We’re back at it again! 3/4 of the way through the college football season, and I’m very happy with my system’s success so far.
To reiterate, only because I am very proud of it: I was 4-1 again last week, and 28-10 since week two. I’ll put that in perspective like I did a few weeks ago. If you had bet $100 on each of my picks at -110 each, you’d be up $1546. I’d say that’s pretty good.
On to the picks!
Iowa State -3.5 (vs. Texas Tech)
Iowa State is HOT coming off of two huge wins over Oklahoma State and West Virginia. They only lost to TCU by a field goal, and only lost to Oklahoma by ten. Texas Tech is not even playing the same sport, physically, as some of those teams, so Iowa State can easily handle them. Head coach Matt Campbell is likely next in line for the next big head coaching opening, partially because he knows how to get his guys amped up and ready for games exactly like this one.
Iowa State has a surprisingly good pass defense, and defense overall, only giving up 206 yards per game through the air. That’s how you shut down Texas Tech, even if they’ve committed to running the ball more this season.
ESPN FPI gives Iowa State a 51% chance of winning, so they get the obligatory home team three point spread, but we need to consider the spot here. It’s an early game, 11am CT where Texas Tech plays. Iowa State is hot, and Texas Tech is just sort of coasting through the season. Iowa State is always one of the hardest places to come in and get a win. It doesn’t look great for a Texas Tech team who hasn’t been that impressive outside of their Oklahoma State win.
Last, Iowa State QB Brock Purdy has given them a huge spark, as seen by his last two games. He does it all.
Colorado -24 (vs. Oregon State)
I have to do it again. It seems like Vegas is overestimating Oregon State. I love my Beavs more than anything, but this just isn’t our season. Beavs lost last week at home to Cal 49-7, and the spread was -6.5 Cal. This week, they have to enter enemy territory, and they have not played well in Colorado in the past.
Colorado is looking to get back in the win column and back in first place in the Pac-12 South. This is exactly the game they need, and I think they’ll put it on the Beavs. Something like 49-17, Colorado.
I’m not even going to give stats to back this up. Just trust me. I’ve been watching this Beavs team. Beavs are 2-5 against the spread, and they haven’t covered in their last four games.
Florida @ Georgia UNDER 52 (Neutral site in Jacksonville)
I had a few initial thoughts on this game. This is a classic SEC matchup, and 52 is a ton of points. Second, Georgia’s offensive line has not been very good, and it showed when they got manhandled by LSU. Florida has a comparable defense to LSU, and their front seven will give Georgia some serious issues.
If Florida can hold down Georgia’s offense like I think they can, this game will be under 52 because Florida’s offense is obviously nothing special either. Both teams NEED to run the ball to win, and assuming there aren’t multiple 50+ yard TD runs, that means the clock keeps moving and that’s what you want when you bet an under.
After looking at the numbers, I was reassured. Both teams are only giving up 16 points per game. Granted, this is the best offense Florida will have faced, but Florida is certainly not the best offense that Georgia has faced this season. Georgia is coming off of a bye week, so there’s a chance that the offense starts a little slow while they get back into the habit of hitting.
I think Florida could win this game outright if they take an early lead, but there is a real chance that Georgia wins easily. Something like 28-7 (WAY under 52). Florida’s offense isn’t hard to stop when Feleipe Franks isn’t playing up to his potential.
Washington State +3 (@Stanford)
Since Bryce Love is still banged up, Washington State is just flat out the better team. The only thing I’m worried about is a let down after the madness that was last week with GameDay in Pullman. I think the motivation of getting this win and playing an Apple Cup for a shot at the conference championship game and the outside chance of a College Football Playoff birth will motivate them just fine.
If it weren’t for USC’s best performance of the season down in LA against Wazzu, they would be undefeated and ranked in the top seven or so. They are the real deal. QB Gardner Minshew is one of the best stories in college football this season, and he is a baller. His pinpoint accuracy is perfect for Mike Leach’s offense. On top of him, Wazzu has a real defense. They do give up some points at times, but overall they’re solid. Giving up 23 points per game is fine when they can score like they have shown they can.
I’m not sure Stanford deserves to be ranked #24 right now. They are coming off of a fluke win that Oregon handed to them on a silver platter, two blowout losses to Notre Dame and Utah, and a tight seven point win against Arizona State. Wazzu is much better than Arizona State, and Stanford has no home field advantage as we see every year.
Stanford is only scoring 24 points per game, and Wazzu is on the better end of the defensive spectrum that they have faced.
ESPN FPI suggests that Wazzu +3 is not the right pick, giving Stanford a 64% chance of winning. That usually equates to a 6 or 7 point spread, so this is a little fishy. I’m just using common sense and the eye test here.
Always beware though, common sense does not apply in the Pac-12. They love to screw each other over.
Washington @ Cal OVER 45
According to two different programs that I checked, the total for this game is projected at 50 and 51 points. 45 instantly seemed low, even with a good Washington defense.
Washington games have only been under 42 points twice this season. Cal’s defense has not looked elite like it did in the first two weeks of the season, so Washington will score. They have to score like 35, right? UCLA scored 37, Arizona scored 24, Oregon scored 42, and Idaho State scored 23 on them.
This is another pick that I’m just picking by feel, but the numbers back me up. Washington is -12 and the total is 45, so Vegas is predicting a 28-17 type game. I think Cal can easily sneak out 17 or more points, and common sense says that Washington will score more than 28 and win easily. Cal is giving up 24 points per game, and Washington is better than anyone else they’ve played. Washington has given up 20 or more to below average teams a few times this season, too.
Edited at end of week: I finished 2-3 this week. I am now 30-13 on the season.