College Football Picks - Free Weekly ATS Predictions
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Will there be an upset? I think there can be. In their regular-season meeting in October, App State and ULL were engaged in a battle for all four quarters, and the Mountaineers did not take a double-digit lead until the final two minutes of regulation. The Cajuns know this, and they know they can play with this team. I would venture to say that last week's scare against the Warhawks of UL Monroe was this team looking ahead to this game because it knows it has a true chance of winning this game outright and dethroning App State as Sun Belt champ. Louisiana-Lafayette will take it to Appalachian State again, but this time the Cajuns will dig deep and may just find a wrinkle to get themselves over the hump against the Mountaineers. We’ll take the points here because this game has all the makings of one that will be settled by a late field goal in either direction.
It'd be foolish to not acknowledge some apparent pitfalls with Utah as a pick this week. Oregon is a good team and reserves the right to come up with a good performance in this game. Against the more-dangerous offenses Utah has faced this season in the conference, their defense wasn't what we saw when smashing some of the more-suffering conference offenses. And urgency isn't always a reliable gauge on what we'll see on the field. Herbert could have a good game in this spot and make it hard on the Utes to cover the number. I just don't sense a bad match from Utah after what they had to go through to get here and with what's on the line. I see them finding away, as their character and wherewithal might be the best parts of their makeup. I like Utah this week.
The American Athletic Conference will probably itself in terms of the New Year’s Six race as I firmly believe Cincinnati can win the re-match outright this time around. Be that as it may, there are plenty of points on the table and I recommend taking advantage of them accordingly.
LSU's explosive offense gets most of the ink, and deservedly so, but that Tigers defense can give up a few points. Ole Miss put up 37 on them a couple of weeks ago. A&M could put up 27-30, and its already covered at +16 against Clemson and +12 against Georgia. They probably won't win the game, but we'll take the Aggies and the points.
Jones is putting up some nice numbers for Alabama, but we all know that Tide offense isn't as explosive without Tagovailoa behind center. Meanwhile, Auburn can run the ball, and it might own the better defense in this match-up. Also, while 'Bama plays for a shot at the CFP, this game is the Super Bowl for the Tigers. We'll take Auburn and the points for our free college football pick.
Oklahoma has failed to cover in their last four games, which have all been close. However, I don't see this game being close at all. Hurts will have a big game lighting up the suspect Oklahoma State secondary, and while Hubbard will get his yards, the OU run defense will keep him from having a huge game. The Sooners will win and cover ending their regular season with a W, as they head to the Big 12 Championship Game.
ULL will not be looking past ULM as it prepares for a re-match with Appalachian State. The Cajuns know what they are in for against their old foes. Though Louisiana-Lafayette will be prepared for Louisiana-Monroe, they won't win this game by three scores, either. Monroe will hang around long enough until Lafayette finally pulls away. However, I don't see the Cajuns extending their lead by more than 14 and thus recommend taking the likely inflated points.
There is one other intangible that Cincinnati has to complement its running game: its defense. The Bearcats give up just 19.9 points per match (23rd in the FBS), which is another excellent parry to Memphis' explosive offense. Cincinnati will limit Memphis' opportunities to score, and when the Tigers have the rock, I anticipate there will be fewer touchdowns and more field goals. Make no mistake, this game is going to be a close one throughout, but no one should be taking back more than a touchdown on either side. Cincy can win this one outright, but be that as it may, I like them to come in under the number.
South Florida will not be going to a bowl game this year with seven losses, so the War on I-4 will have to suffice for the Bulls. I expect the Bulls to offer up their best performance of the year and make this a ball game. UCF won't be dropping this one at home in Orlando with a perfect record on their own pitch this season, but USF will make them work for it. Ten points at most will be the margin that separates the two teams in this affair.
Tennessee is heading in a good direction as of late, Missouri, not so much. And in this case, that's enough for us. So despite the recent trend in the series between these two teams, we like the Vols and the points in this spot.
A&M's playing its best ball of the year right now, with four straight wins, and probably thinks it's got a shot at pulling an upset here. Meanwhile, Georgia is struggling to make money at home, mainly because it's favored by so much so often. The Aggies might not win this one outright, but they've enough to keep things close. We'll take Texas A&M plus the points.
At the end of the day, Appalachian State will win this game and earn its tenth victory of the season. However, they will fail to cover while doing so. Texas State will generate enough scoring opportunities to snag the points it needs to come in under the number. I see this game being settled by a four-touchdown margin, which makes Texas State the value play here with the 30 points.
Make no mistake about it, this contest will likely be a back and forth bout, but the Midshipmen will get the better of this equation. Navy's nation-leading rushing attack that averages 349.7 yards on the ground per game will wear out the Ponies and will be too much for SMU to overcome in the end. Navy will win this game by a touchdown, which brings us to the cashier window laying the points here with the chalk.
As stated, it would be no shocker if UTEP won this one outright but be that as it may, seven points is likely too much for either side to be taking back in the Battle of I-10. After all, while both teams have defensive issues (UTEP also gives up a 120th-ranked 35.7 points per game), we are still dealing with two outfits in which points are also hard to come by. UTEP averages 18.4 points per match (121st in the FBS) while New Mexico State averages just .4 points per more game (18.8 ppg – 118th in America). With scoring scarce and neither team boding tremendous defensive acumen, taking back the points is the right move.
Florida is the better team here, especially considering Missouri's iffy quarterback situation, and should win this game. Plus, playing on the road means the spread is a tad friendlier. So despite what's happened in the last two meetings between these teams, we'll give the points here with the Gators.
Oklahoma has not looked good on defense in their last two games, and they may struggle, once again, on defense in this game. However, Baylor has not faced an offense like OU yet, and the Sooners will light up the scoreboard. While the Bears will get their yards and points, the Sooners will get many more and win and cover handing the Bears their first loss of the season.
To ask the Aggies to win this game by a touchdown is not too much to ask at all. No matter how you slice this one, Utah State can win and cover this game on the last possession if it had to. However, I trust it won’t come to that. The Aggies will come out swinging and build up a lead that the Cowboys quite frankly will not be able to overcome. An aerial attack will lead Utah State to a double-digit victory. Swallow the points.
I don’t see overtime being required in this contest to determine a winner, nor do I suspect the Broncos will have trouble getting a win. At first, I thought perhaps Boise is laying this big number because they will be in a position to pummel New Mexico. After all, why would they be priced in this range given how they have performed as of recent? Boise State has been struggling to get by opponents and failing to come in as the chalk while doing so. However, handicapping in many facets is a number's game. The Broncos' had won by more than 28 just once this season on September 14th when it defeated FCS Prairie View A&M 45-10 (the Broncos did not cover priced at -34.5). New Mexico has lost by more than 28 just once this season on that same September weekend when they were torched 66-14 at Notre Dame and failed to come in as a 34.5-point underdog. For these reasons, I have to grab the points.
UL-Lafayette will win this game, but I don't seem them having an easy time doing so. Though Lafayette has easily been one of this year's surprise teams, we have yet to see this squad in any form of a scare against conference competition. This is the scenario where such an event occurs. The Jaguars will make this a four-quarter game. I can see this contest being settled by two scores at most, but nevertheless, the fact remains that we are working with inflated points in backing the door. Dig in.