Last week was a rough one for us. A missed field goal here and a late touchdown to backdoor cover there led to a 2-4 week, dropping us to 13-11 ATS on the season. Here is where we bounce back.
Kentucky (+21) vs. South Carolina: The Gamecocks have improved since Vanderbilt, in large part because they have not left home. The Wildcats are bad, but not as bad as people think. Kentucky likes to throw. The Gamecocks are allowing 7.0 yards per attempt, placing them outside the Top 50 vs. FBS. This is a trap game for South Carolina with Georgia, LSU and Florida the next three weeks. Every Spurrier game in Lexington has been within a touchdown, including a 31-28 upset by Joker Phillips in 2010. Kentucky gives South Carolina a closer game than they are expecting.
Baylor (+11.5) at West Virginia: Baylor and West Virginia are nearly identical statistically. They are one point apart in SRS. The only difference is the public and the polls were much higher on the Mountaineers heading into this season. The Bears have the offense to match West Virginia blow for blow. In fact, they are averaging more yards per play against FBS teams. We would have the Mountaineers slight favorites at home. There’s no tangible reason the line should be that high.
Boston College (+9) vs. Clemson: Clemson kept people intrigued with some highlight reel plays and a backdoor cover against Florida State. We’re not sold. Their defense is awful, ranking 112th nationally in yards per play. This is a trap week after a tough FSU loss and with Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech the following two weeks. Boston College is coming off a bye week. The Eagles are accustomed to high-tempo offenses after playing Miami and Northwestern. They also have a sneaky good pass defense. They rank second nationally with only three pass plays of 20 yards or longer allowed this season.
Wisconsin (+11.5) at Nebraska: The Cornhuskers have put up some sick offensive numbers against Southern Miss (108th vs. FBS), Arkansas State (93rd vs. FBS) and Idaho State (FCS). They looked more pedestrian against UCLA. They also have struggled against the run, ranking 87th nationally in yards per carry allowed against FBS teams. Wisconsin has been solid defensively. The Badgers are starting to find some offensive stability with new quarterback Joel Stave. Ball or no Ball, Wisconsin will sustain drives and keep this one tight.
Cincinnati (+6.5) at Virginia Tech: Not liking the Hokies seems wrong, but they still have not shown they can score against a decent FBS team. We have not seen much of Cincinnati this season, but from what we saw against Pitt the Bearcats can make big plays with their speed at skill positions. They also, worryingly for Virginia Tech, can get to the quarterback. They sacked Tino Sunseri six times. If Cincinnati can score 14 points, can Va Tech put up 21? Cincinnati keeps it close.
Iowa (-7) vs. Minnesota: The Gophers have led a charmed life in 2012. They have not left home. Their four opponents have two FBS wins combined, none by more than six points. They now go on the road, without their starting quarterback. There is no sugar-coating how bad the Hawkeyes have been. This is as close to must win as Ferentz has with a $21 million buyout. Iowa players will be pissed off after Minnesota upset them the last two years. This line has not moved, despite nearly 80 percent of money coming in on Minnesota. We’ll take Iowa to make a statement…and win by 10.
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