Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Football Point Spread Pick: Iowa -2.5 points (November 25th 2016)
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The Hawkeyes followed up their huge upset of Michigan at home with a 28-0 win at Illinois. I was really impressed with the way Iowa responded after arguably the biggest win of their program. It appears that victory has gave this team new life and they certainly are going to be fired up against Nebraska. These two programs don’t like each other and the Hawkeyes would love nothing more than to put to rest any hope the Cornhuskers have of winning the Big Ten West (need to win here and have Wisconsin lose). I look for Iowa’s defense to be the difference in this one and the offense to do just enough to get the win and cover. Give me the Hawkeyes -2.5!
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UMass Minutemen vs. Hawaii Warriors
College Football Pick: Hawaii -7 points (November 26th 2016)
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UMass is 0-5 SU on the road, losing on average by 21.2 PPG…My free play is on Hawaii at 11:00 ET.
Head coach Nick Rolovich’s first season at Hawaii has been one of ups and downs. The Rainbow Warriors opened 1-3, beating only UT-Martin, an FCS school. However, Hawaii would win three of its next four to even its record at 4-4. That 3-1 stretch included a 34-27 OT win at Air Force, a game in which Hawaii was a 17-point underdog. Three straight losses followed the Air Force win (to New Mexico, San Diego State and Boise State, three pretty good teams) but the Rainbow Warriors bounced back by eking out a 14-12 win at Fresno State last Saturday on the road.
Hawaii gets a 13th game late Saturday night, when 2-9 UMass visits “paradise” in the first-ever football meeting between the two schools.UMass’s season started with a rainy-day 24-7 loss in “the Swamp” to the Florida Gators on Sep 4th and things never got that much better. The Minutemen’s only two wins came 21-13 over FIU on Sep 17 and 34-10 against Wagner on Oct 29 . Last weekend, UMass fell to BYU, 51-9.The Minutemen are averaging just 21.8 PPG (114th) on 345.9 YPG (115th), while allowing 34.5 PPG (107th) on 450.3 YPG (100th).
Inserting Dru Brown as the team’s starting QB after the team’s slow start was a plus for Hawaii, as he’s thrown for 1,903 yards while completing 60.7% The running game is led by Diocemy Saint Juste (714 yards on 5.7 YPC) and Paul Harris (537 yards on 7.0 YPC)) but while those guys gain most of the yards, they’ve each scored just twice. Rather, it’s Steven Lakalaka (410 yards on 4.2 YPC) who gets most of the glory, with 12 rushing TDs! Hawaii’s defense stinks, allowing 37.2 YPG (116th) on 455.1 YPG (104th) but can the Minutemen take advantage?
My bet says N-O! UMass is 0-5 SU on the road, losing on average by 21.2 PPG. Lay the points.
Louisiana State vs. Texas A&M
College Football Pick: LSU -5.5 points (November 24th 2016)
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Texas A&M has two wins in the last six weeks. They beat New Mexico State. And they beat Texas- San Antonio; two games where they were favored by -43.5 and -26.5 points. It’s surely worth noting that they didn’t cover either pointspread – the Aggies last pointspread cover came all the way back in September in a ‘closer than the final score would indicate’ win over Arkansas.
The Aggies offense has been broken since starting QB Trevor Knight got hurt against Mississippi State earlier this month. Backup QB Jake Hubenak is a statue in the pocket and he doesn’t have a huge arm. That’s very bad news against the powerful LSU pass rush; a stop unit that has held every single opponent they’ve faced this year to 21 points or less. All four of LSU’s losses this season have come despite the defense largely controlling the flow.
The Aggies defense, like LSU’s D, has a great pass rush with Myles Garrett a potential #1 overall NFL draft choice next spring. But the Aggies stop unit has one major Achilles heel, likely to doom them in this matchup – an inability to shut down power rushing attacks.
The results don’t lie. A&M gave up 278 on the ground to Alabama and 365 on the ground against Mississippi State. Tennessee and Auburn both gained more than 200 yards on the ground against this stop unit as well. There’s a world of difference between the Florida front seven that LSU struggled to run the ball against last week and the A&M front seven that they’ll face this week!
The Tigers dominated Florida for extended stretches last Saturday. But with five ‘first and goal’ opportunities, LSU garnered only ten points. The loss wasn’t a ‘season killer’ for a squad that had already suffered three previous defeats. Their defense is primed to dominate a backup quarterback once again. And this week, we can expect the two headed RB duo of Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice to rip off yardage in chunks.
Get more LSU Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies predictions from Teddy Covers each week at Touthouse.com
The Aggies have allowed at least 29 points in each of their last for SEC games. If LSU approaches or exceeds that number – and I expect that they will – the Aggies will be hard pressed to stay competitive against the Tigers elite stop unit. Take LSU.