Here are five ACC games to remember when picking games against the spread this college football season:
October 17- Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech will be a favorite when they host Pittsburgh here. The spot is tough for the Yellow Jackets with a game at Clemson the week before and at home tilt against Florida State the week after. Pittsburgh has to make a long trip to Atlanta but I can see them covering the spread as underdogs.
October 17- Virginia Tech at Miami: Miami plays Florida State the week before in Tallahassee. The Hurricanes have lost by double digits in the last two seasons the week after playing the Seminoles. This will likely be built into the spread but still like Virginia Tech here.
October 31- Clemson at North Carolina State: Clemson’s game of the year is when they host Florida State a week later. This could be a tricky spot for the Tigers against an improved North Carolina State team.
Florida State (+1) over North Carolina State: North Carolina State hits the road after back-to-back home games against rivals Duke and North Carolina. Big letdown spot here.
Notre Dame (-6.5) over Miami: Miami just beat Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium and now have to go to unfamiliar territory at Notre Dame. This line is too low.
Ohio State (+1) over Iowa: Ohio State is looking for revenge after the Hawkeyes beat them at home in their conference opener.
Michigan State (+3) over Maryland: Michigan State will also be seeking revenge after dropping their conference opener to Maryland in double overtime back on December 30.
Don’t have time for analysis but here are the five games I like today:
North Carolina State (+14.5) over Virginia
Grizzlies (+3.5) over Hawks
Pistons (+9) over Mavericks
Maryland (-2.5) over Illinois
California (-1) over USC
It’s not often that an undefeated team is more than a touchdown underdog. Well that’s the case in the Rose Bowl where Florida State puts their 29-game win streak on the line against Oregon. Anyone who watched college football the last two season knows that the 2013 version of Florida State was significantly better than the 2014 Seminoles. Florida State had close calls against Clemson, Notre Dame, Louisville, Miami, Boston College, Florida and Georgia Tech but the only thing that matters is they won each of the games.
Oregon had one slip up back in October against Arizona but showed why they are one of the best teams in the country the rest of the way. Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota was especially strong this season. They are getting a lot of respect in the point spread because they played a Pac-12 schedule. But are they getting too much respect?
I think the spread is too high and will take Florida State plus the points. The Seminoles will have used the break before the Rose Bowl to get healthier and clear their minds of any off the field issues. I still think Oregon will win this game but Florida State will keep it close.
Pick: Florida State (+8.5) over Oregon
The storyline of the Belk Bowl between Georgia and Louisville is Cardinal Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham, who held the same role at Georgia from 2010-13. Grantham joined Bobby Petrino’s staff at Louisville and he has improved the Cardinal defense.
The Grantham factor might be the only motivation that Georgia has in this game. The Bulldogs had a golden chance to win the SEC East this season but lost to South Carolina and Florida. They had aspirations of playing in the SEC Championship Game, and that goal wasn’t met.
Louisville finished 9-3 in Petrino’s first season. They aren’t as talented as Georgia but there is motivation here to beat a SEC team. Petrino is familiar with the SEC from his days in Arkansas so he will make sure his team is ready to play in Charlotte.
Pick: Louisville (+7) over Georgia
I looked closely at every college football game and only found two games that I really like this week. I was close of picking East Carolina and Boston College but the lines weren’t high enough. I started 5-5 in the first two weeks after a 2-1 record last Saturday. I’ve done well on my pool plays and hope to continue selecting winners there. Here are the two games I am picking on Saturday:
South Carolina (+6) over Georgia
Arkansas (+3) over Texas Tech
UL Monroe (+31) over LSU
Notre Dame (-28) over Purdue
Kentucky (+18) over Florida
Clemson travels to Georgia in one of the best game on Saturday. Here is my preview and prediction for College Spun.
Pick: Georgia (-7.5) over Clemson
Clemson under 8.5 wins (-105): Clemson has won double-digit games the last three seasons. However, I think they will only win seven or eight games in 2014. Quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Wakins are gone. Clemson’s returning leading rusher Zac Brooks won’t play this season after sustaining a foot injury in August. Vic Beasley’s surprising return to school helps the defense but that unit will be overmatched against opponents like Georgia, Florida State and South Carolina. The Tigers have trips to Athens and Tallahassee in September along with a home contest against North Carolina. Home against Louisville and at Georgia Tech will be tricky. They end the year at South Carolina, which is an opponent even Boyd and Watkins couldn’t beat. Continue reading