Good morning, everyone and happy game day. I’ve decided that I can’t get this written towards the end of the week and have it up in time for you to enjoy it. So, instead of using Bovada odds and waiting until Wednesday, I will be using earlier lines to write this preview. Ideally, I would get this up Thursday, but that’s when Aaron runs his NFL column and I don’t want to move it. Instead, like any good delegator, I will delegate blame to Aaron for disrupting the flow of college football goodness from the blog. Thanks a lot, Aaron!
Let’s Bet the Board!
Clemson -7.5 vs NC State
This is not the sucker bet of last season. The Wolfpack are quite talented this season. However, with the loss to Syracuse, Clemson’s margin for error has evaporated. The Tigers cannot afford a struggle win against perceivably worse teams (NC State included). If the Playoff is the goal for Clemson, look for the players to be focused in on this game. The Tigers are clearly expected to win, I think they’ll cover this spread easily, even on the road.
Florida vs Mizzou -3
Florida has finally canned it’s accidental scandal of a head coach. That’s what happens when you lie to people, Jim. At any rate, a recently decapitated team is not a solid bet any day of the week. It’s actually a testament to how horrible Mizzou is at football that this is a coinflip game. Still, I’m taking the Tigers at home. Mac was a players’ coach (as is Randy Shannon), but the season is lost and bowl eligibility is all but a pipe dream at this point. Granted, the players could come out and play so pissed off that they demolish Mizzou, but I can’t see that happening. Lay the points here and don’t tune in. Just check the paper tomorrow.
Georgia Tech vs Virginia +9.5
Here’s the inside line on this game: Georgia Tech has beaten Virginia in Charlottesville twice since 1991-2009 and 2013. It’s looking like the four year cycle is set to hit again this year, but Tech struggles like hell to win up there. I think the Jackets will find a way to win this year, but I do not believe for one second that they will win by 10+. Take the points on the Wahoos and watch a far better team flounder inexplicably because of Virginia’s Voodoo. Thanks a lot, Jefferson.
Iowa State vs West Virginia -3.5 (Over 60)
The first double up of the day! Where in the world did Iowa State come from?! They’ve now notched 2 top 10 wins (more than Bama and Georgia) and are running headlong into a great Big 12 campaign. WVU has played some great football this year as well. I actually think this will be a fine ballgame. I’m going to lay the points at home and give the edge to the hosting Mountaineers. I won’t be suprised if Iowa State wins this game, but I just can’t take the points on the road. I can’t shake the feeling that Iowa State is on an Icarus kind of trajectory this year. WVU may be where they fall from the sky.
Also, I have yet to see either of these teams excel at defense. Any time you get a game with two very good offenses in the Big XII, it’s going to be a barnburner. Over. Easy.
LSU vs Alabama -21
Alabama has been unseated from the top spot by the Playoff Committee. That’s all you need to know. #PrayForLSU
Oklahoma vs OK State -1.5
Ordinarily, I’d say take the points on such a tight game, but not for Bedlam. Oklahoma has trounced OK State for years. Finally, Oklahoma is off-balance and the Pokes are playing good football. This hasn’t worked out for them in the past, but I expect this to be a much better game. Go with the mullet, lay the points on this one.
SCAR vs Georgia (Over 46)
I don’t like this line. It’s a 3 TD line for Georgia. It should be. The Dawgs are the number one team in the country (cringe) and they are playing like it. I was tempted to take UGA to cover because of SCAR players saying that Georgia can’t pass. College Football is great at instant karma. Talk S*&!, get hit. I will not be suprised if Georgia blows them out after that; but with a Muschamp defense, I’m not extremely confident in a 22+ point margin. I wanted to pick this game, so I took the total. I can see UGA winning 35 to 17. I can also see this game going under because the Dawgs defense is rather good. This is certainly my least confident pick of the week.
Syracuse +6.5 vs FSU
I’m sorry, what? This line is insane. Syracuse is a pedestrian ACC team this year that has already nearly derailed the top team in the conference. FSU is hobbled by injury, I just don’t see how you can confidently say the Noles can beat anyone by a touchdown. Vegas is spotting the team that beat Clemson a touchdown. Take those points and run like hell.
VT (+1) vs Miami (Moneyline)
I included the spread to show why taking the points was pointless. With a 1 point spread, you’re picking who you think will win anyhow. Might as well get better payout odds with a moneyline bet if you think the underdog will win. (This goes in reverse for taking the favorite). Miami has practiced top notch brinksmanship this entire season. They’ve come close to losing to teams far worse than Virginia Tech. The Hokies have shown that they know how to keep their foot on the gas and win games like they’re supposed to. I like the Hokies in this game, even on the road. One thing, though, let’s just point out how good a coach Mark Richt is. And, by comparison, how Al Golden should never work in this town again. I think the Canes lose this game, but they’d still leave with a great shot at a NY6 bowl.