The ATrain is choo-choo-ing about some key matchups this week. We will preview games, and make a couple early bets before I drop the official Wet the Beak post tomorrow.
The Big-Boy: Penn State at Ohio State. The Horseshoe is going to be crunk, but not rocking out at maximum levels due to a 3:30 kick-off. If this game was at night I’d be more inclined to lean toward the Buckeyes, as is stands now I love Penn State getting +7 points. This is one pick I do want to lock in early. $250 on the Nittany Lions.*
Here is my thinking. Ohio State was a similar favorite at home at night vs Oklahoma. Not only did they not cover, but they lost outright. We had OU in that game and the reason was because we were confident that Baker Mayfield could make plays in the passing game and not so confident about J.T. Barrett. So what is different about Penn State from Oklahoma? Penn State has a better defense than Oklahoma. If they don’t let J.T. Barrett kill them with RPOs I feel good about them keeping Ohio State from scoring that many points. Trace McSorley might not be Baker Mayfield but he has good command of just as dangerous of an offense.
They key for Penn State will be if they can get the run game going vs an extremely talented defensive front. Ohio State is going to make McSorley beat them. I really feel like Penn State is just one of the smartest most well coached teams right now. They have a real identity. They are creative on offense. I like them to keep this close and maybe win it. I honestly don’t hate a money-line play on the Nittany Lions.
Just as Good: NC State at Notre Dame. I’m really excited for this one. I want to see that NC State defensive front take on the Notre Dame offensive line. I want to know if NC State is for real. They had an early slip vs the Gamecocks but have been very solid since then. This game scares me for Notre Dame more so than USC from both a gambling perspective and a matchup perspective. NC State is better than USC and they are better in very important ways, i.e. on the defensive line. This is a game I don’t really want to pick b/c Notre Dame at home probably wins by seven? The spread is 7.5? Do I want to take NC State when I feel like that hook is what’s getting me the win?
I just want to say props to the Notre Dame football schedule for playing a group of teams as hard as any conference. The Irish already faced the likes of USC, Michigan State, and Georgia. Still have NC State, Miami, Stanford, Wake Forest, and Navy. Sure the last two are not powerhouses, but they are well coached, senior led teams, that you can’t expect to beat just by showing up. I like the Fighting Irish to win but it would not surprise me at all if they lost this game straight up. Don’t expect the Irish to take NC State lightly, they know it will be a dog fight, having lost 10-3 in a hard fought battle last year. This feels like a stay away.
West Coast Special: Washington State at Arizona. Ok I may be making another pick here because I think I love the Arizona Wildcats as home underdogs to the WSU Cougars. Taking Khalil Tate to beat Luke Falk. Lets put $250 on Arizona +3 for now. Lock that in early. I think people don’t realize how far some of these games are traveling north-south and vice versa for the road teams in the Pac-12. This is a long trip for WSU to play in a hostile environment.
Shocked if we don’t end up Betting this: Georgia Tech at Clemson. I want to do a bit more research before I lock in this game. As it stands if Kelly Bryant plays I think I love Clemson. Look option offense works until you hit a certain level of defense, then it gets shut down completely. I think Clemson has that level of defensive talent. They shut down GT last year, why not again this year? Look for us to pick Clemson -14 on Wet the Beak.
Best Bets Early: Not gonna locks these picks in but of the early games I do see some potential in Miami at UNC and Wisconsin at Illinois. The spreads are through the roof in both these games but Illinois and UNC are bad. I’m leaning toward favorites here.
Cocktail Party: Florida – Georgia in Jacksonville. This used to be one of my favorite games because Florida always won it. I don’t see them winning it this year. But do they cover? Georgia laying -14.5 to open is now -14 and as low -13. Often you throw out the records in this game. I don’t know, right now my intuition says Gators but Logic and what I’ve actually watched on the field says Georgia covers. Usually I stay away when this happens.
Shoot-out: Texas Tech at Oklahoma. You can’t say they don’t score points in the Big 12. o/u is 73.5 points and it feels like it will go over. I think the spread is simply to high in this game. Is the Oklahoma defense going to all of a sudden become something they have not been all season? Texas Tech is never going to stop trying to score, and OU lets teams back in games. The Sooners could be covering mid-way through the second quarter, but how do you feel confident that they hold it? Texas Tech +20? Ok, I’ll put $250 from the betters fund on the Red Raiders.
Another Spread Maybe too High? UCLA at Washington. ATrain Corp has a bad history any time we bet on, or against the hometown Huskies. Alma Mater #2 is not kind to our pocket book so gut says stay away. Still 17.5 seems like a lot to beat UCLA by in a 3:30 kick off. The problem is UCLA is just not that good. Is Jim Mora coaching for his job?
I’ll get to anything I missed in the next post. A-Train out.