Some absolutely tragic blown covers in week 6 put us in the red for the week, and slightly negative for the season overall. Notably Oklahoma not scoring a single point to ruin the over, Washington State being held scoreless in the second half to squander the cover, and LSU getting their teeth knocked in to lose that over. We have hit the reset button this week and have searched far and wide for a batch of winners. On the season, we are still a very respectable 15-15 for -0.77 units. Have no fear, a couple good weeks and we will be back on track.
DPJ’s Best Bets (After Week 6: 9-9 Overall, -0.89 Units Total)
Penn State @ Michigan/USC @ Utah
Pick: 6 Point Teaser: Michigan -0.5, Utah +9.5 (-110) (1 unit)
Michigan gets the Nittany Lions at home in the Big House this week, and I love this matchup for the Wolverines. I even like it enough to sprinkle on the -6.5, but I like it most in this juicy teaser. Neither of these teams have really played anyone all year as it seems someone at the top of the Big 10 has encouraged a soft out of conference schedule to start the season. I’m not gonna go through all 30 Big 10 team schedules but it seems like Ohio State is the only one with the cajones to schedule a few big games out of conference. Michigan has a great run game and a great pass defense, and I expect this to shine through against Penn State. Score Prediction: Michigan 30 – Penn State 20.
Utah is happy to be headed back to the high altitudes of the Rock Mountains after a tough beating at the Rosebowl last week against UCLA. I thought that would be a bad spot for the Utes and it proved as such. That should serve as some good motivation to defend home turf against a much talked about Trojans team. Utah’s defense is the real deal, especially at home, which is why I’m also taking the under in this game (see pick below). But I certainly like Utah to keep this one within 10 points and cover this teaser. Score Prediction: Utah 17 – USC 23.
USC @ Utah – Saturday, 10/15 (8:00 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Under 65 (-110) (1 unit)
I picked against USC last week and it once again bit me in the ass. Wazzu was in a good spot to cover and then put up a goose egg in the second half like a bunch of bums. We are moving on from that one and riding the under in the Trojans next big matchup at Utah. This is in my opinion the hardest place to play in the Pac 12. Some people will talk about Oregon and the acoustics of their stadium, but playing at high elevation with a bunch of Mormons screaming friendly insults at you has got to be tough. Utah has given up 30 total points through three home games this year and while I don’t expect them to hold the Trojans to single digits this has all the makings of a hard-fought rock fight type of game. This is a true matchup of strengths, as Utah bolsters a top 50 pass defense taking on USC’s top 50 pass offense. Score Prediction: Utah 17 – USC 23.
Alabama @ Tennessee – Saturday, 10/15 (3:30 PM EST)
Pick: Tennessee +8 (-110) (1 unit)
There are a handful of teams who I feel like are involved in one of my picks every week, and one of those is definitely the Tennessee Vols. This team has been an absolute treat to watch this year and this is the game I’m looking forward to most this weekend. I think this is the Vols shining opportunity to prove they are a worthy SEC program that can hang with the best of breed. Their offense has scored against everyone all year long, they’re 2nd in points scored and 2nd in total yards. They also have a top 25 run defense (89 yds per game, 21st in the country) to match up with Bama’s lethal run game. Bryce Young will most likely play but at the least he is banged up and might not be his true self. Neyland Stadium will be absolutely rocking…so much so that you have to hope the Vols don’t let the moment consume them. If they jump out to a lead early though there could be no looking back. I’ll be rooting for the upset but I certainly like sitting on 7 points with the orange and white. Score Prediction: Tennessee 33 – Alabama 31.
Q’s Best Bets (After Week 6: 6-6 Overall, +0.12 Units Total)
Clemson @ Florida State/Alabama @ Tennessee
Pick: 2 Team Parlay: Clemson Moneyline, Tennessee +17.5 (+120) (1 unit)
I’ll address the elephant in the room in regard to this Clemson/Florida State matchup upfront, the line movement. For whatever reason, Clemson opened as 7.5 point favorites only to see those odds dwindle down to ~3/3.5 points. Not only do I think this movement has nothing to do with Clemson’s health, I think this might be the healthiest Clemson team we’ve seen so far this season (Dabo tends to agree based on his comments from earlier in the week). Clemson will most likely get back its star DT Bryan Bresee and could even potentially get back its best CB Sheridan Jones (who their secondary has sorely missed). DJ has vastly exceeded expectations thus far (he’s definitely exceeded mine) and Will Shipley has firmly implanted himself as a staple of this surprisingly effective offense compared to last season. I keep hearing people talking about how well Florida State has been playing this season, even in its losses… What a ridiculous statement… “Yeah they looked great in the loss last week”. Fact of the matter is, Florida State has only played three good teams all year and only two of them are still ranked (Wake Forest/NC State). They lost both games (Wake Forest in convincing fashion) and Clemson beat them both (NC State convincingly). Florida State won’t be able to stop this Clemson run game and Travis should have some company in the backfield all night long. If Jones is able to suit up this week then Clemson’s secondary should be exponentially better and we could see some vintage Tiger glory. Fun fact, Clemson is 7-3 ATS vs Florida State over the past decade. Go Tigers. Score Prediction: Clemson 31 – Florida State 24.
I’ll keep this brief since Jake has already covered Hooker/the Vols so heavily this season. The Tide has struggled pretty significantly against good teams on the road over the past two years. It sounds like Bryce Young should be a game time decision which means he’ll be playing banged up, if he plays at all. Hendon Hooker and this Vols offense has been absolutely electric this season, playing in Knoxville is the definition of hostile and this matchup has all the makings of a shootout. Given the points Vegas is already gifting us, I’m super comfortable taking the Vols to keep this one within two scores. Score Prediction: Alabama 38 – Tennessee 34.
Mississippi State @ Kentucky/Oklahoma State @ TCU
Pick: 2 Team Parlay: Kentucky +14.5, Ok State/TCU Total Points Over 62 (-120) (1 unit)
Mike Leach’s air raid offense and Will Rogers’ heisman hopes should both come crashing down against Kentucky this weekend. Kentucky is coming off two tough losses without its fearless leader (Will Levis), their pass defense is very solid and Mississippi State’s defense isn’t impressive at any level. The likely return of Will Levis is the obvious crux that should decide this game but I love this spot for the Wildcats at home this weekend if he can suit up (which again, it sounds like he will). Not only do I think Kentucky easily covers two TDs on Saturday, they could shock the world and win outright (hence the risky biz love). ***UPSET ALERT***Score Prediction: Kentucky 27 – Mississippi State 24.
This total points over couldn’t be more simple. Both of these teams are averaging games that total over 70 points since the start of the season (both teams average over 46 points per game each), both teams play extremely fast and neither team has a good defense at any level. Hard to gauge the final outcome here as far as the winner but it’s definitely not hard to see that this game will be a shootout. At this point I’m leaning towards the over for either one of these teams, regardless of opponent… And they play each other this week… Points, points, points. Score Prediction: TCU 38 – Oklahoma State 35.
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3 Team Parlay: Kentucky +3.5, Ok State/TCU Totals Points Over 68.5, USC Moneyline (+800)
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