College Football Picks - Free Weekly ATS Predictions
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At first glance we thought the line on this game was too high. Then we saw how Notre Dame wasn’t exactly dominating opponents, while Wisconsin actually was, at least on the stat sheets. But then we remembered, stretching back a few seasons, that the Badgers are a bit mistake-prone; a key turnover here, a big play given up on defense there, things like that. It cost them the game against Penn State. And talent-wise these two teams are very close. So we’re betting the Irish here, plus the points.
Wake Forest is probably the better team in this match-up, and that Virginia defense is a bit too porous for our liking. Plus, the Deacons are getting four points. We'll take Wake here and won't be surprised if it wins this game outright.
Appalachian State is the better team in this match-up, but it's close. And playing at home means the spread is probably inflated by a field goal or so. Also, these two teams have played one com-mon opponent so far this year; App State out-gained East Carolina by 104 yards while Marshall out-gained the Pirates by 86 yards. Plus, the Herd learned how to beat the Mountaineers last year. We foresee a close game here, so we're taking Marshall plus the points.
UCF is probably the better team in this match-up but not by as much as that point spread might indicate. And we expect a better performance here from Louisville than what we've seen so far this season. The Cardinals are in their third season under Coach Satterfield, and he's got a good track record; Appalachian State advanced from 4-8 to 11-2 in his first three seasons there. We’ll take the Cards and the points.
Louisiana will win this game outright, but that preseason ranking might have gone to their heads. And playing this game at home at night probably means the spread is several points higher than it should be. Ohio, meanwhile, is a disappointment so far, but we have some faith in Coach Solich. Also, the Bobcats are 14-11 SU, 15-10 ATS over their last 25 road games. We'll take the Bobcats plus the points here.
I don't believe you are going to see a crazy scoring affair. I'm honestly expecting a low-scored game, especially during the 1st-half. As a result, I think there is solid value in the under 56 total!
We give Iowa State the edge at quarterback and in the running game while calling the defenses, both great, about equal. And we gotta believe the Cyclones are tired of losing to Iowa - five times in a row is enough. So we're betting Iowa State here, giving the points.
Ohio State is going to win this game; it's just a matter of the final margin. But Oregon returns an experienced quarterback, some nice skills people, its entire offensive line, and a solid defense. And playing this game on the road gives the Ducks a few more points to play with. We'll take Oregon and the points.
Coastal Carolina thinks it's got a shot at playing on New Year's Day, and a win over a Power 5 outfit, even Kansas, looks good on the resume. But 25 points is a lot for a Sun Belt team against a Big 12 school. Also, Coach Leipold has an excellent track record; the Jayhawks will be better with him. In fact, they're already better than they were last year when they only lost to CCU by 15. Kansas probably won't pull an upset here, but we'll show some faith in the new coach and take the Jayhawks plus the points.
Ole Miss owns one of the best offenses in college football, and its defense can't help but be bet-ter this season. Louisville, meanwhile, has talent at QB but holes to fill at the skills spots and on defense, which was its stronger unit last year. Also, Coach Kiffin would like to get his QB in the Heisman conversation, so we won't be surprised if the Rebels try to run up a score. We don't like going along with the better flow, but we're giving the points here with Ole Miss.
When we first considered this game, we figured on a close one, perhaps decided by a field goal, where three points might come in very handy. And how could we go wrong with a great team like Georgia getting points? But then we thought about Big Cinco and how great he might be and that Clemson defense and our minds began to turn. Plus, losing in the CFP last year probably provides some added incentive for those Tigers who experienced it. We're like Clemson here, minus the points.
Penn State went through a lost season last year in part due to some lousy football luck. But that kind of luck tends to trend back toward normal over the course of the following season or two. Plus, with a bunch of returning talent, we expect the PSU to bounce back and maybe win ten games this year (their over/under is nine). Also, Wisconsin is a little banged up, with several projected starters listed as questionable. We like the Lions here, and they might win this game outright.
Ohio State will probably win the Big Ten again this season, but there are holes to fill, including at quarterback. If the Buckeyes are going to struggle at all this year, you'd think it would be early. Minnesota, meanwhile, looks like an excellent candidate to rebound this season, with ten starters back on both sides of the ball, and we like Coach Fleck. In fact, we give the Gophers a puncher's chance to win this one outright. Just to be safe, we'll take Minnesota plus the points here.
This should be a good one to watch; two pretty evenly matched teams, both with a lot of returning talent, both with new head coaches. But we're thinking Boise State's learning curve under Avalos, who's already very familiar with the BSU style of play, won't be as steep as UCF's under Malzahn. Plus, the Broncos are a solid road bet over recent seasons. We expect a close game here and five points might come in real handy. So we like Boise State, plus the points.
Nebraska is now in its fourth season under Coach Frost and under some pressure to produce. The 'Huskers were supposed to be better by now but haven't shown much so far. Meanwhile, Illinois will be playing its first game under Coach Bielema, but the learning curve on his systems probably isn't as steep as under others. He likes to run the ball, work the clock, avoid turnovers and play field position. You know, Wisconsin-type ball. And they might actually have the personnel to do it. Also, these two teams are closer in overall talent than this point spread might indicate. They may not win this one outright, but we like the Illini plus the points.
Note that Jay's pick was made before it was annouced that Clemson Tigers offensive coordinator Tony Elliott will miss the game after a positive Covid test.
I really believe Coastal is the better all-around team and believe the line is reasonable.