Locks

NCAA Football (1 unit) Michigan St / Ohio St Over 68 (-110): 11:00 a.m. CT on ABC

None of these pass defenses have shown the ability to stop much, so I see fireworks from strong attacks in this one.

An underrated scenario in this game is that it’s pretty obvious Ohio State is trying to get the attention of quarterback CJ Stroud in a wide open Heisman race. The best way to make this point is for Stroud and the nation’s top attacker to face the nation’s lowest-ranked pass defense. Michigan State is allowing 329 passing yards per game, so Stroud and his prolific trio of wide receivers should be lighting it up today.

But the Spartans and their excellent receivers should be able to do some damage in catch-up mode, as the Buckeyes are only 108th in passing yards allowed. Coach Mel Tucker managed to get Sparty rolling on offense towards the end of the season, as he’s 6-1 at the end of games in November or later.

The Buckeyes should be looking to make a statement in this game, and when it happened earlier this season, they’re just not letting go. Hitting 10 touchdowns here shouldn’t be a problem.

NCAA Football (0.5 units) Florida State @ Boston College -2 (-110): 11:00 a.m. CT on ACC

Thank the State of Florida for turning things around after an embarrassing start to the season. But it’s a bad situation for them, and I don’t think Boston College gets the respect they deserve either.

The Seminoles just picked up an incredible victory over state rival Miami last week. That would make it a disappointing place, but it’s more of a sandwich place with FSU having its Florida state rival on the bridge next week, so I’m skeptical of where FSU is going. It’s also important to note that traveling to Boston for temperatures in the 30’s is uncomfortable for Florida teams and creates an advantage for Boston College here.

The Eagles are also a little underrated, as they completely changed things behind the return of quarterback Phil Jurkovec. BC’s offense was lousy without Jurkovec, but he and star receiver Zay Flowers can certainly tap into a Seminoles defense that’s 89th in passing yards allowed. I see these benefits adding to a good win for Boston College here.

NCAA Football (0.5 unit) Florida Atlantic @ Western Kentucky -10.5 (-110): 11:00 a.m. CT on STADIUM

Western Kentucky has been difficult to sustain in the favorite role this year due to the penalties their poor defense creates. But this unit has stepped up their efforts, at least enough that I like them here against a struggling Florida Atlantic team.

The Hilltoppers have been excellent in conference lately, scoring five straight wins with an average margin of 23.6 points. The offense is the elite behind the best passing offense in the country, but the defense allowing just 18.8 PPG in that stretch has been key. FAU has had no success against quality C-USA teams, especially on the road, and simply won’t be able to keep up with the WKU’s top-flight offense.

There is some concern that this will be a point of anticipation for the Hilltoppers until next week at Marshall. But in the end, I see the offensive disparity between these teams is enough for WKU to have another comfortable victory in conference.

NCAA Football (1 unit) SMU / Cincinnati Over 65 (-110): 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN

Much has been said about Cincinnati’s strong defense this season, but it hasn’t been great lately and struggles with the kind of confrontation they have here.

The athletic and fast receivers caused problems for the Bearcats, as evidenced by dropping 21 points at UCF and 28 at South Florida. These teams have decent infractions, but nothing close to the explosiveness of SMU. Behind quarterback Tanner Mordecai and his elite receiving duo of Danny Gray and Reggie Roberson, the Mustangs are a big game factory and the 8th best passing attack in the country.

SMU should be able to rack up the yards and points in this one, especially if he’s trying to keep pace with a Cincinnati team that has to put on a show. This top of a game total with just a 10-point gap tells me that Vegas expects a shootout. This is what I see too and I would expect this game to be back and forth all day.

NCAA Football (1 unit) UCLA -3 @ USC (-110): 3:00 p.m. CT on FOX

This is a big game of revenge for UCLA in their city rivalry, and they should be able to get it easily against an understaffed and understaffed USC team.

Not only do the Trojans operate with an interim coaching staff, they have also lost their two best offensive weapons. Star receiver Drake London is out for the season, and starting quarterback Kedon Slovis will miss the game. USC are also very thin up front on defense and have been pushed around by teams with good running games. That’s exactly what the Bruins bring to this game with elite runners in the quarter-and-a-half, so I see them going wild in this one.

Last year’s reunion saw the Bruins choke on an unlikely late win and USC cover, a game UCLA has been cooking up for a year. Additionally, this was achieved by a much more knowledgeable and healthy team of Trojans than today’s version. The rivalry game creates a shorter line here, but UCLA is the much better, healthier team, so I see a comfortable win for the Bruins.

NCAA Football (0.5 unit) Vanderbilt / Ole Miss Under 64.5 (-110): 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network

It’s Ole Miss, so they’ll score at will and threaten that total on their own, right? While they certainly can, I don’t think the Rebels want to do this given their situation, and I don’t see Vanderbilt bringing in a lot of points on their own.

The Commodores bring the nation’s 128th scoring offense with just 15.1 points per game, and their last 36 road games are 26-10 down. I don’t see them scoring much against a good sneaky defense from Ole Miss allowing just 16.7 points in their last 3 home games. While Ole Miss has elite attacking flair and explosiveness, 6 of her last 7 games have fallen under that total, and they’ve only scored 27.6 PPG in the past 5 weeks.

The Rebels have an elite running game that can eat up both yards and time, and I think they’re putting that to good use here. They have a short week before their Egg Bowl rivalry on Thanksgiving and will want to be as fresh and healthy as possible. Look for Ole Miss to clear the clock in this one while limiting Vandy’s weak attack.

NCAA Football (1 unit) Oklahoma State -10 @ Texas Tech (-110): 7:00 p.m. CT on FOX

Another week, another prime-time national television spot for this Oklahoma state team. It should be another week and another cover for the Cowboys as well, with the goal of showing up in front of the committee.

It’s easy to watch this game for Oklahoma State and see it as a point of anticipation for Bedlam next week. But I don’t see it that way, and I see more of a focused team, playing their best football, behind absolutely elitist defense. The Cowboys are 3rd in yards allowed and 8th in points allowed this season, so it’s hardly surprising that they’re on an 8-0 ATS streak. Defense also travels, especially in college football, which is why the Cowboys have covered 5 straight road games as well.

The current situation might actually indicate more of a disappointment for Texas Tech here. The Red Raiders are on leave for a week where they appointed a new coach, then won on a 62-yard field goal to secure bowl eligibility. Their defense has really struggled against the quality Big 12 teams, and I see Oklahoma State putting them here as the Cowboys try to argue for the PSC.

NCAA Basketball (1 unit) Purdue / North Carolina Over 153 (-110): 3:00 p.m. CT on ESPN News

There is a neutral discount to this total, as both teams are not used to playing in the Mohegan Sun Arena. But I don’t think that matters with these teams who were offensive juggernauts to start the season.

The Boilermakers and Tar Heels are both in the top 25 for field goal percentage, live shoot percentage, and Purdue is ranked 2nd in offensive standings. They should continue to be able to take on a UNC team who are 276th in the defensive standings and who have allowed 79 PPG to a very poor schedule. The pace of the Tar Heels, 39th nationally, should be a key factor in driving this game above the total when combined with a powerful shot.

These two teams have a combined score of 5-1 over that season total, and bringing them together on the pitch should produce another high-scoring affair.

Degenerate

NCAA Football Iowa State +4 @ Oklahoma (-110): 11:00 a.m. CT on FOX

As a former Iowa State alumnus, I prefer to think of this team as the one that started the season 7th and has CFP aspirations. Those dreams still hinged on beating Oklahoma at Norman this week, and I’m not ready to give up on that possibility. The place really favors the Cyclones in all the news, as the Sooners need to be deflated after dashing their own CFP hopes last week, in addition to being in a position of anticipation for Bedlam next week.

Plus, you have to trust Matt Campbell as an underdog, the ISU being 22-10 at these places with him as the head coach. They also rebounded very well, going 20-8 ATS under Campbell after a loss. Add that Lincoln Riley is only 1-4 ATS against Iowa State, and it all adds up to the fact that the Cyclones are a living dog in this one.

Tiny Nick has been 447-347 ATS (+83.5 units) on his locks since joining Zone Coverage.

Every day, he will offer his locks and his degenerate choices. Locks are the games he trusts. Degenerates are fun choices but riskier ones.


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