2019 CFB Picks: Week 8

7-12 ATS last week. 3-7 ML. It was a bad week, no two ways around it. We’re sticking with the system, but we’ve refined things. The system is still up, but it could be better and that’s the way it’ll be moving forward. All ATS picks are 1.5u this week and ML picks are still 0.5u.

317 Duke (+3) over VIRGINIA
317 Duke +140 ML

I think what you’ve started to see with the Virginia offense is that it’s pretty much all up to Bryce Perkins. Perkins is a good player, but it’s shown diminishing returns as the season has gone along. They haven’t eclipsed 350 total yards in a game since that comeback win over Florida State, where more than half of their yards came on the last three drives of the game.

UVA caught Notre Dame in a letdown spot and capitalized in the first half. Since then, their last six quarters of offense: five turnovers, five punts, two turnover on downs, one end of game, four field goals, and one missed field goal.

The Cavs haven’t been able to run all year. They’ve averaged 2.6 YPC on the season. Not helping that number is the 27 sacks they’ve given up (5.5 per game). I wouldn’t expect that to get much better against a Duke run defense that’s given up just 3.5 YPC.

Things won’t be that easy for the Duke offense either, however. The UVA defense has been nearly as good as the run offense has been bad. But they did just lose stud CB Bryce Hall. Hall was a defensive leader and a projected Top 10 pick in the draft.

Duke’s offense isn’t eye-popping, but after the opener with Alabama they’ve scored 45, 41, 45, 30, 41 the last five weeks.

333 Coastal Carolina (+6.5) over GEORGIA SOUTHERN
333 Coastal +200 ML

Full disclosure, I don’t think I’ve ever hit a bet on Coastal, including last week. But it’s been a few days and I’m ready to get hurt again.

But this really has more to do with GSU and the disappointing run they’ve been on. They haven’t had one single impressive performance in five games. A square might point to that narrow defeat at Minnesota, but they gained 198 yards. They kept in the game with a blocked FG TD, a fumble return TD, and two short scoring drives due to Minnesota turnovers. They’re coming off a bye, but their most recent performance was having to score a last second TD just to force OT against lowly South Alabama.

385 Old Dominion (+16.5) over UAB

This is a big weekend for UAB doing special things for children in hospitals, so admittedly it’s kind of a scummy pick. It’s big of me to not take the money line and merely cheer for a 14-point UAB win. The raw numbers don’t look great for ODU, but half their games have been road games against Virginia, VT, and Marshall. They’ve also played a home game against WKU, who just might win the C-USA.

A big reason to like ODU to cover here is their run defense. UAB is a run-first offense and ODU has given up just 3.3 YPC this year. Spencer Brown is still out at RB for the Blazers. Lucious has been a solid replacement, but he’s really only ran against the drecks of college football. Tyler Johnston has put up solid numbers at QB for UAB, but it’s come at somewhat of a cost. He’s thrown nine INTs already.

360 UTAH (-13.5) over Arizona State

I like Jayden Daniels in the long-term, but I just don’t think this is the game for him and I think ASU is going to really be counting on him to compete in this game. Daniels is a true freshman. He’s had four games that were decent to very good. Opponents in those games: Kent State, Sac State, Colorado, and Wazzu. Not a good defense to be found there.

He struggled against MSU and Cal. In fairness, they won both of those games, but they scored a combined 34 points. MSU and Cal are both half teams and both of their halves are the defense.

Utah is not a half team. Their offense ranks 7th in FPI and 13th in SP+ and they haven’t even been fully healthy this year. With Zack Moss back in the fold, the Utes are dangerous in Rice-Eccles.

414 NORTH TEXAS (-7.5) over MTSU

We’re going back to the Mean Green well. Last week was unfortunate with Mason Fine getting hurt. Turns out it was his non-throwing shoulder and he’s expected to play this week. I’m not sure what you hang your hat on with MTSU this week. They’ve played one good game all year against Marshall at home. They’re not really good at anything and they’re just 5-10 ATS their last 15 on the road.

344 IOWA (-17.5) over Purdue

I’m a Purdue guy so this hurts to take, but I have to take any personal bias out of it. I will mention that Jeff Brohm is 2-0 SU and ATS against Kirk Ferentz since he took over.

But that’s a small sample size and a bigger one is that Iowa has only given up 10.2 PPG this year. Purdue is occasionally explosive, but the only time they have been since Sindelar got hurt is at home against Maryland and the second half against Minnesota after they were already getting blown out at home. The Boilers can’t run the ball and it’s hard to see them throwing on an Iowa defense that knows they’re one-dimensional.

The defense is how Iowa covers this game, but the offense will have to do something. I think this might be a bounceback game for the Hawkeye offense. They’ve looked awful the last two weeks, but Purdue is not Michigan or Penn State defensively. They’re vulnerable and the Boilers don’t have nearly the pass-rush that UM or PSU had and that’s been the real problem for Iowa’s offense. I think they exorcise some demons here.

364 MIAMI (OH) (+2.5) over Northern Illinois
364 Miami OH +120 ML

I promise you this is never going to be fun, but this is the perfect time to bet on Miami. Their profile has been wrecked with games at OSU, Iowa, Cincinnati, and WMU. NIU stinks and shouldn’t be giving points on the road here. They’re coming off a great win at Ohio, but that sticks out as an outlier.

312 SYRACUSE (+3.5) over Pitt
312 Syracuse +145 ML

I hate Syracuse, but the system is the system. You can’t trust anything in the ACC Coastal division.

328 MARYLAND (+6.5) over Indiana
328 Maryland +180 ML

Last week looked really bad for Maryland, but they just have to stay out of their own way. They had a 50 yard bomb called back on their first drive last week. They also had a perfect wheel route dropped by Anthony McFarland in the first half. On top of that, Piggy threw a pick-6 right at the end of the half to put them down 30-14 at halftime when they probably should’ve been up 28-23.

If they can avoid big mistakes this week, they’ll compete. IU has built a resume off Rutgers, UConn, and Eastern Illinois. They played tight games with Ball State and an overrated Michigan State team. OSU boat raced them in Bloomington. Maryland should be able to run in this game.

324 GEORGIA STATE (+6) over Army
324 Georgia St +200 ML

Sad as it is to say, Army is still overrated and Georgia State is still undervalued. I don’t know what the total is here, but the over seems like a play.

ATS: 39-36-1 (-3.3u)

ML: 12-17 (+1.33u)

 

 

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