College Football Picks - Free Weekly ATS Predictions
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Some time has passed since these two teams used to butt heads in the old Big East Conference, but there is still a bit of a rivalry burning between them coming into this game. Losing Grier evens things up quite a bit, and I would give Syracuse the clear edge in motivation given how West Virginia’s season came to a close.
The total score should threaten the 68-point line in what could still be a wild one, but my ‘best bet’ pick is Syracuse ATS.
You have to question each team's motivation coming into this game after failing to come close to their lofty expectations. Playing this game outdoors in New York could give a slight lean to the cold-weather Badgers against a team from South Florida.
I see this matchup turning into a grinder with each defense stepping up its game to keep the total UNDER the current 48-point betting line.
As a mid-level ACC team, the Eagles could actually be stepping up in class against one of the top teams in the competitive Mountain West. Anytime you have a top Mid Major going up against a fairly average team from a Power 5 conference there is value going with a team that is coming in with something to prove.
Take the Broncos both SU and ATS in this matchup in a game that will not be as close as the current spread suggests.
Houston has some solid wins under its belt this season, but it was not playing its best ball at the end of the season on the defensive side of the ball which could be an issue against one of the top rushing teams in the nation. The Cougars could also have a tough time getting close to its scoring average against the Knights’ defense.
Lay the points in this one and take Army to win and cover the current field goal spread.
Despite Toledo’s surge to the post-season it still remains a question how motivated this team will be for this match. A year ago, Toledo found itself in the Dollar General Bowl in a high-profile collision with Appalachian State, the Sun Belt Champion. Regardless, Toledo got shutout. However, by comparison, this contest could be classed as a step-down for the Rockets, and they may just treat this as a formality. FIU has not won a bowl in eight years and the last time they did was against Toledo. Coach Butch Davis will use this ironic twist of fate as a motivational tool. Still, Toledo may win here, but the number presented affords the possibility of FIU to keep this one close and cover in what will be a one-possession game.
The total line in this game is set high for a reason, and there is an excellent chance that if both offenses show up, it will go OVER. I still like Memphis as the better all-around team. The Tigers' balanced attack is going to be tough to stop for a Wake Forest defense that struggled to slow down much less potent offenses it faced this season.
Lay the five points and take the Tigers to win and cover against the Demon Deacons.
We can say for certain that the Eagles will win in the Camellia Bowl. The question is which university? All signs point to Eastern Michigan. A win for the Eagles here erases a 31-year drought of winning a bowl game. Though the Camellia Bowl may be classed as a lower-tier bowl compared to a New Year’s Six contest, Eastern Michigan will still treat this affair as such given the potential historic magnitude. EMU gets it done.
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.