College Football Picks - Free Weekly ATS Predictions
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Overall, UAB is the better balanced of the two teams as they are strong on both sides of the football. The Blazers own an offense that scores 29.3 points per game (62nd in the FBS) compared to NIU who put up just 20.7 points per outing (120th nationally). The Huskies offense is among the worst as they are 123rd in total offense (325 yards per game), UAB accrues 400.4 yards per game (67th nationally). On the defensive side, the Huskies boast a 14th ranked rushing defense that gives up 109.7 yards per game. However, UAB's defense is a top-ten unit in both scoring (17.3 points per game), and total defense (300.2 yards per game). Very simply, everything NIU can do, UAB can do better, and they use this venue to showcase how far their program has come. UAB wins big.
The Blue Raiders have many of the required ingredients here to pull an upset including committing fewer penalties, are more efficient in the red zone, and they play better possession football than their counterparts. It doesn't end there, the Blue Raiders also have an edge in the kicking game. All of this can potentially neutralize Appalachian State's sixth-ranked scoring defense (15.7 points per game) as MTSU will have the Mountaineers defense on the field longer and thus create more opportunities to put points on the board. Appalachian State is accustomed to bullying many of the constituents in their conference, but they will have their hands full against a fearless Middle Tennessee State team that will be looking for a signature win to cap off what has been a tremendous season for their program.
If there is one thing that college football teaches us it is to expect the unexpected. Situationally, this is kind of the scenario where Fresno State can creep up with a historic win. A theme of Championship Week will be re-matches and the inability for the victor in the first installment to follow-up with a win in an even higher-stakes game. Boise State will be one of the victims to fall prey to this narrative.
Washington was expected to win the Pac-12 in the preseason, but they had several bumps along the way. Now that the Huskies have reached the championship game look for Washington to come out and play a strong game. Utah has had a terrific season, but a backup quarterback has little chance against a strong Huskies defense. Look for Washington to win this game by double-digits.
This game was highly anticipated since last season's thrilling title game. The Bulldogs have the same quarterback this season in Fromm, while Nick Saban has turned his team over to Tagovailoa. The Alabama offense has been unstoppable all season long, and that shouldn't change in this game. Georgia will keep it close for a while, but Alabama will eventually pull away.
Clemson should win this game going away, but something tells me that Pitt will be a tougher out than expected. I think the Panthers got caught looking past Miami last Saturday with their spot in this title game already secured.
While I do not think the outcome of this game will be in question into the fourth quarter, I am betting the Panthers to cover in what should remain a two or three touchdown margin of victory.
Memphis was the closest call UCF faced all season, and it gave the Knights a good battle in last season's 34-27 loss in the AAC Championship as a 6.5-point road underdog. Add in the loss of Milton and Central Florida will need a solid effort in every phase of the game to win on Saturday.
I have the Knights extending their SU winning streak to 25 games, and I also have them covering the 3.5-point spread to cash a winning bet.
We also have to take notice of the hook here with the 7.5-point number. This is a figure often utilized by the market to entice action on the underdog with the guise of a win if the pooch loses by a touchdown. However, Oklahoma will win this one by double-digits as they will put together their best defensive performance this season. This spells bad news for Texas as they had no answer for Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray who threw for 394 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 92 yards and a score against them. The problem is Murray has only gotten better since that game and Texas' defense has just gotten exposed more on several occasions by comparably potent offenses like West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech. Sooners win big.
Will there be an upset? No. But will the Cajuns make it interesting? Certainly. UL-Lafayette losing this game will not discredit the Cajuns by any means. Losing in a close game will actually be a moral victory for this outfit and further compel them to offer up their best efforts against a team that may very well likely treat this outing as a formality. Even if App State gets ahead big, the lumber here presents enormous backdoor potential as well.
The Crimson Tide looked slow and uninterested in their win over the Citadel last week, but that won’t be the case in this game. Alabama has had some dominating performances against top teams all season long, and they will be ready to make another one against Auburn. Realistically Auburn doesn't stand much of a chance to beat the Crimson Tide, but they will keep it close. Look for the Crimson Tide to win the Iron Bowl, but Auburn will cover.
This will be the biggest test for the Oklahoma defense to face this season in terms of opponent offenses. OU is lucky to have survived Oklahoma State two weeks ago, and they managed to let a lowly Kansas team that fired their Head Coach hang around last week. This is a test the Sooners will fail miserably, and West Virginia will finally get the win it has longed for against OU.
The Ragin' Cajuns will cap off their outstanding 2018 campaign with an exclamation point and vanquish their most hated nemesis. This game will see plenty of scoring, but Louisiana-Lafayette will come out on top and perhaps do so by several scores. There is tremendous equity in spotting the field goal plus half of a point.
NC State is clearly the better all-around team in this matchup, but the Tar Heels did take Syracuse to overtime while also keeping things close against Virginia, Georgia Tech and Duke in ACC play. This is also a bitter rivalry which has a way of keeping things closer than expected for home underdogs.
That being said, I am still going to lay the six points with a play on NC State as a road favorite given the favorable betting trends for the road team in this series.
The Knights are on a mission to prove that a Mid-Major program should receive some higher consideration in all the national polls regardless of the strength of schedule. While anything can happen when a bitter rivalry is renewed, I am somewhat confident that the Knights will make short work of their in-state foes this Friday afternoon.
Arizona has been competitive in Pac-12 games this season, but they have yet to face an offense like Washington State. The Cougars have a real chance to make the College Football Playoffs, but they will need some help along the way. Arizona should be able to put some points on the board, but they will struggle to contain Gardner Minshew and the vaunted passing attack. Look for the Cougars to blow out the Wildcats on Saturday.
Pitt has been able to play itself into position to win the ACC Coastal Division, so there is quite a bit riding on this game to seal the deal. Wake Forest has been a hard team to figure out all season long with a couple of decent efforts mixed in with some really ugly blowout losses.
Playing at home gives the Demon Deacons a small edge, but I really like the way the Panthers have been playing on both sides of the ball in their last three games. I am riding the hot team in this one with a bet on Pitt to cover on the road.
Utah State has a good enough offense to cover this number. After all, they are the best in the country in scoring 51.3 points per game. However, the Aggies are not concerned about padding stats or how much they win by as they have bigger fish to fry and will undoubtedly treat this game as a dress rehearsal for next week. Utah State will likely get up by a significant enough margin and then pull their starters early to rest them for their showdown with Boise State. This leaves the back door open for Colorado State to come through and cover by way of a few junk-time scores as there are way too many points on the table here.
This game will not be one of the marquee matchups of week 12 but could be one of the more competitive ones on the schedule. The Razorbacks almost knocked off a top-10 opponent in LSU a week ago, and look to be playing better of late. Mississippi State is trying to rebound after getting shut out in a loss to top-ranked Alabama. The Bulldogs will come away with a win in this game, but it won't be easy.
This game will be a good old-fashioned fistfight that will be settled likely by one possession. With that being said, the Aztecs are primed to come in under this number with ease. Moreover, San Diego State has a penchant for playing up to premium teams. This is an outfit after all that knocked off Arizona State and Boise State on its own turf this season. Grab the points.
Earlier in the season going with Houston to cover would have been the obvious way to bet this game, but Tulane comes into this matchup playing its best ball of the year while the Cougars continue to slide in the wrong direction.
One thing you know for sure is that each team will score its fair share of points on Thursday night in what could be a solid play on the OVER. However, in the end, I am going with the Green Wave to cover ATS as a solid road underdog.