Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hopefully you’re able to see family members or at least friends today. But more importantly I hope you have some alcohol within arms reach. I certainly will need it for the UNC Notre Dame, and Brandon might need it for the Egg Bowl. Also remember that Brandon, Mintz, and company will be doing a live stream for that game at 4pm on Saturday. Be thankful that we have college football at all right now. I'm thankful for that, for being on Unnecessary Roughness, on Pick Ems, my viceroys & chicks, for CFB show, and y'all reading this. Yea yea I'm sappy, but for someone who has risen so quickly and gotten a lot of love from everyone (maybe not Notre Dame fans but I admitted I was wrong and will live with it), I'm gonna be mushy. Deal with it. But yea, let's talk football.
LSU @ #5 Texas A&M, 7:00pm, (opened TAMU -14, 64)
Matchup: LSU has covered the L9 meetings. 10th (A&M) best rushing defense vs. 100th (LSU) best rushing offense. Favorite is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 meetings.
2019: LSU won 50-7 @ home (LSU -17.5, u64)
2018: TAMU won 74-73 @ home (LSU +3, o45.5)
2017: LSU won 45-21 @ home (LSU -11, o50.5)
2016: LSU won 54-39 @ away (LSU -6.5, o48.5)
LSU (3-3) is coming off of a 27-24 win over Arkansas, had 2 weeks off, and lost to Auburn 48-11 the week before. They’re 125th in passing defense. Games have been averaging 66.3 total points with LSU scoring 34.3 of them. This is LSU’s 3rd road game in a row.
Spread: LSU is 5-1 ATS vs. teams with a winning record.
Total: Under is 7-2 in L9 games as a road underdog. Under is 11-5 in L16 games as an underdog. When a team is on their 3rd road game, and the current one is vs. a ranked team, the under is 8-3 in L11.
SU: if you believe in something like this LSU is on a “lose one win one” pattern this year so far, and just beat Arkansas last week.
Texas A&M (5-1) hasn’t played in 2 weeks, beat South Carolina 48-3 and beat Arkansas 42-31 the week before. Games have been averaging 58.7 total points, with Texas A&M scoring 33.7 of them. Leads the nation in 3rd down conversions at 62.03%. Averaging only 95.7 rushing yards allowed per game.
Spread: Aggies are 8-2 ATS in their L10 games following a SU win of 20+ points.
Total: Under is 5-1 in L6 games as a favorite. Under is 4-1 in L5 games vs. an unranked team. When teams come off of a 2 week playing hiatus and are favored, the under is 7-1 in the L8.
SU: won the L16 as a home favorite by 7+.
Despite A&M not having played for the past 2 weeks, they are now fully in the conversation for the CFP, and they’re going to want to prove themselves. I know stats show LSU has covered the L9, but this is not the same LSU team as it has been recently. So I’m going against the stats and going with A&M to cover.
#22 Auburn @ #1 Alabama, 3:30pm, (opened Alabama -24, 60.5)
Matchup: Home team has won the L4. Under is 7-3 in the L10 meetings in Tuscaloosa. Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time this season, but is already experiencing symptoms this time and will not be on the sidelines at the Iron Bowl, which has been played in Tuscaloosa 12 times. When Nick Saban has coached that game, Alabama is 5-1; when he hasn't, Auburn is 6-0. When Alabama is favored by 12+, they are 6-1 ATS in this matchup.
2019: AUB won 48-45 @ home (AUB +3.5, o50.5)
2018: UA won 52-21 @ home (UA -26, o53)
2017: AUB won 26-14 @ home (AUB +5, u47)
2016: UA won 30-12 @ home (UA +17.5, u46.5)
Auburn (5-2) is coming off of a 30-17 win over Tennessee, had 2 weeks off, and beat LSU 48-11 the week prior. Games have been averaging a total of 50.6 points with Auburn scoring 28.6 of them. They have 0.8 more yards on averaging than yards allowed (402.9 vs. 402.1 allowed)
Spread: When playing a top 10 team on the road, Auburn is 1-5 ATS in L6. They’re 0-4 ATS in away games when an underdog by 21+.
Total: L4 games when under, and 6/L7. When against a top 10 team, the under is 14-3 in L17. L4 road games went under. The over is 4-0 when an away dog by 21+ points. As a road underdog, the under is 6-1-1 in the L8.
SU: are 2-10 SU as a road underdog in their L12 games.
Alabama (7-0) coming off of a 63-3 win over Kentucky, had 2 weeks off, and beat Mississippi 41-0 the week prior. Games have been averaging 68.7 total points with Alabama scoring 49.4 of them. Can run the ball, but they’re a heavy passing team.
Spread: Have covered the L4 games. Covered their L5 at home as a home favorite. After winning a game by 40+ points are 1-6 ATS in their next, in the L7 games. They won by 60 last week
Total: When playing a ranked team, the over is 6-1 in L7. At home, the over is 5-1 in the L6 games. At home the over is 5-1-1 in the L7. When favored over a ranked opponent, the over is 6-1 in the L7. After winning a game by 30+. The over is 7-1 in their L8
SU: Have won their L8 at home; last loss was to Auburn last year.
I’m not quite sure how much Saban not being on the sidelines changes this game. Alabama has already prepared for this last time, so they’re not going to be super shocked. I just don’t see Alabama players thinking “Oh Saban’s not here, we can relax.” I think it is quite the opposite and that him being absent has raised the bar for the expectations in this game. I still like Alabama to cover. As for the total, there are a bunch of stats that hint at the under as well as the over, but no one looks smart betting on an Alabama under. I said the same thing to myself last week with the under in Bedlam, but still not changing anything. So I just won’t touch the total.
#2 Notre Dame @ #25 UNC, 3:30pm, (opened ND -4, 64)
Matchup: With ranked matchups, when the underdog is home, the over is 10-1-1 in L12 games. When a top 10 team is favored by 7 or less, the over is 11-2 in L13. In offense efficiency, it’s #7 UNC vs. #11 ND. BOTH teams are averaging 233.5 rushing ypg, tied for 14th nationally.
2018: ND won 33-10 @ UNC (ND -13, u63.5)
Notre Dame (8-0) had a bye week, beat Boston College 45-31, and #1 Clemson 47-40 in 2OT the week before. Games have been averaging 54.2 total points with ND scoring 37.6 of them. Allowing an average of only 85.1 rushing ypg, which is 4th in the nation.
Injury: Missing starter center at least.
Spread: 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games. 8-2 ATS after a bye week.
Total: Over is 5-1 in their L6 games following a bye week.
SU: As a ranked team, playing a ranked team on the road, are 2-10 SU in L13.
UNC (5-2) had a bye week, beat Wake Forest 59-53, and beat Duke 56-24 the week before. Games have been averaging 73.9 total points, with UNC scoring 43.1 of them.
Injury: seems they get their C, WR and top CB(s) back.
Spread: Have covered the L4 home games vs. a ranked team. Are 4-1 ATS in L5 games when an underdog by less than 7. Are 4-0 ATS in their L4 games following a ATS loss.
Total: L4 games have gone over. Over is 6-1 in L7 vs. a team with a winning record.
SU: are 1-4 SU in L5 Friday games.
The worst thing has happened to me, as a UNC grad, throughout the course of this week: I’ve gotten hope. I expected the line to be somewhere about UNC +11-13, but it’s 4?! Plus people have this as a let down spot for Notre Dame. As Brandon says, “UNC is talented enough to beat anyone, but young enough to lose to anyone.” Truer words have never been said. I think that the over is the easiest play here, UNC can’t play defense and their offense is good enough to score on Notre Dame’s defense. I also think Notre Dame is still going to cover, but not by a landslide. Yes, a very small part of me thinks that UNC can pull this upset (and wants to see it)but the rational part of me says no no, this is Notre Dame’s game.
Miss State @ Ole Miss, 4:00pm, (opened Ole Miss -11.5, 65.5)
Matchup: L3 and 6/L7 have gone under. Ole Miss has the 6th most efficient offense, Mississippi State has the 99th. But Mississippi State has the 20th most efficient defense whereas Ole Miss has the 119th. MSU is dead last in rushing offense, with 21.57 yards per game, but Ole Miss is 123rd in rushing defense.
2019: MS won 21-20 @ state (MS +1.5, u59)
2018: MS won 35-3 @ ole miss (MS -12.5, u61)
2017: OM won 31-28 @ state (OM +14, u64.5)
2016: MS won 55-20 @ ole miss (MS +10, o69)
Mississippi State (2-5) last game ended a streak 5 games under and not covering. Gave #13 Georgia a scare, losing 31-24 with only 49 scholarship players, a bye week, and beat Vanderbilt 24-17 the week before. Has the 116th scoring defense in the country with only 17.4 ppg. Games have been averaging 45.4 total points, with Mississippi State scoring a mere 17.4 of them. They do not run the ball, they’ve been averaging only 21.6 rushing ypg.
Spread: 1-5 ATS in L6 games. 0-4 ATS after a SU loss. Bulldogs are 2-10 ATS in their L12 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. They are 1-6 ATS in their L7 games following a ATS win. Are 2-7 ATS in L9 games as an underdog.
Total: Under is 5-1 in L6 games. Under is 14-3 in L17 games following a straight up loss. Under is 9-4 in L13 games as an underdog.
SU: are 1-10 in L11 games as an underdog.
Ole Miss (3-4) 2nd in the nation in 1st downs per game. Had a bye week due to COVID at Texas A&M, beat South Carolina 59-42, bye week, and beat Vanderbilt 54-21 the week before. Games have been averaging 81.9 total points with Ole Miss scoring 41 of them.
Spread: 4-0 ATS in L4 games after a SU win. 4-1 ATS in L5 games as a favorite, and 6-1 ATS when favored by 7+.
Total: Over is 5-2 for the year. Over is 6-0 in L6 games after a SU win. Under is 5-1 in L6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The over is 4-1 in the L5 home games.
Sorry Brandon, I think Ole Miss is going to cover. But I'll still root with you on Saturday. I know that Mississippi State had a good game vs. Georgia traveled with only 49 scholarship players, but I’m not convinced that was a new page turned for the team rather than a blip. Yes Mississippi State’s DL is very good, but Ole Miss will just wear them out. Both coaches really need this win to get momentum in their first year and solidify themselves as the better hire over the other one. The best bet here is the over, Ole Miss will cover that alone if Mississippi State lets them. Umm oh and Ole Miss can’t play defense for shit.
Remember that if you do chose to bet on these games, please do so responsibly. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.