After a tough week, I look to get back on track with my free college football picks. Everybody has their ups and downs, and while I’m not saying I’m the best capper in the world, I am saying that I consistently win more than I lose. That, at the very least, deserves a little credit. Hopefully I can turn it around and pull at least 7 wins this week. Here’s my set of wagers…
Clemson Tigers (+5.5) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Clemson’s offensive and defensive lines are so very much underrated. The D-line is straight up fitly, and ranked 5th in the nation last season against the run. The offensive line is also tough, probably a top 15 group in the country. They may have a freshman quarterback, but they also have a very talented run game to give him a helping hand. They are a nice dog going into Georgia Tech on Thursday. Tech can really run the ball, and Nesbitt has shown the ability to make the big play through the air, but I like Clemson keeping it close. C.J. Spiller is one of the most dynamic players in college football, and is a real true threat to score the ball every time he touches it. The underdog struggled on Thursday night last season, as home teams dominated the time slot. I think that changes in this one as Clemson gets close to pulling the upset.
Central Michigan Chippewas (+14.5) @ Michigan State Spartans: I know, I’m nuts, but I like the Chipps to get awfully close to pulling off this upset. I like a lot of what Central Michigan has. I love their QB, the kid is a winner. Central Michigan has either won, or lost by less than 14 points in 19 of their last 20 games. I know the Spartans are solid, but the only team that beat the Chipps by more than two touchdowns last season was Georgia. State isn’t that kind of good. Thunder Dan and his Chipps took a 19-6 loss on the chin against Arizona in Week 1, they’ll show up to play against their instate competition.
North Carolina (-4) @ Connecticut Huskies: UConn’s new starting QB, Zach Frazer, threw 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions against Ohio last week in UConn’s easy win. Last year he completed just over half his passes while throwing just 2 TDs and 6 interceptions in 83 attempts. That’s 8 interception in about 100 throws. Carolina’s defense is not softy, and they’ll put enough pressure on Zach to up those INT numbers into double digits. And UNC can take advantage of those picks. I know the Tar Heels are heavily favored with the public (72%) but every once in a while the public gets one right. This is one of those times.
Stanford Cardinal @ Wake Forrest Demon Deacons (-3): The Cardinal really struggled on the road last season, tallying their only road win at Washington (and the Huskies didn’t even win one single game). I think that trend continues. I also think the Deacons came out slow last week, and while a late push made that game a game, the couldn’t quite pull it out. One of the sharpest tossers in the game, Riley Skinner, threw three picks last week. He won’t throw one this Saturday, and that should be enough to get Wake Forrest in the win column.
Syracuse Orange @ Penn State Nittany Lions (-28.5): Greg Paulus was re-introduced to football last week, and he played well. But that was Minnesota, this is a whole different beast. The Nittany Lions didn’t lose at home last season. Not only did they not lose, but they absolutely throttled the competition. They have lots of talent on that team, stuff that will make Syracuse coaches cringe in the film room. Despite the poor value at 28.5, I still think this is a pretty good bet. With that extra half point, the books are really trying to get action on Syracuse – can’t trick me….
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-3) @ Michigan Wolverines: I don’t think ND is that good, I just think they are barely better than the Wolverines. I’m sure Michigan has loads of young talent on that team, they have a coach that knows how to recruit and a program that draws big names. However, they also have a group of players that don’t like how much time they are putting in, likely have 10 freshmen starting, and even more getting minutes, and all this against a pretty mature Irish squad. I think this one is close, but 7-10 points in ND’s favor.
East Carolina Pirates (+6.5) @ West Virginia Mountaineers: The public is loving the Mountaineers in this one. But I see a lot to like about ECU. Despite the big names and elite speed playing for West Virginia, they didn’t look that impressive to me last week. The Pirates barely got by sub-division opponent Appalachian State, but that is a tough team no matter what division they are in, and in reality the Pirates were up 29-7 going into the 4th quarter of that contest. West Virginia struggled against Liberty. Yep, Liberty. ECU got a lot out of their running game, and I’m willing to bet that continues. It would not surprise me if the Pirates pulled an upset here, thus I’ll be happy to take the 6.5 points.
BYU Cougars (-17.5) @ Tulane Green Wave: I don’t like that over 75% of the bets are taking BYU. I don’t like that BYU pulled a huge upset over #3 Oklahoma last weekend. I don’t like a lot of things about this. But one of the most important don’t likes just happens to be how I feel about the Tulane Green Wave football team. I’m not sure if BYU will have their stud RB Unga back, but they should find running the ball a lot easier this week. They win cover this game by 3 touchdowns or more. That’s a cover.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (-2) @ Washington State Cougars: Fade east of the mountains in Washington State. What can I say, after the passion the Huskies played with last week, I can’t say, fade Washington State teams anymore, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fade THE Washington State team. The Cougars just keep getting wore. After cutting more than a couple starters last season, because they were clowns off the field, a few new players are in trouble already. Hawaii has to come a long way, and from Paradise to Pullman has to be tough on the Rainbow Warriors, but as far as plane rides go, this one isn’t a bad one for Hawaii. They aren’t great, but better than Wazzu is all you have to be to cover here.
Oregon State Beavers (-7) @ UNLV Running Rebels: The Beavers are one of the better teams in the Pac 10. The Rodgers brothers are beasts. Jacquizz is one of the more special talents in all of college football. He runs big. He’s really fast, and he’s sneaky good at this game. He’ll cover this spread. The Rebels have talent, but I think that OSU rushing attack will be too much.
Get them winners! Good luck this weekend!