College Football Week 10 Odds, Penn State vs. Michigan State Betting Picks

Penn State vs. Michigan State

Penn State vs. Michigan State ATS Picks

By Andrew Ryan

The Penn State Nittany Lions had their hearts ripped out last week at the Horseshoe by Ohio State. They’ve still got a chance to ultimately reach the College Football Playoff this year, but their margin for error is now officially nil. A win over the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing is an absolute must at this point.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan State Spartans
Date and Time: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Opening College Football Odds: Penn State -9
Penn State vs. Michigan State TV Coverage: FOX

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when the first College Football Playoff rankings come out on Tuesday. The Nittany Lions will surely be in the mix after losing by a single point to Ohio State on Saturday at the Horseshoe. That said, Oklahoma beat Ohio State, and the Sooners don’t seem to be getting enough love for that victory. Penn State should theoretically be behind them both, especially since the Nittany Lions don’t have a single notably victory to date outside of the seemingly suspect triumph over Michigan.

Still, this Penn State team is really good. Saquon Barkley was bottled up against the Buckeyes to the tune of just 44 yards on 21 carries, but he showed explosiveness in the running game and the passing game while tossing in a kickoff return for a touchdown that started the game.

That said, these Nittany Lions had over a 97 percent chance of beating Ohio State according to ESPN’s FPI with less than five minutes to play and blew it. It’s going to be really hard to rebound from such a defeat.

Michigan State built National Championship hopes for a hot minute, but after losing in three overtimes at Northwestern on Saturday, all of that is now gone. The Spartans still actually control the Big Ten East if they can win out, but that requires beating Penn State at home this week and Ohio State on the road next week. Good luck with that.

It wasn’t all that shocking to see Sparty go down in Evanston; Michigan State was only -2 in the game. However, to give up 432 yards in the game and let the Wildcats score touchdowns in all three of their overtime periods was something that we didn’t expect to see.

We also didn’t think that Brian Lewerke had a 445-yard passing performance in him. That’s what happens when MSU rushes for just 95 yards on 30 carries, nine carries and 30 yards of which came from Lewerke himself.

Key Stat

21.4 – The percentage of the time Barkley has been stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage this season.

Barkley has evolved into a true home run hitter, but just as he had plenty of problems getting going at times against Ohio State, this could be a huge test against a really good defensive line that has had some moments of real dominance this season.

Barkley is going to get his yards and his scores in all likelihood due to the fact that he’s incredibly tricky to try to bring down when he gets into open spaces, but keep in mind that he was bottled up when PSU needed him the most. Six of Barkley’s last nine runs went for negative yardage against the Bucks.

Penn State vs. Michigan State Free Picks

This is a great spot to back Sparty at your favorite online sportsbook. The game against Northwestern was always a lookahead spot, especially with not just one, but two games against top-10 teams coming up in succession. Sure, that game was lost, but the Spartans probably spent much of their week with their eyes on this game against Penn State.

We suspect the Nittany Lions are going to get a raw deal from the Selection Committee. We think they should be in front of unbeaten teams like Wisconsin and Miami, but we aren’t sure that’s going to be the case. This is a good football team and one that can beat anyone in the nation.

Still, it’s hard to rebound from such an emotional loss, especially with expectations abound that this game will be a blowout. Look for the Spartans to get back to basics and turn this game into a grind. We’re not sure Penn State is going to have the ability to survive if that’s the case.

College Football ATS Pick: Michigan State +9 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Michigan State 20, Penn State 17

NCAAF Week 9 Odds, Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs Betting Picks

Florida vs. Georgia ATS Picks

Florida vs. Georgia ATS Picks

By Andrew Ryan

The traditions in the SEC are really like none other, especially this time of year. Right around Halloween every single season, fans from the Sunshine State and the Peach State descend upon Jacksonville for the duel between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs. UGA has a chance to really put its foot down on the throats of the rest of the SEC East, but Florida has had a history of being a pain in this game, especially when the Dawgs are favored as they are at all of the top online sportsbooks in this one.

Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Date and Time: Saturday, October 28, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
Opening College Football Odds: Georgia -14
Florida vs. Georgia TV Coverage: CBS

It’s good to be a Bulldog right now.

Georgia has started off the year at 7-0, has the SEC East title firmly in its grasp and recently landed the No. 1 recruit in the nation in Justin Fields, a man who will probably be the starting quarterback for the Dawgs in two or three years after redshirting.

Just as Mark Richt deserved a ton of credit for helping put Georgia back on the map, his successor, Kirby Smart deserves the credit for kicking the door down and making this team a relevant club in the College Football Playoff. You’d like to think that UGA is going to be favored in the rest of its games this year outside of perhaps a trip to Jordan-Hare to take on Auburn. Win out in the regular season, and the SEC Championship Game presumably against Alabama might not mean a thing. The SEC is good enough to have two teams in the CFP this year, and the winner of the East and winner of the West could end up fighting it out in the playoff down the line as well.

They said “It’s great to be a Florida Gator” too, but we’re not seeing it at the moment.

Florida has lost consecutive games, is now 3-3, and thanks to losing a game from Hurricane Irma, there’s a real chance this team finishes at 5-6 and isn’t bowl eligible after being ranked in the Top 25 to start the season.

The Gators haven’t scored more than 17 points in any of their three losses this year, and their offense has combined to score just three touchdowns in those three games.

Key Factor

At some point, you have to stop blaming quarterbacks and start blaming coaches. From Treon Harris to Will Grier to Austin Appleby to Luke Del Rio to Malik Zaire to Feleipe Franks… It can’t be possible that all of these men have the exact same problem, right?

Franks is the quarterback du jour at the moment in Gainesville, though as we know, that could change at any given moment. The only reason Franks has a good shot to succeed in this game is because he has two fantastic playmakers in Kadarius Toney and Tyrie Cleveland. These two men are explosive and can stretch the field, and we saw all the problems UGA had stopping the deep pass against Missouri a couple weeks ago.

The difference? Give the Gators three touchdowns, and they’re probably going to win more often than not. Allow three touchdowns to Missouri, and you’re still winning by three or four scores.

Florida vs. Georgia Free Picks

Florida has won 21 of the last 27 games in this series, and though it’s a dog in this one, we have a sense that this defense is going to pull off a big upset in Jacksonville.

If the Gators can force Jake Fromm to put the ball in the air 25-30 times in this one, this could get interesting. We’re not really all that sure if Fromm can really throw the ball or not; we know that he hasn’t had to.

There are just far too many question marks surrounding the Georgia passing game. Parlay that with the Florida dominance in this series over the year, and it’s easy to call this one as an upset.

College Football ATS Pick: Florida +14 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Florida 24, Georgia 17

NFL Thursday Night Football Predictions, Chiefs vs. Raiders Against the Spread Picks

Opening NFL Week 7 Odds

Chiefs vs. Raiders ATS Picks

By Andrew Ryan

If anyone plans on catching the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, there’s going to have to be a team in the West that steps up and beats them. The Oakland Raiders have a grand chance of doing just that on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 7 of the season.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Date and Time: Thursday, October 19, 2017, 8:25 p.m. ET
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Opening NFL Week 7 Odds: Chiefs -3, O/U 47.5
Chiefs vs. Raiders TV Coverage: CBS

The 1972 Miami Dolphins popped their corks last weekend when the Chiefs suffered their first loss of the year. Now, we’ll see whether Kansas City is going to stick around as one of the top contenders in the AFC or not.

The hope for the Chiefs is that their first half last week against the Steelers was an aberration. Alex Smith and company had -21 yards in the first half versus the team that ended their season. For a team that still ranks No. 2 in the NFL in total offense at 387.0 yards per game and is No. 3 in scoring, you have to think that this was a flash in the pan.

Then again, it’s also worth remembering that the Chiefs had an average-at-best offense a year ago, and there isn’t any more talent on this team now than there was last season. The only difference is that Kareem Hunt, a running back who may or may not have more talent than anyone who was on the roster last year, is racking up insane statistics.

The Raiders dropped to just 2-4 on the year. A loss in this game, and the likelihood of getting into the playoffs is slim at best. Oakland won’t be back at home after this game until November 26 after playing at Buffalo and Miami, having a bye week, then playing in Mexico City against New England.

Derek Carr rushed back from his back injury in Week 6 after missing just one game. After watching him throw for just 171 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers last week, we wonder if there’s still a lot wrong with him.

But even before he was hurt, the Raiders were struggling. They scored 71 points in their first two games combined; they’ve scored a total of just 53 since that point.

Heck, E.J. Manuel’s 17-point effort against Baltimore was the best this team has had since Week 2 of the season.

Key Player

It should be rather obvious that your best players have to make big plays to win games in the NFL. It should also be rather obvious that Oakland’s struggles run parallel to Amari Cooper’s.

In the first two games of the season, Cooper had nine receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown. In his last four, he has nine receptions for 51 yards. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1 and hasn’t had a catch that covered more than eight yards since Week 2.

Simply put, the Raiders aren’t moving the ball without No. 89 making some big plays. Cooper’s frustration has to boil over at some point. Maybe the fact that he had five receptions against L.A. last week will help him out. This has to be his breakout game, but it comes against one of the stingier pass defenses in the NFL.

Chiefs vs. Raiders Free Picks

Last year, Cooper had 15 catches in two games against the Chiefs, and we have to think that he’s going to finally snap out of his funk this week.

We’re not sold on this Kansas City outfit. The team has massively overachieved offensively, and for as great as this pass rush is, the raw defensive stats aren’t great. There’s no way this team should be allowing just 21.7 points per game after allowing 378.2 yards per game.

The Oakland defense played a huge game last week against the Chargers, yet it ran out of gas at the end after so many bad offensive possessions left the ‘D’ in bad spots. If Carr and the offense get their acts together, this is a winnable game against an overrated team.

NFL ATS Pick: Raiders +3 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Raiders 27, Chiefs 20

NCAAF Week 7 Betting Picks, Villanova vs James Madison Predictions

Villanova at James Madison ATS Picks

Villanova at James Madison ATS Picks

By Adam Markowitz

For the eighth time in College GameDay’s history, the best pregame show in college football is heading to an FCS game. The James Madison Dukes have not dropped a single FCS game since Mike Houston took over the coaching duties for the team last year. James Madison knocked off all the big boys on its way to its second national title in 2016, and has looked untouchable so far this year too. The Villanova Wildcats have the unenviable task of being their opponent this weekend.

Villanova Wildcats at James Madison Dukes
Date and Time: Saturday, October 14, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Week 7 College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu: James Madison -15.5 O/U 43.5
Villanova at James Madison TV Coverage: CSLC, MASN

The Dukes are 5-0 and have beat everyone on their schedule by at least double digits. James Madison cruised to a 20-point victory over FBS East Carolina in its opener, and has only been tested once, two weeks ago in a road trip to Delaware. Quarterback Bryan Schor did not have his best performance and that kept the Blue Hens close.

Mark Ferrante is picking up right where Andy Taylor left off with Villanova. The Wildcats have one of the best defenses in the country once again this season, and have only allowed 28 points over their last four games. This defense was the reason that Villanova almost knocked off Temple earlier in the season, and if the Wildcats are going to keep this one close it will be because of the defense.

Player to Watch

For Villanova, all eyes will be on the player taking snaps under center, redshirt freshman Jack Schetelich. Schetelich was thrust into the spotlight after star quarterback Zach Bednarczyk went down with an injury against Towson. Although the Wildcats have kept winning without Bednarczyk, it hasn’t been because of Schetelich.

Schetelich has been a liability since taking over the job. Ferrante does not trust him to throw the ball much, because when he does disaster strikes far too often. On the year, Schetelich is 8-25 for 120 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions, and has been sacked six times. It’s hard to put too much blame on a young kid for being put into a situation like this, and it’s a testament to Villanova that it has kept winning with that production.

Matchup to Watch

One of the big things to watch in this game is whether or not James Madison can run the ball on Villanova’s defense. The Dukes are averaging six yards a carry this year and boast one of the most efficient ground games at the FCS level.

However, the ground game has lost some steam without Cardon Johnson. Johnson lit up East Carolina for 265 yards on the ground in the Dukes’ season opener, and the run game hasn’t been as productive without him in the lineup. Trai Sharp and Marcus Marshall have done a decent job, but aren’t as explosive as Johnson.

They will be facing their toughest test so far this season. Villanova has the second-best run defense in the country, allowing just 1.8 yards per carry. The big boys up front have done a great job all year, and have kept this team’s postseason hopes alive.

Villanova at James Madison Free Picks

It’s hard to run on Villanova, but you can throw the ball on this secondary. The unit took a massive hit when it lost Rob Rolle for the season with a torn ACL, and has been vulnerable to good quarterbacks. Lehigh and Temple both found success throwing on this defense and James Madison should be able to do the same thing with Bryan Schor.

Villanova’s defense has thrived on turnovers too. The Wildcats knocked off Maine by forcing six turnovers in a 31-0 rout. James Madison is very good at keeping possession of the football and it’s hard to imagine the Wildcats doing the same against this defense.

This is going to be a long day for Schetelich. James Madison had a bye week last week, and has had ample time to prepare for Villanova. The Wildcats will be lucky to score more than twice against this Dukes defense, and this should be a blowout win for James Madison.

Villanova at James Madison ATS Pick: James Madison -15.5
Villanova at James Madison Score Prediction: James Madison 38 – Villanova 10

NFL Week 5 Picks, New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds

Patriots vs. Buccaneers ATS Picks

Patriots vs. Buccaneers ATS Picks

By Mike Rose

Through four weeks of play, it’s become painfully apparent that the New England Patriots are nowhere near as good as the team that came back against the Atlanta Falcons to win the Super Bowl. After falling to the Panthers at home on Sunday a week removed from surviving against the Texans, the Pats head into this Week 5 kick-off with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on shaky ground. The Bucs would love nothing more than to land another body blow on the defending champs.

New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Date and Time: Thursday, October 5, 2017, 8:25 p.m. ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium
Week 5 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Patriots -4, O/U 54
Patriots vs. Buccaneers TV Coverage: CBS

A 2-2 record was something many envisioned the Patriots to have at the start of last season with Tom Brady suspended for the first four games. With him under center and New England playing three of its first four games in front of the hometown faithful, it’s not exactly what was expected. Be that as it may, the Patriots enter Week 5 a .500 team and it has everything to do with a defense that can’t stop anything right now.

The maligned stop unit just allowed a Carolina offense that combined for just 45 points in its first three games to drop 33 points on the Gillette Stadium scoreboard to hand the heavily favored Patriots a shocking defeat. Brady is still playing out of his mind having thrown for just under 1,400 yards and a stellar 10:0 TD/INT ratio, but unfortunately, his team has needed every single one of those points just to split their first four games.

Tampa Bay burst onto the scene in Week 4 by scoring the game’s first 13 points. Unfortunately, it was forced to kick a game-winning field goal at the end of the game due to the defense being unable to stop New York’s offense from the second quarter forward. Still, you can’t help but come away a bit impressed with the job Dirk Koetter’s squad did to protect its house and remain undefeated when in front of the hometown faithful.

The Buccaneers logged an impressive 434 total yards against the Giants defense with Jameis Winston having yet another 300-plus yard passing performance. Though he threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings last week, the only thing being talked about the performance was his three interceptions. Well, the third year field general went out and threw for another 332 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, but this time, he didn’t toss a single errant pass. He must mimic that effort tonight for Tampa Bay to put an end to its current 0-3 straight up and against the spread streaks versus New England.

Matchup to Watch

The Patriots possess the league’s No. 1 ranked total offense to go along with the No. 2 ranked scoring offense. As already stated, it’s needed the offense to be that dominant due to the defense simply being unable to prevent the opposition from scoring. New England is currently the not so proud owner of the worst total ( 456.8 YPG ) and scoring defense ( 32.0 PPG ). Tampa Bay must continue to pepper its opponent with points if it’s to hold serve at home. The Bucs also have a bevy of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, so it becomes even more necessary that Winston and company are on top of their game. Mike Evans is yet to truly go off this season. If ever there was a stage for him to erupt, this is it!

Patriots vs. Buccaneers Picks

A short week won’t do either of these teams any good with each hurting on the defensive side of the ball. New England opened as 4-point road chalk at the top NFL sportsbooks for this Thursday Night Football tilt, and already the betting public has pushed it up to -4.5 with over 71 percent of the handle moving the line a half point. The total is the highest of the Week 5 slate, but it’s warranted. New England just allowed Cam Newton to torch them for 316 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Winston should eat, but so should Brady. I don’t foresee either defense coming up with many stops.

Patriots vs. Buccaneers Week 5 ATS Pick: Bet Over 54 at BookMaker.eu
Patriots vs. Buccaneers Score Prediction: Patriots 35 – Buccaneers 32