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Ryan’s Ramble: Hungry Like the Wolf...pack

Ryan’s Ramble is back and ready to hunt for the best lines & odds in college football.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was a great week to bet the over all across the board. The over went 19-9-1 across all games in week 6. Some of the most notable high-scoring affairs include Texas vs Oklahoma with 98 combined points, Virginia Tech and UNC breaking triple digits at 101, and Alabama vs Ole Miss piling up 111 points.

A top-5 team was taken down last week as #4 Florida fell 41-38 in College Station after a tremendous 4th quarter effort from Texas A&M to set up a game-winning field goal. Even though the Gators lost, I’m still hot on this offense; though I’ll have to wait a week before I can take another Florida team total over.

There is a fun little conspiracy going around the college football betting community: Did Clemson have the over? Of course this is just for jokes, but it was a little strange that the Tigers continued to push for the endzone, even running hurry-up offense, while up by 25 points in the final minute of the game. The combined scores was at 59, and the O/U closed at 60 in the majority of sportsbooks. It really seemed like the Tigers were pushing for those extra points, but I guess we’ll never know.

If you had money on the Arkansas money line last week, it would only be fair for the SEC to owe you some kind of compensation after that ridiculous officiating. The Razorbacks were up 28-27 with under a minute on the clock, Auburn drove down the field to get in field goal range, but when Bo Nix went to spike the ball and stop the clock, he fumbled the snap. The Razorbacks had an opportunity to recover the ball, but for some unexplainable reason the Ref’s deemed there was no clear recovery in time, and Auburn got to take the game-winning field goal after all.

We are through six weeks of college football, which means it’s time to “take a step back” (shoutout Gary) and review Ryan’s Ramble’s overall record through weeks 4-6.

Weeks 1-3

  • Straight picks: 11-11
  • Hammer time pick of the week: 2-1
  • Why not pick of the week: 1-3

Week 4

  • Straight Picks: 7-2
  • Hammer time pick of the week: 0-1
  • Why not pick of the week: 2-0

Week 5

  • Straight Picks: 6-5-1
  • Hammer time pick of the week: 1-0
  • Why not pick of the week: 2-0

Week 6

  • Straight Picks: 5-5
  • Hammer time pick of the week: 0-1
  • Why not pick of the week: 1-1

Overall Record Weeks 1 through 6:

  • Hammer time pick of the week: 3-3
  • Why not pick of the week: 6-4
  • Total record across all picks: 34-24-1

A 34-24-1 record gives us a win percentage of 58.6%. Not too shabby. Ever since week 1, my mindset has stayed “slowly but surely” as we head deeper and deeper into the green. Something to remember: having a 2-9 week is just as possible as going 9-2, so I am always on my toes.

I feel like I’ve rambled enough, I won’t make you wait any longer. Here are my picks for week 7 in college football:

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

Game 1: Kentucky @ Tennessee

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Tennessee -6.5, Kentucky +6.5
  • O/U: 45.5
  • Money Line: Tennessee -240, Kentucky +190

Pick: Kentucky +6.5, Over 45.5

Why: We get a two for one special on the Wildcats this weekend, taking both the over and the underdog spread. Tennessee seems to be another team like Texas that the media wishes was good every year based on the program’s history. Well, news flash: it ain’t 1998 anymore. If you read my blogs, you know I was big on Mike Leach’s air raid offense in the SEC, that is until Kentucky completely shut them down. The Wildcats held Mississippi State to 0 offensive points, though the Bulldogs scored a safety on defense. That’s the same Miss. State team that put up 44 against defending national champs LSU. I don’t think we will see a repeat performance from the Wildcat defense, but it should be enough to keep them within 6 points. Back Big Blue.

Game 2: Auburn @ South Carolina

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Auburn -3, S. Carolina +3
  • O/U: 52
  • Money Line: Auburn -150, S. Carolina +120

Pick: Over 52

Why: Auburn is coming off a sweaty win last weekend against Arkansas, barely sneaking by with a last-second field goal. They are going to come out strong looking to gain some confidence back after nearly falling to 1-2, and so will the Gamecocks. South Carolina missed out on their last opportunity to take down a ranked opponent, but this time they are playing at home and things could be different. For this pick, it doesn’t necessarily matter who does better than the other, as long as both teams come out fiery and put some points on the board, everything will be peaches and cream. Another way to think about it, Auburn averages 21.6 PPG, South Carolina averages 35.3 PPG — 21 + 35 is over 52; you can’t argue with science folks.

Game 3: Army @ UTSA

  • Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Army -8, UTSA +8
  • O/U: 49.5
  • Money Line: Army -315, UTSA +240

Pick: Under 49.5

Why: Rule #1 of college football betting: always bet the under when a military academy is playing, trust in the triple-option. Unders in Army games are an attractive 4-1 this season and that’s a trend I expect to continue through week 6. Last week Army had a combined 23 points in their game vs The Citadel. We all know the Black Knights are going to run the ball, literally every play, so the clock is going to get chewed up in a heartbeat. Typically I would be tempted to take Army -8 in this matchup but after last weeks 14-9 win against The Citadel, I’m skeptical. Yes, Army has four wins, but those wins have come against teams with a combined 1-16 record so there is a bit of an illusion. On top of that, UTSA is 3-0 against the spread as underdogs this year, and ironically 0-2 as favorites. The safe pick here is the under. Dear Army, thank you for your service, and thank you for running the ball.

Game 4: Louisville @ Notre Dame

  • Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Notre Dame -17, Louisville +17
  • O/U: 62
  • Money Line: Notre Dame -700, Louisville +480

Pick: Notre Dame (1H) -8.5

Why: I would feel a bit more comfortable with this line at +8, so if it drops there anytime after this is published, snag it while you can. Louisville hasn’t looked great this season, losing three games in a row after winning their season opener. Not to mention that the Cardinals lost to Georgia Tech by 19 points… The Fighting Irish currently ranks 12th in passing success, averaging 8.1 yards per attempt. On top of that, running back Kyren Williams is averaging 7.5 yards per carry with over 100 yards receiving as well. We saw it when they played Miami (FL), and we’ll see it again this week, Louisville’s defense won’t be able to contain an explosive offense like this. I think this might be a blowout, so I’m taking the first half spread in case Notre Dame decides to pull their starters later in the game, which would give Louisville an opportunity to cover the full game spread.

Game 5: Duke @ NC State

  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: NC State -4.5, Duke +4.5
  • O/U: 59
  • Money Line: NC State 195, Duke +155

Pick: NC State -4.5

Why: Even though NC State is 3-1, they have been the underdog in every game up until this week where they are favored with good reason. The Wolfpack is riding some momentum after two big road wins against #24 Pittsburgh and a solid Virginia team, and this week they are back home. Let’s take a look at how these two teams fared against fellow ACC opponents shall we? Duke lost by 18 against Virginia, and NC State beat them by 17. If we played this logic down to the T, NC State should win by 35, but sadly that’s not how things work. They definitely won’t win by 5 touchdowns, but the Wolfpack should be able to at least cover the spread of 4.5. If possible, look for this line to drop to -4 for a slightly safer play.

Game 6: UCF @ Memphis

  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: UCF -2.5, Memphis +2.5
  • O/U: 75
  • Money Line: UCF -140, Memphis +115

Pick: UCF -2.5

Why: No chance that the REAL 2017 national champions will fall 2 games in a row, especially after being upset by Tulsa. In fact, UCF losing last week benefited us this week as if they had won, the Knights would likely be favored in this matchup by at least a touchdown. -2.5 is a blessing, especially against a Memphis team who is yet to cover a spread this season. The Tigers are giving up 386.5 passing yards per game thus far, which isn’t exactly a favorable matchup against Dillon Gabriel who averages 385 passing YPG. This could potentially end up being another classic UCF shootout breaking 80 combined points, but that’s not something I am willing to bet on. UCF -2.5 on the other hand, is something I’ll take any day.

Game 7: Texas A&M @ Mississippi State

  • Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: A&M -5, Miss. State +5
  • O/U: 55.5
  • Money Line: A&M -205, Miss. State +165

Pick: Texas A&M -5, Over 55

Why: After Mississippi State’s offense just ripped my heart out last week by putting up only 2 points off a safety from their defense, I am fading the Bulldogs without question on Saturday. A&M is coming off a huge win against a top-5 opponent, Florida, and will need to win every game they can to continue competing for a shot at the SEC title. After a low-scoring season opener, the Aggies have posted combined scores of 76 and 79, they can obviously put up points. Mississippi State on the other hand averaged 8 PPG in their last two outings, pretty disappointing after beating LSU 44-34 in the season opener. Based on the last two weeks, A&M’s defense isn’t the greatest so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulldogs had a slight bounce back this week offensively. A&M is the better team on paper, and I think things will pan out as expected in Starkville this weekend. Back the Aggies and loads of points in this matchup.

Game 8: UNC @ Florida State

  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: UNC -13.5, FSU +13.5
  • O/U: 64
  • Money Line: UNC -480, FSU +360

Pick: UNC (1H) -7

Why: It’s been another dismal year thus far for the Seminoles, ever since the Jameis Winston era they haven’t had an elite team. They are a program trending in a downward direction while UNC is doing exactly the opposite. The Tar Heels went 2-9 just two years ago, 7-6 last year, and now are 3-0 and ranked 5th in the nation. Talk about improvement! Mack Brown has done an excellent job with the program, and the Tar Heels have too many offensive weapons for FSU to contain. Look for quarterback Sam Howell to have a big day against a lackluster Seminole defense. My reason for taking the first half line is because last week the Tar Heels scored 35 points in the first half alone, winning it by 21 points. This was the most first-half points by UNC since 2015; the year the Tar Heels finished 11-3. FSU really hasn’t shown anything extraordinary this year, in fact they lost the first half 21-14 against an FCS team at home… Back this pick with confidence.

Game 9: Georgia @ Alabama

  • Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Bama -4.5, Georgia +4.5
  • O/U: 58
  • Money Line: Bama -200, Georgia +145

Pick: Alabama -200

Why: This wouldn’t be a true Ryan’s Ramble without getting in on the game of the week! #2 Alabama and #3 Georgia face off in primetime; a game that is essentially a regular season playoff game. We’ve got one of the top offenses in the country lining up against one of the top defenses. It’s going to be a dogfight. I’m giving the edge to Bama’s offense, it’s nearly unstoppable. The key for the Crimson Tide this Saturday is going to be stopping 3rd down conversions on defense as they gave up 9/17 last week vs Ole Miss. Rather than taking the spread, I’m going to play it safe with a slightly larger play on the money line. In these kinds of games it could go either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a last-second field goal in our near future.

Game 10: Boston College @ Virginia Tech

  • Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: VA Tech -13, BC +13
  • O/U: 64.5
  • Money Line: VA Tech -500, BC +350

Pick: Boston College +13

Why: Boston College has been an underdog in three games this year, and in those games they have gone 3-0 against the spread. One of those covers includes a close 4-point loss to #5 UNC, a team that Virginia Tech lost to by 11. I’m not saying that means anything for the matchup, but it’s worthy of noting. This will be another battle of a high powered offense against a rock solid defense. The Hokies are averaging an impressive 42.7 PPG while on the other hand BC is allowing only 20.8 PPG on defense. I don’t think the Eagles will win, but they can certainly keep things competitive with the majority of the teams in the ACC and maybe even pull off an upset or two along the way.

Hammer time pick of the week: NC State -4.5

  • The Wolfpack is hot, hop on the bandwagon for as long as it lasts (cause it might be short lived) and HAMMER this line.

Waluigi’s why not pick(s) of the week: West Virginia -22.5, Marshall @ LA Tech u49

  • If Baylor can beat Kansas by 33, so can the Mountaineers.
  • More poor weather will be seen in the Marshall @ LA Tech game, might as well ride the trend while it lasts.

Purple Rain parlay of the week: Miami (FL) -500, Alabama -200, UNC -480, South Carolina +120 (+385 odds)

  • First three are locks, but the last is going to be a nail biter. I’ve got the Gamecocks pulling off the upset.
  • Risk 1 unit to win 3.85

Shoutout to Duran Duran for the influence behind this week’s title. Ride on Wolfpack.

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

List view:

  • Kentucky +6.5
  • Kentucky @ Tennessee o45.5
  • Auburn @ SC o52
  • Army @ UTSA u49.5
  • Notre Dame (1H) -8.5
  • NC State -4.5, Hammer time pick of the week
  • UCF -2.5
  • Texas A&M @ Miss. State @ o55
  • Texas A&M -5
  • UNC (1H) -7
  • Bama -200
  • Boston College +13
  • West Virginia -22.5, Waluigi’s why not pick of the week
  • Marshall @ LA Tech u49, Waluigi’s why not pick of the week