Updated: Sep 10
Wow what a great first week. Our best picks will post Friday Spetember 9, 2022
Here is what we learned last week
UTSA 41 @ Army 38
UTSA -2 / -130 / OU 54 LOSS
Last week Army went on the road and lost to Coastal Carolina 38-28 and At home UTSA lost in 3 overtimes 35-37 to Houston. Army is 27-3 at home since September 2017. Army is an Independent and has no conference much like Notre Dame and BYU so the quality of teams they have beat are suspect. Currently Army is ranked (73) and UTSA (75) by ESPN, however in serious empirical rankings, Sagarin has Army at 66.13 (90) and UTSA as 66.55 (88). Massey ratings have Army at 7.27 (92) and UTSA 7.05 (104). The numbers seem very close. To be fair, let's compare footballs with footballs. We are going to toss out all games played against FCS games and FBS teams ranked or rated above 100 (only 133 FBS teams).
ARMY Points Scored Points Allowed Total
ALL HOME GAMES 33.3 18.8 52.1
ALL FBS and >100 Ranked 23.1 27.5 50.6
ALL FCS and <100 Ranked 13.0 41.9 55
UTSA is 12-17 on the road since September 2017 but the quality of FBS opponents UTSA played were far superior to those FBS teams Army played. UTSA played (Baylor, UAB, Kansas State, Arizona State, Memphis, Illinois, WKU Texas A&M, BYU) Army played (Wake Forest, Miami OH, Air Force, Navy, Tulane, Rice, Hawaii, Duke, Temple)
UTSA Points Scored Points Allowed Total
ALL ROAD GAMES 22.4 30.1 52.6
ALL FBS and >100 Ranked 24.6 22.8 47.4
ALL FCS and <100 Ranked 20.0 32.7 52.8
The current Over / Under is set at 54 points with both teams AVERAGING 52 points on all games and only 50 and 47 points against top 100 FBS schools. The under looks like a great deal. As for point spread, Our statisticians have predicted this game is too close to call.
The PLAY is UNDER 54 points.
A total of nine teams scored zero points on the road, they were (Utah State, Temple, South Dakota, New Mexico State, Maine, Sam Houston, Long Island University, Alabama A&M and
Illinois State) of all those teams that went scoreless, Temple and Alabama A&M are most likely to score zero (0) points again. In week two it's: Alabama A&M at Troy and Temple vs Lafayette There currently is no line for Temple vs Lafayette.
Alabama A&M 17 @ Troy 38
Troy -35.5 / NL / NO O/U LOSS
Troy has never been shut out at home AND has NEVER shut out anyone at home. There’s a first time for everything! This will be the first time since 2000 that the teams have played each other. Since 2018, Troy football at home has allowed opponents on average to score 27 points and Troy scores 31. Since 2018, 22 games have been played at home against FBS opponents and in 10-games Troy scored 37 points or more. After watching A&M’s 59-0 beat down by UAB, I'm not sure how they will score any points against a good team like Troy. As we stated last week, Alabama A&M is in a rebuilding year and has NO QB as of yet. Our statistics say Troy has a 97% chance of winning and we predicted a total of 42 combined points for O/U. The point spread is set at -35.5 for Troy which is just points higher than UAB had to cover at (-34). Troy has a history of winning at home BUT not by that much in point spread. EXCEPT when they play FCS schools in which case, Troy won by 52-points against an FCS team Florida A&M (59-7) and last year against Southern by 52-points (55-3) We expect Troy to win AND cover the spread.
TAKE TROY - 35.5
Florida International 12 @ Texas State 41
Texas State -13.5 / -670 / 56 Florida International LOSS
We are not taking Texas State for obvious reasons most people think. Yes FIU stinks and just barely beat FCS Bryant by one point. This is an Over Under game. Neither team has great defense. FIU is ranked 99th out of 129 FBS teams given up over 470 yards and Texas State is better ranked 38th giving up 278 yards per game. As for overall team rankings (by Sagarin) Texas State is ranked 181st out of 261 (FCS & FBS teams) and FIU is ranked 171st. Obviously when you're ranked that high, does 10-points really make a difference in who wins? TAKE: OVER 56
Scores Allows Totals
FIU Road 25.6 36.1 61.8
Texas State Home 25.6 34.5 60.2
South Alabama 38 @ Central Michigan 24
Central Michigan -4.5 / -200 / O/U 58.5 LOSS
Since 2018 South Alabama is 3-19 on the road. Against non FBS-Power-5 teams, they score on average 18.5 points per game and allow 33 points per game with a combined average of 51.3. South Alabama is currently ranked by Sagarin as 113th out of 261 (FCS & FBS Teams). South Alabama in week one beat FCS Nicholls State 48-7 at home. In week one Central Michigan (CMU) was on the road at FBS Power-5 team and 10th ranked (AP Poll) Oklahoma State where they almost pulled off the upset by just losing 58-44. Central Michigan is ranked 75th which is just ahead of Illinois of the Big Ten at 76th. Central Michigan put up 546 yards against a top ten ranked team and South Alabama put up 508 yards against a FCS school Nicholas State, SORRY newly added FBS school Nicholas State “this year” into the 14-member Sun Belt football conference. South Alabama is ranked 113th
Bottom line for this game is what happened last game for CMU: It was a tale of two halves for Central Michigan vs Oklahoma State in a game which showed how much potential the CMU team has when the lights are on. Oklahoma State was up 58-27 with 9:17 remaining then CMU poured it on trying to make a comeback. For the CMU offense, QB Daniel Richardson had a quiet 424 yards on 36-of-49 attempts, with four touchdowns and just one interception. Transfer wide-receivers Jalen McGaughy (six receptions, 126 yards, two touchdowns) and Carlos Carriere (five receptions, 75 yards, one touchdown) led the way through the air.
TAKE: CMU -200 Money Line, and put just a little on the -4 Point Spread
Points Scored Points allowed Combined Totals
South Alabama Road 18.5 33.0 51.3
Central Michigan Home 33.0 24.0 57.0
Akron 0 @ Michigan State 52
Michigan State -34.5 / NL / O/U 56 WIN
If ya missed it last week, we picked tiny FCS St. Francis to beat FBS Akron at Akron. Well, we almost had a miracle. St. Francis lost in overtime 23-30. Here’s all you need to know, out of 261 ranked FCS and FBS teams, Akron is ranked 175th. There are only 129 FBS teams, so Akron is worse than 46 FCS teams. Furthermore, in most FBS polls Akron is fighting UMass and FIU for last place. Last week Michigan State beat Western Michigan at home 35-13, that’s by 22-points. This was an in-state rivalry game. In the last 5-games going back to 2013, this has been less then a 14-point game difference for the exception of 2019 when Western’s head coach P.J Fleck left to go to Minnesota and majority of Western Michigan players transferred or left. This is a no brainer. TAKE: Michigan State -34.5
Appalachian State 17 @ Texas A&M 14
Appalachian State +17 / UNDER 54 WIN
Two opposing teams that put up a ton of points. Appalachian State (61) and UAB (59)
Simple math tells us to take +17 with Appalachian State and since both teams are well below the Over/Under line (54), Take the UNDER.
Data based on game outcomes since 2018
SCORE ALLOW COMBINED
Texas A&M 24 25 49
Appalachian State 31 21 51
UAB 14 @ Liberty 21
UAB +6.5 / OVER 51.5 LOSS
In the Liberty vs UAB game go with UAB +6.5. I would take the OVER in this game because the line is set near or below the average of combined points (51.5) for both teams.
SCORE ALLOW COMBINED
Liberty home 40 22 62 points
UAB road 26 24 50 points
UMass 10 at Toledo 55
Toledo -28.5 / NL / O/U 48 WIN
What’s the difference between UMass and Alabama? They both win football games except for Umass. How bad is UMass? They are hoping to lose their 18th game in a row on the road. In their last 30-games (HM & RD) going back to the start of 2018 season, UMass is 2-28 with losses against FCS Schools Maine and Rhode Island. Since 2018, UMass has been shut-out on the road three times out of 22 games. UMass has scored 7-points or less in 8 of 22 games (36%).
SInce 2018 Toledo has had 22 Home games and they are 15-7. After tossing out the FCS opponents, the home record stands at 12-6.
Score Avg Allow Avg Totals Avg
UMass ROAD 14.0 48.0 62.0
Toledo HOME 36.0 24.0 60.0
Sagarin has the teams ranked, UMass (202) and Toledo (67). In the Whitlock rankings UMass (211) and Toledo (84). Again, to put this into perspective, there are 129 FBS schools and 134 FCS Schools, for a total of 263 ranked schools. UMass and Toledo are FBS schools but depending on which ranking you look at, there are 82 to 63 FCS schools ranked ahead of UMass.
In the games against Tulane, UMass wasn’t awful against the run, it didn’t allow too many big plays, and it wasn’t bad on third downs. Tulane only won the game 42-10. That's like saying, well the plane crashed killing all but three people on board, but, on the way down, we didn’t lose internet and we saw a free sparkling light show coming from the left engine. Look, UMass had11 passes, four completions, 17 yards, and ONLY three interceptions against Tulane. So the real bet in this game is. Will it get worse or stay the same…It’s going to get worse.
TAKE: OVER 48 WIN TAKE -28.5 WIN
Holy Cross 37 at Buffalo 31
Buffalo -12 / -450 / O/U 51
This could be a breakout year for some FCS schools. Just last week we had Bryant and St. Francis hang with the big FBS school and lose in overtime.
Holy Cross has played 27 games (16-9) from 2021 to 2019. Due to Covid, Holy Cross played a few Spring games in 2020 which are not included in our data and report. Last year, Holy Cross went 9-2 in the regular season. In the first round of the 2021 FCS playoffs, Holy Cross scored its first-ever playoff win on a touchdown pass in the final seconds over Sacred Heart. Holy Cross lost the following week to Villanova 21-16. Holy Cross has a majority of players returning and depth at all positions including a returning QB Matthew Sluka who passed for 1,400 last year with a 59% completion percentage. Holy Cross has played three FBS teams on the road, none at home. In 2019 they played Syracuse (loss 3-41), Navy (loss 7-41) and in 2021 (Win UConn 38-28). Based on Sagarin rankings, Holy Cross is ranked at 183 (45.33) and Buffalo is ranked 109 (62.66). However, when compared to all 22 ranking polls, Buffalo could be as low as 95th and as high as 158th. THE POLL THAT HAS BUFFALO AT 158 IS THE WHITLOCK RANKINGS, A VERY VALID AND RELIABLE POLL. The Whitlock also has Holy Cross ranked ahead of Buffalo at 139. To put this into perspective, there are 129 FBS schools and 134 FCS Schools, for a total of 263 ranked schools. Note: Akron and Temple are ranked 128 and 129 in the FBS. Overall, (FBS & FCS), Akron is 190 and Temple is 185.
If we compare wins and losses from Holy Cross and Buffalo opponents, the best comparison would be against “similar” competition (if possible). As stated above Holy Cross has played only three FBS schools, therefore, we need to look at opponents Buffalo has played at home that are ranked within 25 points of Buffalo (158)
SAMPLE A: FCS or Buffalo opponents ranked 185 to 249.
(Wager 259, Akron 190, Temple 185, Robert Morris 231 and Delaware State 249)
SAMPLE B: FBS or Buffalo opponents ranked 125 to 165.
(2x Bowling Green 160, 2x Ohio 162 and 2x Kent State127)
SAMPLE A: Score Allow Combined
HOLY CROSS ROAD 29.0 24.3 53.3
BUFFALO HOME 45.5 10.3 45.5
SAMPLE B: Score Allow Combined
HOLY CROSS ROAD 29.0 24.3 53.3
BUFFALO HOME 43.5 27.5 70.5
If a money line becomes available, you can take over 51 points. THIS IS A FUN BET! Put a little on the money line of +380 for Holy Cross BUT take the points, +12.
WIN WIN WIN