We enter the third week of college football action with some fairly noticeable and distinguishable trends starting to develop.
It has been a very tough start to the season for teams with first-year head coaches. Teams with a new head coach have gone 2-8 ATS so far and the reasons for that are obvious. New coaches often bring in new coordinators on both sides of the football along with new schemes and systems that players must learn on the fly and with this unique season occurring in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many college football teams didn’t go through a normal practice and camp schedule prior to the start of the season.
Put it all together and the case is clear as to why these teams with new head coaches have struggled so much early in the season from a point spread standpoint.
Another trend that has been significant early in the season are backing teams that have had more practice sessions than their opponent. Teams that have had more practices to get ready than their opponent have gone 10-6 ATS in the first couple weeks of the season.
This trend makes a lot of sense as well. When you have more time to implement your schemes on both sides of the football and have the players spend more time practicing them on the field, it puts you in a better position for success on game day.
As with all trends, just because those two trends I mentioned above are a combined 18-8 ATS so far this season doesn’t mean those trends will be profitable indefinitely throughout the season. Be sure to keep monitoring them closely in order to see if things start to level out over a period of time.
Here are my picks for this week:
Miami (FL) at Louisville -2.5: Louisville cashed a ticket for me as one of my picks in last week’s column in their 35-21 win against Western Kentucky. I’m coming right back with them here in their ACC opener against Miami.
The Cardinals have an explosive and balanced offense led by QB Micale Cunningham that should move the football with plenty of success against a rebuilt Miami defense. On the other side of the ball, Louisville has a much improved defense this season which really shut down WKU offensively last week with a mobile QB much like Miami has with Houston transfer QB D’Eriq King.
Miami won and covered against UAB in their opener at home but this should be a much tougher challenge on the road against a better squad. Louisville will have some fans in attendance for this home game as well, providing at least a slightly stronger home field edge for the Cardinals. LOUISVILLE
Texas State -5.5 at UL Monroe: Texas State is 0-2 to begin the season but they could actually be 2-0. The Bobcats suffered defeats by a TD or less against SMU and UTSA.
This should be a ‘get right’ game for the Bobcats who have a much better offense this season regardless of whether Brady McBride or Tyler Vitt is under center at QB because of an improved offensive line and a solid group of skill position talent.
UL Monroe is in a very difficult situation right now. The Warhawks had multiple practice days get canceled last week due to a recent COVID-19 outbreak within the team. It clearly impacted them negatively in their opening game against Army as they were mauled 37-7 on Saturday and outgained by 265 yards. They are also breaking in a new QB in Colby Suits.
The money has been coming in on Texas State early in the week and I agree with it. TEXAS STATE
SMU at North Texas, Total 69.5: SMU should have one of the top offenses in the country this season led by one of the best QB’s in the country in Shane Buechele. It took them almost a half to get that offense rolling in their opening game against Texas State but once it got going, they proved to be difficult to stop.
On the other side, North Texas allowed 31 points to FCS school Houston Baptist in their first game struggling mightily on defense. They have a new QB this season with Jason Bean but he was impressive in his first start for them.
SMU still has some issues on defense having to replace some key personnel along all three levels of the unit. SMU plays a fast tempo and so does North Texas. SMU and North Texas have both averaged more than 14 yards per play to this point proving to be quick strike offenses which bode well for betting overs. The last three meetings between these teams since 2017 have averaged 77 points per game. Expect more of the same here. OVER
Last week: 2-1