Back to .500 for the season and it’s time to take it into overdrive! My confidence level is that of Daz’s in the picture above as he puffs his chest out in what is a cross between prize winning peacock and Sgt.Slaughter!
Last Week: 2-3
Lock of the Week Overall: 3-2
Virginia Tech at Boston College (+16.5)
I’m ALL IN on POUNDING THAT ROCK BABY!
In all seriousness, this is more of a bet against Virginia Tech than anything else. The Hokies rose to #12 in the polls thanks to wins over an average West Virginia team who happened to be ranked when they played, two FCS schools, and a blowout win over a 1-4 East Carolina squad. Virginia Tech might be a solid team but it is hardly a top 15 team like it is being treated in the polls and with this 16.5 point spread on the road.
Maryland (+31.5) at Ohio State
Ohio State will obviously win this game but I don’t get the line in this one. OSU is a sexy team with lots of national recognition but did you know it is 6-12 ATS in the last 18 games as a three TD favorite or mote.
I went against Maryland last week and paid the price. The main reason for going against the Terps was because third string quarterback Max Bortenschlager was forced into action. After watching the game he made some plays wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought he was as a 3rd string QB. Maryland has much more talent than any other team Ohio State has played.
Penn State at Northwestern (+14.5)
Penn State is widely considered one of the top offenses in the country by the national pundits. If you take a closer look this offense isn’t quite as good as the hype though. Penn State ranks 59th in rush offense, 25th in pass offense, 29th in total offense and 14th in scoring offense. Are those good stats? Yes, but not elite. Let’s not forget that those stats include 569 yards and 52 points rolled up on Akron (93rd ranked defense) and 526 yards and 56 points against Georgia State (80th ranked). This Penn State offense doesn’t look quite as good as it looked at the end of last year.
Northwestern is coming off of a solid showing on the road at Wisconsin last weekend in which it covered a big number. Northwestern is good in the underdog role and I love getting the half point hook here.
Duke (+2.5) at Virginia
This is another game where I think we have to reset how we rank early season win for both teams. Virginia got a ton of love two weeks ago when it went to Boise State and won big. It was a solid win but I wonder if people are still rating Boise as a top 15 level team like it used to be instead of like a top 30-40 team that it is now.
On paper both those teams rank similarly in total offense and scoring offense. The difference in this one is that Duke has the 14th ranked total defense and 24th ranked scoring defense while Virginia is #38 and #43 in both of those categories. The Blue Devils pull off the road upset.
Lock of the Week
San Diego State (-10.5) at UNLV
SDSU had an impressive run through the non-conference knocking off Stanford, Arizona State and Air Force. SDSU came out flat against Northern Illinois last week and got outgained by over 100 yards but they were still able to come out with a 34-28 victory.
Now Mountain West conference play starts and that’s where the Aztecs have been dominant of late winning 18-of-20 straight up, with 17 of those wins coming by double digits.
When you break down the match-ups this looks like a nightmare scenario for a UNLV team that leans heavily on the run. The Aztecs have a good rush defense that is much better than its 47th national ranking when you consider they played Air Force and Stanford this year. On the flip side, SDSU’s 37th ranked rushing offense is even better than the stats show considering its challenging non-conference schedule. Meanwhile, the UNLV defense is ranked 100th nationally.