Free NCAA Football Picks Week 5: Under-the-Radar Matchups Provide Great Betting Profits
Last week I wrote about the high possibility that the game between the Rams and Niners had of finishing at a 0-0 tie. Thankfully I was wrong and fans/bettors had plenty of positive things to talk about the next day. Tonight, I will be focusing in on the Chicago/Green Bay game as I will be taking the Packers in my Survivor Pool- but that's another story. However, if you want to lay some money down on some football, I suggest looking no further than the Texas/Iowa State game, which gets underway at 8:00 p.m. EST. The Longhorns are currently six-point road favorites and the total is set at 63.5.
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Friday's college schedule features four really intriguing games with spreads of less than a touchdown. The night begins in Durham, North Carolina, where Duke will host the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are currently 6.5-point favorites with the total set at 56 . The other games on the docket are Nebraska (-6.5) visiting Illinois, BYU (-3) visiting Utah State and the No. 5 USC Trojans (-3.5) travelling to Pullman, Washington, to tangle with No. 16 Washington State.
From a Top-25 perspective, Saturday's card features two games between ranked opponents. First, No. 24 Mississippi State travels to No. 13 Auburn and then No. 2 Clemson takes on No. 19 Virginia Tech. The lines are currently set at Auburn -9 and Clemson -7.5. If I had to put one of those two higher-ranked teams on upset alert, it would be Clemson. The rest of the Top 25 have winnable games on paper, but as we know, conference games are never as straight forward as they seem.
However, the purpose of this weekly piece is to help you specialize in finding those under-the-radar games with soft lines in order to increase your edge over the book and turn a profit. We all know there are two kinds of bettors - sharps and squares -- but what most people don't realize is that most of the sharps specialize in smaller conferences with lesser teams where the lines are softer. The reason being is that these games/teams generally fly under the radar from the betting public, thus leaving more value in the betting line. On the flip side, square bettors would be considered "generalized" bettors, which means they bet on what the media tells them to bet.
Last week was a solid bounce-back week for me. I was able to hit both of my selections for a profit of 5.4 units. In terms of my record, I sit at 5-4 for a profit of +4.8 Units.
This week I have two "under-the-radar" games from the Saturday board that I expect the get the job done. I will use $100 as my unit of wager, and as always all lines are courtesy of our friends at 5Dimes.
Ohio @ Massachusetts (+8.5) Saturday Sept. 30, 3:30 p.m. EST
The Ohio Bobcats got the job done for me last week as they defeated Eastern Michigan as 2.5-point pups, so I see no reason why they won't get the job done once again this week against a lesser opponent.
The Bobcats played an exceptional game last week and won every key battle in order to get the outright win and start conference play on a winning note. They got solid QB play from Nathan Rourke as he threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns. However, it was the ground game that came to play as A.J Ouellette led the charge with 140 rushing yards. This week, they are facing a team in Massachusetts that is much weaker on both sides of the ball than Eastern Michigan is. The Bobcats are averaging 34.5 points per game over their last two games, which bodes well for them heading into this week's matchup. The Minutemen are allowing teams to move up and down the field with ease, giving up 400 yards per game of total offense, including nearly five yards per rush and eight yards per throw. They are also giving up 28 points per game. I can't see them improving on those numbers in this spot, despite playing Tennessee close last week.
UMass comes into this game after suffering a crushing loss against the Volunteers last week. That brought their record to 0-5, and the biggest reason for that record is because their offense isn't generating enough points. They have scored 7, 21 and 13 in their last three games, respectively, for an average of 13.5 points per game. With a defense as weak as theirs, 13.5 points a game isn't going to cut it.
Pick: 3-Unit Play on #131 Ohio -7.5 (-110)
Air Force @ New Mexico (PK) Saturday Sept. 30, 7 p.m. EST
For my second selection of the day, I am going to the Mountain West Conference where we will find a game between Air Force and New Mexico taking place at Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque.
Air Force come into this game on the heels of a hard-fought 28-24 loss suffered at the hands of a ranked San Diego State team. I was very surprised to see the line dropping in that contest as Air Force went from 6-point pups to just 1.5-point dogs. In that game, the Falcons completed just two passes for 33 yards while rushing 60 times for a grand total of 220 yards. I am completely aware that their offense is based around the triple-option, but if you can't complete at least a handful of passes down field then you are going to have a hard time winning football games.
This is where the New Mexico Lobos come into the picture. The Lobos are coming into this game on a high after securing a road win at Tulsa by a 16-13 score. In that game, they were able to hold the Golden Hurricane to just 280 yards of total offense, which tells me that the defense is starting to come along and play up to its potential. On the other hand, the offense still needs some fine tuning, but if the Lobos can keep pace with their average of 24 points per game then I believe they can outscore Air Force and get the outright win at this pick'em price.
Pick: 4-Unit Play on #196 New Mexico (PK) -110 .
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