I’m 9 games over .500 on the season after tallying my third winning week in four chances. I’m staying away from the Trojans Thursday Night game against the Beavers because weird things happen in the middle of the week, but I am starting a day early with a road dog heading into Louisville. Check it out below as I’ve got 9 for Week 5…
Connecticut Huskies (+3) @ Louisville Cardinals (8:00pm EST): I know games during the week can be weird, and that’s why I like to stay away from them, but I see a lot of value in the Huskies here. Besides the fact that anything can happen in the Big East, the Cardinals just aren’t the team everyone thinks they are. They struggle against everyone and rarely does a drive look clean from start to finish. Connecticut doesn’t do things pretty either, but they are a lot tougher than Louisville, and their confidence is there. I like the Huskies to pull the minor upset, so 3 points is nice.
Pittsburgh Panthers (-16.5) @ Syracuse Orange (12:00pm EST): I don’t like to bet on the Panthers as favorites, it’s really not my style – but against a team like Syracuse, I’ll take my chances. The Orange are brutal, and I’ve said it before, there’s no easier road game than at Syracuse. Pittsburgh should be able to take their methodical attack and accidentally turn it into a yard gathering machine. I like the Panthers to win this game in the 34-10 range.
Navy Midshipmen (+16) @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3:35pm EST): This is a bit of a trap game for the Demon Deacons. They just walked into Florida State and beat the Seminoles as an underdog, and next week they are going up against a Clemson Tiger team that carried a lot of hype into the season. Navy doesn’t seem like much of a challenge, but the Midshipmen can really run the ball, and that physicality can run clock as well as even out the talent level a little bit. I like Navy as a 16 point underdog in a game that’s big for them and a little for Wake Forrest.
Northwestern Wildcats @ Iowa Hawkeyes (-8) (12:00pm EST): The Hawkeyes lost a heart breaker to the Panthers last weekend, but they are the much better team in this game. Northwestern is 4-0, but don’t buy into the record. Games against Syracuse, Duke, Southern Illinois, and Ohio are good ways to build your record to 4-0, but they are bad ways to get your team ready to play conference foes. Iowa won’t take it easy on Northwestern, and their choice to play tough non-conference games like that against Pitt will benefit them in this one.
North Carolina Tar Heels @ Miami Hurricanes (-7) (12:00pm EST): Correct me if I’m wrong, but Miami looked like they got a little of their swagger back last week and now at home against a Carolina team that could be without their leader and best offensive player, T.J. Yates, they can pressure the Heels into lots of mistakes. Even if T.J. plays, he’s not going to be 100%, and if Miami has one thing, they have defensive athletes that can make life tough on a gimpy signal caller. This could be pre-mature, but I’ll take the risk – too many question marks in Carolina’s backfield to ignore the 7 point spread here. Gotta take the Canes.
Buffalo Bulls (+6.5) @ Central Michigan (4:00pm EST): I think the Bulls are the better team, flat out. They smoked UTEP, played well against Pittsburgh, beat a solid Temple team, and played well against a great Missouri squad. I really think they have a chance to take the Mac. Central Michigan is no pushover, and they’ve played well in some games, I just think Buffalo is the better team and so I’ll take them as a near touchdown dog.
Mississippi State Bulldogs @ LSU Tigers (-24.5) (7:30pm EST): I know I’m not usually a numbers guy, and these numbers aren’t the lone reason I’m taking the Tigers here but I figure I might as well share them with you. Mississippi State is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 road games. Mississippi State is 1-5 SU in their last 6 road games. Mississippi State is 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games when playing LSU. Here are the scores from this match-up lately, LSU first: 45-0, 48-17, 37-7, 51-0, 41-6, 31-13, 42-0. Hmm…. I know LSU’s offense isn’t a dynamic scoring machine, but I think they found a thrower in the young kid that finished the Auburn game last week. I also think they seemingly know how to up their game against the Bulldogs. I’ll take em.
Purdue Boilermakers (+2) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish: I really can’t believe this. This is a “free money” pick for me. It’s so “free money” that I’m considering not risking a ton on it because it just seems way too good to be true. That Irish team that couldn’t do anything until late when the game was over last week – that’s the real Irish team. Notre Dame didn’t beat Michigan, I’m telling you, they took the win that Michigan gave them. Purdue should handle the Irish even in Indiana.
Virginia Tech Hokies (+6.5) @ Nebraska Corhuskers: Hmmm… I might not be the brightest brick in the pool, but I certainly can see some dog value when it eats the food I buy it and craps in my yard. The Cornhuskers really challenged themselves to start the season 3-0. First it was Western Michigan, and then San Jose State, and then New Mexico State. Yikes. The Hokies are getting better every week. They lost to a very tough East Carolina team, then ground out a late win against a tough G-Tech team, and a good Tar Heel team as well. They are ready to dominate the Cornhuskers – you can bet on that. The 6.5 points are just icing on the cake in this one.