Ducks missed covers two weeks running but won't against Nebraska

September 13, 2016 3:05 AM
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Last week’s top picks for GamingToday did get off to a shaky start when Central Florida failed to cover against Michigan as a 35-point road underdog. Fortunately, we were on the right side of Connecticut’s cover against Navy as a 6.5-point underdog on the road. It turned into a 2-1 week when SMU covered by a half point in a 40-13 loss to Baylor as a 27.5-point road underdog.

Season mark: 4-2

Here are this week’s selections

Take OREGON (+2.5) over Nebraska: The Ducks come into this Pac-12/Big Ten battle with a pair of decisive victories against UC Davis and Virginia under their belts in their first two games, but they have failed to cover as heavy home favorites in both contests. This past Saturday, they raced past the Cavaliers 44-26 as 24-point favorites behind Dakota Prukop’s 331 yards passing and three touchdown strikes. Oregon also got a big effort from Royce Freeman running the ball with 207 yards and two more scores.

Nebraska has also gotten a fast 2-0 start out of the gate both straight-up and against the spread in lopsided victories against Fresno State and Wyoming. Things are going to be quite a bit tougher this time around it what should be a very interesting test for the Cornhuskers’ defense. Tommy Armstrong has done a good job at quarterback for Nebraska with 485 yards passing and four touchdown throws, but I have the Ducks still coming out on top in what could actually turn into quite the shootout in Lincoln.

Take OKLAHOMA (+2.5) over Ohio State: The Sooners know that this is a must-win game to keep any hopes of getting back to the College Football Playoff this season following their stunning 33-23 loss to Houston in Week 1 as 13-point favorites. Last week they took out their frustrations on Louisiana-Monroe in a 42-point win as heavy 46-point home favorites. I still like Baker Mayfield’s chances to come up big against the Buckeyes this Saturday night after throwing for 567 yards and five touchdowns in his first two games.

Ohio State has played as expected in its first two games with routine victories against Bowling Green and Tulsa at, but it remains to be seen how the Buckeyes will hold up on the road in Norman. JT Barrett has done a good job at quarterback for Ohio State against highly inferior opponents, but I am not sure he can stand toe-to-toe with Mayfield for all four quarters to pull off the win.

Take BUFFALO (+10.5) over Nevada: The MAC’s Bulls lost their season opener on Sept. 2 as heavy 21-point home favorites in a shocking 22-16 setback against Albany and they will have had more than two weeks to reflect on that loss while preparing for this game following last week’s bye. The time off should serve them well as solid road underdogs in this matchup. This is still a much better team than the one we saw on opening day behind a power running game led by Jordan Johnson and quarterback Tyree Jackson.

Nevada is coming off a 39-10 loss to Notre Dame this past Saturday as a 28-point road underdog after squeezing past Cal Poly 30-27 in Week 1 as a 20.5-point home favorite. The concern for this Saturday night is the Wolf Pack’s ability to cover a double-digit spread against a Buffalo team that is bound to play better than it did in its season opener. This shapes up as a three-point game either way so there is a pretty high level of confidence with Buffalo as the final pick of the week.