College Football Picks And Preview: Vols Cover 100-Plus Point Spread

SI College Football

It’s not often that charitable donations pop up these days. In fact, it probably happens as often as an enjoyable Tennessee Volunteer football experience.

That is if you are a Vol fan.

However, this weekend, regardless of your fandom, Tennessee can help deliver a gift right into your pocket. I know it’s a tall order, but all the Vols have to do is physically show up. We can count on that, right? RIGHT?!?!?

At FanDuel, you can bet up to $50 that the Vols will cover against the Auburn Tigers. Sounds stupid, right? No one in their right mind would bet on this finicky Tennessee team to do anything. The difference is, FanDuel is giving the Vols, and bettors, the opportunity for a stress-free win. The “Spread the Love” promotion allows for the line to move in the Vols favor for every 250 bets placed on Tennessee. As of Saturday morning, the line had shifted to 100.5 points in the Vols’ favor.

Auburn is likely to win this one comfortably. Gus Malzahn and the Tigers won’t snooze through this affair like they did in the Vols’ 2018 upset at Jordan-Hare. While quarterback Bo Nix doesn’t scare many with his arm, he keeps plays alive with his elusiveness. The sophomore is averaging 4.4 YPC.

Speaking of the rushing attack, Auburn has found their next reliable back in freshman Tank Bigbsy. There’s no relation to the legend, Clayton, (that we know of) but the darling rookie can still perform. Bigbsy is averaging 5.7 yards while toting the rock. He has exactly 100 scrimmage plays that have resulted in 587 yards.

So here is our lock of the week. We don’t have to worry about what quarterback will start for the Big Orange. Fans won’t have to bank on Jarrett Guarantano reliving a career game down on the Plains. Both defenses are average at best. Also both squads rank outside the Top-50 in total offense, with the Vols bringing up the rear in all of college football at 4.74 yards per play (t-113th).

This one is easy to spell out. No need to get cute. Even Clayton Bigsby can see this edge.

Vols to cover (Spread the Love @fanduel)

Since we have the Vols line in the bag, let’s try for two. There are no freebies in this one, but I think there is an edge with an undervalued traveling squad.

The Wisconsin Badgers have looked exceptional in just two games. Even a stint on Corona shutdown couldn’t slow this offensive attack versus Michigan. The Badgers have scored 94 points to their opponents’ 18. They are averaging 6.07 yards per play en route to nearly 900 yards. Against Michigan, Wiscy had four players top 60 yards rushing.

There is no sign that Graham Mertz, or this offense will hit a road block anytime soon. Not even against Northwestern’s defense, which ranks 5th in yards per play allowed. The Wildcats have played tight defense against underwhelming offenses. The last three contests have pitted Pat Fitzgerald’s squad up against the likes of Purdue, Nebraska and Iowa. Not exactly the most potent attacks. The Wildcats’ most dangerous matchup came in Week 1 versus Maryland. But that’s before the blossoming of quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa.

One quarterback that is certain to give Fitzgerald fits is Mertz. The redshirt freshman has been extremely efficient in his two starts this season. He has connected on 77 percent of his throws, while averaging 12 yards per attempt. And that’s without being pressed to single-handedly beat the other team. The Badgers are getting over 260 yards per game on the ground.

This matchup feels more like a double-digit line than a shade over a touchdown. There’s no real home field advantage, especially with a mild weather forecast in Evanston. The Wildcats’ offense, which ranks 94th, simply won’t match Mertz and the Wisconsin arsenal. Give me the Badgers to win by more than a touchdown and solidify their first class seating behined Ohio State in the Big Ten,

Wisconsin (-7.5)