September 15, 2018
There are 4 picks today.
#1: Hawaii +7 spread against Army risking 3% of the bankroll.
Hawaii has been one of the surprise teams in the early part of the season and we still don't believe the market has caught up with them. Hawaii has a true Heisman dark horse in QB Cole McDonald. McDonald currently leads the nation in passing (1165 yards) and touchdowns (13), but more impressively, he has yet to throw an interception. The Rainbow Warriors run a fast-paced RPO style offense, that is designed to keep opposing defenses on their heels.
There is no question on what the Army Black Knights game plan is going to be. They are a triple-option team that likes to run the football. Last season they led the nation in rushing yards per game, and their game plan is likely to control time of possession and keep the high-powered Hawaii offense off the field. While that seems like a solid game plan, Hawaii likely won’t need much time to score. The Black Knights are not a defensive juggernaut and have been susceptible to team that like to throw the football.
The biggest factor skewing the perception of this game is the fact that Hawaii had to travel nearly 5000 miles in order to play this game. The game is also being played at 12:00pm EST, which is roughly 6:00am in Hawaii. Many are expecting the jet lag and early start to have a negative effect on the Rainbow Warriors. While that may certainly be a factor, the Hawaii players arrived at West Point on Wednesday and have had a couple of days to acclimate themselves to the time and get over their jet-lag.
Even if Hawaii starts out slow, their quick-strike offense is capable of scoring points in bunches and should be able to get them out of a deficit. The same can't be said for Army. The Black Knights are not a team that is built to play from behind. If Hawaii starts fast, it will make force Army to abandon the run which is not something they are comfortable with. On a neutral field, Hawaii is the better team and would be favored. We'll gladly take the free touchdown in a game that Hawaii could win outright.
#2: Syracuse +3 spread against Florida State Risking 3% of the bankroll.
Florida State could be on upset alert this afternoon as they travel to the Carrier Dome in what will be their first true road game this season. Thus far the Seminoles have been less than impressive, falling decisively to Virginia Tech in their opener and narrowly getting past a game Samford team a week ago.
Syracuse is not a team that should be taken lightly, especially in the Carrier Dome. For those who remember, this is the same Syracuse team that upset Clemson in this venue as a 3+ TD underdog a season ago. They have a veteran signal caller in Eric Dungy who could be the best player on the field in this contest. Dungy is the gas that make the Orange offense go and given how much trouble the FSU defense has had thus far this season, they could be in for another long afternoon trying to contain Dungy.
Willie Taggert's team will surely be motivated in this contest, however, we are not sure that will be enough. The FSU defense has been torched through the air and Deandre Francois does not look like the same player we saw as a freshman who had so much potential. The Seminoles are surviving on namesake alone, however, it has been clear that they have been regressing for some time now. If Florida State once again starts slow, they will lose this game. Homefield will be the difference in this contest as Syracuse goes on to win this one outright.
#3: North Texas +7 spread (buy the half point) against Arkansas risking 3% of the bankroll.
The history books may suggest an easy win for Arkansas against visiting North Texas, but we're not buying it, especially after the way Arkansas folded last week. The Razorbacks blew an 18-point lead in falling at Colorado State 34-27.... Colorado State!?! Things won't get easier for them in this contest as they try to defend the prolific passing attack of the Mean Green.
Mason Fine is likely the best quarterback that no one has ever heard of. Fine, the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year, has connected for 862 yards and seven touchdowns while completing 72.2 percent of his passes this season for North Texas, which leads the country in passing yards per game (457.5). Fine has no shortage of weapons to connect with in the passing game as he has found 15 receivers, but his favorites have been Rico Bussey, Jr. and Jalen Guyton, who have combined for 29 receptions, 443 yards and six touchdowns.
While Arkansas will certainly be motivated to atone for their performance a week ago, the Mean Green should also be extremely motivated as well. Arkansas is a perfect 9-0 against North Texas and the Mean Green are just 3-32 against SEC teams. This is arguably the most impressive North Texas team in some time and they have a shot not only to keep this game close, but if Fine continues to play as well as he has been, Arkansas could be primed for another upset given their inconsistent secondary. The points have value in this one.
#4: Missouri -6.5 spread against Purdue risking 3% of the bankroll.
This is a series that has been dominated by Purdue, who have won 4-straight over the Tigers, however, we believe things will change this afternoon.
The Tigers have one of the nation's most dangerous passing attacks in the country that is led by veteran quarterback Drew Lock, who completed 33-of-45 passes for 398 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 51 yards and a score in last week's 40-13 rout of Wyoming. Lock's favorite targets have been Emanuel Hall (342 yards, three touchdowns), Johnathon Johnson (100, two) and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (64, one). The defense has limited its first two opponents to 262.5 yards per game while registering 12 tackles for loss and five sacks.
Purdue is off to an 0-2 start after having high expectations this season. Things remain the same for this program, as turnovers and mental mistakes seem to be hampering this team from moving forward. We simply don't believe they have the offense to keep up with the high-powered attack of Missouri. The Tigers will be motivated to end their recent losing skid and should win this game very convincingly, likely by double-digits.
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