The college football bets you need to make in Week 6

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Another college football Saturday is here and conference play is in full swing! And we’ve spent all week looking up and down the Week 5 college football betting odds, compiling the best picks and predictions on spreads, totals, props and everything in between.

RED ZONE RIDICULOUSNESS

Transitioning into a new offense takes time and patience – but Georgia Tech fans and bettors are running out of both as the Yellow Jackets prepare to host North Carolina. While Georgia Tech still relies heavily on the run, it has incorporated more of a passing approach in 2019 – with dreadful results. Not only are the Yellow Jackets completing fewer than half their pass attempts with just two TD passes and four interceptions, they also rank dead last in the FBS in red-zone success rate, having scored on just five of their nine trips inside their opponents’ 20-yard line (four touchdowns, one field goal).

The Yellow Jackets have failed to cover in seven consecutive games – and with offensive execution this poor, it’s no wonder. We lean toward a visiting North Carolina team that very nearly upset the defending-champion Clemson Tigers last week.

CAN’T KEEP ANYONE UPRIGHT

No team has done a poorer job of protecting its quarterback than the South Florida Bulls, who go into Saturday’s matchup with the Connecticut Huskies as a double-digit road favorite. The Bulls are allowing an average of five sacks per game for the season, the most of any FBS team – and that’s not the only strike against the USF offensive line. The rush attack is averaging a meager 3.1 yards per carry through the first four games, with not a single Bulls rusher having recorded more than 82 yards on the ground. UConn ranks in the middle of the pack in sacks per game (2.50).

We’re not sure how a 1-3 team with such a poor offensive line is favored by double digits on the road against another FBS team, but such is the case. We like UConn ATS after the Huskies fought Illinois hard in their only previous home game of 2019.

TAYLOR MADE FOR DOMINANCE

What happens when the No. 1 running back in the nation takes on the worst run defense in the country? We’re about to find out as Jonathan Taylor and the Wisconsin Badgers tangle with the visiting Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday. Taylor has menaced opposing defenses through his first four games this season, racking up 559 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground – and he should feast against a Kent State defense that is surrendering an NCAA-high 261 yards per game on the ground. Look for backup running back Nakia Watson to see plenty of action in this one, with Wisconsin favored by five touchdowns.

Taylor and the rest of the Wisconsin offense should have little trouble handling Kent State – and with the Badgers eyeing an even higher position in the NCAA rankings, don’t expect any mercy. We favor the host Badgers to cover.

DON’T PLAY THIS FAVORITE

The San Diego State Aztecs have been a fairly predictable team of late: bet against them when they’re favored, and you’re going to make out well. The Aztecs are one-touchdown road favorites Saturday night at Colorado State, and will look to cover as a fave for the second consecutive game. But bettors beware: San Diego State had gone 0-10 ATS in its previous 10 games as a favorite – and needed a touchdown with 3:49 remaining against New Mexico State to end that lengthy skid on Sept. 14. Colorado State has covered in back-to-back games, including a 10-point loss to Utah State as a 24-point ‘dog last time out.

With the Aztecs ranking outside the top 100 in passing offense and Colorado State coming in 15th (with the 39th-ranked pass defense), the Rams are not only an intriguing cover option, but are worth a look to win outright.

PURDUE’S STAR RECEIVER SIDELINED

It’s bad news for the Purdue Boilermakers, who will be without star receiver Rondale Moore indefinitely. Moore let last week’s 38-31 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on a cart after sustaining a leg injury. He’ll miss this week’s encounter with the Penn State Nittany Lions, but head coach Jeff Brohm isn’t ready to declare Moore out for the season. Moore was one of the top wide receivers in the nation prior to the injury, catching 29 passes for 387 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He joins quarterback Elijah Sindelar (broken collarbone, out indefinitely) on the sidelines.

This has moved by as many as five points in some places – and Penn State still looks like the superior cover option with Purdue down its top two offensive players in hostile territory this weekend.

OREGON GAINS A WEAPON

The Oregon Ducks will likely have one more difference-maker in the lineup for Saturday’s game against the rival Cal Golden Bears. Four-star wide receiver Mycah Pittman has been cleared to return to action for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in preseason camp. Considered one of the top wide receiver prospects in the Pac-12, Pittman joins a Ducks receiving corps that is led by the talented trio of Jacob Breeland (18 receptions, 265 yards, 5 TDs), Johnny Johnson III (22 receptions, 264 yards, 2 TDs) and Jaylon Redd (17 receptions, 149 yards, 3 TDs).

With the Ducks (and quarterback Justin Herbert in particular) officially loaded in the passing game and the Golden Bears starting a backup quarterback this weekend, Oregon looks like a good bet to surpass its team point total despite the tough matchup.

DTR WITH THE DNP

The UCLA Bruins could be down their starting quarterback for this weekend’s game against Oregon State. Dorian Thompson-Robinson missed practice Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. He was seen on the sidelines stretching but did not take the field.

Thompson-Robinson was knocked out of last week’s loss to Arizona with a suspected leg injury and his status for this weekend is unclear. Austin Burton will get the start if Thompson-Robinson can’t play. DTR has thrown for 1,243 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions for the Bruins so far this season.

This is certainly an injury to monitor, with the struggling Bruins favored by six points against the visiting Beavers. A potential downgrade at QB for UCLA limits the Bruins’ scoring potential, which brings the Under in play (especially with this game carrying a total in the mid-60s).

PASS TO PLAY?

Jawon Pass is hoping to return to the Louisville Cardinals’ lineup for this weekend’s home encounter with Boston College.

The junior quarterback suffered a foot injury that has kept him out the Cardinals’ previous two games but with Louisville coming off a bye, Pass has had time to recover and was able to practice over the weekend.

That said, he’s still considered a game-time decision against the Eagles, with Malik Cunningham set to start if Pass is unable to go. Pass threw four touchdown passes in his previous outing, a 42-0 victory over Eastern Kentucky back on September 7.

If Pass is healthy enough to go, he’ll find himself in a favorable matchup against a Boston College pass defense that ranks just inside the Top 100 nationally in yards allowed per game (255.6), making the home team cover a more viable option.

A NEW AFFLICTION

A new injury could keep Stanford Cardinal quarterback K.J. Costello off the field for Saturday’s game against the Washington Huskies. Costello is dealing with a hand injury that kept him out of last Saturday’s game against Oregon State, after he had previously missed time while recovering from a concussion.

Costello has been labeled between questionable and doubtful by Stanford head coach David Shaw, making it likely that Davis Mills will get the start in Costello’s place. Mills has completed 62.5 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and one interception so far this season.

The downgrade in quarterback could make a difficult task even tougher for a Cardinal team giving away more than two TDs to the visiting Huskies. Stanford is averaging just 11.5 points in two home games, so we like the Under 17.5 on the team point total.

FROM HERO TO HURT

The hero of Pitt’s shocking win over Central Florida might be on the shelf for yet another week. Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett is still recovering from an undisclosed injury that held him out of last week’s victory over Delaware, and head coach Pat Narduzzi could only say “I don’t know” when asked earlier this week if Pickett would return.

Pickett, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass for Pitt in a 37-34 triumph over ranked UCF, has thrown for 1,102 yards on the season with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Nick Patti will get the start if Pickett can’t go.

Duke comes into this one as a 4-point favorite and while Patti fared well in Pickett’s absence, the Blue Devils’ 38th-ranked pass defense should make his day difficult. And with Pitt struggling to run the ball, we favor the hosts to cover.

JEFFERSON JIVING

LSU receiver Justin Jefferson might be back on the field against visiting Utah State this weekend. Jefferson left the Tigers’ Septemer 21 triumph over Vanderbilt with an ankle injury, but with LSU enjoying a week off following the victory, the junior wide receiver had plenty of time to rest and heal.

He returned to the team’s unpadded practice to start the week and is trending toward returning against the Aggies. Jefferson is having a solid season for the Tigers so far, having hauled in 21 passes for 392 yards and five touchdowns to help lead LSU to a perfect 4-0 start.

With LSU getting another weapon back and enjoying home-field advantage against a USU team that ranks outside the Top 100 in passing yards allowed, the Tigers are a great bet to finish above their team total, which sits at around 50 points.

MOD’S SQUAD

Devon Modster has taken over the reins as starting quarterback for the California Golden Bears. Modster will get the start this weekend against the Oregon Ducks in place of Chase Garbers, who suffered an upper-body injury and is reportedly out for the “long term”.

While Garbers was having an up-and-down season – throwing for eight touchdowns against just two interceptions but completing only 59.1 percent of his attempts – Modster was decidedly less stellar in relief, going 6-of-15 for a paltry 39 yards with an interception and a sack in the loss to Arizona State.

Oregon is one of the most dangerous first-half teams in the league (especially at home, where the Ducks average 24.7 first-half points per game) and Cal will struggle to keep up in hostile territory. We favor Oregon -10 on the first-half spread.

Running up the points with Rockets, and the college football bets you need to make in Week 12

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Are you ready for some more MAC-tion? Because there are two more games on the schedule Wednesday night. We break down the best bets for these games and take a look at the weekend ahead in college football – from sides and totals to props and everything in between.

ROOM TO ROAM

The Toledo Rockets might be only slight favorites for Wednesday night’s MAC tilt with visiting Northern Illinois, but they have a significant advantage in at least one area – and it could turn this one into a bit of a laugher. The Rockets come into the game with the nation’s No. 12 rushing offense, averaging nearly 251 yards per game on the ground – and they’ve been especially dominant over their previous two games, racking up a combined 664 rushing yards in narrow victories over Eastern Michigan and Kent State. The Huskies, meanwhile, are coming off getting routed 48-10 to Central Michigan in which the Chippewas posted 327 rushing yards.

An edge like this makes Toledo a terrific option in a variety of different bet scenarios; we recommend buying a few points in their favor and taking an alternate line of -6.5.

MIAMI (OH) FOR 3

The Miami (OH) Redhawks should have little trouble filling the board Wednesday night as they host a Bowling Green defense that ranks among the worst in the nation in points allowed. But while the Falcons have surrendered a mind-boggling 33.8 points per game so far this season, the Redhawks might not necessarily be headed for a parade to the end zone. Miami (Ohio) has one of the worst touchdown-to-field-goal ratios in the country coming into Week 12, having scored 22 TDs compared with 16 FGs – six of those coming over the course of their current three-game winning streak.

Miami (Ohio) is a big-time favorite here, and is a good bet to open the scoring given BGSU’s 2.5 first-half-points-per-game average on the road this season. We like the Redhawks FG to kick off the point parade.

GILBERT  GETTING BACK

Kansas State’s premier rushing threat might be back on the field this weekend. Wildcats senior James Gilbert practiced on Tuesday and is trending in the right direction as he recovers from an undisclosed ailment that kept him out of last week’s 27-24 loss to the Texas Longhorns. It was originally thought that Gilbert would be in the lineup vs. Texas, but he was a late exclusion – and Kansas State struggled in his absence, finishing with a paltry 51 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Gilbert ranks ninth in the Big 12 Conference in rushing yards (558) while adding five touchdowns on the ground.

Gilbert’s return would invigorate a Kansas State rush attack that has a favorable matchup against a West Virginia defense allowing 173 rushing yards per game. We recommend the hosts ATS if Gilbert is deemed fit to return.

WAKING NIGHTMARE

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have seen their season take a terrible turn with word that standout wide receiver Sage Surratt will miss the remainder of 2019 with an undisclosed injury. Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson confirmed Tuesday that Surratt, who wasn’t featured on the team’s depth chart ahead of its Week 12 encounter with Clemson, would be out for the rest of the season – though he wouldn’t specify what was wrong with the star wideout. Surratt finishes the year with 1,001 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 66 receptions as the premier target for quarterback Jamie Newman.

The absence of Surratt should give bettors even less of a reason to bank on Wake Forest, which has seen the line shift as far as four points in Clemson’s favor. Look for the Tigers to keep the undermanned Deacons below their team total.

Too late to start fading the Fins, and the NFL bets you need to make in Week 11

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This may require a double-take, but listen up. The Miami Dolphins have been the best bet in the NFL since the start of October. Yes, those Miami Dolphins. We break down the odds and let you know what bets we like in Week 11 of the NFL as we dive into sides, totals, props and more. 

STAYING HOT IN Q1

The hottest team in the league right now is Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens. After knocking off the Patriots in Week 9, they turned their crosshairs on the winless Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10. The Ravens ran just 48 offensive plays but managed to put up 49 points. Lost in the 49-13 win was the fact that Baltimore moved to 8-1 against the first-quarter spread after winning the first 15 minutes 14-0.

This week, Baltimore is a 4-point home favorite versus a Houston team that is coming off their bye. If you don’t trust a team coming off a blowout win versus the worst team in the league and/or covering their last three games, take a look at the 1Q Ravens -0.5 (-105) as an alternative.

Baltimore is second in the league in first quarter points per game at 9.5 and third in the league in points against in the first quarter at 3.67 while the Texans are 0-3-1 on the road this year in the first quarter. Take the Ravens 1Q -0.5.

FEAST AWAITS EVANS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face a very motivated New Orleans Saints team Sunday, but NOLA will be without their top cornerback in Marcus Lattimore. The third-year CB is week-to-week with a hamstring injury meaning Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will face sub-par corners in P.J. Williams and Eli Apple.

As Brad Evans pointed out on twitter, this is especially great news for Mike Evans who has struggled over his career versus Lattimore. Evans put up a donut early this year in Week 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and averaged 9.5 targets for three catches and 34 yards in two games in 2017 (last year Lattimore struggled following up his 2017 DROY but has been much better this year).

Even with Jameis Winston getting sacked nearly four times a game, Evans is averaging 139 yards a game over his last four contests. Jump on Evans’ receiving yard total on any number below 85 and check in on his reception total, hitting the Over on any number below 7.

LOADING SCREEN

No team in the league relies on the screen game more than the Minnesota Vikings. Per ESPN, Minnesota is averaging 9.8 yards per screen attempt which is 3.5 yards more per attempt than the No.10 team.

The beneficiary of this is running back Dalvin Cook who gashed the Cowboys in primetime every time he got the ball with blockers ahead of him. Over the last three games, Cook has amassed 193 yards receiving and will face a Denver Broncos’ defense that is giving up 8.6 yards per pass to RBs since Week 8.

Grab the Over on Cook’s receiving yards on any total less than 40 yards.

LOADING SCREEN PT. 2

If you’re tailing the Cook receiving yards play and want some action on the other side of the ball, maybe look to fade the Broncos’ backfield in receiving yards. Denver is the worst team at generating yards on the screen game (3.7 yards per attempt) and neither Phillip Lindsay nor Royce Freeman has topped 17 yards receiving in the last two weeks. In the only game Brandon Allen has started at quarterback, Lindsay wasn’t targeted at all and Freeman saw one target which he lost a yard on.

Feel confident in taking Lindsay’s Under receiving yards on anything greater than 19 and Freeman’s Under on any number greater than 25.

AIN’T FADING THE FINS NOW

The best team ATS over the last five weeks has been the Miami Dolphins. The former 0-7 team has rattled off five-straight wins ATS and face a Buffalo Bills team that has zero offensive identity of late and trailed the Dolphins by five points heading into the fourth quarter just four weeks ago.

We are a little bearish on Miami hitting a sixth-straight win ATS but have no problem fading Josh Allen’s Bills who are putting up just 288 yards of total offense over the last three weeks, good for sixth-worst. Their once stellar defense now sits 12th in Wtd DVOA — 9th against the pass and 27th against the run.

The Bills needed 22 4th-quarter points in their last meeting to cover their team total and we don’t see Brian Daboll’s offense clearing 23.5 points since they are 2-5 O/U that total in their last seven.

Get on the Bills’ team total Under 23.5 now, as it may drop under this key number later in the week.