So many even odds games this week! Who will win five coin flips for a total greater than 1,000?
Last week the abundance of even PAC 12 games produced some chaos and defensive Washington fell on the road to CAL. It has become a trend for a defensive team to lose close games on the road for a big upset. Half the top 25 lost. This week has a similar slate with many ranked head to head games or a ranked team playing a good team on the road.
Upset Specials > 300 Point Difference
Temple 450 at UCF: If this was a Temple home game it would be more enticing. UCF has been a little bruised lately and has not looked as crisp. Temple is ugly on offense but is ranked 34th in S&P with a mean defense. Statistically, they are almost identical to Michigan State. UCF should be able to win at home but it is not crazy to pick Temple.
Penn State 420 at Michigan: Michigan has been excellent at home but this sounds absurd to see Penn State with this many potential points. PSU will be the best team Michigan has played since Notre Dame. Michigan has the best defense in college football. I think they will win at home but Penn State might be worth the gamble.
Bama at LSU 550: We saw what happened to Georgia during the day in Death Valley. This game is at night. LSU has played Bama tough two years in a row in low scoring defensive games still losing by 10 and 14. LSU wants this; however, what happens when the prolific Bama offense plays all four quarters? They haven’t yet this year. Both teams are rested. It is tempting to take LSU for 550 points but I don’t know if I can do it. Unlike the previous two games discussed, the home team might be worth the gamble but LSU’s offense is not very good.
Oklahoma at Texas Tech 420: OU is starting to look dangerous again. They have the number one offense but that defense can let them down. You need an elite defense to beat them. Texas Tech will try to outsource them and use the home crowd to stay with them. Hard to see them doing that even at home.
Georgia at Kentucky 400: This might be the biggest home game in Kentucky history. The Wildcats have a great defense but their offense has to give them more. Georgia should be able to methodically poke at their D until they find a weakness. UGA killed the Gators last week on third downs. Emotion, motivation, and the crowd will keep UK in it but UGA is much better. Still, we keep seeing home underdogs spring upsets every week.
CAL 430 at Washington State: The PAC 12 is wild, but offensively challenged CAL on the road does not sound like a smart strategy.
There aren’t many this week.
Fresno State, Utah State, and Houston are all solid picks for a low risk 100-120 points each.
Even Odds Battles
Nine games under 300 point differences. Some will have more discussion than others.
Pitt at Virginia 133: Should be an easy 133 points for Virginia.
Iowa 235 at Purdue 165: Iowa had PSU on the ropes in Happy Valley and just did not have enough offense to win on the road. Are they depleted after the game? Purdue went on the road and got outmuscled by Michigan State. Iowa’s defense is even better than Sparty. I think the Hawkeyes can win an ugly road game.
Syracuse 150 at Wake 270: Both teams are more offensive but Syracuse ranks higher in both OE and DE than Wake. They should win but it is not an automatic 150 points on the road.
Boston College 174 at Virginia Tech 215: BC goes into Lane Stadium to play Tech who surprisingly has poor defense. True coin flip since BC’s small advantage is negated by the VT crowd.
Utah 137 at Arizona State 330: Utah is burying PAC 12 teams in the second half. Even on the road, I don’t think they are going to cool off.
West Virginia 210 at Texas 177: Texas was exposed last week. I told you they were overrated but I was not sure if OK State could prove it. WVU needs to avoid turnovers and run their offense. WVU has not been a great road team; hence them being underdogs here. Choose at your peril.
Notre Dame 130 at Northwestern 365: Interesting! Notre Dame is our defensive team going on the road to play another defensive team in NW. We saw this with Washington at CAL last week with very similar statistics. NW won last week partly because Wisconsin was without their QB; however, they are a pain at home. I would jump all over this at 500 points but is it worth 365? No way I would choose ND at only 130.
Texas A&M 270 at Auburn 150: Auburn had a by to rest and get that top 10 defense angry again. Auburn’s offense is unfixable. A&M looked bad last week on the road and this is why they are staring at 270 points. Which Auburn will show up?
Missouri 285 at Florida 144: Poor Missouri has been nipped at the wire a few times this season. It seems like they eventually have to win a close game. Is the Swamp that place? Florida lives and dies with the inconsistency of their QB. Hard to beat the Gators at home.