Posted: 12:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
By Brian Favat
Like many FBS programs playing teams from college football's lower division, it was not a fast start to the season for us. Jeff finished the week 2-3 ATS while I finished 1-4. Eagle in Atlanta Tweeted in his lock of the week -- Florida State -10.5 at Pittsburgh -- and nailed it. Really not sure what is going on this season ... Up is down. Black is white.
Since Jeff won last week, he has first pick of games so of course I expect him to take Boston College -3, right? ...
South Florida Bulls at Michigan St. Spartans (-23.5) - Michigan State comes off a beat down of a directional Michigan while USF goes on the road after a loss to an FCS team. Michigan State might double up this point spread.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+13.5) at Tennessee Volunteers- Not much is expected out of Tennessee this year and Western Kentucky beat Kentucky outright as an underdog for me last week so I am going to the well again and hoping the Hilltoppers keep it close but I do think there is a chance for another outright win.
Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders at North Carolina Tar Heels (-19) - UNC had a pour start against South Carolina in their opener but they looked good after that against a top ten team. UNC had 9 days to get ready for this game and will make easy work of MTSU in their home opener.
Hawaii Warriors (+26.5) at Oregon St. Beavers - Oregon State might bounce back from their opening weekend loss to an FCS team and Hawaii might be emotionally drained and a little beat up from their opener with USC but I'm betting that we see the same effort out of both teams we saw in their openers which would mean that Hawaii will bounce cover easily.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Boston College Eagles (-3) - I'll bite, because one of us has to DUDE up and take the Eagles. Otherwise this isn't much fun. Not only will I pick BC to win this game, I'll spot them the three points. While I am concerned about BC's short week and the fact that Wake has had an extra two days of rest, I think having home field with a game on national TV gives BC the edge in this one. The line has barely moved all week so it would seem Vegas agrees. It's probably not going to be pretty and it'll be a miracle if either team cracks 30, but Nate Freese proves the difference in a close win for BC.
Cincinnati Bearcats (-8) at Illinois Fighting Illini - I'm going to continue to ride the Bearcats this season until they give me a reason not to. Last week Cincinnati was a 10 1/2 point home favorite over Purdue and won by 35. This week, the Bearcats travel to Champaign to take on an Illini squad which, despite jumping out to 25-7 and 39-17 leads over week 1 opponent Southern Illinois, let the Salukis crawl back into the game and even gave SIU a chance to win it at the end. Cincinnati shows why they, along with Louisville, are the class of the American with a big win over Chief Illiniwek.
Syracuse Orange (+17) at Northwestern Wildcats - Here's a chance for the Orange to show me something. Syracuse is a 17 road dog at Evanston. The 'Cats are 1-0 after a big win on the road at Cal, while Syracuse fell to Penn State in the Meadowlands. Still not sold on the Syracuse D and Drew Allen couldn't do much of anything right under center. Northwestern won its opener at Cal by 14. This line may be a bit of an overreaction to week 1's results however. I'm hoping Syracuse keeps it respectable -- both for my picks and for the conference.
San Jose St. Spartans at Stanford Cardinal (-25 1/2) - Last year Stanford nearly fell to SJSU QB David Fales and the visiting Spartans 20-17 in both team's opener. It was the first game in the post-Andrew Luck era for the Cardinal. This year, after having the first week off, I'm expecting Stanford will show everyone why this team is ranked in the top five in the country. I actually attended SJSU's opener against Sacramento State last week and came away thoroughly unimpressed with the Spartan D. SJSU blanked the FCS' Sacramento State 24-0 in one of those games where the final score wasn't indicative of how the game went. Sac State missed a pair of FGs (one was blocked) and turned it over on downs twice in the red zone. Fales, the nation's most accurate passer from a year ago, turned in an uninspired performance (16-of-32, 225 yards, 2 TD). Stanford big.
Maine Black Bears at UMass Minutemen (+3) - Every week I pore over college football gambling lines and matchups looking for the sure thing. Yet, every so often there comes a line that just leaves you shaking your head. To which, you say EFF it and go with it anyway. This is that line this week.
The FBS UMass Minutemen are a 3-point HOME underdog to the visiting Maine Black Bears of the FCS.
Here's your opportunity to prove me wrong, UMass. Show that you belong in the Football Bowl Subdivision by taking care of a former CAA conference foe at home in front of a few thousand people. I'm actually willing to blow a game this week in the hopes that Sam the Minuteman proves the haters wrong. Of course, if UMass doesn't win AND fails to cover the point spread, the school should immediately relegate itself back down to the CAA and never be heard from again.