Cash In With This Double Pack of College Football Picks

Rainman M.

Friday, September 15, 2017 7:39 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 15, 2017 7:39 PM UTC

Cash in with this pair of College Football picks. Alabama (-28.5) hosts Colorado State on Saturday at 7:00 P.M. ET.  Mississippi State welcomes LSU (-7) at the same date and time.

Alabama vs Colorado State

For the second week in a row, Alabama showed why it is the number 1 team in the nation. They crushed Fresno State 41-10, but failed to cover the 43.5 point spread.

Alabama lost a lot of talent to the NFL and was quickly ambitious to take out some of its starters in order to give younger guys more playing time. These younger stars are generally top recruits, but they lack experience and they were unable to help Alabama cover the huge spread. The spread was absolutely fair considering the disparity of talent between both teams, but Alabama simply did not care to cover the spread.

Colorado State will not be able to compete with Alabama, but the Rams still boast a lot more talent. Two players that are worth mentioning are quarterback Nick Stevens and wide receiver Michael Gallup. Since Week 7 of last year, Stevens hit his stride. From then until the regular season, he competed over 70% of his passes, over 1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns and 1 interception. He was prolific and he was amazingly efficient. And he could run as well, when he had to. His main target is Michael Gallup who is known for being versatile. He is not amazingly strong or amazingly fast. But he is a capable deep threat and he is aggressive in amassing yards after the catch on shorter routes, such as screens.

Alabama, in pass coverage, likes to focus on taking away the shorter routes. Stevens and Gallup will want to therefore focus on throwing longer passes.  In recent years, the pass defense of Alabama has merited the most criticism and I think Stevens and Gallup are capable of achieving some big plays against an Alabama defense who is missing several pieces of its legendary pass rush and two NFL players in safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

Colorado State will be one-dimensional, as it lacks a consistent running game, or a single running back that it can rely on. Alabama should want to focus on running the ball against a Rams defense that continues to really struggle against the run. But with a win in its pocket, expect Alabama to take more chances in the air.


The Verdict

Alabama is a very public spread play on our NCAAF Picks because the line published by oddsmakers looks so easy. But I think the public is wrong here for two reasons. One, Alabama will be complacent with a victory and, like last week against Fresno State, does not care about covering the spread. Two, Colorado State is capable of some big plays through the air whereas Alabama's strength is in establishing its ground game. Colorado State's ability to put up points in a hurry will ensure that they cover against a Tide squad that is notorious for taking its foot off of the gas pedal. Feel free to wait until the end of the week to play this game in accordance with the rule: bet favorites early and bet dogs late. 

Free NCAAF Pick: Colorado State +29Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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LSU vs Mississippi State

The major storyline of this game is the return of defensive end Arden Key to an LSU defense who has been stifling even without this sack machine. LSU has given up just 10 points in its past 2 games, which is impressive for a defense that had been confronted with skepticism as a result of the offseason departures and the overall lack of experience of its returning players.  LSU misses its leading tackler at linebacker, Kendell Beckwith, and its shutdown corner, Tra'Davious White. 

LSU has amazing talent with which to replace departures on defense.  One such talent is Devin White, who can actually play multiple positions but possesses the physical tools to fit perfectly in Dave Aranda's 3-4 defense as a linebacker. He has the power, speed and athleticism to attack opponents from sideline-to-sideline. Replacing White will be Donte Jackson, who is most known for his speed and lateral agility, but is also capable at blitzing and effective in run support.

Mississippi State boasts some talent of its own. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald's passing completion % is worrisome. But since the middle of last season, he has been surging and achieving 300+ yard games. He is most impressive for his athleticism and his ability to run. He likes to combine with running back Aeris Williams, who averaged just over 5 yards per carry last season, for an effective option game. However, the Bulldogs' offensive line, which misses three starters from last year, will struggle to find the remaining talent this season with which to protect Patterson and help out Williams.

While Fitzgerald intends to throw fewer deep balls and more high-percentage passes this season, the Bulldogs' new defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, wants to be more aggressive. The Bulldogs have a lot of new defensive faces for their new coordinator, who is anticipating his new unit to improve in versatility, to disguise their schemes more effectively, and to blitz more frequently, without compromising their shaky secondary. LSU, led by Derris Guice, will lead LSU's rush attack and will be the star of LSU's offense with his highlight-reel runs.

 The Verdict

Mississippi State has put up big numbers against some low-quality schools. Patterson is a developing talent who is trying to transition into a different kind of passer. Whether he throws more long balls or short passes, LSU boasts too much speed, strength and athleticism in its talented defense. Fitzgerald also lacks an effective supporting cast especially because of the departures in his offensive line. Defensively, Mississippi State is, like Fitzgerald, trying to figure things out under Grantham, while LSU is already comfortable with its offensive identity. Guice leads an LSU offense that likes to grind out a lot of time of possession and wear down its opponents. Between Guice and LSU's defense, expect LSU to progress to 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games on the road vs Mississippi State on our NCAAF Picks.

Free NCAAF Pick:  LSU -7Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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