BY TODD FUHRMAN
It’s starting to get lonely at the top for Alabama. Yes, the same Crimson Tide that started the season in the top spot remain there after a very workmanlike victory against Texas A&M. Despite losing to Iowa State as 31-point favorites, Oklahoma only falls one spot in our Bet The Board poll this week; even though the popularity polls felt the need to drop them out of the top 10 entirely. NUTS! Especially when you consider they beat Ohio State on the road (now ranked ahead of them), and would absolutely pulverize a Washington State team that has a lot of work to do before they sniff our top 10. Also keep this in mind; the popularity polls have TCU as a top 7 team right now but if they were to play Oklahoma this weekend on a neutral field the Sooners would be listed as a 3.5/4 point favorite. Keep an eye on Penn State here as well. The Nittany Lions continue to rack up wins (and covers) but I implore you to find their resume building win. Is it beating Iowa at Kinnick? If not, there’s nothing James Franklin’s program has proven to us thus far but that can change in a hurry with an upcoming stretch versus Michigan, at Ohio State, and at an overrated Michigan State. Wisconsin finally getting into the mix despite not having beaten anyone, either? Say it ain’t so. College football is really down this year.
Here’s an updated look at our Bet the Board top 10 after Week 6
5) Ohio St
7) Penn St
Underrated: Florida State
The Seminoles just don’t want to leave this column. From overrated (as per most of you) to now becoming one of the most underrated teams in our rankings compared to national perception. Nobody believed this team would still be searching for its second win well into the middle of October just fighting for respectability rather than ACC supremacy. There seven year reign of terror over Miami came to an end last weekend despite outgaining the Hurricanes by over a yard per play, but that doesn’t change the fact Jimbo Fisher has an extremely talented football team in Tallahassee. The bigger problem here is how the Seminoles handle a remaining schedule littered with opportunities to play spoiler. When it comes to handicapping teams we define as having their bubble burst, you’ll need to identify those spots where talent isn’t incorporated into the line due to public perception. We won’t call for the outright upset, but make sure you circle November 11 when FSU has a chance to prove their mettle by spoiling what could be a perfect season for the Clemson Tigers.
Overrated: Michigan State
Congrats to Spartans fans on yet another upset of a top 10 team under Coach Dantonio’s watch. Michigan State used a workmanlike effort and favorable weather to knock off Michigan 14-10 as double digit underdogs at BetOnline.AG. However, let’s pump the brakes on MSU being included in the top 25 in these popularity polls. Sparty hasn’t scored more than 18 points in a game against a power 5 team this season! Professional bettors haven’t changed their stance that Michigan State is still the same team they expected to win 6 games before the season started despite opponents on the schedule continue to underachieve. We won’t take anything away from a big conference win, but we also won’t get swept into the euphoria of a season defining when said victory comes against an opponent in Michigan we never saw as being worthy of their ranking. Water will meet its level in East Lansing over the next few weeks, and as a bettor you’ll have plenty of opportunity to capitalize on market perception.
Bet of the Week: UCONN +10 (4-2 ATS)
I had an elaborate write-up for this game. I was going to tell you why sometimes the team that let’s you down one week becomes your saving grace the next (much like dating). Then I decided the hell with it and I would just tell you why Temple stinks and shouldn’t be double-digit favorites against anyone instead. The Owls can’t throw the forward pass and that’s a good thing for a UCONN secondary that’s allowed 358 yards or more in damn near every game this season. Temple has also shown an inability to consistently get their ground game going, averaging a paltry 2.8 YPC. This is a question of pride for the Huskies this weekend, manning up between the tackles and showing some resiliency from a pathetic performance last Friday when they surrendered 70 points at home on national TV to Memphis. There’s no need to validate Uconn’s 6-15 ATS record over the last 21 games, or the fact they’re 7-23 in their last 30, because I can’t. I trust my numbers here that made Temple a modest 3.5 point favorite. “Did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!” Hell no, and we won’t give up on the fighting Randy Edsall’s when the numbers suggest a bet, but rest assured if these Huskies can’t get us to the window Saturday they’re completely dead to me moving forward.