College Football Picks - Free Weekly ATS Predictions
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Make no mistake about this one, this is not going to be a College Football Playoff battle, but that doesn't mean that there isn't value to be had. Though it may be the Owls' only triumph of the year, Rice will bring the Roadrunners "win streak" in this series to an end. The Owls will be triumphant in convincing fashion. I have Rice winning this match by double-digits. Swallow the points.
I would not be shocked by any means if the Eagles went onto win this game outright. If some were bold enough to take EMU on the Money Line on Saturday, I would not dissuade that venture. Nevertheless, the fact remains that since the upset potential in the game is quite significant, the amount of points offered makes the Eagles a true value wager, and that is how I am going to play this one. Regardless of who wins this game, it will not be settled by a more than a touchdown in either direction.
Each of the last seven meetings in the series between these two teams has been decided by less than the spread on this game. And playing at home means the line on LSU is probably inflated by three or four points. Florida may not win this game outright, but we'll take the Gators and the points for our free college football pick here.
Texas is a great team, but they are facing Hurts and a dangerous passing offense for OU with a pass defense that only ranks 125th in the nation. OU's defense is improved over last season, and while they will not shut the Longhorns down, they will not give up a ton of points. On the other side of the coin, Hurts and company will light up the scoreboard, and because of that, the Sooners will win this game and cover the spread avenging their loss to Texas last season in the Red River rivalry.
Alabama's betting record on the road is pretty good, and it would be even better if the Tide hadn't given up a late, meaningless touchdown at South Carolina a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, A&M needed a very late score for that cover against Clemson, lost to Auburn, and struggled to beat a bad Arkansas outfit. So we like Alabama here, playing on the road, where spreads tend to be friendlier.
The Falcons have managed to cross the 35-point threshold in the last three meetings between both sides (averaging 36 points while doing so), and I expect them to hit the 35-point mark here in the next installment of this MAC feud. The question is whether or not Toledo can put up 70 on the Falcons defense to put them in a position to potentially cover. I would suspect not as the Rocket offense averages less than half that number (33.8 points per contest – 40th in the FBS), and their best offensive performance this season resulted in 45 points against Murray State in early September. Bowling Green is not Murray State; they will enter into this game with a chip on their shoulder looking to assert themselves on their own field. Will the Falcons win? Probably not. However, Bowling Green will make this a fight.
This game is one that will likely have a lot of twists and turns with plenty of back and forth action. However, in the end, I have the favorite winning this one, perhaps on a game-winning field goal. After all, a motif of Eastern Michigan football for the last two seasons has been ending up on the wrong side of hard-fought losses. I suspect the Eagles will fall here in a similar style, and as a result, Ball State gets the win and cover.
Will there be an upset in this game? I doubt it. However, the likely overinflated number presents a huge issue for anyone laying the lumber. UConn's offense has managed to score 21 against UCF and 23 against Illinois. Most recently, the Huskies put up 22 against USF. Based on the consistency of the Huskie's scoring, I would expect a similar offering from UConn here against the Green Wave, even if the scores come in junk-time. For Tulane to cover, that means were are looking at a 55-plus explosion to come from Tulane, and I can't see that happening given the fact their best offensive performance this season was 42 points against both FIU and Army. I have the Green Wave winning this one 49-21, which will be comfortable enough for the Green Wave to prove a point but nonetheless makes it prudent to take the points.
Baylor is undefeated and came away with a win in their last game despite blowing a 20-point lead heading into the 4th quarter. They won last season at home facing Kansas State, and this game will be their biggest test, especially for their run defense. Kansas State looks to get over losing badly in their last match where their run defense was torched. They have a better rushing attack, and that will show in this game. The Wildcats will dictate the pace on the ground and control time of possession, and while their defense will give up some points, they will come out on top and cover the slight spread moving to 1-1 in Big 12 play and handing Baylor their first loss of the season.
Barring a minor miracle Georgia is going to win this game, and playing on the road means the spread is a few points friendlier. In fact, if the Bulldogs just win this one by last season's score, they'll cover. We're giving the points with UGA for our free college football pick.
We give Auburn the edge in the quarterback match-up and the comparison of the running games. And while Florida may own a slight advantage when comparing the two defenses, it's close. Also, the Tigers own the better record this season against quality opponents. We'll give the short spread here with Auburn for our free college football pick.
Liberty put up 62 points when it hosted Hampton two weeks ago, and I expect the Flames to post a similarly stellar number against this porous New Mexico State defense. However, the Aggies will not be able to respond as they are up against a Liberty defense that gives up 22.6 points per game (47th in the FBS). If the Aggies are fortunate, they will score 21 points, but I will find that hard to achieve given the fact this outfit has only eclipsed the 17-point market on one occasion this season. This game has blowout written all over it, and Liberty should cover this number easy.
Lest we also forget that Caleb Evans and several other upperclassmen recollect their dance with Memphis two years ago where the Warhawks played the Tigers tough in Memphis. UL Monroe will not be intimidated by this Memphis team and if anything they are delighted that they get to host the re-match with local support behind them. For UL Monroe this could very well be a case of unfinished business, and I expect the Warhawks to throw the kitchen sink at the Tigers. With a steady dose of Evans and Running Back Josh Johnson, Monroe could easily lose this by a mere touchdown. To play it safe, I'd say that number can be as high as two touchdowns-plus conversions. Either way, the three-point line move away from Memphis will be a pivotal ingredient in what I believe will be a profitable venture in taking the points.
Make no mistake about this one; this is not going to be a battle of the titans by any means. This will be about as pedestrian and lackluster as any game one may come across. However, someone has to win, and my money is on UTEP to do just that. After all, Harris remains a question mark, and even if he is good to go, he will be spearheading the 126th-ranked scoring offense and will not be at 100%. This fact will undoubtedly put UTSA at a disadvantage. For UTEP however, there are not many games on its schedule that it may see as winnable. This match, however, is one game that the Miners know they can win and will be motivated to do so as they can end a rival’s recent supremacy in this series before whatever die-hards sweat this one out with the Miners.
Kansas State won their last game even though they were outgained and had more turnovers. However, they found a way to win and won the last time facing the Cowboys in their house. Oklahoma State put up a fight in their previous game, and this game will be a close one as well. However, Hubbard will bounce back and have another big game, he has two 200+ rushing games already, and the Cowboys will win and cover handing Kansas State their first loss of the season.
Auburn's the better team here, namely on defense, and Mississippi State is banged up on offense. Also, four of the last five meetings in this series have been decided by double-digits. So despite the recent betting trend in this rivalry, we're taking the Tigers for our free college football pick.
It may seem very tempting to fade Old Dominion here as some may think that the Monarchs may not be as enthusiastic about this affair compared to the last two games they played. Moreover, ECU will look like a very tempting Money Line play likely in many instances given their supremacy in this series. However, I will not buy into to either of these sentiments. Old Dominion will look to capitalize on what will be a definite step down in competition and take out all of its acrimony built up from their last two games this season on East Carolina. I can also see ODU wanting to wreck the Pirates as they have never won against them and ECU also ruined ODU's FBS debut (the first loss in this series a 52-38 ECU victory in 2013) and broke their hearts last year when they met again. Old Dominion will put the pedal to the floor and never look back. I can see this game getting ugly very quick. At the bare minimum, I have Old Dominion winning this game by a double-digit margin, but it could easily be a rout of three-scores plus.
Alabama is going to win this game; the only things that really matter are the point-spread and the margin of victory. The Tide, however, is also banged up, with several guys on both sides of the trenches either out or questionable. Also, the line on this game is inflated because 'Bama's playing at home and because of the final scores of the last two meetings (66-3 and 62-7). Meanwhile, Ole Miss got some good play out of its quarterbacks last week. We'll take the Rebs and the points for our free college football pick.
Florida Atlantic has too much to overcome here. The Owls are in prime position to be “out-physicaled” by these 49ers who have the mental edge heading into this game. When Charlotte’s home presence is also factored into the mix, I certainly see FAU’s road cover streak coming to an end in this spot emphatically. The 49ers will wear down the Owls and run the ball down their throat to what can easily turn into a blow-out victory for the up-start Charlotte program.
Oklahoma has had Texas' number in their house in the last several years and has won four straight against them overall. All good things must come to an end, and the winning streak for the Cowboys over the Longhorns will end in this game. This contest will be a high scoring game, but Texas has the better QB, and they will expose the weaknesses of Oklahoma State. This game will not be a blowout, but Texas will get the win and cover the spread sending the Cowboys to their first loss of the season.