August 24, 2021, 9:57 pm
Did you like Joe’s last entry? It was the “Group of 5” Conference Champs and Win Total Plays, and you can still get those picks for FREE right here.
And for your pleasure, Joe’s back with phase two — the POWER FIVE. Let’s roll with some handicapping, plays, and analysis!
Defending Champ: Oregon
Champ(s): USC +350 & Washington +350
I am attempting to have a bet on both teams in the championship game. I couldn’t resist USC at these odds because of their easy schedule. Their toughest game will be on the road against Arizona St (USC is expected to be a 3 point underdog). The rest of their games USC will be at least a touchdown favorite. USC’s main competition will be Arizona St. and Utah. Utah should be a 7 point underdog at USC and will have tough home games versus Oregon and Arizona St. Arizona St. has three tough road conference games: Washington, Utah, UCLA. Washington’s toughest game will be at home against Oregon and this game should be a pick’em. They will face Stanford on the road (1.5 point favorite expected line) and Arizona St. at home (expected 4 point favorite). In the rest of their conference games, Washington will be a 4.5-5 point favorite.
Bet: USC over 8.5 wins +105. I dare you to find four losses on this schedule. They will only be underdog in two games at Notre Dame and at Arizona St. As I said above, the rest of the games USC will be at least a touchdown favorite.
Bet: Washington over 9 wins +110. See above writeup. I really have a hard time seeing four losses with this team. Washington will travel to Michigan for their one expected loss (I am seeing 1 point underdog but the numbers show it should be 5).
Bet: Arizona under 2.5 -110. Arizona will be really bad this year. They will be at least a touchdown underdog in every conference game. In non conference games, they will face BYU, San Diego St. and a FCS team. The game against San Diego St. will be their best chance at a 2nd win and I expect this game to be close.
Defending Champ: Clemson
Lean: UNC +125 & Va Tech +800 to win Coastal
Clemson is the obvious favorite. I went and looked at division odds for the Coastal Division. The division that normally has chaos. North Carolina is +125 and Virginia Tech at +800 are interesting. Full disclosure: I am a big Miami Hurricanes fan. Last year’s game, Miami vs UNC, was an embarrassment for me. UNC had over 500 yards of rushing offense and UNC’s O-Line remains together for this year. I don’t see Miami winning at UNC. Virginia Tech’s schedule has favorable spots. They play North Carolina and Pittsburgh at home, and they have a great home field advantage in Blacksburg. I believe the college football opener for both teams, UNC at Va Tech, is going to be a really hard spot for UNC. If Va Tech wins this game, they will be very close to the favorites for the Coastal.
Bet: Syracuse under 3.5 wins -134. Syracuse will be at least a six point underdog in every conference game and they will host Liberty in a non conference game. Liberty will be about a touchdown favorite in that game. This total should cash pretty easily as I expect Cuse to lose their opening game at Ohio. I see Ohio 3.5 points better than Cuse.
Defending Champ Oklahoma
Champ: Oklahoma -180
Oklahoma is known for its great offenses and ability to score. But this year, Oklahoma’s defense will be loaded. Oklahoma’s defensive line has a chance to be better than Alabama! Oklahoma’s defensive backs will be ranked in the top group in the country as well. Last year they had their best pass defense ranking under Head Coach Lincoln Riley. The offense will be lead by Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler and a highly ranked Wide Receiver group (Mario Williams, Theo Wease, Marvin Mims). They will be favorite by at least seven points in every conference game.
Bet: Iowa State over 9.5 wins +110 – Iowa State had a great year last year and is coming into the year with high expectations. The offense is loaded with RB Breece Hall, Brock Purdy, and their Tight Ends will lead the receiving group. Matt Campbell is now considered one of best coaches in college football and has this program in contention for making the college football playoff.
Defending Champ: Ohio State
Big Ten West: Wisconsin -115. Why do I love Wisconsin? First, their schedule is favorable as they face Penn St., Iowa, and Michigan at home. The next reason is Wisconsin has a talented QB, Graham Mertz. He is Wisconsin’s best QB recruit and showed a glimpse of what he can do against Illinois last year: 20 completions in 21 attempts, 248 yards and 5 touchdowns. The rest of the season was more of a reality check for the freshman. In his last 6 games, he did not throw for more than 200 yards per game. This year Mertz will take a big step forward with a much improved running game. Wisconsin only averaged 165 yards per game, their worst since 2015. Wisconsin adds a very talented freshman running back (Jalen Berger), a Clemson transfer (Mellusi) and a much improved offensive line. Bet Wisconsin to win the West.
Big Ten Champion: Wisconsin +900 (Draftkings) or consensus books +670. Wisconsin v Ohio St (probable Big 10 championship game) would be about a 5 point spread which would equate to a -200 moneyline bet on Ohio State. A great middle opportunity could be awaiting bettors in this scenario.
Bet: Wisconsin Over 9.5 wins
Lean: Iowa over 8.5 wins -105. Iowa will be favorite in all but 2 games (Iowa St. & Wisconsin). The two games that could seal the bet will be their tough road game on the road against NW or home versus Penn St. Iowa dominated Penn St. last year but Penn St. will be improved and lost by 1 point against NW. NW lost a lot of talent from last year. This will be a tough defensive team returning all 4 starting defensive backs (#10 in pass defense in the country last year) and return 5 of the top 9 players from the defensive line that had 22 sacks in 8 games.
Defending Champ: Alabama
Every betting line that you find on Alabama (futures, game of year lines) is inflated. It’s truly the square college football bet. It gives up some great opportunities to get on some great betting lines in the preseason.
Bet: SEC Champion Texas A&M +1200 One of the big stories around this Texas A&M will be new QB Haynes King. He will take over for Kellen Mond. King will be bring a dual threat with great speed. The offense will put up better numbers than last year because the strength of schedule is easier than last year. When you look at ’19 vs ‘20, the offense put up 3 more points per game even with the tougher schedule. Another great reason to love this number: Texas A&M will have a top 5 defense in the country. Nine starters are returning — 3 from their defensive line that gave up just 93 yards per game and had 28 sacks in 10 games last year. The secondary will return 7 players with starting experience. The Aggies will face Bama at home and should be about a 3 point underdog but the line is anywhere from 10-12points (Bama Premium *hint hint*) and LSU and Ole Miss on the road will be the remaining tough games. The rest of the schedule looks for the Aggies to be double digit favorites.
Bet: Tennessee u6-130. In a college football year where many teams have a lot of experience, Tennessee is one of the least experienced teams in college football. They were 3-7 last year. This year the Vols will face Georgia at home and Bama on the road. They will be clear underdogs versus Ole Miss at home and on the road against Florida, Kentucky, and Missouri. The one toss up game I see against Pitt at home which will be close to pick em.
Bet Vanderbilt under 3.5 -140. Vandy is extremely bad and will be at least a 10 point underdog in every 8 conference games. Stanford will also be a 10 point favorite against Vandy. This bet should cash easily.