There are no such things as an “almost” in sports. You either win or you lose. It’s as simple as that.
The same can be said when picking against the spread.
Week 7 ended up in the green with a 3-2 mark. At no point was San Diego State winning by the double digits I predicted as they got a six-point win in double overtime against San Jose State. There was no hope to cover the 8.5-point spread once it got into overtime.
Toledo, however, “almost” could have done the same. The Rockets found themselves in an overtime game as well, scoring 10 points in the final five minutes of regulation, giving us hope entering the extra frame to sneak away with a win as a 5.5-point favorite. But after a false start penalty on first down and a third-down sack, Toledo could not hit a 51-yard, game-tying field goal to send into double OT.
But the winners were really good. Actually, they were dominant. Jerome Ford was electric as Cincinnati jumped out to a 35-0 lead late in the second quarter and coasted the rest of the way to cover the 20.5-point spread against UCF. Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe did “light up a porous Monarchs defense” en route to five touchdown passes for an easy cover over Old Dominion. And to cap the night off, UTSA shut out Rice, 45-0, to make their way into the national rankings.
Let’s keep the momentum going into Week 8 where I give out two under picks and my money line play of the season.
2021 Record: 6-5
*All lines are according to ScoresAndOdds.com and are accurate at the time this article is published
Tulane Green Wave vs. No. 21 SMU Mustangs (-14)
This one is really simple: one team excels offensively while the other is getting torched on defense. The Mustangs are 10th in scoring (40.7 ppg) and 13th in passing (315.8 ypg). The Green Wave are allowing 40.2 ppg (127th) and 277.2 yards through the air (115th). SMU is 3-0 ATS this season and continues that trend with Tanner Mordecai having another monster day.
Temple Owls (+2.5) vs. USF Bulls (Under 55)
We’re double dipping here with the two worst teams in the American Athletic Conference. Both teams have struggled to generating offense this season as Temple is 101st in scoring while USF is 108th. It doesn’t get any better on the defense, where Temple ranks 110th in scoring defense and USF is 120th. The Owls have the college football’s ninth best pass defense and an extra week to prepare for USF after getting obliterated by Cincinnati their last time out. The Bulls are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games as the favorite and 1-13 SU in their last 14 games overall. If you can get decent odds on the Owls money line, don’t be afraid to go for that as well.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. FIU Panthers (Under 76.5)
Both teams have gone over the total in five of six games this season and neither defense is playing well with WKU at 121st in scoring defense and FIU right behind them at 122nd. I mentioned earlier how Zappe carved up the ODU defense last week. You would think that screams take the over, right? I’m going the other way. Neither team has had a total this high all season and this is the highest total for the two programs ever. They’ll score some points for sure but I’m predicting a 42-27 game which falls below the total.
No. 22 San Diego State Aztecs (+144 ML) vs. Air Force Falcons
I know. I know. This is the third week in a row that I’m backing the Aztecs. And after last week’s performance, you’re probably thinking I need to steer clear of them but I can’t help myself. These are two programs that are going to duke it out in the trenches. Air Force is the nation’s top rushing team, averaging 336.4 yards per game. San Diego State is No. 1 against the run, allowing 60.8 yards per game. On the other side of the ball, the Aztecs are 20th in rushing and the Falcons are ninth in rushing defense. When it comes down to it, San Diego State has won eight in a row in the series, is still a ranked team with the better talent and Air Force has virtually no passing game. Take the money line and go to sleep Saturday night as a winner.
Check back with us next week for more and let me know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter. Until next week, SHOW ME THE MONEY!!