Week 5 Picks
Week 4 Recap (16-18) -3.2 units
It was, ugh, a bit of a rough week for your boy. We’ll have weeks like this and the key is to keep them to a minimum and not let them affect the next week. I just flat out made bad picks on Louisville, Kansas St, Marshall, Mississippi St and Washington. These bets really never had a chance from the opening kick off. I had one of the worst beats I’ve ever seen in the Stanford/Oregon game. All Oregon had to do was take a knee and they had the game one. They fumbled away the lead then lost it in overtime. Not a great nightcap. I made some pretty bad totals bets including a last minute bet on the Texas Tech/Oklahoma St over. Kent St/Ole Miss was a 2 unit over that didn’t sniff the total. I’m still not sure how UConn/Syracuse didn’t end up over 76 after 45 first half points. Boston College/Purdue didn’t come close to going over either while NIU/Florida St just snuck over the small total of 45. Some bad beats and some bad bets is what I’ll remember about Week 4.
I continued to have a really nice record in weekday games by going 2-0 on Friday night with Washington St +3 and FAU/UCF over 69.5. The over in Georgia/Missouri was a winner in what was a wild game with lots of turnovers. Buying low on North Carolina proved profitable as they won outright against Pitt. I had a half unit bet on Old Dominion +28 against Virginia Tech and the Monarchs pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the last few years. FCS Illinois St won outright as a 7-point dog at Colorado St and the Redbirds got me to the window. Baylor was one of my best calls of the weekend. The Bears cruised to a win against Kansas in what was a bad spot for the Jayhawks. Wisconsin was able to fend off “Kennick Night Game Magic” and take down Iowa on the road, all while covering the 3-point spread. My best call of the weekend was certainly Florida -4. I had a 2 unit bet on the Gators and they won going away on the road at Tennessee. The Volunteers are just really, really bad this year.
In the section below, I’ll provide my thoughts on some of the games I’ve picked each week. In the future, I’ll get this doc updated after I make a bet so everyone can get the best line possible.
(Lines are as of writing. If my pick is different than the current line I will try and explain in the breakdown) Current Record: 74-69 -2.33 units
North Carolina @ Miami (FL) -17.5 (o/u 56)
I’m going to take a half unit shot on the under 56 here for this weeknight tilt. Weeknight unders are a solid principle that I’ll roll with here.
UCLA @ Colorado -9.5 (o/u 58)
I think this Colorado team is getting overlooked despite being undefeated. Now it looks like I’m one of the ones that’s under rating the Buffs because I had this line at CU -7.5 while S&P+ had it at 14. I decided to throw half unit on the Buffs because I think Chip Kelly has a long way to go with this UCLA team and I’ll take Stephen Montez against a bottom half of the country Bruins defense.
Pick: Colorado -9.5
Score: Colorado 37 UCLA 24
West Virginia -3.5 @ Texas Tech (o/u 72)
I was able to grab under 77 on Monday and it sat there until Thursday afternoon when it got bet down to 72. The perception here is that both of these teams are going to run it up. While that is always a possibility in the Big 12, these defenses are a lot better than they’ve been in the past. West Virginia ranks 51st in defensive efficiency while Texas Tech ranks 66th. When Texas Tech got healthy on defense last week and it really showed as they held Oklahoma St scoreless in the second half. The Red Raiders have also used the running game more often and that’s always good for balance and ball control. I also have a play on Texas Tech here as I made the line under a field goal.
Pick: Under 77, Texas Tech +4
Score: Texas Tech 38 West Virginia 35
Army @ Buffalo -7.5 (o/u 54.5)
Both of these teams are coming off impressive performances against Power Five opponents. Army took number 6 Oklahoma to overtime and had an incredible 45 to 15 minute advantage in time of possession. Buffalo dominated lowly Rutgers in Piscataway as a road favorite. My numbers have Black Knights keeping it under a touchdown. The biggest hesitation on backing Army would be the revenge Buffalo has from last year. They lost a heartbreaker to Army early last season. I think this one is higher scoring than predicted even though with triple option teams are a big risk.
Pick: Over 51.5, Army +7
Score: Buffalo 30 Army 27
Oklahoma St -16.5 @ Kansas (o/u 62)
This pick comes off as very square and I’m really ok with that. My numbers have this game at 19.5 while 3 the other power ratings make it above 20. Kansas is just simply getting too much credit for beating horrid Central Michigan and Rutgers teams. Oklahoma St is coming off a very frustrating loss to Texas Tech and I think Mike Gundy will want to lay the hammer down on the perennial Big 12 doormat Jaywaks.
Pick: Oklahoma St -16.5
Score: Oklahoma St 45 Kansas 17
Syracuse @ Clemson -25.5 (o/u 66.5)
Clemson has taken on a ton of money since Trevor Lawrence was named the starter on Tuesday afternoon. They are just a different team with him under center. I jumped on the Tigers at -24 and while I don’t like laying this many points with Clemson in a conference game, they do have revenge from losing at Syracuse last year. Syracuse has played some really good defense so far but I think it’s a bit of a paper tiger and we’ll see a correction this week. I think this game will be pretty high scoring but Dabo’s boys run away with it in the end.
Pick: Clemson -24
Score: Clemson 56 Syracuse 21
Purdue -3.5 @ Nebraska (o/u 57)
I really like the over in this game. I’ve been on Purdue overs all year and I think last week against Boston College was more of the exception than the rule. We know Scott Frost and Jeff Brohm are two of the brightest offensive minds in football so lets watch the scoreboard light up in Lincoln on Saturday afternoon.
Pick: Over 56
Score: Purdue 35 Nebraska 31
Coastal Carolina @ Troy -14 (o/u 55)
All 5 of the power rating systems I use have at least 5 points of value for the Chanticleers. Both myself and S&P+ have this game going over 70 on the total so I may end up with an over play as well. I really like the way Coastal has played since their Week 1 loss to South Carolina. I’m looking to back the Chants because they can score with Troy. I think Troy is a little inflated because of the power 5 wins they’ve pulled off in the last couple of years.
Pick: Coastal Carolina +14.5
Score: Troy 41 Coastal Carolina 35
FAU -3 @ Middle Tennessee (o/u 60)
My power rankings make this game FAU -6.5 so I was happy to take the road favorite in this one. FAU has gotten off to a really bad start this year but they can still score points. As long as they get the ball to Devin Singletary, they should have no problem moving the ball. Middle Tennessee just hasn’t been good on the defensive or offensive sides of the ball. Middle ranks dead last in points per play on offense and second to last in the same stat on defense. That’s not a recipe for success.
Pick: FAU -3
Score: FAU 35 MTSU 21
Boise St -17 @ Wyoming (o/u 46.5)
I’m going to stick with my apparent theme of week 5 and take another road favorite. Boise St ranks 7th in offensive efficiency according to ESPN’s FPI while Wyoming is 110th. Both teams have solid defenses but I think this game gets out of hand early with the Cowboys having no chance to catch up.
Pick: Boise St -16.5
Score: Boise St 38 Wyoming 10
Ohio St -3 @ Penn St (o/u 69.5)
Off we go to Happy Valley for one of the marquee games of the year. My numbers make the Buckeyes 7.5 point favorites so I was very happy to grab Ohio St at -3. This game should be close, and it should be high scoring, but I see Ohio St coming out on top in the end. Last years game was 38-35 and I see something similar here. Both teams rank in the top 10 in offensive efficiency and the top 5 in points per play. This is going to come down to who can get the most stops and I trust the Buckeyes defensive line to get pressure on Trace McSorely.
Pick: Ohio St -3
Score: Ohio St 35 Penn State 28
Ole Miss @ LSU -10.5 (o/u 59.5)
Ole Miss has a well-documented, high flying offense and a horrific defense. LSU has a well-documented, stingy defense and… a good offense? I’ve written about it in the past but LSU’s hire of Steve Ensminger as offensive coordinator has gone extremely well for the Tigers. I think Ole Miss will be able to get points in this game because they have elite receivers and strong-armed quarterback. I know that LSU is going to get points in this one. Ole Miss can’t stop a nosebleed and this total is set relatively low due for an Ole Miss game due to the perception of LSU’s style of play. This isn’t the same plodding LSU offense from the past couple of years. Both S&P+ and myself have this game going well over the total so I’ll roll with another Rebels over.
Pick: Over 59.5
Score: LSU 37 Ole Miss 34
BYU @ Washington -17 (o/u 45.5)
At first glance this looks like a big spread for a top 25 match up. My numbers have this game right around the current line of 17 but I think there is value on the Cougars. BYU has pulled off some upsets this year including the big one of Wisconsin. Washington is a little better than Wisconsin by my power ratings but not by much. I think this game will play out somewhat similarly, with the Huskies pulling out a close one.
Pick: BYU +17
Score: Washington 27 BYU 23
I will be looking to take the under in Louisiana/Alabama on game day. I think there is a chance it gets up to the key number of 70 so I’ll wait as long as a I can. I’m also looking at Cincinnati/UConn over 56, Georgia Southern +4, and TCU -10 in the next couple days. If I get any of these numbers I’ll be firing.