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SabertStxVii Week 4 College Football Picks

SabertStxVii Week 4 College Football Picks

Last week was tough, as I knew it was going to be for me. I didn’t like too many spots and may have forced a play or two that I wasn’t totally thrilled about. This week seems to be shaping up much better for me and like some of the spots I’m in. I attempted Pezgordo’s method and jumped on some early lines. I posted some of them via twitter, but the only write-ups you will see on here are lines that are available currently.

Week 4 Plays

2* Units: BYU +7 vs. Boise State – WIN

4.5* Units, Ole Miss -17.5 vs Tulane- WIN

2.5* Units, Ga Tech -14 vs Miami – LOSS

 2* Units, Baylor -7 vs UL Monroe – LOSS

1.5* Units, UGA -16 vs Vandy – WIN

1.5* Units, La Tech +3 vs Illi – WIN

1.5* Units, Wake -7 vs Army – WIN


Week 1: 5-3 +3.5* units , Week 2: 6-2 +10* units, Week 3: 3-3, -.5* units

Overall: 14-8 + 13* Units


College Football Picks

 

4.5* Units, Ole Miss -17.5 vs Tulane

 The Rebels are coming off of a tough loss at home to Texas. Even though they got blown out, there were still positive things to take away from that game.

They put up 31 points on a strong Texas defense. No doubt about it, this offense, and even special teams can score. They are averaging 500 yards per game of offense. Bo Wallace should look more polished this weekend, with Jeff Scott and Moncrief emerging as some very relevant offensive threats (Moncrief was added to the Biletnikoff Award watch this week).

On the contrary, Tulane’s defense is horrid. They are 116th in Rushing D, and 92nd in pass defense. They barely have gotten any pressure on the QB or in the backfield. Ole Miss should be able to name the amount they want to score here.

Tulane is almost as bad on offense as they are on defense.  Just kidding, they are terrible. They rank 120 out of 120 in Total offense. Those stats were compiled against Rutgers and Tulsa, two decent teams, but not great. They did have a week off, and were able to watch the Ole Miss defense get shredded by Texas, so I do expect them to be better. With that being said, Ole Miss has more talent, and the defense should be tuned up from last week with Elston returning from suspension which will realign the defense. I see Ole Miss holding this Tulane offense down. Their QB is coming back from a shoulder injury and I just don’t see them moving the ball here.

This game is on turf, which bodes well for Ole Miss as they possess more size and speed. It is in the SuperDome, and I don’t expect 0-2 Tulane to have much of a crowd.

Another fact: Tulane has played 13 true freshman in the first two games. Both teams have new coaches. Talent will play a big factor here.

Honestly, Tulane may be the worst team in the NCAA. Ole Miss should win handily here.

Final Score

Ole Miss 42 Tulane 10


 2* Units, Baylor -7 vs UL Monroe

Faded ULM last week and we saw how good that did me. The issue with the two teams that ULM has played is they cannot score at will on O.

They beat Arkansas in the 2h when Arky didn’t have a QB. For intensive purposes with the spread included, they beat Auburn who also doesn’t have a QB. Both games required them to come from behind and get a little help from opposing teams that continued to give the ball back to their offense.

There is no question about it, ULM is a solid team. They have proven that they can hang with the big boys, but I think the run stops here. What is different between Arky 2h, Auburn, and Baylor is Baylor puts up a TON of points. They haven’t taken too many steps back after losing RGIII and some other offensive weapons.

ULM will need to hang in this one for the whole game to cover this spread. IF Baylor gets out to a lead, they should run away with it. ULM has relied on some bigtime 2h comebacks, and I feel like this one is put out of reach.

Finally, I think the value on ULM is gone. Their spread keeps getting cut in half as they continue to outperform what Vegas thinks they will do. I think it stops here. In math, there is reversion to the mean. ULM will revert to the mean. Their defense is too bad and their offense isn’t powerful enough.

Final Score

Baylor 45, ULM 31


 

2.5* Units, Ga Tech -14 vs Miami

 Jimmyshivers has a great write-up on this play already, but I will just add a few things.

Miami is without a ton of their players, on an already young team. When young teams get dejected, it is hard for them to turn it around.

This Miami team gave up 233 yards on the ground and 122 through the air to Bethune Cookman. Seriously?

Once this GT team gets rolling, they will wear down this team. Miami albeit talented, is young and under-coached. The option will get frustrating as they continue to grind out 5+ yards a clip. This will wear down the young Miami team and I don’t see their offense being able to bring them back into this one. Miami doesn’t have a good offense, and they will struggle to score against this improved GT defense.

Final Score

GT 34 Miami 16


 

1.5* Units, UGA -16 vs Vandy

This was one of the games where I got on the line early and snagged some up at -13.5 which I’m happy about. I still think that there is value here at -16 as well.

We knew coming into the year that Georgia had a team. We knew that they returned 9 of 11 defensive starters (some whom are still suspended). What we were a little unsure about was how good the offense was going to be. From what we’ve seen thus far, with some help via defensive scoring, Georgia is putting up points.

I don’t see them having much of a struggle putting up points at home on Vandy’s D. I don’t think they put up in the 40s, but I think they get close. Georgia has the 3rd ranked Yards / Pass attempt. They should be able to move the ball with ease, even against this good secondary.

The reason why I like this play is because the Vandy offense has struggled to put up anything against remotely good defenses. Coming into the season, returning as much as they did, I thought Vandy offense would be decent. Not the case. They put up 13 against both SC and Northwestern. Vandy is terrible converting 3rd downs, and has terrible Red Zone percentages. They travel to Georgia to play in a night game between the hedges. Goodluck. The game will be on national TV and I think the dawgs come out to play and I don’t see the Vandy offense getting any better.

The media is making a big deal out of last year the game getting gritty. It may carry over a bit but Georgia just has wayyyy too much talent, is at home, has a good offense, a better defense and a better coach. I see this one ending up somewhat like the UGA at Missouri game, but I think Georgia gets it going on O even earlier.

Final Score

Georgia 34 Vandy 13


1.5* Units, La Tech +3 vs Illi

I was waiting for Vegas to open up this line because I was very curious what they would do with it. I figured that Illi would be favored but not by much. They play in a bigger conference and have more talent, but also have a new coach.

La Tech is continuing where they left off last year. This team returns QB Colby Cameron and star receiver and Bilenikoff watch lister Quinton Patton. There is no doubt about, this team can score. Their offense looks more fast paced and stronger than last year. They are running the ball well, and passing well albeit against Houston and Rice. Offense is definitely not their problem.

 I am also a huge fan of Sonny Dykes. That boy gonna get paid soon. Last season after they had early losses to Houston (34-35), a tough loss at Miss St. (OT, 20-26), and a tough loss against Hawaii, the team ran the table to close out the season taking down SEC Ole Miss and a decent Nevada team along the way. They were pegged in a solid bowl game against TCU and ended up losing 24-31. What I take away from this is that these guys can play with the big boys. I don’t think they will be intimidated by Illinois and Illinois better come to play or this La Tech team will lay it on them.

 The issue with La Tech is their defense. They have given up a ton of yards to not very good teams. Illi is coming off of a big win against Charleston Southern, but they aren’t stunning in any categories. They will be the best defense and toughest environment that La Tech has seen this year. If La Tech can get some stops, I think they can pull away from Illinois here.  Illinois looked confused against ASU, and if they can’t get some offensive support, that may happen again.

I’m on the team that has some offensive talent and has a better coach that is hungry.

Oh yeah, these stats mean nearly nothing to me as you all may as well know, but Dykes has covered 9 of last 10 since early 2011 and is 9-0 vs. the spread in last 9 away games.

Final Score

La Tech 38, Illinois 35


 

1.5* Units, Wake -7 vs Army

Wake is the more talented team here. They are coming off a few tough games (well really 1 tough game, and one hard fought game).  If they can stop Army’s run, they can win this game.

I don’t think that Wake will have trouble at all scoring against this Army defense. They have let up 42 points to SDSU and 41 to Northern Illinois. They may be a bit tighter since they had a week off, but they are over matched here. Wake has more talent, they are playing on the road, against a pissed off and embarrassed Wake team.

Wake is good in the red zone when they get there, and I think that will be frequently here. Army runs the ball a lot, and eats up the clock. If Wake can get some stops on 3rd down, which I think they’ll be able to do, this game could get out of hand.

Final Score

WF 38, Army 27


 

2* Units: BYU +7.5 vs. Boise State

Doesn’t get better than a Thursday night game on the blue turf. Boise St is coming off a commanding win vs. lowly Miami from the MAC and BYU is coming off a tough loss against rival Utah. I think this game sets up well for lots of reasons.

BYU is led by Riley Nelson, in what seems like his like 8th year as QB of this team. Although he’s not the most accurate passer, he certainly isn’t bad and he’s a competitor and can will this team to victory on any given night. Riley will be going up against the Boise defense that has been decent, but nothing special. They held Michigan St to 17 points, but that was with St debuting a new QB and they basically just ran the ball. This BYU offense has been able to score. I think it will be very important for them to establish their run game. The environment in this stadium is going to be electric, especially since they have expanded the size. If they can establish their run and slow this game down and get first downs (they are converting 47% of 3rd downs compared to Boist St. defense allowing a 50% conversion rate, ranking them pretty badly in the NCAA). I think that BYU, led by their experienced QB, can get some scores on the road here.

On the other side, Boise seems to have found a decent replacement for Kellen Moore.  Joe Southwick finally found some rhythm last week against Miami of Ohio. I think having a new QB playing in a home, night game in front of a wild crowd, may cause a bit of nervousness. I expect Boise to get him some small completions and hand the ball off to DJ Harper a bit to help get the rhythm going. BYUs goal on defense is going to be to get in the backfield, which they have done a pretty solid job of thus far this season. They rank 5th in the nation in Sacks per game and 7th in tackles for loss per game. Boise has done a good job of limiting sacks, but if BYU can get to Southwick, that will be a total game changer. Big plays on the BYU end will quiet this crowd and allow BYU to execute.

When it comes down to it, this is a rivalry game and I think 7.5 points is too much to give a mature team with a mature QB. Boise has struggled in the red zone to score at all, but especially touchdowns. If that continues, they are in trouble. BYU needs to limit the big plays.

I have these two teams pretty similar statistically with BYU actually the favorite, but with Boise being on the blue turf and having a slightly better coach, the favor swings to their end and I think they probably take this one. I would not be surprised if BYU won straight up though.

Reasons for smaller unit size and not taking BYU moneyline:

Boise kills it at home. BYU had to travel Sat night/Sunday morning while Boise was home. Talked about this last week, the extra day of rest is huge.

Final Score

Boise St 30, BYU 27



For analysis, commentary, plays and randomness, follow @mtsabert on twitter.

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3 Responses to “SabertStxVii Week 4 College Football Picks”

  1. Tribetimenow says:

    Nice looking card, Sabert. Best of luck this weekend!

  2. Tribetimenow says:

    My favorite play is La Tech, just saw you are on them as well. Illinois QB is back and the LT defense has been on the field A LOT the last two weeks, but I think they get enough stops for the win.

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