Last week we had a great slate of games and thankfully many of them lived up to the hype (not you Tennessee, a lot less orange here this week!). It was a good week for the betting column as well as we went 4-2 to put us at 44-20 on the season heading into the final few weeks of the regular season. It’s been a great year, but there are still winners out there to find so let us get right into it.
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
Arizona @ UCLA (-19.5)
Theoretically, there are still 11 teams alive for the college football playoff. One of the lowest-ranked teams still alive is the UCLA Bruins who sit at #12 in the latest playoff poll. In order to make a push to the top four UCLA needs to win, and they need to win in style. There is no better team to try and win in style against than the Arizona Wildcats.
Arizona comes into this game with the worst defense in all of college football. It is horrendous. The Wildcats come into this game with the worst-rated defense in terms of defensive success rate. 131 of 131. It’s been especially bad against the run as the Wildcats sit dead last in defensive success rate against the run and 124th in defensive stuff rate.
This week, Arizona will be taking that dead-last run defense to UCLA and facing one of the top rushing offenses in the country. Coming into this game UCLA ranks 4th in offensive stuff rate (not getting stuffed at all) and 4th in offensive rushing success rate. The Bruins should run all over this Arizona team and with style points needed to move up the polls, I think Chip Kelly and Company will keep their foot on the pedal all game long. Anything under 21 is a go for me.
Notre Dame @ Navy (+17)
One of the biggest wins of last weekend was Notre Dame’s dominating win over the then-ranked 4th Clemson Tigers. The Fighting Irish absolutely destroyed the Tigers in all phases en route to a 35-14 win. It was such a big win even the fans took to the field to celebrate.
Now the Irish turn the page for a road trip to take on Navy. Navy might be just 3-6, but they’re one of the last teams I’d want to face after a big win like Notre Dame got last week. You go from a dominating win over Clemson at home to now having to face cut blocks all week in practice just to hop on a plane to Annapolis? Woof.
Having to defend the triple option is tough enough, but this Navy defense is pretty solid as well. Coming into this game Notre Dame ranks as a top 20 rushing attack in terms of success rate, but they’ll be going up against a Navy defense that ranks as the 21st-best rushing defense in the country. They’re also a defense that can really cause issues in the turnover department as they rank 2nd in the nation when it comes to defensive havoc. Overall. I think this is a brutal spot for the Irish which leads me to take the points with the Midshipmen. I got this at 17, but this line has dropped some. I like it at 14.5 or better if you can get it.
LSU @ Arkansas (+3)
Speaking of tough spots, the LSU Tigers also got a big win this past weekend knocking off the Alabama Crimson Tide in overtime after a gutsy two-point conversion call to win. Not only did the Tigers knock off their rival, but they also eliminated the Tide from playoff contention and put themselves as the leader in the SEC West.
Now the Tigers have a tough challenge of moving on from that contest and hitting the road to take on Arkansas who is coming off a brutal loss to Liberty at home. The Hogs have been a big disappointment in 2022 but I think they’ll be ready to try and play spoiler here.
One way they can do that is by keeping the football on the ground with their solid running game. To play with LSU you’ve got to attack a run defense that can be a bit soft as the Tigers rank 73rd in rushing success rate on defense. The Hogs have a top-25 rushing offense in the country so I think they’ll look to ground and pound and keep their inept defense off the field. To me, this is another brutal situation spot and I think Arkansas has a way to keep this thing close. Woo Pig!
Georgia @ Missississippi State (+17): Sticking with the trend. Georgia off the biggest win of last week has to travel to Starkville. Tough spot, I’ll take the points with Leach and Co.
Virginia Tech @ Duke Under 49.5: Virginia Tech has a god-awful offense, but a defense that can slow down anyone. Duke’s defense is pretty solid too so I think this one could be reallll ugly in Durham.
Nebraska (+30.5) @ Michigan: 30 points?! Just feels a little big for me. My numbers make it closer to 21.