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Ryan’s Ramble: Over/Under Galore

Conference games are finally here! Let’s take a look at some of the most enticing matchups in week 4.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 in college football gave us some highly entertaining match ups such as Louisville vs Miami, Tulane vs Navy, and surprisingly close games such as Oklahoma State vs Tulsa.

Across the board, 6 out of the 19 games played finished as a one possession game. I realize some of those games were smaller schools such as Liberty vs Western Kentucky, but entertaining football is entertaining football. Some games to look out for this weekend include TCU vs Iowa State (of course), Syracuse vs Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh vs Louisville, and Tulane vs Southern Mississippi. I believe all of these matchups have the potential to go down to the wire, we are in for another great Saturday of college football.

Last Saturday was another solid day for Ryan’s Ramble, going 6-3 on straight picks including an absolute nail-biter win to hit the hammer time pick of the week. Quite literally one big toe away from losing the hammer time pick of the week by half a point. You could say I was just a tad nervous watching that 4th quarter. Shout out to Griffin Hebert for having gorilla glue hands and making a go-ahead touchdown grab on 4th down with 00:14 left on the clock.

Before I get into this week’s picks, I want to take a step back and look at the overall record for Ryan’s Ramble at this point in the season. I will be doing this sort of update every few weeks over the course of the season.

Week 1

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

Week 2

  • Straight picks: 4-3
  • Hammer time pick of the week: 1-0
  • Why not pick of the week: 1-0

Week 3

  • Straight picks: 6-3
  • Hammer time pick of the week: 1-0
  • Why not pick of the week: 0-2

Overall Record:

  • Straight picks: 11-11
  • Hammer time picks: 2-1
  • Why not picks: 1-3

Ah yes, the classic sports betting conundrum of breaking even after a decent amount of bets. Similar to Kenny Rogers legendary line “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,” as long as your big time hammer picks hit, you will be a-okay. Essentially, it’s important to know when to hammer a pick and when to place a small play.

As much as I would like to pretend week 1 didn’t happen, I have to learn from my slip ups to make sure I never, EVER repeat a 1-5 performance again. The last two weeks are trending upward and that’s a trend I’d like to continue as long as possible.

Enough about the past, let’s get into this week’s college football picks:

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

Game 1: Georgia Tech @ Syracuse

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: GT -8, Syracuse +8
  • O/U: 52.5
  • Money Line: GT -315, Syracuse +250

Pick: Syracuse +8, Under 52.5

Why: Syracuse has had some offensive struggles early on in the season, but to their credit they were lining up against top-25 teams North Carolina and Pittsburgh, so I think it’s fair to cut them some slack. Quarterback Tommy DeVito and crew are back home in the Carrier Dome for the first time this season facing off against the worst ranked defense they have seen thus far. This Georgia Tech team does look to be improved from last year, but the Yellow Jacket’s new offensive scheme could potentially hurt them in this matchup. One of Syracuse’s premier units is the secondary, home to FBS interception leader Andre Cisco, and I don’t expect Georgia Tech to find a lot of success through the air, especially with a first year quarterback under center playing in his first road game. Neither team has a great offense, which is why I am taking the under. I expect this to be a battle of ball control and a close game all the way through. I’m giving the Orange the edge to cover the spread in their home opener.

Game 2: Florida @ Ole Miss

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Florida -14, Ole Miss +14
  • O/U: 57.5
  • Money Line: Florida -715, Ole Miss +500

Pick: Over 57.5

Why: Lane Kiffen is back to make his return to the SEC coaching scene. Ole Miss already had a decently explosive offense last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rebels light up the scoreboards this year under Kiffen. How exactly will this offense look? No clue, it’s Lane Kiffen, anything could happen. Florida is led onto the field by veteran quarterback Kyle Trask, who ended his 2019 campaign with 5 straight games having over 250 passing yards. Scoring won’t be the issue for the Gators, it’s going to be containing the Rebel’s weapons on offense as well as the offensive line not cracking under pressure. Both offenses in this matchup have the capability of putting up big numbers, which is why I’m taking the over. I would also consider using Florida’s money line as a parlay piece this Saturday.

Game 3: Kansas State @ Oklahoma

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: OU -28, K-State +28
  • O/U: 60.5
  • Money Line: OU -5000, K-State +1500

Pick: Over 60.5

Why: Kansas State are facing their toughest opponent of the season just one game after being upset at home to Arkansas State. There is never a doubt that Oklahoma’s offense will put up points; K-State will need to pull out all the stops if they want to keep up. As a team favored to lose by 28 on the road, you don’t have much to lose. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some trickeration from the Wildcats to try and catch the Sooner defense off guard. Oklahoma is missing 5 defensive players due to COVID-19 complications, which is a bit of a break for the Wildcats. Last year’s matchup ended in a 48-41 shootout resulting in a K-State upset against the then 7th ranked Sooners. I don’t see any chance of an upset repeating this year, but I am looking forward to another shootout from some entertaining offenses.

Game 4: Florida International @ Liberty

  • Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Liberty -8, FIU +8
  • O/U: 60.5
  • Money Line: Liberty -300, FIU +240

Pick: Liberty -8

Why: Liberty looked awesome in their season opener. The Flames not only covered the spread of +14.5, they also pulled off an upset on the road against Western Kentucky (+440 odds). Frankly, WKU is a better team than FIU, at least on paper, so I am expecting Liberty to cover this spread with ease at home. Another thing to consider is that this is FIU’s first game of the year. As we’ve seen in previous weeks, teams opening their season against teams who have already played tend to do poorly. The Flames will look to showcase their dual-threat quarterback, Malik Willis, who put up 133 yards passing, 168 yards rushing, and 3 touchdowns a week ago. I don’t think the Golden Panthers will be able to contain Willis and the Liberty offense whatsoever, HAMMER this line.

Game 5: UTEP @ Louisiana-Monroe

  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: ULM -9.5, UTEP +9.5
  • O/U: 50
  • Money Line: ULM -360, UTEP +280

Pick: Under 50

Why: For some reason I just can’t get enough of these UTEP games, so here we go again. Other than a 59-3 thrashing against Texas in Austin, UTEP’s game totals have only reached 38 and 30 so far this season. Though LA-Monroe’s game totals have been slightly higher, the Warhwaks have only managed to put up 7 points in their season opener vs Army, and only 17 points against a Texas State team that allowed 51 to UTSA. It’s safe to say neither one of these offenses are what you would call “electric.” UTEP runs a run-heavy offensive scheme which is a perfect component to cash an under bet. The only thing that makes me nervous is the fact that LA-Monroe quarterback Colby Suits threw 53 passing attempts in their most recent game. Obviously it wasn’t enough to light up the scoreboard, but I am hoping UTEP will control the tempo of the game. This will be a very slow and boring game, which is exactly what we want for this pick.

Game 6: Alabama @ Missouri

  • Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Alabama -28, Mizzou +28
  • O/U: 56.5
  • Money Line: Alabama -5000, Mizzou +1500

Pick: Alabama (1H) -16.5

Why: Since 2012, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have been one of the most profitable teams for first half spreads, especially when favored to win the game by 4 scores. Ironically specific, I know, but stats are stats and this one is hard to ignore. When Bama is predicted to win the first half by double digits, but no more than 20, the Crimson Tide are an impressive 24-9. It’s a tough break for Mizzou to open their season against the 2nd ranked team in the country, and it comes at an unfortunate time as well for the Tigers. Mizzou is led by numerous new faces in the coaching staff, they’ve dealt with COVID-19 breakouts during camp restricting their practice time, and have still yet to reach a decision on their starting quarterback. The reason I’m not taking the full game spread is because Bama’s next game up is a much improved Texas A&M team, which means Saban will most likely play a safe game and pull the starters at some point after building a decent lead in the first half.

Game 7: Florida State @ Miami (FL)

  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Miami -12, FSU +12
  • O/U: 54
  • Money Line: Miami -560, FSU +400

Pick: Miami (1H) -6.5

Why: My main reasoning for taking the first half spread is because Florida State will be without head coach Mike Norvell for the game after he tested positive for COVID-19. I wouldn’t be surprised if Miami (FL) covered the full game spread, but i’m expecting a rough start from the Seminoles so the first half spread is the safer play. Miami’s offense is looking real good coming off a 47 point performance against Louisville last week. The Hurricanes offense currently ranks first in the nation for explosiveness. Florida State on the other hand didn’t have the best offensive performance in game 1, putting up only 13 points against Georgia Tech. Not to rag on the Yellow Jacket’s by any means, but Miami has the better defensive unit. If FSU couldn’t score against a Georgia Tech defense, expect a similar performance this Saturday in Miami.

Game 8: Troy @ BYU

  • Kickoff: 9:15 p.m. CST
  • Spread: BYU -14.5, Troy +14.5
  • O/U: 60.5
  • Money Line: BYU -625, Troy +450

Pick: Under 60.5

Why: Even though BYU put up an astounding 55 points in a blowout win against Navy, don’t let that distract you from the fact that they have one of the slowest paced offenses in the country. The Cougars averaged 31 seconds per play, which is great if you are looking to bet the under, but awful if you are a neutral fan just looking for some action. Troy does have a much faster paced offense than BYU, but the Trojans lack offensive efficiency. BYU should be in control of the game, and if they manage to get an early lead to then run the clock out, that’s exactly what we are looking for.

Hammer time pick of the week: Liberty -8

  • Other than the Horned Frogs of course, can you think of a cooler mascot than the Flames? I didn’t think so, HAMMER the Flames to burn FIU this week.

Waluigi’s why not pick(s) of the week: Auburn -7, Georgia Southern +11.5

  • Quick summary of how I made these picks:
  • Auburn has Bo Nix, Kentucky has to replace Lynn Bowden
  • Georgia Southern’s opponent, LA-Lafayette, snuck away with an overtime victory against Georgia State, clearly the team moral must be in shambles. Now they have to go up against an offense that runs the triple option? Easy Peasy.
  • It’s simple science.

Purple Rain parlay of the week: OK. State -250, Florida -715, Auburn -285, Miami -560, Liberty -300 (+275 odds)

  • Risk 1 unit to win 2.75

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

List View:

  • Syracuse +8
  • GT @ Syracuse u52.5
  • Florida @ Ole Miss o57.5
  • K-State @ Oklahoma o60.5
  • Liberty -8, Hammer time pick of the week
  • UTEP @ ULM u50
  • Alabama (1H) -16.5
  • Miami FL (1H) -6.5
  • Troy @ BYU u60.5
  • Auburn -7, Waluigi’s why not pick of the week
  • Georgia Southern +11.5, Waluigi’s why not pick of the week
  • Parlay: OK. State -250, Florida -715, Auburn -285, Miami -560, Liberty -300 (+275) — Purple Rain parlay of the week