It was one other 2-2 week for this column, as Alabama and Wisconsin didn’t cowl as favorites (the Badgers misplaced outright regardless of dominating the stat sheet) whereas my underdog decide Kentucky defeated Florida and the North Carolina-Georgia State sport got here in below the whole. I’m 4-4 on the season on these picks, which isn’t nice. Hopefully we will begin a successful pattern in Week 3.
This column will give out 4 picks per week: the sport of the week, a favourite, an underdog and a wild card, which will be something (one other favourite or underdog in a sport that could be flying below the radar, or a complete, as an illustration). Hopefully we’ll all be wealthy by the point the clock hits zero in Inglewood, Calif., on Jan. 9.
All spreads and totals had been taken Wednesday from the consensus odds at VegasInsider.com until famous. All occasions Japanese on Saturday.
Miami-Texas A&M below 45 factors, 9 p.m., ESPN
The No. 24 Aggies are coming off a sport by which they managed all of 14 factors — they wanted Devon Achane’s 95-yard kickoff return for a landing to achieve that — and 180 complete yards towards an Appalachian State workforce that beforehand had given up 63 factors and 567 yards to North Carolina. Coach Jimbo Fisher’s play-calling and his insistence on beginning the ineffective Haynes King at quarterback have grow to be big query marks. However on the flip aspect, Texas A&M held the Mountaineers to solely 3.8 yards per play one week after they averaged eight yards per play towards the Tar Heels. The No. 13 Hurricanes are coming off a 30-7 win over Southern Mississippi by which they didn’t appear notably explosive: They’d clock-chewing scoring drives of 16, 10, 13 and 12 performs, and the Golden Eagles — whom no person goes to confuse for the 1985 Chicago Bears — sacked Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke 4 occasions and intercepted him as soon as. Since Fisher took over in 2018, Texas A&M has averaged 19 factors in 9 September video games towards Energy 5 groups (in video games from October by January, the Aggies have averaged 32.2 factors in such video games). The Aggies haven’t had a September sport go over the whole since 2019, and I say that continues right here.
Mississippi (-16.5) at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m., ABC
I’m going to proceed to fade the Yellow Jackets till they provide me cause to not (they’re 0-2 towards the unfold this season). Georgia Tech allowed Western Carolina of the Soccer Championship Subdivision to attain touchdowns on its first two possessions final weekend earlier than forcing 4 turnovers and pulling away for a 35-17 win. Surprisingly for a Lane Kiffin-coached workforce, the Rebels have been getting it finished with protection, permitting solely 13 factors by two video games. And whereas beating Central Arkansas and Troy is to be anticipated, the Trojans fee out increased than Georgia Tech by way of the SP+ effectivity metric. Whereas Kiffin continues to be attempting to make up his thoughts about whether or not Luke Altmyer or Jaxson Dart ought to be his beginning quarterback, the Rebels’ operating backs have been carrying the offensive load. Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans are each averaging practically 100 dashing yards per sport and have mixed to common practically seven yards per carry, and the Yellow Jackets’ protection ranks a hundred and twenty fifth in dashing success fee. I predicted earlier than the season that Georgia Tech could be one of many worst Energy 5 groups within the nation, and that continues Saturday.
Fresno State (+13.5) at USC, 10:30 p.m., Fox
The Trojans have began the Lincoln Riley period with two wins, and their passing sport is buzzing alongside properly (USC is fourth nationally in passing success fee and fifteenth in passing explosiveness). However the Trojans even have compelled eight turnovers over two video games, an unsustainable tempo that has masked some points, notably when their opponents aren’t turning over the ball and giving them a brief area. USC is permitting 183.5 dashing yards per sport (106th within the nation) and ranks 119th nationally in rushing success rate allowed and 121st in dashing explosiveness allowed. Fresno State operating again Jordan Mims is averaging practically 100 dashing yards per sport and is coming off a 122-yard, two-touchdown effort towards Oregon State; change-of-pace again Malik Sherrod is averaging 7.7 yards per carry; and the Bulldogs rank twelfth nationally in dashing success fee. The Bulldogs even have but to commit a turnover this season. The SP+ effectivity metric predicts this to be round a seven-point sport, another excuse to love the underdog right here.
Kansas State-Tulane below 47 factors, 3 p.m., ESPN Plus
This complete already is fairly low, which isn’t shocking contemplating that the Wildcats have run the ball 65.3 % of the time (eighth within the nation) and the Inexperienced Wave has run it 56.4 % of the time (thirty eighth). Not solely that, however Kansas State averages 30.5 seconds per play (solely 5 groups have operated at a slower tempo this season) and Tulane averages 26.3 seconds (tied for 76th). The Wildcats scored on a 75-yard landing run on the season’s first play from scrimmage towards South Dakota on Sept. 3, however 4 of the seven landing drives that adopted for Kansas State have taken at the very least 10 performs. Tulane’s rush protection has been sturdy, rating fourth nationally in success fee and 18th in dashing explosiveness allowed, however its offensive dashing assault has been pretty pedestrian regardless of its desire to run: The Inexperienced Wave ranks simply 71st in dashing success fee and 81st in dashing explosiveness after wins over FCS Alcorn State and perennially dismal Massachusetts, and Kansas State is coming off a sport by which it gave up simply 2.7 yards per carry towards Missouri. Each defenses rank within the prime 10 nationally in predicted factors added per dashing play, with Kansas State third and Tulane seventh. Throw in some probably breezy situations that would restrict the passing assaults, and we will count on a fast-moving clock and a low-total remaining rating right here.