As I mentioned earlier in the week, was going to knock out the remaining bowl games to essentially get college football out of the way, with the exception of the championship game. Been a dismal year on the gridiron, definitely not as good as previous years, so all you can do is hope to finish up on a positive not.
Ran all the numbers for the bowl games, using a method similar to what we use for college basketball and will have three to four plays for each of our three college football articles, beginning with our College Football System Plays, which were an ugly 6-9 this season, the worst of any of our weekly football articles.
Eastern Michigan +12: The Panthers opened -10.5 and the line has climbed to 12, with Pittsburgh getting the slightest of majority of the wagers, and my numbers have the Panthers winning this one by 7. Pittsburgh could have been in a better bowl game, but dropped its last two games of the season, which puts the Panthers in a negative situation. Double-digit favorites are 5-11-1 when both teams lost their last game, so will go ahead and grab the points in this one.
Oklahoma +13.5: A bit of a stretch here, but I know it’s a game most people want to watch, so will use the Sooners here, as they’re one of the few teams who can match LSU offensively. I have the Tigers winning this one by nine points, so the spread may be a little higher than is warranted, but LSU has certainly become a public team, so it makes sense. Undefeated favorites of a touchdown or more are just 6-9-1 against the spread, as they become a little over-valued, which could well be the case here.
Auburn -7: I have the Tigers winning by 11, as they played a much-tougher schedule than Minnesota, who is in a slight negative situation regarding underdogs who lost their last game by at least 20 points and also in a 16-22 situation that involves teams with two losses getting at least a touchdown in their bowl game. The Gophers had a solid season, but a 1-2 mark down the stretch did them in. The Tigers have had plenty of time to get the Alabama win out of their system, so a letdown shouldn’t be a factor here, as it would be if Auburn was forced to play the week after the Alabama game.
END OF BOWL GAME PICKS
These plays have never gotten on track all season and what was our main play a few years ago has become the worst of the three this season, as we’re an ugly 5-9 with out System Picks of the Week, with a couple of the losses in pretty ugly fashion. This week, we’ll look at the game between Virginia and Clemson, where the Tigers are favored by 28.5 and the total is 57.
One of the keys to Virginia’s success this season has been ball control. The Cavaliers average more than 33 minutes of possession, but that’s not going to be the case on Saturday, when the Cavaliers face a team that is better offensively and defensively and have the players who can shut Virginia down on offense. Clemson won’t be afraid to bring the pressure on the Cavaliers and have the players in the secondary they can do it with.
Virginia hasn’t lost by more than 15 points ll season, so the spread is certainly generous, although the Cavaliers haven’t played a team nearly as good as Clemson this year.
After Clemson’s narrow victory over the Tar Heels, the Tigers have every game by at least 30 points, so while the spread seems high, it also seems justified in this case.
Clemson is a bit of a public play this week and you have to be on a square side, but the Tigers do have a couple of small trends in their favor, such as conference championship favorites of 21 or more points are 6-3 ATS in a game that should feature the two best teams from each conference.
Not thrilled with it, but will go ahead and take the Tigers in this one and lay all the points.
END OF WEEK 15 PICKS
Even with back-to-back wins, we’re still just 5-8 with this play, as this whole football season has been a bit of a downer, so hoping to duplicate our pattern of several years ago, where we spun our wheels until the end and had a strong finish.
This week, we’ll use one of the old standbys and take a look at the game between Florida State and Florida. The Gators opened as 17-point favorites and the line has moved to 18 with Florida getting the slimmest of majorities in the wager department.
Despite firing their coach due to a down year, the Seminoles will be heading to a bowl game, although this game is probably more important to FSU and than one of the minor bowl games. After getting waxed by Miami 27-10, the Seminoles have won their last two games to reach their sixth win of the season. The win over Boston College wasn’t easy, and there were plenty of distractions with Taggart getting canned that week.
But Florida State took care of business last game against an over-matched Alabama State team and cruised to a 49-12 victory to head into their bye week on a positive note.
The Gators also had a bye week and are looking at a New Year’s Day bowl game, while the Seminoles will likely be playing somewhere in the next three weeks, most likely.
The Gators weren’t good enough to handle the big dogs of the SEC, but they’ve had plenty of success against everybody else. But this isn’t necessarily a great spot for the Gators and past history suggests the Seminoles will keep this one closer than expected, as underdogs of 17 or more points off of a 35-point victory are 103-68-2 (60.2%) over the years, which is a pretty solid record for such a large sample size.
The Seminoles have struggled as a big dog the past couple of seasons, but think they play with some fire in this one and don’t go away without a fight, so will take FSU +18 in this one.
END OF WEEK 14 PICKS
Coming off another poor week in college football, going 1-2 in what has surprisingly been a bit of a struggle so far this season in historically what has been a decent sport for us, but all you can really do is plug away and hope to turn things around. Our biggest culprit has been our College system Play of the Week, which is an ugly 4-8 on the season and this week, we’ll take a look at the game between the Oregon Ducks and the Arizona State Sun Devils, where the Quack Attack is favored by 14 and the total on the game is 52.5.
After their opening-week loss to Auburn, the Ducks have won nine straight, but really they’ve beaten Nevada, Montana and a relatively week Pac-12 conference. That loss to Auburn is looking worse all the time, as the Tigers are 4-3 in the SEC. The Ducks have a slim chance to make the playoff committee depending on what a few other teams do, but they have to take care of business first, beginning with this ASU team, which needs a win this week or next to become bowl eligible.
The Sun Devils have lost four in a row, although only one of those losses can be called ugly, when they traveled to Utah and dropped a 21-3 decision. They lost by 10 at UCLA, by five against USC and by a point last week at Oregon State. The Sun Devils do host Arizona next Friday, but can’t see them looking ahead to that one when the Ducks are calling.
The stats show Oregon as a solid rushing team, but they did a lot of their damage against Nevada and Montana and they’re much better at home. Oregon rushes for 4.8 yards per carry, but just 3.2 away from home. The Ducks throw more short passes on the road, where they have a higher completion percentage, but a lower yards per attempt figure.
Arizona State is also what you’d expect in that they’re a better team on both sides of the ball at home, so they shouldn’t go down without a fight in this one.
While the Ducks are on a winning streak and the Sun Devils are in the middle of a losing skid, that actually bodes well for ASU, as home teams who have lost at least four straight are 78-61-5 (56.1%) when getting at least 14 points.
Think ASU is a little better than they’ve shown lately, so will take ASU +14 for this week’s play.
END WEEK 13 PICKS
Went the wrong way with our College System Pick of the Week last week, choosing the total instead of the underdog in the San Diego State game, which is how it’s gone for this play all season. The record dropped to 3-8 for the season in what had been one of our top-performing plays the past few seasons.
This week, we’ll take a look at the Big 12 game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Baylor Bears. The Sooners opened 8.5 and the line has climbed to Oklahoma -10 even though the Sooners are getting just 39% of the wagers, so obviously some big wagers have been coming in on Oklahoma, but not so sure they’re warranted in this one.
The Sooners are the better team even though they enter the game with one loss. The Sooners are definitely the better offensive team, as Oklahoma averages 587 total yards of offense, while the Bears are averaging 456 yards per game. Both teams can move the ball on the ground and through the air, but the Sooners are better at it and are averaging 48.4 points compared to Baylor’s 35.4 points per game.
The Bears are a bit better on defense, allowing fewer yards than Oklahoma and 6 fewer points per game than the Sooners. Oklahoma has allowed more than 40 points in each of its last two games and that’s not the recipe for a road favorite. The Bears allow 3.4 yards per rush, but the running ability of Hurts will likely be tough to overcome.
Oklahoma hasn’t been all that great against the run, which is something Baylor will probably try to exploit, as that’s one way to keep the Jalen Hurts and the Oklahoma offense off of the field. The Sooners are allowing 4.1 yards per carry, which is .3 fewer yards than their opponents average, although the Bears gain .3 more yards per rushing attempt than their opponents allow.
So both teams should be able to put up a few points, which is why the total is hovering around 68 points.
The Bears are in a pretty good spot, as home underdogs in Week 9 or later are 20-11-1 ATS and 16-9 if they are getting double digits in the game.
The Sooners are getting a lot of respect in this one and it’s hard to ignore, but will have to go ahead and take a shot on the Bears +10 in this spot.
END OF WEEK 12 PICKS
We’ve been woefully bad with the Betting System Pick of the Week, as we fell to 3-7 ATS on the year with a dismal pick last week, as Akron was thumped by a hapless Bowling Green team. This week, we’ll look at an interesting handicapping matchup between Nevada and San Diego State. The Aztecs opened as 16.5-point favorites and the total came out at 42 and San Diego State is now favored by 17.5 and the total has dropped to 39 in a pair of slight reverse line moves.
We’ve had several plays earlier this season based on large favorites with low totals and how the underdogs and overs tend to do well. If you look at games with at least a 17-point favorite and a total of less than 40, you’d see the underdog has gone 27-10-1, while totals are 24-14, both of which are decent winning percentages. So, which way to go in this one?
If you look at Nevada, they really haven’t played very good defense except against the bottom-feeding teams. They’ve allowed 30 or more points in six of their nine games, with the lone exceptions being Weber State, UTEP and New Mexico.
San Diego State doesn’t score a whole lot of points, as 31 points is the most they’ve scored all season, but in a revenge spot against the Wolfpack it wouldn’t be surprising to see them put some points on the board in this one.
You don’t see many college games with totals this low any more and when you do, they have a tendency to go over, checking in with a 19-11 record so far this season, just as the games expected to be offensive shootouts have been going under more often than not this season (totals of 72 and higher are 13-23-1), so will ride the over train on the low totals here, despite San Diego State being an under machine recently, and take the over 39 in this game.
END OF WEEK 11 PICKS
A little better effort in college football last weekend, but then we turned around and stunk it up in the NFL. We’ll begin with our Betting System Pick of the Week, which is performing the worst of the six weekly articles with a 3-6 record and this week we’ll look at what is probably the ugliest game on the schedule, as Akron visits Bowling Green. The Falcons are favored by 5.5 and the total on the game has moved from 48.5 to 51.
To say Akron hasn’t done a thing right this year isn’t really an exaggeration. The Zips are 0-8 both straight-up and against the spread. They’ve come close to covering the number on a couple of occasions, but that’s about the best that can be said for Akron, who has been shut out in each of its last two games.
Thankfully for the Zips, Bowling Green isn’t that much better, as the Falcons are 2-6 straight-up and against the number. Bowling Green started the season off with an impressive win over Morgan State, which is no great feat for a Division I school and somehow pulled off a 20-7 win over Toledo as 24.5-point underdogs. They’ve pretty much stunk it up the other games, such as last week’s 49-10 loss to Western Michigan.
Akron averages 10.7 points per game and allows 35.7, while Bowling Green scores 15.4 and allows 37.2. Bowling Green gains 59.1 more yards than Akron, but the Falcons allow 80 yards more per game than the Zips. Akron hasn’t done themselves any favors in the turnover department, although that was pretty much a give when you look at their record. Bowling Green isn’t particularly strong in that area themselves.
The line is definitely a bit on the low side given the ineptitude that Toledo has shown this season, but it also puts them in a bit of a positive situation, as teams who have lost at least eight straight games and are getting 7 or fewer points have gone 15-10 ATS over the years and 14-7 ATS if the favored team is also coming off a loss.
And Bowling Green is definitely coming off a loss and home favorites who lost their previous game by more than 38 points are 69-94-6 (42.3%) against the spread when they’re playing a team they defeated the previous time the two teams played.
An ugly one, to be sure, but will take Akron +5.5 in this one.
END OF WEEK 10 PICKS
Been a struggle in college football this season, while the NFL is doing a bit better. Was more of the same last week with a 1-2 mark in the NCAA and 3-0 in the NFL, so hoping to get untracked here in college football, which traditionally has been one of our better sports.
We’ll start off with our College Football Betting System Picks, where we’re just 2-6 on the season after coming up five points short with Mississippi State last week, as we’ve definitely had the close ones go against us this season.
This week we’ll take a look at the game between Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Buckeyes opened as 14/5-point favorites and the line is still there with Ohio State getting 60% of the wagers.
The Badgers come into this one off a baffling loss to Illinois, falling as 29.5-point favorites making them the largest favorite to go down to defeat this year. It’s obvious the Badgers were looking ahead to this game, but that is still no excuse for losing to a far inferior team.
The Buckeyes have rolled past the opposition this season and their closest game has been a 24-point win over Michigan State. Ohio State has allowed 35 points in its last six games and an average of 8 points on the season. The Badgers can come close to that on defense and actually are slightly better in terms of points allowed per game, but Wisconsin’s offense isn’t in the same category as the Buckeyes’ and they’ve also played the majority of their games at home, with their opener on the road and their most recent game against Illinois was away. Everything else has been a home game.
Generally, the premise of taking a team that was caught looking ahead makes sense, as you know they’ll give their best effort and they’ll also be a little bit undervalued coming off a defeat against a team they should have had no problems with.
But in actuality, these teams haven’t been very good wagers over the years, as teams who lost their last game as a three-touchdown favorite or more are just 67-87-4 (43.5%) over the years, so these teams appear to have some trouble picking themselves up off the groud.
Will go ahead and take the Buckeyes in this spot, as it’s a chance for them to show what they’re capable of.
END OF WEEK 9 PICKS
Still struggling in college football, which I didn’t really expect, as it’s been one of our better sports the past four years or so, but nothing to do but move forward and we’ll start with the College System Pick of the Week, which is just on the season.
This week, we’ll look at the SEC game between LSU and Mississippi State. The Tigers are favored by 18 and the total has moved slightly from 61.5 to 62.
The Tigers come into this one off their big win over Florida, a game that we were pretty lucky to get the cover with, as the Gators led 28-21 before LSU scored the final three touchdowns of the game and then had a couple of key stops. The Tigers are averaging 52.5 points per game and allowing 21.2, while the Bulldogs average 26.8 and allow 27.2. Mississippi State has played the tougher schedule, but not nearly enough of a difference to make up for the difference in scoring, so the line is right about where it should be based on what we’ve seen from the teams so far.
This really isn’t the greatest of spots for LSU, who has a dangerous Auburn team on deck, followed with a bye and then Alabama. If there’s a flat spot on the schedule, it could be this game, but even then, the Tigers are likely going to score their share of points, but their defense is a little suspect, having allowed 38 points to Texas and Vanderbilt before holding Florida to 28. LSU did a number on the likes of Georgia State and Northwestern State, but haven’t fared nearly as well against the bigger teams.
One thing Mississippi State does somewhat well is run the ball and that’s going to come in handy against LSU if the Bulldogs want to keep it close. The lack of a running game and the ability to get the job done in the trenches is what did Florida in last week, but the Bulldogs are going to have to make a big effort to move the chains on the ground or this one could get ugly.
The Bulldogs are coming off a dismal 20-10 loss to Tennessee as 6-point road favorites, which actually puts them in a fair situational spot, as home underdogs who lost last game as a road favorite of 5.5 or more points have responded with a 93-66-1 (58.5%) record over the years, so will take a stab on the Bulldogs +18 in this one.
END OF WEEK 8 PICKS
Still lots of work to do, as we’re just 2-4 with our College System Play of the Week, and we’ll take a look at a game that is getting a fair amount of attention, considering it’s somewhat of a stinker, and that’s the game between the San Jose State Spartans and the Nevada Wolfpack. Nevada opened as 4-point favorites and the line is down to 2.5 with nearly 60% of the wagers coming in on the Spartans. The total has moved from 57.5 to 59.5 with nearly 60% of the wagers coming in on the over.
Don’t look now but San Jose State is 3-2 straight-up and 4-1 against the number this year in what was expected to be another down season for the Spartans. San Jose is averaging more than 300 yards per game through the air and pulled off the upset of Arkansas a few weeks ago, so they’re playing better than most people expected.
San Jose State is averaging 27.6 points and allowing 27.6 points per game. They allowed 41 to Air Force and 34 to Tulsa, but have kept Northern Colorado, Arkansas and New Mexico to 24 points or less.
You wouldn’t know it by all the doom and gloom coming from Reno, but the Wolfpack is also 3-2 on the season. Both of their losses have been pretty ugly, losing to Oregon 77-6 and their last game was a 54-3 home loss against the Hawaii Rainbows. For the season, Nevada’s starts are pretty brutal as a result of those two games, with the Wolfpack averaging 19.8 points and allowing 39.2 for the season.
Nevada does like to run the ball and they might find the San Jose defense a bit to their liking, as the Spartans are allowing 223 yards per game, although a bit of that is due to having played Air Force and New Mexico in back-to-back games and allowing a combined 620 yards.
But it’s Nevada’s defense that is going to be the key to this game and they should have a chip on their shoulder after allowing Hawaii to score 54 in their last game, which was also at home and if history repeats itself, they should play a better game, as home favorites who lost their last game as a home favorite and allowed 45 or more points are 15-23-1 (39.5%) in totals their game and if they allowed 50 or more points, the record is 7-13, so will give a shot to the under here and hope to see the Wolfpack defense make amends.
END OF WEEK 7 PICKS
Still trying to get things straightened out in college football, as we’ve hit a three-week slump, falling to 1-4 with this play, so for this week’s College System Pick of the Week we’ll look at what can only be described as an ugly game, as UMass visits Florida International. FIU opened as 26-point favorites and the line is up to 26.5 on pretty even betting.
The Minutemen won their first game of the season last week, pulling off the upset against Akron as home underdogs and now take to the road to face a rested Florida International squad.
UMass was pretty brutal in their first four games of the season, losing each by a minimum of 25 points and it wasn’t a case of the Minutemen playing good teams as much as it was a case of UMass playing poorly. Rutgers, Southern Illinois, Charlotte and Coastal Carolina isn’t exactly what you would call a tough slate of games.
Florida International hasn’t been a whole lot better so this season, going 1-3 straight-up and losing to Western Kentucky at home as 7-point favorites, not to mention losing both of their road games and owning just a victory over New Hampshire.
The FIU offense has been coming to life a little bit, scoring 30 points in back-to-back games after netting just 14 points in each of its first two games, but the defense took a day off against La Tech last game and they were on the wrong side of a 43-31 game as 7-point underdogs.
But Florida International has a couple of decent trends working in their favor for this one, beginning with teams who are coming off back-to-back 30-point efforts and are coming off a bye week, as these teams have gone 59-40-1 over the years when favored by at least 20 points.
The second involves teams coming off their first victory of the season after Week 4 and getting 20 or more points, as these teams have gone 26-43-2 (37.7%) over the years.
Florida International has been a pretty big disappointment so far this season and were expected to do some pretty good things. It’s not too late for the Panthers to get things turned around and this is a game they can’t take lightly and don’t think Butch Davis won’t roll up the score if he gets the opportunity, as FIU has put up 63 points in each of the last two games against the Minutemen, so will lay the big lumber with the Panthers.
END OF WEEK 6 PICKS
Another slow start to a season, this time with college football. Getting to be a bit of a pattern, so hopefully we can get things turned around a little bit this week, as we’re sitting at 1-3 with this play so far.
For this week’s College Football Betting Systems Play of the Week, we’ll look at the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Buckeyes opened as 14-point favorites and the line has climbed to OSU-17, with the Buckeyes having a little more than two-thirds of the wagers.
The Buckeyes have done everything asked of them, plus a little more this season, and are showing no signs of slowing down without Urban Meyer on the sidelines. Ohio State has won its last three games by a minimum of 41 points and are 3-1 ATS on the season, covering a similar spread as this one at Indiana by winning 51-10 as 17.5-point favorites.
The only problem is that Nebraska is a better football team than Indiana and while the ‘Huskers haven’t exactly looked impressive in winning this season, they are 3-1, with just an overtime loss at Colorado to blemish its record. The Huskers are 3-1 straight-up and 1-3 ATS, so they haven’t played to their potential yet and it might be asking a bit much of them do it against a good Ohio State team, but think they’ve been pointing towards this game for a few weeks now.
The Huskers have dropped their last five as a home underdog, including a beatdown to these same Buckeyes as 24.5-point home underdogs in 2017, when Ohio State won by a 56-14 margin after leading 35-0 at the half. But that 2017 Nebraska team went just 4-8 and didn’t have the talent this team does, while also having a different coach.
The Cornhuskers received a fair amount of action in the preseason to win the Big Ten, but if they’re going to do anything they have to show they can compete with the big boys of the conference and they’ll have that opportunity. They also have a pretty good situation working in their favor that lends a bit of credence to those saying the Buckeyes are a little overpriced here.
The Cornhuskers were favored in each of their first four games and teams favored four straight weeks and then made home underdogs have gone 153-132-4 (53.7%) over the years, but if they’re a double-digit home underdog, the record moves to 32-16 and if they’re getting 14 points or more, they record is 17-7 ATS.
So will take the Cornhuskers here and look for a solid effort from the home underdog.
END OF WEEK 5 PICKS
Another slow start to a season, this time in football, so hopefully we can get things turned around here quickly. Coming off a Saturday where we deserved a little better, but things tend to even themselves out over the course of the year, so we’re owed a few, as we fell to 1-2 on the season here.
For this week’s College Football Betting System Picks play, we’ll look at the game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin opened 2.5 and they’ve been bet up to 3.5-point favorites after getting 65% of the wagers. The total has moved from 47 to 44.5.
The Wolverines have been anything but impressive this season, as they work out the kinks of their new offensive scheme and now travel to Wisconsin to face a Badgers team that has rolled through its first two opponents, which is why the Badgers are favored by more than a field goal in this one.
Everybody knew it was going to take Michigan a little while to get used to its new offense and there have been plenty of struggles so far, but last week’s bye will give Michigan a chance to iron a few things out. Basically the only thing Michigan’s struggles and the Badgers’ two blowouts have done is inflate this spread, as both teams did what was expected and won. College coaches aren’t nearly as concerned with the pointspread as bettors, although they are aware of it.
Like the Wolverines plus the points in this one and there is a bit of trend support for Michigan in this one, beginning with just the basic concept of underdogs in games with relatively low totals. Since the start of last season, taking the underdogs in games where the total is less than 45 has resulted in a 96-81-7 (54.2%) record and over the years has fared pretty comparable with a 675-593-40 (53.2%) record. While that’s nothing to get too excited about, it is a profitable situation and it makes sense, as points figure to be hard to come by in the game, so getting points is a bonus.
But the oddsmakers are telling us something here with that total, especially after the Badgers have put up 49 and 60 points, as teams off back-to-back games of 40 or more points are just 14-22-1 ATS when playing to a total of 45 or less.
Coan has had an easy time in the Badgers’ first two games, but that’s going to change here, as Michigan has the horses on the defensive front to stop Wisconsin’s power rushing attack and if you can get Wisconsin out of its preferred method of play, you have a pretty good chance to beat them, so will take Michigan as a road dog here.
END OF WEEK 4 PICKS
We fell to 1-1 on the season with our College Football Betting System Picks, as Old Dominion did its part, but the Virginia Tech offense couldn’t get untracked all game and the game landed under the total.
This week, we’ll go back to our lone bright spot on the college football gridiron from a week ago and take a look at the game between San Diego State and New Mexico State. The Aztecs opened as 16-point favorites and the line is now 15.5 after SD State received a little more than three-quarters of the wagers in the game.
New Mexico State got the cover last week against Alabama, as the Tide called off the dogs in the fourth quarter and NM State actually outscored Alabama 3-0 in the final quarter. The game ended with New Mexico State on the Alabama goal line, as they tried to punch another touchdown in, but even Alabama’s third- and fourth-string defense is better than some of the defensive units you’ll see on the field Saturday.
San Diego State comes into this one off a huge win against UCLA, something the Aztecs have been trying to do for some time, so the possibility of a letdown is definitely there. Especially with a big game against Utah State on tap. While the Aztecs didn’t look bad against UCLA offensively, this is the same team that beat Weber State 6-0 two weeks ago.
New Mexico State has been thumped both games, which is going to happen when you’re playing at Washington State and Alabama. But the Aggies did collect a couple of decent paychecks in the process, which is really all they were interested in doing. They lost both games by more than 50 points, so even though San Diego State isn’t a bad team, they’re definitely a step down from what New Mexico State has seen so far this season.
The Aggies are also in a decent situational spot, as teams who played their last two games on the road and lost by 40 or more points both times are 19-14 ATS (57.6%) if returning home and 17-11 ATS when they’re home underdogs.
New Mexico State can pass the ball a little bit, which should help keep them in the game and think the Aggies are catching the Aztecs in a good spot, so will go ahead and take a shot on the home underdog in this one.
END OF WEEK 3 PICKS
We move to Week 2 with our College Football Betting System Picks and we’re going to stick with the same premise for this week’s play, which is Old Dominion at Virginia Tech. The Hokies opened as 26-point favorites and the line has climbed to 28.5, while the total has moved from 59 to 56.
Obviously this is a huge revenge game for Virginia Tech, who somehow managed to lose to the Monarchs outright last season as four-touchdown favorites, which puts them in somewhat unchartered territory, as Old Dominion became just one of six teams to score 48 or more points as an underdog of 27 or more points since 2004.
It makes sense that Virginia Tech is a popular play this week, as two-thirds of the wagers have come in on the home favorite, but history shows us that the Hokies may not be quite the great play they appear to be, as home favorites who lost the previous meeting as a 21-point favorite or greater are just 24-25-1 against the spread. If the line is 20 points or greater, the favorite is just 11-14 ATS, so one team’s desire for revenge is at least partially offset by the underdog’s belief that they can hang with the favorite.
But what we do see are some trends pointing towards the over, beginning with an offshoot of last week’s system regarding big favorites and relatively low totals, as Week 2 games with a favorite of 28 points or more and a total of 58 points or less have gone 132-96-2 (57.9%) in totals over the years.
If we look at games where the spread is at least 24 points and the underdog scored at least 45 points in the previous meeting between the two teams, the over record is 16-6-1, with the favored team scoring an average of 46.7 points and an average of 67.4 points, so the favorite isn’t necessarily as interested in shutting down the opposition as they are in piling on some points.
Virginia Tech is a little better defensively than they showed last week, allowing 35 points to Boston College, but they’re not exactly what you can call a great defensive team, as they allowed 31 points per game last season. The Monarchs averaged 31 points last season and allowed 35.9, so think we can get enough scoring in this one to sneak over the total of 56.
END OF WEEK 2 PICKS
For our College Betting System Picks article for Week 1, we’ll stick with another total and use the same premise as our Totals Play of the Week, so we’ll look at the game between Eastern Washington and the University of Washington. The Huskies opened as 21-point favorites and the line has climbed to 22.5. The total has stayed at 54.5.
The Eagles aren’t going to surprise teams any longer and the Pac-12 schools that EWU plays for the paycheck know that they’ll be ready. It didn’t help EWU last year against Washington State, as they were thumped 59-24 by Washington State in a game the Eagles moved the ball, but made some costly turnovers.
Washington’s defense is a bit tougher than the Cougars’ was a year ago, but the EWU offense should again be pretty strong and the team returns quarterback Eric Barriere. Four veteran offensive linemen will help up front and that figures to be a key in this game, as the UW defensive line is pretty talented. Barriere also has the ability to run with the ball and gained over 600 yards and scored seven times on the ground to go along with 24 touchdown passes despite not taking over as the starter until Game 6.
The Eagles might posses the better offense of the two teams playing, but there’s no doubt where Eastern’s weakness is going to be this year and that’s the defense. Only four starters return from a stop unit that wasn’t all that impressive at times a year ago and new UW quarterback Jacob Eason could have a big day. But so could Barriere, as no matter how talented the UW defense is, they’re still young and the Eagles aren’t going to be a pushover.
In week one, teams who are favored by at least 21 points with a total less than 55 have seen their games go over the total at a 42-25 (62.7%) clip since the 2014 season and believe that’s the way to go in this one.
The Huskies aren’t expected to have much of a problem with the Eagles, which is why they’re favored by 21, but the total is just 54.5 and even though UW isn’t known for being an offensive powerhouse, the Huskies may be able to put enough points on the board to come pretty close to that by themselves. But I also think the Eagles will get a few scores of their own in what could be an entertaining game.