Wisconsin Badgers vs. Michigan Wolverines
Football Betting Pick: Wisconsin +10.5 points (October 1st 2016)
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I like this play with the Badgers as they got a relaxing win over Michigan State last week that nobody is taking seriously considering the way Notre Dame looked. Wisconsin is a solid team all around and this game is going to come down to whether or not Michigan can score through the air. Wisconsin is super solid defending the run having only allowed 1 rushing TD and they have kept all 4 opponents under their season average for rushing yards per carry. Meanwhile Michigan has been pretty inconsistent running the ball which raises some red flags for me. Michigan vs. Colorado rushed for just 4.10 ypc while Colorado has allowed 4.28 on the season. Michigan vs. UCF, Wolverines averaged just 2.90 ypc and UCF is allowing 3.88 on the season. Hawaii game was a little different as they rushed for 7.85 and Hawaii is allowing 6.36 so they are pretty bad. Hawaii had a dreadful travel spot playing in Sydney, Australia, back to Hawaii (30 hours of travel time), and then another 30 hours of travel time to Michigan all in an 8 day span. Penn State is awful this year and we saw it against Pitt when the Panthers ran all over Michigan. My point is I don’t think Michigan’s rushing offense is top 25 and you can bet Wisconsin’s run defense is in the top 25 having proven themselves vs. LSU and Michigan State.
When Michigan can’t run the ball they struggle. There were 3 games when they did not have a rushing TD a year ago and they went 1-2. Their lone win against Indiana they did not cover the spread, and when you look at their game against Michigan State they averaged 1.88 ypc and lost as well. Wisconsin does not give up the big play, and I can’t rely on Wilton Speight to score TD’s in the red zone which is what will have to happen in this one for them to cover 10.5 points. Wisconsin has only allowed 2 passing TD’s and they have 6 interceptions.
This is going to be a very good game with two of the top 30 teams in yards per play allowed and plays per game allowed. This game should be shortened quite a bit and I’m getting 10.5 points with a very low total of 44.5 which is intriguing. If Wisconsin was not in a bad spot following Michigan State and with Ohio State on deck I would absolutely make this a more confident play, but at the end of the day I am still very confident. I really liked what I saw from QB Alex Hornibrook on the road last week against the Spartans. This kid is very calm cool and collected. He throws an accurate ball and has poise. I just do not really see a lot that separates these two teams at this point and Michigan typically carries an inflated number because of their brand.
Kansas State Wildcats vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Football Point Spread Pick: Kansas State +3.5 (October 1st 2016)
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I like what I’m getting with the ‘dog in this matchup: A Wildcats defense that gives up the fewest yards and passing yards per game in the nation and an offense that is No. 1 in red zone percentage going 16-for-16 in scoring from inside the 20-yard line. That 100 percent red zone scoring extends to the final seven games of last season, too.
The Wildcats had a lot of youth last season. That youth is maturing this year. This is the game that shows Kansas State is a real Big 12 contender.
Bill Snyder and his Wildcats have the right ingredients to score an upset here – good coaching, the ability to keep the ball away from West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard, not make mistakes and take full advantage of red zone opportunities to go with a strong defense that is particularly talented at linebacker.
Kansas State suffered a 26-13 opening-week road loss to seventh-ranked Stanford. There’s no shame in that, but for some it warped the perception of Kansas State. The Wildcats give up 179 yards per game, best in the country, while surrendering just 33 points in three games. They pounded Florida Atlantic and Missouri State following the loss to Stanford.
West Virginia had issues with its special teams last week. The Mountaineers were life-and-death with BYU before winning, 35-32, last week nearly blowing a 35-19 lead. That game was played in Landover, Md. Kansas State had a much easier time rolling past Missouri State, 35-0, in a game that was called at halftime because of lightning.
So not only are the Wildcats the fresher team, but they have a proven track record under Snyder of being great in these types of games going 20-8-1 (71 percent) ATS versus above .500 opponents. By contrast, the Mountaineers are 0-6 ATS the past six times they’ve faced a foe with a winning record.
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. USC Trojans
Over-Under Pick: Over 64 points (October 1st 2016)
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The Trojans are 1-3, hosting the undefeated Arizona State Sun Devils, and to the untrained eye it might seem odd that USC is a double-digit favorite here. This game actually reminds me of last season, when a 3-3 USC squad was a home favorite to the then #3 ranked Utah Utes who were 6-0 at the time.
The Trojans went on to win that game by a score of 42-24, and went on to win four of their next five games, punching a ticket to the PAC12 Championship game versus Stanford. You can bet that Trojans coach Clay Helton will remind his team of that heading into this weekend’s game.
Arizona State has looked terrible on defense, especially last week allowing Cal to gain a total of 637 yards. They managed to come back from a double-digit deficit by scoring 31 points in the fourth quarter to remain undefeated.
The Trojans can take a lot of positives from last Friday’s loss at Utah. Freshman quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 253 yards on 18-of-26 passing, and ran for 41 yards and a TD. He looked pretty solid in his first start on the road against one of the top defenses in the conference.
- Arizona State has failed to cover in seven of it’s last nine road games, and the over is 6-1 in it’s last seven overall.
UConn Huskies vs. Houston Cougars
Point Spread Pick: Houston -27.5 points (September 29th 2016)
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When laying four touchdowns or more in college football, I look for a team to be motivated in order to cover the number and also look for strong matchup edges. Houston has both. UConn gave Houston their only loss last season losing 20-17 as Greg Ward was injured and didn’t start the game. Greg Ward is an electric quarterback and will be 100% heading into this game Thursday night. Houston is converting on 53.4% of 3rd downs this season behind Ward and a balanced offense averaging over 200 rushing and passing yards a game.
We know Houston has had this game circled since last season as revenge is the motive. UConn has gotten outscored 31-0 in the 1st quarter this year (Houston 1st quarter is also an advised 1* Play) and that fits perfectly into my expectations that Houston will build an early lead and mash the gas for the remainder of the game.
Houston’s defense is leading the AAC with 34 tackles for loss while UConn is ranked last in AAC with only 15 tackles for a loss. I see UConn being stuck in a lot of ‘3rd and longs’ which can lead to bad decisions by the QB against a Houston defense that leads the FBS in forced turnovers the last 3 season.
Houston is averaging 44 ppg on the season. UConn’s offense has been one of the nation’s worst over the last 2+ seasons and their offensive line is lacking depth because of injuries this season which has not helped matters. QB Shirreffs is next to last in QB rating in the AAC this year barely edging out SMU freshman QB Hicks just to keep things in perspective. UConn is only averaging 11.8 ppg since 2014 as a road underdog and I don’t see them scoring more than 13-14 points here. I think this game gets ugly quick and the Cougars will continue with a demolition of the UConn Huskies. (1* Houston)
- Don’t miss Brandon’s Thursday Night BIG 12 ‘ATS’ Destroyer when Kansas visits Texas Tech as he has a very strong opinion on this game and who WILL cover the spread! Brandon is currently handicapping Saturday’s games and will have his FULL card available Friday afternoon!
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