This line opened at -16.5 and has ran up to -18.5 at most books with the money coming in on Tech. I've got to lay the big number with Tech here as I think they are at least 3 TD's better than KU. Kansas is still a long way away from being a competitive football team - the Jayhawks rank dead last in the FBS in successful play rate. Between Bean’s 57.4 passing grade and the offensive line being the lowest-graded unit in the Power Five, the offense has been anemic. Even with the Red Raiders having a shaky defense from top to bottom, this is a Jayhawks offense that has struggled against every opponent this season.
Texas Tech quarterback Henry Colombi has played well with Tyler Shough out due to injury. He started most the games last season and he’s generated 0.22 EPA per pass when on the field, a mark that would rank 16th in the Power Five. Kansas has yet to cover the spread in 2021, and I can’t see that changing this week. Guns up!
Texas A&M QB Haynes King broke his leg against Colorado and the Aggies have't been the same team since. The Aggies managed just 272 yards of total offense in a 20-10 loss to Arkansas. That poor showing came just two weeks after a 10-7 win over Colorado in which they didn't score a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter. That's two games against Power Five opponents and two games in which the Aggies scored 10 points. Against a Mississippi State defense which has been pretty darn good against the run this season, that seems more than a little problematic for an anemic Aggies offense.
Miss. State coming off of tough losses to Memphis and LSU but this team is better than their record. Give me the 7 points here and sprinkle the ML.
This line opened at Texas -11 and early money poured in on Texas Tech moving the line down to Texas -7.5 and apparently there was some sharp action that hammered Texas moving the line back to Texas -9.
Both of these teams are off to pretty solid starts. Texas beat Louisiana to start off the year well, but then quickly dropped a game to what is looking like a really stout Arkansas team. The Horns bounced back last week, crushing Rice and now hope to bring that same momentum into this game.
Texas Tech started the year with an exclamation mark, beating a tough Houston team by 17 points. After that, they took care of business against FIU and but the Red Raiders struggled to put away Stephen F. Austin and eked out a win with a late defensive stop inside the red zone. A 3-0 start is just what the Raiders wanted entering Austin, and I expect them to bring all the fight against a tough Texas team.
The Raiders have Oregon transfer QB Tyler Shough at the helm and are very balanced on offense with a strong run game to compliment a strong passing game....and Tech finally looks to have a good defense this year with a veteran secondary. I'm not sold on Texas longhorns this year as Arkansas rushed for 340 yards against Texas and sure Texas pounded Rice, but the Owls had a 3rd string QB in for 3 of those quarters and Rice isn't very good. I think Texas gets a wakeup call this weekend and are far from being "back". I love the +9 points here in a game that Texas Tech could win out right.
Stanford has a lot of question marks on offense coming into this season. According to Football Outsiders’ Returning Talent Index, Stanford ranks dead-last in the PAC-12 and returns just 14 of its 22 starters on offense and defense. Per ESPN’s Returning Production, the Cardinal bring back just 55 percent of their overall production (111th in the FBS). The one bright spot for Stanford is they return 8 starters on defense, but they will need it as the Cardinal defense wasn’t great at stopping the run last season.
K. State had a mediocre season last year but should be improved with Skylar Thompson back under center. Thompson will be joined in the backfield by Deuce Vaughn one of the best backs in the Big 12. The Wildcats also reloaded this season with some nice transfer pickups, with defensive tackle Timmy Horne from Charlotte and defensive back Julius Brents from Iowa, two players expected to start right away. While Kansas State has some inexperience at the linebacker but returning both corners and safety.
Pick: With Stanford expecting a down trotting year, it could be a long season for the Cardinals. K. State will be the more experienced team here and I expect big things out of Skylar Thompson and Deuce Vaughn this season. Plus this game is being played at Jerry World in Arlington, and half the K.State players are from Texas making this more of a home coming for the Wildcats.
UAB has been a perennial powerhouse in Conference USA and should again compete for the conference championship this year. But, Jacksonville State finished last season at 10-3 and 6-1 in conference and won’t be intimidated after beating FIU and playing Florida State close last year. The Gamecocks also have senior quarterback Zerrick Cooper under center and he is only 161 yards short of becoming the Gamecocks' all-time leading passer. Jacksonville State has enough talent on both sides of the ball to keep this game close and Cooper at QB seals the deal here for me.
Baylor 107, Kansas State 59. That was the first meeting at the end of January, and Baylor was electric in that game hitting 58% from the field and 61% from three. I don't expect the same kind of result today, K. State has been grittier down the stretch albeit still a bad team. But 20 feels a bit heavy here as I'm sure Baylor will rest players late if they are up big and leave the back door wide open. I like Baylor to win 77-62 and will take the 20 points.
We can't forget how bad Pittsburgh was down the stretch, winning only 1 of their last 5 games. My book has Cleveland +6.5 so bought the hook here and taking the Browns +7. Wouldn't surprise me at all for Browns to win this game out right.
Despite seeing John Wolford lead the Rams to a win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, thereâ€™s certainly some concern in Los Angeles right now. Will Jared Goff be ready to go? All signs are that it's a game time decision and he won't be 100% if he does play, not to mention the rust from sitting the last 2 weeks after surgery. Goff starting seems highly unlikely, leaving the Rams to rely on Wolford once again. Itâ€™s not a great situation for head coach Sean McVay and Co. to be in right now. Even if Goff is able to go, itâ€™s not like he was setting the world on fire ahead of suffering the injury. I fully expect the Ramsâ€™ top defense to keep this close for a while with Aaron Donald doing his thing against Wilson. I just canâ€™t pick an upset given Goffâ€™s struggles and the fact that heâ€™s unlikely to even play in this one. Seattle wins a 24-17 type of game.
Colts going to be w/o both starting tackles for this game. "The Indianapolis Colts will be without both starting offensive tackles when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo has been downgraded to out with knee and ankle injuries, while right tackle Braden Smith was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday."
Good spot for Pittsburgh to get their shit together before the playoffs.
Buffalo is going to bring the running game and Marshall is going to bring the defense. Class matchup of offense vs. defense, but I just think Buffalo is the superior team in this one and will out last Marshall of 4 quarters. This one comes down to strength of schedule to me and Conference USA is pretty weak this year which takes the shine off off Marshall's 7-1 record. Should be a good game but I'll lay the 5 points.
The Scarlet Knights looked like the grind of the Big Ten season had taken a toll in last weekâ€™s loss to Penn State and with just four games played as a result of COVID, Maryland figures to be the more rested squad in this one. I still think Rutgers will enter this game better-prepared and more energized. I donâ€™t have a ton of deep analysis to offer here, but I say Rutgers bounces back and wins this week and enters the final week of the season with three wins. Score: Rutgers 28, Maryland 17.
Northwestern had an impromptu bye last week because its scheduled game against Minnesota was canceled due to COVID-19 complications within the Golden Gophers program. The Wildcats suffered their first loss (outright and ATS) as 13.5-point road favorites at Michigan State Nov. 28. Despite not playing last week, Northwestern clinched the Big Ten West Division title and a berth in the Big Ten Championship.
Itâ€™s crazy to lay more than two touchdowns with a Northwestern team that has nothing to play for and a terrible offense. The Wildcats are 121st in yards per play, 115th in yards per rush and 89th in points per game.
According to Pregame.com the sharp money is hitting Illinois and taking the points and I'll follow.
Two teams trending in opposite direction. At 4-6 on the season, Detroit is battling for playoff relevancy. The team has won three of six since a 1-3 start to the season. Unfortunately, these good feelings gave way to a brutal Week 11 performance that saw Detroit shut out by a previously struggling Carolina Panthers squad with a backup QB by the score of 20-0. On the other hand, Houston put up a nice performance in a 27-20 win over the New England.
Detroit has been bitten by the injury bug and the Texans are now a respectable 3-2 since firing Bill Oâ€™Brien. I like Houston's mojo to continue on Thanksgiving Day.
The Vegas offense will keep the same formula going until someone stops it. Get the tough running game going, get an efficient passing day, donâ€™t get hit with a ton of turnovers, and keep converting on third downs. The Denver receiving corps is just banged up enough to be a problem.
Like most of the games the Colts have played this season, this is a tough one to predict. Both of these teams know each other well, but the Colts have a chance to bounce back after a tough loss at home against the Ravens. The Titans defense isnâ€™t what it used to be. They are 25th in pressure rate (19.1%) and dead last in sack rate (3.06%). Where this game will be determined is in the trenches - stopping Derrick Henry is the game plan and while most teams donâ€™t have a chance in slowing him down, the Colts do. Give me Colts at the virtual pick em', Indy wins a high scoring game 34-27.
LOVE the Raiders here today as they come in as the much healthier team. LA will keep it close in a shootout with the Raiders, but the defense just wonâ€™t be able to finish the game for the Bolts. With no Joey Bosa and a lot of question marks in the secondary, thereâ€™s simply too much to overcome for Gus Bradleyâ€™s unit. Darren Waller is also a matchup nightmare.
Well, this should be fun. Two of the worst teams in the NFL will be going up against each other, with one being favored by nearly a TD on the road. Houston is allowing an average of 31 points per game, and the Jaguars have given up 30-plus points in each of their previous six games. The only part of this game that should be fun to watch is Deshaun Watson tearing up a terrible Jacksonville secondary. Houston wins 34-17.
Florida has a distinct advantage with Trask and the Bulldogs are missing three starters on defense. With star safety Richard LeCounte and two defensive linemen out of the lineup, I expect Trask to lead UF to a close win.
Tough to play Memphis after what we saw last week, but I'm going to stick with the Tigers here. South Florida has had some pretty nice offensive performances, but in those games theyâ€™ve allowed a lot of points on the other side, as with East Carolina (44-24) and Temple (39-37). The Tigers have plenty of offense to set the pace here, and Memphis has the offensive fire power to bounce back from last week.
The Green Bay Packers coming off a tough 38-10 loss to the Bucs and will be playing their second straight road game here against a Houston team struggling to find their footing. The Texans had a difficult Week 6 loss of their own, losing 42-36 in overtime to the rival Tennessee Titans after interim HC Romeo Crennel elected to go for 2 instead of kicking the extra point to go up by 8.
The Packers may have lost big last week but they are better than that - Green Bay started the season with four straight wins by at least 7 points before their Week 5 bye and their loss to the Bucs included a rare two-interception performance by QB Aaron Rodgers, including one pick-6. Despite Houstonâ€™s immediately improved offense sans Oâ€™Brien, the defense is still a nightmare under interim head coach Romeo Crennel. Expect a cleaner game from Rodgers here as I think the Packers get the road win and eke out a cover.
Baylor went two weeks without even practicing and has only played two games because of COVID-19 concerns. But somehow, with a whole new coaching staff and only two starters returning on defense, the Bears are playing better D than Texas. So Iâ€™m not picking Texas to cover, even though Baylorâ€™s offensive line gave up six sacks of Charlie Brewer in a 27-21 double overtime loss at West Virginia. The Bears also ran the ball 33 times for just 27 yards against the Mountaineers (who have a better-than-you-think defense), but the inability to run the ball is a concern for Baylor in this game.
Bottom line - Tom Herman is coaching for his job, so I predict the Longhorns do a little better job of finding themselves on Saturday and get the win but it's closer than what Vegas is predicting.
Tricky game as CFU coming off of an ugly loss to Tulsa where they were 21 point favorites but did look sharp against GT and ECU. It's hard to bet against Memphis at home, but Memphis lacking they playmakers they've had in years past. Slight lean on CFU here at a virtual pickem.
The Aggies beat No. 9-ranked Florida 41-38 in Gainesville last week, so naturally Aggies backers need to worry about a letdown game here. But with senior QB Kellen Mond guiding the offense, A&M should be ready to go here. Sure Miss St beat LSU early but we have learned LSU aint the same team they were last year and A&M has more talent on both sides of the ball.