Several meaningful games on this week’s college football slate
October 31, 2018 3:00 AM
by Ian Cameron
There will be plenty of marquee matchups littering this upcoming weekend’s college football slate along with several impactful games taking place.
West Virginia-Texas, Kentucky-Georgia, Notre Dame-Northwestern, Stanford-Washington, Penn State-Michigan and, of course, the SEC showdown between top-ranked Alabama and No. 4 LSU – two teams with one loss combined between them and two squads that would be in the College Football Playoff if the season ended today.
Duke (+8) at Miami (FL): I worry about the mentality of Hurricanes moving forward. Miami’s loss on the road at Boston College last Friday handed them their third loss of the season and second consecutive loss inside ACC conference play.
This was a team with lofty goals preseason and now many of those goals are in jeopardy. To be honest, something isn’t right with the ‘Canes. The defense has regressed a bit and are not getting as many stops when they aren’t forcing turnovers.
Miami got ripped apart by BC on the ground last week and the offense has been mediocre at best as head coach Mark Richt continues to play QB shuffle between Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry. Duke is not in great form either suffering consecutive losses to Virginia and Pittsburgh. But the Blue Devils are in a role they have been awesome in under head coach David Cutcliffe. Duke is 3-0 SU and ATS as road underdogs this season notching outright wins at Northwestern, Baylor and Georgia Tech. Duke gets inside this number and challenges to win the game outright. DUKE
Tulane (+7.5) at South Florida: The bubble burst theory is in play here betting against a team coming off their first loss of the season which is often a profitable angle to bet on. South Florida lost for the first time this season last week, suffering a 57-36 loss to Houston. The Bulls will have to try and regroup here against the Green Wave, which brings the very difficult to prepare for triple-option offense to town. I think Tulane comes out strong here and rallies around that win which now gives them a puncher’s chance at still gaining bowl eligibility if they can go on a run while the USF mindset could be in question. South Florida was a fraudulent undefeated team prior to last week’s loss as many of their wins were unimpressive ones against bottom tier competition with victories against UConn, Tulsa, UMass, East Carolina and Illinois to name a few. They may not match up well here either against Tulane’s triple option as USF is surrendering a ghastly 233.6 rushing yards per game on a 4.9 yards per carry average. South Florida QB Blake Barnett has been erratic at times in the passing game and they rely more on running the ball but Tulane’s run defense is stronger than their pass defense so it’s a decent matchup for the Green Wave. I expect Tulane to hang tough in and keep this one within a single score like they did last season when they covered the number in a 34-28 home loss to USF. TULANE
Boston College (-2) at Virginia Tech: Last week’s lethargic home loss By Va. Tech in prime time TV on Thursday night coming off a bye week was a massive red flag for me. The Hokies at home on national TV facing Georgia Tech, an opponent that beat them two straight seasons, were a disastrous ‘no show’ in a 49-28 loss.
Bud Foster’s defense was gashed all night on the ground extending a recent pattern of porous run defense for the Hokies , who allowed 235 yards rushing to North Carolina and 167 yards on the ground to Notre Dame in two games previously.
That’s bad news for trying to shut down one of the best RB’s in the nation in A.J. Dillon for Boston College, who returned from injury against Miami last week to register a fantastic 149-yard rushing effort in the win.
These are two teams going in opposite directions. I’ll take the better team in better form right now at a near pick ‘em price. BOSTON COLLEGE
Last week: 0-3