Free NCAA Football Picks Week 10: Under-the-Radar Matchups Provide Great Betting Profits
It has been only three days since the season's first College Football Playoff rankings were made public, and people are still (should read: "already") losing their damn minds about it. Some are calling it a conspiracy to dethrone Alabama of its No. 1 spot, while others are questioning the committee's decision to put Clemson in at No. 4 over the likes of Oklahoma or Ohio State despite the Tigers losing to a 4-4 Syracuse team. To everyone reading this, calm the heck down. It's the first CFP ranking of the season, and with six weeks left in the regular season the rankings are going to change multiple times before it's all said and done.
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If you don't believe me, I have history on my side to back up my claim. In 2014, the original CFP ranking looked like this; Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Ole Miss. These teams finished seventh, third, 19 th and ninth when the final rankings came out. In 2015, two teams from the original rankings held on for a spot in the CFP, with Clemson finishing first (ranked first) and Alabama dropping to No.4 from the second spot. LSU went from second to 20th and Ohio State fell from No.3 to No.7. And lastly, in 2016 the top two teams -- Alabama and Clemson -- were able to hold onto their CFP spot, while No.3 Michigan fell to No.6 and Texas A&M fell from No.4 to unranked to end the season.
So, if you are reading this and are a supporter of teams like Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin or Miami, then you just have to relax. There is a lot of football still left to play, and if your team can take care of its own business and win out then they could sneak into that all-important final ranking sometime in early December.
But enough about the politics of the game; let's get down to business and do what we do best, which is bet on games and make some money. As I'm sure you already know, the purpose of this weekly article to help bettors find those "diamond-in-the-rough" type games with soft lines and increase your edge over the book. The majority of new bettors make the same mistake every week - they get sucked into the media's propaganda and all the "hype up" commercials on television featuring ranked teams. If those commercials are the only thing a new bettor sees, that is likely the game they will bet on. What these square bettors don't know is that the line has very little value left in it, and the books will typically win more often than not.
Tonight's card features three games from three different conferences. To start the night, Marshall takes on Florida Atlantic in a showdown of Conference USA teams. The Owls are currently 7.5-point favorites and the total is set at 68. Next up is No. 23 Memphis (-12) taking on Tulsa in a AAC matchup, and lastly UCLA travels to Salt Lake City for a game against Utah (-7.5).
From a Top-25 perspective, there are several massive games this weekend involving ranked opponents. No. 7 Penn State (-7.5) looks to bounce back against No .24 Michigan State, No. 4 Clemson (-7) faces a very tough road test against No. 20 N.C. State, No. 21 Stanford travels to Pullman to take on No. 25 Washington State (-2.5), No. 5 Oklahoma enters the annual Bedlam game against No. 11 Oklahoma State as two-point underdogs, No.13 Virginia Tech (-2.5) takes on No.10 Miami, No. 2 Alabama (-21) hosts No. 19 LSU and lastly No. 22 Arizona travels to L.A. to take on No. 17 USC (-7.5). Wow, that's an amazing Saturday of football.
It was tough sailing last week, but I am chalking it up to a bit of bad football luck. Both selections (Western Kentucky and App. State) were covering late in the ball game until they forgot how to play football. This brings my record to 8-8-1. Fortunately, there are games this week and a bounce-back week is in order.
This week I absolutely love these two "under-the-radar" games on Saturday. These will both be my biggest plays of the year, and I fully intend on cashing them both. I will use $100 as my unit of wager and as always, all lines are courtesy of our friends at 5Dimes.
North Texas @ Louisiana Tech (-4) Saturday November 4, 3:30 p.m. EST
Over the last three seasons, Louisiana Tech owns a 19-5 record against conference foes and has won the Conference USA West division twice during that time. Just last season the Bulldogs finished 9-5 overall and won a crazy Bowl game against Navy by a score of 48-45. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs lost a lot of talent through graduation and returned only five starters on both sides of the football.
So far this year, the inexperience has been front and center, and the Bulldogs are sitting at 4-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play. They come into this game off a solid road win against Rice. However...let's be honest, everyone beats Rice. The Bulldogs were outgained in that game by 30 yards, and if it wasn't for four Rice turnovers, including a pick-six, this game could have ended up a lot different.
Their opponent, North Texas, come into this game on the heels of a wild win over Old Dominion just last week. North Texas needed 10 fourth-quarter points to secure the victory in a game that saw the teams combine for 850 yards of offense. The Mean Green find themselves in uncharted waters this week as they are currently in first place in the West Division and have a very favorable remaining schedule.
North Texas is scoring 30 points per game on the road, while the Bulldogs are giving up 33 points per game at home. Both teams are 4-4 against the spread this season, but LA Tech is just 1-3 against the number on home soil.
In a game that features two offenses that can put up points, I tend to side with getting points. The last team to possess the ball in this game should emerge victorious, and it could very well be a game-winning field goal that secures victory.
Pick: 3-Unit Play on #383 North Texas (+4) -110 .
Georgia State @ Georgia Southern (+4) Saturday November 4, 3:00 p.m EST
For my second selection, I am going to make a bold prediction and hang my hat on it when it comes true. In this game, one Georgia team will win and one Georgia team will lose. How's that for a hot take?
In all seriousness, I am siding with the Georgia team that has actually tasted victory so far this season, and that is the Panthers. Georgia State pushed their conference record to 3-1 thanks to a 21-13 win over South Alabama last weekend. They were efficient on offense and played sound defense, holding the Jaguars to just 41 yards rushing.
The Eagles, on the other hand, have fired more coaches (one) than they have wins (zero). They come into this game on the heels of a 38-16 loss courtesy the Troy Trojans and have many more questions than answers at this point in the season.
Both teams average less than 20 points per game, but it's the defenses that are going to make the difference in this one. Georgia State gives up just 24 points per game, while Georgia Southern gives up more than 40.
I'm taking the team with the better defense in this matchup of teams going in the opposite direction.
Pick: 3-Unit Play on #355 Georgia State (-4) -110 .
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