We’re having to push GAM a day earlier than usual, with the start of Wednesday CUSA games. And, in a week or so, we’ll get Tuesday MACtion thrown in to the mix. I may just post one-offs if something catches my eye on those Tuesday games. But, for now, consider Wednesday our new day for Giving Away Money.
Week Five: 4-2
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).
Arkansas State romped UMass on the road, moving Butch Jones and Co. to 3-2, and still alive for job-saving bowl eligibility.
What on Earth?
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.
Dear Reader: Georgia looked like awful against a bad team. Again. 27-20, ‘Dawgs.
Welcome to Week Six 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.
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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:
This week, we’ll give you a pair of toxic spreads to duck:
Florida -18.5 vs. Vandy — You’d be a damn fool to bet on this Florida team, especially before the Cocktail Party. There is not a more schizoid program in college football. Numbers suggest the Gators get it done, but nothing within the margin of error here: UF -19.44
Clemson -21 vs. Wake — The Tigers travel to No. 17 Miami next week, then host No. 9 Notre Dame the week after. If ever there were a game that was custom-made to lose you money, it’s probably this one. The Demon Deacons have matched up terribly against CU in normal years. But this isn’t a normal year nor a normal Clemson team. This is a trap and a half. CU -20.26
One We Like:
North Texas at Navy -6
The Mean Green have literally the worst rushing defense in the country, allowing 6 YPC and over 200 YPG...and they’ve not played an option team yet. Making matters worse, the offense is subject to starts and fits, and they take a ton of penalties. You simply cannot do that and win games under the best of times. And you absolutely can’t get away with sloppy tempo play against a service academy — especially the Middies in Annapolis.
Trust running games and defense; both of which tilt in favor of the USNA
One We Love:
Western Kentucky -5.5 at La. Tech
No one is talking about three things here. 1. How very good WKU’s defense has been against teams in their weight class, esp. at forcing turnovers. 2. How explosive the offense remains on a per-play basis, even if scoring is down somewhat, and 3. How awesome the ‘Toppers have been ATS. They’ve covered three of four, and they can be forgiven for getting smoked by Ohio State in The Shoe.
Make it 4 of 5.
An Underdog With Bite:
USM -1.5 vs. ODU
Old Dominion’s running game has been stellar this year. It’s kept them in a lot of winnable contests that they’ve just not quite been able to break through yet. Their problem has been when it stalls, and the Monarchs have to throw — it’s a 50-50 proposition then, and one prone to turning it over. However, versus a So Miss front that at times looks like it has flat given up is a mismatch in favor of the visitors.
If ODU can stay out of trouble and obvious passing situations, they can get this one outright with an underdog cover and S/U win.
Ginormous Spread Worth Your Time:
There are very few games that even get into the 20s, and only a handful are within the margin of error with respect to DD spreads. The largest spread with the largest confidence data is actually our Mortal Lock this week. So, we’ll go with this one, and we’re not happy about it.
Kentucky +14.5 at UGA
Stoops has not matched up well vs. the Bulldogs at all, and has especially been trucked in Athens. This looks to be another one. UK is actually a lot worse than their record. The culprit? A bad passing game that throws a lot of ducks. They’ve relied on interior running to bust games open wide, but that plainly wasn’t the plan, nor was it how this team was built to win this year. Given that, the Wildcats won’t be able to bully the Dawgs up front, and certainly not on the road. That’s going to put Leary in bad spots against a far superior UGA secondary, and they’ll give Georgia a lot of freebies. We’ve seen this script play out about half a dozen years in a row.
It’s at night too.
Liberty -18 vs. Sam Houston State
This is another one of those games where Sam Houston on paper seems to match up decently...until you look under the hood, and realize they have zero chance of putting up points here. (Someone give Jamey Chadwell a real job already). The Flames defense has been stellar, and that’s not even counting the fact they lead the country in turnover margin per-game. So, yet another valiant SHSU effort is going to be undone by turnovers and an offense that is not fit for D1 ball. The Flames have been awesome this year, ATS BTW: 5-0.
They’ll run that to 6-0, we think.
Mizzou +6.5 at home vs. LSU?
Take Mizzou. Brian Kelly has always underperformed on the road. Even if MU doesn’t win, they’ll cover
LSU has the first dynamic offense MU has faced. The Red Stick Tigers cover a touchdown.
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.
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