Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Point Spread Pick: Iowa +7 (November 5th 2016)
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I’m not buying Penn State being the 12th best team in the country, which is what they were ranked in the fist CFP poll. This is a team that lost to Pitt, who is a middle of the pack team in the ACC and got destroyed by 39 at Michigan. Not to mention they only beat Temple by 7 and Minnesota by 3. Yes, they beat Ohio State at home as a big dog, but that’s a huge rivalry and it was an electric atmosphere at home. They aren’t going to be as motivated here against an Iowa team that has failed to live up to expectations. The big difference from this year’s Iowa team and the one that went 12-0 in the regular season last year, is they just aren’t as fortunate in close games. Their 8-point loss to Wisconsin is their biggest defeat of the season. This is their chance to get a statement win and remind everyone they can’t be counted out of the Big Ten West race. The Hawkeyes also come in off a bye, so they have had two weeks to prepare for Penn State. Iowa’s biggest weakness is their offense is dependent on being able to run the ball. All 3 of their losses were against strong run defenses. Penn State ranks 82nd in run defense, giving up 183.4 ypg and 4.5 yards/carry. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Iowa won this game outright. Give me the Hawkeyes +7!
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Nevada Wolfpack vs. New Mexico Lobos
College Football Prediction: Nevada +15 (November 5th 2016)
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This line opened at +12.5 and was quickly bet a couple points higher. It is understandable as Nevada has been a money burner this season, going just 1-7 ATS. However, this is actually a good scheduling situation for Nevada as they are coming off a bye week which gave them extra time to rest and prepare for this game. This is especially important when facing an option offense like New Mexico. Despite the poor pointspread record, Nevada has been a competitive team this season with only one loss coming by more than 10 points in their past six games.
New Mexico returns home off a road underdog win at Hawaii last week and the Lobos also have two more road games on deck the next two weeks. New Mexico might overlook this single home game, especially as a double-digit favorite. The Lobos only have one win by more than 7 points in their past seven games. They also have a weak defense that has permitted 32.0 points per game on 6.0 yards per play at home this season.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
College Football Pick: North Carolina -10 (November 5th 2016)
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For whatever reason we are 9-1 ATS on Free plays this year. Let’s keep it going!
I will take the Tarheels here in a spread that looks a little too big, but I think North Carolina is the 3rd or 4th best team in this conference. Georgia Tech any time they have stepped up in competition in the conference have been beat by double digits that includes Clemson and Miami at home. Now they go on the road to face North Carolina, whom arguably has better offense than both of those teams. It’s also worth noting that North Carolina is off the bye which is a huge advantage when facing the option. I also like how this defense looked the last 3 weeks before the bye.
Mitch Trubisky is arguably the best throwing QB that Georgia Tech has faced and this offense can score quick which is bad news for Georgia Tech because they are 120th in sack %, 113th in adjusted pass defense, and 94th vs. the run. When you see Georgia Tech giving up 37 and 35 to Pittsburgh and Duke you have to feel confident that North Carolina off a bye may be able to get into the 40’s or even 50’s in this game.
Maryland Terrapins vs. Michigan Wolverines
Point Spread Pick: Michigan -30.5 (November 5th 2016)
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If you are going to lay this kind of points in college football, you probably want to do it with Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines. Although I understand that Harbaugh is a pretty good guy in life, on the football field he wouldn’t stop and pee on you if you were on fire. Cutting edge analysis I know but what I’m trying to say is that Harbaugh doesn’t take the foot off the gas for anybody. In fact, he did his one good deed for 2016 when he slammed on the brakes vs. Illinois in deference to Illini HC and fellow compadre Lovie Smith. He did lead that game 35-0 at the half. Terp coach Durkin was the Wolverine DC last year but I don’t think that will buy him any mercy here. With style points important for both the Wolverines as a playoff seed and Jabrill Peppers as a Heisman longshot I can see Michigan playing the full game. They also have at Iowa on deck so Harbaugh could use this as a tightner after basically two walkovers. For the record we’ll call it 51-13.
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Florida State Seminoles vs. NC State Wolfpack
College Football Pick: NC State +5.5 points (November 5th 2016)
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Have to think that this is a letdown situation for the Seminoles here off a bye week and the 37-34 loss to Clemson. That was a huge game for Florida State and the team shot themselves in the foot with late penalties. The Seminoles have beaten the Wolfpack the last three seasons by double digits, so a lackadaisical effort is surely possible. The team also has a quick turnaround playing Boston College Friday night.
If State has anything left after facing Clemson and Louisville on the road in back to back games we find out here. It sure didn’t show well last week against Boston College, losing by 7 as a 14 point favorite. But now back at home with the Seminoles in town should bring motivation.
Florida State has played a nine point tougher schedule, so this team could be running on fumes. Especially considering it already has three losses, and any preseason goals are out the window.
Texas Longhorns vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
College Football Prediction: Texas -170 odds (November 5th 2016)
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As bad as things have been for Charlie Strong and the Longhorns, they come into this week’s game at Texas Tech as winners of two of their last three, fresh off an upset win over #8 Baylor last week. Junior D’Onta Foreman ran all over the Bears defense, picking up 250 yards and two TDs on 32 carries. He should be looking forward to facing the Red Raiders, who rank among the worst in the country in defending the run. Opponents are averaging 213 rushing yards per game, and 5.4 yards per carry against Texas Tech.
Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the country in passing, but he’s been battling a shoulder injury the last few weeks. He threw for just 206 yards with 2 TDs and an INT on 24-of-39 passing against TCU last week. That likely won’t be good enough against a Texas team that can score points with the best of them. There is also a revenge angle here, as the Red Raiders beat the Horns in Texas 48-45 last season. The Longhorns had won the previous six meetings, and they had covered the spread in five of those games.