To say last week didn’t go as planned is an understatement, to say the least. I’ve been licking my wounds for the last couple of days like a wolf after an encounter with a bear. BUT I WILL NOT BE DETERRED!! Below is a recap of Week 1, and my picks for Week 2, which will hopefully get me out of this 1-4 hole that I’ve dug for myself.
Tennessee over started out great, as 14 points were on the board in the first nine minutes, but things quickly fizzled. In the second quarter, Bowling Green had two possessions suck 13 minutes off the clock. At least they got points, but the Vols offense was off the field basically the whole second quarter. The over was toast at the half. There were long stretches of Tennessee not getting first downs, and you can’t run a ton of plays if your offense is on the sideline. Milton was MEH overall, but he showed flashes of what is to come once he is more comfortable in the offense. I was wrong to assume Heupel could come in, plug, and play like a Lane Kiffin did last year at Ole Miss. The Vols will figure it out eventually; however, I’m done picking their games for the year.
Oklahoma started slow, and Tulane came out inspired. After 28 points in the first, this bad boy was progressing just as I suspected. The Sooners D looked like Swiss cheese, but Rattler looked every bit the part of a Heisman front-runner in the first quarter. He left quite a few points in the field in the second quarter after a couple of throws over the head of wide-open receivers. The defense turned it around in quarter two by recovering two fumbles and getting lots of pressure on the Green Wave QB. 51 points in the first half? YES SIR, LOCK IT UP!!
Then the second half happened, the offense disappeared, and Rattler couldn’t put anything together. The Sooners kicker, who was 4 for 4 on the day (3 for 3 over 50 yards), missed a 31 yarder with five minutes to go which would have hit the over. I thought a was gonna push was certain, but Tulane couldn’t be denied on their final drive. They marched down the field on an eight-play 81-yard drive to put this one in the win column for me. The fun didn’t stop there as the Green Wave recovered an onside kick and for a second had a chance to score and win the game; however, they turned it over on downs and the Sooners survived.
I don’t get PAC 12 network, so couldn’t watch Oregon/Fresno. The game was tied at 24 with three minutes to play, and I was dreaming about OT. I still needed fourteen points, but another reason I love betting overs in college is that no matter how bad it’s looking if the game is close, there’s always the chance of overtime. It was over when Oregon QB Anthony Brown broke a 30-yard touchdown yard run to put the Ducks up by a score. That was all she wrote and the under cashed in Eugene.
As expected, Bama came out and marched straight down the field. Bryce Young was cool, calm, collected and John Metchie III is going to be a problem for defenses all year long. The Alabama defense is either great or Miami’s offense is trash. Will Anderson is a MONSTER for the Crimson Tide D; the dude is basically un-blockable and in the backfield every other play. What can be said about Miami’s defense? I mean, my niece isn’t even two and she tackles better than them.
The Hurricanes took the first drive of the second half all the way down the field only to get stuffed on 4th and goal from the 1. That was the moment the over died. A 94-yard TD pass three plays later by the Tide rejuvenated my optimism though. Because in my twisted, junkie mind that cancels out the near-miss by Miami as it’s basically the same possession. Only needing points late in the 4th, the Bama D picks off a pass and takes it back to the Miami 10 yard line. It’s a Christmas miracle!! BUT not so fast my friend as there is a flag on the return, that backs the Tide up to the 40. They bring in the backup QB, run the ball three straight times, then punt away any chance at popping the over. Another near miss but I will not be deterred.
Then came my lock of the week on Monday night. I had no doubt in my mind that the Ole Miss defense would be much improved; however, it never crossed my mind they’d shut out the Cardinals in the first half. The Rebel’s defense was flying all over the field, and if that is something that can be replicated, this team is gonna be scary. Matt Corral asserted himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the country as he looked better than Rattler and maybe just a step behind Alabama’s Bryce Young. This game didn’t do anything to deter me from Ole Miss overs in the future though as I am confident, the Ole Miss and Tulane in a couple of weeks will go over 100.
The slate this weekend might be GARBAGE, but I must get this train back on the tracks. So, without further ado, here are my favorite overs for Week 2.
Kansas @ Coastal Carolina (O/U 52.5)
The Jayhawks are a program in disarray, and Coastal is looking to prove to the country that they are a force to be reckoned with. These two teams met last year with the Chanticleers winning on the road 38-23, and with Coastal scoring 52 points in their opener, I am loving this matchup. Grayson McCall and the Coastal offense racked up over 600 yards in the opener against The Citadel, and I don’t see Kansas slowing them down one bit. The Jayhawks are bad, buddy. They played a 17-14 pillow fight against South Dakota in the opener, but they should be able to muster a couple of touchdowns against this defense. I mean they are a Big XII team for crying out loud. Coastal cruises 49-14.
UTEP @ Boise State (O/U 56.5)
Boise went on the road last week and blew a big first-half lead at UCF, before losing 36-31 on a late TD. A big issue for the Broncos against the Knights was their inability to convert on third down (4-24 on the night, yuck). I expect them to have a lot more success against an undermanned UTEP squad. The Miners offense, on the other hand, has two games under their belt already, averaging 34 points per contest, albeit against inferior opponents. The matchup with Boise will be a major step up in competition; however, I think we will see a bit of a track meet develop on the blue turf, with the Broncos winning 47-20.
Liberty @ Troy (O/U 61)
This game has the potential to be the highest-scoring of the entire weekend. Hugh Freeze has a history of exciting, high-scoring offenses, and this Flames team is just that. Malik Willis is a true dual-threat and probably the best QB no one, well the general public at least, has ever heard of. They will score points, pure and simple. Troy destroyed Southern in their opener, hanging 55 points on the scoreboard while rolling up over 450 yards of total offense in the process. Honestly, that’s really all I need to know, both offenses are capable of big numbers, and I don’t trust either defense. Flames win on the road 41-37.
Missouri @ Kentucky (O/U 56)
Kentucky was a trendy preseason pick by many to win 8 or more games, and they did nothing to quiet that noise in their opener as they beat ULM 45-10. The Wildcat offense is under new leadership after they poached their new OC Liam Cohen from the LA Rams. Also new in Lexington are QB Will Levis and WR Wan’Dale Robinson (both transfers), who hooked up five times for 155 yards and two scores in week one. Missouri will be a step up in competition no doubt but seeing as they gave up 24 points to Central Michigan last week (scored 34 on offense), I believe they will have a difficult time slowing down Levis and company. Kentucky gets it done at home 37-24.
Hawaii @ Oregon State (O/U 64)
The Rainbow Warriors have played two games thus far and are giving up a whopping 39.5 points per game. I wouldn’t think much of it considering they played UCLA in the opener, but last week they gave up 35 to Portland State, who I didn’t even know had a football team. The Beavers can’t seem to decide on a QB, but one thing I am sure of, Hawaii’s defense will give up plenty of points no matter who is slinging the rock for OSU. This game has the potential to be a classic Pac-12 after a dark shootout, and I have the Beavers winning in the end 38-31.