NCAAF 12/26

UNC -3 vs. Rutgers:

Neither team provides tons of comfort to pick.  The one thing we know about Rutgers is they’re inconsistent as hell!  One week you’ll get 40 points out of them, the next 17.  We also know their defense is probably even more lackluster, than their offense.  The only thing we know about UNC is, though their defense lacks (big time), their offense makes up for every bit of their terrible defense.  We expect the Tar Heels to make amends for their terrible outing against NC State, and finish on a high note.  Tar Heels win big 49 – 21.

UCF -2.5 vs. N.C. State:

You have to absolutely love this matchup, from a picker’s standpoint.  The Wolfpack have proven to be incredibly inconsistent on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.  UCF has a defense that is 8th in the country in points allowed.  The Knights do a fantastic job of stopping the run, and their offense has picked it up, greatly in the second half of the season.  Sheer value in UCF this year, as the ACC was awful, and we get the team with the better defense.  When in doubt, ride the team with the better defense.  UCF 24 – N.C. State 13.

Louisiana Tech -6 vs. Illinois:

Complete toss up game here.  Normally we’d say ride the team with the points, but with how pathetic Illinois’ defense has been (all season) we just can’t pick the Illini.  If the MAC has shown us anything, it’s pathetic, it’s not a good sign for the Big Ten.  If you look at Big Ten teams this year, Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois, etc. they all struggled against MAC opponents. We knew the Big Ten was bad, and it will show itself (in spades) in the bowl season.  Louisiana Tech’s superior defense and desire to win this game will prove too much.  Skip Holtz’s team wins 37 – 26.

NCAAF 12/24

Teaser of the Day: CMU @ Western Kentucky Under 75.5/Fresno State & Rice Under 67

Both of these games are ridiculously hard to judge, let’s be honest.  Central Michigan’s offense is so inconsistent, it’s insane.  Conference U.S.A. believes in absolutely zero defense, whereas the MAC is a weaker version of the Big Ten ground n’ pound.  Our recommendation on two games this tough is push those bad boys up in a teaser and take the under.  Central Michigan’s only chance is to run the ball and control the clock.  They know this, they’ll try to shorten the game.

Rice loves to run the rock, even if it’s in a pistol, spread, formation.  Fresno will chuck the rock around with very little defense, so that is a worry.  What you have to like though is this huge layoff. Give teams this much time off and it has to have some sort of impact.  In two games this hard to call, we say play it safe.  When it doubt, tell Vegas to score the points.  We say make all 4 teams post 35 + points.  Doubtful!  Make this your Christmas Eve present of the day!

 

NCAAF 12/23

Northern Illinois +10 @ Marshall/Under 68:

Don’t get us wrong, Marshall is absolutely no joke.  The Thundering Herd can drop points like it’s nobody’s business, and Rakeem Cato can light up the skies with his big arm.  That being said, Marshall plays in a powder puff conference where the only team with a defense may have been Louisiana Tech.  We get two teams that have had 3 – 4 weeks off, there’s going to be a little lag in getting back into bowl swing.  Marshall showed some chinks in the armor their last two weeks of the season.  A bowl game against Northern Illinois is going to be a bit of a letdown, after being close to playing a power 4 conference champ.  We’re going with the team that’s got the great run game (Cameron Stingily is a tank). The Hurd have given up over 200 yards, on the ground, their last two games.  Throw in the fact, that we get the team with the deeper, more proven, defense and NIU is the play here.  The under may be the even safer play, as NIU knows they don’t want to get into a shootout here.  The Huskies offense is already up and down, without question they’ll be trying to establish their run game.  Take the under as the lock.

Navy +3 @ San Diego State/Over 53.5:

This will be a tight game, and there’s a couple scary aspects to it.  One, it’s basically a home game for the Aztecs.  Secondly, SDSU already bashed an option team like Navy this year in Air Force.  We can definitely see why Vegas is favoring them right now.  Daniel Pomphrey will be tough for Navy to stop in that he put up almost 1,800 yards rushing and 19 TD’s this year.  Luckily, Navy has had 3 weeks to prepare for him and the Midshipmen are not just one dimensional in their run game anymore.  We expect a close, fast paced game, with big plays.  Remember, SDSU’s QB has 10 picks on the season.  There will be a couple turnovers in this one.  We feel the over is the best play, but take Navy to pull this out close, as well.  Navy 31 – SDSU 27.

NCAAF 12/22

Memphis -1.5 vs. BYU:

Too much offense on the Memphis side and this is their Super Bowl.  This is a Memphis team that almost got, a full strength, UCLA squad.  BYU is down a couple quarterbacks.  Can’t see the Cougars overcoming that.  Memphis wins a shootout 37 – 34.

NCAAF 12/20

Air Force +1 vs. Western Michigan:

The Falcons have proven themselves all season in a fairly tough Mountain West Conference.  A win over a solid Colorado State squad capped a strong 9 – 3 season.  This Air Force team beat the likes of Navy, Boise State, and CSU this season.  They’ve also covered the spread in 4 of their last 5 games.  This game is being played in Boise, where Air Force is very familiar.  The travel and lack of experience against Air Force’s option will be an issue.  We’re riding the Falcons in this one 41 – 38.

Utah State -10 vs. UTEP:
Defense wins big games and Utah State has one of the best in the country.  Coming off a bad conference title loss to Boise, the Aggies will be ready for a hard fought bowl win.  Utah State has proven it all year with wins over Air Force, BYU, and a tough 3 point loss to a very good Colorado State squad.  UTEP had a mediocre season in a very mediocre Conference USA.  We just can’t back a team that got blasted 31 – 13 by Rice!  Utah State wins 35 – 10.

Nevada -1 vs. UL Lafayette:

Same song and dance, just new bowl game.  How can you back a UL Lafayett squad that beat the likes of South Alabama, Texas State, and UL Monroe?  Common opponent in this one, Boise State.  The Broncos blasted Lafayette by 25 points!  The Broncos beat the Wolfpack in a shootout 51 – 46.  Enough said, too much talent from the Mountain West.  Too much of a tested squad in Nevada.  Wolfpack 37 – Cajuns 17.  This is the absolute lock of the bowl season.

Utah -3 vs. Colorado State:

The Rams have proven themselves a tall task on the season and this one will be close.  Utah’s 3 wins over top 25 Pac 12 opponents says alot though.  Utah has the more imposing defense and pass rush.  One thing we know is the Utes can run the ball (1,300 + yards on the ground), and Colorado State gave up over 100 yards rushing against every single opponent it faced this season.  This one will be close.  Our only worry is CSU may be the more motivated team and take a crazy win, but Utah has won 10 of their last 11 bowl games.  We’ll take the Utes, barely, 31 – 26.

South Alabama -3 vs. Bowling Green/Over 53:

The one thing the last few weeks of the season proved is South Alabama can score the rock.  The 40 points they hung on Navy was no joke.  Bowling Green averaged close to 30 points, per game, on the season.  Despite their poor finish on the season, we think Bowling Green scores enough to push this over.  That being said, Bowling Green’s awful defense, and 3 game losing streak leave us uninspired.  South Alabama blasts Bowling Green 42 – 24.

 

NCAAF 12/6

Wisconsin -4 vs. OSU:
One thing Michigan & Indiana proved over the last two weeks, is that Ohio State is susceptible to the run.  Then it’s not the time to face one of the biggest offensive line’s in the country.  Melvin Gordon will be more than OSU can handle.  The loss of J.T. Barrett finally breaks the Buckeyes’ backs.  Badgers win this one 27 – 17.

Oklahoma State +21 @ Oklahoma:

We don’t love the Cowboys by any means, either, but this isn’t Kansas either.  It’s a rivalry game, where Okie State needs a win to become bowl eligible.  Oklahoma’s incentive to play hard is minimal, at best.  Let’s not forget Okie is down to backup QB Cody Thomas.  Semaje Perine is an awesome running back, but the Cowboys are getting way too many points here.  Okie State pulls the upset, but take the points.  Final score 31 – 28 Cowboys.

TCU vs. Iowa State Under 69:

This is the lock of the day.  Yes TCU will run the score up and yes Iowa State sucks.  But, one TCU has one of the best defenses in the country.  Iowa State will give away at least three turnovers, at a minimum.  Iowa State is completely reliant on establishing a run game to be efficient on offense.  There’s too much running from the Clones’ in this one to push the over.  TCU blasts this one 55 – 7, but the game doesn’t go over.

Temple -3 @ Tulane:

Temple needs this game to become bowl eligible.  The Owls have shown they can play with quality programs all year.  Tulane has nothing to play for and their team is flat out garbage.  The Owls win 27 – 10 to go to the we do not care bowl!

Kansas State +7.5 @ Baylor:
Kansas State is never amazing on the road, but Bill Snyder will get his team up for any game.  Baylor hasn’t faced a pass rush like this, this year.  We think the Bears will have no trouble establishing the run, but this should be a back and forth game.  Kansas State covers in a close loss.  34 – 31 Bears win.

Houston +7.5 @ Cincy:

Houston is getting 7.5 and they have the better defense.  We’ll take that all day.  Houston has played BYU and UCF tough this year.  We like the Cougars, facing an overinflated Cincy team to win this outright, but 7.5 is an absolute gift.  Cougars win this bad boy 31 -24.

Alabama -14.5 vs. Mizzou:

Mizzou has faced nothing like this all season.  Now Missouri’s defense is better than expected, but the floodgates will give way late.  Expect Nick Saban to have his defense COMPLETELY prepared for a very plain jane spread attack in Missouri.  These aren’t the athletes that Bama’ saw last week against Auburn.  A 21 – 7 game, at half, finishes as a 37 – 10 Bama win.  Matty Mauk will be lying on his back quite a bit in this one.

Georgia Tech +4 vs. FSU:

FSU has been a goldmine to bet against this season.  Why would we believe the ‘Noles wouldn’t show up flat for the 12th straight time?  That’s a bad recipe against a high scoring Georgia Tech team.  The Yellowjackets also lead the country in 4th quarter points this season.  Hence, we know they can match FSU blow for blow late.  Florida State steals this one on a last second drive.  Final score FSU 38 – Tech 35.  Yellowjackets cover.

La Tech +9.5 @ Marshall:

It’s hard to believe Marshall isn’t deflated after last week’s heartbreaking loss.  The Herd’s season is now off the line whereas Tech is trying to put everything together for, not only an upset win, but conference championship.  Marshall will rally the troops for a tough game, but we like Tech, because they have the better defense.  La Tech takes this late, 35 -32.

NCAAF 12/5

Northern Illinois -5 vs. Bowling Green:

Both teams are the cream of the crop in the MAC.  Bowling Green is one of the most high flying offenses in the country.  At the same time, they have huge defensive issues on the front line, and they have been known to be turnover prone.  NIU has an upper echelon defense that can, at the very least, limit Bowling Green to Field Goals.  There’s too much ground and pound physicality on the NIU side for Bowling Green to handle.  NIU wins 34 – 20.

Arizona +14.5 @ Oregon:
This game is being completely blown out of proportion, as a “revenge” game.  The Ducks have no doubt fixed their offensive line issues of this previous meeting.  That being said, Arizona has proven they have the ability to play fast, and stop the pass.  The Wildcats have a pass rushing machine in Scoobie Wright.  They also are 16th in the country in total pass defense.  Oregon is Oregon, we know how great they can be, but this line has jumped out of control.  Strike while they iron is hot and jump on the Wildcats.

CFB 12/4

UCF +7 @ East Carolina:

The perfect time to jump back on the UCF bandwagon is after a lackluster performance vs. South Florida.  East Carolina’s defense has been atrocious, lately.  UCF will have no problem establishing a ground game in this one.  UCF has the defense to force a couple Shane Carden turnovers.  The way to beat UCF is to pound them and make it hurt, not run and gun air attack.  UCF wins this outright 28 – 21, but play it safe and take the points.

NCAAF 11/29

Mississippi State -3 @ Ole Miss:

Easiest pick of the weekend, bankroll this bad boy.  We’ve got no LaQuan Treadwell for Ole Miss.  We’ve got Dak Prescott, who is vastly more consistent than Bo Wallace.  Miss. State owns the size advantage own both front lines.  We’ve got the more physical running back on the Bulldogs’ size.  Miss. State needs a convincing win to pop into the college football final 4.  Ole Miss’ only remote chance is that this is a rivalry game at home.  Love the Bulldogs here.  Miss. State blasts Ole Miss 37 – 20.

Minnesota +14 @ Wisconsin:

It’s not a lock here.  Playing at Camp Randall is a challenge, especially with the way Joel Stave has played lately.  Melvin Gordon could very well run all over the Gophers.  The one thing the Gophers do well is limit the run.  Minnesota has a stout run game in their own right.  Minnesota’s horrible pass game could be a problem, but at the end of the day we feel that the Gopher’s intensity in playing for a Big Ten Title birth, will keep this close.  Gophers backdoor cover this, with a late touchdown.  Wisconsin 33 – Minnesota 20.

Wake Forest +19.5 @ Duke:

Duke is injured and reeling after two disappointing losses, to finish their season.  The lack of depth and fact that they’re playing Wake Forest gives little motivation to the Dukies going into this one.  Duke wins, but we believe in Wake Forest hanging around in this one.  Duke wins 27 – 10 in an, ugly, turnover prone, football game.

Rice vs. LA Tech Over 50.5:

Both teams get out and go in the shotgun spread.  Rice hung 40 + on an Old Dominion team that just beat Louisiana Tech last week.  La Tech is scoring 35 + points per game.  Expect them to put up such a performance at home.  Rice is scoring almost 30 points per game.  This line would have been perfect around 57 – 58 points.  This line simply is too low for teams that play this fast.  Louisiana Tech 35 – Rice 21.  This game could get out of control and close to over by halftime.  A really nice pick here.

Kentucky +14 @ Louisville:

This is a perfect trap game for Louisville.  Kentucky’s talent has caught up to Louisville.  Louisville, and backup QB, Reggie Bonnafon are getting way too much hype after stealing a win, against a reeling Notre Dame squad.  Kentucky is hearing the underdog talk, going into a rivalry game.  Expect a low-scoring, dogfight.  The Wildcats force some turnovers in a close fight.  Louisville wins 17 – 14, in a great game.

Teaser #1 of the Day:  North Carolina +1/Northwestern -1

UNC is at full throttle right now.  The Tar Heels are averaging over 36 points per game, in their last 5 games.  In that timespan, UNC is 4 – 1 with wins over Virginia, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, and Duke.  Had we seen this UNC team earlier, who knows what their record might be.  NC State’s best wins are Syracuse and Wake Forest.  UNC drops the hammer in this one 52 – 21.

This game will be close, but we can’t get over the fact that Illinois hasn’t won a road game all season.  Northwestern is coming in with a convincing win at Purdue and a season saving win over Notre Dame.  Wildcats pull out a close one to go bowling.  At home, and with the better defense, we’ll take the Wildcats.

Temple vs. Cincinnati Under 57.5:

Temple brings a stifling defense to the table and an inconsistent offense.  Traveling to Philly, after a blowout win at Connecticut, should be a letdown game for Cincy.  Temple needs the win to be bowl eligible.  The old adage is it takes two teams to hit the over.  We can’t see Temple scoring 30 + to help make this over.  If Cincy plays one poor half, which we believe they will, the under hits easily.  Cincy takes this late, but to the tune of 30 – 17.  The under is a solid play here.  We just can’t buy Temple’s offense.

Utah State +9.5 @ Boise State:

No place has been tougher to play than the blue turf of Boise State.  The Broncos have not lost a game at home this season.  This ain’t your daddy’s Broncos though.  Boise State is not the defense of old.  The Broncos give up 28 points per game on defense.  They have 9 and 10 points wins, at home, over San Diego State and Fresno State.  This game could decide who goes to the Mountain West Championship game.  Utah State has a solid defense, only allowing 18 points, per game.  Utah State has a shot to win this one, outright, the value lies in the Aggies.  Aggies lose 28 – 20, but cover the 9.5 point spread.

Washington -3 @ Washington State:

Complete mismatch in this one. Despite the rivalry game, there’s too much talent on the Husky side.  This is both team’s super bowl, but the Huskies have proven they can play, even the best the Pac 12 competitively.  The X factor is an average defense in Washington, versus an atrocious defense in Washington State.  The Cougs allow, almost, 40 points per game and give up around 450 yards of total offense, per game.  Dawgs win a competitive Apple Cup 47 – 30 and springboard their team into an even better 2015 season.

Georgia Tech +13 @ Georgia:

Georgia Tech getting absolutely no respect here.  We’ve got a team that’s about to play for an ACC title and that puts up points, at will, on their opponents.  Georgia is one of the toughest environments in football to play, but without Todd Gurley this game will be interesting.  Nick Chubb will have his way, as usual, but expect Georgia to put up their share of points.  Dawgs pull this one out 41 – 30, but 13 points is just too many to give an offense like the Yellowjackets.

Baylor vs. Texas Tech Over 79:

Texas Tech is one of the worst defenses in the country in almost every statistical category.  Baylor is trying to grab every style point they can to place themselves in the College Football Final 4.  Both teams don’t slow down their pace.  Both teams chuck the rock, all day long, so when the ball isn’t being completed, the clock will keep stopping.  Remember, TCU, who gave up 60 + to Baylor, hung 86 on Texas Tech!  Final score Baylor 79 – Texas Tech 31.  This is an absolute lock.

Oregon State +21 vs. Oregon:

It’s tough betting against the Ducks’ offense, but the Civil War is an absolute battle.  Both teams know each other inside and out.  Oregon has always had trouble playing in Corvallis.  Beavers lose, but hang around in convincing fashion.  Ducks win, somewhere to the tune, of 41 – 23.

Teaser #2 of the Day: Alabama -2/Michigan State -6:

Auburn’s defense is awful.  Alabama’s run game asserts itself early and a couple early turnovers cost Auburn.  Bama wins 35 – 14.  Michigan State is a different class than Penn State.  PSU can hang around in this one due to a great defense, but their lackluster offense can’t hang with a superior Sparty.  Sparty pulls away late, in a hotly contested battle.  Sparty covers on a late touchdown 24 – 13.

Florida +7.5 @ Florida State:

Florida’s got the better defense and there’s no love loss in this one.  Florida State hasn’t hardly covered a line all season.  Treon Harris has the Gators offense moving.  The Gators have the better front 4 on defense and better corner play to match up.  Florida State finds it’s way to survive again, but we’re talking a late, late, steal.  Seminoles win on a last second touchdown 34 -31.

South Carolina +4.5 @ Clemson:

Clemson has the defense to stop South Carolina’s high powered run game, but the difference in this one is Quarterback play.  Cole Stoudt is terrible for the Tigers.  Clemson’s great front 4 keeps this close, which makes us love So Car getting 4.5.  South Carolina wins this sucker, outright, 24 – 20.  Turnovers are the difference, as Clemson turns the ball over 3 + times.

Teaser#3 of the Day Notre Dame +14/Under 70:

Both teams come into this game reeling.  Brian Kelly may have completely lost his team in last week’s loss, which is a definite issue.  USC has the slightly better defense, but at some point a lack of depth is going to catch up to the Trojans.  That 53 scholarship players costs USC in this one.  Notre Dame steals a tough road win 34 – 28.  Everett Gholston is the reason there’s so much value for the Irish here.

 

NCAAF 11/28

Houston -22 @ SMU:

Not much has changed with the culture of the Houston Cougars.  They play as fast and furiously as ever.  They’ve got no love loss for the SMU Mustangs by any means.  SMU is on the verge of a winless season and the last thing they want to see is a high flying, run and gun, team come to town.  Houston blasts SMU 51 – 13.

Iowa (0) vs. Nebraska:

Nobody rallies from losses better than Kirk Ferentz.  It’s a case of two teams going in opposite directions here.  The Huskers have no confidence on defense, being absolutely gashed by the ground game the past two weeks.  Iowa, on the other hand, found their groove against Wisconsin and nearly pulled off the upset last week.  This is absolute, hardcore, lock of the century this weekend.  Take the Hawkeyes big.  The team with the better defense win.  Iowa 31 – Nebraska 17.

Virginia (0) vs. Virginia Tech:

It’s a battle of two teams trying to qualify for a bowl game, but it’s soooo much more than that!  Virginia has been the whipping post for Va Tech the past 20 + years.  The Cavs have even more reason to come ready to play, for just such an incentive.  Virginia has a deeper pass rush, and more opportunistic defense.  The separating factor is that, of the two bad offenses, Va Tech has not been able to protect the ball lately.  Expect two Tim Harris forced turnovers for the Cavs.  A tight game early, falls apart late.  Cavs win 28 – 14.

Tulsa +18 vs. East Carolina:

The last thing East Carolina wants to do is go play a road game in Tulsa, against a team with 2 wins!  This game just wreaks letdown.  Add in the fact that the Pirates have stopped playing consistent football, lately, and we’ll take Tulsa to cover the 18.  Tulsa loses, but they hang around in a 41 – 24 loss.

UCLA -5.5 vs. Stanford:

UCLA is probably the hottest team in the country, outside of Alabama.  UCLA’s got a deeper, more athletic, offense.  Their defense has been extremely opportunistic.  Stanford won’t be able to utilize any size advantage against the Bruins.  It’s a case of speed vs. power and there’s too much speed on the side of the Bruins.  Bruins win easily, 38 – 21.

Colorado State -7 vs. Air Force:

The Rams are the class of the Mountain West.  They lead the conference in almost every statistical category.  Air Force is simply facing a more athletic team, all the way around.  Colorado State has even more incentive in trying to finish 12 – 1 this season.  Air Force turns the ball over more than usual and can’t stop the CSU passing attack.  Colorado State wins 35 – 17.

UCF -12 vs. South Florida:

There’s never a love loss when two Florida schools meet.  UCF brings an elite defense to the field.  South Florida brings hardly any talent to the field.  At the end of the day, it’s impossible to take South Florida over ANYBODY.  UCF wins in a big way 35 – 6.

Navy -9.5 vs. South Alabama:

Navy is one of the most efficient offenses in the country.  The midshipmen average over 354 yards, per game, on the ground, and close to 34 points, per game.  South Alabama has been somewhat competitive, but they haven’t faced an offense this efficient yet.  Both teams play hard, fighting for a bowl bid, but we like the Midshipmen to cover going into the big match up with Army.  Navy covers, close, 41 – 28.