Well that hurt. 1-6-1 is not exactly ideal. I don’t feel terrible though as I liked BC and NC State to cover but bet the total instead. This week may prove to be the hardest all year. Not only are there a million games (perfect for catching up or digging a deeper hole), but most of the games feature massive point spreads. With 13 games on the slate, we’re breaking this up into two parts. Part 1 gives us the Hoos, while Part 2 is headlined by Texas A&M @ Clemson. On to the picks to get your ready for Friday.
William and Mary Tribe @ Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia -34; Over/Under 51.5
We kick it all off Friday night as the Hoos open their season hosting Mike London and the Tribe. I’m happy to say, gone are the days when we are honestly worried about losing a game like this, but that’s not what this column is about. This column is all about 34 points. That’s a huge spread for Virginia. The Hoos haven’t covered a 34 point spread since 2013 when they beat VMI 49-0. While the win over Pitt was huge, I still see this as a get right game. I think Virginia tries a lot of different things on offense and don’t let Bryce Perkins run loose. I think we get a steady dose of Wayne Taulapapa ,and Brennan Armstrong gets some run late. And for that I don’t see Virginia being able to pull away. The Hoos win comfortably, but it’s not by five TDs.
Pick: William and Mary +34
Wake Forest Demon Deacons @ Rice Owls
Wake Forest -19; Over/Under 58.5
Wake Forest really impressed me last Friday night. Utah State is a really good team and for the Demon Deacons to come back and get that win is better than it might look at first glance. On the other hand, Rice lost to an Army team that really disappointed. I’m not sure Rice can score. Wake Forest can score. Nineteen might not be enough.
Pick: Wake Forest -19
Ohio University Bobcats @ Pittsburgh Panthers
Pittsburgh -4; Over/Under 53.5
We got a good look at Pitt last week as our Hoos went into Pittsburgh and beat the Panthers 30-14. Pitt gets another home game as they host Ohio on Saturday and should have a bit of an easier time against the Bobcats. Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke wont’ show them anything they didn’t see last week facing Bryce Perkins. And offensively they won’t struggle like they did against the Hoos as Ohio allowed Rhode Island quarterback Vito Priore to throw for 291 yards and two touchdowns. There’s no reason why Kenny Pickett can’t have a nice bounce back.
Pick: Pitt -4
Syracuse Orange @ Maryland Terrapins
Syracuse +1.5; Over/Under 58.5
Outside of Clemson hosting Texas A&M, this is probably the highlight of the ACC slate. It also features a very significant line move. When lines came out, there was significant buzz on the Terrapins who were 2.5 point underdogs. Enough buzz that the line has swung all the way to Maryland -1.5. That’s a really big swing. I’m going to fade the public here and believe in the Syracuse defense. Furthermore, let’s avoid paying the juice and take Syracuse straight up at even odds
Pick: Syracuse Win
Old Dominion Monarchs @ Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech -28.5; Over/Under 56
I live in Norfolk, and even a year later there’s still buzz surrounding the Monarchs upset win over Virginia Tech. Guess who else, remembers? Yeah, the Hokies. Last week, ODU struggled to beat Norfolk State. There is no way the Monarchs can slow down Virginia Tech, who despite the loss to Boston College last week moved the ball really well. I wouldn’t go as far to say that the Hokies “get right” with this game, but they will run ODU off the field.
Pick: Virginia Tech -28.5
Western Carolina @ N.C. State Wolfpack
NC State -42.5; Over/Under 65.5
Just like with Virginia, NC State faces a huge spread, the likes of which they haven’t covered since 2015. I think the Wolfpack can come close, but what I like more is the total. The total implies Western Carolina will be able to score 12 points on the ‘Pack, a feat I don’t think they can reach. So for that reason, NC State could win this 55-10 and the Under still carries the day.
Pick: Under 65.5
South Florida Bulls @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech -6.5; Over/Under 61
I don’t care if South Florida isn’t as good as the team that made the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (you’re darn right I just wanted to say Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bow), they shouldn’t be getting 6.5 points against Georgia Tech. Nobody from FBS should be getting 6.5 points from Georgia Tech this year. I could look very stupid with that call come Saturday night, but until I see it from the Yellow Jackets, I’ll continue to fade them.
Pick: South Florida +6.5
2019 Record: 1-6-1
Stay tuned for Part 2 featuring Texas A&M @ Clemson and Miami @ UNC.