Last week: Killed it with Tulane, killed it with the UNC/Georgia over, pushed on Boston College and even nailed the under on the Stanford / Kansas State game. Seriously, keep checking this column out every week. . .
Cincinnati -6.5 at Purdue
Games like these are avoided by the casual college football watcher and for good reason. Purdue might be the worst team in the Big Ten, while Cincinnati is better remembered as “the school Brian Kelly used to coach at.” Purdue lacks a pass rush and has one of the weaker secondaries in the NCAA. Cincy can answer for at least ONE of those weaknesses. The Bearcats’ running game and offensive line is the back bone of this offensive attack. Quarterback Gunner Kiel is one of those guys with the “physical” talents (and cool first name) that usually leaves fans unimpressed. This year, Kiel will be working with a new crop of wide outs to test this weak Purdue secondary. Purdue will try to run the ball but won’t have the speed to outrun Cincy on the outside. The over / under is set at 64.5 because of the lack of defensive firepower but Vegas might be over-selling the value of these offenses.
The Pick: The Under at 64.5
Louisville -16 at Syracuse
This line keeps going up and for good reason. If the nation was sleeping on Louisville before this season started, the Cardinals definitely woke up the dormant masses last week by trouncing Charlotte 70-14. Yes, it was Charlotte, but make no mistake this Cardinals team is legit. After being up 56-0 in the first half the Cardinals took their foot off the throats of Charlotte. Quarterback Lamar Jackson scored 8 total touchdowns last week and made it look as if he was playing on “easy-mode.” On the other side of things Syracuse is a team that just won 33-7 verse Colgate, but looking deeper at the numbers there is cause for concern. Two of their three touchdowns came on a 43 yard pass and a 49 yard run – Louisville’s defense might give up a play like that once a game. . . to a good team. Syracuse also had to settle for field goals four times during the game because their offense was stopped by Colgate. . . Louisville may be at Syracuse, but they’re going to be those disrespectful house guests that put their dirty feet on your kitchen table and spit on the floor.
The Pick: Louisville -16
Miami Dolphins -10.5 at Seattle Seahawks
The NFL returns this week, and it does so with a very “bleh” opening weekend. The Seahawks enter the season with high expectations as they should while the Dolphins tell themselves things will be different and they won’t be. It’s becoming really easy to go “chalk” and take the Seahawks at home but how can you not when the Dolphins are traveling 3,300 miles to play a game against a team that got better on offense and is still a top five defense. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is one of the more overrated starting quarterbacks in the league, who usually does his damage in “garbage time.” Hopefully for him, when the game gets to that point, he’ll be already on the bench game planning for next week’s game.
The Pick: Seattle -10.5
Tulsa +29 at Ohio State
Logic would say, take Ohio State and don’t worry – history would say “not so fast.” So which way do we lean? The logical way or the way of the historian? Ohio State likes to line up these out of conference games and try to make quick work of their opposition. They did that last week with a sixty-seven point blow out against Bowling Green and are looking to do that against Tulsa this week. Last season, Ohio State beat Western Michigan by 26 points and squeezed by Northern Illinois with a seven point victory. Tulsa on the other hand is a bad team that can put up points. Last year against Houston and Oklahoma they put up 24 and 38 points respectively in those losses. Expect Tulsa to keep their starters in this one for all four quarters, which will give way to the “back door” points late in the game – or just keep up with the great Buckeyes for more than the Ohio State faithful will care to see.
The Pick: Tulsa +29
If you must: Take Clemson first half against Troy. Right now the first half line is non-existent but the total game line is set at -36. Lets guess that the first half is at 22.5 — you still take it.
4 Game Teaser: Louisville -2, Iowa -3, Tampa Bay Bucs +15 and Seahawks +1.5
Good luck and wager wisely!