Ben Wittenstein: Notre Dame -2.5 over USC.
Notre Dame has had a wild run of night games recently, with this being their fourth primetime game in a row. Last week, they lost in a bad way to Louisville. Simply put, that was a bad spot. It was a road night game coming off another road night game, sandwiched before a home game against USC. They didn’t have a shot.
Now back at home and off a loss, we’re getting the Irish at what I think is a good number. The last time they had a big game at home, they lost in heartbreaking fashion. I don’t think Marcus Freeman and Co. will make the same mistakes this time around. The Notre Dame defense will be the best one by far that Caleb Williams will have faced this season, and Sam Hartman is more than capable of carving up an incredibly weak USC defense.
Nate Jacobson: Texas A&M +3 over Tennessee.
This isn’t an ideal spot for Texas A&M coming off their second loss of the season at home to Alabama and Tennessee fresh off a bye week. But I have serious doubts about how good the Volunteers are this season. Tennessee is getting a lot of credit for their break-out season last year, but there are a lot of different parts to this group.
The Vols started the season 4-1, but their best win was at home against a South Carolina team I’m not fond of and they played very poorly at Florida in their loss this season. Texas A&M still has a lot of talent, despite questionable coaching, and I expect them to bounce back off a loss.
Colby Marchio: Pitt +7.5 over Louisville.
I would not be abiding by my code if I did not add this pick to my card. Last week, Louisville stormed the field after taking down Notre Dame at home. We all know the rules: If a school storms the field/court they are an automatic fade in their next game.
Pitt is a team with a lockdown defense. They are No. 17 in passing defense and No. 20 in total defense. They should hold down the Cardinals offense. They do not let up big plays. I trust the code. I trust Pitt. Let’s ride.
BW: Fresno State -0.5 first quarter over Utah State.
This is both a gross bet and one where the numbers back it up immensely. The Aggies simply can’t start games, it’s really that simple. For whatever reason, it takes them 15 minutes to warm up. The move here is taking Fresno State first quarter, and then live betting Utah State to win. Utah State has lost EVERY first quarter they’ve played in this season. Home or away, it doesn’t matter. Let’s go with the Bulldogs to continue the trend.
NJ: Pitt +7.5 over Louisville.
I bet Louisville over 7.5 regular season wins before the season began because of new HC Jeff Brohm, and also because the Cardinals avoided Florida State, Clemson and North Carolina on their schedule. I’m thrilled Louisville is off to a 6-0 start, but that record is more a product of their schedule than being the No. 14 team in the country like the rankings indicate. The upset win last week against Notre Dame was a worthy victory, but they had close calls this season against Georgia Tech, Indiana and NC State.
Pitt is another ACC team I thought would be competitive this season with transfer QB Phil Jurkovec returning to his hometown. I couldn’t have been more wrong about the Panthers, who are 1-4 and are benching Jurkovec for Christian Veilleux. I have no idea if Veilleux is good, but he has to be better than what Jurkovec has been this season. Plus, the Panthers had a bye week prepare for this game. Pitt is catching Louisville at the perfect time off a marquee home win, and I like the Panthers to cover this big number and possibly hand the Cardinals their first loss of the season.
CM: Fresno State -0.5 first quarter over Utah State.
As Ben wrote, Utah State is one of — if not the worst — first quarter teams in the country this season. They have been outscored 84-10, while Fresno State has outscored their opponents 53-20 in the first quarter. Fresno State is 4-1-1 on the moneyline in first quarters this season. They are also 15th in scoring. They are far and away the better team in the first quarter.
Extra: If this game intrigues you, live bet Utah State in the second quarter. They turn it up from the second quarter to the end of the game. Last week against Colorado State they were outscored 17-3 in the first quarter. They went on to win 44-24. They are a powerhouse outside of the opening quarter.
BW: BYU ML +180 over TCU.
Getting a team off a bye week at a big price? Sure, I’ll bite. Much issue has been made with how one-dimensional the Cougars’ offense has been this season, and I don’t necessarily expect that to change right away against TCU. But off a bye week, and with the team getting slightly healthier on the line and in the secondary, I think there could be a chance for an upset here.
TCU has to turn to freshman QB Josh Hoover with an injury to starter Chandler Morris, and we have yet to see how well the offense can play under him. A team off a bye playing a freshman QB with little experience? Could be a perfect recipe for an upset.
NJ: Miami ML +140 over North Carolina.
I’m not sure what we are going to get from Miami after HC Mario Cristobal’s in-game blunder caused the Hurricanes to lose in horrific fashion against Georgia Tech. Some might think the Hurricanes will have trouble focusing for this game at North Carolina after a crushing loss. However, as bad as Cristobal is at managing a game, he’s a great recruiter and motivator and I’m hopeful he’ll be able to inspire his talented team to get up for this big ACC encounter.
North Carolina has been awesome this season, led by projected first-round pick Drake Maye under center, but I have questions about the Tar Heels’ coaching staff. Miami’s loss last week creates some point spread value on this game and also a bigger moneyline to back the Hurricanes.
CM: Texas A&M ML +130 over Tennessee.
Going up against Tennessee this weekend in Neyland Stadium, the Texas A&M Aggies will come out on top. They have had the tougher journey leading up to this matchup playing Auburn, Arkansas and Alabama, while Tennessee has only played Florida and South Carolina.
QB Joe Milton not living up to the hype has the Vols relying heavily on the run game. They are seventh in the country in rushing yards per game. What makes me love this bet is that A&M is ninth in the country in rush yards allowed per game. If they can stop Tennessee’s tough run game and force Joe Milton to make plays it will be all theirs.
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