Last Week in Review By Dr. Senkbeil
Statistical methods are simply not working well this year. Occasionally there is an NCAA basketball tournament where the stats are not as reliable, but football tends to become more predictable as the season progresses. Not this year!
The HOME team is 19-10 against the spread the last 2 weeks providing at least some pattern. Bryce Love did not play for Stanford and that was not announced until right before kickoff so that prediction was irrelevant. Ohio State dominated Penn State but gave up 200 return yards, a return td, and played stupidly with penalties and had some bad luck. Eventually the statistically superior Buckeyes won, but it was too late to cover. Fresno surged up into the top 40 only to lose to UNLV as 21 point favorites?? It was the second week in a row where several 7-21 point underdogs not only covered but won outright. The inconsistency of non power 5 games has been comical, so this week will be influenced more by power 5 conference teams.
This week, less statistical reliance and more hunches.
Weekend of 11/04/17 game lines as of Thursday 11/2 1am EDT:
- Marshall at Florida Atlantic -7.5
Prediction: FAU 42 Marshall 31
Sagarin: FAU by 8
FAU 28 (14,81) is still hot and Marshall 47 (96,19) is not, losing to FIU 41-30 last week. These 2 teams are nearly opposites. Ride the FAU hot streak
- UMASS +28 at Mississippi State
Prediction: Mississippi State 45 UMASS 24
Sagarin: Mississippi State by 33
Coin: Mississippi State
UMASS 94 (67,88) is on a 2 game winning streak, and is playing much better than the team who had 3 losses to bad teams to begin the season. Miss State is coming off a big win and has Bama the following week. Motivation has been a problem for favorites the last 2 weeks. State wins by 21
- Kansas State at Texas Tech -3
Prediction: Texas Tech 42 KSU 35
Sagarin: Texas Tech by 7
Coin: Kansas State
Kansas State 58 (44,75) beat Kansas unconvincingly last week. Texas Tech 50 (9,104) will score on KSU and also give up plenty of points. I will take the home team who just completed a rough 3 game stretch, and KSU will look much slower than OU did last week.
- Florida at Missouri -3
Prediction: Missouri 44 UF 21
I was really confident going against UF 90 (98,70) last week and it led to the implosion of the season and football program. This Missouri 57 (16,115) team is red hot. The UF offense will probably score 2 tds against the Missouri D, but that gator D is not so proud anymore, and has become tired of their offense giving them no help.
- Rice at UAB -11
Prediction: UAB 38 Rice 21
Sagarin: UAB by 16
UAB 69 (72,52) is a total surprise this year in their first year back in FBS. How did they go on the road and beat a top 40 Southern Miss team last week as double digit underdogs? Rice 127 (121,119) is bad. UAB wants this.
- Clemson -7.5 at NC State
Prediction: Clemson 31 NC State 17
Sagarin: Clemson by 15
Clemson 11 (37,3) is now a motivated playoff team with a nasty defense. N.C. State 35 (27,68) was exposed last week at Notre Dame and plummeted in the statistical rankings. Clemson has to continue to impress voters so I think they win this by 10 -14.
- Iowa State +2.5 at West Virginia
Prediction: Iowa State 31 WVU 28
Sagarin: Iowa State by 14
Iowa State is red hot right now 31 (65,22). WVU 39 (7,101) has 3 losses to good teams and they never get blown out. The line is very suspicious, with WVU favored and that bothers me. I have to go with Iowa State though in a close game.
- Army +7 at Air Force
Prediction: Air Force 35 Army 31
Sagarin: Army by 2
These teams, Army 68 (30,100) and Air Force 77 (29,116), are almost identical so if you give 5 points to the home team you are still good here.
- Wake Forest at Notre Dame – 13
Prediction: Notre Dame 33 Wake 14
Sagarin: ND by 20
The balanced Irish 9 (17,18) are a playoff team and must continue to impress voters. Wake 24 (40,29) is good but got beat by 14 at Georgia Tech. That is significant because ND loves to RUN and they will in this game.
- Coastal Carolina at Arkansas -23.5
Prediction: Arkansas 49 CC 14
Sagarin: Arkansas by 34
Arkansas 99 (60,99) is having a miserable season but came back to beat Ole Miss last week. They are rallying under Bielema to try and get to .500. Coastal Carolina 115 (94,114) was favored by 8 last week and lost by 20 in a bottom 10 special against awful Texas State. How does that happen? Arkansas needs a big win here.
- Oklahoma at Oklahoma State – 2.5
Prediction: Oklahoma State 48 OU 41
Coin: Oklahoma State
Bedlam should be wild this year (over 76), but the OU 13 (1,103) defense must step up to make this a great game. The OU offense is amazing and is a huge statistical anomaly if you viewed this in chart form. OSU 8 (4,33) looked great at WVU last week and they have a much more efficient defense than OU. They get a few turnovers that matter in this game.
- LSU at Bama -21
Prediction: Bama 37 LSU 10
Sagarin: Bama by 23
Both teams had byes, and although LSU 29 (50,26) has been playing better do you really want to go with them and Ed Orgeron in this game? Even if they introduce creative offensive wrinkles, how do they stay with Bama 2 (19,1) for 4 quarters? They would have to use a dual threat qb. The comments about OU’s offense above also apply to Bama’s D. You can fool them for 1 td but then they adjust and you begin to slowly die.
- Oregon at Washington -17.5
Prediction: Washington 45 Oregon 20
Sagarin: Washington by 13
Washington 4 (32,2) is a very good team that will win the PAC 12. They just had that 1 clunker game in the desert. Oregon is decent 45 (31,66) but lost badly on the road against Stanford and UCLA and those teams are not as good as Washington. The Huskies have a duck feast.
- San Diego State -23.5 at San Jose State
Prediction: SDSU 44 SJSU 13
Sagarin: SDSU by 39
SDSU 59 (85, 42) blasted Hawaii last week and now gets a team spiraling out of control in SJSU 126 (126,112). SJSU had a bottom 10 battle with BYU last week and managed to get destroyed. SDSU is much better than BYU so logic says…..but we know this season has been highly illogical. SJSU has lost 7 in a row with a 9 point loss to Hawaii being their closest game.
- Arizona +7.5 at USC
Prediction: USC 52 Arizona 45
Sagarin: USC by 5
Arizona 30 (5,92) is on a 4 game winning streak with Khalil Tate at qb. Their offense has been spectacular in those 4 games, but they are not as good on the road. The offense is basically, “OK, let’s put our fastest guy at qb and run the read option”. It is simple but brutal to stop if the qb is a sub 4.4 guy. USC 20 (23,58) has a good offense so this should be high scoring and close. That half point matters.
- Georgia Tech -10 at Virginia
Virginia has crashed back to earth in its last 2 games losing badly to BC and Pitt. G Tech seems to take care of business against all but elite talent teams that overwhelm them.
Be sure to keep your eye out for our weekly blog with Dr. Senkbeil’s picks every Thursday. Challenge your college buddies and coworkers on your Alma Mater’s game and raise money for charity in the process! Don’t have the GoodBookey app? Download it below. Talk some smack and give back!