|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-07-19||Alabama v. Clemson +5.5||Top||16-44||Win||100||115 h 3 m||Show|
Clemson isn't getting the respect it deserves from oddsmakers. The Tigers are every bit as good - if not better - than Alabama. Yes, the SEC is a better football conference than the ACC. No argument there. But I will argue the Tigers passed a tough schedule with flying colors beating 10 Bowl teams, eight of them by 20 or more points. Clemson is every bit as dominating as Alabama ranking fourth in points scored while giving up the fewest points per game in the nation. The Tigers have proven themselves huge money-winners in the postseason, too, covering eight of their last nine bowl games. Alabama's defense showed some vulnerability against Oklahoma. True, the Sooners have a great offense. But so does Clemson. I like Tigers QB Trevor Lawrence much more than Kelly Bryant. The Tide defeated Clemson, 24-6, in the Sugar Bowl last season when Bryant was behind center. This time around it will be much different.
|01-01-19||Texas +13.5 v. Georgia||28-21||Win||100||24 h 51 m||Show|
Not sure of Georgia's motivation for this game after playing for the national title game last season and falling short against Alabama this season. I'm not doubting the Bulldogs' talent. But Texas is going to be up for this game. The Longhorns never lack talent either and they have the best underdog coach going for them in Tom Herman. How good of a 'dog coach is Herman? If you take his last four jobs as offensive coordinator and head coach his teams are 23-2 ATS for 92 percent when taking points! Texas has a pair of dangerous big-play versatile receivers in Collin Johnson and Lil' Jordan Humphrey. The Bulldogs are without their top defensive back, Deandre Baker, who is sitting out the game to prepare for the NFL draft.
|01-01-19||Washington v. Ohio State -6||Top||23-28||Loss||-110||20 h 22 m||Show|
I want Ohio State going for me in Urban Meyer's final game as Buckeyes coach and the price isn't too high to get it. The Pac 12 is down this season. That's reflected in the bowls. Washington is one-dimensional relying on a strong defense. But Ohio State has a great offense ranking No. 2 in the nation in yards gained and seventh in points. The Buckeyes average 17 points more per game than the Huskies and play in the stronger conference in my view. If the Huskies fall behind early they are in big trouble because they lack an explosive offense. When motivated the Buckeyes can beat any team with the exception of Alabama and Clemson. Washington isn't close to being in that class. The Huskies lost to Auburn, Oregon and California. Ohio State displayed its power by burying Michigan, 62-39, in its last game. I see a class difference here. Throw in the huge motivating factor to get Meyer a victory in his finale and I'll lay the points.
|12-31-18||Missouri v. Oklahoma State +10||33-38||Win||100||17 h 25 m||Show|
If Missouri is the better team here, the Tigers aren't more than a touchdown better than Oklahoma State. Both offenses are strong. Missouri has the better defense, but Oklahoma State can score on any team. The Cowboys rank 14th in scoring and 10th in yardage. QB Taylor Cornelius is one of the most dangerous dual threats in the country. Cornelius is backed by talented running backs. The Tigers didn't see a lot of wide open attacks like Oklahoma State has playing in the SEC. The Tigers have good skill position talent, too, but Drew Lock doesn't have Cornelius' mobility and the Tigers could be missing several of their weapons with running back Damarea Crockett, wide receiver Jalen Knox and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam all banged-up. The Cowboys have been point spread gold in nonleague games covering eight of their past nine nonconference matchups.
|12-31-18||Virginia Tech v. Cincinnati -6.5||Top||31-35||Loss||-110||14 h 5 m||Show|
This is not a very good Virginia Tech team. The Hokies just were able to sneak into a bowl game. I find Cincinnati to not only be the superior team, but the more motivated one. The Bearcats surrendered 152 fewer yards per game than the Hokies. Cincinnati gave up fewer than 17 points a game, while Virginia Tech allowed nearly 32 points per game. The Hokies can be run on and passed on yielding more than 220 yards both ways. Cincinnati has the skill position talent to exploit Virginia Tech's vulnerable defense with dual threat quarterback Desmond Ridder and running back Michael Warren II. The Bearcats also have the best pass rusher in the game in Cortez Broughton and an excellent punter, James Smith. When Virginia Tech loses it is not by a close count. All of the Hokies' six defeats came by 10 or more points.
|12-29-18||South Carolina v. Virginia +5||0-28||Win||100||17 h 16 m||Show|
Virginia has steadily improved under Bronco Mendenhall. The Cavaliers reached a bowl game last season and now they are ready to win one after getting crushed by Navy, 49-7, in a bowl game that was more like a home game for the Midshipmen. South Carolina has a strong passing attack. However the Gamecocks have two things against them. They won't have their best wideout, Deebo Samuel, who is sitting out for personal reasons. And they are facing a strong Virginia secondary that ranked 14th in the nation in pass defense. The Cavaliers have an excellent quarterback in Bryce Perkins, a dual threat who accounted for 3,314 all-purpose yards and 31 touchdowns. South Carolina will be without two injured defensive starters, too, tackle Javon Kinlaw and cornerback Keisean Nixon.
|12-28-18||Iowa State +3 v. Washington State||Top||26-28||Win||100||80 h 16 m||Show|
There are many reasons to like Iowa State against Washington State especially when the wrong team is favored. Iowa State played in the tougher conference and faced a tougher schedule. The Pac-12 was extremely weak this year. Washington State is a one-dimensional passing team. This is a reflection on its coach, Mike Leach. Iowa State is used to facing passing teams being in the Big 12. The Cyclones have a solid defense. They held West Virginia and Baylor to 14 points each. If the Cyclones can stop Will Grier like they did, they can slow down Gardner Minshew. I find Leach to be an overrated coach. I base much of this opinion on his being 1-7 ATS in his last eight bowl games. The long layoff from the end of the regular season to the bowl game is a real negative for Washington State, throwing off its timing in the passing game. The Cougars are averaging just 16.3 points during their past three bowl games. Washington State was hoping to play in the Rose Bowl. The Cougars had to settle for this minor Alamo Bowl game after losing 28-15 at home to long-time Pac 12 rival Washington. So the Cougars may not be fully motivated. Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy proved himself this season with a 16-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio in eight games. He has a pair of tremendous skill position weapons in running back David Montgomery and wide receiver Hakeem Butler. I also like Iowa State coach Matt Campbell. His Cyclones have covered 69 percent of the time in the 36 past instances when they were underdogs of three points or higher.
|12-27-18||Duke +3.5 v. Temple||Top||56-27||Win||100||23 h 39 m||Show|
Care to lay points with an 8-4 American Athletic Conference school against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent, who owns victories this season against bowl teams Army, Northwestern, Baylor, Georgia Tech and Miami? I sure don't. That's one reason I'm taking the points with Duke against Temple in the Independence Bowl. Please note this game goes early Thursday. The Blue Devils are going for their third straight bowl win. They have a tremendous bowl and underdog coach in David Cutcliffe, whose teams have covered 60 percent of the time the past 80 times they have been underdogs. Cutcliffe's teams are 8-2 ATS, too, in bowl games. Temple, by contrast, has a messed-up coaching situation. Ed Foley will be coaching just his second game as Owls head coach Geoff Collins left for Georgia Tech. The Owls' biggest wins were against Maryland, which finished with a losing record in the down Big Ten, and Houston. The Cougars just got blasted, 70-14, by Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. It's clear Duke has played a far tougher schedule. Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones is a pro prospect. Wrong team favored in my view.
|12-26-18||Minnesota v. Georgia Tech -5.5||Top||34-10||Loss||-100||29 h 14 m||Show|
Minnesota ranks 74th in run defense. The Gophers give up 5.2 yards per run, second-worst among all bowl team. And these numbers include the Gophers having their best defensive player, senior linebacker Blake Cashman, who is sitting out this game in preparation for the NFL draft. Cashman was in on 104 tackles. If you can't stop the run, you can't beat Georgia Tech with its unique triple-option attack. The Yellow Jackets are the No. 1 rushing team in the country averaging 335 yards on the ground. Minnesota's defense isn't that good to begin with and now facing Georgia Tech and without Cashman it is in real trouble. The Yellow Jackets have an underrated defense ranking 45th in total yards. The Gophers were 89th in yards gained. The topper is the Yellow Jackets will be highly motivated to bury the Gophers as a sendoff to their coach, Paul Johnson. He is retiring after this game.
|12-20-18||Marshall -2.5 v. South Florida||Top||38-20||Win||100||68 h 2 m||Show|
Current form and superior defense are two keys in projecting bowl winners. So is pedigree. Marshall has all these factors going and the spread is low enough to back the Thundering Herd.Marshall has won and covered each of its last six bowl games under Doc Holliday. Holliday is a coach you can count on. South Florida is in terrible form. The Bulls were bogus when they opened 7-0. That was proven when they finished the regular-season with five straight losses, all by double-digits. The Thundering Herd own a huge defensive advantage. They rank 31st in the country in fewest points allowed at 22 per game. South Florida ranks 92nd in points given up at 31.5. That number shoots up to 39.6 if you count just the Bulls' last five games.
|12-15-18||Arizona State v. Fresno State -4||Top||20-31||Win||100||68 h 41 m||Show|
Credit to Herm Edwards for doing an excellent job with Arizona State. But the Sun Devils are not in Fresno State's class. Fresno State is holding foes to 13.7 points a game this season. That's the second-best scoring defense in the nation. Arizona State surrendered 12 more points per game than the Bulldogs. The Sun Devils will be without their best player with wide receiver N'Keal Harry deciding to skip the game in order to prepare for the NFL draft where he is expected to go in the first round. I'm not that high on ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins especially since he won't have Harry anymore. An insight into this matchup could come with common opponents. Both teams played San Diego State at home. Fresno State beat the Aztecs, 23-14, and had a 108-yard advantage, where as the Sun Devils lost 28-21 to the Aztecs and were outgained, 440-377. Each team also played UCLA. Fresno State whipped the Bruins, 38-14, on the road while outgaining them by 150 yards. ASU nipped the Bruins, 31-28, while playing at home and only outgained them by 41 yards.
|12-01-18||Stanford v. California +3.5||23-13||Loss||-115||25 h 58 m||Show|
Stanford is being overrated by the linesmaker. This is a huge Pac-12 rivalry and California is the home team. The Golden Bears are 4-1 ATS as underdogs this season. Both teams enter the matchup with two-game win streaks. I'm not impressed with Stanford's two victories against UCLA and Oregon State, though. The last time the Cardinal beat a team with a winning record was mid-October. Their defense has been disappointing while Cal's defense has yielded only 14.2 points per game during its last five matchups.
|11-30-18||Northern Illinois +4 v. Buffalo||Top||30-29||Win||100||20 h 26 m||Show|
Northern Illinois has lost two in a row, but the Huskies are laying in the weeds. They've been pointing to this matchup, the MAC title game. Note the game is at a neutral site, Ford Field in Detroit. Buffalo has the better record and the flashier quarterback in Tyree Jackson. Northern Illinois, though, has the best defense in the MAC. Jackson is turnover prone and hasn't faced a defense this good. Jackson has a stud wideout, Anthony Johnson. But look for Northern Illinois to cause Jackson problems with its pass rush and linebackers. The situation favors Northern Illinois, too. Buffalo played last week. Northern Illinois has been idle since Nov. 20. This also is the Bulls' third straight road appearance and fourth different venue in their last four games. The Huskies nipped the Bulls, 14-13, at Buffalo last season. The combination of the superior defense and running of Tre Harbison - who has rushed for 950 yards while averaging 5.4 yards a carry - should carry the Huskies to a cover if not an outright victory.
|11-24-18||Troy +10.5 v. Appalachian State||10-21||Loss||-109||45 h 19 m||Show|
Troy can hang in with defense. The Trojans have covered in 19 of their last 26 road games and are 8-1-1 ATS in their past 10 Sun Belt Conference games. This a showdown matchup to decide the East half of the Sun Belt. Troy hasn't lost in Sun Belt play this season winning all seven games. The Trojans give up only 21.2 points a game.The teams last met two seasons ago and none of the games were decided by more than four points.
|11-17-18||Texas Tech v. Kansas State +7||Top||6-21||Win||100||25 h 24 m||Show|
Kansas State is a must-win mode if it wants to make it nine straight years of going to a bowl game. The Wildcats have a strong history of covering as a 'dog under Bill Snyder and they surely won't lack motivation here with speculation this could be Snyder's final home game. He could be retiring after 27 years of coaching. So this is going to be an emotional setting at Bill Snyder Family Memorial Stadium. Kansas State has lost three games by a combined nine points. The Wildcats have the superior rushing attack - led by Alex Barnes one the best running backs in the country - and better defense. Texas Tech has been regressing. The Red Raiders have lost three in a row. They are likely not to have injured quarterback Alan Bowman available. He's recovering from a lung injury. Kansas State has won the last three in the series, including winning 42-35 at Texas Tech last season.
|11-17-18||Wisconsin +4 v. Purdue||47-44||Win||100||24 h 29 m||Show|
This has been a disappointing season for Wisconsin. But the Badgers shouldn't be a road 'dog against Purdue. Wisconsin has beaten Purdue 12 straight times, including the past seven at Purdue. The Badgers have lost to strong competition. They might not have their starting quarterback, Alex Hornibrook, back either. He's questionable with a concussion. But Wisconsin wins behind star running back Jonathan Taylor and one of the top offensive lines in the country. Taylor leads the nation in rushing with 1,548 yards. The Boilermakers peaked when they upset Ohio State. They have lost two of their past three games losing by 10 to Michigan State and by 31 to Minnesota. Their lone win during the past three games came by two points at home against Iowa. The Boilermakers may be distracted by frequent coaching rumors surrounding Jeff Brohm their head coach. Wisconsin has covered 12 of its last 16 road games.
|11-17-18||Virginia +5 v. Georgia Tech||27-30||Win||100||24 h 33 m||Show|
Even though this is a division game it's kind of a sandwich spot for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a huge win against Miami and are at hated in-state rival Georgia next week. Virginia is playing well winning four of its last five games. The Cavaliers had a much easier game than Georgia Tech last week dispatching Liberty, 45-24. Unlike Georgia Tech, Virginia has a balanced attack. Cavaliers QB Bryce Perkins is No. 1 in the ACC in points accounting for 26 TD's. The Yellow Jackets have a below average defense giving up 27.5 points per game. The Cavaliers know how to defend Georgia Tech's unique option offense thanks to head coach Bronco Mendenhall. His teams are 9-2 SU and ATS when facing triple-option opponents.
|11-16-18||Memphis v. SMU +8.5||Top||28-18||Loss||-102||33 h 57 m||Show|
SMU has come on be tied for first in the AAC West Conference. Mustangs QB Ben Hicks is having a nice season with 1,919 yards and 16 TD passes of which 10 have come during the past four games. The Mustangs have a deep crop of running backs, too. Memphis is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games and lacks the defense to cover this big of a road number. The Tigers' record has been fattened up by the weak foes they have played such as Mercer, Georgia State, South Alabama, UConn, East Carolina and Tulsa.
|11-13-18||Western Michigan -7.5 v. Ball State||Top||41-42||Loss||-100||16 h 45 m||Show|
Back in Week 2, Ball State hung in against Notre Dame losing, 24-16. Since then, though, things have gone way downhill for the Cardinals. They are 2-6 since that close loss and out of conference and bowl contention. Their starting quarterback, Riley Neal, is out with a knee injury and their top running back, James Gilbert, has been demoted to second team after missing last week's game with a back injury. Ball State has gotten blasted in its last two games losing, 52-14 to Ohio and 45-13 to Toledo. The Cardinals have two games left and their coaching staff has made it known they are going to be looking at younger players. There are inexperienced players in the secondary and in the offensive line. Western Michigan needs this game to keep its MAC West Division title hopes alive and also secure a bowl bid. The Broncos buried the Cardinals, 55-3, last season. The Broncos are treating this as their most important game of the season.
|11-10-18||Miami-FL +3.5 v. Georgia Tech||Top||21-27||Loss||-115||43 h 10 m||Show|
Stop Georgia Tech on the ground and you beat the Yellow Jackets. Miami has done that in each of the last three seasons beating Georgia Tech three times in a row. The Hurricanes have a tremendous trio of three-year starting linebackers in Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney and Shaq Quarterman. They've helped the Hurricanes rank No. 1 in the nation in tackles for losses, being No. 2 in total defense and 19th in scoring defense giving up 19.3 points per game. The last time Georgia Tech faced a defense this good was in Week 4 when it lost 49-21 to Clemson. No, Miami isn't nearly as good as Clemson. But the Hurricanes are good where it counts against this opponent, who they have owned the last three seasons. Georgia Tech has no choice but to run the ball. They are a one-dimensional option offense. Hurricanes coach Mark Richt knows Georgia Tech's offense well from his days coaching at Georgia. The key for Miami is getting good enough quarterback play. That should happen with the decision to go with N'Kosi Perry as the starter this week. He's more talented than Malik Rosier.
|11-10-18||Michigan v. Rutgers +39.5||42-7||Win||100||40 h 30 m||Show|
Michigan just got through beating Penn State, Michigan State and Wisconsin, all of whom were ranked teams at the time they played Michigan. The Wolverine are going to be hard-pressed to take Rutgers seriously. I envision a flat effort by the Wolverines - and I couldn't blame them. The Wolverines are 0-7 ATS the past seven times they've been on the road playing a foe with a losing home mark. Bottom line: Too many points for Michigan to lay.
|11-10-18||Washington State -6 v. Colorado||31-7||Win||100||38 h 29 m||Show|
Washington State has won five in a row and has the best spread mark in the country at 8-1 ATS. Colorado is going in the opposite direction with four straight losses. The Buffaloes have lost by 11, 14, 7 and 8 points in their last four games. Their defense is wearing down giving up 83 points and 1,025 yards in the last two games. Colorado has skill position injuries. The Buffs aren't going to be able to keep up with Washington State's high-powered attack. Cougars QB Gardner Minshaw leads the nation in passing yards per game and completions. He has three outsanding wide receiving targets and a versatile running back in James Williams. Colorado can't match that.
|11-10-18||Ohio State -3.5 v. Michigan State||26-6||Win||100||46 h 28 m||Show|
I certainly respect Michigan State's defense. But it is going to wear down against Ohio State's offense. There's a monster gap between Ohio State's skill position players - quarterback Dwayne Haskins, running back J.K. Dobbins and wide receivers Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill - and Michigan State's backfield personnel especially with the Spartans having ineffective Brian Lewerke at quarterback. The Buckeyes won't lack motivation either still in the national title picture. They stomped the Spartans, 48-3, last season.
|11-09-18||Fresno State v. Boise State +3||Top||17-24||Win||100||25 h 16 m||Show|
Fresno State has the best defense in the Mountain West Conference. That's helped make the Bulldogs a road favorite here. But that should come with a disclaimer: The Bulldogs haven't faced a decent quarterback or offense. Now they draw the Broncos and Brett Rypien, who is on the verge of becoming the Mountain West's all-time passing yardage leader. Boise State ranks 21st in points per game and 22nd in yards per game. Fresno State hasn't won during its last nine tries at Boise State. The teams last met at Boise State in last season's Mountain West title game. The Broncos were 10-point home favorites - a swing of nearly two touchdowns from the line on this game - and defeated the Bulldogs, 17-14. Fresno State is good. But so is Boise State. The Broncos are just 5-15 ATS at home. But they haven't been a home 'dog before. And they shouldn't be here.
|11-03-18||Louisiana Tech +23.5 v. Mississippi State||3-45||Loss||-105||30 h 8 m||Show|
This is your classic sandwich spot for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are coming off a huge home win against Texas A&M and have Alabama on deck next week. So the Bulldogs aren't going to be taking this non-conference matchup too serious. Mississippi State also isn't a good team to lay big points on. The Bulldogs rank 107th in passing yards. Nick Fitzgerald is more dangerous as a runner than thrower. Louisiana Tech's top defensive strength is its pass defense. So Mississippi State is going to have to grind away on the ground, which eats a lot of clock. The Bulldogs' best runner is Kylin Hill, who is questionable after missing last week's game with a leg injury. It wouldn't be surprising if Hill sat out so he would fresh for Alabama. Louisiana Tech is well-coached under Skip Holtz. Under Holtz, Louisiana has covered seven of its last nine road games as an underdog against the power-five conference teams. Tech is 8-2 ATS versus SEC foes. The latest example occurred in Week 3 when Tech hung in and covered a 19-point road spread against LSU, a team that beat Mississippi State, 19-3, just two weeks ago.
|11-03-18||Houston -14 v. SMU||Top||31-45||Loss||-113||30 h 22 m||Show|
Houston wins because of its high-scoring offense. The Cougars have scored 40-plu points in eight straight games. They rank first in the country in total yards and No. 2 in scoring. Houston quarterback D'eriq King has had at least two passing touchdowns and one rushing TD in every game this year. The Cougars have an excellent track record on the road going 23-10-1 (70%) in their past 34 away matchups. SMU needs to play ball-control and have a balanced offense to hang with the Cougars. But the Mustangs don't have that. They are averaging 98.6 yards on the ground, which ranks 123rd. SMU is averaging fewer than 50 yards rushing in its last three games. The Mustangs are poorly-coached - 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games - and have given up eight-non defensvie touchdowns, including four pick-six interceptions off Ben Hicks.
|11-02-18||Western Kentucky v. Middle Tennessee State -13.5||Top||10-29||Win||100||19 h 7 m||Show|
Western Kentucky has frustrated Middle Tennessee State for three straight years, including defeating the Blue Raiders, 41-38, last season in triple overtime. Now the table is set for the Blue Raiders to get their revenge in a big way. The Hilltoppers are a dead team done in by the disastrous coaching of Mike Sanford. They have lost nine of their last 10 games. The Hilltoppers are not bowl eligible for the first time in eight years. Middle Tennessee State senior quarterback Brent Stockstill has led the Blue Raiders to a 16-7 record since 2016 in games he has been healthy in. Yet he's 0-3 career-wise versus Western Kentucky. Stockstill is one of the better quarterbacks in Conference USA. The Blue Raiders trail Florida International by just one game in the East Division of that conference. Their offense has a good balance to it with the emergence of running back Terelle West. Western Kentucky can't keep up averaging fewer than 20 points a game. The Hilltoppers give up nearly 30 points on defense. They've allowed 40, 37 and 38 points in their last three games. They can't match the Blue Raiders on either side of the ball. Middle Tennessee State has a good history in these type situations covering six of the last seven times at home versus foes with a losing road mark.
|10-27-18||Texas A&M +1.5 v. Mississippi State||13-28||Loss||-105||24 h 36 m||Show|
The Aggies were idle last week, get several key injured players back and have the top run defense in the SEC to contain Mississippi State's ground attack. If the Bulldogs can't run they are in trouble because Nick Fitzgerald has passed for fewer than 100 yards in his last three games. The Bulldogs lack the necessary passing attack to take advantage of the Aggies' vulnerable secondary. Texas A&M gets back wide receiver Kendruck Rogers and right guard Keaton Sutherland from injuries. Rogers may be the Aggies' best wideout. While Texas A&M had its bye last week, the Bulldogs were suffering a 19-3 road loss to LSU. Mississippi State is 1-3 in its last four games while averaging fewer than 10 points a game during this four-game span.
|10-27-18||Georgia -6.5 v. Florida||Top||36-17||Win||100||44 h 1 m||Show|
Recall if you will last season after Auburn beat Georgia, 40-17. The Bulldogs came back from that beatdown to post four straight wins and covers to reach the national championship game. I see the Bulldogs bouncing back against Florida here. Georgia was idle last week after suffering its first loss of the season to LSU in its previous game. LSU kept Georgia in check that game. But the Bulldogs offense is too good to be held down a second consecutive game. Florida ranks 73rd in run defense. The Bulldogs have a stable of outstanding running backs headed by D'Andre Swift. Georgia can beat Florida on the ground, or through the air behind Jake Fromm if the Gators bring their safeties into the box. I don't see Florida's offense keeping up with a Bulldogs defense that gives up the 13th-fewest points per game at 16.3. The Bulldogs crushed the Gators, 42-7, last season.
|10-27-18||North Carolina +9 v. Virginia||21-31||Loss||-106||24 h 57 m||Show|
Virginia is flying high posting upset victories against Miami and Duke during its past two games. North Carolina is 1-5. So this appears to be a letdown spot for the Cavaliers as it's difficult for a team to get up for three straight games especially when that team isn't dominant. Just don't be shocked if the Tar Heels pull the outright win. They are a very dangerous team now being healthy and having their suspended players back. North Carolina lost to Virginia Tech and Syracuse by three points apiece in its past two games with the loss to Syracuse coming in double overtime. The Tar Heels have covered six of their last seven ACC games and are 4-0 ATS in their past four visits to Virginia. I find Virginia to be overrated. The Cavaliers are being overvalued here with this large of a spread. Jordan Ellis, the Cavaliers' leading rusher with 619 yards, is dealing with an ankle injury. North Carolina has revenge for a 20-14 loss to Virginia last season. Before that, the Tar Heels defeated the Cavaliers seven consecutive times. North Carolina quarterback Nathan Elliott is coming on. He threw for a career-high 321 yards and two touchdowns against Syracuse last week. He has gone 161 passes without an interception. The Tar Heels always have been able to run the ball ranking third in the ACC in yards per carry at 5.1. There won't be a lack of points scored here. But North Carolina certainly will be able to keep up.
|10-26-18||Miami-FL v. Boston College +3.5||Top||14-27||Win||100||15 h 43 m||Show|
There is plenty of value here with Boston College being this big of an underdog when it should actually be favored. The facts are these: The Eagles are 4-0 at home and 5-2 overall. Their two losses have been to North Carolina State and Purdue. No shame in that especially since Purdue just upset Ohio State. Boston College gets back star running back AJ Dillon from an ankle injury. Look for the Eagles' offensive line and ground game to control the line of scrimmage against the Hurricanes. This is the best running attack Miami has seen all season. The warm-weathered Hurricanes will be playing in low 40-degree weather. They are are 1-4 in their last five road games and going up against an emotionally-charged Boston College and atmosphere. The game is being called "Red Bandanna/Service Day Game" to honor Welles Crowther, who was a former BC lacrosse player who saved the lives of several people during the 9-11 attacks before perishing. Miami is going to have to contend with this road setting while still trying to get its quarterback situation settled. Malik Rosier is going to get the start after N'Kosi Perry's poor play in the Hurricanes' last game, a 16-13 road loss to Virginia. Rosier isn't a very good passer either. He's completing just 52 percent of his throws.
|10-20-18||Vanderbilt +12.5 v. Kentucky||Top||7-14||Win||100||31 h 27 m||Show|
Kentucky is going through heady times right now ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in more than 10 years in football. This has made the Wildcats overvalued in this rivalry matchup. Kentucky is at its worst in a favorite's role failing to cover the past eight times during the last two seasons. Vanderbilt can play. Just ask Notre Dame, which is ranked higher than Kentucky. The Commodores lost to the Irish, 22-17. Vanderbilt has excellent skill position players with quarterback Kyle Shurmur, running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn and wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb. I'm not a fan of Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson. The Wildcats rely heavily on running back Benny Snell Jr. They are a one-dimensional team that the Commodores can handle.
|10-20-18||Oklahoma -7.5 v. TCU||52-27||Win||100||20 h 17 m||Show|
Banged-up physically and mentally, TCU isn't going to be able to stay within double digits of Oklahoma. The teams met twice last season and Oklahoma won by 18 points and 34 points, respectively. The Horned Frogs are worse this season. If it weren't for a close win against Iowa State, TCU would be 0-4 in its last four games. TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson has been plagued by turnovers. TCU has failed to break the 17-point barrier in each of its last three games. Oklahoma is primed for a strong defensive effort being idle last week after losing to Texas two weeks ago. Oklahoma has won 19 of its last 21 Big 12 road contests and is 6-0 ATS in this spot since Lincoln Riley took over. Kyler Murray can't be held in check by TCU.
|10-13-18||Wisconsin +10 v. Michigan||Top||13-38||Loss||-102||23 h 53 m||Show|
Jim Harbaugh has yet to prove he can really win a big game at Michigan. Wisconsin has lost by more than seven points only once it its last 26 road/neutral site games and that was to Alabama. So I'm taking the points. The Badgers have the better offensive line and arguably the best running back in college, Jonathan Taylor. The key is Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook. He has been a steady force and actually has a strong 17-to-5 touchdown-to-interception road ratio.
|10-13-18||Baylor +14.5 v. Texas||17-23||Win||100||23 h 3 m||Show|
Baylor has the ability to control clock and is good enough to take advantage of this flat spot to hang in against Texas. The Longhorns have won five in a row and are coming off a dramatic upset of Oklahoma last week. That's a huge rivalry game so the Longhorns' intensity figures to be down this week. They could take Baylor lightly knowing the Bears were beaten by Oklahoma, 66-33. That's been a pattern of Texas this season playing to the level of its competition. The Longhorns failed to cover a 22-point spread against Tulsa winning by only seven points and they didn't cover against Kansas State the week before meeting Oklahoma, winning 19-14 as 8 1/2-point favorites.
|10-13-18||Pittsburgh +22 v. Notre Dame||14-19||Win||100||18 h 12 m||Show|
Pittsburgh has casued Notre Dame problems in the past and is in a position to do it again. The Panthers have their confidence up after ending a two-game losing streak by defeating Syracuse, 44-37, in overtime last week. The Orange nearly had beaten Clemson the week before.The Panthers have athletes. They shouldn't be outclassed especially considering the spot Notre Dame is in. The Irish are coming off emotional victories against ranked opponents Stanford and Virginia Tech. The Irish are idle next week and also facing mid-term exams. So their focus may not be all there. Quarterback Kenny Pickett has been a disappointment for Pittsburgh. However, the Panthers have two solid runners, Quadree Ollison and Darrin Hall, to help maintain ball control. The two rushed for a combined 299 yards against Syracuse.
|10-12-18||Arizona +13.5 v. Utah||Top||10-42||Loss||-105||22 h 13 m||Show|
Utah was impressive in knocking off Stanford on the road last week. But that victory has made the Utes overpriced in this matchup against Arizona, which has come on to win and cover three of its last four games after opening 0-2 under its new coach, Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin attempt to turn Khalil Tate into more passer than runner has drawn a lot of attention. What has been going under the radar is Arizona's defense, which is giving up 18.3 points per game during its first three Pac-12 Conference games. Utah leads the Pac-12 in total defense and is No. 2 in scoring defense. Tate has had half the season to get comfortable as a dual threat. He has thrown 11 touchdown passes, but his rushing yards are way down. The Utes, though, still have to respect his legs along with those of J.J. Taylor, who is the third-leading rusher in the Pac-12. The Wildcats are the No. 3 rushing team in the Pac-12. They can hang with Utah. The Utes have covered only once the past five times hosting Arizona.
|10-07-18||Wyoming v. Hawaii -3||13-17||Win||100||86 h 8 m||Show|
Hawaii is better than expected this season especially quarterback Cole McDonald, who has already thrown for more than 2,000 yards and has a mind-boggling 24-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Wyoming is bad this season. The Cowboys aren't getting the takeways like they did last season when they led the nation with 38 and they really miss Josh Allen. The Cowboys have failed to break 20-points in their last four games. They have just six takeaways and six sacks in their five games. Hawaii has a big home field advantage. The Rainbow Warriors also have a much superior passing attack and far more team speed. Hawaii won't take Wyoming lightly either after nearly losing to 1-4 San Jose State last week.
|10-06-18||Indiana +27 v. Ohio State||26-49||Win||100||23 h 4 m||Show|
Indiana is 4-1 and has the quarterback, running back and coaching to take advantage of a huge flat spot here for Ohio State. The Buckeyes pulled out a dramatic road victory against Penn State last week. The Buckeyes will be heavy favorites in their next three games , too, taking on Minnesota, Purdue and Nebraska following this game. So a letdown definitely is in store for the Buckeyes as they return home having staved off a major challenge by the upstart Nittany Lions. Indiana has covered in six of its last seven meetings with Ohio State. Peyton Ramsey leads the Big Ten in completion percentage and Stevie Scott is the fourth leading rusher in the Big Ten. Scott averages 6.8 yards per carry.
|10-06-18||Tulane v. Cincinnati -7||21-37||Win||100||20 h 45 m||Show|
Unbeaten Cincinnati has designs on making the Top-25. The Bearcats are yielding the second-fewest points in the nation at 12.2 and their offense is coming on behind quarterback Desmond Rider and running back Michael Warren. I don't see visting Tulane slowing down the Bearcats. Tulane gives up nearly 30 points a game and ranks 108th in yards allowed. Cincinnati is averaging more than 600 yards of total offense during its past three games. The Green Wave have covered only of their last seven road games and are in a letdown spot after ending an 11-game losing streak to Memphis by upsetting the Tigers last week as 14 1/2-point home 'dogs.
|09-29-18||Old Dominion v. East Carolina -5||35-37||Loss||-110||102 h 51 m||Show|
Kudos to Old Dominion. The Monarchs stunned Virgina Tech, 49-35, as a 27 1/2-point underdog. The Hokies entered that matchup ranked 13th in the country. It was the biggest football victory in Old Dominion school history. It also causes a monster letdown spot for the Monarchs especially going on the road. Before that stunning win, the Monarchs were 0-3 with losses by 42 points to Liberty, Florida International and Charlotte. The Monarchs failed to cover any of those games. Old Dominion allows the sixth-most rushing yards in the nation and 35.8 points per game. East Carolina has played a much more difficult schedule than Old Dominion. The Pirates pulled their own major upset during their last home games, beating North Carolina, 41-19, two weeks ago. The Pirates then hung tough as a 20-point 'dog last week in losing 20-13 to South Florida on the road. The Pirates defense is much improved, ranking 48th in scoring defense giving up 22.3 points. East Carolina ranks 51st in rushing offense.
|09-29-18||Purdue v. Nebraska +3.5||Top||42-28||Loss||-110||25 h 12 m||Show|
No this isn't a misprint. Purdue really is more than a field goal road favorite against Nebraska. Perhaps the line is justified giving how disappointing Nebraska has been under Scott Frost opening 0-3 and that Purdue is coming off a 30-13 victory against previously unbeaten Boston College. That was the Boilermakers' largest win margin of a ranked opponent in 19 years. But enough factors are at work here that I am confident in projecting Nebraska to win. The Cornhuskers wouldn't look so bad if they were 2-1. But the final moments of their games against Troy and Colorado went against them. The Cornhuskers then laid an egg against Michigan during their first road game. Michigan played well and steamrolled Nebraska. I see the Cornhuskers bouncing back here at home. Nebraska freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez has tremendous potential and is the right quarterback to operate the team's spread offense. This is the type of offense Purdue has trouble against. Martinez is a dual threat and has some of the best wide receivers in the Big Ten to throw to, including Stanley Morgan. He might be the No. 1 wideout in the conference. On defense, Nebraska has the pass rushers to bother David Blough, who needs a clean pocket to be effective.
|09-22-18||Arizona State +18.5 v. Washington||20-27||Win||100||30 h 9 m||Show|
It's strange but true. Arizona State has won 11 of the past 12 games in this series, including winning last year. The Sun Devils have covered in their last eight visits to Washington. The Huskies have the strongest defense in the Pac-12. Arizona State, though, is used to strong defenses having gone against Michigan State and San Diego in its past two games. The Sun Devils have an explosive passing attack spearheaded by senior Manny Wilkins, who has thrown for back-to-back 300 yard games. He has dangerous receiving weapons, including N'Keal Harry, who I regard as the best wide receiver in the Pac-12. Washington hasn't seen receivers this good all season. Washington has been just average on offense. I do like Myles Gaskin. However, the Huskies' offensive line isn't an elite unit and quarterback Jake Browning is overrated. He has four touchdown passes and four interceptions. I think there is very good value in taking a number I consider inflated.
|09-22-18||Louisiana Tech +21 v. LSU||Top||21-38||Win||100||51 h 5 m||Show|
Louisiana Tech can put up points sparked by quarterback J'Mar Smith and running back Jaqwis Dancy. They've help the Bulldogs average 42 points. Skip Holtz has taken the Bulldogs to a bowl game in each of the last four seasons. The Bulldogs have hung with other SEC foes during the past two seasons losing by one point to South Carolina last year and to Arkansas by one point two seasons ago. This is an in-state game that Louisiana Tech is going to take far more serious than LSU, which is in a letdown spot and also caught in a division sandwich. The Tigers pulled out a one-point road victory against Auburn last week as a double-digit 'dog by scoring nine unanswered points in the fourth quarter. LSU hosts Mississippi next week. That's an SEC matchup the Tigers will be pointing to not this non-conference game. Note, too, LSU has yet to commit a turnover in three games. That's hard to sustain.
|09-22-18||UNLV +7.5 v. Arkansas State||20-27||Win||100||34 h 54 m||Show|
Under Tony Sanchez, UNLV has received better coaching and recruiting. The Rebels have now reached borderline bowl status. They were right with USC on the road in their opener until the final couple of minutes and are off two confidence-building blowout victories. The Rebels have the quarterback and ground game to hang with Arkansas State on the road. The Red Wolves have a strong tradition and also are historically well-coached. But their defensive front is nothing great and UNLV can attack it with dual-threat quarterback Armani Rogers and Lexington Thomas, one of the best running backs in the country. Only two teams average more than the Rebels' 346.7 yards on the ground. Arkansas State ranks 96th in stopping the run. The weather forecast is in UNLV's favor, too. There is a chance of rain with wind in the 10-15 mph range. The Rebels are a running team while Arkansas State is the superior passing team. The Rebels used to be patsies on the road. Not anymore under Sanchez covering eight of their last nine away contests. The Red Wolves have failed to cover in their last four home games.
|09-22-18||Pittsburgh -3 v. North Carolina||35-38||Loss||-119||22 h 30 m||Show|
This is turning into a lost season for North Carolina. The Tar Heels lost to California in their opener, were buried in Week 2 by East Carolina, 41-19, as 16 1/2-point road favorites and then didn't play last week against Central Florida because of Hurricane Florence. The aftermath of this hurricane as made it very difficult for North Carolina to focus and prepare for this matchup. That won't be the case with Pittsburgh. The Panthers are in huge revenge mode. Their 34-31 loss to the Tar Heels cost them a bowl berth last year. The Panthers have their confidence up after an impressive 24-19 home win against Georgia Tech last Saturday. Pitt has a good runner in Quadree Ollison and its quarterback, Kenny Pickett, played much better than he did earlier in the season. The Panthers shouldn't encounter problems going against a defense that yielded 510 yards of total offense to East Carolina.
|09-21-18||Washington State v. USC -3.5||Top||36-39||Loss||-108||60 h 53 m||Show|
What is the oddsmaker trying to tell you by making USC, which is 1-2 and hasn't looked sharp, more than a field goal favorite against unbeaten Washington State? They are saying the Trojans are the superior team. I believe that, too. I envision the Trojans playing their best game of the season. Washington State has played far weaker competition than USC having beaten Wyoming, San Jose State and Eastern Washington, an FCS team. By contrast, USC has taken on Stanford and Texas during the last two weeks. Both of those losses came on the road. Now the Trojans are at the LA Coliseum where they have won 17 in a row, including 12 straight versus Pac-12 foes. This will be the fourth start for J.T. Daniels, one of the most highly recruited quarterbacks in the country. Daniels has tremendous talent and dangerous receivers. USC's running backs are better than they have shown so far especially Stephen Carr. Washington State no longer has its star quarterback, Luke Falk. Gardner Minshew, a transfer from East Carolina, has done well as the Cougars' quarterback. But this is a real step-up game for him. The Trojans have an overall talent edge and bursting frustration that is ready to be let loose here.
|09-15-18||Arizona State v. San Diego State +6||21-28||Win||100||37 h 20 m||Show|
Those who doubted Herm Edwards in his return to coaching - and college at that - are quiet these days after the Sun Devils reached the top-25 for the first time in four years with a tremendous 16-13 home upset of Michigan State this past Saturday. The Sun Devils played their guts out coming from 10 points behind in the fourth quarter and were rewarded by beating the Spartans at the gun on a field goal. Up next for Arizona State following this game is a huge Pac-12 matchup against Washington. So this is just a terrible spot for the Sun Devils especially going on the road. San Diego State has no such look-ahead. The Aztecs host Eastern Michigan in a non-conference game next Saturday. Early money has come on Arizona State despite its situation because San Diego State won't have senior starting quarterback Christian Chapman. He's more game manager, though, as the Aztecs rely on running back Juwan Washington. He's the third-leading rusher in the nation with 314 yards in two games. This is Edwards' first road game with the Sun Devils. ASU is 6-13 ATS in its past 19 away contests.
|09-08-18||USC v. Stanford -6||Top||3-17||Win||100||55 h 39 m||Show|
Stanford just isn't Bryce Love. KJ Costello has become a star quarterback and he has one of the best wide receivers in the Pac-12, JJ Arcega-Whiteside. The Cardinal rolled past San Diego State, 31-10, last week despite Love rushing for only 29 yards. Costello and Arcega-Whiteside made up for that teaming up for 226 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Costello not only has great skill position weapons, but a strong offensive line. USC can't match that firepower with freshman J.T. Daniels making his first road start. The Trojans just led UNLV by five points in the fourth quarter before pulling away although failing to cover the spread. Stanford was perfect at home last season. The Cardinal also have double revenge from last season. USC coach Clay Helton has a terrible record when taking points. The Trojans are 1-8 SU and ATS since 2015 as underdogs.
|09-08-18||Ball State +34.5 v. Notre Dame||16-24||Win||100||17 h 19 m||Show|
Notre Dame easily could overlook Ball State having just won a huge marquee game against Michigan last week. Ball State finished last season with nine straight losses. The Cardinals are underrated, though. Ball State set a school record in piling up 652 yards in a 42-6 victory against Central Connecticut State last Thursday. The Cardinals got huge games from quarterback Riley Neal and running back James Gilbert, both of whom missed the last nine games with injuries last year. They make Ball State a better-than-perceived team. The Cardinals should be more excited about this matchup than Notre Dame. This is the first meeting between the two Indiana-based schools. Ball State also has covered nine of its last 11 games in September.
|09-01-18||Boise State v. Troy +10||Top||56-20||Loss||-106||45 h 8 m||Show|
Troy lost some key people from a year ago, but the Trojans are home in a revenge spot and dangerous in an underdog role. They proved that upsetting LSU as a 20 1/2-point road 'dog last season. The Trojans have won a combined 21 games the past two seasons under Neil Brown. This is a solid program under Brown that has a strong recuriting base. So the talent is there. Boise State figures to struggle initially with its passing game and Troy has a top-notch secondary. Boise State is making a long trip and going into high southern heat.
|09-01-18||Texas State v. Rutgers -16.5||7-35||Win||100||16 h 49 m||Show|
Rutgers is going to relish a chance to bury an opponent and built up its confidence. The Scarlet Knights have had the defense. Now they have the makings of a decent offense to accomplish this against an overmatched opponent. Boston College transfer Jon Hilliman leads a good crop of Rutgers running backs that includes talented Raheem Blackshear and Jerome Washington is one of the better tight ends in the country. Freshman quarterback Art Sitowski was an "A" level recruit. How bad is Texas State? The Bobcats have won three games the past two years. Texas State didn't intercept a pass last season and only once in two seasons did its offense produce at least 14 points in non-conference FBS play.
|01-08-18||Alabama -4 v. Georgia||26-23||Loss||-108||132 h 57 m||Show|
I want Alabama going for me here. The Tide beat Clemson in impressive style while Georgia had to launch a monster comeback to defeat Oklahoma in double overtime. The Tide had the less taxing bowl playoff game and a shorter distance to travel back home from New Orleans. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, are coming off a very dificult game in which they came back from a 31-17 halftime deficit and had to return all the way back from the West Coast having defeated the Sooners in southern California. Alabama and Georgia shared common opponents Auburn, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Tennessee. Combining those games, the Tide came out with a plus 279 yardage mark against those four common foes to Georgia's plus 115. The Tide also recorded the better offensive and defensive yards per play statistics. Note, too, that Georgia coach Kirby Smart was Nick Saban's defensive coordinator before becoming the Bulldogs' head coach last season. Former Saban assistant coaches have squared off against their mentor 11 times - and are 0-11. Each of Alabama's victories against these coaches was by 14 or more points.
|01-01-18||LSU v. Notre Dame +3.5||Top||17-21||Win||100||19 h 41 m||Show|
I see these teams as near even with Notre Dame slightly better. So I'll gladly accept points here. I like Notre Dame's running back depth better and offensive line where they have two projected first-round draft picks. Guard Quenton Nelson is expected to be the first offensive linemen selected in the draft. I also prefer Brandon Wimbush to Danny Etling at quarterback. The statistics of these two teams are very close. Notre Dame, though, has a clear edge in averaging 6.4 yards per run while allowing 4.0 yards compared to LSU averaging 4.9 and 3.9 defensively. The key is who runs the ball better and that's another checkmark for Notre Dame, which rates seventh-best in the nation. Strength of schedule also favors the Irish. This was not a great year in the SEC. LSU had its worst losses against Mississippi State and Alabama. The Tigers also were shocked by Troy. The Irish are the healthier team, too, especially at linebacker. The line is shaded towards LSU because Notre Dame lost late games against Stanford and Miami both on the road. The Irish are refreshed and have regrouped now. They are the team worth backing.
|12-29-17||NC State -6.5 v. Arizona State||Top||52-31||Win||100||93 h 28 m||Show|
North Carolina State is a superior team to Arizona State. Now throw in the Sun Devils coaching upheaval and I see North Carolina State winning this game by more than a touchdown. The Wolfpack were in national playoff contention, but couldn't beat Notre Dame and Clemson. No shame in that. The Wolfpack aren't in that elite class. But they are a level higher than Arizona State. North Carolina State has bowl experience winning bowl games in two of the past three seasons. The Wolfpack field one of the most experienced teams in the country with 22 seniors. These seniors have accomplished going to a bowl three straight seasons so they want to end their college careers on a high note. Ryan Finley threw for more than 3,000 yards for North Carolina State this season while completing nearly 64 percent of his passes. He has a deep group of receivers, who can take advantage of Arizona State's 118th pass defense. The Sun Devils ranked 88th in scoring defense allowing 31.2 points per game. North Carolina State's defense is much stronger giving up fewer than 25 points per game and ranking 28th in run defense. The Wolfpack have a stout defensive line and ASU allowed the 10th-most sacks in the country. The kicker here is Arizona State's coaching situation. The Sun Devils fired Todd Graham and hired Herm Edwards, which was a bizarre hire in my opinion. The Sun Devils' offensive coordinator, Billy Napier, and defensive coordinator, Phil Bennett, then left the program. Napier departed to accept the head coaching job at Louisiana-Lafayette and Bennett left for personal reasons. So newcomer Edwards doesn't have either of his coordinators.
|12-28-17||Stanford +3 v. TCU||Top||37-39||Win||100||14 h 47 m||Show|
These are two strong defensive teams. Stanford is holding foes to 21.5 point a game, 25th-best in the country. The oddsmaker, of course, knows this. That's why we have a relatively low total here. So points matter. And I'll gladly accept them with Stanford, who I rate as better than TCU. Stanford has gone to a bowl game nine straight seasons. The Cardinal has won their last three bowl games. I really like them as underdogs in the David Shaw era as they've covered 80 percent of the time in 15 games in that role under Shaw. Stanford beat Washington by eight points and Notre Dame by 18 as an underdog this season while also covering as a 'dog against USC in the Pac-12 championship game. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill has failed to step up in big games. His worst games came away from home, too. I prefer Stanford's power ground attack headed by speedster Bryce Love. The Horned Frogs are not used to facing this type of offense. They play an unorthodox 3-3-5 defense. This defense is geared to stop the numerous spread offenses in the Big 12 not the type of offense Stanford employs.
|12-27-17||Missouri v. Texas +3||Top||16-33||Win||100||30 h 36 m||Show|
Missouri is overrated and Texas' Tom Herman is one of the great underdog coaches. The Tigers haven't beaten a good team all season. All of their SEC victories were against sub .500 teams. Texas has a much better defense than Missouri and I like Herman far more than Tigers coach Barry Odom. If you go back to when he was Ohio State's offensive coordinator and go through when he was the head man at Houston and now at Texas, Herman is an astounding 15-1 ATS (94%) as an underdog. The Longhorns rank sixth in the nation in run defense. They held five opponents to 14 points or less. Texas' defense will be able to handle Missouri's spread attack having faced multiple spread offenses this season along with great quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph. Texas went 3-0 ATS against those quarterbacks holding USC to 24 points in regulation, Oklahoma to under 30 points and Oklahoma State to 10 points in regulation, which was 36 points under the Cowboys' season average. The Longhorns have their quarterbacks healthy and are facing an inferior defensive team.
|12-23-17||Texas Tech v. South Florida -3||34-38||Win||100||26 h 56 m||Show|
I like South Florida's defense and its quarterback, senior Quinton Flowers. These strengths provide South Florida a strong enough edge to cover this short number.Flowers is a dangerous dual threat with his passing and running ability. The Red Raiders faced three elite quarterbacks this season - Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph and Will Grier - and lost to all three of them. Texas Tech doesn't have the offense to trade points with South Florida especially going against a rugged Bulls defense that ranked 37th in scoring defense, 28th in total defense and 22nd in run defense. Texas Tech Nic Shimonek was ineffective enough to get pulled late in the season. The Red Raiders earned their bowl berth by getting to six wins with a 27-23 victory against Texas to finish the regular season. That victory likely saved Kliff Kingsbury's job. I doubt the Red Raiders can reach the same level of intensity now that Kingsbury is safe and the team achieved their goal of making a bowl game.
|12-22-17||Central Michigan +3.5 v. Wyoming||Top||14-37||Loss||-115||11 h 3 m||Show|
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen gets the publicity. That's partly why the Cowboys are favored here. But Allen is a better pro prospect than college player. I find him to be overhyped due in part from a drop in statistics from his junior season plus having a mediocre offensive line and lack of playmakers surrounding him. He's also not 100 percent bothered by a sore shoulder. The Cowboys' leading rusher produced just 474 yards and they had only one receiver with more than 27 receptions. By contrast, Central Michigan quarterback Shane Morris is surrounded by skill position weapons. The Chippewas improved as the season went on. They enter this bowl game playing their best ball winning and covering their past five games. Central Michigan averaged 41.2 points in its past five games. The Chippewas beat good MAC teams, too, during this stretch defeating Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan by a combined 26 points. The spot isn't bad either for the Chippewas. They are more excited and motivated to be traveling to a bowl game while this venue is a letdown for Wyoming, which played in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego last season. I consider Central Michigan to be the superior team. So getting points is a nice bonus.
|12-20-17||Louisiana Tech +5 v. SMU||51-10||Win||100||55 h 46 m||Show|
I like both team's offenses. But Louisiana Tech has the better defense and has far more bowl experience. SMU also is going through a coaching change making this an awkward spot. Chad Morris led the Mustangs to their first bowl game since 2012. But Morris resigned after three season at SMU to become coach at Arkansas. This was less than two weeks ago. Morris took most of his offensive staff with him leaving new head coach Sonny Dykes to go over bowl preparations. I'm not a fan of Dykes. I prefer Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz much more than Dykes. Louisiana Tech has been to a bowl game each of the last three seasons - winning each time. This is the inaugural Frisco Bowl, which is being played in Frisco, Texas. It's less than 30 miles from Frisco to Dallas. So SMU could have bigger crowd support. On the other hand, it has to be boring for the Mustangs not getting to go anywnhere for their first bowl appearance in five years. Louisiana Tech has experience in this region, too. The Bulldogs won the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth last year and also was victorious in the Heat of Dallas Bowl in 2014. SMU allowed 35.5 points a game. The Mustangs ranked 122nd in total defense and 113th in scoring defense. SMU enters this matchup going 1-3 in its last four games with the lone winning during this span coming at home, 41-38, against Tulane in a game it failed to cover. The Mustangs have covered only one of their last seven games. Louisiana Tech ranked 66th in total defense and scoring defense giving up 26.7 points. The Bulldogs are good at forcing turnovers, too, tying for 11th in interceptions with 16.
|12-02-17||Georgia +3 v. Auburn||28-7||Win||100||5 h 57 m||Show|
Sharp money has come on Georgia and I can understand why. The Bulldogs are in a huge revenge spot and Auburn is coming off a huge home win against Alabama.The Bulldogs have the best running attack in the SEC with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and a defense that gives up the fourth fewest yards per game in the country. I don't see Auburn stopping the Bulldogs on the ground like it did in the first meeting.