Yep, I know. I keep repeating myself every week about how this college football season is flying by, but it’s Week 11 (Week 12 if counting Week 0) as we’re already into the second weekend of November with Thanksgiving looming and the CFB Championship Weekend (Dec. 1-2) a mere three weeks away.
Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come as we feel we have a better handle on these teams at this point of the season, but we bounced back big-time last weekend by going 3-0-1 ATS with our CFB Best Bets and all three winners also pulling outright upsets! We won with Boston College +3 in 17-10 win at Syracuse, Georgia Tech +2 in 45-17 rout at Virginia and Stanford +13.5 in 10-7 win at Washington State (as I’ve always said: “a team can’t cover a 13.5-point spread if they only score 7” – or similar with different numbers!
The push was on Texas A&M +3 in a 38-35 loss at Mississippi. (A&M almost also pulled off an upset with a late 35-31 lead and also had a potential game-tying FG block at the end of regulation that could have forced overtime, though that might have been a blessing in disguise as we could have lost the cover in OT).
We improved to 20-16-3 ATS (55.6%) on the college football season. In addition, I also listed at the end that the last play I had dropped the prior two weeks had covered, so I gave a bonus pick on Houston +4.5 at Baylor and the Cougars won outright, 25-24, in OT. I was happy to share that with our longtime loyal followers even though it isn’t in our official posted record.
I’ve bet more Duke-North Carolina basketball games as opposed to football over the years, but this looks like a great spot to take Duke as a big underdog. The Tar Heels rank No. 12 in scoring offense at 39.1 points per game, but Duke is No. 7 in scoring defense at 15.7 points per game. I believe Duke will hold UNC to 27 points max, in which case the Blue Devils just need to score 13 or more points to cover. Duke also averages 5.2 yards-per-carry, with 20 of its TDs coming on the ground compared to only seven through the air, but that should help shorten this game and make the points more valuable.
We discussed this last week in regards to situations where the worse team is still favored – and how it usually comes down to them getting too much credit for home-field advantage. Otherwise, why is Purdue (2-7) favored over Minnesota (5-4)? It’s just a 1-point spread (though several books are at pick ’em), but I believe Minnesota should be favored. The Golden Gophers have the best unit on the field, which should be the difference. And I hope you’re seeing a trend here with this Saturday’s picks.
We don’t have a difference of records here (note: I should make it clear that I’m not saying you should be making all your plays based on teams’ records as that’s a very “square” way of thinking; when I bring it up here it should be seen as isolated cases where I don’t believe the oddsmakers and/or betting public are overadjusting or not giving the proper weight) as both teams are 6-3, But in this game the home team is actually getting a few points, which as we’ve discussed in counter-intuitive to how these things usually work, thus providing some betting value. The Chanticleers have the much better defense, allowing 21 points and 382 yards per game compared to Texas State at 28.2 points and 406.9 yards per game.
Washington (9-0, 5-0 in the Pac-12) is ranked No. 5 in the CFB Playoff Rankings, and QB Michael Penix is the +150 Heisman favorite at DraftKings, so the Huskies’ bandwagon continues to pick up passengers. However, the Huskies don’t play defense, and I truly believe that will end up costing them eventually – and we trust Utah will make it sooner rather than later. The Utes (“Did you say yutes?” – Fred Gwynne as Judge Haller in My Cousin Vinny) actually play defense and outlasted a similar team with their 34-32 upset of USC three weeks ago. Utah has two losses but is still ranked No. 18 and shouldn’t be an underdog of more than a TD. Case dismissed!
Tuley Noted: The three prior weeks, the last game I’ve dropped from this column has covered, so this week that play would have been Appalachian State +2.5 at Georgia State, so do with that what you will.