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College Football Underdog Picks and Blow Out Predictions

10/1/11

This is a feature we started recently where we take a look at several games where our score prediction model suggests an edge. Our score prediction model is just one aspect of our weekly handicapping process. This early in the season, it's hit or miss as it's performance driven. It's gets stronger as the years moves along. We haven't decided whether or not to make this a continuous feature - if you like it, let us know!

We'll start with the potential blow outs.

Michigan -20 over Minnesota - We'll agree with this one. The model has Michigan 40-7 and aside from the Gophers not looking too good (they lost to North Dakota State) They are also banged up.

Temple -7.5 over Toledo - The model has Temple 32-9. Last week the model had Temple winning outright over Maryland, which they did in spectacular fashion. The problem here is that the line moved from -6.5 to -7.5 or higher. Laying the worst of a number, especially one that crosses over the key number of 7, is a recipe for failure.

Virginia -16 over Idaho - Predicted score here is Virginia 42-16. Laying -16 or less not so bad when you consider that Idaho ranks 94th in points scored and 102nd in points allowed.  They are 117th out of 120 teams rushing offensively and they have the 114th ranked pass defense. When you consider that they achieved these lofty numbers against the likes of Bowling Green, North Dakota and Fresno State, it magnifies those numbers.

Georgia Tech -10 over NC State - The model has Georgia Tech 60-26. The model is picking up on Georgia Tech being the #1 team in college football thus far, in points scored at 53 points per game. NC State doesn't look like they can stop anyone, so why not.

Cincinnati -15 over Miami Ohio - Predicted score Cinci 48-16. Need to be careful here. This is one of the oldest rivalries in college football and is a series that has had some surprises over the years. But, at the same time, Miami Ohio 106th in points scored at just 17 points per game compared to Cinci at #4 and 50 points per game. Miami Ohio ranked 118th in rushing to Cinci's 15th. Cinci +14 in turnover margin, Miami Ohio -3. On paper it's a mismatch.

Texas Tech -6.5 over Kansas - Model has Texas Tech 59-34. Maybe the over is the way to go here. Laying a small number at -6.5 for a team forecasted to score almost 60 points, but note that Kansas is predicted to put some up as well.

Washington State +3 over Colorado - Not often that we see an underdog come up in the blowout section, but the predicted score is 45-26 Washington State. We'd tread lightly here based on who Washington State has played, but certainly would classify them as a "live dog".

Northern Illinois -9.5 over Central Michigan - Predicted score 41-21 Northern Illinois. You have to wonder how an anemic offense like that of Central Michigan can keep up with a Northern Illinois team that can light up the scoreboard.

Stanford -21 over UCLA - We can expect Stanford to be listed every week on these pages. The model says 53-7 but we'll stay away from this one as we have our doubts.

Arizona State -18 over Oregon State - and the model says...............Az St 45-10

South Carolina -10 over Auburn - Not exactly a blowout when compared to some of these other score predictions, but we list this one because it's a marquee game and the model has SC covering easily. South Carolina 48-28

 

Lastly we'll list the underdogs. Teams listed as dogs that the model likes to win straight up. Now, keep in mind, had you played the dogs we listed last week against the spread, you would have gone 3-3-1. However, had you played them on the moneyline, you would have cashed in big with Bowling Green and Temple winning outright as big dogs along with UCLA at a nice price. Also worth noting that the teams that lost, came close.

Michigan State +3 over Ohio State - This one comes in close but still a straight up win for the Spartans. Mich State 16-15.

Florida State +4 over Alabama - The model predicts a 13-13 score.

Wake Forest +1 over BC - a very small dog, but a dog nonetheless. Model says 32-19 Wake.

Rutgers +1.5 over Syracuse - This one started out at Rutgers +3, so, the value is gone but the predicted score is Rutgers 34-20.

Tulane +7 over Army - predicted score Tulane 35-30

San Jose +3 over Colo State - 18-17 San Jose

Kansas State +3.5 over Baylor - The model doesn't predict a straight up win but rather, a tie, 21-21. Perhaps a live dog in Kansas State

Purdue +11.5 over Notre Dame - Another predicted tie, 18-18. But, plenty of value left in that +11.5 despite the line move from +13. According to the model!

There you have it. Should you blindly play any of these? No. But certainly use it as a guide to help with your potential plays. You can see from last week, even this early in the year, it can uncover some gems. Make sure to let us know if you'd like to see these each week!!!

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