It’s a new week, and I LOVE the games this weekend. I went 2-3 last week because I went away from my formula with the LSU/Bama pick. I was a guest on The Sports Antidote podcast, and I wanted to pander to their LSU fandom. No pandering this week! Only winners!
Update: I am now 32-15 since week two, so a losing week didn’t hurt my overall record too bad. Let’s come back strong this week!
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Ohio State -3.5 (@ Michigan State)
The ESPN FPI and my projected spread have this number right on, but there is an obvious talent difference between the two teams. Ohio State has what it takes to win the conference, and Michigan State isn’t even close.
One of these weeks Ohio State is going to put their cold streak behind them, forget about Urban Meyer’s issues, and put together a classic “Oh shit they’re good” game. I think that will be this week.
Michigan State has played good defense, but now we’ve seen Ohio State win games behind the arm of QB Dwayne Haskins, and with their good running game. Ohio State can score in a bunch of different ways. Michigan State may only be giving up 19 points per game, but they’re only scoring 23 points per game. Ohio State will surely score more than 19, they should score more than 30 and easily cover since we know Michigan State isn’t scoring like crazy.
Texas A&M -11.5 (vs. Ole Miss)
I got this line and bet it on Wednesday, and it has moved to 13. I still like A&M -13 if you can find that number.
A&M has been playing a ton of close, hard-fought games this season against good opponents. They have played three straight road games, and should have beaten Auburn last week. There is an alternate universe where A&M is 7-2 and very highly ranked, since they should have beaten Clemson and Auburn. They are a really good team, and last week’s collapse means they’ll be underrated in Vegas. Naturally, there is value in this line, which is why I still like A&M -13 if that’s what you find.
A&M is going to be so happy to be home in a winnable game against a TERRIBLE defense, especially against the run. This game will make them bowl-eligible, and they need to let off some steam against these guys. Trayveon Williams is going to gash that defense. He may run for 200+ yards.
A&M by three scores.
Baylor @ Iowa State OVER 51
This point total instantly felt low for a Big-12 game with two competent offenses, and one good one in Iowa State. My projection has the total a little over 54, and I’d even bet that over.
Brock Purdy has continued to be a spark for Iowa State. They are a different team with him at the helm.
Baylor is giving up 34 points per game, and they’re playing on the road. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that Iowa State scores 40.
That’s about all I’ve got here, it just felt way too low.
Cincinnati -14 (vs. USF)
ESPN FPI says that Cinci has an 84% chance of winning, suggesting maybe this spread should be more than two scores. Maybe -19 is a better number.
USF’s season has been spiraling out of control, and they have nothing to play for anymore. They’re traveling north to Ohio where it will be cold as hell. Much different than their usual Florida weather.
Cinci is only giving up 14 points per game, and they have passed the eye test doing it. They look really strong on that side of the ball. USF has been demolished three of their last five games, and on top of that they lost to a miserable UConn team. USF stinks. Cinci only has to play a decent game to cover this spread and win by three scores.
Boston College +21 (vs. Clemson)
Despite the fact that 21 points is a lot to be giving a good team at home, this bet has some historical significance. Clemson loses a big one every year. Every year the spread is 20 or 21. The Pitt game, the Syracuse game, and so on. Clemson is due for an upset, especially after the ridiculous last four weeks of theirs.
BC only has to keep it close, which I think they will.
This didn’t necessarily factor in to my pick here, but just to back it up, my projected spread is only 15, not 20 or 21. Clemson has a similar FPI chance to win that Cinci does over USF, but the spread is a whole TD larger. I’ll take BC here.
Updated at end of week: I went 3-2 this week, improving my season record to 35-17.