Lesser lights covering

Oct 17, 2020 10:20 AM

Every season, we can anticipate some lines by the oddsmakers to be inflated.

Just this past week in college football, we saw outright losses like Louisville to Georgia Tech, Virginia to NC State, Florida to Texas A&M, LSU to Missouri, Pitt to Boston College and TCU to Kansas State.

We also saw some "lesser" teams cover significant numbers like Arkansas against Auburn, UTEP against Louisiana Tech and Mississippi against Alabama. This happens every season, but with the coronavirus, we have experienced this even more.

With many of these teams dropping in rankings and even being knocked out of the top-25, there will be a whole new batch of teams being overvalued.

In a week, we will have new conferences beginning their 2020 campaign. Some, are big-name schools and are already highly-ranked. Just as we saw over the last month, you can expect rust and some inflated numbers we can take advantage of.

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):

Friday

BYU -4.5 at Houston: The fact that BYU had a close game with a lesser opponent in UTSA this past week, will actually make the Cougars a better team. Perhaps, they have played a bit of a light schedule, but they still have four games under their belt, including three contests over the last three weeks to sharpen their skills.

Due to the current health situation, Houston has had to endure four cancellations and one postponement. As expected, in their first outing, the Cougars were rusty, turning the ball over five times against the Tulane Green Wave, which put up a whopping 31 points.

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BYU owns a well-balanced offense that will keep Houston on its toes. Quarterback Zach Wilson (1,241 yards passing, 8 TDs) has the offense running like a Swiss watch. This is a huge step up in class for Houston. On the opposite side of the ball, expect BYU to force as many or more turnovers than Tulane did a week ago.

BYU is 8-2 ATS the last 10 following an ATS win and 11-5 ATS the last 16 on the road. Take the guys from Provo in this battle of Cougars. BYU

Saturday

Kansas at West Virginia -22.5: The point I made in my introduction this week is strong. But every rule has a contradiction. And facing Les Miles and the Jayhawks is that contradiction.

The sad-sack Kansas team is 0-3, both SU and ATS. As a matter of fact, they have crushed bettors, covering just once since last October (1-6 ATS last seven), averaging a dismal,14.7 PPG this season. 

Kansas is stuck in the past. This doesn't bode well here as they line up against a very progressive West Virginia team. Head coach Neal Brown brought over some schemes from his days at Troy and they are starting to pay off.

West Virginia comes in here brimming with confidence after last week's overtime win and cover over Baylor. The offense will roll here with Bowling Green transfer quarterback Jarret Doege and running back Leddie Brown while the defense shuts down the lackluster Kansas attack.

The Jayhawks are 3-13 ATS the last 16 following a bye week and 1-5 ATS the last six in conference play. WEST VIRGINIA

Georgia at Alabama -6: Let's put aside the fact that Kirby Smart should be nervous here as Nick Saban, now after beating Jimbo Fisher and Lane Kiffin the last two weeks, is 21-0 vs. former assistants.

O.K., Smart has people talking about the Georgia defense. But Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee (three 2020 foes) are not Alabama. The loaded Crimson Tide, led by quarterback, Mac Jones, just might be the best offensive unit in the nation. They can pass. They can rush. And they are the top-scoring unit in college football (51.0 PPG).

The last time a highly-rated Smart "D" faced an offense like this, they were demoralized (37-10 loss to LSU in last December's SEC title game). With the Tide offense keeping the Bulldogs' defense busy and on the field, that's less time the Georgia offense has to match 'Bama score for score.

The Bulldogs are 2-7 ATS the last nine as a road underdog and 2-6 ATS the last eight following an ATS win. The Crimson Tide are 4-1 the last five at home and 6-0 ATS the last six following an ATS loss. ALABAMA

Last week: 2-1

Season: 8-7