by Jeremy Dennis
“Maybe you should take two weeks off, then quit.” -- Andrew R. Close Friend
Another tough week at Chez Dennis. It’s ok though. The data is slowly trickling in. We will start having some decent models here soon. Of course, we still have 10 of 17 games this week where at least one of the teams has not played yet. Then, of course, the SEC debuts next week so we will have another whole slew of “educated” guesses. Crap…...
At least we are getting a little good news. The top picks were decent and it has been released that the Big 10 will start play in the middle of October. So let’s turn this ship around, shall we?
Last Week: Top Picks: 2-1 (66.7%) Total Picks: 6-8 (42.9%) Betting: DOWN 11.6 Units
Year to Date: Top Picks: 2-1 (66.7%) Total Picks: 6-13 (31.6%) Betting: DOWN 11.6 Units
TIER ONE - FIVE UNITS
Oklahoma State (-22) vs Tulsa
Sure, sure, sure. If 2020 was a college football conference, it would be the Big 12 after the Sun Belt went 3-0 against them in Week 2. However, the upper echelon of the group did well in Texas and Oklahoma. I consider the Cowboys to be in this group. They played Tulsa in 2017 and 2019 and covered both games. I think it will come down to whether the nine returning offensive starters will make a difference for Tulsa.
Louisiana Tech (+5.5) at Southern Miss.
The Golden Eagles were an absolute trainwreck in Week One versus South Alabama. So much so that it got their coach fired. Now with a somewhat rudder-less ship, they play host to a Louisiana Tech team that won 10 games in 2019. I am surprised that this number is not a little bit lower.
Miami-Florida (+2.5) at Louisville
Both teams played well against lesser competition last Saturday with this match-up being the first true test for each team. D’Eriq King and Micale Cunningham were stars under center for the respective teams. I think the two keys will be team defense and turnovers. I believe that all other things equal, Miami has the better defense and could win outright.
TIER TWO - THREE UNITS
Western Kentucky (-14) vs Liberty
Speaking of the Louisville game, WKU came close to covering in that match-up but they really struggled on the offensive line. Liberty will be losing a lot of firepower on offense and a lot of experience in general. I look for a good bounce-back from the Hilltoppersin this match-up.
Georgia Tech (+7.5) vs UCF
There are many questions facing this game: Is Georgia Tech turning a corner? Is the Yellow Jacket defense that good or was Florida State that bad? Is UCF the second-best team in Florida? Will the fact that this is the Golden Knights’ first game mean they will need time to knock off some rust. GT may not win but I think that is an awfully big number to cover.
Tulane (-7) vs Navy
Let’s face it, Navy was abysmal against BYU. It will be hard to tell if that was just a blip on the radar or if the Midshipmen will be on their way to a losing season. Tulane played well but didn’t cover against an up and coming South Alabama team. I think the advantage goes to Tulane here because they run some elements of Navy’s offense and will be better prepared to defend it.
App. State (-4.5) at Marshall
App. State continues to impress out of the Sun Belt after a victory against Charlotte in sloppy weather last week. Marshall’s win was against Eastern Kentucky. It is tough to say how the Thundering Herd will do with that being the only data point. The Mountaineers play quite well against teams from perceived better conferences. App. State should roll here.
TIER THREE - TWO UNITS
Louisiana (-17) at Georgia State - Letdown for the Cajuns or blowout?
Pittsburgh (-21) vs Syracuse - Pitt’s defense is really good!
Notre Dame (-24.5) vs South Florida - Irish not impressive last week. Can they turn it around?
SMU (-14.5) at North Texas - Mustangs need a better performance than against Texas State.
Wake Forest (+2.5) at North Carolina State - Wake held their own against Clemson.
TIER FOUR - ONE UNIT
Duke (-5.5) vs Boston College - Hard one since we haven’t seen the Eagles play.
Baylor (-4.5) vs Houston - What will happen with the Bears after Matt Rhule left?
Troy (-3.5) at Middle Tennessee - We will see if Army is that good or MTSU was that bad.
Louisiana-Monroe (+6) vs Texas State - Home dogs doing well in the Sun Belt.
Florida Atlantic (-1.5) at Georgia Southern - Who the hell knows with this one? Georgia Southern had 33 players miss the game against Campbell and almost lost. This will be FAU’s first game.
If you want the best info for the boys that play on Sundays, have a look at the Blitzalytics Prospect Guide. It has info on all 32 NFL teams. Here is the link so you can check it out: