What college football games appear to be the best bets and the best picks against the spread going into Week 7?
This column giveth, and when this thing taketh away it does so in spectacular burnout fashion.
I know better than to get cocky after a 9-1 run like I had two weeks ago, but last week was a brutal disaster. Now, in my defense, it took a whole lot of historical anomalies for it all to go the way it did.
Give me anyone who saw the Texas A&M offense doing that against Alabama. Not only did I miss that outright, but Florida State beat North Carolina as a 17-point dog.
That was nothing. USC had never lost to Utah in Southern California until last week.
I’m now 0-for-2 in the You’re An SEC Team, Act Like It calls with Missouri continuing the be an epic fail on defense – it didn’t cover against North Texas – and I whiffed by going under on Arkansas-Ole Miss and Maryland-Ohio State. And …
That’s it. The slide stops now with three themes. 1) Spite, 2) it’s Big Ten week, and 3) more spite.
Parts 1 & 3 begin with …
Results So Far ATS: 42-28-1
Click on each game for the preview
LINE Point Total 83
ATS PICK Under
I’ll admit it – I got cute.
I have a hard and fast rule to never, ever, ever, ever, ever take the over on a point total of 80 or more. Too many things can go wrong, and the worst that can happen is that it actually does go over, and at least you got a blast of a game to watch.
That’s exactly what happened last week. I modified my rule to 66.5 when it came to Ole Miss and Arkansas. 66.5 isn’t 80, and those two crazy kids combined to annihilate the over in a 52-51 Rebel victory.
83 is over 80, and the point total came down from 85.5. Oh sure, it’s more fun to assume the two killer offenses will go off, but be warned, last week was the first time an Ole Miss game got past 82, and Tennessee only got there in a 62-24 win over Missouri.
That’s Spite, Part 1. Part 2 …
LINE North Carolina -7.5
ATS PICK North Carolina
I vowed last week after the disaster against Florida State that I would never, ever, ever, ever pick North Carolina to do anything right ever again.
I’m picking North Carolina.
I know, I shouldn’t be emotional about this, and I shouldn’t pick out of revenge, but it just seems like the Miami thing is about to implode.
D’Eriq King is out for the year, the D that gets its groove on the Turnover Chain has a pathetic four takeaways on the year, and if it’s possible to see an entire team collectively look like the drive-through forgot the fries, that last second upright-doink loss to Virginia was it.
That, and North Carolina appears to be one of those adjustment teams.
It didn’t get the O going against Virginia Tech, and then it ran the ball more effectively and blasted Georgia State and Virginia. The run D didn’t get off the bus against Georgia Tech, and then the team stopped Duke cold.
The run defense against Florida State was pathetic, and this week the offense will make up for it with well over 400 yards.
LINE Oklahoma -13.5
ATS PICK TCU
All the game predictions are done without looking at the lines – the goal is to not be influenced by them one way or another. Once in a while, though, it’s hard not to want to adjust the predicted score to fit what the narrative should probably be.
This week, that narrative is simple. Oklahoma found the right quarterback, the offense will play like it’s supposed to, and America is about to deal with the unleashed beast the devoured Texas in the second half of last week.
There’s that – now that Caleb Williams appears to be the main man for now – and there’s a TCU team that’s hammered by key injuries, including to QB Max Duggan.
So we did the preview and got to the final predicted score, and I kept wanting to change it to Oklahoma by a few touchdowns. There’s one problem with that.
Oklahoma has yet to beat any FBS team by more than seven points – it has yet to play a solid full 60 minutes against anyone but Western Carolina, and even then the game was over instantly.
Not Tulane, not West Virginia, not anyone. Granted, that was all with Spencer Rattler at the helm before Williams pulled the team out of the fire.
Combine that with a TCU team that doesn’t play a lick of D but keeps everything close, and the possible letdown factor after the emotion in Dallas, and 13.5 might be a bit too generous.