Hot seat getting hotter a few weeks into college football

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We are just a few weeks into the college football season and are we’re already seeing examples of programs standing on the precipice of a disastrous season.

The teams that come to mind are Florida State, Syracuse, UCLA, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Those five squads are a combined 3-11 SU, 2-11-1 ATS so far this season and I’m not sure there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel for any of these teams.

All these teams have been plagued by struggles on the defensive side of the football lacking the ability to get stops while the offenses have significantly underachieved and not been able to make up for the shortcomings on defense.

With the exception of perhaps Dino Babers at Syracuse, you could make a legitimate argument that each head coach is under pressure right now and sitting on the hot seat with their respective teams. The expectations before the season for Willie Taggart (FSU), Chip Kelly (UCLA), Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee) and Derek Mason (Vanderbilt) was for improvement from each of these teams but that has not happened to this point.

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My personal approach with these teams is to either continue fading them or leave their individual games alone. It’s clear that the betting markets have been far off on these teams this season which explains why they are collectively 2-11-1 ATS this season.

It’s worth noting that sometimes when teams start the season badly, they do not bounce back. Louisville from last season is a perfect example. The Cardinals started the season poorly and never recovered. They were a dismal 2-10 SU, 1-11 ATS last season and they were a consistently overvalued team week after week.

Keep an eye out to see if any of these five struggling teams I mentioned follow a similar path of disastrous point spread results and you might be able to repeatedly bet against them throughout the season and make money.

Saturday

Kentucky +7 at Mississippi State: Mississippi State lost outright as a TD favorite at home against Kansas State and I think they might be on upset alert again here. The Bulldogs have cluster injuries on both sides of the ball and QB Tommy Stevens continues to play through a shoulder injury. 

The defense which lost plenty of key players from last season has been gashed for 28+ points in two of their last three games.

Kentucky lost its starting QB Terry Wilson to injury but his replacement Sawyer Smith is not much of a downgrade. He made mistakes but also moved the football for much of the game against Florida.

The Wildcats were expected to take a step back this season after plenty of personnel losses on defense as well as RB Benny Snell from last year’s strong team but they are 3-0 ATS this season and now in a road dog role where Kentucky was 3-0-1 ATS last season. Live ‘dog here. KENTUCKY

Auburn +4 at Texas A&M: The Auburn ground attack has been potent accumulating 281 yards per game at 5.6 yards per carry while the defensive line has lived up to being arguably the best in the country with the Tigers surrendering just 100.7 yards per game on the ground and 3.2 yards per rush.

I think that ability to stop the run is what tilts this game in Auburn’s favor. If they shut down A&M on the ground and force mistake-prone QB Kellen Mond into having to throw the football.

QB Bo Nix still has room for improvement but he’s getting better with each game. AUBURN

Louisville +6.5 at Florida State 61: I mentioned Florida State as one of those downtrodden programs above and I think they are a prime ‘bet against’ squad right now, especially as chalk laying nearly a TD against a Louisville team that has residual point spread value right now because of how things went completely off the rails for them a season ago.

The Scott Satterfield Era has gotten off to a strong 3-0 ATS start for Louisville notching a cover in defeat against Notre Dame and winning convincingly with a pair of double-digit victories against Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky.

Florida State is 0-2-1 ATS this season as their defense has been a disaster allowing 111 points in three games combined against Boise State, UL Monroe and Virginia. The new look uptempo offense under OC Kendall Briles has been solid but unable to dig out of the holes the defense has put them in. LOUISVILLE and OVER

Last week: 1-2

Season: 5-7 

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