Another 3-1-1 showing for me last week bringing me to 6-2-2 for the season. Dr. Bob evened his record at 5-5 with a 3-2 week.
On to this week's picks. Here are Dr. Bob's...
FLORIDA STATE (-19) 41 Wake Forest 17
I went against Wake Forest last week in their 24-68 loss at Stanford and I don't mind going back to the well in this game. Wake Forest has been horrendous defensively so far this season, allowing 7.1 yards per play and 48 points at home to Duke two weeks ago and then giving up 8.1 yppl and 68 points at Stanford. Even the 4.8 yppl they allowed to Presbyterian College is bad considering that Presbyterian would average just 3.5 yppl on the road against an average Division 1A team. Florida State's offense is churning up the yards on the ground (208 yards per game at 6.7 yards per rushing play) and that will continue against a Wake defensive front allowing 5.8 yprp this season to teams that would combine to average 4.7 yprp against an average defense.
TENNESSEE (-13 ½) 42 Uab 23
Tennessee will move the ball by land and by air and should score more than enough to win by more than two touchdowns. In fact, my math favors the Volunteers by 19 ½ points in this game and the Florida-LSU sandwich affect (normally this could be a letdown) is diminished by the fact the Vols are off consecutive losses and need a confidence building win before facing LSU. I'll consider Tennessee a Strong Opinion at -14 points or less.
Idaho (-7 ½) 30 COLORADO STATE 17
Idaho's offense isn't nearly as good as it was last season but the Vandals are much better on defense and they're not too much worse than an average team. Colorado State, meanwhile, is 0-3 straight up and 0-3 ATS and the Rams are horrible on both sides of the ball, rating at 1.0 yards per play worse than average on offense (4.4 yppl against teams that would allow 5.4 yppl to an average team) and 1.0 yppl worse than average defensively (6.6 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.6 yppl). Idaho has thumped the two bad teams that they've faced, beating North Dakota 45-0 and UNLV 30-7 and the Vandals 21-38 loss at Nebraska is a good showing as well.
Fresno State 27 MISSISSIPPI (-2 ½) 24
What's been surprising about Fresno is their defense, which was horrible last season. Fresno has given up just 4.0 yards per play in two games to two decent offensive teams (Cincy has only been about average, but Utah State moved the ball great against Oklahoma's defense in week 1). Fresno State coach Pat Hill likes to prove that his team can play with BCS conference teams and he has an incredible 31-9 ATS mark in his career as an underdog or pick in non-conference games, including 3-0 ATS last season when they were terrible otherwise. Mississippi, meanwhile, applies to a negative 5-41 ATS situation that is based on last week's upset home loss to Vandy. These two teams are tough to figure out, as I don't think Ole' Miss can be as bad as they've been defensively while I don't Fresno is as good as they've been defensively. I do know that Fresno has played much, much better than the Rebels so far this season and my ratings favor the Bulldogs by 1 point.
Northern Illinois (+4 ½) 27 MINNESOTA 26
Minnesota's defense has just 1 returning starter from last season and that inexperience shows up on the stat sheet. The Gophers have given up 7.3 yards per play in 3 games against teams that would average 5.5 yppl against an average team, but they did play better last week against USC (6.5 yppl allowed) with their lone returning starter S Kyle Theret in the lineup after serving a two game suspension. Northern Illinois made a change at quarterback after a horrible week 1 showing (3.8 yppl against Iowa State) with poor passing but good running DeMarcus Grady at quarterback. Chandler Harnish is back at quarterback and he's a much better passer (6.7 yards per pass play last season against teams that would allow 6.2 yppp to an average QB). Harnish also has decided to run the ball and he's doing a great job, rushing for 318 yards in two games on just 29 rushing plays. Northern Illinois now has a better than average offense that will move the ball well against the Gophers' horrible defense. Northern Illinois also has a horrible defense (5.8 yppl allowed to teams that would average just 4.8 yppl against an average team) and Minnesota is decent enough offensively (0.3 yppl worse than average) to take advantage. Overall, my math favors Minnesota by just 2 ½ points and Northern Illinois applies to a 54-15-1 ATS statistical match-up indicator. I'll consider Northern Illinois a Strong Opinion at +3 ½ points or more.
And here are mine...
Tennessee 20 (+3) GIANTS 17
Bounce back game for two teams that were embarrassed last week. Just think Titans are the better team and the Giants are too weak on the offensive line.
San Francisco 24 (-2.5) KC 17
There's a reason a 2-0 team is favored on the road against an 0-2 team. Like niners to totally stifle the KC offense and win on turnovers.
Dallas 27 (+3) HOUSTON 24
Dallas will be able to get pressure on Schaub and will finally breakout offensively. Must win for the Boys.
MINNESOTA 23 Detroit (+12) 17
Just too many points to give Favre and the struggling Vikings. Minny will try to grind things out on the ground which will keep this score down.
MIAMI 17 (-2) Jets 10
Home team with recent success against the Jets. Line is too short for an inconsistent overrated Jets team.