I’m gonna be straight up with you all. This week has a GREAT slate of games. Notre Dame vs. Georgia, Auburn vs. TAMU, Wisconsin Vs. Michigan, Willie Taggart vs. a 4 year old selling lemonade and 2019 Chip Kelly vs. 2012 Chip Kelly all litter the slate. The first three weeks almost felt like a warm-up with a scattering of good games across the month, but never all on the same day.
The “Regular Season” of College Football has arrived, and by God It’s about time.
That being said, the board this week didn’t have very many lines jump out at me where my brain told me Vegas was being idiotic. There was no dumbassery like setting an over of 55 in a game of Maryland vs. Syracuse. There was no line of -21.5 insinuating that the morbid corpse of the UCLA Bruin’s football program could hang around with the new look Oklahoma Sooners. So I had to do what I typically do about this time of the football season. I packed a lunch, and went to work. I put my thinking cap on knowing that I both supply food to mouth’s, and am the only person between a bookie buying a new car and a bookie sending YOU an pitiful excuse text for once.
Let the bookie slide for a week, but when he collects from all his other clients be sure to ask for both weeks worth of payments on Sunday.
Because we got some locks.
Lock 1: Nebraska -13.5 vs. Illinois
The Huskers were the trendy pick to do things unheard of this year, ranging from winning their division to making the playoffs (LOL). After a loss to a largely mediocre Colorado team, most of those dreams have dissipated, but you’re still left with a pretty damn decent football team led by a pretty damn decent head coach. Not necessarily a formula to win one of the premiere conferences in college football, but definitely a recipe to beat a downtrodden and miserable football team like the Illinois Fighting Illini. Take a look at Nebraska’s schedule last year and you’ll notice a plethora of losses toward the start of the season, only for the heartbeat of the heartland to start beating again toward the middle of the year. The key to that resuscitation? Beating up on a middle of the road Minnesota team via an offensive explosion. I didn’t buy into the Adrian Martinez for Heisman Hype, but for those who did, I predict this to be a game that portrays why. Illinois for lack of a better term, is a dog-shit football program right now who after losing to a directional school in Michigan (not one of the good ones), has lost all faith in their coach and their team. Usually if a team collapses like it looks like the Illini are doing now, I reason that at least they will remain competitive because the draft prospects want to put down valuable film therefore they will still ball out. Unfortunately for Illinois, but fortunately for you and me, Illinois isn’t exactly stocked full of players of that ilk.
Take the Huskers. Old man winter Lovie Smith may be coming back home to Texas Sunday morning. Permanently.
Lock 2: Texas A&M vs. Auburn OVER 49.
Both of these teams have a defense. Auburn’s is better than TAMU’s, but the boys down in College Station still have a formidable unit and the inverse is true of their offenses. I expect Bo Nix to struggle some in this game, but if he can be just good enough to open up the run game I expect points to be put up on the board by the Tigers. Texas A&M’s offense is predicated on the “pro-style” principles, which doesn’t always necessitate a lot of points on the board but don’t forget: This is the same offense Jameis Winston and co. set the all-time points record to. They have an absolute freak of a receiver in Kendrick Rodgers and another big-ass DUDE in Jhamon Ausbon who can absolute bully cornerbacks for contested catches. Starting RB Jashaun Corbin will be missed in that offense, but blue-chipper Isaiah Spiller has performed admirably in the interim averaging 8.8 ypc. Do I think this will boil down into a shootout? Nah, not really. But I’m confident that both of these teams can combine to throw up north of 50. Number is too low not to hammer.
Lock 3: Wisconsin vs. Michigan OVER 43. HAMMER
This line to me is set for a Big-10 showdown set in the year 2015. The game has evolved since then. Wisconsin is bowling over nobody’s, yet you have to respect the rate at which they’re doing it. I think this line is predicated more on Michigan’s inability to score of late, and the relationship that has with Wisconsin’s seemingly impermeable defense (0.0 ppg allowed). However, if you look at Michigan’s offense, it’s not as putrid as it looks. They have moved the ball well enough, they’ve just shot themselves in the foot. They’ve lost 5 fumbles in TWO games. That to me isn’t a lack of offense, that’s just the lack of capitalizing on offensive opportunities. A terrible offensive scheme like Michigan has had in past years can’t be modified to be fixed, you have to completely overhaul it. Look at LSU. That being said, mental mistakes and errors can in fact be fixed and the good thing for Michigan fans is…they just had two weeks to do it. They also had two weeks to recover from playing Army, a game of which I take no stock in. I think after another two weeks of ironing out the crinkles in the offense and taking measures to fix mental errors, we will see a revitalized Wolverines team. One that can score, maybe not at ease, but at a rate to bust the top off of a 43 point Over/Under when combined with Wisconsin.
You know ‘Sconny is gonna bust some skulls. Michigan’s defense is hard nosed as well, but at some point that dam is gonna break and Jonathan Taylor will get loose.
This is the biggest of my week, and the line is still trending down. If you wait you might shave a point or so off of the current 43 total. Even so, it’s the HAMMER of the week.
Eat, Bet, Be Happy.
It’s the best time of the year.