A tough 2-3 finish last weekend has dropped us down to 17-13 ATS for the year, but our best bet was an easy cash as Barry Odom’s Arkansas defense smothered the high-flying Ole Miss offense in Fayetteville. We’ve had a light board all season, but now depth has been built.
The Big Ten and Mountain West are joining the party this weekend and that means a lot of options to play parlays or chase late night after a slow start. With all of the tasty options, it’s time to spray the board for multiple winners. We’re looking to visit cover town often tomorrow and we will be taking a lot of swings.
It’s setting up to be a very fun college football Saturday the week before Halloween and it’s time to get locked in. Here are the best plays on the card.
NC State @ North Carolina (-15)
North Carolina climbed into the top-five of the AP poll last week, but it all came crashing down in Tallahassee. Florida State was able to pull the upset thanks to a ton of Carolina blunders. Mack Brown remains winless against Bobby Bowden’s program and now they’ll head home for a rivalry matchup.
This was a very big season for Dave Doeren at NC State and so far the Wolfpack have delivered. State is off to a very nice 4-1 start in the ACC with upset road wins against both Pittsburgh and Virginia. However, quarterback Devin Leary has been lost for the season with a broken leg and that is a killer for this offense.
This is a matchup of two top 25 teams, but don’t let that double-digit spread deceive you. This is a bounce back spot for North Carolina and State is way overvalued. Add that in with the rivalry aspect with recruiting implications and North Carolina should be ready to pounce. Lay the big number as UNC houses its in-state rival.
Florida State @ Louisville Over 61
Louisville is off to a very bad 0-4 start in ACC play, but the Cardinals showed some signs of life on defense in a close road loss to Notre Dame. The faithful in the Derby City appears to be a little irritated by Scott Satterfield’s play-calling and they are entering a stretch where they desperately need a victory.
After showing signs of life against Notre Dame with Louisville transfer Jordan Travis behind center, FSU picked up the biggest win of the Mike Norvell era by knocking off North Carolina with some huge situational plays.
Florida State just took a 24-0 lead against No. 5 North Carolina ? pic.twitter.com/hhYgrO23nB
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 18, 2020
The Seminoles rank dead last in the ACC in yards per play allowed while Louisville is just slightly ahead at 11th. You add this in with two offensive head coaches that want to score points and you have to like what you’re getting. Both offenses look good and I feel like each can reach the 30-point threshold and that gets us to the over.
Temple @ Memphis Under 69.5
Memphis is fresh off a very huge home win last week over UCF to keep them in the AAC conference title hunt. Both offenses rolled up over 700 yards, snapped the ball over 90 times on each side with Memphis pulling in out being the first team to reach 50. Brady White ranks in the top-five nationally in passing yards per game as the Tigers can still get up and run in a track meet.
This is absurd. pic.twitter.com/k2QrBLtQMy
— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) October 20, 2020
Temple has played just two games and both have been squeakers with a close loss to Navy and a close win over a bad USF team. The identity has remained the same for the Owls over the years whether it be with Matt Rhule, Geoff Collins or now second-year coach Rod Carey and that is the defense. The Owls rank second in the league in yards per play allowed and they will want to slow this game down.
Multiple factors get us to our play in this one. Temple will not make this a track meet and will lean on their defense. Meanwhile, Memphis is due for a comeback to earth performance on top of the Temple offense not being great this season. As long as the Tigers are held under 40 this is an under that feels safe and that is the play we’re rolling with.
Penn State (-6) at Indiana
James Franklin has been on a hell of a run at Penn State and they enter 2020 as the best team not named Ohio State in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions lost the best defensive player in college football to an opt-out and their star running back was ruled out for the season this week, but there is still plenty to like.
Tom Allen returns must of the starters from last year’s Indiana team that finished the regular season at 8-4 and was a fourth quarter comeback by Tennessee in the Gator Bowl away from finishing in the top 25. Michael Penix Jr. is one of the best young quarterbacks in the country and the Hoosiers have some solid skill talent to go along with experience in the trenches.
The Hoosiers are the flavor of the month, but they are breaking in a brand new offensive coordinator calling plays in his first ever game on Saturday. Meanwhile, Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry is one of the best in the business and I feel like this gives the Nittany Lions the advantage. Penn State makes just enough plays on offense and wins this one by more than a touchdown.
Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh Over 43
The Fighting Irish are 3-0 in ACC play and have had a major talent advantage in every game. The Irish have one of the best offensive lines in college football to go along with two very good freshmen backs. The defense is really good leading the ACC in scoring defense. However, creating explosive plays has been an issue for senior quarterback Ian Book throwing to some new wideouts.
This felt like a season where Pitt could make a big splash with a very good defense teaming up with an offense that has a good senior quarterback. However, two one-point losses has taken the wind of the sails and now they’re 3-3 with a banged up quarterback.
This is a monster game for Pat Narduzzi and a win could just get the Panthers back on track. Kenny Pickett is expected to be back behind center and a spirited effort from the home underdog should follow along. Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s offense is due for a bounce back after a ton of red zone blunders against Louisville. The total is way too small and if both teams get in the 20s this is an over. In a big spot for Pitt and bounce back for Notre Dame this total clears 43 points.
Virginia Tech @ Wake Forest (+9.5)
Virginia Tech has the best rushing offense in college football as they are putting up 6.93 yards per carry and averaging over 300 yards per game. This is a group that is putting up 42 points per outing, ranks seventh nationally in yards per play and Kansas transfer Khalil Herbert may be a Heisman candidate at tailback (592 yards, 9.7 yards per carry, 5 touchdowns). They are picking up the slack for a bad defense.
This @HokiesFB offense needs some more buzz!
LT Christian Darrisaw #77
LG Lecitus Smith #54
RB Khalil Herbert #21
These 3 have been on a tear in 2020! Herbert leads CFB in 10+yd runs. Love seeing Darrisaw block the same player in space 3 times on the screen TD last week… pic.twitter.com/aL7UCOEENC
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 21, 2020
Dave Clawson always seems to find a way at Wake Forest and the Deacs are fresh off a big home win against Virginia. Sam Hartman is putting up some numbers at quarterback while Kenneth Walker III has been a workhorse at running back (67 carries, 7 touchdowns). The defense is very blah.
We’re set to see a shootout in Winston-Salem and this one should feature plenty of touchdowns. Virginia Tech has more big play pop, but Wake Forest has the superior passing game. Under Clawson, the Deacs 11-4 ATS as a home dog and we’re riding this trend getting nearly two scores.
Georgia Tech @ Boston College (-3.5)
Boston College is becoming a regular staple here under new coach Jeff Hafley and they are fresh off a tough road loss to Virginia Tech. The Eagles cannot run the football, but Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec has been good behind center and the defense does enough to keep them in games.
It feels like Georgia Tech is ahead of schedule in year two under Geoff Collins, but there have definitely been some weird moments. Georgia Tech upsets Florida State and then gets blasted by UCF. Georgia Tech upsets Louisville and then gets trounced by Clemson. Then you add in a road loss by double-digits to a bad Syracuse squad and it has just been weird for the Yellow Jackets.
Fresh off allowing over 70 points to Clemson, the Yellow Jackets are just a small road dog against a team that has played competent football all season. This line stinks and is begging you to take the road team, but we’re sticking with Boston College and the crazy ACC trend. The Eagles are 21-6-4 ATS in their last 31 conference games and it’s a good bounce back spot this week.
Best Bet: Georgia Southern (+6) at Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina has gotten a ton of public attention this season as the Chants are off to 4-0 start and are firmly in the Sun Belt title chase after last week’s upset road win over Louisiana. They have a really fun offense and have become a media darling. ESPNU will be in town at Myrtle Beach for a very big game for a team that is ranked for the first time in program history.
— Coastal Football (@CoastalFootball) October 18, 2020
Georgia Southern is off to a very strong start and Louisiana needed a last second field to beat the Eagles in Lafayette. Their triple option offense can be tough to prepare for and they’ve been a live dog in recent appearances in this same spot.
Only one team in the Sun Belt stops the run less effectively than Coastal Carolina while running the football is all Georgia Southern does. It’s an obvious letdown spot for Coastal and Georgia Southern enters with some excellent value. Take the live road dog.