Before we get to the picks this week, I’d like to apologize to everyone out there in CFB Country. As your humble leader and servant, I failed you. I promised you we’d #BuyTheBoat last week, and the boat sank. What a brutal way to go down, too. Bad beats are a part of the game, I get it…but what happened last week just wasn’t fair.
UCLA (+30) mounted a 13-play, 85-yard drive against Oklahoma’s backup defense to cut it to 49-21 with less than four minutes to go. The Sooners sat on the 28-point lead and I was left holding the L.
Florida Atlantic (-8.5) led by 14 over Air Force with under a minute to go, until the Falcons blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown. There’s not a worse way to lose on the backdoor cover than that. Painful.
Overall, it was a 3-4 week. I’m not used to losing and I don’t plan to do it again this season. The overall record is 6-6. That’s not terrible! WE’RE STILL IN THIS.
This week we are back in a big way with ELEVEN count them ELEVEN winning bets that are guaranteed to get us back in the black. I don’t know about y’all but I’m going Full Andy Samberg on Sunday morning.
Now, if I was responsible this would be the part of the blog where I tell you I am not an expert and you should take my advice at your own peril. But responsibility is for cowards. Are you a coward? Me either. Let’s get rich.
Send me your picks on Twitter @JoshParcell with the hashtag #BuyTheBoat. I love seeing what you guys are locking into on Saturday morning. We’re in it together.
Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the CFB Country podcast. I had Aaron Torres and Kyle Bailey on earlier this week. Next week I’ll have The Athletic’s NFL Draft expert Dane Brugler hopping on in the middle of the week. There are more great guests coming your way. Give it a listen if you haven’t already. If you have, spread the word. Thanks y’all.
Florida State (-3) at Syracuse, Noon ESPN
As I wrote about Thursday, I’m buying low on Florida State. The Seminoles could have easily kept it close against Virginia Tech if not for a few red-zone turnovers. I’m betting they don’t have that problem every week. The Samford game was the perfect letdown spot, and I’m betting on an inspired performance by a team that has had to hear for two straight weeks how awful they are. If they can’t show enough pride to handle Syracuse, Willie Taggart might give Kevin Sumlin a run for his money for Fastest Hot Seat Ever. Florida State 38, Syracuse 27
Georgia Tech (-3.5) at Pittsburgh, 12:30 ACC Network
What exactly is Pittsburgh’s identity? Pat Narduzzi was supposed to be a defensive guru when he arrived from Michigan State, but the Panthers have never ranked better than ninth in the ACC for scoring defense. It doesn’t look like that trend will end this season either. Penn State put up 51 on the Panthers last week. Georgia Tech let a win over a pretty good South Florida team slip through its fingers last week. Paul Johnson’s plug-and-play offense won’t miss Kirvonte Benson much. Georgia Tech 35, Pittsburgh 21
LSU at Auburn (-10), 3:30 CBS
Are we surrrrrrrrrre LSU is any good? I wrote last week about the parallels between Ed Orgeron’s first few years at LSU and Dabo Swinney’s start at Clemson, but even Swinney took more than a year and a half to start winning big. Auburn’s defense stifled Washington two weeks ago, which has far better weapons than LSU right now. Joe Burrow’s completion rate sits under 50 percent right now. Give me the Tigers of the blue and orange variety in a low-scoring game. Auburn 27, LSU 13
Boise State (+2.5) at Oklahoma State, 3:30 ESPN
Boise State is ranked 17th in the AP Poll, yet is a short ‘dog on the road against the 24th-ranked ‘Pokes. I love Brett Rypien on the road, whose thrown 40 touchdowns and only 12 picks in his career away from the Smurf Turf. The over/under is 64.5. I’d be more than happy to parlay the Broncos and the over in this one, which could rival Ole Miss/Texas Tech from Week 1 as the Defense-Is-Optional Game of the Year. Boise State 45 Oklahoma State 38
BYU at Wisconsin (-22), 3:30 ABC
After BYU beat Arizona in Week 1 as double-digit underdogs, we thought the Cougars might be better than we thought. Then Arizona was beat into submission by an okay Houston team a week later. The Cougars did hang around with Cal last week, but Cal also struggled with UNC in Week 1, who just finished getting clobbered by an awful East Carolina team. If you just look at the names of the schools BYU has played, you might think the Cougars are a sneaky team. Look more closely and this is not much different than the team that won four games a year ago. I don’t love the Badgers being above the key number at 21, but I’ll cautiously lay the points here anyway. This line should be closer to 28. Wisconsin 38, BYU 10
North Texas (+7) at Arkansas, 4:00 SEC Network
This is a GREAT chance for Seth Littrell – one of my favorites to land the UNC job once the Tar Heels fire Larry Fedora — to step into the SEC and get a statement win. Arkansas is REALLY bad. Chad Morris was a great hire, but trying to run his offense with Bret Bielema’s players is like trying to drag race with a Hummer. He needs time to recruit the right guys to fit his scheme. Meanwhile, North Texas is an electric offense. Mason Fine has thrown for 431 yards per game in the first two weeks, looking a lot like his offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, the former Texas Tech star. I’m all over the Mean Green to keep this one close. An outright upset is very much in play. North Texas 42, Arkansas 35
Ohio (+3.5) vs Virginia, 4:30 ESPN2
#BuyTheBoat lock of the week alert! Virginia opened as nearly a touchdown favorite before the line came crashing down once the game moved to Nashville. There’s a good chance UVA actually has more fans in Tennessee than they would in Charlottesville. I would have loved to snag this line sooner, but I still like Ohio, a well-coached team that Bill Connelly projected before the season to be just 1.5-point underdogs in this game. Now that it’s on a neutral field, I think the Bobcats should be favored. Upset special here. Buy. The. Boat. Ohio 24, Virginia 21
Eastern Michigan at Buffalo (-3) 6:00 ESPN+
Rossy Three Stacks LOVES him some Buffalo Bulls, and I’m giving you this game in his honor. They not only covered last week, but won outright against Temple on a last-minute touchdown. Eastern Michigan went on the road to upset Purdue last week, and this is a prime chance to sell high on a program that has no history of success. Buffalo leads the MAC in yards per play allowed among teams that have played more than one game. There’s value in Buffalo here. Go Rossy Go! Buffalo 30 Eastern Michigan 24
Alabama at Ole Miss (Over 71), 7:00 ESPN
I’m very tempted to put a lot of money on Alabama to smoke Ole Miss, whose defense gave up 41 points to Southern Illinois last week. But I’ve heard too many people raise concerns about the Tide’s secondary that I can’t shake the feeling Ole Miss somehow keeps it within the huge 21-point number. On that note, I’ll go over here because I think Alabama gets to 50 themselves, and maybe even 60. The Crimson Tide went to Vanderbilt last year in their SEC opener when everyone thought Vandy’s defense could somehow keep the Tide at bay. All Nick Saban did was light them up for 66 points. Now they face an awful defense, and there’s no telling what Tua and the boys will do. Don’t sweat the backdoor cover and just hit that over in the third quarter. Cha-Ching.
Missouri at Purdue (+6), 7:30 Big Ten Network
This is a GREAT buy-low opportunity for Purdue. Jeff Brohm is still a fantastic coach, and the Eastern Michigan loss should not scare you away from the Boilermakers. Statistically, almost every sign points to Missouri coming into West Lafayette and spanking Brohm’s boys. Sharp money has come in on Purdue, though, and we like sharp money. Don’t outsmart yourself. Take the value. Missouri 42, Purdue 38
Ohio State (-13) vs TCU, 8:00 ABC
Dwayne Haskins is the best passer Urban Meyer has ever had. He’s Cardale Jones with a Common Sense Gene. TCU’s a much different beast than Oregon State or Rutgers, but it doesn’t matter. The Buckeyes have way too many weapons for TCU to keep up. Oh, and Nick Bosa figures to make TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson’s night a living hell. Gary Patterson and TCU are one of the worst teams against the spread over the past three years. Take the Buckeyes, swallow the points and thank me later. Ohio State 49, TCU 21
Arizona State at San Diego State (+6), 10:30 CBS Sports Network
I didn’t give it out on the site last week so I hate to be that guy, but I did throw a moneyline bet on the Sun Devils to upset Michigan State last week. It paid off handsomely. Herm Edwards deserves a ton of credit for ignoring the naysayers and helping get the Sun Devils off to a 2-0 start. San Diego State is no slouch, though. If not for ASU’s win over an are-we-sure-they’re-good Spartans team, this line would be closer to a field goal. I’m cool with getting nearly a touchdown’s worth of value here on one of the best programs in the Mountain West. This is a major letdown spot for Edwards and the boys. San Diego State 31 Arizona State 28
Whew. That was a lot of picks. Winning ain’t easy. Let’s put last week into a Turnover Backpack and forget it ever happened. We’re buying that boat this week. All aboard.