College Football Picks - Free Weekly ATS Predictions
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The Demon Deacons have had success in postseason bowls lately, while the Aggies have been a bettor’s nightmare in most of their bowl game appearances over the past several years. These two teams do matchup rather well against one another on paper, but I would give the slight edge to Texas A&M as the more battle-tested side in this pairing. Wake Forest will be playing in the friendly confines of Bank of America Stadium in its home state, but I am still going to take the Aggies and the three points in what could easily be a three-point game either way.
The big storyline in this bowl game will be Virginia Tech’s shutdown defense against one of the most prolific offenses in Division IA this season. It will be a battle of wills, but I am going to lean towards the Cowboys in this one both SU and ATS. They are a bit more battle tested coming out of the Big 12 in a game that the Hokies could find themselves struggling to keep pace on the scoreboard. Virginia Tech’s defense was exposed a bit against the better teams it faced this season and that will be the case in this game.
These teams matchup extremely well against one another in what should be a close, hard-fought battle for all four quarters. While defense should dictate play for both teams, I am giving Houston the slight edge on the other side of the ball behind King at quarterback. He provided a spark on offense that led to a few big wins down the stretch and I like the Cougars’ chances to finish the year strong with one more victory both SU and ATS.
Oregon will have to endure the news that their Head Coach Willie Taggart is moving onto Florida State. How that affects preparation for this bowl game remains to be seen. The fact remains there is no mid-major team in all of the history of college football that is primed to rumble with heavyweight teams like the Boise State Broncos. Their history speaks volumes as to what they are capable of. Whether it be the dramatic Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma or their victories over Virginia Tech and Georgia in high-profile kick-off games, the Broncos have a penchant for games of this nature. This makes them a very dangerous team to sleep on and one that should not be overlooked. We have a prime opportunity to fade the public and snag inflated points on a premium outfit. Boise State gets our call.
Situationally, this scenario sets up ideally to back the Trojans. Ohio State’s psyche heading into this game remains in question. After all, the Buckeyes were stiff-armed out of the playoff and this game may seem like a pale consolation prize. The opposite is the case for USC. The Trojans were one of the most highly touted teams in the beginning of the 2017 season and failed to live up to the hype. Some had dared to call Southern California National Champion material and penciled in their quarterback Sam Darnold as a consensus Heisman Trophy winner. Whilst the perception of this outfit was inflated, this is the opportune scenario for USC to at least justify some of that hype. Typically, we would expect to pay a hefty price to back the Men of Troy in a bowl game of this magnitude. However, given the fact Ohio State has been gaining a lot of national attention as of late the Trojans may offer tremendous value for the first time in a long time in any bowl game.
The talk of the town is how will Georgia handle the test of stopping Baker Mayfield? The better question is how will Oklahoma handle the Bulldog defense? The Big 12 Conference is an offense-oriented one that emphasizes air raid attacks. Look no further than the cast of characters in this ensemble: OU, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Baylor, and Iowa State. The environment is conducive for explosive offensive operations. However, the Dawgs have the antidote. The Bulldogs stand among the best in the country at running the football and it is a great complement to their brutal and physical defense. You also have the coaching factor. Dawgs Head Coach Kirby Smart has been games of this magnitude before with Alabama as their Defensive Coordinator. Sooners Head Coach Lincoln Riley is navigating his first College Football Playoff in a highly influential role. These narratives will make the difference. Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia.
If there was ever a time for a changing of the guard in this rivalry it would be now. The Black Knights overall are the better team and have a more convincing body of work this season as to relevance and quality. However, Navy holds a huge emotional edge in this contest because they know if they win they keep the trophy for yet another year. In spite of some of the let-downs this team has faced this year, Navy has a chance to take away what it classes as its biggest victory. This game is basically the equivalent of the Super Bowl for both squads. Sure, Navy was at one point ranked in the top-25 and even emerged as a favorite to win the American Athletic Conference. Whilst those days are dead and gone, hope remains abreast in this rivalry. Look for Navy to come out with a fantastic performance in unexpected fashion.
South Florida won last season’s Birmingham Bowl facing a major program with a seven-point victory against the SEC’s South Carolina Gamecocks and think it is poised to do the same this time around while covering as a slight favorite against a Red Raiders’ team that has to be disappointed in how their season turned out even with that closing win against the Longhorns.
I tend to lean towards the hungrier teams in these early bowl games, especially when a solid Mid Major is facing a mid-level team from a Power 5 Conference.
This should be a good early-season bowl game between a pair of teams that closed out their regular season on a solid note. Florida International could have a bit of an edge behind its potent passing attack aided by some level of home field advantage with the game being played at Tropicana Field.
While the top play in this AAC/C-USA tilt could be the OVER on the current total line, I am going with a ‘best bet’ pick that the Golden Panthers do go on to win this game both SU and ATS as touchdown underdogs.
As we have argued previously, it is very difficult for any outfit to beat the same team twice in the same season. However, the quality between both sides is certainly a large enough difference to override this narrative. As a result of previous successes, it is very likely that Rockets are spotting inflated points because no one would even consider backing Akron on any other circumstance. Whilst an upset is unlikely, this game has a lot of meaning for the Akron program. Thus, you can expect this team to hang around. Akron’s moxie will be enough to get them to come in under a likely overlay.
Georgia Southern’s awakening has courted a lot of looks and action from the betting public. Against a weaker opponent on paper such as Coastal Carolina, this surge looks to continue. However, the market feels otherwise. Thus, the two teams opened in a pick-em scenario. Public leaning on the Eagles has propelled the market to its current station. Likely the value on Georgia Southern has left and if anything, we have an opportunity to snag CC with some enhanced equity. The low-hanging fruit suggests that Coastal Carolina is in position for a win here. We have to like that spot given the fact this is their home finale and they will look to end their tumultuous campaign on a good note.
Undoubtedly both of these teams are two of the surprise outfits of 2017. The winner gets to pick where they go bowling and eclipses the prestigious ten-win mark on the season. For both programs this is a significant milestone. Without question, the Owls have the privilege of hosting this affair by virtue of tiebreaking protocol for the conference. Nevertheless, it is hard to beat the same team twice in a season. This narrative aids UNT’s cause. Whilst it is hard to fathom Florida Atlantic losing this game, the Mean Green should not be overlooked. With all things considered, backing Florida Atlantic at home at this point likely results in a premium inflicted upon takers. The public has disregarded this narrative and as a result we have an opportunity at a quality fade against a likely overlay. North Texas with the points is our call.
Georgia State’s hopes for winning the Sun Belt Championship went down the drain last Saturday, so it is hard to ascertain what kind of state the Panthers’ mind is at as they head into this fixture. State is already bowl eligible and will be playing at least one more game this season. The question remains will they be looking past Idaho as they prepare? For Idaho, this campaign has to be classed as a disappointment after winning nine games in 2016. An impressive road win to cap off the season will ease dissension in the ranks. Given the low-hanging fruit in this market, there is no reason to believe they cannot get the win. Idaho may also be worth a look on the Money Line as well.
Both of these teams belong in this game given the way they each dominated play in the AAC this season. You can also heavily discount the result of that first meeting given each team’s current form coming into Saturday’s showdown in Orlando. The Oddsmakers are obviously baiting the betting public with the inflated 85.5-point total line, but both teams are more than capable of taking this game OVER that betting line.
I am going with Memphis and the seven points as my ‘best bet’ pick in a game that could easily come down to which team has the ball last.
Miami has something to prove following that bad loss to Pitt and Clemson knows it needs a win to stay on the path for a second-straight national title. This makes the stakes in this game about as high as it gets for a conference championship. The only problem for the Hurricanes is that they could be up against an opponent they simply cannot beat. Clemson is the superior team across the board in this matchup and I am banking on the Tigers making short work of Miami on Saturday night to cover the nine-point spread.
Some of coined the term “revenge” to characterize this contest for the Bulldogs. However, you can be rest assured the Red and Black are not concerned with that as much as they relish the fact to win the SEC and gain a College Football Playoff bid whilst doing so. The Dawgs have not won the SEC Championship since 2005 despite having repeated attempts to do so with some premiere talent. There is little doubt that Coach Kirby Smart has this program going in unprecedented directions and this fixture could serve as a moment to usher in the Red and Black to the highest echelons across the national landscape. UGA played a sloppy game against Auburn a few weeks ago and made several costly errors. The Dawgs will astute to play their game more efficiently this time around. The Dawgs get the call.
Many analysts decree that it is quite hard to beat the same team twice in the same season. This narrative offers a competitive edge to the Horned Frogs be that they have a mastermind at Head Coach in Gary Patterson. What really steps up out to us is the opening number presented in this market. It is identical to what was offered at the onset of the regular season contest. It is by no means a mistake and an implication of the market’s position of this fixture. Furthermore, the figure presented makes Oklahoma look too easy in regard to what it has already done against Texas Christian just a few week ago. Whilst a neutral site changes the dynamics of this contest to a certain extent, the OU victory against TCU was comprehensive and decisive. TCU is not only in a position to cover but perhaps win this outright and create more chaos in the College Football Playoff race.
While the recent trends in this series have favored the road team ATS, I would have to lean heavily towards Wake Forest covering this time around as a much better all-around team that has played its best football in the second half of the season. That being said, rivalry games have a way of staying closer than they should so my ‘best bet’ pick for Saturday is the OVER on the current 57.5-point line with both teams exceeding their scoring average.
The Civil War does not look like its going to be much of a battle at all. Oregon has finally hit its stride and comes in taking down one of the up and coming teams in the Pac-12. Most of this can be chalked up to the Ducks starting to get healthy as at one point this season they were bitten terribly by the injury bug. Oregon State would fare better in this contest if they were curating the hosting duties. However, the fact they have to travel to the notorious Autzen Zoo makes this an even more daunting task for the Beavers. With this being said, Oregon State has nothing to lose in this contest and they will treat this as their bowl game. Nevertheless, Oregon wants to avenge last year’s loss and re-establish its will in this rivalry. Oregon State will probably hang around for a quarter but then the combination of Justin Herbert and Royce Freeman will be too much for the Beavers to overcome. While there is always a potential for a backdoor cover, Oregon won’t let up and win convincingly.
Home field advantage is a huge contributor to the outcomes of these games. Given the fact, Arizona State gets this one at home as a dog, we have to like that situation. State has not been home for three weeks, but the last time they were they took care of 2016 Pac 12 South Champion Colorado with little trouble. This contest is one that both teams wait all year to play and the respective fan bases love to get involved in the melee as much as possible. Thus, Arizona will likely struggle mightily here be that they have already had plenty of woes at USC and Oregon, in their last two road games. ASU outright gets the call.