I apologize for being a little late with this week’s college football picks against the spread, I’ve been immersed with winning my fantasy baseball leagues and giving out fantasy football advice to friends and readers.
I’ve had a decent year so far picking college football games, but I’m looking to have a big week on September 21st in Week 4 of the NCAA football season.
Can Johnny Manziel forget last week’s loss against Alabama? Will Notre Dame and Florida ramp up their play after poor performances early this season?
We answer those questions and help you decide who you want to bet on this week (we mention a possible addition in a parlay).
North Carolina at Georgia Tech (-6.5) – My pick is Georgia Tech
This game opened up at -5.5 and has been bet up a point in favor of Georgia Tech. North Carolina has not looked impressive this season. They were beat on the road at South Carolina in the first week and barely covered against Middle Tennessee State the next week. Georgia Tech dominated Elon and looked great at Duke. Georgia Tech won this game in a shootout last season (68-50) and I will see the same outcome…with less points. The over/under is 61 and I would parlay that with Georgia Tech covering at home.
San Jose State at Minnesota (-3.5) – My pick is Minnesota
The Golden Gophers had a scare last week when head coach Jerry Kill suffered a seizure during the game. I look for them to play inspired football this weekend. San Jose State recently lost to ranked Stanford by only three touchdowns last week. You wouldn’t normally view that as a success, but they DID beat the spread on the road against a ranked team. This game opened up at -7 and has been bet down 3.5 points in favor of SJSU. Even though the Big Ten does not look as good as predicted, Minnesota is better than a 3.5 home spread against a non-BCS team.
Marshall at Virginia Tech (+8) – My pick is Marshall
Virginia Tech is always overvalued early in the season. You can usually find value in betting against them until the market corrects itself. Va Tech’s offense has looked pedestrian so far this season. They scored 10, 45 (Western Carolina) & 13 in their games so far. Their defense could keep them in the game against Marshall, but the Thundering Herd’s offense is much better than expected. Marshall has yet to play a major program this season, but I like them to keep this game close and possibly squeak out an upset. Marshall & Va Tech is locally viewed as a rivalry, so both teams will be ready for this one.
Florida A&M at Ohio State (+50) – My pick is Florida A&M
I never feel comfortable betting a spread larger than seven touchdowns. Ohio State will blow Florida A&M out, but that’s a lot of points to give A&M. If I were to put money on this game, I wouldn’t bet much. It’s tough to beat a team by that much, but OSU has done it in the past. This spread will be very close to the actual outcome.
Ball State at Eastern Michigan (+10.5) – My pick is Ball State
I’ve won many bets using Ball State in parlays over the last few years. They have historically done very well against the spread. Eastern Michigan is given 10.5 points and that’s a lot to ask on the road, but EMU is bad. The last two time these two teams played at EMU, the game were decided by less than a field goal. EMU has played tough opponents so far (Penn State & Rutgers), but Ball State has looked like a team that could win the MAC. I feel confident that they’ll perform better than expected and cover the spread.
Tennessee at Florida (-16.5) – My pick is Tennessee
This pick is mostly based on the eyeball test. I have not liked how Florida has played and Tennessee has looked great…in spurts. The Vols have yet to put together a complete game, but they are going into Gainesville to face a beaten Florida team. The Gators were upset by Miami last week and did not look good at all. Their offense has yet to score over 24 points in game this season. I look for Tennessee to keep up with Florida, with the Gators eventually winning the game. The game will be decided by less than two touchdowns, so I pick the Volunteers.
Michigan State at Notre Dame (-5.5) – My pick is Notre Dame
I usually try to stay away from betting on MSU/ND games in the past. There were a few games in the mid-00’s that really screwed me. I blame Charles Rogers and Plaxico Burress for those bad beats, but they’re no longer in East Lansing (well, maybe Rogers is, but he’s cleaning toilets). The Spartans have yet to face a good opponent and will be tested in South Bend by the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame themselves have not looked good this season either. They are much better than they are playing. They’ve had some bad breaks and will cover against Michigan State at home.
Arizona State at Stanford (-6) – My pick is Stanford
This game has been bet up in ASU’s favor over the week, but I feel bettors are putting too much stock in their win against Wisconsin last week. The Badgers are a different team without Bret Bielema at head coach. Stanford came into the season as a top-10 team and they will prove this week why they’re one of the best teams in the country. The Cardinal will beat the Sun Devils by double-digits.
Auburn at LSU (-16) – My pick is LSU
I always pick LSU to cover against a non-ranked team. This spread might be a tad high considering they face another SEC team, but I like their team this year. Auburn doesn’t look right at all. They look like a middle-of-the-pack SEC team and might be stuck there for a few years. Alabama is winning the recruiting battle and Auburn suffers from the Crimson Tide’s recent success.
Kansas State at Texas (-6) – My pick is Kansas State
This is a must-win for the Longhorns, but don’t sleep on Kansas State. Since their loss to North Dakota State, they have looked very good. NDSU is a very good FBS team and shouldn’t be looked at as a powder puff squad. Texas looks horrible this year. BYU and Ole Miss made them look like, well, a powder puff squad. I look for Kansas State to beat the spread AND win the game. Instead of betting the spread, take the extra juice by betting the moneyline instead (+180 at most sportsbooks).
Oregon State at San Diego State (+9) – My pick is Oregon State
SDSU is getting some points as the home team, but I don’t see San Diego beating the spread. OSU is another team that is being undervalued by a poor performance against an FBS team. Their loss to Eastern Washington shouldn’t be viewed as a bad loss. EWU is an FBS powerhouse that will challenge for a national championship. Oregon State won’t win the PAC-12 this season, but they shouldn’t have any trouble covering the spread against San Diego State.
Pittsburgh at Duke (+3) – My pick is Pittsburgh
Arkansas at Rutgers (-3) – My pick is Arkansas
South Dakota State at Nebraska (-20.5) – My pick is Nebraska
UL Monroe at Baylor (-30.5) – My pick is Baylor
SMU at Texas A&M (-28) – My pick is Texas A&M
*These picks are for entertainment purposes