Two is better than one. Let's sure hope so... as we dive into Week 2 of College Football. Although Week 1 of this column was certainly not bad to readers, giving out an outright Charlotte winner, and Nevada +3.5 The over on Clemson/Georgia and A&M/Kent St... not so much. Onward and upward regardless. Let's touch on some storylines, stats, metrics, etc. for Week 2.
First up , the questions.
- The team laying too many points is _: ________
Is it crazy to say Michigan ? The Wolverines looked great against Western Michigan (although they did lose WR Ronnie Bell) ,and Washington lost outright to Montana, but is it just a given to assume Harbaugh is a touchdown better than a desperate Washington team here? What has Harbaugh done to make you confident in them laying 6.5 ?
Is it the current 1-7 ATS run he's on (last week only cover), or the 8-15 ATS run he's on in his last 23 ? How about 1-4 ATS in his last 5 at home ?
Yeah, me neither. Washington + the points and don't be surprised if they have the ball late to win it.
- The outright underdog I’m staring at is : __________
Welcome to The Zig Zag effect. Last week we zigged (faded) on California, this we we zag (back) California. I have never been a huge TCU guy. I think Gary Patterson is a bit overrated.While Max Duggan is the guy for this year , it's the first time he's been their clear cut choice under center.
Think I'm being unfair to Patterson ? He's 20-27-2 ATS as a home favorite.
While on the flip side, Justin Wilcox is 22-18 ATS as a road dog.
The Barstool Sportsbook has this current line at +11, ML +370. The +11 is on my card, but if you are looking for a dog to play this week. Cal looks the one I would play.
- _______ seems like a trap line
Take your pick here as a TON of lines seem like "traps". Iowa +5 seems almost too easy, given how Iowa has dominated that rivalry . (I'm on Iowa State for the record).
Rutgers -2 seems like a trap on the road at Syracuse. (I'm on Rutgers on this one.)
* Stat to know - Dino Babers is 5-9 straight up at Syracuse in 1 score games. *
South Carolina -2 @ ECU seems like a trap (no play) as well.
The answer to me on this one is NC State -2.5 @ Mississippi State. Maybe I'm a dummy, but how can you not love NC State here ? Mississippi State needed a miracle to beat LA Tech last week. NC State cruised vs South Florida, which is probably why the line is where it is. Overreaction can play a major factor in Week 2 numbers. With all that said .... I love what I saw out of Devin Leary and The Wolfpack. The D was clicking, the offense looked good. I think this team is in a great spot with a veteran QB, and I will be laying the -2.5 with NC State. Plus- how can you not root to have Brandon Walker be upset this early in the season ?
- I love this under _____
I'm actually not on a ton of total (if at all ) this week. However one that caught my eye is Vandy / Colorado State Under 50.5. Vandy just got embarrassed by ETSU 23-3, and Colorado State just lost 42-23 to South Dakota State. I get that these are probably two bad defenses , but the offenses are pretty bad as well. I say this one's ugly and I say cash in on the ugly ... UNDER 50.5
- I love this over _______
Again, not in love with a ton of totals this week, but one I would take a stab at is Hawaii / Oregon State OVER 63.5. We know Hawaii will be throwing with Chevan Cordeiro. Oregon State has a bit of quarterback controversy this week with Sam Noyer and Chance Nolan still battling for QB1 honors, however the Hawaii defense that allows 434.5 yards a game over the first two weeks can make anyone look good. Put me down for the late night over in Corvallis.
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- My best bet is _________
If you follow Barstool chances are you have seen this clip
The origin of it is both very simple, and very successful. What is a List game ?
-a power 5 team
-coming off a loss
-facing a far inferior opponent
There are a few spots of teams to circle following this formula.
- UNC -26 vs Georgia State
-Wisconsin -25.5 vs E.Michigan
My personal favorite though is Minnesota -20 , 1h - 10.5 vs Miami OH
Miami of Ohio got crushed last week by Cincinnati (gave out Cincy 1h -13.5 on Saturday).The Redhawks gave up 247 rush yards and 295 pass yards.
They were without QB Brett Gabbert , and there's still no reports of whether he is starting this week. Minnesota suffered a major blow to their offensive attack when RB Mohamed Ibrahim went down. That is very difficult to replace, although I think if anyone can rally every cliche in the book of "next man up", "seize the opportunity" it's that tie wearing row the boat maniac PJ Fleck. I think Minnesota picks their number, QB Tanner Morgan goes for some big plays, and Minnesota crushes Miami OH. In fact I would also take a stab at -27 +195 on the move the line feature via Barstool Sportsbook.
Stat : Minnesota Head Coach PJ Fleck is 7-2-1 ATS at Minnesota vs. FBS-level non-Big Ten teams entering this season.
One last thing to consider , Miami OH's Defense had Zero Preseason All Conference First Teamers, One 2nd teamer, and 1 3rd teamer. I think a good MAC defense would struggle with such a step up of competition, a bad defense will be a punching bag.
ROW THE BOATS !!!
Teams on the 2nd game of Back to Back Road games
- Temple @ Akron (Current line : Temple -7 O/U 53)
-Miami OH @ Minnesota - We covered this above. It's my best bet.
-Virginia Tech vs Middle Tennessee (@West Virginia on deck)
-Cincinnati vs Murray State ( @ Indiana on deck)
-State Penn vs Ball State (vs Auburn on deck)
-Auburn vs Alabama State (@ State Penn on deck)
-Boise St vs UTEP (OK State on deck)
-Alabama vs Mercer (@Florida on deck)
-Florida @USF (Bama on deck)
* I still LOVE Florida to crush USF in this one 1H and Game *
Making note of some of the biggest injuries to know about before placing wagers this weekend.
-Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim done for the season
-Michigan WR Ronnie Bell - done for the season
-BYU WR Gunner Romney left last game and unlikely to go vs Utah
-Oregon DE Keyvon Thibodeaux is unlikely vs Ohio State
More stat oriented trends/ opinions coming next week as we'll have more data points of teams to compare.
For the full video of this week's Pick Em episode :
One last thing, this Saturday at some point I'll be watching college football with my dad who worked in lower Manhattan on the tragic day 20 years ago. He came home, not everyone was as lucky. Not everyone has been able to watch college football with their dad, or their mom or their brother or friend these last 20 years. Cherish the time you have, honor those we lost, and never forget. God Bless America.
Gamble responsibly and Best of Luck this weekend.