Since we are running out of time for an opportunity to make money in this college football season, this week will be all about making sure we make the most of it. Stuffing our pockets and stockings is the key as the holiday season ensues. Let’s think outside the box and come up with a sure-fire way to get in the win column as the college football season winds down.
Penn State at Rutgers
This is a different type of Nittany Lion squad that head coach James Franklin is used to fielding, but State finally has some momentum on its side after a solid victory against Michigan last week. The boys from Happy Valley held the Wolverines to 286 total yards.
The Scarlett Knight offense doesn’t have much to offer in terms of posing an edge versus the Penn State defense. The Lions actually have a top-25 defense in yards per game, allowing just 348 per contest. Rutgers gains a pitiful 3.5 yards per carry and offers a mediocre passing attack.
Penn State, on the other hand, has fresh legs moving its ground attack. Freshman Kyvone Lee has been sensational since replacing Noah Cain. Lee led the way by gaining 134 on the ground versus Michigan. He also poses a threat in the passing game. Either way, the rookie sensation is averaging over 5.5 yards per touch.
With Lee’s production and quarterback Sean Clifford’s ability to keep the chains moving with his legs, Penn State should have no problem winning this one outright. Despite its struggles, the Nittany Lions have remained somewhat disciplined. They average just 5 penalties per game and are 19th in time of possession. Penn State didn’t have a single turnover against the Wolverines. Things are finally moving back in the right direction in Happy Valley.
Tennessee vs Florida
3:30 PM, EST
This matchup is starting to lose its rivalry status. Perhaps to some, it already has. The Gators have won 14 out of the last 15 contests. Florida has also covered the spread in six out of the past nine. This is likely another embarrassing loss for the Vols.
Tennessee may argue with being able to cover the number here. But that’s about it. The line sits at (-17.5) in Florida’s favor as many are waiting to see or hear what quarterback is starting for Tennessee. Regardless of that news, the Vols will face an uphill battle to keep up with Kyle Trask and company.
Tennessee ranks 123rd in explosive pass defense. This doesn’t bode well for a unit that will go up against the worst matchup in college football, aka Kyle Pitts. The tight end averages 17.7 yards per catch to go along with his 11 touchdowns. The Vols will also have to worry about Kadarius Toney. The senior is always a threat from any part of the field. The gadget-man averages 10.8 yards per touch.
With a defensive unit missing one of its best weapons in Kivon “Business Man,” Bennett, Jeremy Pruitt, and Derrick Ansley will have their hands full just trying to make this performance respectable.
While Tennessee may produce some nice numbers on the ground via Eric Gray, Jim Chaney’s vanilla offense will still be searching for its soul like Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky. Florida’s underwhelming defense actually has some bright spots. They rank in the top-30 in red zone scoring defense (27th). This particular matchup is not a favorable spot for the Vols, who fail to keep drives alive or persevere through all four quarters.
Indiana at Wisconsin
3:30 PM, EST
While this game isn’t as unbalanced as the previous preview, it still has the makings to get pretty ugly. Indiana was riding high despite losing by a touchdown to Ohio State. But in the third quarter of its 27-11 victory against Maryland, one massive wheel came off the track.
The Hoosiers lost star quarterback Michael Penix, Jr., to an ACL injury in the process of beating the Terps. This might prove to be the first domino to fall in a long line of worrisome gaps. Indiana has done a good job of exceeding expectations. While it hasn’t excelled in any category, the Hoosiers have played sound football and proven to make timely plays. The problem being that Penix is the catalyst for most, if not all, of the momentum.
Wisconsin has the upper-hand in most categories here. The Badgers are the best in the country in time of possession to go along with an offense that averages 33. points per game. The production is led by a rushing attack that doesn’t let up. The Badgers average 4.5 yards per carry on 48 attempts per game.
The Wiscy defense is stout as well. The unit allows a nation’s best 233 total yards per game. The pass defense is relentless, allowing opponents to complete passes on just 48.39 percent of throws (1st).
This is a bad time to break in a new quarterback. Indiana’s Jack Tuttle is already at a major disadvantage with a poor rushing attack to compliment his attributes. The Hoosiers average just 3.2 yards on the ground. Unless Tuttle can channel his inner Trask, the task will be too tall for the redshirt sophomore.
Jesus vs Joseph
5:30 PM, EST
It is happening. The biggest game in college football this year. I mean, tell me if you can find a sexier matchup? You can’t. BYU at Coastal Carolina is everything we could have dreamed of in a pandemic state of mind. Only in 2020 is this a top-20 tilt, but alas, here we are. Perhaps the sport is better off this way.
The Fightin’ Mormons from Provo, UT rush to the shores of Conway to battle the kings of the Bible Belt. Yes, Alabama still rules the roost in the deep South, but it’s the Chanticleers who have emerged into the spotlight, with bleached-blonde mullets to boot, as the sport’s messiah to rescue us all from Nicky Satan.
As much as I love Coastal and fellow East Tennessean Jamey Chadwell, it appears the Cougars may pounce on the Chanticleers. Coastal will have to play a flawless game to pull off the upset. It’s hard to argue a lull for either team, though. These two have a combined ATS record of (13-4-1) on the season.
Coastal will likely be forced to throw more than their accustomed to in an attempt to keep up with quarterback Zach Wilson. BYU ranks in the top-5 in several offensive categories. The Cougs average 7.7 yards per play en route to 45 points per game.
The Chanticleers have an impressive offensive attack as well. But they rely on the ground game to keep things churning. Chadwell’s group rushes 63.31 percent of the time. Only eight other teams run the ball more. The Chants desperately need to attain their mark of 5.1 yards per carry to set up the pass game.
Grayson McCall headlines an efficient passing attack for Coastal, but it will be interesting to see how Chadwell will call the game if BYU gets ahead early. The Chanticleers complete over 64 percent of passes thrown and average 9.1 yards per catch. That success rate could drastically change if they are forced into a higher rate of obvious passing downs.
Overall, the Cougars’ defense should come through, and Wilson will continue to shine. BYU allows a shade under 2 touchdowns per game (13.9 points). Coastal may not get much more than that.
All This Means …
These four games provide the opportunity for the lock of the year: The Fearless Foursome Parlay. Go ahead and tell your spouse you’ll get something really nice for them this holiday season. Tell your kids Santa has a big surprise in the works. You can almost match your investment here. Lock these teams in to win, not cover, for around -110 or so in a four-team parlay.
Penn St + Florida+Wisconsin+BYU Moneyline Parlay (-111)
Since we’re in the giving mood this season, here are some other suggestions. Not locks, but leans.
Vols/Gators OVER (62.5)
San Jose St ML (-144)