There are good weeks, there are even weeks, and then there are bad weeks. Last Saturday, for me, wasn’t great as I went 2-4 on Saturday and needed the NFL slate to bail me out and thankfully I was able to do it, but it is not a strategy one can rely on as betting the NFL is always incredibly tough. Anyway, a 1-2 week puts us at 7-5-1 on the official picks so we’re still in the green here, but hopefully we can widen the gap in Week 6.
Florida (-6.5) @ Texas A&M
I was able to get this at 6.5, but it appears the line has moved around some to 7 and back over the course of the last few days. To me, I think there are some significant pieces that make me really like the Gators in this spot. Firstly, Dan Mullen is as good a coach as there is out there. His offensive play calling has allowed the Gators to come out firing and I expect that to continue here. Kyle Trask has looked incredibly efficient thus far completing over 70% of his passes. I am not calling them the 2019 LSU Tigers, but the QB and the pieces they have starting with Kyle Pitts makes the passing attack nearly unstoppable.
On the other sideline Texas A&M looks like the same old A&M that they have been for years with no pass rush and suspect tackling that allows for big plays. Alabama’s Mac Jones threw for 435 yards last week against the Aggies, and wideouts John Metchie III and Jaylen Waddle averaged 36 and 28 yards per catch, respectively. There were big plays, but a lot of them we’re just bad tackling by the Aggies. Now they have to try and tackle Kyle Pitts and Trevon Grimes? I don’t see it.
Ole Miss @ Alabama: Under 70
This total, like a lot of ones down south, are dropping rapidly. I bet this Wednesday evening at 70 and the number has already fell to 68. Why? Well because winds will be a plenty down in Mississippi this weekend as Hurricane Delta makes its way to the Louisiana coast and eventually into Mississippi. With 25 to 35 MPH winds expected at points its going to create tough passing opportunities for both teams. Since 2005, the under has gone 546-517-34 (57%) when the wind is the 13 MPH or higher. That under percentage creeps higher and higher as the wind gusts harder. There are a few other games that will be impacted by this and I will hit on them in the quick hitters below.
So far both these teams have shown they can score as ole Miss is averaging 38.5 points per game, and Alabama averaging 45. With Najee Harris, I have no doubt that the Tide will be able to score, but I am not so sure if the Rebels can keep pace. Firstly, it’s Alabama, a much better defense than they’ve seen thus far, and secondly Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin is a former assistant of Nick Saban. That is a trend you don’t want to be a part of if you’re the Rebels as Saban has never lost to a former assistant and is outscoring them 650-220. Alabama will have an idea of what Kiffin and company will want to do, so add that with the winds and I think you have a recipe for this falling under the total.
Virginia Tech (+4.5) @ North Carolina
In a race for the second spot in the ACC title game, this contest is huge. Both teams have started the season 2-0, but in less than impressive ways. For Virginia Tech it’s been due to COVID as starting quarterback Hendon Hooker has been out for the first two contests. He’s back this weekend which improves an offense that is already averaging 41 points per game. For UNC, they’ve looked just a little sloppy. The defense has been good, especially against the run, but the offense has not looked as sharp as it should with Sam Howell and his five top receivers back.
I think all of that makes this game look like it will be a tight one. I see this being a game decided by a field goal, so at 4.5 I feel really good about taking the dog here. Virginia Tech’s offense should pick up even more with Hooker and on defense they’ve got a pass rush that leads the nation in sacks currently. If the Hokies can continue to get to Howell it should force an offense that isn’t clicking to continue to struggle. I’ll take the Hokies and the points, and possible sprinkle a little for them to win outright.
Texas vs. Oklahoma, over 70: Neither team has a pass rush, and both teams can score. I am not a big over bettor, especially at 70, but it just seems to be a game that might be a shootout like normal.
Duke @ Syracuse (+2): Dukies are winless and headed to the Dome as a road favorite? Something doesn’t add up here. I would wait until just before kick to ensure there is nothing COVID related missing here, but if there isn’t I will add the Orange to the card.
Tennessee (+12.5) @ Georgia: I was late getting to this one when it was at 14. Line feels right where it’s going to make me stay away at 12.5, but I think Tennessee is the right side here.
Miami @ Clemson (-14): I am not betting this game but Clemson feels like the right side. Tiger defense hasn’t played as great as usual, got something to prove against King.
Texas State @ Troy under 62: Hurricane Delta wunder (wind under)
Central Arkansas @ Arkansas State under 63: Hurricane Delta wunder
FAU @ Southern Miss under 57: Hurricane Delta wunder