Teams returning to play are risky

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It’s another week in the college football season with games being canceled and teams still dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks within their program. I’m going to focus on a few teams that as of right now are preparing to play this weekend but are coming off COVID-19 shutdowns, making them potential dubious betting propositions.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers haven’t played sincae Nov. 20, making it a three-week hiatus for them due to being plagued by the virus. Twenty-three players tested positive with the Coronavirus and head coach P.J. Fleck has already stated that he expects several starters to likely miss this game, although we do not know exactly who that is so beware of that. Itt explains why Nebraska, which opened as a -8.5 point home favorite, are now -10.5 against Minnesota.

The Texas Longhorns, who annihilated Kansas State last weekend, also had a few players test positive for COVID-19 early this week forcing them to shut down their practices and training facilities as they prepare for their regular season finale on the road against Kansas. The Jayhawks have certainly been a miserable football team this season at 0-9 SU, 1-8 ATS this season but they did cover their first point spread of the season last week in a 16-13 loss as 27-point underdogs.

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It is worth noting Texas isn’t going to the Big 12 title game and there isn’t a whole lot at stake for the Longhorns going into this game. Combine that with the fact the Longhorns are now battling an internal COVID-19 outbreak and maybe this is one very ugly underdog that may be worthy of consideration on Saturday.

These are just a few examples of teams that are potentially playing this weekend in spite of cases of the virus infiltrating multiple players and it’s important to be aware of those instances.

Saturday

Rutgers at Maryland, Total 58: This should be a good matchup for both offenses. Rutgers offense with QB Noah Vedral when facing weaker defenses has found success. Maryland’s defense fits that description. On the flip side, Maryland is primed for an offensive explosion here against a still suspect Rutgers defense.

The Terps got shut down by the Indiana Hoosiers in their last game but prior to that they scored 35+ points in consecutive games led by QB Taulia Tagovailoa. Expect enough points to send this game over the total. OVER

North Carolina at Miami (FL) -3.5: The Hurricanes are playing their best football right now and I believe they are ready to show it here in this ACC battle against North Carolina.

The offense is very balanced and explosive with QB D’Eriq King playing at a high level. Miami’s only loss was to Clemson. They are 8-1 SU including 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS at home this season.

North Carolina’s defense has struggled most of the season particularly against explosive offenses and teams with mobile QB’s and that is what they will be facing here. I think Miami wins this game and with his number sitting at a flat -3, I’m on the home favorite. MIAMI

Virginia +2 at Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech is in a treacherous spot here after last week’s hard-fought loss against Clemson in which the Hokies hung around for a while, but things fell apart for them in the second half largely because of turnovers. It will be difficult for Virginia Tech to get off the mat here for a team that now has a disappointing 4-6 record on the season and now have QB injuries with Hendon Hooker and Braxton Burmeister both injured last week. Which means they may be forced to go with third-string QB Knox Kadum, who had to finish the game against Clemson.

Virginia is on a roll, going 4-1 SU, 5-0 ATS in their last five games. QB Brennan Armstrong and the Cavaliers offense keeps putting up points in bunches and scoring 31+ in four straight games. Virginia finally beat Virginia Tech in this rivalry game last year snapping an ugly losing streak in the series and I think they get them again here. VIRGINIA

LSU at Florida, Total 68: Florida has already clinched the SEC East and a spot in the SEC title game where they will face Alabama so there is some question marks as to motivation here. But I still expect the Gators offense to move the football at will against this horrible Tigers defense, much like the Crimson Tide did last week.

Alabama scored 55 against LSU and Florida’s explosive offense, led by Heisman hopeful QB Kyle Trask, should reach the 40s if not 50 themselves in this game.

On the flip side, LSU’s offense which is now being guided at QB by TJ Finley, was able to hit some big plays and move the ball a little bit against an Alabama defense that had been playing its best football of the season. Florida’s defense continues to be injury riddled in certain areas and has not been a shutdown unit throughout the season so I expect LSU to contribute enough to the scoring to send this game up and over this total. OVER

Last week: 1-3

Season: 16-28-1

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