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Archive for the ‘College Football Picks’ Category

Northern Illinois vs. Nebraska Point Spread Pick from Scott Spreitzer: September 16th 2017

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Point Spread Pick: NIU +14 (September 16th 2017)

I’m recommending a play on Northern Illinois plus the points over Nebraska. The Huskers hired former UConn HC Bob Diaco as their new Defensive Coordinator in the off-season.  Diaco has switched the “Blackshirts” to a base 3-4. General consensus around college football is that it can take half a season, sometimes longer for players to acclimate to the 3-4.  We played against Nebraska in week-one, a winning ticket for us on Arkansas State.  We passed last week’s game, but the defense struggled for the second straight week. The Huskers are allowing 531.5 total yards per game, including 390 yards per game through the air.  The defense is getting little pressure on the QB.  We expect more of the same this week against a team with a pair of capable RBs, who will force the Huskers to play an honest brand of defense.  Jordan Huff and Marcus Jones both ran well last week in a 38-10 win over EIU and QB Daniel Santacaterina should be able to enjoy enough time to go through his progressions.

Nebraska’s offense is dangerous, but mistake-prone at QB. Tanner Lee threw no less than four INTs in last week’s game against a shaky Oregon defense.  MAC teams get up for Big-10 teams and NIU is no different, covering 10 of their last 11 against Big-10 opponents.  NIU is on an 11-3-1 ATS run on the road, including covering four in a row.  I expect NIU to hang the number in Lincoln.  I’m recommending a play on Northern Illinois plus the points. Thanks & GL!  Scott Spreitzer.

Houston vs. Arizona College Football Pick from Larry Ness: September 9th 2017

Houston Cougars vs. Arizona Wildcats
College Football Pick: Arizona +1 (September 9th 2017)

The Houston Cougars had their season-opener against the UT-San Antonio Road Runners canceled due to Hurricane Harvey. So, instead of a warm-up, Houston will play it’s first game of the 2017 at Arizona Stadium in Tuscon against the Arizona Wildcats this Saturday night. While Houston’s first game was canceled, Arizona opened with a dominating 62-24 rout of the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. The two schools have just two previous meetings all-time, the last time being in 1986, when Arizona won 37-3 (Houston won the 1969 meeting).

Tom Herman took over as Houston’s head coach in 2015 and led the Cougars to a 13-1 record, a season which included a 38–24 victory over 9th-ranked Florida State Seminoles in the Peach Bowl. The Cougars had not beaten an AP top-10 team in a bowl game since 1979. In Herman’s second season (2016), Houston beat Oklahoma and Louisville (each of which was ranked #3 in the AP Poll at the time) but Houston slipped to a 9–3 for the regular-season record. Herman’s success with Houston culminated in his appointment as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns immediately following Houston’s final regular-season contest of 2016. Major Applewhite was promoted to head coach and led the Cougars in the school’s 34-10 bowl loss to SD St. Dual threat QB Greg Ward Jr. graduated, but 1st-year head coach Major Applewhite still has talent on both sides of the Ball, as eight offensive starters are back and seven on the defensive side. Former Texas A&M standout Kyle Allen, who sat out last year due to the NCAA transfer rules, will start at QB. He’ll have WRs like Linell Bonner (98 catches for 1,118 yards & three TDs) and Steven Dunbar (53 catches for 692 yards & five TDs). The running game needs to get better, as it averaged just under 150 YPG last season. The defense was very good last year, allowing a modest 23.5 PPG and with DT Ed Oliver back on the defensive line, the Cougars look poised to have another solid defensive year.

Arizona ran for 506 yards in its season-opener, with seven players gaining at least 40 yards and combining for seven TDs. QB Dawkins is a better runner (almost 1,000 yards in 2016) and two key RBs return in Zack Green and Nick Wilson. However, in order to improve on last year’s 3-9 record, the Wildcats will need to play better defense, as they allowed 38.3 PPG in 2016. We didn’t see any improvement against Northern Arizona, even though the Wildcats allowed just 24 points to the Lumberjacks, Northern Arizona had 562 total yards (377 passing & 185 rushing). There was some good news though, as the Wildcats forced three turnovers, including two interceptions by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles. This after having a minus-7 turnover margin last year.

This becomes Houston’s season-opener and it’s hard not too take notice of the fact that Arizona has won 19 straight non-conference home games! OR, that the Wildcats are 12-0 at home against non-Pac-12 opponents under coach Rich Rodriguez. With this pointspread, Arizona is the play.

Alabama vs. Fresno State Football Spread Pick from Freddy Wills: September 9th 2017

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
College Football Point Spread Pick: Fresno State +44 (September 9th 2017)

I look for Fresno State to be one of the most improved teams in the country this year after a 1-11 season.  They were not as bad as their record showed as they had a lead in 6 games by 14 or a 4th quarter lead.  This year they bring in a new head coach in Jeff Tedford and they have 10 returning starters on offense 6 on defense.  Their strength on defense is their defensive line with 7 of their top 8 guys returning.  Not to say Alabama will have any problem moving the ball in this one.

Alabama’s offense did not look great last week and their defense and special teams really bailed them out.  I expect a huge hang over here and I expect Alabama to be going through the motions.  Nick Saban is 3-7 ATS in week #2, and that’s typically because Alabama has to prepare and get up for a national game on a neutral site and when they play the following week it’s all about recovering.  I think it’s also worth noting that they will want to really run this game out.  They already lost 2 starting linebackers for the season and they just witnessed Florida State’s QB being lost for the season to end the game.  I don’t see them messing around in this game.

Worth noting is the fact that Fresno had the #33 special teams unit last year and returns everyone.  Alabama still has the edge, but Fresno should be able to get a field goal or two to help them cover this spread.

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