By: Hunter Schmidt
Thanks to those of you who have been reading “Finding The Edge.” The picks went 3-2 last week for .8 units of profit Here is your weekly recap:
Week 5 Recap: 3-2, +.8 Units
Season Long Recap: 39-32-4, +5.15 Units
Last week provided another lackluster slate of marquee match-ups or big time upsets. There were a few notable results however.
Clemson stopped a 2-point conversion in the final minute against North Carolina that allowed them to secure a 21-20 victory over the Tar Heels. Washington beat up on USC as I predicted here in the article and they are really starting to take off after their early upset against Cal. Cal lost their quarterback Chase Garbers to injury before ultimately losing to Arizona State, who has two big road wins as an underdog.
The only Top-25 match-up saw Virginia travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. They wound up losing 35-20 after the Irish defense forced six turnovers and had eight sacks in the game.
There are a few prime time match-ups this week that could impact the playoff picture. Here is a quick breakdown:
- The Iowa Hawkeyes have two huge games in the next 10 days. They will travel to Michigan this Saturday before returning home to face Penn State on October 12th. Winning both of those games would make them an immediate playoff contender. The Iowa defense is only allowing 8.5 points per game and will get to face a turnover prone Michigan team on Saturday. Michigan also struggles to run the ball, averaging only 130.5 yards per game. Michigan is currently favored by 3.5 after opening closer to a 7 point favorite. The Wolverines covered last week for the first time in eight games dating back to last year.
- Auburn will travel to Florida in a match-up that features two undefeated SEC teams in need of a win to keep pace with Alabama, LSU and Georgia. Both teams have tough defenses that are allowing less than 325 yards per game and less than 18 points per game. Florida has better defensive statistics, but their schedule has been weak compared to Auburn, who has already faced Oregon and Texas A&M. This game probably comes down to which quarterback doesn’t turn the ball over and can make a few big plays. It’s going to be tough sledding against these defensive lines. Auburn is currently a 3 point road favorite.
- Michigan State gets the pleasure of traveling to Columbus to face what might be the best team in the country in Ohio State. Ohio State dominated Nebraska last weekend in Nebraska and their defense is currently only allowing 8.6 points per game on average. It is hard to imagine Michigan State moving the ball as efficiently as Ohio State in this one after watching them against Arizona State. The Spartans gave up 31 to Indiana a week ago and will need a much better performance to have a chance in this game. Ohio State is currently favored by 20.5 points.
That’s a quick breakdown of the biggest games this week. Let’s get into the picks.
TCU @ IOWA STATE; 11AM CT ON SATURDAY
The last two years these teams have combined for an average of just 26 points, with a 14-7 Iowa State win in 2017, and a 17-14 TCU win in 2018. I expect another low scoring game as both defenses are holding opponents to less than 4.5 yards per play.
The forecast for Ames on Saturday includes 15 mph winds and a 70% chance of rain. I expect both teams to keep the ball on the ground and avoid turnovers in what will be a game that is won in the trenches.
TCU is only giving up 246 yards per game, including just 79.3 on the ground. I think we see a game played in the high 30’s or low 40’s.
The Play: Under 47 The Risk: 1.1 Units Win: 1 Unit
ILLINOIS @ MINNESOTA; 2:30PM CT ON SATURDAY
I’m not here to convince you that Illinois football is good, but they shouldn’t be a 14 point underdog to a team that they beat 55-31 a year ago.
Illinois ran for 430 yards in that game, and their offensive line is even better this year. Reggie Corbin is one of the best running backs in the country and he’s primed for a huge day coming off a bye week.
Minnesota has gone over the closing total in three straight games, averaging just over 69 points a game. We had the Illinois total against Nebraska and watched that offense put up 700 yards against this Illinois defense.
I expect another shootout on Saturday between these teams even with a forecast that is calling for rain. Two units on the over and two units on Illinois. Sprinkle a little money line action if you’re feeling frisky on Saturday.
The Play: Illinois +14 The Risk: 2.2 Units Win: 2 Units
The Play: Over 57 The Risk: 2.2 Units Win: 2 Units
VIRGINIA TECH @ MIAMI; 2:30PM CT ON SATURDAY
Seven of the last ten games between these teams have gone under the closing total, and I’m expecting another with two offenses that are struggling right now.
Miami managed just 17 points against Central Michigan last week and their offensive line has looked awful against Power Five opponents. I expect Bud Foster to dial up the pressure and force Jarren Williams to make plays down the field.
I can’t see Virginia Tech scoring against this Miami defense, who is currently only giving up 269.5 yards per game and just 59.8 yards on the ground.
The Play: Under 49 The Risk: 1.1 Units Win: 1 Unit
NORTH CAROLINA @ GEORGIA TECH; 3PM CT ON SATURDAY
North Carolina nearly stunned Clemson last week as I mentioned above, and now they’ll travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets are only averaging 10 points per game and their transition from a triple-option offense just isn’t working with the personnel that they have on the roster.
North Carolina has lost three straight and will be hungry for a win against a Georgia Tech team whose only win came against South Florida. I expect North Carolina to get back in the win column with a double digit victory this week.
The Play: North Carolina -10 The Risk: 1.1 Units Win: 1 Unit
Just those five picks for this weekend, including a two unit play on an Illinois total, and another two unit play on the Fighting Illini. I am going to keep hitting those totals in certain situations until bookmakers realize their totals should be closer to 65 against certain Big 10 opponents.
Best of luck this weekend!
Cover photo via: Associated Press
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