Lock$ of Saturday: Week 14
Baby, it's cold outside.
But our picks are oh so hot! Okay, so maybe we're all sitting a tad below .500. But to be fair, this has been a crazy season to try to bet on. This week we'll pick 3 games, and the Tech vs Clemson matchup against the spread and over/under.
As fall turns into winter, the weather is becoming a factor in the games this weekend. At least that's what our betting minds are thinking. Is there any evidence that weather really affects the outcome of games? We're not sure. But it sounds good, right?
Anyways, here's the scoreboard heading into Week 14:
Liberty +11.0 @ Coastal Carolina
Sam - Coastal Carolina -11.0
Coastal doesn’t seem to be flustered by superior talent, as they showed against App State a few weeks ago. I don’t think Liberty has the skill position and/or defensive line talent that App State has, but QB Malik Willis will be the best pure athlete that Chanticleers have faced this season. Still, I think the Chanticleer defense will do enough to keep Liberty under 30 and give their stellar freshman QB Grayson McCall the chance to win. -11.0 is a relatively large spread for this matchup, but after a backdoor cover against App State earlier in the year, I think Coastal can control the 4th quarter at home.
Coastal is 6-0-1 against the spread in their last 7 games. I like them to continue the trend and to defy anyone’s expectations. It’s a party in Dirty Myrtle!
Ed - Coastal Carolina -11.0
If Malik Willis plays for Liberty this is a completely different conversation, but as i sit here writing this paragraph it appears as though Willis will be out due to a positive Covid test. If Willis were to be available, I would bet Liberty not only to cover, but to win outright. But with the best player in the game out, I'll roll with Coastal to cover and continue this dream season.
Chris - Coastal Carolina -11.0
All season long, each of these teams have been incredibly clutch, combining to go 15-3-1 against the spread, both sporting top 20 offenses and defenses, and have two head coaches seemingly destined to move on to P5 coaching positions this offseason. With such an equal matchup, it would make sense to take the points; however, there is a difference that creates a significant angle which is each team’s strength of schedule (both bad) and their Simple Rating System (SRS) score, which measures point differential against the schedule, that favors Coastal Carolina and seems crazy considering Liberty has faced 3 ACC teams (going 2-1, including one against yours truly) until you realize that Coastal’s wins over Louisiana-Lafayette and Appalachian State probably carry more weight than Liberty beating VT. And now I’m sad.
Robert - Coastal Carolina -11.0
It’s the battle of South Carolina Head Coach Candidates! Jamey Chadwell and Hugh Freeze have both been rumored as candidates for the job, and based on their teams’ performance this year, it appears to be deserved. The former Big South opponents are a combined 18-1, and College GameDay is heading to Dirty Myrtle for the first time ever.
I really, really, really, really wanted to pick Liberty here. But then the worst possible news for the Flames came: a positive COVID test for star QB Malik Willis. This will put Hugh Freeze up against an undefeated opponent without 58.9% of his team’s yards and 62.5% of their touchdowns. They’ll likely turn to senior QB Chris Ferguson, who has a strong propensity to throw it to the other team. This could get out of hand pretty quickly.
Brett - Coastal Carolina -11.0
Every week I’ve talked about them I’ve said this. I love this team and they by far are having the most fun of any team in college football. As Sam said, they are 6-0-1 ATS and I see them continuing it here. They are playing completely unhinged and letting it fly on the offensive side of the ball. Fancy chickens! Woo!
Ryan - Coastal Carolina -11.0
The news of Malik Willis not playing is big news. I think the Chants keep it going here and keep their strong ATS record going. The nonbelievers better jump on board. I really think this team might be destined to go undefeated this year and I have no problems with that
Indiana +14.0 @ Wisconsin
Sam - Indiana +14.0
Can we please stop disrespecting Indiana? Look, I understand Penix Jr. is out for the season, but they’re bringing in former 4 star QB and Utah transfer Jack Tuttle who looked very comfortable against Maryland.
The Hoosiers are 5-0 against the spread in their last 5 games and 6-1 against the spread in their last 7 road games. Wisconsin is the superior team, especially in Camp Randall. However, I think we saw against Northwestern how the COVID situation that the Badgers went through hurt their offense when they faced a competition defense. I also think you have to think about the amount of in-game play the Hoosiers have had compared to the Badger. Indiana has played 6 games, Wisconsin has played 3. Tom Allen has this team rolling and I think they make this a close game in Madison.
Ed - Indiana +14.0
It's honestly a bummer that Indiana QB Michael Penix is out for the year. The Hoosiers have looked solid in every game they have played this year, including thor only loss to #4 Ohio State. While Penix is a huge loss, I don't think it is enough to set them back by two touchdowns against a Wisconsin team that has barely played football.
Chris - Indiana +14.0
Many will point to the absence of QB Michael Penix Jr after tearing his ACL last week and wonder how Indiana can scheme enough for the next man up against a solid Wisconsin defense that is currently #3 in the nation and holding teams to 11.7 points per game. The answer to that problem is easy… Jack Tuttle. The next man up mantra is a bit easier when that person happens to be one of the highest recruited QBs who was a Utah transfer and already has a few years in the program. Factor in that Wisconsin is only playing their 4th game in nearly two months, meaning the lack of continuity makes it difficult to expect a dominant performance against a competitor like Indiana, who is more of a “sum of their parts” type team.
Robert - Wisconsin -14.0
This could have been an incredible value pick for the Hoosiers, but alas, Michael Penix, Jr. is out for the season, and Indiana’s offense will suffer. Indiana’s offense was middling-at-best before the injury, and now they will have to turn to Jack Tuttle, who only has 20 rushing yards in his career.
I think Indiana will eventually find a rhythm with Tuttle, but this is perhaps the most difficult opponent the Hoosiers could be playing in Tuttle’s first start. Sharp College Football rates Wisconsin’s defense as top-10 in both passing and rush defense, which will make things difficult for Tuttle to make up for his team’s mediocre rushing attack.
Indiana could potentially cover if they are able to put pressure on Graham Mertz and force him to turn the ball over, but the safer bet is Mertz coasting on his spectacular defense and winning this game by more than two touchdowns.
Brett - Indiana +14.0
I honestly have no idea what to think of the Big Ten. I picked Wisconsin to cover Northwestern. Not even close. Picked Northwestern to cover Michigan State. Horribly wrong, somehow. Now I have to pick against an Indiana team without one of the most exciting players in the country? Nope, I’m going against all my guts here. Give me the Hoosiers because I don’t want to do it actually.
Ryan - Indiana +14.0
I think even with Pennix this number of two touchdowns is too many. Wisconsin is still unproven. I was one of the first on their bandwagon when Mertz came out of the gate so hot but they have not shown enough to be two touchdown favorites in this one. I will ride with the more proven team even without their signal caller.
Clemson -22.0 @ Virginia Tech
Sam - Virginia Tech +22.0
Bet the numbers, not the teams.
So let me be clear, I think Tech gets whooped on Saturday night. However, over the course of this Clemson dynasty the Tigers have not been phenomenal against the spread. This season, for instance, the Tigers are 8-1 overall but only 3-6 against the spread. Now, is Virginia Tech also 3-6 against the spread this season? Yep! But you’d have to figure the Tigers will be the ones in control of this game. In the past, Clemson hasn’t blown out opponents like you’d expect them to.
Also of note, Virginia Tech is 5-1 against the spread after a bye week. That doesn’t mean I’m picking the Hokies to win. I think the Tigers take this one by 21. However, I think it does point to the Hokies being a considerably better team after a bye than they have been overall under Fuente.
I will also be dubbing the weather this weekend as “Gobbler Weather.” Bleak, cold, slightly windy day towards the end of fall. Peak Blacksburg weather. Sounds crazy, but I think that could play into the Hokies’ hands this weekend as they’ve been practicing in the cold for about 2 weeks now.
You’d hope the Hokies can muster up some dignity and look decently competitive in this game. Fuente’s goal for the past 4 years has been to compete with Clemson, and that goal went from a one score game in the 4th quarter in the ACC Championship to a laughable pipe dream that will be years away. This is Fuente’s last stand.
Ed - Clemson -22.0
The only reason I am hesitant to pick the Tigers to cover is Dabo Swinney's tendency to call off the dogs late in games. Virginia Tech football is in a complete downward spiral and until I have a reason to believe otherwise I will roll with Trevor Lawrence and the Tigers.
Chris - Clemson -22.0
In the first 6 games, Virginia Tech averaged 45 carries a game for roughly 290 yards, which was the primary reason the Hokies touted a 4-2 record, albeit with an inexplicable loss to Wake Forest. Fast forward and that trend has dipped to 36 carries a game for roughly 172 yards, a 40% drop in rushing production. Unfortunately, that drop has only been exacerbated by an inconsistent passing game which now faces a Clemson defense that is holding its opponents to 102 yards a game. In the end, this is a terrible matchup for the Hokies who will struggle to score while also being unable to stop a prolific Clemson offense.
Robert - Clemson -22.0
There’s almost literally a million reasons why I could justify this pick, but I’m going to pick one that counters what one of my fellow Lock$ pointed out: the weather. It is going to be cold in Blacksburg. Really cold. Normally, this would work out in the Hokies’ favor, especially given their southern-dwelling opponent. However, I think a cold-weather game actually is a better situation for Clemson.
Cold weather typically leads to more ground-and-pound football, and though the Hokies are great at running the football, Clemson’s rush defense is superb. Sharp College Football rates the Tiger’s rush defense as second-best in the country. Meanwhile, the Hokies have struggled all year to stop the run, and Clemson has the best running back in the country. I find it difficult to see the Hokies scoring much, perhaps not even reaching double-digits, while Lawrence/Etienne should have no issue shredding this unsteady defense. This game is going to get ugly fast.
Brett - Virginia Tech +22.0
That ever so sweet extra point is what’s tipping the edge for me. I think the Hokies get beat by three scores no problem, but Clemson has absolutely bitten me several times banking on their large spreads (except last week).
I also think the Hokies are going to play as if they have nothing to lose, which if you haven’t noticed, they don’t. Whether Fuente has a job come the end of the season or not, he’s going to have to coach this game as if it is. That’s going out with a bang. Clemson controls the game no doubt, but if Hokies keep it relatively close early, I think it’ll be close to 21 or a bit less.
Ryan - Virginia Tech +22.0
I don’t have much of a reason to pick this other than what else do we have to play for this year. This team has got to be up for this game and I think they will be given all the circumstances and the disrespect given to this team. I am looking forward to seeing if we can control this game on the ground. If our run game is intact then we should be able to grind out a cover here actually. It all comes down to how much the Hokies still want this one after a tumultuous season.
Clemson @ Virginia Tech O/U 67.0
Sam - Under 67.0
The over has hit in 8 out of Tech’s last 11 matchups, but the Hokies offense has digressed beyond recognition in the past few weeks. For as inept as the Hokies have seemed on 3rd down this year, putting points on the board hasn’t been a major issue this season. However, I think the idea of averaging 40 points per game is long gone. It’s tempting to think that Clemson will put up a massive score in this game, but I don’t see the Hokies letting up 50+ at home or anything. Coming off a bye week, Tech should be able to put up at least some resistance.
I think I’m sticking to a 42-21 final score, with the Hokies covering and the under hitting as well.
Ed - Over 67.0
Chris - Under 67.0
Considering the matchup, a motivated Clemson can comfortably put 45+ points on the scoreboard and then rest their starters for much of the second half while VT struggles to get to 22 points due to a lacking pass game.
Robert - Over 67.0
Wait, is this the O/U for the game, or just how many Clemson will score? Either way, I’m taking the over.
Brett - Over 67.0
Clemson’s offense has had no issues, but their defense has raised some concerns in the secondary against a few teams. I think Tech will be able to put up the points, but Clemson will put up considerably more.
Ryan - Under 67.0
Because I picked us to cover I think the only way that hits is if the total stays somewhat low. This pick again hinges on our run game being able to take time off the clock and I think that will be the game plan.
Sam - The West Coast After Dark Parlay presented by In-N-Out
Nevada -7.5 vs. Fresno State; Wyoming -16.5 @ New Mexico; Oregon State +11.5 @ Utah (Total: +600)
Nevada hurt me last week getting upset by the Rainbow Warriors in Hawaii. I don’t see them disappointing again at home. Wyoming seems to have found its form on offense this season, and I think they fix their road woes against the spread (1-7 in their last 8 road games) and outscore the Lobos in the desert. The Beavers are coming off a monumental win in one of the most beautiful late night football games I’ve ever seen. The Beavers all-orange shown brighter than Oregon’s all-yellow in the fog of Corvallis. I think they ride that momentum and may even beat the Utes on the road. Salt Lake City is notoriously a tough place to play, but without a full house and a Utah offense that has seemed less than stellar, I think the Beavers are a safe bet at +11.5.
Get your “animal style” burgers made and hunker down at 10:30pm EST. All 3 of these games are on television, so life really doesn’t get better. Who said nothing good happens after midnight?!
Ed - The Bet For the Better Quarterback Parlay
Texas A&M -7.0 vs Auburn; Boston College +6.5 vs UVA
Neither Bo Nix or Brennan Armstrong have been relatively impressive this season. Put your money on the better signal callers. Kellen Mond is on a tear with TAMU, and Phil Jurkovec is having a quietly good season in Boston.
Chris - The Big 12 “Big Deal” Parlay
Oklahoma -21.0 vs Baylor; Iowa State -6.5 vs West Virginia; Texas -7 @ Kansas State; TCU +2.5 vs Oklahoma State; Texas Tech -27.0 vs Kansas (Total: +2821)
Some of the best value lately has been in the Big 12, where after a few early season surprises, you can finally set your watch to OU crushing its opponents (33.5 point margin of victory in last 4 games), Iowa State being balanced and well coached, Texas being the “good bad team”, Oklahoma State being overrated, and lastly, Kansas being an absolute dumpster fire.
Robert - The “Let’s Bet Every ACC Game Except VT-Clemson And See What Happens” Parlay, AKA the Mark Packer pt. 2
North Carolina -45.5 vs. WCU; Syracuse +33.5 @ Notre Dame; Boston College +190 @ Virginia; Georgia Tech +274 @ NC State; Miami -16.5 @ Duke (Total: +7520)
It's gonna happen eventually. Just gotta believe in the Pack Man!
Brett - MACTION PARLAY
Buffalo -11.5 vs Ohio; Western Michigan -13.5 vs. Eastern Michigan; Akron -2.5 vs. Bowling Green
Because MACtion that's why!
Ryan - The Noon Parlay to Start Your Day
Ohio State -14.0 @ Michigan State; Oklahoma State and TCU under 51, Texas Tech -27.5 vs. Kansas
Wake up and make money. It's as simple as that. Betting for Ohio State and against Kansas is always a good play. Also, the Oklahoma State TCU game is a sneaky good defensive battle.
Over/Unders of the Week with Ryan Hartman
Florida Vs. Tennessee under 62.5
The Florida offense has not been its normal self the past two weeks only putting up 34 and 38 against Kentucky and Vandy respectively. I have been touting SEC overs all year but 62.5 against a Tennessee team who has put under 20 two games in a row is screaming an Under here. Trask and Pitts could make me look like a fool in no time but I’m going to ride with the recent trends here and see how this one turns out.
UVa vs. Boston College over 54.5
These are two teams with struggling defenses and offenses who can put up points. Jurkovec is expected to be back and I really believe in his arm and ability to score. UVa has been an anomaly and may be a little rusty coming off a week where they didn’t play, but I don’t think angry Bronco is going to take his foot off the gas. We saw what Clemson did after FSU played hide and seek with them with their game and UVa may be able to do something similar against this BC defense.
Wisconsin and Indiana over 45.5
My new theory I am trying out is to take the over in the lowest Big Ten total of the weekend. I did it last weekend with Northwestern and Michigan State and it paid off. I am going to try and do it again here. I knew Mertz is unproven but if he is half of what he was in game 1 then he should be able to put points up. I realize Penix is not going to suit up but Fryfogle and Scott are for Indiana and that is enough to make me want to ride with the over. It’s a new theory so it is far from proven so tail at your own risk as always.