The Free Analysis page Leans were 80-66-2 in the 2023 season and are now 249-182-6 last 3 seasons.

 

The record on all Free Analysis sides is now 2879-2690-100 ATS since 2013, which is very good picking nearly every game over 11 years. The Free Analysis sides in which my predicted margin was 4 points or more away from the line (i.e Leans) are a profitable 884-743-32. Totals on the Free pages are now 2673-2537-55 in the 9-plus seasons I’ve been tracking them. Starting in 2022 I have chosen selected Leans on totals and those are now 53-25-1 in 2 seasons.

 

The spreads posted are the consensus lines at the time I posted each analysis.

College Football Rotation

Coastal Carolina @
Appalachian State

Tue, Oct 10 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 101, Odds: Appalachian State -5.5, Total: 61

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APPALACHIAN STATE (-5.5)  34   Coastal Carolina  28

Louisiana Tech @
Middle Tenn St

Tue, Oct 10 4:00 PM PT

Rotation: 103, Odds: Middle Tenn St -3, Total: 54.5

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MIDDLE TENNESSEE ST (-3)  28   Louisiana Tech  25

My math model favors MTSU by 3.3 points with 53.4 total points (with the nice weather adding 2.1 points). Not much value.

Liberty @
Jacksonville State

Tue, Oct 10 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 105, Odds: Jacksonville State +6, Total: 58.5

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Lean – Liberty (-6.5)  35   JACKSONVILLE STATE  24

Jacksonville State took advantage of a +3 turnover margin to win at Middle Tennessee State last Wednesday despite being outgained by more than 150 yards. The Gamecocks have been lucky with turnovers all season (+1.7 per game), which is why they’re 5-1 despite outgaining their opponents by only 16 yards per game.

Liberty has faced a slightly tougher schedule and the Flames have outgained their opponents by nearly 180 yards per game and 7.3 yppl to 5.0 yppl. I would have made Liberty a Best Bet in this game if not for a 54-8-1 ATS home underdog momentum situation that applies to JV State.

UTEP @
FIU

Wed, Oct 11 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 107, Odds: FIU -2.5, Total: 44

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FIU (-2.5) vs Texas-El Paso

Both quarterbacks are questionable for this game. UTEP’s Gavin Hardison while FIU’s Keyone Jenkins (concussion protocol) is reportedly likely to play. Hardison did not play in the Miners’ week 5 10-24 loss to Louisiana Tech and Cade McConnell is getting 1st-team reps in practice after completing just 4 of 11 passes for 48 yards against the Bulldogs.

I’ll post an update when I hear more news about the quarterbacks.

Sam Houston State @
New Mexico St.

Wed, Oct 11 6:00 PM PT

Rotation: 109, Odds: New Mexico St. -3.5, Total: 42

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NEW MEXICO STATE (-3.5)  24   Sam Houston State  17

I’d lean with New Mexico State at -3 or less.

SMU @
East Carolina

Thu, Oct 12 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 117, Odds: East Carolina +12, Total: 50

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Strong Opinion – Under (49.5) – Southern Methodist (-11.5)  26   EAST CAROLINA  16

This total is high based on how these teams have performed so far this season.

SMU has an offense that has been 0.4 yards per play worse than average (5.4 yppl against FBS teams that would allow 5.8 yppl to an average team) and a defense that’s been 0.7 yppl better than average (5.2 yppl allowed to FBS teams that would combine to average 5.9 yppl against an average defense).

East Carolina, meanwhile, has been 0.2 yppl better than average defensively (6.0 yppl allowed to FBS teams that would combine to average 6.2 yppl against an average team) and the Pirates’ offense is one of the worst units in the nation, averaging just 15 points and 4.2 yppl against FBS teams that would allow 6.1 yppl to an average attack.

Both of these teams are significantly better on defense than they are on offense and this game is projected to play at an average pace (SMU plays faster than average and ECU plays slower than average). ECU is averaging 15 points in FBS games against teams that are 1.1 yppl worse defensively than SMU is and they’d project to score just 13.5 points (even with the perfect weather expected) based on this year’s games only. SMU, meanwhile, is averaging just 25 points against FBS teams that are 0.4 yppl worse defensively than ECU;s defense (adjusted for being at home). The Mustangs would be projected to score only 21.3 points based on this year’s games only.

My preseason ratings still have some weight this time of the season, which gets the projection higher, but I can’t justify a total above 48 points in this game – even with ideal conditions (no wind or rain).

The Under is a Strong Opinion at 48.5 points or more.

West Virginia @
Houston

Thu, Oct 12 4:00 PM PT

Rotation: 119, Odds: Houston +2.5, Total: 50

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Lean – West Virginia (-3)  28   HOUSTON  21

West Virginia is clearly the better team now that Garrett Greene has returned from injury for the Mountaineers. Greene is nothing special but he’s a lot better than backup QB Nicco Marchiol, who averaged just 3.5 yards per pass play when Greene was out. West Virginia’s offense is just 0.3 yards per play worse than average with Greene at quarterback, which is a bit better than a Houston attack that has been 0.4 yppl worse than average (5.5 yppl against teams that would allow 5.9 yppl to an average team).

The difference in this game is on the defensive side of the ball, as the Mountaineers have a defense that is 0.4 yppl better than average (5.1 yppl allowed to FBS teams that would average 5.5 yppl against an average team (adjusted for facing Morton at QB vs Texas Tech) while the Cougars’ defense has been 0.7 yppl worse than average (6.0 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.3 yppl against an average team, also adjusted for facing Morton).

West Virginia also has an edge in special teams and I’ll lean with the Mountaineers at -3 or less.

Tulane @
Memphis

Fri, Oct 13 4:00 PM PT

Rotation: 121, Odds: Memphis +3.5, Total: 54.5

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2-Star Best Bet – **Tulane (-3.5)  34   MEMPHIS  21

I didn’t expect Tulane to be as good this season as they were last year when they went 12-2 and beat USC in their bowl game, but the Green Wave have been better than expected thanks to an improved defense under new defensive coordinator Shiel Woods, who did a great job in his one season at Troy last year. Tulane has yielded just 17.4 points per game and the one seemingly poor defensive game (37 points allowed to Ole Miss) was actually a great effort given that the Wave allowed just 5.8 yards per play to an elite Rebels’ attack that would average 7.1 yppl on the road against an average FBS team. Tulane has been 0.7 yppl better than average defensively and aren’t likely to give up too much more than their average scoring against a mediocre Memphis attack that’s averaged their 6.0 yppl in FBS games against teams that would combine to allow 6.1 yppl to an average offense.

Tulane had to do without star QB Michael Pratt for a couple of games but they’ve scored 37 points, 36 points, and 35 points in the 3 games that Pratt has played while averaging 7.5 yppl in those games (vs teams that would allow 6.3 yppl to an average team). I don’t think Tulane’s offense is that good, as Pratt has one nearly perfect game in week 1 (14 of 15 passing for 294 yards) but the Green Wave attack has been 0.7 yppl better than average in the two games since Pratt returned from injury, which is about what I expect going forward.

The Wave should have no problems moving the ball in this game against a Memphis defense that’s been 1.2 yppl worse than average in 4 games against FBS teams. They had an easy time against a dreadful Arkansas State offense (before they upgraded at QB) in week 2 but have given up an average of 498 yards at 7.5 yppl in 3 games since to Navy, Missouri, and Boise State, who would combine to average 5.9 yppl against an average defense. Tulane should move the ball consistently well by ground and by air in this game and top 30 points, as they’ve done in 9 of Pratt’s last 11 starts, including all 3 this season.

Tulane is a 2-Star Best Bet at -4 and for 1-Star up to -5.

Stanford @
Colorado

Fri, Oct 13 7:00 PM PT

Rotation: 123, Odds: Colorado -11.5, Total: 60

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COLORADO (-11.5)  35   Stanford  22

Colorado has come back down to earth a bit since since starting the season with an upset win at TCU, followed by victories over Nebraska and Colorado State. What the Buffaloes are is a barely better than average that has been 0.2 yards per play better than average offensively (5.5 yppl against teams that would allow 5.3 yppl to an average offense) and average defensively (6.4 yppl allowed to teams that would average 6.4 yppl against an average team).

Average should be good enough to win comfortably at home against a struggling Stanford squad that’s been outscored by an average of 19.2 to 34.6 points and has been 0.6 yppl worse than average offensively against 0.4 yppl worse than average on defense.

My math model favors the Buffs by 13.2 points and 57.4 total points.

Fresno St. @
Utah St.

Fri, Oct 13 5:00 PM PT

Rotation: 179, Odds: Utah St. +5.5, Total: 57

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1-Star Best Bet – *UTAH STATE (+5)  31   Fresno State  27

It looks like Fresno State quarterback Mikey Keene will be out this week, as he was again at practice in a walking boot on Wednesday. I think there is value on on Utah State even if Keene played and was 100% and there is certainly enough value for a Best Bet if he’s out.

Fresno suffered their first loss of the season last week at Wyoming and the Bulldogs aren’t particularly impressive for a 1-loss team, as they’ve been 0.5 yards per play worse than average on offense (5.7 yppl against teams that would allow 6.2 yppl to an average team) and 0.3 yppl better than average defensively (4.4 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average just 4.7 yppl against an average defense).

Utah State, meanwhile, has been 1.0 yppl better than average offensively in 5 games against FBS competition (6.2 yppl against teams that would allow 5.2 yppl), which excludes their 78 points on 591 yards at 8.6 yppl they had against Idaho State. The Aggies are just 0.2 yppl worse than average defensively, yielding 5.6 yppl to teams that would average 5.4 yppl against an average team, so they’ve been better than Fresno State this season. Cooper Legas is back at quarterback, which is an upgrade over McCae Hillstead.

Utah State is a 1-Star Best Bet at +3.5 points or more (Strong Opinion at +3).

Kent State @
Eastern Mich

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 125, Odds: Eastern Mich -8.5, Total: 40

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Lean – Kent State (+8.5)  18   EASTERN MICHIGAN  22

The heavy wind and rain, combined with two really bad offensive teams, should keep the scoring down and Kent State applies to a 77-25-3 ATS subset of a 244-142-14 ATS situation that plays on road dogs in games with low totals. My math favors Eastern Michigan by just 6.7 points so there is some value to go along with the good situation.

Illinois @
Maryland

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 127, Odds: Maryland -13.5, Total: 51.5

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MARYLAND (-13.5)  34   Illinois  22

No Carolina St. @
Duke

Sat, Oct 14 5:00 PM PT

Rotation: 129, Odds: Duke -3, Total: 42.5

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DUKE (-3)  26   NC State  19

I’d Lean with Duke at -2.5, which could become available later if Leonard is downgraded from doubtful to out.

Duke QB Riley Leonard has been downgraded to doubtful to play with his injured ankle. The coaching staff is really high on Henry Belin as a passer and he’s completed 13 of 14 career passes for 161 yards in mop up duty in his career. I don’t think the pass game will suffer much, if at all, but Leonard’s running will be missed. Leonard has run for 344 yards on 44 runs and Belin has not shown that he’s a runner (4 runs for 3 yards). Taking Leonard’s rushing out of Duke’s offense equates to 4.0 points.

The math still likes Duke in this game because of their strong defense, which has given up more than 14 points to only Notre Dame (21 points) and has been 1.2 yards per play better than average. NC State’s offense is better with MJ Morris at quarterback because Brennan Armstrong was so bad (1.4 yards per pass play worse than an average FBS QB), but Morris is a slightly below average quarterback and the Wolfpack ground game has been terrible (4.3 yprp against teams that would allow 5.1 yprp to an average team).

Texas A&M @
Tennessee

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 131, Odds: Tennessee -3, Total: 55

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TENNESSEE (-3)  29   Texas A&M  23

Syracuse @
Florida St.

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 133, Odds: Florida St. -18.5, Total: 55

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Lean – Syracuse (+18.5)  20   FLORIDA STATE  34 

The math favors Florida State by 16.9 points but Syracuse applies to an 89-32-1 ATS situation that plays on teams after losing by 28 points or more. I’d lean with Syracuse at +18 or more.

Note: I posted the prediction when the line was +17.5 and noted that I’d lean with Syracuse at +18 or more. The line has moved to +18.5 and the Orange are now a Lean.

Missouri @
Kentucky

Sat, Oct 14 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 135, Odds: Kentucky -2.5, Total: 50.5

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1-Star Best Bet – *Missouri (+2.5)  29   KENTUCKY  23

Kentucky had been just 2.8 points better than an average team before losing 13-51 at Georgia last week and the Wildcats are now slightly worse than average from the line of scrimmage for the season.

Kentucky moves the ball on the ground at an elite level, averaging 7.0 yards per rushing play (against teams that would allow 5.1 yprp) but quarterback Devin Leary has completed just 54.8% of his passes for only 6.6 yards per pass play despite facing teams that would allow 7.4 yppp to an average quarterback. He’s managed just 169 yards on 49 pass plays the last two weeks against Florida and Georgia and doesn’t seem capable of throwing the ball consistently against a decent pass defense. Missouri is average defending the pass but the Tigers have been 1.1 yprp better than average defending the run (4.3 yprp allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yprp) and they are even better when needing only to defend running backs, as Jalen Daniels of LSU ran for 141 yards on 13 runs last week. Leary doesn’t run the ball and the Tigers should be able to slow down Kentucky’s run game, as Mizzou has been 1.4 yprp better than average against running backs.

Missouri’s offense may not be able to run that well against a good Kentucky run defense (0.9 yprp better than average) but Brady Cook has averaged 8.9 yppp and has been 2.1 yppp better than average this season and he should light up a sub-par Kentucky pass defense that’s allowed 6.2 yppp to quarterbacks that would combine to average 5.7 yppp against an average pass defense. The only better than average pass attack that Kentucky faced was last week against Georgia when they gave up 11.1 yppp to Carson Beck, who is at about the same level as Cook.

Missouri is a clearly better team, as the Tigers rate at 0.3 yppl better on defense and 0.6 yppl better than Kentucky offensively. I’ll take Missouri in a 1-Star Best Bet at +1.5 points or more (Strong Opinion at +1).

Indiana @
Michigan

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 137, Odds: Michigan -33, Total: 46

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MICHIGAN (-33)  39   Indiana  7

Wake Forest @
Virginia Tech

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 139, Odds: Virginia Tech -1.5, Total: 48

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VIRGINIA TECH (-1.5)  28   Wake Forest  23

Virginia Tech has been better offensively with Kyron Drones at quarterback the last 4 weeks and they’re still a bit undervalued. I’d Lean with the Hokies at -1 or better.

Florida @
South Carolina

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 141, Odds: South Carolina -2, Total: 50

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SOUTH CAROLINA (-2)  27   Florida  26

Michigan St. @
Rutgers

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 143, Odds: Rutgers -4.5, Total: 39.5

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RUTGERS (-4.5)  22   Michigan State  18

Louisville @
Pittsburgh

Sat, Oct 14 3:30 PM PT

Rotation: 145, Odds: Pittsburgh +7.5, Total: 44.5

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Louisville (-7.5)  27   PITTSBURGH  18

Massachusetts @
Penn St.

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 147, Odds: Penn St. -41.5, Total: 54.5

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PENN STATE (-41.5)  48   Massachusetts  6

Troy @
Army

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 149, Odds: Army +5.5, Total: 42.5

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Troy (-5.5)  23   ARMY  16

Iowa St. @
Cincinnati

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 151, Odds: Cincinnati -5, Total: 43.5

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CINCINNATI (-5)  27   Iowa State  20

Miami Fla @
North Carolina

Sat, Oct 14 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 153, Odds: North Carolina -3.5, Total: 57

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2-Star Best Bet – **Miami-Florida (+3.5 -115)  30   NORTH CAROLINA  26

Miami-Florida inexplicably lost at home to Georgia Tech last week because they fumbled on a running play instead of kneeling to run out the clock – and then gave up a 4 plays for 74 yards drive to lose. That game should have never been that close, as Miami had outgained the Yellow Jackets by 270 total yards at the point they should have kneeled. That loss makes Miami and their head coach look bad, but the Hurricanes are a more talented team than North Carolina and I’ll take advantage of the line value that loss gives us here.

North Carolina’s strength is having a good quarterback and a good offense, as Drake Maye has averaged 8.2 yards per pass (although that would be just 7.8 yppp if not for that lucky 77-yard twice tipped TD pass last week against Syracuse) and the Heels have been 0.6 yppl better than average overall offensively after accounting for opposing defenses.

Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has averaged 9.2 yppp in 4 games against FBS opponents that would allow 6.8 yppp to an average QB and the Canes’ attack has been 1.3 yppl better than average (7.3 yppl against teams that would allow 6.0 yppl to an average team).

North Carolina’s defense is better this season and that unit rates at 0.4 yppl better than average (5.2 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.6 yppl) but Miami’s defense has been 0.9 yppl better than average in FBS games (4.9 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.8 yppl) and would rank better if not for that 4 plays for 74 yards they gave up at the end of last week’s game that never should have happened.

So, Miami has a better passing game, a better rushing attack (+0.4 yprp to -0.2 yprp for UNC), and a better defense. Van Dyke threw an uncharacteristic 3 interceptions last week but both quarterbacks have 4 interceptions on the season and Maye is projected to throw only 0.1 fewer picks in this game.

The Hurricanes have clearly been the better team and I’ll take Miami-Florida in a 2-Star Best Bet at +3 -115 or better.

Navy @
Charlotte

Sat, Oct 14 11:00 AM PT

Rotation: 155, Odds: Charlotte +3, Total: 45

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Strong Opinion – CHARLOTTE (+3)  23   Navy  19

Charlotte is not a good team, as the 49ers have been 0.8 yards per play worse than average offensively and 0.8 yppl worse than average defensively this season. However, Navy is just as bad, as the Midshipmen have been 0.9 yppl worse than average on offense and 0.7 yppl worse than average on defense.

These teams have been equal from the line of scrimmage and the matchups are in Charlotte’s favor. The 49ers’ biggest issue defensively is their pass defense, but Navy runs the ball 78% of the time and has averaged a modest 21 points per game against a slate of FBS teams that are slightly worse collectively on defense than Charlotte’s defense.

Charlotte has trouble throwing the ball but they 49ers have a better than average run game (5.1 yprp against teams that would allow 4.8 yprp to an average team) and defending the run is Navy’s biggest issue defensively, as the Middies have given up 5.9 yprp to FBS teams that would combine to average 5.2 yprp against an average team. Charlotte should average more than 6 yards per run, and they won’t have to throw it as often in this matchup as they normally do, which is a positive.

Charlotte is a Strong Opinion at +3 -115 odds or better.

Florida Atl. @
South Florida

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 157, Odds: South Florida -2.5, Total: 61

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SOUTH FLORIDA (-2.5)  30   Florida Atlantic  28

Marshall @
Georgia St.

Sat, Oct 14 4:00 PM PT

Rotation: 159, Odds: Georgia St. -1, Total: 54

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GEORGIA STATE (-1)  31   Marshall  29

Georgia Southern @
James Madison

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 161, Odds: James Madison -4.5, Total: 58.5

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1-Star Best Bet – *JAMES MADISON (-4.5)  34   Georgia Southern  22

James Madison is now 13-3 since moving up from the FCS level to the FBS level, including 5-0 this season. The Dukes aren’t quite as good defensively this season as they were last year but they’re still 0.5 yards per play better than average on that side of the ball (5.5 yppl allowed to FBS teams that would combine to average 6.0 yppl against an average team) and the offense is also playing at a good level (6.1 yppl against FBS teams that would allow 5.5 yppl). Quarterback Jordan McCloud has averaged 8.5 yards per pass play and rates as 1.7 yppp better than average against FBS foes. He should have his way through the air against a bad Georgia Southern pass defense that’s given up 7.0 yppp to quarterbacks that would combine to average only 5.9 yppp against an average defensive team. The Eagles are also worse than average defending the run and the Dukes project to average 5.5 yards per rushing play and 9.2 yppp in this game. Georgia Southern held horrible offensive teams The Citadel and Ball State to a combined 3 points, but they’ve given up an average of 33 points to 3 mediocre offensive teams (UAB, Wisconsin and Coastal Carolina) and James Madison is the best offensive team that they have faced.

Georgia Southern’s offense attempts to throw the football 51 times per game and the Eagles will likely try about 60 pass plays in this game, as JMU doesn’t allow opponents to run on them (only 64 rush yards at 2.9 yprp allowed). The Dukes are 0.2 yppp better than average defending the pass and Georgia Southern quarterback Davis Brin has been 0.8 yppp worse than average so far this season (6.4 yppp against teams that would allow 7.2 yppp to an average QB). The Eagles are projected to average only 5.1 yppp and 4.7 yppl in this game and they’d need to connect on multiple big pass plays to stay competitive against a James Madison team that should be able to move the ball consistently well.

James Madison is a 1-Star Best Bet at -5.5 or less and a Strong Opinion at -6.

Toledo @
Ball St.

Sat, Oct 14 11:00 AM PT

Rotation: 163, Odds: Ball St. +17, Total: 47.5

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Toledo (-17)  33   BALL STATE  16

Bowling Green @
Buffalo

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 165, Odds: Buffalo -4.5, Total: 44

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BUFFALO (-4.5)  22   Bowling Green  21

Akron @
Central Mich

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 167, Odds: Central Mich -11, Total: 43

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CENTRAL MICHIGAN (-11)  27   Akron  16

Ohio St. @
Purdue

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 169, Odds: Purdue +19, Total: 52

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Ohio State (-19)  36   PURDUE  17

Miami Ohio @
Western Mich

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 171, Odds: Western Mich +8.5, Total: 45

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Lean – Miami-Ohio (-8.5)  31   WESTERN MICHIGAN  17

Miami coach Chuck Martin says he thinks they’ll get star WR Gage Larvadain back this week after he missed all but one series of the last 3 games. Larvadain caught passed for 432 yards on 25 targets in the first 3 games of the season and while averaging 17 yards per target is unsustainable, it will certainly be a boost to have him back. I’ll assume he’s 75% likely to play and I’ll lean with Miami-Ohio, as I see value on the Redhawks even if Larvadain is out again. Miami-Ohio also applies to a 72-22-1 ATS road favorite momentum situation.

Ohio @
Northern Ill

Sat, Oct 14 1:00 PM PT

Rotation: 173, Odds: Northern Ill +5.5, Total: 45

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Lean – Under (45) – Ohio (-5.5)  21   Northern Illinois  16

I liked this game to go under even before looking at the 17 to 20 mph winds with a chance of rain. Windy conditions lead to more running due to less effective passing and neither team is expected to run well, as Ohio is a bad running team (4.1 yards per rushing play against teams that would allow 5.6 yprp to an average team) and the Bobcats defend the run well (3.9 yprp allowed to teams that would average 4.6 yprp).

Both of these teams also play at a slow pace that will likely get even slower with more running. I’ll lean Under 44 or more.

California @
Utah

Sat, Oct 14 12:00 PM PT

Rotation: 175, Odds: Utah -13.5, Total: 45

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Lean – California (+11.5)  17   UTAH  24

Cal is not as good defensively as expected, as they’ve been just 0.1 yards per play better than an average FBS defense. However, the Bears are very good defending the run (1.0 yprp better than average) and the Utes’ backup quarterbacks may not be able to take advantage of a Cal secondary that’s been 0.8 yards per pass play worse than average (Utah has been 1.3 yppp worse than average offensively).

The Bears’ offense is pretty good team when Sam Jackson is not behind center, as Jackson has been 2.0 yppp worse than an average FBS quarterback while Ben Finley and new starter Fernando Mendoza are a combined 0.2 yppp better than average with Mendoza rating at +0.3 yppp last week against Oregon State in his first start (6.5 yppp against an OSU defense that would allow 6.2 yppp on the road to an average QB). Utah’s defense has been 0.9 yppl better than average, which has made up for the an offense that has been 0.9 yppl worse than average.

These teams are pretty similar overall from the line of scrimmage and Utah’s edge in special teams is not enough to justify a double-digit line.

San Jose St. @
New Mexico

Sat, Oct 14 3:00 PM PT

Rotation: 177, Odds: New Mexico +7, Total: 56

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San Jose State (-7)  31   NEW MEXICO  25

Wyoming @
Air Force

Sat, Oct 14 4:00 PM PT

Rotation: 181, Odds: Air Force -11, Total: 41.5

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AIR FORCE (-11)  24   Wyoming  12

Boise St. @
Colorado St.

Sat, Oct 14 6:45 PM PT

Rotation: 183, Odds: Colorado St. +8.5, Total: 61

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1-Star Best Bet – *Colorado State (+8.5 -115)  30   Boise State  30

CSU star WR Tory Horton and the nation’s sack leader, Mohamed Kamara (9.5 sacks), are both expected to play tonight and my math model likes the Rams plus the points for a 1-Star Best Bet at +7 or more.

UNLV @
Nevada

Sat, Oct 14 2:00 PM PT

Rotation: 185, Odds: Nevada +8, Total: 53.5

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Lean – Nevada Las Vegas (-8)  33   NEVADA  21

Nevada is dreadfully bad offensively and UNLV’s offense has picked up with Jayden Maiava (7.4 yards per pass play) taking over for Doug Brumfield (3.2 yppp) at quarterback. Brumfield did face tougher defenses but I rate Maiava at 1.6 yppp better and there is enough value on the Rebels to lean their way at -8 or less.

Oregon @
Washington

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 187, Odds: Washington -3, Total: 67

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WASHINGTON (-3)  33   Oregon  32

Washington is just slightly behind LSU as the nation’s best offense in my ratings but Oregon ranks 4th and the Ducks’ defense ranks 6th best in the nation while Washington ranks 14th in defense.

Washington actually has an overall advantage from the line of scrimmage by a few points, but Oregon is better in special teams and overall the math favors the Huskies by 2.8 points.

In games between two unbeaten teams, both 5-0 or better, underdogs of 17 points or less are 53-27-4 ATS, so I’d prefer to take the 3 points if I was forced to bet on this game.

UCLA @
Oregon St.

Sat, Oct 14 5:00 PM PT

Rotation: 189, Odds: Oregon St. -3.5, Total: 54

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OREGON STATE (-3.5)  27   Ucla  24

Arizona @
Washington St.

Sat, Oct 14 4:00 PM PT

Rotation: 191, Odds: Washington St. -7.5, Total: 58

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WASHINGTON STATE (-7.5)  31   Arizona  25

UAB @
UTSA

Sat, Oct 14 5:00 PM PT

Rotation: 193, Odds: UTSA -9, Total: 67.5

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Strong Opinion – Alabama Birmingham (+10)  32   UTSA  36

UTSA has been 0.7 yppl worse than average in Frank Harris’ 3 starts at quarterback, averaging 5.9 yppl against a trio of bad defensive teams that would combine to allow 6.6 yppl to an average team. Not having last year’s top receiver Zakhari Franklin and last year’s leader in yards per target De’Corian Clark (9.9 ypt in 2022) is the cause for the decline in offense this season and it looks like Clark will redshirt after trying to play last week (3 snaps before leaving).

I do expect the Roadrunners attack to be significantly better going forward but they were only +0.5 yppl last season with those two great receivers and aren’t likely to be much better than average offensively even with Harris back. However, UTSA should score plenty of points against a sub-par UAB defense that’s been 0.7 yppl worse than average but the Blazers are good enough offensively to stay competitive.

UAB’s attack has averaged over 450 yards and rates at 0.5 yppl better than average after factoring out garbage time stats. They should score more than 30 points in perfect scoring conditions (UTSA plays in a dome) against a mediocre UTSA defense (5.5 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.4 yppl against an average defense). I project UAB’s ball-control pass attack (they average 74 offensive plays per game) to average 6.1 yppl, which should be enough to keep them within 10 points as long as turnovers are even (both teams projected at 1.4 turnovers).

UAB is a Strong Opinion at +10 -115 odds or better.

UL Monroe @
Texas State

Sat, Oct 14 4:00 PM PT

Rotation: 195, Odds: Texas State -17, Total: 64

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TEXAS STATE (-17)  44   UL Monroe  24

BYU @
TCU

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 197, Odds: TCU -5, Total: 52

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TCU (-5)  30   Brigham Young  24

Auburn @
LSU

Sat, Oct 14 4:00 PM PT

Rotation: 199, Odds: LSU -11, Total: 60

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LSU (-11)  35   Auburn  25

Iowa @
Wisconsin

Sat, Oct 14 1:00 PM PT

Rotation: 201, Odds: Wisconsin -10, Total: 34.5

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Lean – Iowa (+10)  14   WISCONSIN  19

Big underdogs tend to cover in games with low totals and Iowa, even with their backup quarterback, is likely to stay within single digits of an overrated Wisconsin team.

Iowa’s defense is once again among the very best in the nation, allowing just 16.3 points per game and 4.2 yppl (against teams that would average 5.7 yppl against an average team). Wisconsin is mediocre offensively (5.9 yppl against teams that would allow 5.9 yppl to an average team) and they’re mediocre defensively (5.3 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.4 ypl against an average defense).

Iowa has gone from bad to worse on offense with backup Deacon Hill at quarterback (they rate at -1.2 yppl for the season and are -1.5 yppl with Hill at QB) but the Hawkeyes are once again the best team in the nation in special teams play, which makes a significant difference in low scoring games, which tend to value field position more. Iowa is 10-2 ATS when the total is less than 38 points and my math suggests that Wisconsin should be favored by only 7 points in this game. Throw in a 244-142-14 ATS situation that plays on big dogs with low totals and the Hawkeyes look like the right side.

Arkansas @
Alabama

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 203, Odds: Alabama -19.5, Total: 46.5

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Lean – Under (46.5) – ALABAMA (-19.5)  29   Arkansas  10

Arkansas has been bad offensively this season, averaging just 5.2 yards per play against teams that would allow 6.0 yppl to an average team, and the Razorbacks have been even worse the last two weeks (3.7 yppl) without star TE Luke Hasz, who averaged 13.3 yards on 19 passes thrown to him before getting injured.

Alabama’s elite defense will dominate this game and Arkansas has a defense that’s been 1.0 yppl better than average (5.5 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 6.5 yppl against an average team), which isn’t much worse than Alabama’s +1.3 yppl rating this season with Jalen Milroe behind center.

Both teams are running their offense at a slow pace and I Lean Under at 45 points or more.

Temple @
North Texas

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 205, Odds: North Texas -5, Total: 70

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2-Star Best Bet – **NORTH TEXAS (-5)  44   Temple  30

North Texas was favored by 8 points on Monday morning and this line came crashing down. I thought that the Mean Green were the right side at -8 and I certainly like them now after a 4-point line move.

Both of these teams are among the worst in the nation defensively, with North Texas rating at 1.4 yards per play worse than average (6.7 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.3 yppl against an average defense) while Temple has been even worse 1.6 yppl worse than average (7.0 yppl allowed in 5 games against FBS teams that would average only 5.4 yppl against an average defense).

North Texas has an even bigger advantage offensively, as the Mean Green rate at 0.3 yppl better than average offensively with Chandler Rogers at quarterback while Temple’s offense has been 1.0 yppl worse than average, managing just 4.8 yppl (excluding garbage time) against teams that would allow 5.8 yppl to an average team. The Owls have averaged just 19.6 points in 5 games against FBS teams while North Texas has averaged 31.0 points in their games against FBS teams that are just 0.2 yppl worse collectively than the defenses that Temple has faced.

North Texas hasn’t faced a defense quite as bad as Temple’s defense, but the Eagles averaged 7.0 yppl and scored 45 points against Abilene Christian, who is 0.5 yppl better defensively than the Owls. The worst defensive team that Temple faced is Norfolk State, whose defense is a full 1.0 yppl worse than the North Texas defense. The Owls scored 41 points in that game, which would be about 33 points against a team with North Texas’ defensive rating. The worse FBS defense that the Owls have faced is that of Akron, whose defense is 0.2 yppl worse than the North Texas defense. Temple managed just 4.9 yppl and 24 points in that game.

North Texas is clearly more capable of taking advantage of a bad defensive team and they’ll have success running and throwing the ball. Being able to run is important in the 15 mph winds that are projected in Denton on Saturday during the game (with gusts into the mid-20s). Temple throws the ball about 70% of the time and windy conditions are certainly more likely to affect their offense given that the Owls can’t run the ball (61.2 rush yards per game at 2.8 yprp against FBS opponents). I do project 7.0 yards per pass play for EJ Warner in this game after adjusting for the wind, and the math projects 499 yards at 6.1 yppl. However, North Texas is projected to average 6.3 yprp, 9.7 yppp and to total 562 yards at 8.0 yppl. If 9.7 yppp sounds like a lot you should consider that Temple has faced below average to good passing teams this season (Rutgers, Tulsa, Miami-Florida and UTSA) and the Owls gave up an average of 9.6 yppp in those games. Those teams, collectively, rate at 0.3 yppp worse than North Texas quarterback Rogers does (adjusted for playing this game at home).

In addition to the line value, Temple applies to a very negative 72-166-6 ATS situation that plays against bad teams with bad defenses on the road. Temple lost by 29 points at Rutgers (as an 8.5-point dog) and by 22 points at Tulsa (+3.5) in their only two previous road games this season and I think they’ll lose by double-digits in this game.

North Texas is a 2-Star Best Bet at -6 or less and 1-Star up to -7.

Georgia @
Vanderbilt

Sat, Oct 14 9:00 AM PT

Rotation: 207, Odds: Vanderbilt +32.5, Total: 55

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Georgia (-32.5)  41   VANDERBILT  12

Kansas @
Oklahoma St.

Sat, Oct 14 12:30 PM PT

Rotation: 209, Odds: Oklahoma St. +3, Total: 55

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Kansas (-3)  27   OKLAHOMA STATE  23

Kansas St. @
Texas Tech

Sat, Oct 14 4:00 PM PT

Rotation: 211, Odds: Texas Tech -1.5, Total: 58

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Kansas State (+1.5)  29   TEXAS TECH  28

San Diego St. @
Hawaii

Sat, Oct 14 8:00 PM PT

Rotation: 213, Odds: Hawaii +6, Total: 52.5

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San Diego State (-6)  29   HAWAII  23

USC @
Notre Dame

Sat, Oct 14 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 215, Odds: Notre Dame -2.5, Total: 62.5

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Lean – NOTRE DAME (-2.5)  33   Southern Cal  26

USC has an all-time great offense that has averaged 7.2 yards per rushing play and 9.7 yards per pass play with Caleb Williams in the game. That attack was slowed a bit last week by a solid Arizona defense and the Trojans will be tested by a Notre Dame stop unit that has been 1.1 yards per play better than average this season. That’s not nearly as good as a Trojans’ offense that has been 2.8 yppl better than average but the wind and rain expected on Saturday night in South Bend will also help slow down Williams & company.

The issue with USC is a mediocre defense that’s been 0.1 yppl worse than average, allowing 5.3 yppl allowed with starters in the game against teams that would combine to average 5.2 yppl against an average defense. The two best offensive teams that the Trojans have faced were in the last two weeks and Colorado and Arizona combined to average 6.1 yppl and average 34.5 points (in regulation). Notre Dame’s offense is 1.4 yppl better than average, which is 0.8 yppl better than the average rating of the Colorado and Arizona offensive units, and the Irish should move the ball well in this game. If the weather is affecting the passing game, they can lean on a good rushing attack against a USC defensive front that’s surrendered 5.4 yards per rushing play to teams that would combine to average only 4.7 yprp against an average defense.

The numbers favor Notre Dame to win by more than a field goal and I’ll lean with the Irish at -3 or less.