Week Two: 3-1-2
We’ll trust the ASU defense to try and stand on their head (they have most of the year), and the Sun Devils passing game to cause just enough trouble here. Take ASU...oh, sure, it’ll still be a beating. Just probably not six scores-worth.
USC has always played like trash in Tempe.
What on Earth?
I just don’t see where RU is going to get their points here. And win the dam finally bursts, and it will, UM will pour it on (for them, I mean).
Rutgers did not, in fact, score even one mingy touchdown. But Michigan’s offense never put it all together either; and we had to settle for a gross push. Not to be outdone, Ohio State also pushed (at my book, at least. Several folks won when they got it late at -2.5).
Welcome to Week Five of 2023’s Giving Away Money.
We use data-based algorithmic predictions for all of our picks, combined with deep knowledge, and some good ole’ fashioned eyeballs.
For a third year, we extend our thanks to DraftKings for sponsoring Roll ‘Bama Roll in this space. For more degenerate gambling, fantasy, and sportsbook posts, you can check all of those out at the SBNation DraftKings Supergroup hub.
For current odds, check those out here.
Half a dozen games to go through today, and you know the drill: One we like, one we love, an underdog to consider, one to steer clear of, a ginormous spread worth your time, and a mortal lock.
Vegas has your money; let’s go get it.
Not with a 10’ Pole and Stolen Money:
LSU -2.5 at Ole Miss
Brian Kelly is so bad OTR. How much will Ole Miss have rebounded from last week’s depressing loss? Can the Rebs get their passing game together? Ole Miss is 3-1 vs. the Chalk; LSU is 1-3, and last week the Hogs exposed a very generous interior ground defense for the Tigers. That is something that will have to perk up Lane’s ears. The Data say the Rebs cover it, maybe even outright win. But neither meet any CI value, and particularly in a rivalry game.
LSU -1.87, though I’m selfishly pulling for the LMFK redemption arc to keep rolling...that, and the gorgeous powder blue unis.
One We Like:
Iowa -12.5 vs. Mich. State
Ever since Spanky McCumgoblin was suspended, Sparty has scored 16 points. Total. At home. Against Washington and Maryland. And now they have to go to Iowa City? Woof. This team looked like it had given up last week. A demoralizing Ferentzing may be what finally does them in. Numbers say we get a Hawkeye Special: Unwatchable filth that covers the spread.
Not by much, but enough. Iowa -14.09
And, let’s be honest, 14 points in Iowa City is like 25 points in a real place.
One We Love:
Tennessee -12 vs. USCe
The Vawls have to be licking their chops to get at a secondary allowing almost 70% completions and well over 8 YPA. Did I mention that revenge thing too? That loss in Columbia last year kept UT out of serious playoff contention and kept 45-year-old Hendon Hooker out of New York. And that was probably their best shot too.
If the Vawls get a chance to jack this one up, they will.
An Underdog With Bite:
Arkansas State +1.5 at UMass
Wrong team is favored here, it seems. The Red Wolves dynamic offense and troublesome secondary are custom-built to give the Minutemen trouble (esp. on the ground, where UMass gives up almost 6 yards a pop). Watch for a hidden story of this game too: penalties. UMass is nearing 10 per contest. That kind of stuff has a way of biting you in the ass in close games.
Not much of a favorite, but ASU -2.67 is a lot better than getting a point. Take the Wolves; the Butch Jones era has its first chance of hitting above .500 ever, and after some upsets, and a weaker SBC this year, this is a must-have for ASU to finally get to a bowl.
Ginormous Spread Worth Your Time:
None, actually. There are very few games that even get into the 20s. So, we’ll go with this one:
Auburn +14.5 vs UGA
God have mercy on their souls. This Barn squad may be the worst 3-1 team in America. You get the sense the Bulldogs have been snoozing for the first month, and are looking for a reason to play. Stoning the run-first Tigers, and that godawful Barn passing attack, may be just what gets it done. Kirby’s pedigree is custom-made to hate Auburn too: UGA alum? Georgia Head coach? Long time assistant at LSU, ‘Bama?
Oh, yeah. And this is the one of the three games Boosters are all-in on too.
Jacksonville State -6.5 at Sam Houston State
The Bearkats defense has been hell against the pass. Too bad JSU is a running team. Throw in Sam Houston’s atrocious offense that averages 4 points per game vs. an outstanding, battle-tested JSU defense, and this could be a hella’ ugly 27-3 type contest.
I may also lean into the under here too (36.5). I don’t know where SHSU is going to get their points, and certainly not with the way they turn it over and the way JSU forces them. Nor do I think Jax State is going to suddenly have a points explosion either.
Jax State -9.25
The Fightin’ Rich Rods march towards a bowl game.
Georgia covering -14.5 at the Barn?
They will, but it won’t be easy.
Nope. They’re just not the same this year.
Not only does Georgia not cover, some cursed Auburn Jesus stuff appears, and UGA outright loses.
Want some more of these? I crank the data for (almost) every single game, every single week over at my companion site: (Almost) Giving Away Money. Check it out, and prosper.
Just five bucks a month. Far cheaper than a divorce attorney when your wife leaves you for being a bad gambler.