College Football Picks - Free Weekly ATS Predictions
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Auburn has found themselves besieged by the Dawgs when they have been the favorite in recent encounters. There have been numerous occasions where Auburn was heavily favored against Georgia and in that same scenario not only did the Dawgs cover but they would take down War Eagle outright. The Dawgs’ are a team that is dangerous when they are off the radar as they love the playing the underdog as much as any team across the land. A similar narrative can unfold in this contest as Auburn may be stepping in to danger against a Georgia team looking for a statement win that will also gain them bowl eligibility. Auburn should be on upset alert as the Dawgs will likely treat this meeting as their ‘big game’ for this season with Auburn boasting top-ten credentials. Georgia has yet to have a signature win Between The Hedges and Kirby Smart is looking to validate his hiring so far. The Bulldogs may once again pull off the upset and orchestrate a shocking defeat of the Tigers despite being heavy underdogs empowered by a mission to prove themselves on a national stage.
Though the Hawkeyes are just 5-4 on the year, they have been competitive in three of the four games they have lost. Most recently, Iowa was spanked by Penn State in Happy Valley but at home this year this outfit has been tough to put away. The fact remains that the Hawkeyes have lost three games at home this year but by a small margin of just 17 points. The list of victors over Iowa include North Dakota State (The three-time defending FCS champion entering this season), Northwestern and Wisconsin. The list includes some teams that have had no trepidation going toe to toe with anyone, anywhere and Iowa has certainly employed a similar blue-collar approach. Now Iowa has the chance to get the Wolverines under the lights before a very active and energetic home crowd who are going to be fired up. Iowa has won four of the last five meetings between these two so it’s needless to say this team will not have butterflies in their stomach. For Michigan, the pressure must be building with each win they acquire as their showdown with Ohio State is quickly approaching. Michigan enters as an age old candidate for a scare at the bare minimum in this match-up.
There is no doubt that North Carolina is a much better team than Duke on both sides of the ball, but I never feel comfortable laying that many points on a road favorite in such a heated rivalry. The Blue Devils do have some momentum after almost upending Virginia Tech, but this game still boils down to a ‘must win’ for the Tar Heels so anything can happen.
Even though the total in this matchup has favored the OVER in recent years, I am still looking for a low-scoring affair this Thursday night to make my “best bet” pick the UNDER on the current 59.5-point betting line.
Florida State has been a very frustrating team to bet on this season since you are never really sure what kind of effort you are going to get from this team on a weekly basis. You might expect a letdown this week given such a tough loss, but the Seminoles are facing a team that has gone into a tailspin of its own.
I was high on the Wolfpack earlier in the season, but this is a team headed in the wrong direction following such a promising start. I will gladly lay the 5.5 points on the road and take the Seminoles to bounce back with a convincing win on Saturday night.
Kentucky is in prime position to take down the Dawgs. Georgia seems to have let the ship sail on their season as they remain in transition. The last time the Cats beat Georgia in Athens, a similar narrative was unfolding in 2009 under former coach Mark Richt. Simply put, Georgia is not a good football team. Even when they got off to a good start at 3-0, their inability to dominate teams they should have beaten soundly suggested this team was due for attrition at some point. Nothing typifies this more than Georgia’s struggle against FCS cupcake Nicholls State. The Dawgs have even crafted ways to lose their homecoming to Vanderbilt, yet another team Georgia should have ticked off with ease. The Dawgs are under duress while the Cats are on the upswing. Kentucky at this point may feel they have more to play for compared to Georgia who are beginning to lose faith in the administrative changes that have taken place in the off-season. Conversely, Kentucky has seemingly bought in. With an animated atmosphere and the prospect of a guaranteed bowl berth with a win, Kentucky will give the Dawgs everything they have. Do not be surprised if UK pulls off the upset outright.
Georgia Tech’s record of 5-3 is quite deceptive, as is the 6-2 record of UNC. UNC is better than their record suggests while Georgia Tech is far worse than their record implies. The difference in quality of results against premium competition is the driving price behind this market. While it is always tempting to take a fair allotment of points, the market is astute and the price reflects an analysis and prognostication of both teams. If UNC wins out they have a shot to return to the ACC Championship Game and with this being said they will not take their foot off the gas by any stretch imaginable. Georgia Tech likes to slow the game down and run the ball, relying on their defense to win contests. The portfolio of results suggest otherwise but given the fact UNC is a fast-strike offense, we expect GT to implement this strategy and thus shorten the game making the Under a great handcuff for an against the spread play.
We were adamant about the peril that awaits any taker that lays juice with this team as a conference champion or in each and every game. As we have highlighted, OU narrowly got away from TCU, Texas Tech and Texas all by a score of a touchdown or less. It is worth mentioning that these were all games Oklahoma with the hype surrounding them should have won easily. When push came to shove and the Sooners had to ramp up the competition, they were sullied and beat. Iowa State looks at this game as another opportunity to take it to a conference heavyweight and perhaps threaten a top-25 football team as they have done previously already this season. Oklahoma should approach this game with care as this one will not be a walk in the park and as we have seen with Oklahoma on a multitude of occasions, they often struggle in many scenarios where they are expected to win big.
Washington has taken advantage of weak opponents and padded their resume with a couple of fortuitous wins and favorable scenarios. Washington’s schedule so far has not been one of a true 8-0 team. The Huskies own wins against Rutgers, Idaho, Portland State, Oregon State and Arizona. None of these teams by any stretch would pose a threat to a majority of the teams in the FBS. Some will sing the praises of Washington against both Oregon and Stanford, as they have outscored them 88-23. Nevertheless, both teams are having down years and in transition, nothing comparable to what we have seen in years’ past when Oregon and Stanford are at their peak. California is a test and Washington better study. As seasons wear on many undefeated teams fall off because the spotlights begin to burn the back of their necks and most often unsuspecting foes like California lie in wait to take them down. Washington’s weak schedule will finally become a factor in a pivotal contest and California may pull an upset outright.
Temple is clearly the better all-around team in this matchup and this is the type of game it should be able to win with relative ease despite playing on the road. With an earlier victory against South Florida under their belt as the next best team in the AAC East, look for the Owls to keep things rolling this Friday night against the punchless Huskies.
The underdog in this matchup has done well in the past ATS, but I am going to lay the 10.5 points on the favorite and go with Temple as my “best bet” pick.
We are going to target Ohio State again by virtue of the line movement alone as an extra touchdown gives any taker premium breathing room. The Wildcats are not the same team that opened up their season with a loss to a Group of Five opponent and follow it up with a loss to a FCS competitor. The Wildcats are 4-1 in their last five contests and they have beaten three Big Ten opponents, as well as an ACC competitor to boot. Northwestern’s early season docket combined with what many see as a “hard-luck loss” Ohio State suffered has led many to believe that the Buckeyes will come back with a vengeance against the Cats. This may very well be the case but there are far too many points on the table to pass up when you see how this market has shaped up. These books are sharp and the opening price was set with sound rationale. Given the fact an abundance of points, the academic move in this one is to take the Wildcats.
One team falls out of the top-25 after they were routed on the road by a ranked rival and the other team rises in the rankings as a result of spanking to a ranked opponent at home….such is the story of Mississippi and Auburn. These stories often foster overreactions and Auburn’s decimation of Arkansas is likely to create such an event. The Rebels are a different animal in Oxford. Their one loss came against Alabama but they took the Tide to the wire. In addition, Mississippi smoked Georgia and Memphis in their two most recent outings at home. The immediate reaction is to take Auburn at next to nothing but this market is a very proficient evaluation of things. Auburn has played just one match away from home this season and that victory was attained against Mississippi State, the same team that lost at home to South Alabama on opening weekend as a twenty-plus point favorite. Auburn has yet to truly encounter trouble away from home and Mississippi may be a bit overwhelming for this team. The offering here is too good to be true for many Tiger takers and that is why we will go the other way.
Michigan State and Michigan have had polar opposite seasons. Michigan State can salvage their season with a win at home against the Wolverines and given their dominance in this series, it is not unlikely by any means. As mentioned, the Spartans are currently riding a three-game winning streak against Michigan overall and seemingly the public has paid little attention to this. All the intangibles in this match set the Wolverines on a course to be vulnerable in this market. While Michigan may be the Big Ten’s best team on paper at this present moment, Michigan State has been the aggressor and is in prime position for a sneak attack as they are under the radar and as a result probably undervalued. Michigan has not earned a victory in East Lansing in nine years and this season Michigan has won six of their seven triumphs this season within the cozy confines of Ann Arbor. Their one road win came against Rutgers, regarded by many as the worst team in the Big Ten currently. Michigan remains untested on the road and MSU will likely enter this match with incentive to ruin Michigan’s season as a statement. Tremendous value in taking Sparty with the points.
Florida State has already come up short against some of the better competition in the ACC this season and that could easily carry over to its play in this game on Saturday night. Clemson is the better overall team on paper and its motivation level to post a dominating win against a bitter conference rival will be sky high heading into Tallahassee.
This game will still be a great battle that should remain close deep into the fourth quarter, but I do like the Tigers’ chances to end up on top both SU and ATS.
After laying waste to the North Carolina State Wolf Pack, the stock on the Cards is once again through the roof, indicated by the heavy action coming in on the Cardinals. To the naked eye, the Cavs look like an appetizer for the Cards and their stock has diminished. The last two contests were settled by a combined nine points with the Hoos winning at Scott Stadium the last time this game was played in Charlottesville. Virginia knows they can compete and won’t lay down for Louisville. With this being said, it is likely that the Cavaliers may not win the game but there is more than enough points on the table to secure a back door cover. The movements of this market alone illustrate a potential overreaction and we will simply not take any part in that. There is more than enough points to play with and while we are at it, we will go ahead and take the Over as both teams boast two of the nation’s better passing attacks.
Once again this game has Penn State written all over it. The Nittany Lions just took down the #2 in the country, a team that has beaten them four times in a row and they have gotten little respect for it. Purdue has recently under gone a regime change as they fired their head coach. Nevertheless, the changes have been seemingly ineffective and the Black and Gold outfit from West Lafayette remains in shambles. Penn State has picked up the last seven wins in this series and as a favorite in all seven of these matches, the Nittany Lions are 5-1-1 ATS. Furthermore, Purdue owns just one win this season over a Big 10 opponent and while we are at it, they have just one win over a Power Five opponent as well, Illinois. Contrary to what normally goes on with Penn State they have gotten little respect this season. Case and point, Maryland. The Lions ravaged the Terps at home but at one point were forecasted as pooches against Maryland…let that sink in for a minute. Penn State will look to make an example out of Purdue.
This should be a great battle right from the opening kickoff between two closely matched teams. Each one needs a win to stay on pace for a spot in the ACC Championship, but I would have to lean towards Pitt playing at home.
The current 4.5 betting spread appears to be a bit too generous for a road favorite playing a closely matched conference opponent in what I see to be a three-point game either way. The Hokies might get the SU win, but I betting that the Panthers make them earn it.
Prior to the Broncos current two-game win streak in this rivalry, the Eagles owned a three-game win streak of their own. This rivalry series has been a very competitive one, even if EMU was not relevant. Mirroring what can transpire here, the Eagles were the pooch in all three of those match-ups. Given the fact the Eagles are known as one of college football’s pushovers, the Eagles were undervalued as they have been all season long standing at 6-1 ATS. Western Michigan given their lofty accolades is due for a let-down. Eastern Michigan is not the same Eagles we are accustomed to. This outfit is far improved and much better than the reputation dictates. Now they have an opportunity to achieve another benchmark, eliminating their hated foe and earning bowl eligibility. The Eagles will be fired up heading in to this game and even if they lose, there are far too many points on the table to pass up. EMU with the points and the Over is our call in this one.
Rivalry games are often a venue where the unthinkable happens. When you throw in a bunch of points, the underdog in the series almost always bodes some tremendous value and upside. Bottom line there are some laying serious juice at -2100 with San Diego State on the Money Line as opposed to taking San Jose State outright at +1100. This practice is extremely dangerous as there is no such thing as easy money, especially in rivalry games as potent as this one. As we highlighted previously, the pooch has been the one that yielded the most dividends against the spread in this series as of late. To many the rationale is simple, San Diego State is a defending conference champion and they have won as much as any team in America as of late. To the naked eye, they should blow out San Jose State but then again San Diego State was spotting nearly 20 points to USA on the road and they were beaten outright. The Aztecs are not bulletproof by any stretch and if there was any situation that could ensnare them it would be against this familiar foe.
This game has Penn State written all over it. The Nittany Lions have all the intangibles as they will get the Buckeyes at home under the lights with a rowdy and raucous fan base behind them. The game is a primetime national showcase and for Penn State an opportunity to make a spectacle and re-establish themselves on the national landscape. Most of the public are reacting to what they saw a week ago when the Buckeyes battled back against Wisconsin. However, games of this nature generally can create an overreaction of some kind and we have seen that with both teams this week in their respective markets. Generally, a team coming in off a hard-fought win is a great target in the following week especially when they have to take to the road against a rival who comes in with a chip on their shoulder like Penn State. The last time Ohio State came to Happy Valley, they fell behind 17-0 before they roared back and dispatched the Nittany Lions in overtime. You know Penn State is thinking about that game and this is the perfect venue for them to re-write history.
The big question for this Saturday is how will NC State react to such a disappointing loss against another tough opponent on the road? The Oddsmakers are either expecting a letdown by the Wolfpack or a much better performance from Louisville given the current spread, which I see as a gift.
These teams are much more closely matched then the current spread might indicate and I am looking for another strong effort from NC State as one of my “best bet” picks this week to cover again.