the trenches and by the play of the defense. We expect this will be a back and forth game throughout, with the team who has the ball last, likely be in a position to win it. That being said, we don't expect either team to jump out to a big lead and if we are correct with our assessment, the points will surely come into play.
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