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Ryan’s Ramble: Rock you like a hurricane

Hurricane Delta brings in some sketchy weather to college football this weekend, but the show goes on!

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 in college football was full of upsets; 8 top 25 teams were taken down with the majority of those games being upsets. Some of the most notable games include Oklahoma falling to Iowa State 37-30, Memphis losing 30-27 to SMU in Dallas, and of course TCU beating Texas (again) 33-31.

There were some more surprising upsets as well, such as #11 UCF losing at home against Tulsa and #16 Mississippi State falling to Arkansas at home 21-14 after a huge win against LSU in their season opener. My bad on that one… who would have thought the Bulldogs would only put up two touchdowns against Arkansas.

We had a hot start last week going 6-1 on the first seven picks, but things slowed down towards the end of the night to finish with an 8-5-1 overall record. This marks the 4th weekend in a row with a positive overall record, it’s almost like I’m allergic to being in the red at this point. We’ve got a 10 game cushion now with an overall record of 28-18-1, so as long as I don’t completely bomb the next few weeks, we’re on pace for a solid year.

There are some BIG games this week; 4 top-25 matchups including a top-10 showdown between Miami (FL) and Clemson. In other words, it’s going to be a fun weekend. Outside of the top-25, some of the matchups I’m most excited for this Saturday are Mississippi State vs Kentucky as well as the Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma; a must win situation for both Big 12 teams.

Anyways, enough about the matchups, let’s get into some picks:

All odds are taken from Friday, 2:00 p.m. CST based on DraftKings sportsbook

Game 1: Florida @ Texas A&M

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Florida -6.5, A&M +6.5
  • O/U: 58.5
  • Money Line: Florida -245, A&M +200

Pick: Florida -6, Florida team total over 31.5

Why: Personally, I think A&M is overrated this year, but it seems to be a trend in the media to wish the Aggies were an elite program. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t a bad team, but I don’t think they can hang with the big boys in the SEC, proven by their 52-24 loss against Alabama last week. Florida had been quiet for a few years, but with quarterback Kyle Trask at the helm, I can confidently say the Gators are back baby. Through two games, Trask has 684 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, and a ridiculously good QBR of 196.4. I know it’s only been 2 games, but these are Heisman contender stats Trask is producing. The Aggie defense gave up 52 points last week and Florida is averaging 44.5 PPG so far this season, 31.5 is nothing. I’m backing the Gators to light up the scoreboard in College Station and to cover the spread of -6.5.

Game 2: LSU @ Missouri

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m CST
  • Spread: LSU -14.5, Mizzou +14.5
  • O/U: 54
  • Money Line: LSU -715, Mizzou +500

Pick: Over 54

Why: A broadcaster’s worst nightmare: the Tigers vs the Tigers. We all know LSU is capable of putting up points, and in their third game this season I believe Mizzou is due for a solid offensive outing. Mizzou is running an interesting offensive scheme, currently rotating between quarterbacks Conner Bazelak and a name we all recognize: Shawn Robinson. This game was originally scheduled to be played in Death Valley, but due to Hurricane Delta concerns, the game was moved to Missouri. Normally, this is something that could have an affect on a teams performance, having to travel last minute for an away game, but LSU is “built different” as the kids say. Even though they looked rough in game 1 against Miss. State, the offense still put up 34 points. I’ve got faith in coach Orgeron, back this to be a high scoring affair.

Game 3: Texas @ Oklahoma

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m.
  • Spread: Oklahoma -2.5, Texas +2.5
  • O/U: 72.5
  • Money Line: Oklahoma -135, Texas +115

Pick: Oklahoma -2.5

Why: Don’t let the “@” fool you, this game is being played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas as usual. It’s not like the Sooners to lose two games in a row, let alone three in a row against their biggest rival. Oklahoma has won 4 out of the last 5 meetings against Texas, and I expect that trend to continue this weekend. I know the Sooners haven’t looked up to their standards this year, but they’ve got a talented young quarterback that is still learning, and this is his chance to prove himself. The over/under line for this game is absolutely absurd, 72.5 points, are you kidding me? This might be the highest O/U total I’ve seen all season. Last time I doubted a Longhorn over was against Texas Tech where they ended up scoring 119 combined points, so who knows. Texas always has the glamorous ranking (for some reason), but through three games the Longhorns have shown they aren’t as dominant as the media anticipated. 6 out of the last 7 Red River Rivalry games have finished as a one possession game, this is going to be another close one but I think the Sooners will win by at least a field goal.

Game 4: NC State @ Virginia

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m.
  • Spread: Virginia -7.5, NC State +7.5
  • O/U: 58.5
  • Money Line: Virginia -275, NC State +220

Pick: Over 58.5

Why: First things first, let’s take note of these teams combined scores from their previous games. NC State’s game totals include 59, 69, and 87, while Virginia has posted combined scores of 58 and 64. I am a big fan of the matchup between Virginia’s pass offense and the Wolfpack’s struggling secondary. The Wolfpack has allowed a whopping 8.9 yards per pass attempt this year, and two of their starting cornerbacks are out for the season. On the other side of the ball, NC State running back Zonovan Knight is averaging an impressive 6.9 yards per carry. Not good knews for the Cavelier’s defense that lost their top defensive lineman, Eli Hanback, to graduation, but it’s great news for bettors taking the over.

Game 5: Duke @ Syracuse

  • Kickoff: 11:30 a.m.
  • Spread: Duke -1, Syracuse +1
  • O/U: 53
  • Money Line: Duke -115, Syracuse +105

Pick: Syracuse +105

Why: I don’t say this often, but I think the oddsmakers got this one wrong. Duke has looked atrocious for the majority of the season thus far while on the other hand Syracuse has been inconsistent, yet showed real potential; especially against Georgia Tech last weekend. The Orange were 7.5 underdogs last week but came away with a 17 point victory at home. Which brings up another point, Syracuse is a different team when playing in the Carrier Dome, a better team. I think the big difference in this game will come down to who wins the turnover game, which has been a weak spot for the Blue Devils having 8 interceptions through their first 4 games. I’m backing Syracuse to continue their momentum from last week and get the slight upset win at home.

Game 6: Central Arkansas @ Arkansas State

  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m.
  • Spread: Arkansas State -15, UCA +15
  • O/U: 63
  • Money Line: Arkansas State -670, UCA +450

Pick: Under 63

Why: You’ll learn here in a second that taking the under this week is a bit of a trend. I realize Arkansas State has only posted under 63 combined points once this season, and that was only by 2 points (61), but the weather forecast is just too much to ignore. The forecast calls for light rain during the game on top of a 16 mph wind. Arkansas State is definitely a pass-first team, so it will be interesting to see how the Red Wolves will play in the rain. Not to mention, Arkansas State only put up 23 points against Coastal Carolina last week, not exactly what you’d call an “elite” defensive unit. This is going to be a sweaty one, but this is the first of multiple unders I am taking this week.

Game 7: Texas State @ Troy

  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m.
  • Spread: Troy -7, TX State +7
  • O/U: 60
  • Money Line: Troy -250, TX State +200

Pick: Under 60

Why: My main reasoning for taking the under is because of the bad weather stemming from Hurricane Delta. The weather forecast says it will be humid and mostly cloudy throughout the game, with an intense 14 mph wind blowing. High winds call for a lot of running plays and potentially missed field goals, perfect ingredients for the under. Both teams offenses have been up and down this year, and both teams are coming off of a bye week. For that reason, I expect these teams to come out to a slow start, and if the weather keeps put all game, we’ll be in the clear.

Game 8: Eastern Carolina @ South Florida

  • Kickoff: 6:00 p.m.
  • Spread: USF -6, ECU +6
  • O/U: 57
  • Money Line: USF -225, ECU +180

Pick: Under 57

Why: I’m taking this under for similar reasons as the previous pick, Hurricane Delta bringing in bad weather. ECU have had multiple high scoring affairs so far this season, but in their defence one of those games was against UCF’s electric offense. The Pirates first two games combined for 78 and 79 points, going 2-0 on the over. Clearly that means they are due for a low scoring game right… right? Luckily for the Pirate defense, USF’s offense has been horrible so far this year scoring a total of only 34 points; 27 of those points came in one game against The Citadel. Similar to the TX State and Troy matchup, I am expecting this game to be a battle in the trenches with more running plays than passing. Take advantage of modern weather technology and back the under, even if it’s not as “fun” as the over.

Game 9: Mississippi State @ Kentucky

  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.
  • Spread: Kentucky -3, Miss. State +3
  • O/U: 57.5
  • Money Line: Kentucky -150, Miss. State +125

Pick: Mississippi State team total over 27.5

Why: Mike Leach redemption! Last week the Bulldogs let me down by only putting up 14 points, but fear not, Mike Leach and crew are going to bounce back offensively this week in Lexington; I can feel it!. The numbers are definitely in Mississippi State’s favor for this matchup. For example, Kentucky currently ranks dead last in the country for passing success rate on defense, while on the other hand Miss. State ranks first in the country for passing rate at 75.9%. The air raid has finally made its way into the SEC, and I couldn’t be happier. Of the 10 red zone drives Kentucky’s defense has faced this season, they gave up 8 touchdowns. 27.5 is a bit low for the team total, I’m backing this pick with confidence, Leach will have his offense back to tip top shape in no time.

Hammer time pick of the week: Mississippi State team total over 27.5

  • After an offensive let down last week, I’m putting all my eggs in the Mike Leach basket. Bulldogs quarterback K.J. Costello is going to have a huge game - mark my words. HAMMER this bad boy.

Waluigi’s why not pick(s) of the week: Auburn -14, Marshall -7

  • Auburn is looking to bounce back this week after a tough loss to Georgia, meanwhile Marshall is facing a WKU team that lost to Liberty at home as well as only scored 20 points against a terrible MTSU team. Enough said, back the favorites.

Purple Rain parlay of the week: Syracuse +105, Georgia -560, TCU -360, Miss. State +3 (+475 odds)

  • Even though we haven’t won the majority of these parlay’s I just want to give a big thanks to Prince for keeping things vibey every weekend as I bring you these picks. Couldn’t do it without you buddy.
  • Risk 1 unit to win 4.75

I am sending positive vibes to you and all of your college football picks this weekend. #BeatTheBookie

List View:

  • Florida -6
  • Florida (tt) o31.5
  • LSU @ Mizzou o54
  • Oklahoma -2.5
  • NC State @ Virginia o58.5
  • Syracuse +105
  • UCA @ Arkansas State u63
  • TX State @ Troy u60
  • ECU @ USF u57
  • Miss. State (tt) o27.5, Hammer time pick of the week
  • Auburn -14, Waluigi’s why not pick of the week
  • Marshall -7, Waluigi’s why not pick of the week
  • Parlay: Syracuse +105, Georgia -560, TCU -360, Miss. State +3 (+475 odds) — Purple Rain parlay of the week