Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Picks for the Week - Week 3

Looking over the lines that came out, I was immediately struck by a few games.  Let's start with Ole Miss. and Vandy.

Ole Miss -24.5  versus Vandy.  The over/under is 55.5.  I'm taking Ole Miss to cover and I think the over is a pretty good bet as well.  Ole Miss has demonstrated their ability to score in all three games.  44 points against Bama is pretty good considering their defense.  Obviously Vandy's defense isn't as stout as Bama's but will Ole Miss be able to score on Vandy like they did against UT Martin and Fresno State?  Yes.  The passing attack with Ole Miss is extremely difficult to stop and way beyond the ability of Vandy's defense.  Because Ole Miss throws so often, they score quickly and capitalize on the big play opportunities. Ole Miss's defense prides itself on stopping everyone from scoring.  The goal is always to shut out the opposite team, no matter who they're playing.  So although Vandy's offense may have improved since the beginning of the season Ole Miss will keep them from scoring many points.  I see this as a statement win from Ole Miss to show they're not letting up and are indeed playoff contenders.  I predict 66 - 10 Ole Miss.

Auburn -1.5 versus MSU.  Auburn has managed to stay in the top 25 somehow despite their lopsided loss to LSU and their overtime win over Jacksonville State.  The glaring issue has been at the QB position and Gus has announced that he will be benching the starting QB in favor of Sean White for the Mississippi State game.  State spent the weekend beating up on a directional Louisiana team making themselves feel better about their close loss to LSU the week before.  The game is in Auburn, but other than that fact, I have no idea why State isn't a heavy favorite going into this game. At the very least, you would think the classic law of transitive property where MSU played LSU better than Auburn played LSU would make State the favorite.

Auburn's defense struggled with a physical LSU run attack, similar to a physical offense that MSU will bring to the Plains.  MSU has size and Dak represents a serious run threat. Advantage MSU.  Auburn's offense is supposed to rally around a 2nd string QB that lost the QB battle to a guy who threw six picks in two games.  Watching their spring game it quickly became apparent that Sean likes to stare at the receiver prior to the throw and has a lot of trouble deciding when to throw it.  MSU's blitzing defense is going to make his life miserable and I'll be surprised if he stays in the entire game.   MSU is going to beat Auburn 42 - 24 and people are going to start calling for Gus's head on a platter.

Michigan -5.5 versus BYU.  This game is another real head scratcher for me.  Michigan started the season losing to Temple. Temple is good this year, but it's TEMPLE and your MICHIGAN!  Meanwhile BYU is acting like they have some sort of religious advantage by throwing Hail Marys to win games and cheap shots without any consequences.  BYU took UCLA to the very end and came close to getting the upset but more importantly covered the spread.  I see BYU winning this game outright, but if not then only losing by a few points.  Take BYU plus the points.

So those are my locks. Ole Miss -24.5, Mississippi State +1.5 and BYU plus 5.5
Last week I correctly picked 3, 1 was a push and lost on 2.  But my locks were a win and a push.

Other games of interest.
Memphis is playing a Thursday game against Cincinnati in Memphis. Memphis opened as a 7 point favorite and that line changed to a 10 point favorite.  I think Memphis wins this game by 14.  I got in early, so I have the 7 points, but I'd be wary of the 10.  Still it's Thursday and the only thing on, so there's that.

TCU -6.5 vs Texas Tech.  This should be a pretty exciting game.  Both teams score fast and either by choice or because of injuries do not have the strongest defense.  In theory this means a high scoring game and the over/under at 80.5 reinforces this fact.  I watched TCU and their offense is scary good.  Their defense is limping along, but I think it'll be enough.  Texas Tech has a pretty boy coach and they just beat Arkansas, but they also allowed a lot of yards against a subpar offense.  I think TCU not only wins this shootout, I think they pound Tech just to make a point.  Guns up or usually means surrender.  TCU 70 - 42

Louisiana Monroe +38 vs Bama.  The over/under is 55.  The idea is that Bama is going to be really pissed about losing to Ole Miss and take out all of their anger on poor Louisiana Monroe.  Emotions aside this game is setup beautifully for one of my favorite bets.  The underdog, over bet.  Here's how it works.  If we take Louisiana Monroe plus the points and we take the over we limit our chances of losing outright.  I don't mean a parlay, I mean two separate straight up bets.  The spread between the over and the points is 17 (55-38 = 17).  That means that if Louisiana Monroe can score 17 points on Bama, either the points or the over is guaranteed. Equal bets on each side means you'll come out close to even.  If they can keep scoring, then most likely the over and the points will hit and you win both bets.  I see this as a way to place a bet on minimal risk with a possible large payout.  The question really then becomes can Louisiana Monroe score 17 points on Bama?  They did score 14 on Georgia and Bama let MTSU score 10. I would probably say yes.  I think Bama is going to have trouble getting up for this game.  They may get pissed and score a lot of points or they may just sulk and not really do much.  I'm guessing the later, but we'll see.  No prediction on this one, just some commentary.

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