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Phillips’ Week 8 NCAA Picks

Posted by in College Football Picks on October 15th, 2008 | Comment »

While last week was tough on the dogs, they have still won at almost 60% this year. Therefore, I can’t give up on the dogs after one bad week.

1. California at Arizona (+2): Overall this should be one of the best football games of the weekend. Both teams are averaging almost 410 yards of total offense and both teams’ defenses allow less than 300 yards with the slight edge going to the Wildcats. The Wildcats are 3-0 at home, while Cals only loss came on the road against a decent Maryland team. However, there is one stat that makes this game a play, the surface. Arizona’s field surface is grass, while California’s surface is Artifical Turf. Cal is a dismal 3-13 ATS on grass. Cal is also only 2-7 ATS over their last 9, while in that same stretch Arizona is a remarkable 7-2. (Rating +4).

***Side Bet: Above I pointed out that these teams both have very tough defenses, but they also have decent offensive attacks as well. Therefore the Over/Under seems like a potential play because it seems to be set more towards the offenses at 54.5. I will take the under as I believe the Ds will play an important role. (Rating +3)

2. Texas Tech at Texas A&M (+21): If you followed my picks last week I was spot on by taking the points Nebraska was getting on the road at TT. Nebraska lost by 3 in overtime. TT has dominated the spread in this series covering 21 of 28 times. However, TT has only been favored 6 times in the past 29 years, and they have never had to lay this many points, especially on the road. This is a huge in-state rivarly game and even though A&M has not played that well this year they will be fired up to the pull the huge upset. Another stat that will be overlooked by most bettors is the play of A&Ms defense, who are allowing less than 160 yards passing per game. A&Ms defense against the rush has been terrible allowing more than 200 yards per. As most know TT rarely looks to run the ball and this should play right into the strength of that A&M defense. If that D can cause a few turnovers and set a few decent scoring chances then A&M should keep this game close. (Rating +3).

****Side Bet: For those with a little extra cash consider playing A&M to win outright at 8 to 1. I continue to repeat that TT is overrated and they escaped a loss last weekend, so don’t be surprised if A&M pulls the shocker this weekend. (Rating +1)

3. Wake Forest at Maryland (+1.5): The result of this game will hinge on the defense of Maryland, specifically the passing defense. WF’s rushing attack has been awful averaging less than 100 per. Their passing attack is over 200 yards per. WF relies heavily on their defense as they have on average only given up 275 yards per game. I believe this game will come down to ball control and time of possession, where Maryland owns a distinct advantage. If Maryland plays smart football then I believe this game should be close till the end.  (Rating +2).

4. Nebraska at Iowa State (+7): There is one play that I look for just about every weekend, but it rarely comes up. However, this game fits the mold. What you look for is a team that was not suppose to win the week before, but played their opponent very close and probably should have won the game, but had some let down and lost, and then that losing team comes back the next weekend as a large favorite. Nebraska was a 21 point underdog last weekend and should have beat Texas Tech in OT, but lost by 3. Now they go on the road to play a decent ISU team as a 7 point favorite. Many times that team cannot get over that “what should have been” factor and simply don’t putt the loss behind them and move on. To add to that Vegas over values the team’s performance and as I continue to say TT is overrated. So it is hard to really put any value on Nebraska’s performance last weekend. ISU has not been great, but are 20-7 ATS when playing on grass. I will take ISU and the points. (Rating +3).

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