An ugly 7-8 with our College Totals of the Week and we’ll try to wrap-it up on a positive note, as we look at four of the bowl games.
Western Michigan vs. Western Kentucky under 54.5: I made this one 49 and the number opened at 52.5 and has climbed to 54.5 with close to 60% of the wagers coming in on the over. Western Kentucky is solid on defense, while Western Michigan leaves a bit to be desired at times, although they really had just a couple of bad games, against Michigan State and Syracuse, which has their numbers a bit distorted. Western Michigan runs the ball pretty well, although that’s the strength of the Western Kentucky defense. The Hilltoppers aren’t the greatest running team, but they should have a little success on the ground against WMU’s defense.
Utah vs Texas under 55: No secret that Utah is going to try and run the ball here and Texas is pretty average when it comes to stopping the run. But if the Utes can move the chains on the ground they can shorten the game and keep the Texas offense on the sidelines. You have to be worried a little about Utah’s mental state here, as they let a possible shot at the playoffs slip away when they lost to Oregon, but don’t see a ton of points in this one, as I have this one at 51.
Oregon vs. Wisconsin under 51.5: This one opened 49.5 and has been bet up to 51.5 with close to 75% of the wagers coming in on the over. The Ducks don’t quite live up to their reputation as an offensive powerhouse and they play better defense than people give them credit for, so think the number here is a little higher than it should be, as I have this one at 41. The teams put up similar numbers, but both teams had early season blowouts over the likes of Central Michigan and Nevada that made their offenses look better than they actually are.
Georgia vs. Baylor under 41.5: Low number here, as the total opened at 42 and is now 41.5, but I have this one at 38 in a game that features two solid defenses and slightly better than average offenses. Both teams like to run the ball and may find it tough going on the ground and both run more than they pass. Each team is coming off a loss in their respective conference games, allowing more than 30 points, so I’d expect to see the defensive units look to make some amends, although both teams held their foes to fewer points than they averaged.
END OF BOWL GAME PICKS
We moved to 7-7 with our College totals Play of the Week last time out, but are below .500 with the other two plays, so time to pick it up a notch if we’re going to finish on the plus side, as there aren’t that many weeks remaining with the bowl games and the playoffs pretty much what’s going to left after this weekend, with the exception of the Army vs. Navy game next Saturday.
For this week, we’ll take a look at the game between Appalachian State and Lafayette. The total opened at 55.5 and is up to 57.5 even though we’ve seen a little more than 60% of the wagers come in on the under. The weather isn’t expected to be too bad with temps in the low 40s.
Both teams can put points on the scoreboard and both are pretty solid defensively, so it could make for an entertaining game, although the Mountaineers did win a bit of an ugly 17-7 game between the two teams earlier this season, so a bit surprised to see the total climb upward.
Lafayette and Appalachian State are pretty similar teams, as they’re within a point of each other both in terms of points score and points allowed. Lafayette gains about 60 yards more per game than Appalachian State, while the Mountaineers allow fewer yards.
Both teams run and throw for more than 200 yards and both rushing defenses are better than average, although not necessarily great, so teams could be able to grind out some drives and take time off the clock. Lafayette gains 6.6 yards per carry against teams who allow an average of 5.1 yards a rush, although the Mountaineers only allow 3.9 yards. Likewise, App State averages 5.4 yards per rush against teams who allow 4.8 and Lafayette allows 4.5 yards, so hoping teams can slow down the opposinbg offense a little, but not too much where teams are forced to throw the ball frequently.
A little hesitant here due to the reverse move on the total, but have to believe the under is the way to go in this one, so will take the under 57.5.
END OF WEEK 15 PICKS
Dropped to 6-7 with our College Totals Play of the Week last time out, overthinking the Washington State game.
Adverse weather is nothing unusual at this time of year, but you don’t really expect it to occur in California, but that’s the case in Northern California as high winds and rain are expected to have an impact in both the Notre Dame at Stanford game and the contest between Fresno State and San Jose State. As a result, both totals have dropped quite a bit, with the Notre Dame game moving from 51 to 46.5 and the San Jose State game dropping from 65 to 61.
Notre Dame is decent defensively, especially against teams like Stanford, while the Cardinal are a little above average with their stop unit, allowing about two fewer points than their foes score. The Irish can run and throw the ball and if the weather is bad, Notre Dame still should be able to move the chains with the ball on the ground even if the weather is poor, while Stanford isn’t a great rushing team and Notre Dame has been pretty solid against the run. Stanford has rushed for 67 yards in its last two games combined.
Both Fresno State and San Jose State score and allow more than 30 points per game, but with both teams throwing for more than 230 yards per game, the weather could have a greater impact on this game than the Notre Dame game.
Fresno can run the ball and San Jose State isn’t particularly great stopping the run, while the Spartans don’t run the ball very well, but Fresno’s defense could allow San Jose State to move the ball a little bit on the ground.
The Bulldogs are a pretty balanced team, throwing and passing the ball, while San Jose State relies on the pass more than anything, as the Spartans are averaging just 3.5 yards per carry and fewer than 90 yards, but they may want to try to attack a Fresno defense that allows 165 yards per game on the ground.
Neither team is going to a bowl game, as the two teams bring identical 4-7 records into the game and have to believe neither team is overly excited for this one, so will go ahead and take a shot on the under 61 in this one.
END WEEK 14 PICKS
We fell to 6-6 last with our NCAA Totals Play of the Week in ugly fashion, with Oklahoma State and Kansas not coming anywhere near the number and this week, we’ll take a look at the game between Oregon State and Washington State, where the total opened 74.5 and is now up to 76.5 with nearly 60% of the wagers coming in on the over.
So far this season, totals of 75 or higher are just 8-15-1, so they’ve had trouble getting there and believe this one will be another game that comes up short of the number. Both teams come into this one with five victories and need one more to become bowl eligible and have their traditional season-ending rivalries on tap, with the Beavers playing Oregon and the Cougars taking on the University of Washington, so if a team is going to slow things down and try to take advantage of their opportunities, this would be a good week to do so.
It’s going to be cold in Pullman, with temperatures around 35 degrees and a wind of 10 to 15 miles-per-hour, which will put the wind chill factor in the mid to upper 20s. Not exactly pleasant, but not the Frozen Tundra, either, but still a little more difficult to catch the ball.
While a 5-5 record has to be considered a disappointment for WSU, it’s been a pretty good year for the Beavers, who are no longer a doormat of the other Pac-12 teams and they’re getting things done on both sides of the ball, with the offense doing the majority of the work. Oregon State is averaging 31.1 points per game and allowing about the same on defense, which is a big improvement from the 45.7 points they allowed last season.
The Beavers can run the ball a little bit and if they watch film of the Ducks attacking the Cougars’ run defense, they have to like their chances to move the ball on the ground. That would also keep the WSU off the field and while OSU has pretty much a 50-50 run/pass balance on the season, they run close to 40 times away from home, while throwing 30.
On defense the Beavers are pretty average compared to what their foes average and that’s good enough for Oregon State to be competitive in most games.
WSU offense hasn’t missed much of a beat from last year, averaging 40.3 points, but the defense has gone the wrong direction, allowing 29.3 points after giving up 23.3 points a year ago. The offense wasn’t quite as good, but the difference in the defense is why WSU was 10-2 last year and are 5-5 this season.
The number is high and while either team could put 50 on the scoreboard have to believe this one lands under the number, so will take the under 76.5 in this one.
END WEEK 13 PICKS
We’re 6-5 with our NCAA Totals Plays of the Week after getting a bit of a break last week and this week we’ll take a look at the game between Kansas and Oklahoma State. The total opened at 65 and has been bet up to 68.5 with a little more than 80% of the wagers coming in on the over.
Oklahoma State is averaging 37.1 points per game on the season, but haven’t broke 35 in any of their last five games, scoring between 26 and 34 in each of the five games. The Cowboys’ defense has been good enough to win three of the games, allowing 27 points twice and 13 points in a win over Kansas State.
Oklahoma State likes to run the ball and they should find the Kansas defense to their liking. The Jayhawks are allowing 235 rushing yards per game and Oklahoma State is averaging 267 yards on the ground. The Cowboys gain 5.7 yards per rush against teams who allow 4.2 yards a rush, so they should have plenty of success against a Kansas team that allows 5.0 yards to teams averaging 4.7 yards.
Oklahoma State can throw the ball, as well, and throw enough to keep defenses honest and prevent them from stacking the box too much. McNeese State stuffed the run fairly well, but the Cowboys threw for more than 400 yards in that one and scored 56 points.
Kansas is more of a balanced offense, although they would probably like to run the ball more than they do, having to resort to the pass once they get behind. The Jayhawks can throw the ball pretty well, and are averaging 25.8 points per game, so they’re not offensively challenged, but their defense is worse than the offense, which is why Kansas is 3-6 on the season.
The public is on the over pretty good in this one and have to believe they’re on the right side in this one, and will go ahead and take the over in this one.
END OF WEEK 12 PICKS
We’re still stinking it up in college football and doing much better in the NFL, with two weeks ago really the only exception, so need to get things going in the colleges, where we’ll be begin with our Totals Play of the Week, where we’re 5-5 on the season, and take a look at the game between the Florida State Seminoles and Boston College Eagles. The Seminoles opened -1 with a total of 61.5 and now the Eagles are favored by 2.5 and the total has climbed to 63.5.
It’s going to be cold in Boston, at least to the Seminoles, with temperatures in the upper 30s at game time. Not exactly the Frozen Tundra, but a bit on the cold side. It’s not enough of a factor that it should make much difference, if any at all.
The Seminoles will be guided by Odell Haggins, who is now in his second stint as interim coach for Florida State and he’ll no doubt be looking to turn it into a full-time job with some wins down the stretch, although coaching wasn’t the key reason the Seminoles struggled. It was defense, or lack of as the case may be, as Florida State allows 32.7 points on the road and are 0-3 straight-up away from home. FSU has been much better at home, although that isn’t the case in this one.
The Eagles can score some points, but they also allow plenty and their defense might be just what the Seminoles need to see after they were held to 10 points by Miami. Boston College is scoring 4.4 more points than their foes allow, but turning around and allowing 4.0 more points than foes average. FSU scores 2.0 more points than opponents allow and allow 3.2 less, although that’s primarily due to a couple of decent efforts at home.
The Seminoles have played six straight unders, which actually puts them in a pretty good over situation here, as teams who have played at least six consecutive unders are 18-5 in totals if the total is 60 or higher. Obviously, the oddsmakers know something to make the number as high as it is when a team is in a pronounced under run.
Expecting to see both teams put up some points in this one, as it could be a fairly entertaining game to watch, but will have to take the over 63.5 in this one.
END OF WEEK 11 PICKS
We’re 4-5 with our College totals Play of the Week and this week we’ll take a look at the game between Texas State and Lafayette. The total on this one opened at 58 and is now down to 55.5, so we’ve lost some value with the under, but that will still be the way we go in this one.
Texas State comes into this one as greater than three-touchdown underdogs for a reason. They’re simply not a very good football team and they’re even worse when they travel, as the Bobcats average 18 and allow 30 points per game overall, but their offensive output drops to just 12 and they allow 42 points on the road. They’re away games haven’t necessarily been easy, as they’ve played Texas A & M, SMU and Arkansas State.
Lafayette is a decent team, and come into this one with a 5-2 mark and they do most of their damage on the ground, rushing the ball an average of 42 times for 287 yards. They average more than 320 yards at home, although a bit of that has to do with the 440 yards they put up against Texas Southern and they also rushed for more than 400 against Liberty.
They figure to have some success against Texas State, who may not be quite as bad as their stats look due to Texas A & M and SMU combining for 636 rushing yards against them. Lafayette doesn’t throw the ball a lot, or at least they prefer not to, with their opening-season loss to Mississippi State the only time they’ve thrown more than 30 passes in any game.
Lafayette is coming off a bye week, but still seeing Texas State on the other side of the line of scrimmage has to be a bit of a letdown after playing Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and Arkansas State, who are each 2-2 or better in conference play.
Lafayette is going to do what they do best and that’s run the ball, where the Bobcats are below average at stopping the run. They’re not completely inept, but Lafayette should have a few time-consuming drives in this one, which is fine, it’s just not giving up the big plays that will be key.
Think this one just stays under the number, as can’t see the Bobcats doing much offensive damage in this one and Lafayette to cruise to the win.
END OF WEEK 10 PICKS
We fell to 3-5 with the College Total Play of the Week last time, as Clemson didn’t get the offense going until the second half and the Louisville didn’t get it going all game.
For this week, we’ll do something I seldom do and that use the same game as one of the other two plays, which is the Wisconsin at Ohio State game. The total on this one opened at 51 and is now at 49 even though the betting has pretty much been split down the middle, with a few more wagers coming in on the over, at least from a percentage standpoint.
Both teams are allowing fewer than 10 points per game, which is a bit unusual at this stage of the season. The Badgers have blanked four of the seven teams they’ve played so far, while the Buckeyes have held four of seven foes to single digits and allowed 10 points in two of their other three games. The only team to score more than 10 points was Florida Atlantic in the opening week of the season, when the Owls scored 21 points, with 15 of them coming in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.
On the other side of the equation, both teams have potent offenses and the Badgers are averaging nearly 40 points a game, while the Buckeyes are a shade below 50, so Ohio State is capable of exceeding the total on their own, although it’s unlikely that’s going to happen against the best defense they’ve seen this season.
For our System Pick of the Week we looked at large favorites who were upset the previous week, but there’s actually two parts to the system and the total has actually performed better than the side, as teams who were favored by 21 or more points and lost outright are just 28-47-3 (37.3%) in total next time out and 16-29-1 (35.6%) if they were favored by 24 or more points. If they’re on the road it’s even worse, as teams are 6-16-1, so going to go ahead and follow the trend and take game to go under the total of 49.
END OF WEEK 9 PICKS
For our College Football total of the Week, where we fell to 3-4 last time out, we’ll take a look at the game between Clemson and Louisville, where the Tigers are favored by 24 and the total just climbed up to 62.
This is obviously a huge revenge game for Louisville, who were completely waxed by a 77-16 final score, as the Tigers rushed for 492 yards and added 169 through the air. Despite all of their rushing yards, Clemson held the ball less than 23 minutes. The Tigers won 47-21 in 2017, gaining over 600 yards in the process.
The Tigers come into this one off a 45-14 win over Florida State, as Clemson was able to move the ball both on the ground and through the air, picking 552 yards of total offense. The Seminoles were held to 253 total yards by Clemson’s defense, which is allowing just 12.3 points per game and allowing 255 yards.
Clemson is averaging 39.2 points per game, but have been held to 24 or less twice, once by Texas A & M and again by North Carolina in a game they may haven’t deserved to win. Clemson’s schedule will work against them and they have no room for error, so wouldn’t expect to see them looking past Louisville in this one.
Louisville can come close to matching the Tigers on offense, as they’ve averaging 37.3 points per game and have scored at least 17 points in each game, scoring 17 against Notre Dame and 24 against FSU. Louisville has scored at least 38 points in their other games.
Louisville doesn’t come close to keeping up with Clemson on the defensive side of the ball, as they allow 31.5 points per game and that number would be a bit worse if not for shutting out Eastern Kentucky. Louisville has allowed at least 35 points in each of their last three games against Florida State, Boston College and Wake Forest.
While you would expect to see a decent defensive effort out of Louisville after giving up 77 points to the Tigers last season, but history shows a slightly different story, as teams who scored at least 70 points in the previous meeting between two teams have gone 36-28 (56.2%) in overs for the rematch, so will go ahead and take a shot on the over 62 in this one.
END OF WEEK 8 PICKS
Just 3-3 for the season with our College Total of the Week, as college football hasn’t been nearly as kind to us as the NFL in the early going. For this week, we’ll take a look at the game between Air Force and Fresno State, where the total opened 51.5 and is now down to 50.5 with a little more than 60% of the wagers so far coming in on the under in this one.
It’s no secret what Air Force is going to do in this one, as long as they’re able to keep it close in the early going. The Falcons were forced to throw the ball last week and they didn’t do bad, throwing 26 times for 246 yards, but if Air Force passes for more than 200 yards in a game there’s a good chance they’re going to lose, as they’re just 8-16 when passing for 200 or more yards. If things play out the way the Falcons would like, Air Force would attempt between 5 and 8 passes per game and that’s it.
Defensively, the Falcons aren’t all that bad, even though they’ve allowed 30 or more points twice this one, once to Boise State and last week to Navy, where the Midshipmen took advantage of the Falcons trying to stop the run, as Navy completed 6 of 8 passes for 162 yards. Air Force has done a lot better when they’re expecting the opposition to throw some and don’t get burned crowding the line up front.
Fresno State likes to run the ball, but they can also pass the ball pretty well. Last week was the first time all season they didn’t throw for at least 250 yards, but there was no need to, as they were moving the ball pretty well on the ground. The Bulldogs are decent defensively and were able to shut down the Sacramento State running game, but it’s a pretty big step up to the Falcons’ rushing attack.
I usually don’t pay a whole lot of attention to individual team trends, especially in college football where the players are constantly revolving, but Fresno’s total record after back-to-back wins is definitely noteworthy, as the Bulldogs are 18-31-2 in totals, but an incredible 1-17 since the start of the 2014 season. That’s not the reason for this play, as I think the tendencies of both teams give this one a good chance to go under the number, but definitely though it was interesting to see how the team plays in that role.
But will go ahead and take the under 50.5 in this one, which has the makings of a pretty decent game.
END OF WEEK 7 PICKS
For our College Total of the Week, where we’re 2-3 for the season, we’ll take a look at the game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes. The total opened at 50 and is now 49.5 with pretty good two-way action on the total.
The Spartans are coming off one of their better offensive games, knocking off Indiana by a 40-31 final, but it was also the team’s worst defensive effort by far this season. Now, part of that can be excused by looking ahead to this game, but for a team that didn’t allow more than 17 points in any of its first four games, that 31 points to the Hoosiers stands out a little bit, especially after Ohio State held the Hoosiers to 10 points.
Offensively, the Spartans haven’t been as effective at rushing the ball as they have in the past, averaging just 4.0 yards per carry. The MSU passing offense has been a little better and the Spartans are gaining 7.6 yards per pass. The Ohio State defense isn’t going to be easy to run against, although Nebraska had a little bit of success, although the game was already out of reach and neither team really tried to change the scoreboard in the second half.
Offensively, the Buckeyes are rolling along and have scored at least 42 points in every game, not to mention the 76 points they put up on Miami, Ohio. The Buckeyes are getting the job done through the air or on the ground, averaging more than 250 yards per game in both.
It goes without saying the Spartans defense will be the toughest the Buckeyes have seen this season, but you can say the same thing for Michigan State. Ohio State’s defense is getting overshadowed by the numbers the offense is putting up, but the Buckeyes are allowing 9 points per game and are holding teams to fewer than 225 total yards.
The total seems a bit on the low side, considering the number of points the Buckeyes are scoring and the fact that both teams put up at least 40 points last game. In fact, you seldom see a total lower than 50 when both teams are coming off 40-point efforts, but when you do, those games have shown a tendency to land under the number, as they’re 20-39-2, so will hope to see that trend to continue and will take the under 49.5 in this one.
END OF WEEK 6 PICKS
We fell to 1-3 with our College Football Total Pick of the Week and now will look at the game between New Mexico and Liberty. Liberty is favored by 7, which is about right where you would expect, while the total opened 68.5 and has been bet up to 73.5, which I don’t really see. While the teams played a 52-43 game last year, that was last year and so far this season, we’re not seeing the same type of scoring we did from Liberty and that’s with their 62 points last week against Hampton.
In the Monarchs’ first three games of the season, which came against Syracuse, Lafayette and Buffalo, Liberty scored 49 points, or an average of 16.3 points. While the Lobos will never be mistaken for a defensive powerhouse, their defense is closer to Lafayette and Buffalo than it is Hampton.
People may be reading too much into New Mexico’s last game, which was a 55-52 shootout with rival New Mexico State, but the Lobos probably aren’t as good as they looked last week, as this is the same team who scored 39 points in the opener against Sam Houston State and were held to 14 points by Notre Dame, with one of their two touchdowns coming in garbage time.
New Mexico’s offensive coordinator was Liberty’s defensive coordinator last season, so he may know a little about the players, but they also know how he schemed against the Lobos, so probably not much of an advantage for either team.
The Lobos are going to run the first and they’re not afraid to pass, which is something that appeared to catch New Mexico State off-guard, as the Lobos completed just 16 passes but gained 355 yards through the air.
The under also has a few trends working in its favor, as teams who won their previous game while allowing at least 50 points have gone 26-39-3 (40%) in totals.
While totals of 70 or higher were a novelty not too long ago, things have changed it’s nothing that unusual any longer, although these games have gone just 11-16 this season, so the games expected to be shootouts don’t always play out that way.
The defenses could very well take another day off here, but think there will be enough stops to keep this one under the total.
END OF WEEK 5 PICKS
Our Total of the Week looked good until halftime and a touchdown in the final 38 seconds sent the game over the total and handed us a loss, so looking to bounce back this week and we’ll look at the game between Central Michigan and the Miami Hurricanes. The total opened at 49.5 and went up to 51.5, but has since dropped back down to 48.
The main reason the total is dropping is the weather forecast, as it’s expected to be windy and thunderstorms, so really nothing too much out of the ordinary for south Florida this time of year. But have to think people have over-reacted a bit and this one, as the Hurricanes are capable of putting up seven touchdowns themselves.
The Hurricanes rushed 37 times for 257 yards last week against Bethune-Cookman and is now going up against a Central Michigan team that allowed 61 points to Wisconsin and more than 20 points to Albany and Akron. Albany has one of the worst rushing attacks in college football and Akron isn’t much better, so even though Miami would prefer to move the ball through the air, the ‘Canes should have a fair amount of success on the ground.
But Miami isn’t going to let a little wind force them to keep the ball on the ground all the time. The Hurricanes will still throw the ball some, perhaps not quite as much as they usually do.
Central Michigan is capable of putting up some points in this one. They did score 45 against Akron and while Miami is much better than the Zips, they’re also not quite in the same ballpark as Wisconsin, so would be surprised if CMU doesn’t put up a few scores in this one.
As we’ve seen, the Hurricanes have no problem running up the score when playing an inferior team. The last two times they’ve been favored by more than four touchdowns, the Hurricanes have outscored those two opponents 49-0 in the four quarter, including the 21 points the ‘Canes put up on Bethune-Cookman in the fourth quarter last week and the last one, which came with less than three minutes to go pushed the game over the total of 56.
Central Michigan is obviously better than BCU defensively, but also better than Bethune-Cookman offensively and should hit the scoreboard a couple of times, so will go ahead and go against the gran in this one and take the over 48, as game with a total of 50 or less are 106-61-1 (63.5%) when the favored team is favored by more than 28 points.
END OF WEEK 4 PICKS
A few too many short field goals last week and we fell a few points short with our totals play, dropping us to 1-1 on the season. Nothing worse for the over than a five-minute drive that ends with a 27-yard field goal, but it’s all part of the game.
This week, we’ll take a look at another game that isn’t getting a whole lot of attention, and for good reason, as Texas State visits SMU. The Mustangs are favored by 17 and the total has shot up from 58 to 62 after more than 70% of the wagers have come in on the over.
Texas State is 0-2 on the season and lost to Texas A & M 41-7 opening week, allowing 478 yards and making four turnovers. Texas State couldn’t rush the ball at all, finishing with just 8 yards, although they were a little better last week against Wyoming, rushing for 50 yards and throwing for 394. But once again turnovers were a killer, as the Bobcats made three, one of which was a returned interception for a touchdown, and Texas State held the Cowboys to less than 300 yards of total offense in the game.
The Cowboys rushed the ball for 190 yards and only had 103 passing, while Texas A&M rushed for 246 and threw for 232, so the Bobcats aren’t really playing that bad defensively and would be doing a little better if the offense could hang on to the ball a little bit better. Texas State can’t keep leaving the defense on the field for more than 34 minutes per game, which is what happened in each of their first two games.
SMU has rolled up some points against Arkansas State and North Texas, but Texas State is a bit more experienced on defense than either of those two teams. Defensively, the Mustangs aren’t particularly strong against the run, so this may be the game Texas State is able to run the ball a little bit and take some time off the clock.
Going to go against the grain a little bit and take the under 62, as the Bobcats have been a little better on defense than their numbers may look and think they may be able to slow down the Mustangs a little bit.
END OF WEEK 3 PICKS
We managed to start off on the right foot with our College Football Total Pick of the Week and now will do what we do best, which is look at one of the uglier games on the college football schedule this week, Tulsa at San Jose State. The Hurricanes are favored by 6.5 and the total is at 52.5.
The Hurricanes are coming off a respectable showing in Lansing against Michigan State, in which they fell 28-7 as 23.5-point underdogs and now face the other Spartans, who defeated Northern Colorado by a 35-18 final in a game they led 21-6 at halftime and eased up a little bit.
Tulsa played a solid game, but were no match for the Spartans physically and could be feeling the after-effects a little bit after a physical game. The Hurricanes do have their home opener next week against in-state foe Oklahoma State, so you can’t blame Tulsa a little bit if they’re not entirely motivated for this game.
The Spartans only won a game last season, but they did play hard, which as a bettor is all you can really ask for. San Jose State was 7-4-1 against the number and gave teams like Hawaii and San Diego State a good run for the money.
Last week quarterback Josh Love was 21 for 31 for 224 and a pair of touchdowns, while the Spartans added 160 yards on the ground. Love has progressively gotten better and now as a senior has a chance to show what he can do.
Nobody will mistake the San Jose State defense for Michigan State, but the Hurricanes were held to (-73) yards rushing and gained 80 yards in the game. Tula’s leading rusher in the game had six carries for 0 yards. Everybody else was worse.
The Spartans played last Friday, so have had an extra day to get ready for this one, while the Hurricanes were on the road and are taking to the road once again, so probably not the greatest of situations for Tulsa, especially with Big Brother looming on the schedule next week.
Even though they played a respectable game, the Spartans aren’t a good defensive team by any means, while Tulsa isn’t nearly as bad as they looked against MSU, who can make anybody look bad on offense. The Hurricanes are the first Week 2 away favorite off a 7-point or less effort since 2007 and are due for some points, while I think Love and SJ State may score a bit more than people think this season, but will allow their fair share as well, so will take the over 52.5 in this one.
END OF WEEK 2 PICKS
It’s that time of the year, and we’ll kick-off our College Total of the Week with a look at the game between Middle Tennessee State and the Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines opened as 29.5-point favorites and the line has shot up to 34.5, while the total opened at 54 and has stayed there despite an extremely lopsided number of wagers on the over, although in reality, the number of people betting the total is probably pretty minimal, so not a shock to see the number hold steady.
It’s definitely a rebuilding year for Middle Tennessee State, who is here for the paycheck and little else, as it’s almost certainly a loss, but does nothing to hurt the Blue Raiders’ conference chances. But when a team offers you $1.6 million to play a football game, it’s kind of hard to turn that down, especially for a mid-conference team like MTS.
Stockstill is gone for Middle Tennessee and he leaves as the school’s all-time passing leader, so no matter how good his replacement fares, he has some big shoes to fill, and MTS is likely to play several different quarterbacks in this game, as it appears neither Asher O’Hara – last year’s backup – or Randall Johnson has set themselves apart.
The two offensive coordinators are getting some attention here, Tony Franklin for MTS and Josh Gattis for Michigan. Both like to run uptempo offenses, which should result in a few more plays than we would typically see.
The Wolverines are solid on defense and realistically, you can’t expect MTS to score much in this one, while the Blue Raiders run an attacking defense, so while they’ll make some plays, they’re also likely to give up some big plays, especially to a team as talented offensively as Michigan.
With the spread being as high as it is, the total is still relatively low and the odds suggest something in the neighborhood of a 44-10 type of game. But Week 1 games where the favored team is favored by 30 or more points with a total of 54.5 or less have gone 45-25 (64.3%) in totals over the years and 19-6 over the last five years. The favorite has scored an average of 45.8 points and 47.4 points over the past five seasons.
Will go ahead and start things off with the over 54 in this game, as I expect the Wolverines to come pretty close to that number themselves, but think MTS can probably score a time or two in this one.