Had another solid week last week. Glad things are working out well, but even happier I feel like I have only been on the wrong side/completely misread of a few games all season. Below are my Week 6 College Football Picks.
Think this is going to be a little bit of a switch of a week for me. I was riding some big favs the past few weeks as I thought certain teams were mis-priced. I think the books have started to correct, and the dogs may start to have more value.
Week 1: 5-3 +4.5* units , Week 2: 6-2 +10* units, Week 3: 3-3, -.5* units, Week 4: 5-2, +6.5u, Week 5: 4-2, +5.5u
Overall: 23-12 + 26* Units
1* Unit, UCF -11.5 vs ECU – #WINNING
4* Units, Ole Miss +11.5/13 vs A&M -#WINNING
2.5* Units, Vandy +7 vs Mizzou – #WINNING
3* Units, Maryland -6 vs Wake – #EXTRAPOINTS
3* Units, UL-Laf -26.5 vs Tulane – #FADETULANE
1* Unit, Florida+3 vs LSU – #WINNING
1.5* Units, Rutgers -7 vs UConn – #WINNING
4* Units, Ole Miss +11.5/13 vs A&M
I think after this game, value on Ole Miss will start to change as they face their SEC schedule. People that just look at the box scores of last weeks game at Bama, would assume that Ole Miss D, as most of the season has gone, looked bad. It was quite the opposite here. The D held Bama to one sustained, long scoring drive. The defense is coming together, and getting players back and healthy is key here. Bama scored on a kickoff return, short fields set up by turnovers, and one long sustained drive.
Now A&M on the other hand has a very powerful offense. They are led by Manziel, a freshman QB. He can run and throw the ball well, and they look to get quick passes to their playmakers in space. The only loss that A&M has is the first game of the season when they hosted Florida. They actually led this game, but Florida came out and the defense put it too them. Since then, they haven’t played a team that plays a lick of defense. Arky defense does not count. This is also the first real away game for Manziel, and first SEC away game. It is a night game, the Ole Miss fans will have all day to spend in the grove, and I expect this game to go a bit differently than the Texas game.
Ole Miss can win this game I think. They need to protect the ball better and force A&M to work for their scores. Forcing some A&M turnovers wouldn’t be bad either. In conclusion, home, running dogs, with an underrated D, underrated coach, getting double digits. Yup.
Ole Miss 33, A&M 38
2.5* Units, Vandy +7 vs Mizzou
Both teams going for their first SEC win. All things shaping up here to be a battle.
Vandy appears from all my experience to be in a good situational spot here. They have played a TOUGH first 4 games. They played SC first at home, and lost 13-17. They went to Northwestern, which is an extremely tough place to play believe it or not, and lost 13-23. Finally, they went to UGA, and just couldn’t get it together. Those teams are all ranked in the top 25, with SC and UGA being in the Top 10.
They took their much needed bye last week in prep for this game. Coming into this season, I had decent expectations for Vandy. They were returning a decent amount on both sides of the ball, and ironically, I was more high on their offense and defense. I think they have fallen fate to playing some really good defenses teams here early. Their defense is solid. The extra week should give their offense some spark I think and chance to plan.
Mizzou on the other hand is banged up. They are coming off a tough game at UCF that they honestly should have lost. They scored on a Punt Return, a short field set up by an INT, and a broken 80 yard play. They are returning home, at 3-2, and taking on an underrated Vandy team.
These teams are actually pretty similar according to my stats, and I honestly have Vandy being favored if it wasn’t for homefield. Vandy has better Yds/Pass Attempt, Avg Rushing. Vandy ranks 118th in 3rd downs, with Mizzou at 115. Vandy is better in some of the key categories that lead to points (let’s hope) and wins (would be nice). I think this is going to be a breakout game, for either team. They suck in the Red-Zone and 3rd down, so whoever can get short fields and convert for scores should win.
Think it could be a field goal either way honestly.
Vandy 21, Mizzou 24
3* Units, UL-Lafayette -26.5 vs Tulane
If you have followed me the last 2 weeks, you know how much I am fading Tulane and how bad I feel for them. Even their 3rd string QB is banged up now and a WR is getting reps. I don’t think Vegas can make this line high enough.
They now travel to UL-Lafayette, a team that is averaging 38 points, including a game that they put up 24 vs OK St. It is UL-Lafayettes homecoming and I don’t see them putting up less than 45 here.
Do I think Tulane can score 20? A team that has scored 32 points in 5 games, 14 of which came in garbage time 4th Q against teams backups? No chance. This one should also get ugly.
ULL 52 Tulane 13
2* Units, Zoomies -7 vs the Boats
Speaking of terrible teams, Navy is up there. Not quite as terrible as Tulane obviously, but they definitely aren’t good. At least if I lose some games, it will be a damn surprise this week; I’m playing against a lot of terrible teams. Their only win coming against lowly VMI, a team that just gets smacked around pretty much by everyone. They hosted SJSU last week and got shut out.
This week they’re travelling to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force in the high altitude. Air Force runs a pretty mean option attack, garnering the numero uno rushing attack in the NCAA. Even if this Air Force team is only 2 and 2, they have stayed relatively close to their opponents, almost beating Michigan (which is actually less impressive each week).
Both teams run the triple option offense. One does it semi-effectively, and one does not. Navy has been lethargic on O. Navy sucks on 3rd downs ranking 92nd, compared to Air Force ranking 8th. This is because Navy sucks at picking up yards on the ground. They average 4.6 yards per rush. For a triple option team? please. Air Force is grinding out 6+ a pop on average getting them in good 3rd down range. It’s all a formula. Navy is brutal in the red zone too, ranking 118th. Air Force is 29th, scoring on 71% of their Redzone plays.
So in synopsis: Navy coming off a loss, traveling across the country, playing in the high altitude (defense getting tired defending the better option) against an Air Force team that has routinely been dominated by Navy the past decade.
I’ll take the Falcons over the ‘Shipmen.
AF 38, Navy 14
1* Unit, Florida +3 vs LSU
I think we have two teams that may be going in slightly different directions. People keep saying that LSU has to break out at some point. I just don’t see it. I have had this game circled since before the season started and got Florida at some good GOY #s. Also knew putting in my national championship future bet that Florida has to win this one to really be respected.
So what do we have. 2 teams with inexperienced QBs. 2 teams with solid running game. 2 teams with VERY good SEC defenses.
Why Florida? If you stop LSUs run game, you can shut them down. I expect Florida to stack 7/8 in the box and force Mettenberger to throw. FL secondary is good enough to match up 1v1 with LSUs receivers I think. I think the fact that Driskel poses a duel threat gives the Gators an edge. He is averaging over 50 yards rushing a game. That is enough for a defense to respect. This will open up plays down the field for his receivers if he can show run and then pass.
Florida just needs to limit mistakes and giving LSU short fields. I don’t see LSU having long sustained scoring drives. LSU ranks 85th in RZ Scoring %, while Florida ranks 11th. In a game that could come down to one play, that could mean alot.
Two years ago, LSU came into the Swamp and won using a fake field goal that bounced off the ground and a TD pass as time pretty much expired. The Florida players were forced to watch this game as film on Sunday. I think coming off a bye, they will be healthier and motivated to knock off LSU.
Expect a battle, circa LSU vs Bama 2011.
Florida 20, LSU 16
3* Units, Maryland -6 vs Wake
This is a pretty consensus play on Saturday Edge, which is either very good or very bad depending on how you look at it. To preface, Jimmy Shivers, the ACC maniac has a very indepth analysis in his plays here.
Believe it or not, Maryland has better statistical advantage in this game. The Terps have a somewhat surprisingly stout defense. They are 39th in sacks and 22 in tackles for loss. The defense is ranked 8th in the nation, and that’s after playing WVU, who they held to 31 points and continued to rattle Geno Smith. WVU has a sound OL, and if Maryland can penetrate that, they should have no issue getting after Tanner Price. Wake Forest is pretty banged up, including Tanner who has been feeling it since the FSU game from what I’ve heard. I think this Maryland D will punish Wake. Wake struggled to get by a Duke team at home, that lost their QB halfway through the game.
My question with this game is can Maryland score? As you are beginning to see, my capping style is analytical def vs offense which is then supported by some outside factors.
I think the Maryland O gets it going this week. It is a home game for the terps, coming off of a bye. They are sitting at 2 and 2, and I expect them to have polished off some things on offense over that time. The freshman QB should get things more together for this game, as he already has seemed to improve each game. Going against the Wake Forest 99th ranked defense is exactly what they need to get things back on track.
When it breaks down here is why I like this bet:
I as well as JimmyShivers see this as a DD win for a Maryland team that is trending positively.
Maryland 31, Wake 13
1.5* Units, Rutgers -7 vs UConn
Interesting spot here I think for Rutgers. UConn was slammed early by the sharps and syndicates which is why we got it at a TD. They didn’t necessarily love UConn, but they see value in a Big East game, with 2 teams with decent defense going up against each other, working under the mindset that there is no way it is a DD spread.
So now we have Rutgers at a TD. Why I like this? Both teams have solid D’s. I think this is the case of some defenses getting a little overrated for not playing anyone with too exciting of an offense. I like Rutgers because their offense is underrated. Nova has looked like a real QB this year, and they have 2 very solid RBs.
UConn’s D is good, but what have they proven? They let Maryland’s weak offense put up 21 early in the season, they let a MAC team put up 30. Other than that, they’ve played 2 of the worst teams they could play this season with Mass and Buffalo.
I am high on Rutgers. They had a tough past 2 games, going down to USF to play in a nationally televised game, then going to Arkansas and down the SEC team (albeit they don’t look like one now).
UConn certainly cannot run the ball, and they definitely can’t pass. That does not bode well going up against a Rutgers team, playing at home, and coming off of a bye week.
The team is ranked, the fans should be pumped up, and I do not expect Rutgers to take this game lightly. They had an extra week to focus on this game, and many of the players were on the team last year when UConn upset them 40-22 late in the season to redirect their bowl hopes.
Rutgers 27, UConn 17
1* Unit, Miss St -10 vs UK
This play is not based off of much this season. It is simply a fade of team A vs team B.
Kentucky has played a tough schedule, don’t get me wrong. But, besides for one half vs. SC, they have not shown me anything remotely positive, besides maybe some decent defensive play. They will be playing without Max Smith. I don’t love their coach. I think this team is just really struggling and will be facing a team with more talent.
Miss State on the other hand is a hungry team. They want to actually prove they belong in the SEC. They have more talent, a decent QB and an impressive defense. They are a bunch of ball hawks that lead the NCAA in turnover margin, and I don’t see that changing here.
Finally Miss St. is coming off of a bye. They have played a pretty cake schedule and are looking to get a real team to play against. They should not take UK lightly. They know they need to win these easier SEC games, especially because the SEC West is so tough. I know Miss St. is such an obvious, public side, but I see them rolling here and getting after a beat up UK team.
St. 38, UK 17
1* Unit, UCF -11.5 vs East Carolina (#WINNING)
When I first looked at this game early in the week at -14, it was a lay off for me. UCF is an extremely talented team believe it or not. I was on them when they played OSU for a good amount and they covered. They are off a tough game against Missouri. Frankly, it was a game they should have won. If you looked at the box scores and covered up the team names at the top, you would have thought UCF won.
UCF returned quite a few players from their team last year that played tons of close games and should have ended up 9-3 by some advanced stats that predict how they actually played. Not going to get into it, but they returned a lot of quality players.
On DL, they average 290 lbs which is huge, and they are anchored by Jose Jose, who comes in at about 330 bones. ECU really sucks at running the ball, so that won’t be an issue vs. UCF. Against teams that rank in the Top 40 of Pass D, ECU has scored 10 and 6, both on the road this year. UCF ranks in the Top 40. Frankly, I don’t think UCF stopping ECU is going to be the problem; they are much more talented when matching up with ECUs O.
Can UCF score? ECU is not scary by any means on defense. They are allowing 124 rushing yards per game and tons of yards through the air. Storm Johnson should be able to run the ball and they should be able to pick up 3rd downs. UCF ranks higher in pretty much every category within the Top 15 that correlates with winning and scoring points. Most notably, they rank 16 in RZ TD % with ECU at 82. They are 30th in 3rd down conv while ECU is 95th. They are 25 in sacks and 48th in TFL compared to ECU at 55th and 74th.
Couple all of those stats with ECU playing on the road in a nationally televised game at night, and I’m taking the more talented team that is better coached coming off a tough loss looking to rebound.
UCF 34 ECU 14
For analysis, commentary, plays and randomness, follow @mtsabert on twitter.