Nevada +15 at San Diego State
If there’s one thing San Diego State has proved it’s that they’ll beat up on the bad teams. If you’re a little above average though, they can’t figure you out. The Aztecs are playing at home after coming off of two huge roads wins and a bye week. It’s no secret how the Aztecs play their brand of football: Hand the ball off to Rashaad Penny and don’t get in his way. Penny is the second leading rusher in all of college football with 1602 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. He’ll be looking to inflate his seven-yards a carry number as he goes against a Nevada Wolfpack that’s allowing 4.5 yards a carry. That would give Penny a smash-average-advantage of 5.75 a carry, which is a ridiculous number. The Aztecs’ pass attack is more about keeping the opposing defenses honest and managing the game, but it may have more opportunities against this Nevada pass defense which is one of the absolute worse in football (giving up a completion percentage of 68.1% and 279 passing yards a game). The times that Nevada has put up points or a fight is against bad defenses, this won’t be one of those times as they face the Aztecs this weekend.
The Pick: San Diego State -15
UCF -14 at Temple
The University of Central Florida is the number one offense in college football, averaging 48.6 points per game. They are currently 9-0 but are feeling a bit of “conference bias” when they look at their current ranking in the college football playoff picture. UCF is getting little to no love with a ranking of 18 and the chances of them making the actual playoff are slim to none – even if they go undefeated. This positions UCF to only get themselves into a major bowl game and maybe square up against a highly thought of SEC, BIG 10 or Pac12 opponent. . . This week, the Knights don’t do too much to help out their cause as they travel to Temple to take on the Owls. The Owls are generally considered to be a pretty decent team that is not part of the power-five conferences but this is a down year for them and now at 5-5 they are struggling to find themselves bowl-eligible with only two games remaining on their schedule. Quarterback Frank Nutile has been the reason behind this mid-to-late season run given to the Temple Owls though. Looking at the numbers though, he’s had success against Army, Navy and Cincinnati – all three teams which let up at least a 60% completion percentage to their opposition. UCF is only allowing a 54% completion percentage and has 12 interceptions on the season so far. Add to the fact that Temple’s 3.5 yards a rush puts them in the bottom quarter of the entire NCAA – you have a one-dimensional offense playing a power house team in the Knights. Fourteen points is way too modest here.
The Pick: UCF -14
Iowa State -9.5 at Baylor
This line is giving Baylor way too much credit for playing at home. . .Listen, I used to be a Baylor against the line guy. Every week — especially for first half action. But since the unceremonious departure of coach Art Briles, this program has been on a downward spiral. No longer are they a top ten offense in the nation fighting for the Big 12 crown. . . now they are 1-9 with their only win coming against Kansas. . .the only team worse than Baylor in the Big 12 conference. This week, they play host to an Iowa State team that is the biggest roller coaster ride in college football this year. This is a team that has split wins against the best teams in the conference and the games have all been decided by single digits. Iowa State’s defense is good – according to Big 12 standards – but that’s mostly due to a rush defense holding opponents to 3.7 yards a carry. Baylor’s 25.7 points per game are decent, but considering they don’t pass the ball well or run the ball well, it’s mostly due to playing in the Big 12 that that number is what it is. In the Big 12, literally anything can happen on the scoreboard, but Baylor is more inept to consistently score points against a team that at least tries to play defense – so ride with the Cyclones as the traveling favorite.
The Pick: Iowa State -9.5
Four Game Teaser of the Week: Indiana +1; Air Force +29.5; San Diego State -3; Ball State +32.5
Good Luck and Wager Wisely!