October 28, 2017
There are 5 picks today! Please scroll down to view all selections.
#1: Take Colorado State -10 spread against Air Force risking 3% of the bankroll.
The Colorado State Rams are arguably one of the most underrated programs in the country, and are likely the uncrowned champions of the MWC. Thus far this season they are undefeated in conference in conference play and if they win out the rest of their schedule, they are likely to receive an at-large bid to a major bowl game this season.
This is a huge revenge game for the Rams as the meeting between these two teams was a shootout a season ago, with the Falcons managing to come away with a 49-46 win on their home field. With this year's matchup being played in Colorado, we expect the Rams to get their revenge in this contest.
The Falcons are a one-dimensional ground team that piles up the yards utilizing their triple-option attack. When teams have been able to slow down the run, that has been where the Falcons have struggled. Meanwhile, Colorado State is an explosive offensive team that is just as dangerous on the ground as they are through the air. The Falcons defense has been mediocre at best this season, allowing over 43 points per game on the road this season. Meanwhile, the Rams offense has been unforgiving to opponents as they have scored over 40 points per game on average at home this season. If this game turns into a shootout, which we expect that it will, we don't believe the Falcons offense will have enough bullets in the chamber to keep up with this Rams offensive attack.
Air Force will get their yards on the ground in this contest as very few teams can slow down the triple-option for a full 4 quarters. That being said, when Colorado State manages to get a lead, the Air Force offense is not built to come from behind and that will lead to mistakes in the passing game which the Rams secondary will take advantage of. This game may be close in the early going, however, we expect the Rams to create separation in the second half and go on to win this contest by 2+ touchdowns.
#2: Take NC State +7.5 spread against Notre Dame risking 3% of the bankroll.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are coming off an extremely impressive beatdown of the then highly ranked USC Trojans. The Irish dominated that game from start to finish and completely outplayed the Trojans in all 3 phases of the game. It was an extremely impressive performance and that likely caught the attention of a majority of the betting public.
Notre Dame is a storied franchise and are typically among one of the more popular teams in the world of college football. It has been years since this team has been relevant and captured the attention of the media, but that is exactly what this year's team has been doing. There has been a lot of chatter about this Notre Dame team and the play of QB Brandon Wimbush, however, we do believe that everyone may in fact be jumping the gun on Notre Dame.
Yes, the Irish beat USC, and while we agree that they are a quality team, we do believe their performance last week has somewhat over-valued them ahead of this contest. The NC State Wolfpack are an underrated team that we don't necessarily feel gets the proper respect that they deserve. Ryan Finley is one of the better all-around quarterbacks in the country when it comes to pure passing statistics, however, he often doesn't get the credit he deserves because he isn't throwing up flashy numbers. What Finley is quietly doing however is completely 65% of his passes this season and 11 touchdowns. What is most impressive however has been his ability to protect the football. Finley has yet to throw an interception this season and that has allowed his team to maximize possessions while also limiting those of their opponents.
The NC State defense is also severely underrated and boasts one of the best front 7's in all of the country led by DE Bradley Chubb. Chubb has been a beast this season and has terrorized quarterbacks and lived in opponent’s backfields all season long. While Chubb is not alone, linebacker Jerod Fernandez is again tops on the team in tackles after leading them last year, the senior lineman is the major reason why his team ranks 12th in the nation in scoring, 6th in run defense and has not allowed any player to rush for 100 yards in a game through their first seven games. That unfortunate for Notre Dame as they are primarily a running team behind the legs of Josh Adams. If the NC State front seven can slow down the ground game, Wimbush has proven that he has a long way to go to become a proficient passer in the pocket and that is where we believe the Wolfpack will have the advantage.
Notre Dame may have the advantage of this game being played in South Bend, however, we don't believe that they are the better overall team. NC State could possibly contend for the ACC Title this season and should not be taken likely. We expect the ND players to come into this contest just a bit overconfident given their performance against USC and that is going to hurt them in this contest. NC State is fully capable of pulling off the outright upset in this contest, but even if they don't, we expect them to give the Irish everything they can handle and keep this game within a touchdown.
#3: Take Georgia Tech +14 spread against Clemson risking 3% of the bankroll.
This particular matchup is a case where we believe the oddsmakers are over-valuing the Clemson tigers while also under-valuing the efforts of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. There is no question that historical factors are playing a role in these somewhat questionable odds, given that Clemson has dominated the last two meetings, 42-24 and 26-7 the last two years. That being said, these are two much different teams about to square off in this contest.
The Clemson Tigers were supposed to take a step back this season with the departure of Desean Watson and Mike Williams, however, Kelly Bryant managed to fill in nicely and during the first half of the season, it seemed like the Tigers did not miss a beat. An ankle injury to Bryant hurt the Tigers and after their upset loss to Syracuse two weeks ago, it has become apparent that this is not the same Clemson team without Bryant being at 100%. Bryant is likely to be back under center for this contest, however, it has been stated that he will not be at 100%. That makes the Clemson offense less dynamic and more predictable and that will likely be the difference in Clemson's ability to cover this hefty number.
This matchup also isn't just about Clemson and what they have done, Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets 2 plays away from being undefeated this season as their two losses this year have come on the final play of the game and by a combined 2 points. This is a team that has played extremely well covering the spread in all 6 games. It's clear that some people accredit Georgia Tech’s success with the “surprise” factor because defenses are not accustomed to defending the triple options especially in the ACC. However, Johnson has been around Georgia Tech for a long time meaning this is nothing “new.” The thing that makes this offense works, especially this year, is they have good football players executing this style of play which means they can contend with anyone.
Georgia Tech ranks 2nd in the FBS averaging a lucrative 372 yards per game. They rarely have to throw the football, however, quarterback TaQuon Marshall has yet to turn over the football and has tossed 5 touchdowns. More importantly, Marshall leads the team in rushing with 704 yards with 11 touchdowns while running back KirVonte Benson has been equally impressive with 652 yards and 5 touchdowns on less carries. Therefore, the skill level coming out of the backfield has been greatly improved this season and we believe that will continue to show as it has through the first 6 games. The Clemson offense has been somewhat predictable over recent weeks and with the health of Bryant in question, we have to believe that Georgia Tech will keep this contest much closer than the last two meeting and even possibly content for the outright victory.
#4: Take Arizona +3 spread (buy the half point) against Washington State risking 3% of bankroll.
It's a matchup of two different style as the Washington State Cougars travel to Arizona to take on the Wildcats and while their styles are different, these two teams are very similar. Arizona is averaging 43 points per contest while the Cougars are averaging 33. UA allows 29.3 points per game and WSU only gives up 18.5 points per game. WSU racks up 359 yards passing per contest while Arizona gains 342 yards per game on the ground. Defense once again will be a key factor for both teams. However, it is Washington State that has the stronger defense against both the run and the pass. The Cougars allow 153 yards thru the air and 120 yards on the ground per game. Arizona gives up 257 yards thru the air and 162 yards rushing per contest. All statistics considered, the truth is, either team can win this game if they play to their capabilities. UA is always a threat to put up a lot of points as they have the last three weeks, scoring 45, 47, 45 and earlier this season they put up 62 on N. Arizona and 63 on UTEP.
The difference in this contest we believe is going to be the play of Khalil Tate. Tate is undefeated as a starting quarterback and is one of the most dynamic runners in the country. A lot of people talk about the skills of Lamar Jackson, but we believe Tate could be even better. Tate ran circles around the Buffs’ defense, racking up 327 rushing yards and four rushing scores. He followed that performance up by rushing for 230 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns against UCLA, and reeled off another 137 yards and a rushing score against Cal. While he has proven to be proficient on the ground, he has also been deadly through the air, completing an average of 75.6 passes and threw four touchdowns to give Arizona a perfect 3-0 record in October. Tate is the latest star to come out of Rodriguez’s unique run-based spread that has produced some unstoppable dual-threat quarterbacks over the years and Tate could prove to be the best of them all.
This is where we believe the Wildcats will have the advantage. While Tate is still an unpolished product, he has a higher ceiling that that of Luke Falk. Falk is a prolific passer, however, when Falk has struggled, like he did against Cal, the WSU offense stalls. We don't expect to see much defense in this contest, however, if Arizona can steal a possession or two and put the ball in the hands of their franchise QB of the future, we believe it will be enough for them to edge out another narrow win and upset the Cougars. Washington State has been privileged this season in playing a bulk of their games at home, and while they were impressive in their last road contest, we believe this is a much bigger task for them to overcome. We believe the Wildcats can win this game outright and if Washington State is fortunate enough to leave Arizona with a victory, we believe it will be by the narrowest of margins in which the points could prove to be valuable.
#5: Take Arizona State +4 spread (buy the half point) against USC risking 3% of the bankroll.
Despite being 6-2 on the season, the USC Trojans haven't really lived up to the lofty expectation placed upon them this season. Sam Darnold has turned into a turnover machine and has not been the #1 NFL ready quarterback that many expected him to be at the close of the season. The Trojans have shown weaknesses on both sides of the ball this season and it culminated last week in an embarrassing blowout loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish last week. The Irish managed to not only defeat, but dominated the Trojans in all three phases of the game and a defeat like that often stays with a team. We wouldn't be surprised to see the Trojans again struggle this week, especially against an Arizona State team that is playing well above expectations this season.
Todd Graham's team has been one of the surprise teams in the PAc-12 and have quietly been moving themselves up the rankings. With a win in this contest, it will give them in first place in the Pac-12 South and put them firmly in the drivers' seat enroute to the conference title game (likely against Washington). The Sun Devils have shown balance on both sides of the ball, but the real surprise has been their efforts on the defensive side of the football. They have managed to shut their opponents out of the first time in each of the last two contests. Their ability to gain a lead in those contests, allowed them to dictate the tempo of the game and employ their own method of play to lead themselves to victory. Against a turnover prone and injury riddled USC team, the Trojans could be in for a long night if they don't find a way to play near perfectly on offense.
Arizona State is severely underrated and playing in Tempe, at night is no easy task for opposing teams. This Sun Devils team should be brimming with confidence after their last couple of performances, while the same can't be said for the Trojans. Momentum plays a big role in these types of matchups and right now, we trust the Sun Devils much more than we do the Trojans. This should be a closely contested battle and while we don't believe USC will have as poor of a game as they did a week ago, we do believe they are vulnerable at the moment and if the Sun Devils can capitalize, they should be able to grab the outright victory on their home field in this contest.
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