Posted: 12:24 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
By Brian Favat
Jeff: 3-2, 11-14 overall ATS
Brian: 1-4, 8-17 overall
2013 Standings below: (All-Time Standings here)
Ball St. Cardinals at Virginia Cavaliers (-5.5) - Ball State does come into this game 4-1 but they have not played anyone. Their one loss is to a 2-2 North Texas team on the road. If North Texas can beat Ball State by a touchdown, so can Virginia at home. Virginia played Oregon, BYU and Pittsburgh already this season on the way to their 2-2 record.
North Carolina Tar Heels at Virginia Tech Hokies (-7.5) - North Carolina has really struggled so far this season which has not been at all what most people expected. Virginia Tech has struggled to score so the under might really be the best bet in this one. But as much as their offense has struggled, opposing offenses have struggled to score even more so the Hokies have been able to get to a 4-1 record after losing to the #1 team in the nation.
Army Black Knights at Boston College Eagles (-12) - Army did manage to get its first win of the season last year against BC but that was at their place and that was a much different BC team. The two teams share one like opponent already this season, Wake Forest. The Deacs managed to win over Army by 2 touchdowns while they lost convincingly to the Eagles. This does not always mean that BC would therefore win this matchup but I do think in this case it does.
N.C. State Wolfpack at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+9.5) - Some people think N.C. State is better than they are because they gave Clemson all they could handle on Thursday night last week. N.C. State might be able to pull of some upsets at home against big name ranked opponents, but they will really struggle on the road this year so how they are a 9.5 point favorite is very surprising to me. If Wake does not win this game, they will at least lead much of the game and cover.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Miami Hurricanes (-6) - Staying all in the ACC this week I'll take the Hurricanes at home against Georgia Tech. The coastal division will come down to Miami and Virginia Tech. Wins over UNC and Duke are not impressing me now that the Yellow Jackets lost to Virginia Tech at home. Miami should stay undefeated and cover in this one.
Brian: Since you took all the good ACC games with the exception of Clemson-Syracuse, which I'm on the fence about whether the Orange cover, I turn to the non-AQs to hopefully gain some ground.
Air Force Falcons at Navy Midshipmen (-11) - This week's selections wouldn't be complete without picking the other game that the federal government shutdown threatened to cancel. Air Force travels cross-country for a 11:30 AM Eastern kickoff with the Middies. Air Force (1-4) is looking for its first win over an FBS opponent after dropping games to Utah State (52-20), Boise State (42-20), Wyoming (56-23) and Nevada (45-42). Navy is just 2-1 on the year with wins over Indiana and Delaware, but is coming off a 19-7 loss at Western Kentucky. I've got Navy winning the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy fairly easily.
Northern Illinois Huskies (-9) at Kent St. Golden Flashes - Kent State sits at 2-3 on the year, having knocked off FCS Liberty in the season opener and Western Michigan last weekend. But Northern Illinois has picked up where it left off last season. The Huskies are off to a 4-0 start to the season, having survived not one (30-27 W over Iowa) but two (55-24 W over Purdue) Big Ten road tests. The schedule is light enough that if Jordan Lynch and the Huskies can get past Ball State on November 13, NIU, already ranked #23 in the Coaches Poll this week, may be looking to crash the BCS once again in the final year the MAC has a seat at the big boy table. NIU big.
Central Florida Knights (-9) at Memphis Tigers - This line surprises me. UCF is riding high after taking a ranked South Carolina team down to the wire last weekend in Orlando. Memphis, on the other hand, is just 1-2 on the year but coming off a big home win over Arkansas State. I see this line as a bit of an overreaction to that result. I'd be surprised if Blake Bortles doesn't have a big day over the nation's 72th ranked pass defense and would be even more surprised if UCF doesn't leave Memphis with at least a 2 TD victory. Strange to think that this is a conference game in Boston College's previous conference home.
East Carolina Pirates (-7.5) at Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders - ECU is 3-1 this season and most recently coming off a big 55-31 win over North Carolina. MTSU is 3-2 but wins over FCS Western Carolina (45-24), Memphis (17-15) and Florida Atlantic (42-35 OT). While the transitive property rings a bit hollow in college football, these two teams have already played two common opponents. ECU beat Florida Atlantic (31-13) and North Carolina (55-31) at home, while Middle Tennessee State squeaked by FAU in Boca Raton (42-35 OT) and lost by 20 in Chapel Hill (40-20).
Oregon Ducks (-38.5) at Colorado Buffaloes - One of the more remarkable things about the recent Duck Dynasty in Eugene is that Oregon never lost to a bad or mediocre team. Over the last four seasons, Chip Kelly's Ducks finished 46-7. Those seven losses came to teams a combined 74-7. This season, the Ducks are 4-0 and ranked #2 in the country. More impressive is that the Ducks are a perfect 3-0-1 ATS this year and have been covering absurd spreads, even in conference play. Will the Buffs be the first team to keep UO under the spread? Doubt it.