CFB best bets: Taking all the points we can get
Last week's goal was to get back to being profitable in our Saturday Seven. Lo and behold, a 4-2-1 finish pulls us to 11-9-1 on the year as our 'dogs are above water again. We pushed on Kent State, which covered comfortably throughout thanks to a late deep throw by Iowa. It's another example of these coaches knowing the spread and wanting to cover.
Call me a glutton for punishment, especially after mentioning Kirk Ferentz playing for the cover, but I'm fading Iowa again. We were right about its potential for a less-than-stellar performance last week, and this is another game where the Hawkeyes know they don't need to bring their best.
At least, that's what they may be thinking, given Colorado State's results this season. A loss to a quality FCS team in South Dakota State and blowing a lead to Vanderbilt had people questioning new head coach Steve Addazio, but then came a comprehensive win over a good Toledo team last week. The Rams recorded 400-plus yards in each of those losses. They can move the ball easier than Kent State did last week, and this time we stay inside the number.
Pick: Colorado State +23
Pick: UTSA +3
Having already written about this game early in the week, I'm doubling down. While that's not typically a smart approach to fading Clemson, I've been high on NC State since before the season. This is the Wolfpacks' biggest game of the year. Devin Leary has the infrastructure and talent around him to get a couple of scores, and the Clemson offense isn't going to click overnight.
Pick: N.C. State +10
Alabama beats everyone. We all know that. But what often happens is they beat you a second time, as playing the Crimson Tide typically leads to a physical hangover the following week. The Gators came as close as anyone has in a while to knocking off Saban's group, and now Florida has to win by three touchdowns? I'll take the Vols and the big number here.
Pick: Tennessee +20
If you lifted your fade Indiana policy last week as I did, you felt pretty good for a lot of the game. The Hoosiers threw haymakers at Cincinnati, but they turned the ball over when it mattered most - a theme for them this season. Now they peel themselves off the mat, with their Big Ten slate on the horizon, and have to visit ... Bowling Green, Kentucky?
Bailey Zappe, who's averaging 430 passing yards per game, and a sold-out crowd will welcome the Hoosiers to town in a contest that's more of an afterthought for Indiana than it is for the Conference USA squad, who are getting a rare shot at a Power 5 conference team on home soil. Look for the Hilltoppers to jump on Indiana early and potentially win this game outright. The Hoosier fade policy has been reinstated.
Pick: Western Kentucky +9
The Owls giving up just 35 points to Florida in their opener looks a lot better after the Gators almost put up the same total against Bama. Up this week for FAU is a date with Air Force and its option attack, but the Owls will be well-prepared after seeing a triple-option offense two weeks ago against Georgia Southern and allowing just six points. That, combined with FAU's talent on offense, gives it a legitimate shot at the upset here.
Pick: Florida Atlantic +4.5
UAB's 56-7 loss to Georgia may be throwing off the market, but the Blazers are very capable against teams of the Bulldogs' caliber. They shutout Jacksonville State - who beat Florida State - and annihilated North Texas last week. There's no reason UAB can't upset Tulane. The Green Wave's reputation is still clinging to an impressive showing against Oklahoma a few weeks ago.
Pick: UAB +4
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.