Three picks against the spread

Utah State is a bare cupboard. There is minimal talent or experience on this roster.

And the Aggies should have lost to UConn last week.

They pulled out a one-point victory but were outgained in total yardage (473 to 416) and beaten by Success Rate (50 percent to 44 percent).

They also needed a blocked extra point to ensure the victory. I’ll sell high on USU after a lucky win.

Colorado State should sling the ball all over the field here.

The Rams’ passing attack looks excellent with new quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi under center (replacing Clay Millen), ranking top 20 nationally in EPA per Dropback and Pass Success Rate.

Meanwhile, Utah State ranks among the bottom-10 teams in Pass Success Rate and EPA per Dropback allowed.

They’re even worse against the run (130th in Rush Success Rate allowed), so Jay Norvell will have the entire playbook available to him.

The pick: Colorado State -3.

Jay Norvell
Jay Norvell
Denver Post via Getty Images

Texas (-5.5) over Oklahoma (in Dallas)

Oklahoma is overvalued.

The Sooners’ 5-0 record and excellent efficiency stats look good.

But an easy schedule (53rd in strength of schedule) and turnover luck (+8 in net TOs) have overinflated their market value.

Oklahoma has yet to play a top-40 SP+ offense, and they’ve played one top-40 SP+ defense.

Texas should be a wake-up call. The Longhorns are battle-tested, ranking 13th in strength of schedule.

They have wins over two ranked opponents, Texas and Kansas.

UT and KU rank among the top 25 teams in Offensive SP+, but the Horns held the pair to a combined 38 points on -0.10 EPA per Play while scoring 74 on 0.22 EPA per Play in two double-digit victories.

Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers
Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Texas is one of the most talented teams in the nation, and its resume backs that up.

Conversely, Oklahoma’s resume shows it is not as deserving.

Bet on the Longhorns to force negative regression upon the Sooners in a convincing victory.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC (-3) over Tulsa

I was high on Florida Atlantic before the season.

The Owls boast one of college football’s most experienced rosters, with 18 returning starters from 2022.

It’s time for a big win after three straight losses at the end of a brutal non-conference schedule (Ohio, Clemson, Illinois), including two by one score.

Betting on the NFL?

We can buy low on FAU here, given they’re more talented than their record and due for close-game positive regression.

Unfortunately, FAU quarterback Casey Thompson is hurt.

But I believe in backup Daniel Richardson. He was a firecracker at Central Michigan.

Tulsa is 3-2, but I’m selling high on the Hurricane after consecutive wins over two poor teams (Temple and Northern Illinois).

The Hurricane also are dealing with quarterback injuries, given starter Braylon Braxton hasn’t played since the season opener.

He’s supposed to be back this week, but we can’t be 100 percent sure he’s 100 percent healthy.

Last week: 2-1. Kentucky (W), Troy (W), Iowa State (L)
2023 Season: 10-4-1 

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