2017 NCAAF Newsletter: Week Four College Football Predictions 9-23-17
Iowa vs Penn State College Football Prediction 9/23/17
The latest AP Poll finds the Lions flip-flopping with USC and moving into the all-important cleanup spot (#4). But softball season (Akron, Pitt, Georgia State) is over, and hardball is on the horizon for James Franklin and company. With Michigan and Ohio State dotting the October slate.
With that, expect a few curve balls along the way starting tonight in Iowa City.
Sure, the Lions are 5-1 ATS as conference road favorites of more than 6 points. And No. 2 in the nation in turnover (+2.33) margin per game. However, the ball seems to bounce Iowa’s way at Kinnick Stadium. As the Hawkeyes are +6 in net TO’s at home each of the previous two seasons.
They are also 9-3 ATS with conference revenge, 5-1 ATS as home dogs of 4 or more points and 8-2 ATS in Game Four of the season.
HC Kirk Ferentz is probably not on the boosters’ safe side after taking a knee on the final play of the game from the 2-yard line last week against North Texas. Denying backers the cover.
However, his 9-2 ATS log as a conference home dog of more than 7 points, including 7-1 ATS with revenge. Along with a 4-0-1 ATS mark at home with triple revenge-exact. Figures to pay dividends this week. Ferentz is 19-5-1 ATS when playing with personal loss revenge with the Hawkeyes, including 10-0-1 ATS the last 11 games.
- IOWA OVER Penn State by 1
Colorado vs Washington College Football Prediction 9/23/17
In a battle of 3-0 teams, the 7th-ranked Huskies have owned this series recently, covering seven straight matchups. And are 8-1 away versus conference revenge. T
They bring plenty of weapons into this contest along with some high numbers (including a scoring average of 47 PPG). But they must not get overconfident playing a team they defeated in the Pac-12 championship game last season.
Keep in mind that the sled dogs are only 12-20 SU away versus undefeated foes, including 2-6-1 ATS as favorites.
The Buffs have plenty of excellent numbers of their own. Including a 5-1 spread record as home dogs of 7 or more points. And a 10-3 ATS mark with conference revenge. Plus they haven’t lost a home game since dropping a 27-24 decision to USC since 2015.
In addition, Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre is 20-11-1 ATS as a conference dog of fewer than 20 points with revenge.
Better yet, here’s THE CLINCHER: MacIntyre is 31-14-1 ATS as a dog without rest, including 28-8-1 ATS as a dog of 24 or fewer points.
- COLORADO OVER Washington by 3
Michigan State vs Notre Dame College Football Prediction 9/23/17
If you feel Notre Dame finally awoke in last week’s blasting of Boston College, then you need to know that as a favorite in this series, the Fighting Irish are just 2-9-2 ATS.
They rushed for 515 yards on 51 attempts in a beatdown of the Eagles last week, and for 422 yards in the opening week against Temple. But against a good defense (Georgia), they managed just 55 yards on the ground.
Now they head to East Lansing to take on the nation’s 3rd-ranked stop unit. Also, Brian Kelly is 8-16-1 ATS when favored off a win of 18 or more points and facing a .500 or greater opponent.
On the Spartans’ side, HC Mark Dantonio has all the rushing weapons of a year ago at his disposal (L.J. Scott, Gerald Homes, and Madre London), so there will always be fresh legs in the contest. Sparty looks like the mission team we thought they’d be this season and the all-knowing database comes calling with this nugget. 2-0 undefeated home teams in Game Three, playing with a week of rest and are off an ATS win of 7 or more points. 14-6 SU and 15-5 ATS since 1980.
It also notes that home teams in Game Three of the season in a 4-game season-opening homestand are 18-9 SU and 19-8 ATS when hosting a foe off a SUATS win.
- MICHIGAN STATE OVER Notre Dame by 10
Georgia vs Mississippi State College Football Prediction 9/23/17
After going back and forth on this matchup for quite some time, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s probably best not to get ‘Between the Hedges’ tonight in Athens.
While we’re high on both of these Bulldogs, we’d normally dump the ones from Miss State like a basketball player drops a Kardashian following their biggest win. In Dan Mullen era – a 37-7 thrashing of LSU last Saturday in Starkville.
As it is, teams who upset the Bayou Bengals are just 20-30 SU and 18-30 ATS in follow-up affairs since 1980 (though 6-2 SUATS of late). And though we fully expected a half-hearted effort from Georgia in last week’s scrimmage against Samford off their big win at Notre Dame the prior game. The problem with backing these Dawgs is an 11-16 ATS showing in SEC lid-lifters since 1990. Including 4-10 ATS against foes off a SU win. Thus, we’ll ‘Hedge’ our position and sit this one out… and thank the MSU Bulldogs, once again, for their sterling effort last week.
- GEORGIA over Mississippi St by 7
Michigan vs Purdue College Football Prediction 9/23/17
From a musical standpoint, Jeff Brohm certainly has nothing on Johannes Brahms, but he sure knows how to orchestrate an offense. Through their first three games of the season, the Boilermaker attack has already produced three games of 28 or more points. A far cry from a 2016 campaign that saw the Boilers and former HC Darrell Hazell held to under 24 or fewer points on eight different occasions.
We have an inkling, however, that Brohm and company will be conducting themselves less offensively today in West Lafayette as the Wolves have already held their first three foes to season-low yardage. And could very well possess the nation’s top stop-unit by season’s end.
Our database certainly thinks the Boilers will be singing a different tune as they are 0-6 ATS as conference home dogs of 8 or more points. 0-6 ATS in Game Four, 1-5 ATS off a non-conference road game and 1-4 ATS in their first conference game of the season. Not to mention a three giddy 7-13-1 ATS off back-to-back SU wins.
Meanwhile, Jim Harbaugh’s men are 5-1 ATS in their initial conference game and 5-1 ATS before squaring off with Sparty. Thus, we’ll dance with the Wolves, hoping Harbaugh takes a page out of Brohm’s sheet and fine-tunes his offense just a bit.
- MICHIGAN over Purdue by 14
Air Force vs San Diego State College Football Prediction 9/23/17
Big win by Rocky Long’s boys over Stanford last week as his Aztecs scored on a TD pass with 54 seconds remaining to knock off the Cardinal.
However, this is precisely the spot where upsets occur.
After a middle rung rising program knocks off a Power Five powerhouse as a home dog, and then goes out on the road and lays points to an avenging conference foe.
Surprisingly, San Diego State is the top-ranked team in the land in Time of Possession, 23 spots higher than Air Force. But Long’s team has shown much less discipline on the field, currently ranked 123rd in penalties per game (9.67). Compared to the Falcons’ No. 13 ranking (4) per game this season.
Ultimately, it’s the Flyboys’ outstanding home record that wins us over as they’re 18-2 SU in their last 20 home games, including 5-0 ATS as home dogs. More of the same tonight from Colorado Springs as Troy Calhoun’s Falcons “fly-fight-win” again.
- AIR FORCE over San Diego St by 6
Louisiana Tech vs South Carolina College Football Prediction 9/23/17
Despite impressive wins over NC State on a neutral field in Charlotte, and Missouri on the road, I wasn’t entirely sold on the Gamecocks.
Needless to say, nothing has changed my mind heading into this non-conference matchup – the first meeting between these schools since 1995. Not with the dog whisperer, Skippy Holtz (sorry, Cesar Millan), walking the La Tech sidelines.
The former South Carolina offensive coordinator was up to his old tricks last week when his Bulldogs pulled off the upset of Western Kentucky thanks to a game-winning FG with two seconds remaining. And he doesn’t figure to roll over and play dead against these Columbia Cocks as he owns an 8-2 ATS mark as a pup off an SU puppy win, including 4-0 ATS away.
With SC eyeing a triple revenger with Texas A&M, we see no reason why Skippy can’t fetch another SU underdog win. A must take.
- SOUTH CAROLINA over Louisiana Tech by 4
Syracuse vs LSU College Football Prediction 9/23/17
I realize that LSU is usually a good play in the first of consecutive home games (7-1 ATS), and as non-conference home favorites of 24 or more points 6-2 ATS). Still, I just can’t pull the trigger today, not with the Tigers 0-5 ATS in Game Four of the season.
HC Ed Orgeron was roundly criticized after getting completely outcoached by Dan Mullen last week in the embarrassing loss to Mississippi State. And one aspect of the Bayou Bengals’ lack of discipline is their rank of No. 124 in most penalties per game (10) this season.
The good news is the fact that LSU is one of only three teams that has not committed a turnover this season. The bad news is that Big O’s boys are a significant fade in this week. Meanwhile, Dino Babers’ attempt to bring the Orange back to prominence hit a bump in the road when Syracuse dropped four straight games to end the 2016 season.
However, this year’s 2-1 start behind dual-threat QB Eric Dungey looks promising and this is the kind of game Babers drools over – a game against a ranked team that can put his team on the map. And don’t forget, the Orange are 4-0 ATS in their last four games against the SEC and 4-1 as dogs of more the 23 pts. You know what to do.
- LSU over Syracuse by 16
Missouri vs Auburn College Football Prediction 9/23/17
After a promising start to the season when they posted a school record 815 yards of offense and 72 points against Missouri State. These Tigers suddenly look to be a team in disarray (fired their DC two weeks ago).
They managed just 203 yards and 3 points against a Purdue defense that was ranked 117th in the nation last season. The listless performance was lowlighted by a 2nd quarter stretch where the Tigers committed penalties on four consecutive offensive plays.
Barry Odom, who took over for the retired Gary Pinkel last season, is now just 5-9 SU as Missouri head coach and the Tigers are 0-4 ATS as home dogs of 8 points or more, so there is not much to like here.
Meanwhile, the other Tiger squad is coming off a sloppy 24-10 win at home over unheralded Mercer last week that included 5 TOs by Auburn. QB Jarrett Stidham bounced back with 364 yards passing against Mercer after throwing for an anemic 79 yards versus Clemson the previous week. However, there’s not much chance Stidham will lose his job after backup QB Sean White was dismissed from the team following his most recent arrest last week.
It’s high time for Gus Malzahn to turn on the switch before his troops fall into an abyss they might not be able to climb out of – and this is a good place to start.
- Auburn over Missouri by 21
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