Last Updated: 2019-09-13
New Mexico State managed to stay under the lofty number, as we improved to 1-0-1 for the season. The hardest part of coming up with this week’s play was trying to narrow it down to just one game, as there were several plays I considered, but if you looked hard enough you could find reason for going the other way, which is pretty much true in all sports.
Among the teams I considered were Florida, Air Force, Central Florida and Liberty, but will go ahead and fall back to what looks like an ugly game, as Arkansas State visits Georgia in a noon game. No doubt the Red Wolves are making the trip for the money, as Georgia essentially bought a win, but not one that’s going to help them in the strength of schedule department. The Bulldogs opened as 33-point favorites and the line is still there with Georgia getting 63% of the wagers.
Still, the Red Wolves aren’t without a bit of talent, especially in a game where they may not have the opposition’s complete focus, which is the case for the Bulldogs, who will get their first real test of the season next week when they host Notre Dame.
Arkansas State has a favorable situation regarding teams off a strong offensive effort, as large underdogs, as teams who scored 40 or more points last game and are 34-20-2 when getting 30 or more points their next game.
On the other side of the equation, 30-point favorites who scored more than 60 points last time out are 36-42-1 (46.2%) so not the greatest spot for the Bulldogs, especially with Notre Dame on tap.
Granted, Georgia is a huge step up from the likes of UNLV and SMU, but the Red Wolves have put up points against FBS teams and not the likes of Murray State, who the Bulldogs played last. As strange as it sounds, Arkansas State is also a step up in class for Georgia, at least the two teams the Bulldogs have played so far, as Arkansas State is also better than Vanderbilt, who the Bulldogs defeated by 24 in their opening game of the season as 22-point favorites. So to be getting 33 in this one is a bit too much to pass up and will grab the points with the Red Wolves and hope they can generate enough offense to stay within the number.
END OF WEEK 3 PICKS
Calling Louisville a push against Notre Dame, as 18 was the line at 5Dimes when I wrote the article even if pretty much anybody who tagged along got 18.5 or more. As I’ve said before, I’m much more concerned with the lines you get than the ones I post, since the main goal is to hopefully make some money for those who follow.
I really wrestled with this one, but am going to go ahead and pull the trigger in what is the ugliest game on the slate this week, and that’s New Mexico State at Alabama. The Crimson Tide are favored by 55.5 and the total is 65. Unlike last week, where we won a couple of plays by taking the over in games with big spreads and low totals, we’re not taking the total in this one, but instead will take the side, and those who have followed me for any length of time already know, we’ll be on the Aggies plus the points in this one.
No matter how much criticism Nick Saban gets there is one thing he refuses to do and that’s let his players embarrass inferior programs. Alabama is 6-13 ATS as a 40-point or more favorite since Saban took over in 2007 and the average fourth quarter score in those games is Alabama 6.8 to 2.5, so the Tide do not like to run it up. Sometimes it can’t be helped, but Saban’s 2-10 ATS record when the line is 45 or higher is a good indication that he has no problem calling off the dogs. Alabama was favored by 49 or more twice last year and failed to cover either game and was outscored 21-13 in the fourth quarter of those two games.
The Tide are 0-4 as a 50-point favorite under Saban and the first three games saw scoreless fourth quarters, before Alabama outscored Citadel 13-7 in the fourth quarter last year in a game that was tied at the half. This one won’t be and Alabama will be comfortably in front.
Saban apparently doesn’t feel nearly as bad about putting up a number of points against fellow SEC schools as he does the little guys. In the eight games Alabama has scored 58 or more points with Saban at the helm, six of them have come against SEC foes, once was against Duke and the other was against Georgia State.
New Mexico State is not a very good team defensively and they’re going to allow plenty of points, but the Aggies can move the ball a little bit and even a field goal or two will help the NM State cause.
Going to take a shot on NM State plus the points and hope that Saban and his team are more interested in next week’s SEC opener than they are running up the score against a New Mexico State team that just lost by 52 at Washington State.
END OF WEEK 2 PICKS
Our plays this week are being posted a little bit later than they will from here on out, as they’ll most likely come out a day or two earlier from this point forward, but this is the one week I tend to over-analyze things a bit. I want to get off to a good start and typically finding negatives about each game I start writing about, although in actuality, you can find those in pretty much any game you play. It just depends on which side you feel has the most positive factors, as well.
For this week’s game, I had given some thought to Florida State, but the game change to Tallahassee has seen the line climb to 6.5, and don’t think the hurricane won’t be in the backs of the players’ minds. The Broncos will be able to hop on a plane Saturday evening and return home. The Seminole players will try to make the best of what could be a bad situation.
So, we’ll go ahead and jump to the Monday game between Notre Dame and Louisville. The Irish opened as 19.5-point favorites and the line has come down to Notre Dame -18 even though two-thirds of the wagers have come in on Notre Dame.
The Cardinals fell off a cliff last year and were a dismal 2-10 and somehow managed to go 1-11 against the spread. But that was last year and it’s a new attitude in Louisville, beginning with a new head coach at the top. New coach Satterfield comes from Appalachian State where he did an amazing job with the Mountaineers, but he’ll have his work cut out here. Louisville wasn’t very good offensively a year ago and were worse on defense, allowing 44 points per game.
But this looks to be one of those games where bettors are going to see one team playing in the college football plays against another who was a dumpster fire last year without looking at why that happened. The Irish won the close games in the beginning of the year and the Cardinals had a few fourth quarter breakdowns that set the tone for the rest of the season.
Believe Louisville is going to be a better football team, which I’m not so sure Notre Dame is going to be able to duplicate last year’s success. Louisville is the more experienced team and will go ahead and take the Cardinals plus the 18 for our first play of the year.
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