After going 4-2 last week overall, we were fairly confident that we could carry that momentum into this weekend but looking at how this has played out, this looks to be a very tough weekend in both the NCAA and in the NFL. A lot of these spreads are tight but we have tried to narrow them down into the best 5 plays of the weekend and it’s been nothing short of a grueling struggle. Here are this week’s 5 pack of picks.
Miami Hurricanes @ Clemson Tigers
There’s nothing like handicapping the two best teams in a conference with neither one having the kind of tests they have had leading up to this matchup. Clemson is the better team both offensive and defensively, and this matchup hasn’t been close the last two matchups in prior seasons, as Clemson has destroyed Miami by a combined score of 96-3. This Miami team is a lot better than those previous Miami teams that faced Clemson, but this Clemson team is still Clemson. The line currently sits at -15.5 and this is one of those games where I could see a garbage time touchdown sacking that spread in either direction. I would personally lean Clemson to cover, but Miami has racked up the points this season just averaging a hair over 43 points per game, but not going against defenses quite like the one Clemson will put on the field. However, with that being said, I think there will be quite a few points scored in this game to where we need to look at the Over 60.5 at 1.87 odds as the play to go in this game. If Miami can get to 24, I think this over will hit, and given that their QB is always a threat to run, I like those chances. The over on the total is the play to go in this game.
Tennessee Volunteers @ Georgia Bulldogs
This game is one I hate to handicap because as a Tennessee fan for my whole life, I hardly like to bet for or against my own team. I start to second guess my own stuff but this one feels a bit different. Tennessee is a good team but they have one major achilles heel and that is their starting QB Jarret Guarantano. He’s, at best, okay and even that is a stretch to say at times. While Tennessee boasts the longest winning streak in the SEC, as we saw last week, this Georgia defense is no joke as they held Auburn to 6 points the entire game and there’s no reason they shouldn’t do the same thing to Tennessee. Georgia is lacking offensively this year compared to previous years, but I still think they have enough firepower to jump on Tennessee early and let their defense hold strong throughout the rest of the game. There are two plays here: Georgia -13 at 1.89 odds and the under of 43.5 at 1.91 odds. I think we will see a repeat performance of the game Georgia had last week against Auburn with a low scoring affair and in probably the same fashion with Georgia having most of those points
Florida State Seminoles @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish
I usually like to say why a team will win or what you will expect in a game when I handicap games, to be as clear as I can as to why I am going with that certain selection. This will certainly not be the case in this situation because I do not think Florida State deserves the respect I would show for them as an opponent to Notre Dame. This Florida State team is one of the worst teams in program history and they seriously may get beat by 50 in this game. They have an offense and a defense, as far as players that you can count on the field during those times, but they don’t have either when it comes to what it looks like, as far as an actual team. This is the type of team you should probably give a few points just for putting on their pads the right way. This game will not be close and I would be surprised if Notre Dame does not win by at least 31, so the play here is Notre Dame -22.5 at 1.94 odds.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
Congratulations are in order to Joe Burrow, who got his first NFL win last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars and now has to face a much better team having to go to the Ravens. Cincinnati will have their hands full trying to contain Lamar Jackson and company on offense and the Ravens defense. The Bengals defense is filled with holes and the only team they have slowed down this season is the Philadelphia Eagles, who usually stop themselves before any defense is even added to the equation. I am not a huge fan of taking a team to cover double digit points in the NFL even if they are the better team. Instead I like to see what the 1st half line is and I like that line a bit more than I do the full game, as far as cashing this ticket. The Ravens -7 for the 1st half is the play here at 1.88 odds.
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets
The last two Cardinals games have been nothing short of putrid losing to the Lions and Panthers in consecutive weeks, but there is always a fix for a bump in the road in the NFL: Have the Jets on your schedule. Arizona has the better offense and the better defense and how to explain these last two weeks of why they have been as bad as they have been is hard to do because one you can expect, but back to back losses to two inferior teams? I expect this Cardinals team to look a bit different than they have in this matchup and would take the Cardinals -7 at 1.96 odds.