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College Football Week 10 Picks

College Football: Week 9 was a decent bounce-back performance for us. On the week, we went 3-2 with a few big hits and one extremely wrong prediction. On the year, we are 21-20 and hope to hit that magical 55% success rate by the end of the season.

#1 Georgia cleared their line easily. #3 Michigan State won outright against #7 Michigan, and Texas covered the first half line against #13 Baylor. #6 Cincinnati failed to cover their spread over Tulane, while the Buffalo game definitely didn’t hit the under.

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A Look Ahead to Week 10

Week 10 has one really good game on the schedule (#13 Auburn at #14 Texas A&M). Aside from that, there are some interesting games out there. #16 Ole Miss hosts one-loss Liberty and the top NFL QB prospect, Malik Willis. #3 Michigan State at Purdue and #9 Wake Forest at North Carolina should also be very entertaining.

After last week, we are following a similar formula (but avoiding any total points lines this time around). We have targeted some of the bigger games this week; starting with undefeated #9 Wake Forest.

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

 

#9 Wake Forest at North Carolina -2.5

Sam Hartman has developed from a Netflix celebrity on “QB1″ to a Heisman candidate. Improving every season, Hartman has the Demon Deacons undefeated and playing for the CFP. He’s been the engine driving Wake Forest this season, but it hasn’t come easy. Wake Forest has escaped both Louisville and Syracuse by only three points, so the pressure may be building.

North Carolina started the season as one of the ACC favorites and a Top-10 team. After a poor performance against FSU, UNC bounced back against Miami before slipping against Notre Dame. Now, UNC hosts Wake Forest, with a game they need to win to become bowl eligible (3 of final 4 games vs ranked opponents).

I love home games for talented teams facing high ranked opponents. It always seems to be a great recipe for an upset. These teams are very close statistically, but North Carolina has shown a little more promise in pass defense (221 YPG allowed). If there’s an edge, that’s the one I’m focusing on this week. I like UNC to pull the upset this Saturday.

North Carolina 37 Wake Forest 34

 

#22 Penn State -10 at Maryland

Penn State is one of the safest teams in college football. They have a solid defense, a veteran QB, and a balanced offensive approach. They are sufficient in the run game, but find most their success with Sean Clifford extending drives with his arm and legs. The Nittany Lions had a strong performance against Ohio State, so I am optimistic for what they can do this week against a meager Maryland defense.

Maryland has a young QB who struggled mightily against the Iowa defense (5 INTs). Penn State’s defense isn’t quite on the same level as Iowa, but I have seen Maryland struggle against good defenses and feel this is the kind of game that could get out of hand for them.

I like this matchup from the standpoint of Penn State, whose pass defense should case some issues and likely turnovers against the Terrapins. Even as ten-point favorites on the road, this has about the same probability as being a one score lead late as it does being a runaway blowout. Trust Penn State to bounce back this week.

Penn State 30 Maryland 17

 

Rhode Island +2 at UMASS

Sometimes, bad football is just bad football. In the case of UMASS, they are a team we’ve successfully wagered against twice this season. They are dead last in points allowed this season in Division 1 and they’re in the bottom 20 of worst offenses in D-1 as well. UMASS has just a single win and that was over an equally terrible UCONN team.

Rhode Island is an FCS program sporting a 5-3 record. They’ve lost their last three, but this is exactly the kind of matchup URI needs to get back on track. They haven’t been a juggernaut in their division this season, but they have had success, which we can’t say for UMASS.

On the season, UMASS is under a 50% completion percentage in the passing game, with their QB (Brady Olson) tossing only 7 TDs this season. Even at home, against an FCS school, the UMASS team gives me zero confidence this week. I like for Rhode Island to pull off the “upset”.

Rhode Island 20 UMASS 17

 

Baylor -7 at TCU

We successfully bet against Baylor last week in the first half against Texas. As the pressure of a potential Big 12 title builds, it really becomes tough for teams to bring the same energy each week. It also tends to motivate the other team that much more, with the possibility of pulling off a big upset.

Baylor is by no means a perfect team, but they are a winning football team, who tend to make the proper adjustments at half. In all likelihood, Baylor will be prepping for this game similarly to last week’s game against Texas. They will focus on stopping the run, much like they did against Texas (successfully).

There are two reasons I like Baylor in this game. The first is the firing of Gary Patterson at TCU. Following his dismissal last week, it’s tough to see this team getting up for this one, given how disappointing their season has been. The second reason was last week’s big second half against Texas. That momentum heading into this week is promising.

There’s a chance TCU’s new coach is able to get his team motivated this week for the Baylor matchup, but I feel like taking over a team puts more focus on first grabbing the attention of the team rather than preparing for your next opponent. This should make for an interesting case study we can use going forward.

Baylor 31 TCU 17

 

Georgia Tech +10.5 at Miami

Aside from the blowout loss to Pitt, Georgia Tech hasn’t lost a game by more than 9 this season. Meanwhile, Miami has just one win this season by more than 4 points (Central Connecticut). The play calling tendencies and success rates suggest this should be a very close game. Keep in mind, the ACC has been extremely close this season from top to bottom.

Following back-to-back Top-25 wins, Miami is due for a letdown this week. We’ve seen setups like this before, and this looks a lot like a letdown game. With Florida State coming up next week, the team is certainly looking at this game with less importance.

Diving into the advanced numbers, it’s worth noting Georgia Tech’s major flaw on defense is their run defense (173 YPG). The problem for Miami is that they run the ball just 38% of the time and have a negative EPA per run at -.07. Georgia Tech also has the 8th ranked offense in the ACC, while Miami’s offense is 12th in the conference, via PFF.

Miami 38 Georgia Tech 35

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