Navigating Georgia, TCU Trap Games
There are several possible trap games in this week’s college football schedule but our NCAAF expert tells you which ones to avoid.
Say this for the oddsmakers. They often make you think your way out of your money.
How else to explain the number of traps apparently laid in all three of our games. A 9-0 team getting a touchdown in the most schizophrenic Power 5 conference? The No. 1 team in the country giving less than 20 points to a mid-level SEC foe?
And we haven’t mentioned one trap we’re avoiding this week: the ACC’s most prolific offense getting 3.5 points against an in-state rival known to put up a few points of its own.
NCAAF Bets goes on the road this week, trying to dodge speed traps and trap games.
My record last week was 2-1 and I’m 12-15-2 on the season.
Can’t We Get Any Respect?
The TCU Horned Frogs are 9-0. They are ranked fourth in the country, one of only four unbeaten teams in the country. They’re keeping company with Georgia Bulldogs, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Michigan Wolverines.
They are the most consistent team in the runaway roller coaster that is the Big 12. They’re 6-2 ATS against the Texas Longhorns in their last eight meetings and 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
And yet, visiting TCU finds itself seven-point underdogs to a Texas team that is 1-2 SU when favored by a touchdown or less.
Could this be a trap line? Even as the Horned Frogs put up video game offensive numbers with their 43.1 points and are No. 4 in the nation averaging 509 yards a game? Even as TCU rallies from behind with the casual air of flipping a light switch? The Horned Frogs flipped that come-from-behind switch in its last three games with victories over the Kansas State Wildcats, West Virginia Mountaineers, and Texas Tech Red Raiders. They’ve trailed in the second half in four of their six Big 12 victories.
If this is a trap game, and 6-3 Texas is 4-1 ATS at home this year, we’ll take our chances springing it with a team that has answered every challenge, dodged every minefield and avoided ever trap laid for it.
Prediction: TCU +7 over Texas (-110 at Caesars)
Watch: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC, FuboTV
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Defense? We Don’t Need no Stinkin’ Defense
You could take the visiting North Carolina Tar Heels and get the 3.5 points, knowledgeable in the fact the Tar Heels won the last two meetings between these two. You could take the host Wake Forest Demon Deacons, knowing they won the last three home meetings and are 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10.
But knowing North Carolina won those last two meetings, 58-55 and 59-53, why would you?
Why would you cast your lot with either when UNC’s Drake Maye leads the nation in touchdown passes (31). He is also second in quarterback rating (181.8), fourth in passing yardage (2,964) and sixth in completion percentage (71.2%)? As you ponder why Maye’s not earning Heisman chatter, ask why you’d choose here when you know the Tar Heels reel out the best offense in the ACC, averaging 40.6 points and 497 yards a game?
It’s not like Wake Forest is offensively inept. The Demon Deacons average 37 points and 432 yards a game. QB Sam Hartman is no slouch either, completing 62.8% of his passes for 2,423 yards and 24 touchdowns to nine interceptions. Yes, they have slowed their roll the last two weeks, scoring only 21 points in each of their last two games: losses to the Louisville Cardinals and NC State Wolfpack.
But again, why choose? Understand neither of these two play defense, understand the joysticks and cheat codes are alive and well here and understand this means Over-76.5.
Prediction: UNC-Wake Forest Over 76.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
Watch: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 2, FuboTV
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Georgia On Our Minds
Speaking of trap games, you can almost hear the trap door creaking open on this SEC interdivisional contest. After all, the Georgia Bulldogs migrate from dumping the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville to dealing with the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville.
So you’re taking Georgia and giving 16.5 points on the road to a 6-3 Mississippi State team one week after posterizing Tennessee in the country’s biggest game?
Yes. And here’s why.
Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense blitzed the likes of Arizona (39-17), Memphis (49-23), Bowling Green (45-14), Texas A&M (42-24), Arkansas (40-17) and Auburn (39-33 in OT). Blow the Air Raid siren against LSU (17 points), Kentucky (16 points) and Alabama (six) and it sounds like the “Sad Trombone” of game-show lore.
Which of the aforementioned teams has a defense anywhere near the caliber of Georgia’s?
Now, Leach’s Bulldogs haven’t lost at home yet this season. This has all the elements of a scenario where the anything-goes coach pulls an anything-goes upset. But again, what conceivable scenario has Mississippi State denting a defense allowing only 265 yards and a No. 2-ranked 10.8 points a game?
Georgia bettors? Your only trap here is a backdoor cover after this one is safely put to bed. With Georgia 5-2 ATS in its last seven SEC games, we’ll take that chance.
Prediction: Georgia -16.5 over Mississippi State (-110 at BetRivers)
Watch: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN, FuboTV
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