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A ho hum 3-3 week last Saturday brings our season ATS record to 29-21 and we’re ready to get back to the winning side this weekend. It will be moving day at Augusta National with the College GameDay folks live just outside of Butler Cabin, but this is still a college football Saturday. COVID-19 has made its presence felt this week with multiple cancellations, but there are still plenty of options.
Saturday | 9a ET | ESPN, ESPN App pic.twitter.com/O4h3g0XRgm
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) November 13, 2020
After crunching the numbers and taking a deep dive look at many of the matchups, we have found some more plays we feel very comfortable with. Those of you loyal degenerate followers on Twitter saw us cash in with a 3-1 mark in MACtion this week thanks to that beautiful fake spike and Justin Thomas is very much in the running to claim his first green jacket at 11/1 odds. It’s a jam-packed weekend for gambling action and now it’s time to get to the college football board.
Here are the best plays on the card.
Indiana @ Michigan State (+7.5)
After just three games, it certainly does seem like the Hoosiers are a team of destiny. IU is off to a 3-0 start with home victories over Penn State and Michigan as Tom Allen is making a big push for the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year award. Michael Penix Jr. is one of the best quarterbacks in all of college football and Indiana has recruited the the wide receiver position very well in Florida and the Deep South. Add that in with a defense playing above their talent level and this is officially Ohio State’s biggest competition in the Big Ten East.
It has been a strange year one for Mel Tucker in East Lansing. Quickly after he was hired, the program was shutdown due to COVID-19 and then the Spartans dropped an egg against Rutgers. They followed it up with the stunning road win against Michigan only to be followed by another offensive disaster against Iowa on the road. The Spartans are not good, but they are weird.
IU has already played two of their biggest games of the season and awaiting them next week is Ohio State in a Big Noon kick on FOX at Ohio Stadium. It’s the ultimate sandwich spot and they are going on the road to sleepy East Lansing facing a team due for a bounce back. Therefore we are taking the points with a Michigan State defense that is allowing less than five yards per play and should be a tough test for this Indiana offense. The home team finds enough offense to hang around as the home dog howls at Spartan Stadium.
TCU @ West Virginia (-3)
Neal Brown has things moving in the right direction in year two at West Virginia with the Mountaineers sitting at 4-3 riding a defense than ranks sixth nationally in yards per play allowed. They are getting just enough done on offense to collect some wins and they nearly pulled off the upset over Texas in Austin last week. Leddie Brown paces the attack with 741 rushing yards and nine touchdowns while Bowling Green transfer Jarret Doege is taking care of the football at quarterback.
Gary Patterson has long been one of my favorites coaches in college football, but it is clear that things are trending the wrong direction in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs are just 15-16 since the top-10 finish in 2017 and this year’s team has not looked great even with a road win over Texas. TCU enters this game off back-to-back wins over Baylor and Texas Tech, but they rank towards the bottom of the league in both yards per play offense and defense.
It’s very clear that the best unit in this game is WVU’s defense and they should be in control throughout. Leddie Brown will get the ground game rolling for the Mountaineers and that should be enough. We’re doubling down on Neal Brown’s rise and Patterson’s decline as WVU picks up another solid win. Lay the points with the small home favorite.
Fresno State @ Utah State (+10)
Indiana offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer has taken over the Fresno State program and they are off to a 2-1 start with consecutive wins over Colorado State and UNLV where the offense has really come alive. Washington transfer Jake Haener is putting up some good numbers at quarterback while Ronnie Rivers might be the best tailback in the Mountain West. The defense has been middle of the pack in the league, but it’s clear that this is going to be an offensive program under DeBoer.
Meanwhile, things are not good in Logan. Gary Andersen is now officially gone after just 16 games as the Aggies are off to an embarrassing 0-3 start while they are trying to replace Green Bay Packer Jordan Love at quarterback. Utah State has gotten smoked in each outing and hasn’t scored more than 13 points in a game this season. Frank Maile steps in as the interim head coach and things can’t get much worse.
Gary Andersen since 2014:
— Strangely left Wisconsin after two seasons for Oregon State.
— Left Oregon State halfway through his third season, sacrificing $12.6 million, and rips his staff on the way out.
— Rehired by Utah State, then fired 3 games into his second season.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 7, 2020
This is a total contrarian play, but things literally can’t get any worse for Utah State and this is the ultimate circle the wagons moment. I’m calling for the Aggies to give their best effort of the season and they hang with an okay Fresno State squad at home. Play the home dog.
Notre Dame @ Boston College (+13.5)
Notre Dame is now 40-5 since 2016 and are fresh off the program’s biggest win in two-plus decades. The Irish knocked off Clemson in the game of the year last week as they got contributions from all three phases and just straight up beat Dabo Swinney’s squad with no smoke and mirrors. Notre Dame has a very strong ground game with Ian Book providing just enough plays at quarterback while the defense absolutely smothers the run and has two of the most athletic defenders in college football with linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and safety Kyle Hamilton.
Brian Kelly is the frontrunner for ACC coach of the year honors which is funny in more ways than one, but Jeff Hafley is his biggest competition. Boston College is 5-3 in his first season and their only losses have occurred to ranked teams. The Eagles had Clemson on the ropes in Death Valley while Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec has become a playmaker while Zay Flowers is one of the best chunk play receivers in college football.
Most 15+ yard catches vs single coverage
1. DeVonta Smith, Alabama – 13
2. Zay Flowers, Boston College – 10
2. Dyami Brown, UNC – 10
4. Kyle Pitts, Florida – 9 pic.twitter.com/hoRGEUR9q1
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 5, 2020
It’s just hard to look at this matchup and not see the warning signs for Notre Dame. The Irish were all in on the Clemson game and they left it all on the field. Now they have to hit the road to play a competent opponent and this one screams hangover. Boston College will be all in on this one as it’s their ‘Red Bandana Game’ and Hafley has been really good against the number posting a 5-2 ATS mark in ACC games while going 4-1 as a dog. We are playing BC once again and they have treated us well this season.
Baylor @ Texas Tech Under 57.5
Former Wisconsin and LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is off to a rough 1-4 start in his first season in Waco as the Bears rank just ahead of Kansas in yards per play offense. That is disappointing when you consider Larry Fedora is calling plays and senior Charlie Brewer returned at quarterback. Meanwhile, the defense has taken a minor step back after Matt Rhule’s departure to the NFL and the squad has dropped two one-possession road games.
Matt Wells is just 6-13 through his first 19 games at Texas Tech and the Red Raiders have the worst defense in the conference not named Kansas while the offense is in the middle of the pack as this coaching staff keeps rotating quarterbacks. This tenure has not looked good and this program just can’t get out of the average rut they’ve been stuck in since Mike Leach was fired
Can’t go a week without playing an under and this is a total mother nature play. We will have 20-plus mph winds at Jones AT&T Stadium and that means not many points for a couple of pass-first offenses. The under hits easily as weather plays a major role.
Oregon State @ Washington (-13.5)
Washington unfortunately got their season opener with California canceled so this will be our first time seeing the Huskies this season. Defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake steps into the head coach’s chair while Washington will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator and starting quarterback. However, this program has recruited well and they should again have a stingy defense.
The Beavers did not look good in the start of year three under Jonathan Smith as Nebraska transfer Tristan Gebbia really struggled at quarterback and the defense could not stop the run going against Washington State. Talent is always an issue for the Oregon State program and they look like they are resetting at a lot of levels after surprising many with a 5-7 squad in 2019 that had some NFL talent that is no longer on campus.
This will be the first Pac-12 North battle between two former Chris Petersen assistants as both Lake and Smith worked with each other in Seattle. We’re banking on Washington’s talent advantage in this one and fading Oregon State after they were blitzed at home by Wazzu. We’ve got to have some action going in the #Pac12AfterDark window and we’re laying the near two touchdowns with the home favorite.
Best Bet: Oregon (-10) @ Washington State
Oregon feels like the favorite in the Pac-12 and they looked the part in a workman-like win over Stanford in their season opener. In first game under new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, the Ducks rolled up 269 rushing yards while the defense looked like one of the best in college football. The big time recruiting by Mario Cristobal is starting to pay off and this team certainly passes the eye test.
One of the more pleasant surprises in the Pac-12 opening was just how good Wazzu looked under new head coach Nick Rolovich. The Cougars handled Oregon State easily in Corvalis as true freshman quarterback Jayde de Laura looked like a potential star in this wide open Run-and-Shoot offense. This program will remain a fun team to follow in #Pac12AfterDark scenarios, but there is still a talent deficit in Pullman.
The Ducks made things look easy in the second half against Stanford while Washington State rode a strong ground game to a road win. That won’t happen against an Oregon defense loaded with blue-chippers and the Ducks should have their way in game two. The Cougars are overvalued after the first game and Oregon rolls over them in their first road trip. Lay the double-digits.