Within the desk under, you will discover the Adjusted Thor Line (ATL), a system I devised for figuring out line worth. Verify again Thursday for this week’s official performs.
The unfold of this recreation is an unbelievable 7.7 factors off ATL’s projection. A few of that may be defined.
Syracuse goes to be with out QB Tommy DeVito and S Andre Cisco for this recreation — and maybe the remainder of the yr. DeVito left the loss to Duke with a leg or heel harm. He’s seemingly carried out for the season, however HC Dino Babers hasn’t up to date his standing but.
Babers did, nonetheless, replace the standing of star S Andre Cisco — and it wasn’t excellent news. Cisco is out for yr after struggling a freak harm when he collided with a teammate in pregame warmups a couple of weeks in the past prematurely of the Georgia Tech recreation.
The resurgent Liberty Flames are 4-0. QB Malik Willis, an Auburn switch, is a star — a dual-threat who’s thrown for 595 yards and run for 340. The Flames blew out UL-Monroe 40-7 final week as 18-point favorites.
Liberty is 4-1 ATS of their final 4 street video games and 5-2 ATS in opposition to the ACC of their final seven. Syracuse will begin QB Rex Culpepper with DeVito out. Cisco is harder to exchange. The Orange play Clemson subsequent week. Are they actually going to rise up for Liberty?
Western Kentucky is 1-3. Their solely win was a three-point squeaker over lowly Center Tennessee. However I nonetheless assume they’re a good group, and an undervalued group.
WKU had a 14-point loss to Louisville (Louisville benefited from a collection of explosive scoring performs) and a six-point setback in opposition to undefeated Liberty earlier this season earlier than dropping to Marshall 38-14 final week. WKU went 2-for-12 on third downs, misplaced the turnover battle by three (WKU misplaced three fumbles!) and acquired outplayed on particular groups.
However simply by way of offense vs. protection recreation mechanics, WKU hung — ending slightly below Marshall in each success fee and YPP. That’s simply one other datapoint that the Hilltoppers can cling with robust groups. UAB is a type of.
ATL sees worth in WKU and I agree with the sentiment. Similar with Louisiana Tech, which will get Marshall. The Bulldogs are quietly 3-1. Exterior of the WKU recreation described above, Marshall beat an FCS group and beat Appalachian State 17-7. Appy State has had a nightmarish season with ongoing COVID disruptions.
This line is suspiciously low. Early cash on Tulsa dropped the road from Cincy -4.5 on Sunday to Tulsa -Three on Monday.
The Hurricane, which took Oklahoma State to the wire and shocked UCF, is No. 1 within the nation in defensive havoc fee. Cincinnati higher not overlook Tulsa with SMU on deck.
Kentucky blew out Mississippi State 24-2 final week. The defensive dominance could have been a tad overstated — Kentucky allowed Mississippi State to get inside its 40-yard 5 occasions, however the Bulldogs turned these journeys into zero factors.
Kentucky intercepted MSU six occasions. All of the turnovers allowed Kentucky to win simply regardless of a poor offensive exhibiting. The Wildcats averaged solely 2.9 YPP with a 28% offensive success fee in opposition to the Bulldogs.
However as we talked about final week, Kentucky was extraordinarily unfortunate throughout its 0-2 begin, with a number of breaks going in opposition to it within the losses to Auburn and Ole Miss.
Tennessee led Georgia at halftime, however was totally dominated within the second half in a lopsided loss. The Volunteers’ offense continues to be held again by Jarrett Guarantano. Kentucky’s protection will play with him as a cat does a trapped mouse.
Houston beat Tulane 49-31 final Thursday. The ultimate rating was far nearer than it ought to have been.
Tulane raced out to a 24-7 lead at first of the second quarter as a result of they turned three bonehead Houston turnovers into 21 factors — together with a pick-six and a Clayton Tune fumble ultimately zone that was recovered for a Tulane TD.
The Cougars’ comeback started then — however Houston nonetheless trailed 24-21 at halftime regardless of outgaining the Inexperienced Wave 268-102. Houston received by 18 factors regardless of turning the ball over 5 occasions.
Houston had beforehand had three season openers delayed as a result of COVID-19. They had been rusty and the rust immediately led to Tulane factors.
BYU was dominant of their first three victories of the yr however solely beat a foul UTSA group by seven factors final week. UTSA was all the way down to their QB3, the all-run, no-throw Lowell Narcisse. Narcisse went 17-for-20 by way of the air for 229 yards and two TD.
BYU higher repair no matter was flawed with their secondary final weekend pronto with Houston’s pass-happy offense on deck. The Cougars could have to take action on brief relaxation.
Auburn Tigers (-3.5) at South Carolina Gamecocks
ATL: Auburn -6.1
South Carolina beat Vanderbilt 41-7 as a 13.5-point favourite final week. The Gamecocks outclassed Vandy, however the Commodores undoubtedly helped uSC alongside the best way.
Popping out of halftime, trailing by 10, Vanderbilt turned it over on downs by itself 31-yard line. South Carolina punched in a TD with the brief area. The Gamecocks added TD runs of 88 and 47 yards later within the second half to show the sport right into a laugher.
The Gamecocks had been explosive — with assist from Vandy’s sieve protection — however not environment friendly, with a 40% offensive success fee that was about even with Vanderbilt’s 39%.
Auburn benefited from luck to beat Arkansas final week. Bo Nix muffed a snap on a deliberate clock-stopping spike within the fourth quarter and ended up flinging the ball to the turf going through his personal goalpost — a backwards move. Arkansas recovered. As an alternative of being dominated a fumble, SEC officers granted the spike, and Auburn ended up kicking a game-winning area purpose to win 30-28.
It doesn’t appear that the general public is fooled by that final result — the truth is, evidently the betting public has turned its again on Auburn. And with WR Eli Stove and DE Big Kat Bryant questionable for this recreation and star LB K.J. Britt out for the yr — together with Nix and the general group’s up-and-down play — that’s comprehensible.
However ATL believes Auburn is a worth play on this spot, receiving a reduction which will have extra to do with notion than actuality.
UMass Minutemen (+28.5) at Georgia Southern Eagles
ATL: GSU -30.1
UMass is lastly kicking off its 2020 season. If you happen to’re an everyday reader, that ought to ring bells in your head: The system of groups opening their season in opposition to groups which have already performed is now 22-8-2 ATS (73.3%) this season.
However each ATL and up to date historical past would preach warning in opposition to a blind system play on the Minutemen.
On August 11 — two months in the past — UMass introduced it was canceling its season. On September 24, UMass introduced it was opting back-in for a fall season. A part of the said reasoning was with so many conferences opting again into the autumn — the Large 10, Pac-12, MWC and MAC — UMass feared no opponents can be accessible for a hypothetical spring season.
So the Minutemen rapidly threw collectively a return-to-fall plan, with the thought of taking part in “round 4 video games.” This recreation with GSU wasn’t even scheduled till October 8, final Thursday! And that was as a result of Georgia Southern instantly had a gap on its schedule when Appalachian State’s COVID points pressured a postponent of their previously-scheduled recreation.
As we’ve talked about in earlier columns, the system above might be profitable (and it has been courting again to 2000, by the best way) for 2 causes: 1) The group that’s already performed has given its opponent recreation movie however not acquired any in return, 2) The group that’s already performed in all probability will get barely over-priced simply because the general public has already seen them (and/or vice-versa: undervaluing the group opening its season as a result of it hasn’t).
On this case, nonetheless, UMass didn’t even realize it was going to be taking part in Georgia Southern till final Thursday (and didn’t even know it could be taking part in in any respect till three weeks in the past). On the day that recreation was introduced, UMass HC Walt Bell didn’t also have a depth chart to supply to the media. He intends to start out redshirt senior Mike Fallon at QB. Fallon has 40 passing years in 4 years of eligibility.
Bell and his squad, arguably the league gifted within the FBS, has had valuable little time to organize for a triple-option offense. Final yr, the Minutemen acquired clocked 63-7 by Military, the one triple-option group it confronted.
Ole Miss Rebels (-3) at Arkansas Razorbacks
ATL: Ole Miss -1.3
The Rebels are coming off an especially spectacular loss to Alabama. Ole Miss ran up 48 factors and 647 yards in opposition to the Crimson Tide regardless of taking part in on a waterlogged area due to Hurricane Delta.
The Rebels now must journey to Arkansas in a possible deflated-letdown spot.
Like Ole Miss, Arkansas has impressed beneath a brand new teaching workers. Can the Razorbacks choose themselves off the mat after officers stole a win from them in opposition to Auburn final week?
LSU Tigers (+13.5) at Florida Gators
ATL: Florida -11.6
Let’s simply hope we get to see each of those groups at full energy. And get to see this recreation, interval. Florida halted soccer actions on Tuesday after it announced it had 5 new COVID circumstances for the reason that final spherical of testing. We’ll discover out within the coming days if this recreation might be performed on time.
If it does certainly get performed, there are a number of attention-grabbing subplots swirling. Florida TE Kyle Pitts is questionable after he suffered a foot harm in opposition to Texas A&M. LSU CB Derek Stingley can also be questionable with an ankle harm.
You’ll recall that LSU gave up a single-game SEC-record for passing yards to Mississippi State within the opener when Stingley was sidelined. Urban Meyer calls Pitts one of the best participant in America. Laborious to argue that — in a simply world, Pitts would have extra Heisman buzz proper now. If he stays wholesome, Pitts goes to be the primary Gator since Aaron Hernandez to win the Mackey Award.
Count on this recreation to be a shootout. Florida averages 42.Three PPG and leads the nation with a daft six factors per journey inside its opponent’s 40-yard line (cough, Kyle Pitts is a pink zone demon, cough), however the Gators stay prone to getting upset as a result of the protection beneath Todd Grantham has struggled mightily this yr. The Gators had been upset by Texas A&M final week after RB Malik Davis fumbled in Florida territory to arrange A&M’s game-winning area purpose.
Talking of dangerous defenses, LSU’s protection has been so dangerous that HC Ed Orgeron instructed new DC Bo Pelini this week to simplify his protection. LSU has given up a faculty document 96 factors by way of three video games (and 89 mixed to Mississippi State and Missouri, not precisely juggernaut offenses). Missouri had a daft 60% success fee and eight.6 YPP on offense (in opposition to LSU’s 44% and seven.0) in a 45-41 Mizzou win that might have been extra lopsided than that had Missouri not misplaced three fumbles.
However LSU’s offense is powerful as soon as once more — it hasn’t but been held beneath 34 factors. The offense closely revolves round WR Terrace Marshall — does Florida have anybody able to slowing him?
Preserve a detailed eye on the statuses of Pitts and Stingley. If Pitts doesn’t play however Stingley does, I believe LSU has a shot to spring the upset.
Texas A&M Aggies (-6.5) at Mississippi State Bulldogs
ATL: A&M -4.0
The Aggies are coming off an enormous upset win over Florida however misplaced WR Caleb Chapman for the season after he suffered a knee harm throughout a fourth-quarter landing catch.
Mike Leach would argue he has it worse proper now. In solely three weeks within the SEC, Leach has:
- Crushed defending champ LSU 44-34 in Baton Rouge, setting the SEC-record with 623 move yds
- Misplaced 21-14 to Arkansas, the Hogs’ solely SEC of their final 22 video games
- Misplaced 24-2 to Kentucky in a recreation the MSU offense failed to attain
- Advised reporters he wants a roster purge to eliminate malcontents
Mississippi State has thrown 9 interceptions in its final two video games, it benched beginning QB KJ Costello in opposition to Kentucky, and Leach is now actively combating together with his roster.
If A&M can get previous Mississippi State, it has a good shot of working the desk the remainder of the best way with Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss, LSU and Auburn remaining.
Virginia Cavaliers (-1) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
ATL: UVA -3.5
ATL sees somewhat worth in Virginia. However ATL doesn’t know that Cavs QB Brennan Armstrong is questionable after struggling a head harm final week.
Virginia’s offense is constructed round Armstrong. Profession backup Lindell Stone will get the decision if Armstrong can’t go. If he can’t, I just like the Demon Deacons to win outright.
Military Black Knights (-7) at UTSA Roadrunners
ATL: Military -9.0
UTSA QB Frank Harris gave it a go in opposition to BYU however struggled and acquired harm once more. He’s thought of questionable with a lower-body harm.
Lowell Narcisse regarded significantly better. The previous LSU Tiger went 17-of-20 for 229 yards and two touchdowns in opposition to the Cougars. UTSA could also be higher off with Narcisse. Harris’ standing, to me, is irrelevant to the handicap.
Boston School Eagles (+12) at Virginia Tech Hokies
ATL: VT -11.5
The Hokies had been lacking 15 gamers as a result of COVID-19 in final week’s loss to UNC. The secondary was significantly ravished, with a number of backups and two starters out.
Virginia Tech needs to be nearer to full energy this week.
SMU Mustangs (-6.5) at Tulane Inexperienced Wave (Friday)
ATL: SMU -6.9
SMU RB Ulysses Bentley IV has been a revelation and can get extra touches with McDaniel out. SMU is roofed within the backfield.
However there’s no one on the roster who’s near Roberson’s talent stage on the roster. Shane Buechele will determine it out — however this offense goes to be much less explosive with out Roberson. Simply how a lot, we’ll must see.
Coming off the win over Memphis and going through main well being considerations, I’d often discover this an opportune spot to fade a group like SMU. Particularly with an overlook matchup in opposition to Cincy on deck.
The one subject is that I believe Tulane stinks. The Inexperienced Wave are 2-2, with wins over FBS bottom-feeders South Alabama and Southern Miss. The 2 losses had been every much more embarrassing than the ultimate rating. Tulane blew a 24-point halftime lead in a 27-24 loss to Navy, a group that was totally uncompetitive in its first three video games outdoors of that.
And final week, as talked about above, Tulane acquired three early freebie touchdowns off turnovers in opposition to Houston final week to leap out to a 24-7 lead. The Inexperienced Wave acquired 5 turnovers whole however nonetheless misplaced 49-31 — the sport wasn’t almost as shut as the ultimate rating indicated.
North Carolina Tar Heels (-13.5) at Florida State Seminoles
ATL: UNC -12.5
FSU QB Jordan Travis has been restricted in follow this week with a hand harm sustained in opposition to Notre Dame. Travis, a dual-threat, was FSU’s third beginning QB of the season. The scrambling aspect he’s added to a torpid FSU speeding offense has been essential.
UNC’s run protection has drawn Mack Brown’s ire this yr. Travis might give the Tar Heels points out of the pocket — however provided that he performs. Bettors on this recreation will need to test on his standing earlier than shopping for a ticket.
Georgia Bulldogs (+6) at Alabama Crimson Tide
ATL: Bama -4.5
School GameDay might be available for arguably the common season’s most-anticipated matchup, and the forecast is looking for clear skies and a wonderful day in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama outraced Ole Miss 63-48 final week in a recreation its protection surprisingly struggled. Georgia began slowly however ended up blasting Tennessee 44-21.
Stetson Bennett, a recreation supervisor, has carried out his job up to now. However whereas Alabama’s protection could also be extra forgiving than in yr’s previous — simply ask Lane Kiffin — will Bennett be up for going score-for-score with Alabama if this recreation inevitably turns right into a shootout?
That’s the second-most fascinating query of this recreation. Essentially the most fascinating: Arguably the nation’s greatest offense is about to go up in opposition to arguably the nation’s greatest protection. Will the Alabama offense win the day? Or will Georgia’s protection (12.Three PPG allowed) get in Mac Jones’ (79.5% completions) head and sluggish Najee Harris?
Bennett might actually use some assist from Georgia’s working recreation on Saturday. It’s averaging solely 3.Eight YPC, with Zamir White’s sluggish begin a major perpetrator. James Cook is possible to return on Saturday. Georgia might actually use him.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears
ATL: OSU -3.7
The Large 12 introduced on Sunday that this recreation might be pushed to Dec. 12. That information got here on the heels of Baylor shutting down football-related actions after a number of optimistic COVID checks required quarantine and the graduation of contact-tracing protocols.
Baylor’s AD introduced this system has 28 COVID circumstances amongst gamers and 14 amongst staffers. This was Baylor’s third postponement, and OSU’s second.
The Large 12 had been considering holding its title recreation on both Dec. 12 or Dec. 19. This information virtually assuredly signifies that the convention is taking pictures to carry its championship on Dec. 19.
Vanderbilt Commodores at Missouri Tigers
ATL: Mizzou -18.2
That is the SEC’s first postponed recreation as a result of COVID. A virus outbreak on Vanderbilt’s roster left the Commodores with solely 56 scholarship gamers accessible for final Saturday’s 41-7 loss to South Carolina.
The SEC is tentatively planning to reschedule this recreation for Dec. 12. Vanderbilt (0-3) will not must return to the sphere till Oct. 31 in opposition to Ole Miss.
2020: 21-18-1 (53.8%) ATS
Lifetime (2014-Current): 561-487-17 (53.5%) ATS
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