I’m not going to waste any time this week. We’ve got a tasty 11 game slate that kicks off with our Hoos traveling to College Park. Get on over to Draftkings Sportsbook and let’s get after it.
The talk coming into this game centers on Virginia’s quarterback “controversy.” While I was a fan of what I saw from Anthony Colandrea last week, I’m ok with Tony Muskett back at the helm. In situations like this, I lean towards the decisions the coaches make based off what they’ve seen for the last 8 months of these two in practice vice what we as fans saw in one game of action. Sure, Colandrea was great, looked explosive, and makes me excited about this team’s future. But let’s give Muskett a shot at a non-Tennessee team and see what he can do. That said, if the offense looks stagnant, I’m all for making the switch sooner rather than later. Now onto the cap. Can Virginia keep the big plays in check? It was a problem last year, it was a problem against Tennessee, it was a problem against JMU. I have a sneaky suspicion it will be a problem against Maryland. Quick scores make for the other team needing to press to come back, so give me the over in this one.
Pick: Over 48.5
The big story in this one is the weather. With Hurricane Lee bearing down on the Northeast I expect a sloppy game. Florida State will be able suffocate the Eagles with their defense, run the ball to up the score, then get out of there unscathed with Clemson on deck next week. While 49-0 is in play, I’m still going under.
Pick: Under 46.5
Louisville head coach Jeff Brohm is no stranger to playing the Indiana Hoosiers having beaten the in-state rival the last two seasons while he was at Purdue. The offense should be able to move the ball, but I just don’t see the Cardinals putting Indiana away. The game is at Lucas Oil Stadium, but it should still have a fairly pro-Indiana crowd. Even if the game isn’t close, the Hoosiers are live for a back-door cover.
Pick: Indiana +10
Wake Forest Demon Deacons @ Old Dominion Monarchs
Wake Forest -14; Over/Under 61.5
After giving up over 30 points in both of their games this season, the Monarchs are going to have a hard time slowing down a potent Wake Forest attack. While I like ODU’s ability to get up for games against UVA and VaTech, I can’t see the same emotion for hosting Wake Forest. That was evident in the 42-10 drubbing the last time these two faced off. Wake is typically a program that maintains its focus in spots like this. The atmosphere in Norfolk will be fun, but will settle down early as the Deacons will roll.
Pick: Wake Forest -14
Minnesota is going to want to grind the game to a halt while UNC will want to score as quickly as possible. I’d like to take the under, but UNC’s inability to stop teams at time gives me pause. Given the Golden Gophers propensity to grind out games, I don’t see them being able to come back when the deficit reaches double digits. I don’t love it, but I’m laying the points on the ‘Heels.
Pick: North Carolina -7.5
This is a big number for the Blue Devils. I don’t love a Northwestern program currently in turmoil, but this is still program that’s competitive year in year our in the Big Ten. Let’s see how Duke fairs against an inferior opponent when there’s actually some expectations.
Pick: Northwestern +18.5
Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you’re not looking forward to watching this on one Saturday at 3:30 and I don’t blame you. VaTech has struggled offensively this season and to add to matters quarterback Grant Wells is banged up. Rutgers will keep the ball on the ground and control the game, so even though 38.5 is small by college standards, the under is the play. (Note: This game is off the board at time of publication, so lines listed are from earlier in the week)
Pick: Under 38.5
Does Georgia Tech have an offense? After years of Paul Johnson and the triple option to Geoff Collins doing nothing exciting, the Yellow Jacket passing attack looks good under Brent Key. Ole Miss will win this one going away, but with a trip to Alabama on deck I think Georgia Tech can make a 24 point game a 17 point game late.
Pick: Georgia Tech +17.5
I’m looking forward to an exciting game and a chance to see how good Syracuse really is. Purdue didn’t have much trouble in Blacksburg while Syracuse has been beating up on inferior opponents. I think Syracuse is good, but not that good. Go in and cover on the road against a decent Big Ten team and we’ll talk. But give me the points and the home dog.
Pick: Purdue +2.5
Pittsburgh Panthers @ West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia -2.5; Over/Under 47.5
This Phil Jurcovec isn’t the Phil Jurcovec I remember from Boston College. More worrisome for the Panthers though is where is the pass rush? The calling card for this Pitt defense just hasn’t been there. Not that it would have mattered though with West Virginia’s strength coming in the ground game. I expect the Mountaineers to get theirs on the ground and it to be too much in this year’s renewal of the Backyard Brawl.
Pick: WVU -2.5
Florida Atlantic Owls @ Clemson Tigers
Clemson -24.5; Over/Under 51.5
Can Clemson score enough points to cover a 25 point line? Not with what I’ve seen so far. Sure, their defense is still really good and should be enough to get the job done, but I can’t lay that many points. Since I don’t have any confidence in Cade Klubnik and this offense and the Tiger defense is still the best unit on the field, the under has to be the play.
Pick: Under 51.5