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Ryan’s Ramble: Paradise City

It’s a very full Saturday of college football action!

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last week wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t the worst. 8-9 is something we can work with, my bad on that Penn State hammer pick… but at the same time what kind of bologna was that? Props to Indiana for getting the job done in crunch time, but man Penn State really pulled an Atlanta Falcons; I was sweating through that entire 4th quarter and overtime.

In week 8, we saw 6 top-25 teams fall, even though 4 of them were to fellow ranked opponents, it’s still fun to see the rankings get shaken up a bit. I’m surprised I haven’t made any jabs at SMU for their absurdly high ranking last week at #16, but now they have given me a reason too. The ponies got exposed against the best team they’ve faced all year. I’m telling you, this Bearcat team has the potential to go undefeated and give the committee some headaches down the road.

Why aren’t more people talking about UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel? This kid is slangin’ the pigskin like no tomorrow, averaging 435.6 passing yards per game. Gabriel’s over hit last week, taking us to a perfect 1-0 on the year for player prop picks — incredible. With the way he’s playing, I might just take every over the sportsbooks throw out for his passing yards from here on out.

The Purple Rain parlay of the week has stunk, only winning once, but hey, at least it was a 5 unit profit on the win. I love ya Prince, but the vibes just aren’t there right now. I’ve made the executive decision to hereby change the Purple Rain parlay of the week to the Paradise City parlay of the week — no further questions.

Guns N’ Roses was always my favorite band growing up, and when these parlays hit, I feel like I’m in paradise; it’s a perfect fit. Hopefully our man Slash can bring us some good luck this week because we’ve got a big one.

We’ve got a few Big 10 matchups to watch for this week including a top-25 showdown between Ohio State and Penn State and a battle for the infamous Paul Bunyon trophy in Michigan vs Michigan State.

Let’s see who has made my card for week 9:

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

Game 1: Purdue @ Illinois

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Purdue -7.5, Illinois +7.5
  • O/U: 57.5
  • Money Line: Purdue -275, Illinois +210

Pick: Purdue -7.5, Under 57.5

Why: Even though Rondale Moore hasn’t suited up for the Boilermakers yet this year, not even in practice at the moment, they still managed to beat a tough Iowa team to open Big 10 play. Sadly, we won’t see him again this weekend, but that adds some value to this spread. With Moore in the lineup, I wouldn’t be surprised if this line was up to -10 on Purdue, he is the definition of an impact player. They did it last week, they can do it again this week against a measly Illinois squad. There are 2 reasons for taking the under in this matchup: 1. Illinois’ offense is no bueno. 2. The weather forecast has the wind at 16 mph at kickoff, a little too high for my liking. I’m expecting both teams to play a run-first offense and chew the clock out. This one’s fun to say: back the Boilermakers.

Game 2: Wake Forest @ Syracuse

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: WF -14, Syracuse +14
  • O/U: 60
  • Money Line: WF -620, Syracuse +420

Pick: Wake Forest -14

Why: Remember when I said Syracuse is a different team in the Carrier Dome? Well… I was dead wrong, at least in regards to 2020. The Demon Deacons are trending in the right direction after starting the year 0-2, they have won their last three games by an average of 25.3 points, one of those wins being against a ranked Virginia Tech. Wake Forest has a solid bend-don’t-break defense this year. They snagged three interceptions last week against the Hokies and held them to only six points in four red zone visits. Syracuse’s offense, other than last week (somehow), has looked pretty rough so I expect the Wake Forest defense to continue performing well.

Game 3: Iowa State @ Kansas

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Iowa State -27.5, Kansas +27.5
  • O/U: 50.5
  • Money Line: Iowa State -5000, Kansas +1600

Pick: Iowa State -27.5

Why: Look I realize 27.5 is a lot of points, but Kansas is losing games by an average of 30 points, and Iowa State ain’t no cupcake. This should be an easy game for the Cyclones, back them in a blowout.

Game 4: Temple @ Tulane

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Tulane -5, Temple +5
  • O/U: 59
  • Money Line: Tulane -205, Temple +165

Pick: Over 59

Why: Temple has played three games, and have gone 2-0-1 against the over. Tulane has played six games, and have gone 5-1 against the over, only losing the one by 0.5 points. I’m no rocket scientist, but I hypothesize that we should take the over on this one. Both teams have been putting up big points week in and week out, and I don’t expect that to change in this one. Back another high scoring affair for the Green Wave.

Game 5: Memphis @ Cincinnati

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Cincinnati -7, Memphis +7
  • O/U: 57
  • Money Line: Cincinnati -230, Memphis +180

Pick: Cincinnati -230

Why: Like I said previously in the article, Cincinnati has the potential to go undefeated this season, but the Tigers will be one of their toughest tests of the year. The Bearcats looked dominant in their 42-13 win at SMU last week, making a big statement on the road. Note that SMU is the same team that gave Memphis their only loss of the season thus far, but this one won’t be a blowout like last week. I like the Bearcats at -7, I really do, but Memphis is a team that’s hungry for wins, they weren’t expecting to lose so early on in the year, but who is. Taking the Cincy money line is the safer pick, I think they can for sure come away with the win at home this week regardless of the margin of victory.

Game 6: Notre Dame @ Georgia Tech

  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: ND -20, GT +20
  • O/U: 58.5
  • Money Line: ND -1667, GT +850

Pick: Notre Dame -20, Over 58.5

Why: I had my doubts about the Fighting Irish after their touchdownless performance against Louisville a couple weeks back, but they really turned things around last Saturday with a 45-3 blowout win on the road against Pittsburgh. As for Georgia Tech, we all saw the embarrassment that was the Clemson game, and last week wasn’t much better falling to BC by 21. I am a big fan of Georgia Tech’s betting trends heading into this one, through six games, the Yellow Jackets are only 2-4 against the spread (both of those wins we picked), and are one of the most profitable teams in all of college football this year against the over sitting at a 5-1 record. Notre Dame ranks 8th nationally in creating havoc on defense, which is perfect for us considering Georgia Tech has churned out 3 turnovers a game so far. Take Notre Dame in another high-scoring blowout win.

Game 7: Ole Miss @ Vanderbilt

  • Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Ole Miss -17.5, Vandy +17.5
  • O/U: 64
  • Money Line: Ole Miss -1115, Vandy +540

Pick: Under 64

Why: Ole Miss’s first few games have definitely inflated their over/under lines since then. Their last three O/Us have been above 70, only hitting on one of them against Bama. Even LSU — one of my favorite teams to pick the over on — couldn’t hit the over against Vandy. The fact of the matter is that the Commodores have struggled tremendously to score this season, averaging only 8.6 points per game thus far. Even if Ole Miss blows them out, this Vandy offense will do no favors for the over. I can’t rely on both of these offenses, which is why I’m riding with the under.

Game 8: Texas @ Oklahoma State

  • Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: OK. State -3.5, Texas +3.5
  • O/U: 59
  • Money Line: OK. State -167, Texas +133

Pick: Oklahoma State -3.5

Why: Oklahoma State proved themselves worthy of their first place standing in the Big 12 last week with a close win against Iowa State. I’m honestly surprised the oddsmakers have this one so close, personally I would have set this line at at least OK. State -6, but what do I know. Oklahoma State’s defense has looked pretty good so far, but I’m curious to see how it holds up against the 4th highest scoring offense in the country in the Longhorns. Even though Texas is bound to put up some points, I like the Cowboys trio of Chuba Hubbard, Spencer Sanders, and Tylan Wallace to get the job done at home. For the 13,837th time of the year, Texas is NOT back, hammer the Pokes to cover the spread at home this Saturday.

Game 9: Missouri @ Florida

  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Florida -13.5, Mizzou +13.5
  • O/U: 61.5
  • Money Line: Florida -590, Mizzou +375

Pick: Over 61.5

Why: Florida has one of the most explosive offenses in the country this season, mostly thanks to Heisman contending quarterback Kyle Trask. Through three games, the Gators are 3-0 against the over and average 43.3 points per game; not too shabby. Last time Mizzou played an offense remotely compatible with Florida’s was a few weeks back against LSU, a game that ended 45-41 beating the over by 33. Hear me out, Kyle Trask is getting less media attention than he deserves, and because of it the line for Trask to win the Heisman is at +1600; some juicy odds with high value behind it. Back the Gators to light up the scoreboard yet again.

Game 10: Arkansas @ Texas A&M

  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: A&M -14, Arkansas +14
  • O/U: 54
  • Money Line: A&M -670, Arkansas +430

Pick: Arkansas +14

Why: Other than a 27-point loss to Georgia in their season opener, Arkansas has looked significantly improved since last season and they have another great opportunity to prove it this weekend. Even though they lost to Georgia and Auburn, they have managed to go 4-0 against the spread which is all we’re looking at here. Don’t get me wrong A&M is a good team, I mean shoot they beat Florida, but are they really worthy of a top 10 ranking? I’m not too sure about that. I’m not saying the Razorbacks will win, but I think they have enough in ‘em to keep things closer than anticipated.

Game 11: Oklahoma @ Texas Tech

  • Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Oklahoma -15.5, Texas Tech +15.5
  • O/U: 67
  • Money Line: Oklahoma -715, Texas Tech +430

Pick: Texas Tech +15.5

Why: Late night kickoff. Halloween night. Jones AT&T Stadium. The Sooners are in a spooky position this Saturday night. Weird things happen in Lubbock, I have a feeling this will be a fun one to watch, keep your eye out for this matchup.

Game 12: North Carolina @ Virginia

  • Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: UNC -7.5, Virginia +7.5
  • O/U: 61.5
  • Money Line: UNC -250, Virginia +200

Pick: UNC -7.5

Why: Is this a dream? UNC is only favored to win by 7.5? I know I said that last week about Penn State… but I feel even more confident about this one. This doesn’t always mean anything, though it is worth noting, but UNC just dominated NC State 48-21, a team that Virginia lost to by 17 at home. Sam Howell ranks 13th in the country for EPA per passing attempt, and the Tar Heel offense is 6th nationally in percentage of plays that go for 20 yards or more (10.1%). This week will be a first for Ryan’s Ramble as I am adding this line to my cards for a double whammy of HAMMER picks.

Game 13: San Diego State @ Utah State

  • Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: SDSU -8.5, Utah State +8.5
  • O/U: 43.5
  • Money Line: SDSU -335, Utah State +225

Pick: San Diego State -8.5

Why: What better way to round off my card than some late night Mountain West action? San Diego looked dominant in their opening 34-6 win against UNLV, while on the other hand Utah State struggled tremendously against a good Boise State team losing 42-13. I expect the Aggies to have a slow start to the season in general, having to adjust to a new quarterback after losing Jordan Love to the NFL draft is a tough task. I am tempted by this over/under, being that it is set so low, but the oddsmakers have got to know something on this one so I am fading. Back the Aztecs to finish off a (hopefully) wonderful day of college football picks by covering the spread.

Hammer time pick(s) of the week: Oklahoma State -3.5, UNC -7.5

  • These lines are gifts from the oddsmaking gods, take advantage of it while you can because if these teams end up winning big, their future odds might be inflated. For the first time in Ryan’s Ramble history I can proudly say: DOUBLE WHAMMY HAMMER TIME.

Waluigi’s why not pick(s) of the week: UAB -13, Iowa -2.5, Michigan State @ Michigan o51

  • There were way too many games I liked for me to fully analyze each one. So I grant you my first instinct, gut reaction, 0 thought implemented picks this week. A real roll of the dice if you will.

Paradise City parlay of the week: Wake Forest -620, SMU -450, Notre Dame @ Georgia Tech o58.5, Purdue -275, Coastal Carolina -3.5 (+600 odds)

  • Normally I would stray away from changing the parlay’s title midway through the season, but the vibes just weren’t there; and if I have learned anything in my time as a sports bettor, it’s that you always ride with your vibes. Alex Rose, Slash, do us the honors — take me to Paradise City and cash this parlay!
  • For those of you that remember the infamous 2016 Alamo bowl, I’m hoping to pull a Gary Patterson here with the halftime switch.

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

List View:

  • Purdue -7.5
  • Purdue @ Illinois u57.5
  • Wake Forest -14
  • Iowa State -27.5
  • Temple @ Tulane o59
  • Cincinnati -230
  • Notre Dame -20
  • Notre Dame @ Georgia Tech o58.5
  • Ole Miss @ Vanderbilt u64
  • OK. State -3.5, Hammer time pick of the week
  • Mizzou @ Florida o61.5
  • Arkansas +14
  • Texas Tech +15.5
  • UNC -7.5, Hammer time pick of the week
  • San Diego State -8.5
  • UAB -13, why not pick of the week
  • Iowa -2.5, why not pick of the week
  • Michigan State @ Michigan o51, why not pick of the week
  • Parlay: Wake Forest -620, SMU -450, Notre Dame @ Georgia Tech o58.5, Purdue -275, Coastal Carolina -3.5 (+600 odds)