Week 3 CFB Plays from Sandman

YTD Record: 3-1 (+2u)

CFB Bets Week 3

Alabama -14.5 (-110) @ Florida (1.5u)

Alabama is just too good. Every time you think their time may be up, it’s not. And they’ve shown that this year already. With a huge blowout win vs Miami to start the year, we know they’re damn good once again. Florida on the other hand has 2 unconvincing wins over 2 inferior opponents and have failed to cover the spread in either games.

Both teams are inexperienced, especially on offense with new QBs and a big loss of weapons on the outside from last year. The difference is, Alabama is Alabama and appears to have filled most of the gaps without a hitch. Florida on the other hand, has had some issues.

First time starting QB Emory Jones has 2 touchdowns vs 4 interceptions against non power 6 opponents and the other QB expected to get snaps vs Alabama is a freshman with 11 career pass attempts. The Gators also have no clear workhorse at running back as those 2 QBs previously mentioned are 1 and 2 in rush yards for the Gators by a wide margin. Combine that with their inexperience of the pass catchers after losing Pitts and Toney to the NFL, and that’s just not a recipe for competing with Nick Saban’s Alabama.

On the flip side, Alabama has looked dominant so far, with Bryce Young picking up right where Mac Jones left off with 7 TDs to 0 ints with a 70% completion percentage. Although this might be a weaker Bama team on the outside compared to other years, they still have a top 5 pass catcher in the nation in John Metchie. On the defensive side, they return all but 3 starters from a unit that was good enough to win a national championship last year.

Looking at history under Nick Saban, Bama is 6-4 ATS when being a road favorite of 10-15 points, and is 4-2 ATS vs Florida in his Alabama career. Florida is 8-12-1 ATS as underdogs since 2016. 

If you combine the personnel described in the first two paragraphs, with Alabama’s recent run of dominance over the SEC and the country as a whole and Florida’s struggles as dogs, I like Alabama big in this one.

Play #2- Penn State/Auburn u52.5 (-110)

This is a line that screamed to me as soon as I saw it. Two teams that have been known for their defenses over the last 10 years, and 2 QBs who are memed constantly for not showing up when they are needed. Then I took a dive into the numbers and my thoughts were confirmed.

These teams have given up a combined 33 points in 4 games so far this year, granted only one of those were against a power 6 school, but it still shows their strength. Auburn lost very little on the defensive side from last year, especially in the front 7, and what they did lose they replaced through the transfer portal bringing in starting level transfers from Northwestern and Kansas on the defensive line.

They return what’s possibly the best linebacker duo in the SEC. In the secondary they are set at corner with both starters coming back, and the only question may be at safety. However, they brought in more depth at corner Dreshun Miller who was West Virginia’s best corner last year, and safety Donavon Kaufman from Vandy through the portal that should sure that unit up.

While we haven’t seen Auburn’s defense against a top team quite yet, Penn State has already shown us enough against Wisconsin that we know that unit can still hang with anyone despite losing a few guys to the early round of the draft.

On the offensive side, I expect Auburn to run Tank Bigsby more than the 12 carries he’s averaged against the cupcake opponents so far this year, and get back to the 15-25 we saw from him in his freshman year which always bodes well for the under. I just don’t know how much trust they can have in Bo Nix especially with one of the best running backs in the country in the backfield. Penn State’s offense, just like their defense has already shown us the inability to score this year vs Wisconsin and I expect more inept offense from them.

The under is also 8-6 since 2020 for Auburn with 2 overs coming this year against cupcakes and hitting by 4 and 2 points respectively. For Penn State, unders are 6-4-1 since 2021. 

Since 2019, games with a spread of 1-7 points involving Auburn the under is 8-4-1. Since 2018, the under is 7-6 in the same scenario with Penn State. What this tells me is that in big, close games the defense tends to show up, and both teams’ wildly inconsistent quarterbacks, Bo Nix and Sean Clifford, don’t. We saw Sean Clifford play poorly already this year against Wisconsin in a game that saw 26 total points scored, and Bo Nix has yet to be tested this season. Give me the under.

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