Surely Crimson Tide won't smoke Kent State by 43

Surely Crimson Tide won't smoke Kent State by 43

September 20, 2016 3:03 AM


Following a profitable 4-2 start in our first two weeks of picks for GamingToday, things got away from us last week with the wrong call in all three games to fall to 4-5.

We went with Oklahoma in a huge showdown against Ohio State, but the Sooners came up on the losing end of a 45-24 defeat. Oregon barely missed covering in a three-point 35-32 loss to Nebraska as 2.5-point road underdogs and Buffalo could not run with Nevada in a 38-14 loss as a 10.5-point dog on the road.

Here are this week’s selections:

Take KENT STATE (+43) over Alabama: Kent State comes into this game 1-2 straight-up with a 2-1 record against the spread after covering as a heavy road underdog against Penn State in Week 1 and as a two-touchdown favorite at home in this past week’s 27-7 victory against Monmouth.

While the Golden Flashes are really stepping up in class this week against the top team in the nation, they have what it takes to keep this game closer than the six touchdown spread behind a solid ground game.

The Crimson Tide outlasted Ole Miss 48-43 their last time out, but they could not cover as 10-point favorites on the road. Following this week’s game they will continue with their SEC schedule against Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee, building up to a few tougher conference foes later in the year. As good as Alabama is, it is going to be hard to remained completely focused right now in an extended soft spot in the schedule following Saturday’s big win.

Take WEST VIRGINIA (-6) over BYU: West Virginia is coming off a bye week 2-0 SU (1-1 ATS) after beating both Missouri and Youngstown State at home in its first two games. The one thing that has stood out about the Mountaineers in their first two games is a solid balance on offense between the run and the pass. They averaged 321 yards through the air and 238 yards on the ground, which should be a potent one-two punch to go after BYU’s defense.

The Cougars have probably had their fill of Pac-12 teams following a 1-2 SU record against Arizona and Utah on the road and UCLA at home. They have covered in all three games and each one has stayed “under” the closing line. Moving the ball through the air may have worked in these three games, but there has to be some genuine concern for BYU’s ability to run the ball this Saturday against a tough West Virginia defense after being held to a total of 23 yards on the ground in Saturday’s 17-14 loss to the Bruins.

Take TEXAS A&M (-6) over Arkansas: The Aggies (3-0 SU and ATS) opened play in the SEC this past Saturday with an impressive 29-16 victory against Auburn after closing as 2.5-point underdogs on the road. They racked up 231 yards on the ground against the Tiger, led by running back Trayveon Williams’ 127 yards on just eight carries. Texas A&M has also been effective through the air behind quarterback Trevor Knight with an average of 293.7 passing yards through his first three games.

Arkansas is also off to a 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) start, but it has yet to really be tested in victories against Louisiana Tech and Texas State at home sandwiched around a tight 41-38 win over TCU on the road as a 10-point underdog. Not to take anything away from the Razorbacks’ successful start, the Horned Frogs have proven to be a bit overrated this season in three-straight ATS losses as double-digit favorites. This Saturday will be a much tougher test against a very deep Texas A&M roster on both sides of the ball.

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