Don’t shy away from unknowns

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I went to a very famous high school in New York named Xavier. In 1986, we had a speaker come in to address the junior class about to become seniors and apply to colleges. The first half-dozen schools recommended out of the speaker’s mouth, none of us students ever heard of.

Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Georgia top the polls and are some of the nation’s most well-known universities. But winning football games and covering the point spread are two completely different things.

You’d be surprised to know that some of the teams that are the best against the spread this season are some of the least popular. With teams that have played more than just one game, Arkansas (4-0) and Tulsa (3-0) are the only two teams in college football that are perfect against the spread. BYU is 5-1 while Wake Forest, South Alabama, Marshall, Coastal Carolina, and Kansas State are all 4-1 ATS. 

Georgia State, Charlotte, Missouri, South Carolina, and Oklahoma State are all 3-1 ATS. Army rounds out the best of the ATS bunch at 5-2.

We all love those Top-25 teams. But, are you in this for love, or are you in this for money? Many lesser known teams have been and will continue to get us paid.

The last five weeks I am on a 10-6 run. Here are this week’s Best Bets (Lines are as of Tuesday and can change. If a line is around a Hot Number or moves against us, be smart):

Saturday

Memphis at Cincinnati -7: Cincinnati has been plowing through opponents en route to a 4-0 start. Granted, they’ve faced a few powder-puffs, but last Saturday’s 42-13 thumping of SMU as a 1-point ‘dog has confirmed this team is a force to be reckoned with.

This is a very healthy team led by dual-threat quarterback Desmond Ridder on offense. Defensively, the Bearcats have held their last three foes to a combined, 30 points, containing the Army Black Knights’ ground assault and completely shutting down the SMU potent attack.

Memphis, which has only covered once since last November (1-6 ATS run) is going to sorely miss their most productive and experienced receiver Damonte Coxie here (left this week to enter the draft). The Tigers’ “D” is getting burned for over 33.0 PPG this season.

Memphis is 2-8 ATS the last 10 meetings in this series, 1-4 ATS the last five in conference play, and 0-5 ATS the last five as a road ‘dog. Under a TD is a winner. CINCINNATI

San Diego State -7.5 at Utah State: Right about now, Aggies head coach Gary Andersen is wishing current Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Jordan Love was still sporting a Utah State uniform. The team mustered a lowly 92 passing yards (203 total yards) in their season-opening 42-13 loss at Boise State. Things will go from bad to worse here as new starter Jason Shelley has to line up against the Aztecs’ unorthodox 3-3-5 stop-unit.

You can expect a heavy dose of the Aztecs’ gang of ball-carriers to control the tempo here and take no prisoners. An added factor to further motivate San Diego State is revenge. After winning and covering the three previous meetings, they lost last year’s matchup.

The Aztecs are 7-2 ATS the last nine as a favorite and 4-1 ATS the last five in October. SAN DIEGO STATE

Western Kentucky at BYU -28.5: BYU (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) only has two games remaining. The Cougars must keep their foot on the gas and crush all adversaries. They rank 11th, with two one-loss teams ahead of them in the polls (Georgia 5th, Texas A&M 13th). Even a poor outing may drop them in the rankings. Knowing this, they have had zero reservations about running up scores. The team has already covered point spreads of 24 and 30 points.

This is certainly a step up in class for a Western Kentucky team that is just 2-4 SU and have failed to cover a single outing this campaign. The Hilltoppers’ (lack of) offense is accounting for a dismal 17.7 PPG Look for BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (1,928 yards passing, 16 TDs, 1 INT) to continue to thrive and put himself even closer to Trevor Lawrence in the Heisman talk. BYU

Georgia -14.5 at Kentucky: Georgia has had two weeks to contemplate and stew over the embarrassing loss at Alabama in which their praised defense got burned for 41 points. The ferocious Bulldogs’ “D” is salivating just knowing they get to face the Wildcats’ lackluster offense here.

Kentucky is a run-based squad. Well, they’re not going have any success on the ground at all in this contest. Let’s be honest, at 2-3, college basketball can’t arrive fast enough for Kentucky fans eager to see a UK team score.

Georgia has had their way in this series. Just over the last seven years, all SU victories, they are 6-1 ATS and have covered numbers as high as 26-points. They are 4-1 ATS the last five at the Wildcats and 21-7 ATS as a road favorite. GEORGIA

Last week: 2-2

Season: 12-10

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