After going 3-0 to start last Saturday, it was all downhill from there as I ended up dropping the final five bets of the weekend. Alas, I’m still over .500 for the year, but we may be entering the stage of the season when you and my wallet realize I might not be very good at this. Either way, we get it started early with our Hoos hosting the Deacs.
I’m not saying anything you all don’t know by pointing out Virginia’s defense played really badly last Saturday night. But what really stuck out to me was the difference in team speed between the Cavaliers and Tar Heels. While Josh Downs got most of the headlines running away from the Virginia secondary, even their defense seemed to play faster than the Virginia offense. Whenever there were holes, they closed very quickly. That won’t be the case this week against Wake Forest. While their offense is prolific, it’s not on the same level as what the Hoos saw last week. The total is really high, but there’s no way I’m touching the under. The Cavaliers are different at home and the 4th Side will give them the edge they need to cover this number.
Pick: Virginia -3.5
Liberty Flames @ Syracuse Orange
Syracuse +6.5; Over/Under 54
After winning against the Orange 38-31 last year, the Flames might be better this year. But unfortunately for Liberty, Syracuse may be better too. The defense has been much improved and the offensive line isn’t a sieve anymore. Malik Willis and company should come away with the win, but it’ll be done behind a strong run game and a strong defense. Give me the under.
Pick: Under 54
Call me a donkey, but it’s never a good thing when a coach sounds like he’s complaining about going on the road to play a game in an environment that is perceived as stale. Well, that’s what Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz did when he said he didn’t see the value playing at Boston College because he’d rather play a regional game for recruiting purposes. While coaches use road trips for visibility all the time, to have that aspect of this trip consuming some of his team’s preparation (to the degree he’d mention it in a press conference mean’s he’s thinking about it) is dangerous. Boston College is no cute little Northeast recruiting trip. The Eagles are legit. While losing Phil Jurkovec is less than ideal, Boston College’s offense should still be effective against a weak Tiger defense. Connor Bazelak and Tyler Badie will be the best players Boston College’s defense has faced all season, but the defense will be nasty enough to make it a long trip home for Missouri.
Pick: Boston College +1.5
Buy the dip? I’m back in. This Clemson offense was terrible last week, but they’re still the best team in the ACC and it’s not even close. NC State will come into this game fired up, the crowd will be ready to go, but the Tigers will prove the gap between the two programs is still vast.
Pick: Clemson -10
Buy the dip? Well, you can’t buy a dip that was never high to begin with. Florida State is just bad. Even the talent hasn’t been enough to make the team look respectable. Louisville won’t be scared after having faced Ole Miss and UCF already this season and Malik Cunningham has been good enough to take the Cardinals into Tallahassee and pull off the win. But...I feel like I’ve seen this movie before and Louisville should win going away, but I just can’t pull the trigger on the line. Therefore, I’m banking on neither team being able to stop the other and points to fly.
Pick: Over 61
How bad must Kansas be to be getting 16 points from Duke? I’m very scared by this line and the total looks really high as well. Last week, Duke jumped out to quick lead, but limped to a 30-23 win over Northwestern. The Wildcats are better than the Jayhawks, but Duke wasn’t as “prolific” as their hot start suggested. I’m going back to the well and looking for an ugly low-scoring game.
Pick: Under 57
I can’t imagine what this line would have been had Virginia come closer or even beat the Heels last week. The Jackets are getting a ton of steam from their near upset of Clemson. Georgia Tech was a 28 point underdog last week, and while North Carolina isn’t as good as Clemson, this line should closer to three scores than two TDs.
Pick: North Carolina -13.5