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Brandon’s College Underdog Plays

Posted by in College Football Picks on November 12th, 2008 | Comment »

Warning: There are very few games that fit the system this week and from my research over the past five years week 12 and on, underdogs begin to struggle. There are just a few games I am posting, but none of these plays are very strong. I will also be posting my own plays that I feel are very strong.

Underdog Plays:

1. Utah and San Diego State (+29): I know that SDS’s record is terrible, but they have a decent chance of covering this spread. Utah is coming off two very difficult games in which they have struggled to score and probably should have lost both games. This is also a spot where Utah could be easily looking ahead to their big game verse BYU in two weeks. That game will determine whether Utah gets that BCS bid. Looking at the stats it is clear SDS plays much better at home scoring 29 points per and almost 400 yards of total offense, which is somewhat better than Utah’s stats on the road. The primary weak spot for SDS is their defense. They have simply been terrible giving up 29 points per at home over 35 on the road. Utah will easily win this game, but they may not be at their best considering it is a good spot for a let down off their big win last week and their big game in two weeks. (Rating +1)

2. BYU at Air Force (+5.5): I am a little surprised by this line, I thought it would be closer to 8 or 9. This is obviously AF’s biggest game of the year and they have played pretty well so far this year. One of the keys to this game will be AF’s running attack which is very solid. AF’s offense has to control the ball and eat up clock to keep that high powered offensive attack of BYU off the field. BYU’s defense has allowed over 160 yards rushing per contest on the road, so they are weak in that category. However, what they lack on defense they make up with offense. Scoring almost 30 on the road. Look for BYU to win, but AF should keep this pretty close. If you do like this game, considering pulling a “Vegas Martin” (try a teaser with one of my other stronger plays below). (Rating +1)

3. Middle Tennessee State vs. Western Kentucky (+3): MTSt has been terrible on the road going 0-5 and 1-4 ATS on turf. WK’s offense has been pretty strong at home scoring over 29 points and over 200 yards of rushing offense. On the other hand, MTSt on the road has been exactly the opposite scoring only about 19 points and just over 300 yards of total offense. WK’s offense has to control the ball just like AF, if they can avoid turnovers and eat up some clock with their decent rushing attack they should win this game outright. (Rating +1).

Other Plays:

1. North Carolina at Maryland (+3) This is a big spot for Maryland. They have played very well this year at home going 5-0 and 3-1 ATS. Their overall record is 6-3, so you can see they have clearly been more productive on their own field. They score over 30 points per at home and rack up almost 400 yards of total offense. Their defense has been strong both at home and on the road, but have been clearly strong at home allowing just over 16 points per. UNC is having a year that will put their football program on the map. However, this is their fifth tough test in row. They have played Notre Dame, at Virginia, Boston College, and Georgia Tech, going 3-1 in the stretch with their only loss coming at Virginia. I think this game should be tight from start to finish with Marlyand pulling the big upset here. (Rating +4).

2. Rutgers at South Florida (-7.5). SF is coming off a much needed bye week as they had lost two road games in a row. Now they come back home to take on a surging Rutgers squad. Rutgers has played well at home, but have been a different team on the road going 1-3. SF has struggled on the road, but has gone 3-1 at home. SF has scored almost 40 points per at home, while their defense is only giving up 20 points per. Look for SF to come out more focused after the bye week and better prepared to play in front of their home crowd. (Rating +4).

3. Wyoming at UNLV (-7) This is my college lock of the year! This is an absolute perfect spot for a blowout winner. Wyoming is coming off the school’s biggest win in probably the last 50 years, as they beat Tennessee last weekend. However, I don’t think that win is really that big because of all that craziness going on at Tenn. You know that those guys were celebrating that win all week long. UNLV is coming off a solid win against a decent New Mexico team. Looking at the teams statistically UNLV completely dominates in the offensive category. Wyoming is only scoring an avergae of 5 points on the road and only 240 yards of total offense. While UNLV is scoring over 26 points per at home and almost 350 yards of total offense. I know that UNLV has a weak run defense, but their pass defense is strong and Wyoming’s passing game is terrible averaging just over a 100 yards per. Therefore, the UNLV coaching attack should take advantage of their pass coverage defense and put 8, 9, or maybe even 10 in the box and completely shut down their run attack. I think this game will be over by half time. Take UNLV -7. (Rating 10).

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