September 9, 2017
There are two College Football picks today!
#1: Take Auburn +5 spread against Clemson for 3% of the bankroll.
The Clemson Tigers will get their first real test of the season in the post Deshaun Watson era tonight as they host the Auburn Tigers and we are not entirely sure they will pass. Clemson lost a ton of talent from a season ago and not just Watson. They also lost both star RB Wayne Gallman and also star receiver Mike Williams to the NFL. This is an entirely different Clemson team and this will be a tough test for them facing arguably one of the top projected defenses in the country.
Auburn comes into this season as a dark horse sleeper to potentially make the CFP this season and last year they held the Clemson offense to just 19 points with Watson under center, and this year's team is projected to be even better. Auburn has a veteran defense with eight of the 11 starters being upperclassmen, and it finished seventh nationally in scoring defense a season ago.
Auburn also has a capable quarterback in Jarrett Stidham to go along with one of the best running games in college football. Auburn star running back Kamryn Pettway did not get a carry in last year’s game before going on to lead the SEC in rushing yards per game. Another storyline to this matchup is that Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, used to work as an assistant under Clemson Head coach Dabo Swinney. Swinney fired Steele in 2012, however you can bet that Steele would like nothing more than to hand his former boss a loss in Death Valley.
This has all the makings of another low scoring, hard-nosed defensive battle. Steele has plenty of talent on defense, especially in the front seven, and will try to force Kelly Bryant and Clemson’s passing game to beat him. We don't believe Kelly will be ready to take on a defense of this caliber this early in the season and that it difficult for Clemson to move the ball. This game will likely come down to which team makes the critical plays on defense and either team can pull off the win. Clemson has an advantage at home, however, don't sleep on Auburn; this team has all the talent needed to walk out of Death Valley with a win. Even if they fall short of the outright victory, they should keep things competitive enough to stay within the number.
#2: Take Oklahoma +7.5 spread against Ohio State for 3% of the bankroll.
These two teams met a season ago in Norman and Ohio State put on an absolute clinic and coming away with a blowout win. You can believe that this entire team has had this game circled on their calendars since their defeat a season ago and would like nothing more than to payback the favor and hand the Buckeyes a loss at the Shoe.
Analysts believe the Ohio State defensive line to be the best in the country, but the Buckeyes will certainly have their hands full in this contest as they will be tasked with facing arguably the best quarterback in all of college football in Baker Mayfield. Oklahoma’s offensive line is similarly well-regarded in terms of its unit ranking. The Sooners are led by Orlando Brown, the team’s 6-foot-8, 345-pound left tackle who looks like a future first-round draft pick.
A season ago the Buckeyes were able to manhandle the OU's offensive line which put an incredible amount of pressure on Mayfield and forced him into mistakes. Mayfield is a player who does his best under duress and this was a performance that really stood out. Mayfield has stated that he is ready for this game and truly believe that he can go into the Horseshoe in primetime and pull off a win. Whether the Buckeyes can get to Baker Mayfield and force mistakes out of him once ago could determine the outcome of this game, especially with OSU’s young secondary.
Ohio State has issues in their secondary and that was on full display last week where Indiana's Richard Lagow was able to shred the secondary to the tune of 410 yards and 3 TDs. No disrespect to Lagow, but he is no Baker Mayfield. Even though we expect Urban Meyer to have worked his secondary in drill this week, we don't believe they will fully be able to shore up all holes in just a week's time. If Mayfield gets the time, we expect he will be able to torch the secondary on numerous occasions in this contest.
We expect that this year’s matchup will be much different than a season ago. Ohio State is 0-5-1 at home when facing a Top 5 ranked non-conference opponent and we believe Oklahoma has the talent to keep that trend going. Even if Oklahoma fails to win this game outright, they will keep things much more competitive than a season ago and should have little issue covering this rather large number.
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