“Texas is back”… more dangerous words have never been uttered… Last week was a bloodbath. Between Quinn Ewers getting the yips, Bo Nix deciding to have a career game and Iowa scoring defensive TDs before completely rolling over in Columbus… things went south quickly for our Week 8 betting card. Have no fear, look ahead games/rebound opportunities are here! Hold steady, trust the trends and always remember to bet smarter, not harder.
Q’s Best Bets (After Week 8: 8-8 Overall, +0.65 Units Total)
Ohio State @ Penn State/USC @ Arizona/Stanford @ UCLA
Pick: 3 Team Parlay: Ohio State -6.5, USC -6.5, UCLA Moneyline (-105) (1 unit)
Ohio State’s offense is simply unfair. This matchup has produced some close results historically but the Buckeyes outmatch the Nittany Lions at every level. Penn State might have a solid secondary but they’ll be facing arguably the best passing attack in college football combined with a top 5 run game led by the frontrunner to win the Heisman trophy this year (CJ Stroud). Ohio State’s defense is stingy at every level and Penn State’s QB Sean Clifford has been volatile, at best, throughout his career (specifically struggling with big throws this season when facing pressure). I’m expecting the Ohio State pass rush to throw Clifford off his game and I don’t envy Franklin/Yurcich in regards to developing a game plan this week against an absurdly balanced Buckeyes defensive unit. Oh, and Ohio State clearly has the best WR unit in the country. Take the Buckeyes to roll in Happy Valley in their last big test before their rematch against Michigan in late November. Score Prediction: Ohio State 38 – Penn State 24.
Caleb Williams and the Trojans look to rebound after a heartbreaking 1 point loss at Utah two weeks ago. They’ll be facing an Arizona squad allowing 36.3 points per game with a 3-4 record overall and a 1-3 record in conference play (i.e. the perfect “bounce back” team candidate for USC). Both teams will be coming off byes so USC should be close to full strength and Lincoln Riley will have his choice of offensive attack given how terrible Arizona’s defense has been lately. Expect Caleb Williams to get his Heisman campaign back on track in Arizona on Saturday. Score Prediction: USC 45 – Arizona 27.
The Bruins walked into a buzzsaw in Eugene last week during not only Bo Nix’s best game as an Oregon Duck, but probably the best game of his collegiate career. They’ll look to rebound against a Stanford team that’s averaging losses of more than 16 points against ranked competition this season (18 point losses when playing away) and an offense that has scored 31 points combined over its last two games. The UCLA defense may have allowed 45 points against Oregon last week but that doesn’t mean that its offense didn’t decide to show up. Dorian Thompson-Robinson didn’t play terribly (262 Passing Yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), Jake Bobo was his typical self (8 Recs, 101 Receiving Yards, 1 TD) and Charbonnet was an absolute animal (151 Rushing Yards, 1 TD). Stanford’s defense has struggled against the run all year and Thompson-Robinson should be able to continue to connect with Bobo at will. Love this spot for a Bruins rebound in LA this weekend to keep their PAC 12 Championship hopes alive. Score Prediction: UCLA 34 – Stanford 24.
Kentucky @ Tennessee/Wake Forest @ Louisville
Pick: 2 Team Parlay: Kentucky +21.5, Wake Forest Moneyline (+125) (0.8 units)
As hard as it is to fade Tennessee this week, it’s also hard not to think they’ll be looking ahead to their gargantuan matchup against unbeaten Georgia next week. Kentucky has played well in these situations historically (playing spoiler against distracted favorites looking ahead to their opponent the following week) and the Wildcats are coming off a bye week following a convincing victory over Mike Leach’s air raid attack in Week 7. Levis has fully taken the reins of this offense and this defense is currently holding ranked competition (Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State) to only ~18.33 points per game. While I expect Heisman hopeful Hendon Hooker to score more than 18.33 points, I don’t see the Vols pulling away by more than 3 TDs against a close to full strength Kentucky defense. I’m expecting Kentucky to slow down a distracted Vols offense and keep this one closer than you might think, definitely within 3 TDs. Score Prediction: Tennessee 34 – Kentucky 24.
Wake Forest just can’t get any love from Vegas and I’m all about it. I’m not sold on this hype building around Malik Cunningham and this Louisville offense after only beating two unranked opponents back to back considering they’re 4-3 on the season and haven’t played a ranked opponent all year (they lost to Syracuse, Florida State and Boston College). Wake Forest, on the other hand, is led by veteran stud QB Sam Hartman who is once again putting together a fantastic season in just 6 games (1755 Passing Yards, 21 TDs, 3 INTs) and has only lost to undefeated Clemson in double OT. Wake is 6-1 ATS this season (2-0 ATS when playing away) and I firmly expect the Demon Deacons to defend their top 10 national ranking (only the second time in school history that Wake has ranked inside the top 10 for college football). For those of you concerned about Louisville’s pass rush, keep in mind that Hartman put up 337 passing yards and 6 TDs against Clemson earlier this season who touts one of the best defensive fronts in college football. Go Deacs. Score Prediction: Wake Forest 31 – Louisville 24.
DPJ’s Best Bets (After Week 8: 12-12 Overall, -1.16 Units Total)
Ohio State @ Penn State – Saturday, 10/29 (12:00 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Over 61 (-110) (1 unit)
The #2 Buckeyes head to Happy Valley for a matchup with #13 Penn State. What sounds like a good matchup on paper really isn’t, as OSU is a two TD favorite. I like this one to be a high scoring affair with two top-40 scoring offenses dueling for Big 10 East supremacy. The Buckeyes can do no wrong on offense this year and should have no problem scoring 40 on their own. Penn State will be the troublemaker here if this game doesn’t go over, but I think they’ll be able to run the ball well enough and open up the passing game to push this total over 60.5. Most people would say this is irrelevant but I like that this is an early game. Should be a nice, clear sunny afternoon in PA and I expect the birds to be chirping and the scoring to come early and often. Score Prediction: OSU 41 – PSU 24.
USC @ Arizona/Oregon @ California/Kentucky @ Tennessee/Ohio State @ Penn State/Florida @ Georgia
Pick: Moneyline Parlay: USC ML, Oregon ML, Tennessee ML, Ohio State ML, Georgia ML (-130) (1.3 units)
I am not going to waste your time reading about why I think each of these heavy favorites will win a football game on Saturday. The only one that may seem like a sweat on paper is Tennessee, who have #19 Kentucky at home in Knoxville. I like the Vols to cover this 11.5 point spread on their own but I’m keeping that off my card. I’ve been all in on this Vols team from the jump this year and I think they prove once again that they are worthy of a CFB Playoff spot. I will also add that I am betting against my very own Arizona Wildcats by putting USC in this bet, on homecoming weekend no less. USC is coming off a bye after a brutal late game loss at Utah so I expect them to be sharp and don’t see them struggling at all. I’m putting 1.3 units on this one to give us a full unit payout when all these favorites win on Saturday. Not expecting any tricks here, just treats.
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