We’re in the final month of the college football regular season, with conference championship games now looming only a few weeks away, and the first bowls not too far beyond that.
The bad news: The college football betting season will soon be over. The really good news: Teams have become very established in their tendencies, and it’s easier to see which programs have grown reliable from a betting standpoint.
So let’s not focus on the end, not just yet. Let’s focus on the now, and starting our wagering week off right with five hot teams to consider this weekend.
Maybe it was that 47-point whipping of Louisville that woke up the Yellow Jackets. Whatever clicked, it’s working: Coach Paul Johnson’s option-oriented outfit has won four of their last five both overall and against the spread, and has emerged as the most reliable “over” bet in the ACC.
In the league’s bloated, hazy middle class, the Jackets are standing out by pouring the points on overmatched opponents. They’re averaging 46 points in their last five contests, going over the projected total six times in their last eight games.
This weekend they host Miami, which is a mess — the Hurricanes have lost three straight overall, four in a row against the spread, and their offense has gone into a stall. Taking Georgia Tech -3 at home at SugarHouse is one of the more obvious plays this week.
The Boilermakers are back on the right track, rebounding from a streak-snapping loss to Michigan State with a victory over Iowa last week. It was Purdue’s fifth win in six games overall, and their sixth victory against the spread in their last seven tries.
The Boilermakers’ offense is really clicking after some early-season struggles, and now Purdue travels to a play a Minnesota team that scares exactly nobody.
The Golden Gophers have lost five of their last six overall, suffering some doozy defeats to the likes of lesser lights Illinois and Nebraska, and failing to cover in four of their last six. Take Purdue to add to their misery, as a 12-point favorite in Minneapolis with 888Sport.
You play to win the game, coach Herm Edwards likes to say, but in this case his Sun Devils aren’t doing a bad job of playing to cover the spread, either. In one of the more surprising results of last weekend, Arizona State beat up on a Utah team that had seemed in control of the Pac 12’s South Division.
Behind tailback Eno Benjamin, the Sun Devils have won two in a row as underdogs, are back above .500 overall, and this weekend host UCLA — the worst and most offensively-challenged team in the division.
Sparky is a 13.5-point favorite at 888Sport, so keep playing to cover those spreads, Herm.
Is the Orange the second-best team in the ACC behind Clemson? It’s easy to think so, given the tussle Syracuse gave the Tigers earlier this season in Death Valley, and the fact that coach Dino Babers’ team has won three straight in high-scoring fashion.
Syracuse’s last two victories have also come against the spread, and the Orange have a great chance to make it three straight Friday night in the Carrier Dome against Louisville, the worst team in the league.
Syracuse averages 43 points per game, Louisville 21. The Orange is a 21-point favorite, making the math fairly simple. Of note, Syracuse is also among the ACC’s more reliable “over” teams, going over the total in four of their last five.
Are you all aboard the Blazer bandwagon? Are you a card-carrying member of UAB Nation? If not, your bankroll may be suffering because of it. Few teams have been more reliable against the spread this season than overlooked, once-left-for-dead Alabama-Birmingham.
All the Blazers do is win, and cover: make it seven in a row in both categories after a pounding of Texas-San Antonio last week. Tailback Spencer Brown is the real deal, and UAB is among the top-scoring teams in Conference USA.
The Blazers are a 12-point favorite at home Saturday against Southern Miss, which has lost two of three of its last four against the spread.