It’s Week 10 of the college football season, and that means the 2018 College Football Playoffs rankings are out. To give you a clear indication of just how good Alabama is, don’t just look at the fact that they’re sitting atop the totem pole.
Admire that they are on the road this weekend playing the third-ranked team in the nation, and they’re favored by a whopping 14 and a half points!
Can the LSU Tigers hold down the fort in Baton Rouge this Saturday, or will Nick Saban march onto his former stomping grounds and silence the Bayou Bengals?
That’s a great question and one that we’ll find out the answer to Saturday evening on CBS. But is this SEC West clash one of the four games I’ll be targeting when it comes to booking my bets?
Take a look below and find out!
Minnesota at Illinois
This isn’t the most glamorous game on Saturday’s slate by a longshot, so don’t look for any super-intriguing storylines here. Minnesota and Illinois might not be known for having powerhouse football programs, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore this contest completely.
With the two teams each sitting at 1-4 in the Big Ten, I can promise you that most won’t be paying much attention to this one. But when I saw this line, I started to scratch my head and wonder.
And after digging into the research, it’s clear to me that this is a line that has “take advantage of me!” written all over it.
I don’t want to sit here and try and talk up the Fighting Illini like they’re some really talented football team. Because they’re not.
But thinking the Minnesota Gophers deserve to be nearly double-digit favorites while playing on the road in conference?
I’m not that silly either.
Seriously, the Gophers have played three true road games so far this season, and here’s how they’ve fared.
They got spanked at Maryland 42-13 and lost by 16 on the road to the Scarlet and Gray. You would have thought they would have at least stayed competitive when playing the winless Cornhuskers in Lincoln, but they got absolutely punked 53-28.
So in three tries, this team has lost by an average of 23.3 points per game when playing away from their home field. And you want me to back them laying 9.5?
No, thank you.
All I see here is a couple of underwhelming schools with not a whole lot on the line. So it’s not so much about me loving Illinois or me hating Minnesota.
It’s that this Gophers squad hasn’t done near enough when playing away from Minneapolis to get me to think that they’re going to run away from anyone, even the less-than-stellar Fighting Illini.
PICKIllinois (+ 9.5)-110
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State
These Mississippi State football players sure are battle-tested, because their schedule hasn’t seen any letup for a while.
Check this out.
After losing on the road to a current top-10 team in Kentucky, the Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker at home to Florida. The Gators are sitting in the 11th slot in the initial College Football Playoff rankings.
Then Mississippi State beat the 8th-ranked Auburn Tigers before falling on the road to a top-five team in LSU.
Joe Moorhead’s group bounced back impressively last weekend with a 15-point win over the 16th-ranked Aggies from Texas A&M, and next week, they’ll travel to Tuscaloosa to battle the top-ranked Crimson Tide!
How’s that for a tough stretch of games?
Clearly, they are in need of a breather in the midst of enduring an onslaught of brutal competition.
So it’s a good thing that the team from Starkville has a cupcake on their schedule this Saturday, right?
Well, you might want to guess again, because their opponent won’t be taking this game lightly at all.
Because there is another set of Bulldogs in town that wants to add a signature win to their growing resume, and they hail from northern Louisiana.
LA Tech is quietly having a solid year in Conference USA, as they’ll stroll into Davis Wade Stadium with a 6-2 mark and winners of three straight.
An 8-point W on the road at FAU last weekend should give this team plenty of confidence that they can go on the road and perform favorably.
The Skip Holtz-coached squad is balanced on offense and won’t be afraid of the big stage. If anything, they’ll be extra-motivated to show up and try and win a game that nobody seems to be giving them much of a chance in.
I’m not necessarily saying that Louisiana Tech has what it takes to pull off the upset, but I also don’t think a 24-point line here is justified.
There’s always a chance that Mississippi State is peeking ahead toward their showdown with Alabama, leading me to believe that the likelihood of this turning into a blowout is fairly low.
The number is set at 23.5 on most sites, but make sure you shop your lines because you can grab Louisiana Tech at +24 on Sportsbook.ag, and that just seems like too big of a gap in this particular spot.
PICKLouisiana Tech (+24)-115
Houston at SMU
The Houston at SMU game Saturday evening in Dallas is a matchup of the top two teams in the American West standings. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is going to be some hard-fought battle that goes down to the wire.
Because as much as I’d like to pump up the home team, there are just too many obstacles standing in their way. Namely the team on the other side.
Listen, folks. Houston doesn’t just boast a really good offense. The Cougars offense leads the entire country in yards per game (571) and only trails Alabama in points scored.
Major Applewhite’s team clocks in at 49.8 points per game thanks to being possibly the most balanced unit in the nation.
D’Eriq King leads a passing attack that is the 7th-most prolific in all of college football, while their running game isn’t too shabby, either.
Running back Patrick Carr paces a bevy of talented runners that average 237.6 ground yards/game, and 8 men have accounted for at least one rushing touchdown this year.
Thinking the SMU defense is going to be able to do anything to slow this offense down isn’t just being overly ambitious.
It’s being downright nonsensical.
SMU is allowing teams to score an average of 35.9 points every time the Mustangs take the field, and I doubt they hold Houston to under 40 in this one.
If the Cougars can not only win out but do so in an imposing fashion, the team from Space City has a chance to really move up the College Football Playoff rankings and even squeeze into one of the New Year’s six bowl games.
They’ll need some help from teams above them, but a blowout victory on the road on Saturday certainly wouldn’t hurt their case.
Oklahoma State at Baylor
I always look for certain things when betting college football, and one of my favorite narratives to follow can be found in this Big-12 matchup in Waco.
Baylor is coming off back-to-back losses and likely burned some bettors last week when they got smacked by West Virginia.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is coming off a big win against 6th-ranked Texas this past weekend and likely will carry some positive momentum into this one.
So the clear play must be to just book the Cowboys and move on? Is that what I am telling you?
Well, not exactly.
See, I expect the general public to do just that when they look at this matchup on paper and see the recent box scores. But I’ll tell you what I see when I lift up the hood.
I see that the Bears just came out of a brutal stretch of games, one where they played three of their last four games on the road against top-13 opponents.
When you realize their last two losses were at Texas and at West Virginia, you’ll grasp the logic that those “L’s” aren’t the end of the world.
Coming home to play at McLane Stadium will be a big bonus for Matt Rhule’s bunch, and I think it should enable them to at least play Oklahoma State close.
Last time the Cowboys played a Big-12 road game was on October 13th in Manhattan, and they looked awful while getting beatdown 31-12 by Kansas State.
Baylor might not be in the market for a big-time bowl game, but this blog isn’t about predicting who will be playing in December and where.
It’s about unlocking value, and I feel that Sportsbook.ag listing Baylor at +8 in this home game represents exactly that.
What a Saturday of college football games we have on our hands for November 3rd!
Not only do we have Alabama and LSU going to battle in a matchup of the #1 and #3 team in all the land, but we have another SEC showdown that features another pair of top-10 monsters.
6th-ranked Georgia heads to Lexington to face the 9th-ranked Wildcats in the biggest football game at Kroger Field in as long as I can remember.
And as much as I wanted to pick a side and place wagers in those marquee games, I just didn’t feel confident enough in either direction.
However, there are four games that did pique my interest and got me plenty excited.
You read about them right here, so you know what to do next.
Head to your favorite online football betting sites and start firing away.
The post NCAA Football Betting Picks for Week 10 of College Football 2018 appeared first on GamblingSites.com.
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