Before making your Week 10 College Football picks, understand that reality is creeping up on some of the favorites in betting odds and there are two highly-valuable underdogs you should bet on instead.
Another Saturday, Another SEC West Division Showdown: #4 Auburn vs. #7 Mississippi
As discussed last week in this space, playing in the SEC West Division is easily the hardest position to be in right now in NCAA College Football with four of the top-ranked seven schools in the nation—#1 Mississippi State, #3 Alabama, #4 Auburn and #7 Mississippi—beating up and waiting to beat up on each other which will probably end up resulting in just two of these teams making it to the first-ever College Football Playoff where four teams will play in two semifinal games (Jan. 1) with the two winners advancing to the national championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on January 12.
Here at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, #7 Mississippi (7-1 SU, 6-1-1 ATS) welcomes #6 Auburn (6-1 SU, 3-4 ATS) in a game where oddsmakers have made the Home Rebels slight 2½-point Favorites (bet365) in a contest where one team and its fans will no doubt see its dreams of potentially making to that first-ever NCAA Football Final Four go down the old tubes. Oddsmakers also have Old Miss -145 Favorites (bet365) on the Money Line (Winner) with visiting Auburn +125 on the take-back. The Total Points (Over/Under) for the game is set at 51 (bet365) and the Mississippi Total Team Points lined at 26½ with the Auburn Total Team Points set at 24 (Ladbrokes).
Last year when these two teams met at Auburn, Ole Miss lost 30-22 and failed to cover the spread as 2-point Underdogs and this game could have an eerily similar score despite being played in Oxford. Mississippi is coming off its first loss of the season—a 10-7 setback at #24 LSU in a pick recommended last week in this weekly Sportsbook Review website column—where the Rebels played a really good game but just fell victim to the situation and the hard reality of trying to win a game in Baton Rouge’s Death Valley on a warm fall evening.
Auburn (11-2 ATS in 2013) is coming off of a 42-35 win at Home against South Carolina last week and the War Eagles are 15th in the nation in Scoring, averaging a chunky 39.3 ppg and are led by senior QB Nick Marshall (1,103 Passing yards, 11 Passing TDs, 581 yards Rushing, 7 Rushing TDs, 6.8 ypc) and a fearsome ground attack which ranks #10 in the country Rushing (281.0 ypg).
Besides Marshall running when he feels like it’s the right thing to do, Auburn also has stud senior RB Cameron Artis-Payne (151 rushes, 831 yards, 6 TDs)—who is the workhorse back—and RB Corey Grant (41 rushes, 257 yards, 2 TDs, 6.3 ypc) and that why this Tigers team is where there are now this season—because they can run the leather out of the ball and control games with the run. WR D’haquille Williams (34 receptions, 527 yards, 5 TDs) is also a big threat for Auburn and is Marshall’s favorite target.
The trends are a mixed bag in this game with Auburn 4-1 ATS L5 against Ole Miss but the Tigers are just 1-3 ATS L3 here in Oxford. Sometimes it’s better to handicap by Art (feel, emotions, intangibles) rather than Science (trends, stats, power ratings) and it seems that this is one of those times as a team like the Tigers will have a mindset that thet simply won’t want, and can’t lose to a team like Mississippi. Auburn is 8-2 SU L10 against Ole Miss but the last time these two played here at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (2012), the Rebels more than tamed the Tigers, 41-20 as 4-point Underdogs, so, expect Auburn to have that particular game and revenge on its collective minds along with the reality it still has Texas A&M (Nov. 8), Georgia (Nov. 15) and #3 Alabama in the much-anticipated Iron Bowl at Tuscaloosa (Nov. 29) in another high-profile game where the loser may be bounced from the title picture.
Free College Football Picks: Auburn should have enough to win the game outright so taking the Tigers on the Money Line at +125 (bet365) is the call in this SEC West Division clash.
Saturday Night’s Alright For Gambling: # 17 Utah vs. #14 Arizona State
Before you in the United States turn your clocks back late Saturday night for Daylight Saving Time, why not take a shot on another solid Underdog in College Football odds in this Pac-12 South Division game between host and 14th-ranked Arizona State (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS) and 17th-ranked Utah (6-1 SU, 6-1 ATS), a team which is used to, and not scared of going up against anyone in the country, anywhere at anytime? On offense, the Utes are led by QB Travis Wilson (1,027 passing yards), RB Devotae Booker (844 Rushing yards, 8 TDs) and WR Dres Anderson (355 Receiving yards) and Utah has already defeated Michigan, #8 UCLA and #20 UCLA and is just a scant 2 points away from being undefeated (the Utes were upset 29-28 at Home against Washington State on Sept. 27).
With the Utah leaving the MWC fairly recently to join the Pac-12, these two teams don’t have a lot of past meetings to dissect or large sample-size trends, but the Host Sun Devils (7-3 ATS as Home Favorite L2 seasons) definitely have the edge, as ASU is 3-1 ATS L4 against the Utes, winning SU each of the L3 seasons (35-14 in 2011, 37-7 in 2012 and 20-19 last year). And that 37-7 pasting here at Sun Devil Stadium Utah endured really sticks out and although this small sample-size points toward taking Arizona State and laying the lumber, the feel here (Art again) is that this will be a very close game—the Utes L4 game have been decided by 3, 6 (OT), 2 and 1 point(s)—and that the 5½ points seems big and that Utah (+187 Money Line) and head coach Kyle Whittingham (61-52-3 ATS) could even find a way to win this one in Tempe (suburban Phoenix) late Saturday night. And an Auburn Money Line (+125) and Utah Money Line (+187, Paddy Power) parlay may be worth the ride in these two late Saturday games as a College Football pick of even the most modest amount would reap a nice payday should both Auburn and Utah both win outright as Underdogs.
Free College Football Picks: Utah +5½ (bet365)