Gambling should not be a hobby of our staff writers here at messageboardgeniuses.com. But, if at first you don’t succeed, throw more money at it this week!
You can see our success (or failure) after last week. It…does not look great for anyone that isn’t a dog. I did not count games where a picker tied the spread.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s place some bets!
This week, our guest picker, @nocontextfootball, will be, ironically enough, providing picks with context.
Central Michigan -5 vs South Alabama
CMU made things look really close against Oklahoma State thanks to an explosive fourth quarter. Expect the Chips offense to continue firing on all cylinders. While Lew Nichols III receives all the attention, Daniel Richardson is a stellar Go5 QB and really can throw precise beams all over the field. Keep an eye on Donte Kent at CB, an emerging talent with Sundays in his future.
Stanford +10 vs USC
Look. I think USC should be close to a three-touchdown favorite in this game. They aren’t. My eyebrows are raised. Do the oddsmakers know something we don’t? More often than not, they do. I could look like a total fool for this one but maybe the Tanner McKee to Benjamin Yurosek connection will be deadly. And perhaps Kyu Blu Kelly snags an interception in a game that might just be a whole lot closer than people think. I look forward to seeing everyone on College Gameday take USC and I’ll be sure to save that picture just in case things get super weird out on The Farm.
Arizona +10.5 vs Mississippi State
Perhaps I’m a sucker for taking more points here but how can I not. I’m much higher on this Arizona team than others and I’m a huge believer in Jedd Fisch. My guy Jacob Cowing will get all the praise for the Wildcats but what about young guns in Dorian Singer and Tetairoa McMillan? These cats can flat out play. I expect Jayden de Laura and Will Rogers to duel in the desert and I’m confident that Arizona can keep up with the frenetic pace in Tucson.
Iowa/Iowa State Under 40.5
I’d be surprised if these two teams can put 3 touchdowns on the board together. Iowa State isn’t as good as Iowa’s last opponent but this is a grind it out sort of game until Iowa proves they can score touchdowns.
Virginia ML (+170) at Illinois (UPSET OF THE WEEK)
Is there some sort of home field advantage for Illinois? I’m fairly certain they’re a weekly loser on a certain Twitter list maker’s student section ranking. Virginia may have given up some points to Richmond but the game was never close, and there’s no reason they should be an underdog. Virginia wins straight-up
Miami -25 vs Southern Miss
Southern Miss’s QB threw 2 picks last week in 8 passes. Their RB threw an additional 4 passes. Quick math says that’s 12 passes in an offense that is supposed to be pass-heavy. Not even a dumb-dumb of a coach like Mario Cristobal could mess this up.
Vanderbilt +13 vs Wake Forest
Vandy is at home and is well on its way to becoming the best program in the country.
California -13 vs UNLV
Cal isn’t good but neither is UNLV. Easy cover for Cal.
UNC -7.5 at Georgia State
UNC’s offense will be too much for Georgia State. No way the Panthers can keep pace.
Iowa State +3.5 at Iowa
The spread assumes that Iowa will actually score, likely in double digits, but I’m just not sure the defense can grab more than 3 safeties this week.
Duke +10 at Northwestern
Northwestern’s offense looked amazing in their sole game of this season. But let’s be honest, it was against Nebraska in Ireland. Northwestern typically has a good season every other year, but they still lose weird non-conference games in those years. I don’t think they lose this one, but it’ll be closer than 10.
Virginia +4.5 at Illinois
Does anyone understand this spread? Didn’t Illinois just drop a game at Indiana? Virginia didn’t look amazing against Richmond last week, but they won. I agree with Rusty, here. Look for a potential upset in Champaign.
Alabama/Texas – Over 62.5
I think Bama’s high-powered offense is likely to end up in a shootout with the Horns. I think the Tide’s defense is disgustingly nasty, but it’s hard to gauge what to expect from Texas after last week. Quinn Ewers earned rave reviews coming out of high school but he hasn’t had any truly meaningful snaps and you know Sark wasn’t going to show anything of his new offense last week. Plus, you know Texas has been planning this one all off-season so Sark will play all the tricks against Saban. This is a massive game for Texas on the national stage. They’re going to fight. I’ll take the over.
Pittsburgh +6 vs Tennessee
The Johnny Majors Classic is a top-25 matchup that I think is being overlooked because it should shape up to be a close battle. Both teams feature potent air attacks so this likely ends up in a shootout. I’m pretty certain of a Vols win with Pitt covering.
Kentucky +5.5 vs Florida
Last week was a massive win. A first-year head coach takes down a top-10 team in the opener. It turned heads and I’m sure campus is abuzz. But Kentucky is establishing a program under Mark Stoops and they’re familiar with the environment and not flying cross-country for it. I wouldn’t be surprised whichever teams wins but it’ll be close.
Reminder: If you are actually using an article on messageboardgeniuses.com for gambling advice, you probably belong on a message board.
For more insightful college football takes, follow me on Twitter @hawkguymatt.