The books in Vegas cleaned up last weekend with so many underdogs covering. However, if you rode with Hoff’s picks you feel pretty good right now!
Last Week: 4-1
Lock of the Week Overall: 2-2
Central Michigan at Boston College (-7.5)
You can complain about Steve Addazio for a lot of things but one thing you can’t complain about is how well BC has handled being over a touchdown favorite. In the last 10 games that BC has been favored by a touchdown or more the Eagles are 6-4 against the spread and 9-1 overall. Addazio has not been great against the elite teams but he certainly does well against the powder puffs on the schedule.
On paper Central Michigan looks like a pretty mediocre MAC team. URI took Central Michigan to overtime and ‘Cuse drubbed them by 24 points. Also, Miami-Ohio defeated Central Michigan by 17 points last weekend in a game that was a pickem at kickoff.
Seemingly the only thing Central Michigan does well is throw the ball. However, if the Eagles go up early and Harold Landry can pin his ears back and rush the passer will the Central Michigan tackles be able to handle him? I am betting NO.
Georgia at Tennessee (+7.5)
This one pains me to pick because Georgia has been good to me the last three weeks winning two big games for me. On paper Georgia should win this game by double digits.
College football is a funny game though and strange things happen when a team not named Alabama goes on the road as favorites in the SEC. Tennessee is 4-2 in the last six games ATS as a home dog and Georgia is 1-5 in the last six games ATS as a road favorite. For some reason Tennessee has a way of circling the wagons when Butch Jones needs a win ala Wayne Fontes when the Detroit Lions would win games for him in the 90’s after everyone had counted him out.
Mississippi State (+9.5) at Auburn
Mississippi State got all sorts of praise for a home victory over LSU two weeks ago and as such was ripe for the picking down in Athens last week. Dan Mullin should have his crew ready for a bounce back this week.
I called Penn State the most overrated team in the top five and James Frankin’s crew showed their true colors on the road in Iowa last week. If I’m looking for the most overrated team in the 6-15 range I’d take Auburn though. I don’t think the Tigers have any business being over a touchdown favorite here.
Maryland at Minnesota (-13)
Maryland started the season with a bang by defeating Texas by ten and getting a lot of national attention. However, since that time the Terps have lost both the starting quarterback and the backup quarterback in that game. Third string quarterback Max Bortenschlager was brutal against UCF last week going 15-for-26 with 132 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT’s. The end result was a 38-10 loss.
Minnesota’s new coach, PJ Fleck, has the team rolling a little bit of late. The Gophers destroyed Oregon State 48-14, and then beat up a decent Middle Tennessee squad, 34-3. I think this is a battle of two teams going in the opposite directions.
Lock of the Week
USC at Washington State (+3.5)
USC has gone through a pretty challenging early season schedule that has included games against four teams that will be in bowl games at the end of the year. The Trojans have navigated through that stretch undefeated and have looked like one of the best teams in the process. I might have placed a futures bet on USC winning the national title too, so believe me that I am very impressed with Clay Helton’s squad.
With that being said I am a bit concerned with how banged up the Trojans are going into this game. The team leader in receiving yards, Deontay Burnett, will play but is clearly less than 100%, and the second leading wideout, Steven Mitchell is out. When you throw in tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe still being out the receiving core looks awful thin for the Trojans is a game that is likely to be a shootout.
Washington State comes in at 4-0, albeit against a much easier slate of opponents. Still, 4-0 is 4-0 and this is probably the biggest game in Pullman since Drew Bledsoe was here. The Cougars offense is clicking on all cylinders outing up 44.5 points per game, which is 12th highest in the nation. Quarterback Luke Falk has been sensational averaging 344 passing yards per game to go along with 14 TD’s and 1 INT on the season. I have to admit that I’m scared that WSU starting LB Peyton Pelluer has a broken foot and will miss this one. I still think I’m getting value though with a field goal and the hook.