Last week we had an absolutely loaded slate and it did not disappoint with great games all across the country. The betting column didn’t have its best week, but it wasn’t all that bad as we remained profitable with a 4-3 record. That put’s the column at 24-9 heading into the halfway point of the regular season (that makes me SICK to type). This week, the slate is not quite as grand but that means it will likely be crazier than anyone expects. Let’s get into it.
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
Duke (-3) @ Georgia Tech
Look, I know this is not one of the premier games in college football this weekend but I do think it is a very worthy bet. Yes, Georgia Tech picked up a win last weekend in shocking fashion but I am not suddenly going to believe this Yellow Jacket team is any good.
Coming into this week the Georgia Tech defense ranks 117th in defensive success rate which means teams are moving the ball at will against them. They’ve been especially bad against the run ranking 122nd in defensive rushing success rate. That will give them trouble against Duke as the Blue Devils' offense comes in ranking 14th in standard down success rate on offense and 10th in rushing success rate. Duke should be able to move the ball all over this team.
Flipping sides, the Georgia Tech offense is not much better. They’ve been especially bad up front as they’ve given up a ton of sacks, tackles for loss, and turnovers. A good way to measure that is Offensive Havoc Allowed. Georgia Tech ranks 116th in that category. That will once again spell trouble against a Duke defense that currently ranks 2nd in defensive havoc on the year. Given all these massive mismatches I think this line is shockingly low for a Duke team that is much better than people think.
Utah @ UCLA over 64.5
One of the best games of the weekend will be at the Rose Bowl as the undefeated Bruins host Utah for a huge game in the PAC-12. Both of these teams come into this game with incredibly strong offenses which is why I am looking to the over in this contest.
Success rate is my favorite way to measure a team and thus far this season both teams are ranking toward the top in key categories. In terms of standard down success rate on offense, Utah ranks 19th in the country while UCLA ranks 8th. Beyond that, Utah and UCLA both rank toward the top in terms of points per play with UCLA ranking 15th and Utah ranking 22nd. That means both of these offenses are efficient and explosive.
One knock on these offenses has been their ability to finish drives in the red zone as both teams have left some points on the board, but neither opposing defense is all that great in that area either. Currently, Utah ranks 84th in red zone defense while UCLA ranks 115th in that same category. I don’t see either offense having drives stall out which again leads me to points, points, points so I’ll take the over in this one.
TCU (-7) @ Kansas
College Gameday is heading to Lawrence for the first time ever and once again the Jayhawk fans have sold out the stadium in back-to-back weeks. All the momentum and energy of the college football weekend will be focused on Lawrence, Kansas. It’s an awesome story for college football but you know what we must do, right? Yes, bet against it.
The story of Kansas is awesome, but this week it has felt like there is a lot of outside focus on the Jayhawks with all that is going on around college football. Not only are they hosting gameday but rumors are starting to fly all over about the future of Head Coach Lance Leipold. He, of course, says he's not going anywhere but many have already tied him to the Wisconsin and Nebraska coaching vacancies. All this happening to Kansas makes me feel like it is time to bet against them. If you recall, a few weeks back college gameday went to App State in a similar situation and while the Mountaineers did win on a miracle but they never came close to covering.
Last point, this TCU team is GOOD. If you read any of my preseason columns you know I was very high on this team and bet them to win the Big 12. Right now, it’s looking like that could very well happen. This offense is explosive and quarterback Max Duggan is playing out of his mind. He ranks 4th in the nation in QBR and has yet to throw an interception on the year. I don't think he, or this team, is going to be intimidated by going to Lawrence after playing in state SMU and Oklahoma in back-to-back weeks so give me the Frogs to win and cover here. There are some 6.5 out there, so get that if you can.
Tennessee @ LSU over 64: Both of these offenses are incredibly explosive and the Tenneseee defense is not making enough plays to slow down LSU. LSU’s defense is pretty solid, but they have not faced an offense as good as this UT group yet. I think this one could get into the 70s.
Oregon (-13) @ Arizona: Oregon ranks 5th in standard down success rate on offense while Arizona ranks 131st in standard down success rate on defense. The Ducks should be able to run all over the Wildcats here so under two touchdowns is a bit low for me.
North Carolina @ Miami (-3.5): Yes, last time out Miami lost to Middle Tennessee State but they are off a bye and I think that will allow them to get some things figured out. It helps to go up against this disaster of defense for UNC too. The Heels rank 119th in defensive rushing success rate while Miami ranks 4th in offensive rushing success rate. Canes should run wild here.