Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Week 3

Last week was a bad week for my spread picks but I’m going to keep plugging away and get it back in the money. I like this week’s slate much more so that has to count for something. 

Last week I went 3-5 ATS running my season total to 8-10 (ouch).

Ohio at #15 Tennessee (-27)

27 is a lot of points for any opponent with a pulse but you have to consider Ohio gave up 54 to Texas State and 21 to Kansas (which might as well be 100 to anyone else). I think in the 2nd half of the Virginia Tech game, the Vols found themselves. That talented defense started flying around and Butch looked to use Dobbs as he should. If the Vols want to win the East, this has to be a breakout game for their stars. Dobbs is completing 54% of his passes with 4 TDs and 2 INTs. Hurd is averaging 4.18 a carry. The stars have to play to their potential and I think this is the first week we see that happen.

My pick: Rocky Top 49-10

Vandy at Georgia Tech (-6.5)

This is a game that I’m really unsure of who I like. Tech doesn’t blow your socks off and Vandy showed offense last week that we haven’t seen since the Franklin era. What I think this game comes down to is Vandy’s front 7. While everyone seems to think they are really good up front, they are giving up over 4 ypc which puts them at 9th in the conference when the 2 teams they’ve played absolutely cannot run the ball. QB Justin Thomas and the Tech option can do just that if nothing else. I’m gonna say that home field is worth 7 points in the one.

My pick: Rambling Wreck 24-17

#1 Bama at #19 Ole Miss (+9.5)

You had to jump on this line early to get it under 10 with some books as high as 11 right now. This is no doubt the biggest game of the week and has the Rebs going for the 3-peat which is uncharted waters in the Saban era. You have to tip your hat to that alone. What Ole Miss brings to the table is a QB who can put up big points on anyone and there is no better example than the first half of the FSU game where the Rebs got 28. Across from him is a true freshman who has looked good despite his youth (157.91 passer rating). While many fans see this as a dueling QB game, I do not. I see it as a match-up of defenses with secondary being the biggest position group.  Bama has the SEC’s best rushing defense via ypc (1.67) and the 2nd best passing defense via passer rating against (84.48). In those same 2 categories the Rebs are 7th in rushing defense (4.09) and 13th in passing defense (140.73). I think this could be Bama’s best defense under Saban and that’s the difference in this game. While I like the Tide, the turnover battle is huge in this game. Saban knows if he turns it over, he will lose and chewing out Kiffin was all the proof you need. That said, I don’t see the Rebs turning them over much.

My pick: RTR 31-21

East Carolina at South Carolina (-3.5)

This looks a lot like a trick line to me. ECU is averaging 43 ppg and beat NC State last week. South Carolina on the other hand got drummed by a MSU team that no one thinks much of. ECU’s senior QB Phillip Nelson has been on fire completing over 80% of his passes and a 6-1 TD-INT ratio to go with it. South Carolina cannot score and I can’t see how they keep up this week. They’ve scored 14 and 13 agains 2 middle of the road SEC defenses. Those defense will be better than what ECU has but how many points is that worth? I see a relatively high-scoring game where SC just cannot keep up.

My pick: ECU upsets SC 31-27

New Mexico State at Kentucky (-19)

This is such a terrible game to watch and/or pick I don’t even know where to begin. Kentucky is horrible and NMSU is horrible. Breaking down players and match-ups mean absolutely nothing. All you need to know in this game is the Stoops is coaching for his job. If they come out and get beat he’s gone. He doesn’t have a firm grip on his team but I don’t think he’s completely lost them yet. I think Kentucky has much better players and this is a game that Stoops will run up, if he can, to show everyone is still bought in. Right now, that’s the direction I’m leaning on this one.

My pick: Cats 42-17

#17 Texas A&M at Auburn (-4)

This is an intriguing game that all SEC fans will all be watching. This game shall be dubbed the “who is about to fall apart bowl”. Both coaches are famous for losing teams mid-season and getting crushed for the remainder of the year. What this game boils down to is what coach do you trust more? The answer is neither but Chavis does do enough for me to make the call for the Aggs. This is the deal: Auburn struggles on offense and the Aggies are matching up Myles Garrett on Austin Gholsen. That alone is enough of a mismatch to completely disrupt an offense. Gus will try to trick and misdirection his way to points but I don’t think Chavis will be fooled. I like A&M to go to The Plains and start the downward spiral for Gus.

My pick: Aggies 24-14

MSU at #20 LSU (-12.5)

This is a line that has been all over the place due to the question marks surrounding Fournette’s health. There was a report yesterday that he went through Tuesday’s practice and was fine. We shall see. This is an interesting game because Les has gotten off to a rocky start with the team and the QB position. Shocker, I know. That said, LSU still has a defense that may have 11 guys who will play in the NFL and one hell of a DC. I think Fitzgerald taking over for MSU gave them some identity on offense and restored some confidence. This game is huge for both coaches. Mullen could really get his fanbase back on board with a win and inversely, Les could lose his in that scenario. What this game boils down to for me is MSU’s inability to stretch the field. If MSU cannot threaten that LSU defense over the top things will constrict and there will be less room on those read option plays. As good as Fitz looked last week, this LSU defense is night and day different. I think MSU keeps it close but I jumped on that 12.5 early in the week and think the Tigahs cover that in Death Valley.

My pick: Tigahs 28-14

#16 Georgia at Mizzou (+6.5)

This is a classic example of an overreaction line. Last week UGA struggled and Mizzou scored 61. Early in the year, fans do too much betting on last week’s games. I’m guilty of that too at times. I think week 1 was the real Mizzou where they scored 11 points vs West Virginia. This UGA team is by far the most talented team they’ve faced and I think freshman QB Jacob Eason is itching for the bounce-back game. No better opponent than Mizzou. Let’s be real here. How intimidating can an away game be when you know the students of that institution need a safe space? Nick Chubb is averaging almost 6 a carry, leaving no safe space on the field for defenders. Easy money.

My pick: Dogs big 31-7

North Texas at #23 Florida (-36.5)

The Mean Green bring nothing to worry the Gators in this one. They are a bad football team. This one has nothing to do with in-game match-ups. This game is all about emotion. Even though it was Kentucky, I thought the Gators put it all out there and skull drug the Cats. This game is sandwiched between another big emotion game for them as they travel to Tennessee next week for a game that will be billed as for the SEC East. I think Florida will take a step back in emotion and easily win this game but 36.5 is too many points.

My pick: Gators 42-6

Texas State at #24 Arkansas (-31)

This game has all the makings of a classic trap game. The Hogs are coming off a big win last week and have another emotional game next week vs A&M. Despite everything pointing to this being a trap game and taking the points, I think Bert wants to have the Hogs running on all cylinders. They have to be careful because TSU can throw the ball around and move the ball. That said, I like the Hogs big.

My pick: Arky 52-20


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