Alabama -4.5 at Auburn
This scene is all-too-familiar. It was just a couple of weeks ago that Auburn was a slight home underdog to the number one team in the nation, Georgia and came up not only covering, but winning. . . and winning BIG. Once again the table is set up in a very similar fashion. These two teams have offenses and defenses that are in the SEC’s top three and this will be the eighty-first meeting between these two teams, in a rivalry known as the “Iron Bowl.” Whoever wins this game will get to play Georgia for the SEC title, which in turn helps to solidify a spot in the College Football Playoff. Even looking at it by position: Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver – they are pretty much even throughout. Auburn has a history of being the home dog that ruins things for Alabama. This year, there is added incentive as they not only can play the role of “spoiler” but also help themselves in getting closer to the title of “Champion.”
The Pick: Auburn +4.5
Florida Atlantic -21 at NC Charlotte
Well, well, well. . . we finally get to talk about a game that includes the name: Lane Kiffin. Kiffin took the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic, in hopes to jump-start his career as the head guy. Kiffin and the Owls had a rough go of things starting out the season 1-3 but now the Owls are winners of seven straight games and this is much due to them becoming the tenth-best rushing attack in college football. Running back, Devin Singletary (possibly the best running back you never hear spoken of) has racked up 24 touchdowns, averages 6.6 yards a carry and is looking to add to his 1524 rushing yards. Considering how the Charlotte 49ers are allowing nearly 200 yards a game on the ground at a 4.5-yard clip – it’s lunchtime for Singletary and this Owl offensive line.
Last week against this defense Southern Miss running back Ito Smith racked up three touchdowns and 153 yards. Charlotte can run the ball pretty well, but have red-zone issues like very few do in college football. Speaking of the red-zone, Kiffin’s Owls have a 95% success rate of scoring when they get in the twenty-yard line while the 49ers ALLOW opponents to score 92.11% of the time. Something else that may interest those looking to wager on the side of Florida Atlantic: Lane Kiffin isn’t shy when it comes to pouring it on, embarrassing opponents and proving a point. You want that kind of coach when covering a three-touchdown-deficit.
The Pick: Florida Atlantic -21
Texas Tech +8.5 at Texas
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury is the cool-kid-in-school. Even at a school where he is nearly twenty years older than most of the students – Kingsbury is still the king of cool. Unfortunately for him, his good looks and charisma may be cooling off with the Texas Tech faithful. The Red Raiders are currently 5-6 with all of their wins coming against below-average competition (sorry, Houston but it’s been a down year for you guys and you know it). When your defense allows a 65% completion percentage and 4.3 yards a carry, that just means the offense needs to carry all the weight. For all that matters, the offense does try and it shows – the Red Raiders have the eighth most passing yards in college football, along with fifth highest pass completion percentage at 68.9%.
Those numbers will be put to the test by a Texas Longhorns defense holding opponents to a 59% completion percentage and three yards per rush attempt. Texas has shown improvement from the previous two seasons and has competed in games that last year would’ve been completely lob-sided. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger will get the start for the Longhorns and although he isn’t the most polished passer, he is a dual-threat QB who should give the Red Raiders defense fits. Texas Tech will struggle to get their offense off the ground in this one. And for four quarters of football, this defense will get worn down and give up the big plays to the Longhorns.
The Pick: Texas -8.5
Good Luck and Wager Wisely!