This week’s college football previews and predictions take a look at a trio of Top 6 teams according to the polls.
Each elite squad is favored at home by at least a dozen points according to the NCAAF betting odds. Are all three of these highly ranked clubs a safe bet or should one consider the underdog with the points?
Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday, September 24, 2022 – 7:30 PM EDT at Bryant-Denny Stadium
Vanderbilt has a 3-1 record for the first time since 2017, but taking it to 4-1 would require a next-level upset when they visit Tuscaloosa.
Head coach Clark Lea has put forth an agenda stating that the Commodores’ aspirations are not to just have a winning record, but to become an annual contender in the SEC East.
While those thoughts might be crazy, who thought a car could parallel park by itself 15 years ago?
Vanderbilt Needs a Clean Game and Alabama to Not Care
This is a nasty assignment for Vandy, having not played Alabama in five seasons, and they have lost 22 consecutive times. On the receiving end of 40 points, it’s fair to say the streak will continue.
This very much seems like what we call a “want to” point spread. If Alabama wants to cover the number they will.
If not, the Tide could work up a sweat and take a 35-0 lead and turn their attention to a trip to Arkansas next Saturday. They go on to beat Vanderbilt 49-10 and call it a day, being one of the top teams in the country.
Though Bama should cover, they are only 5-10 ATS in their last 15 matchups with the ‘Dores. One possible reason Vandy covers, in their three victories, just one turnover (3 TO’s in a loss to Wake Forest) is that Nick Saban’s club has only generated one turnover in three games.
NCAAF Pick: Vanderbilt +40.5 (-107) at PointsBet
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, September 24, 2022 – 7:30 PM EDT at Ohio Stadium
This will be a massive test for Wisconsin who already has one loss this season when they were upset by Washington State in Madison.
The Badgers cannot get in a shootout with Ohio State, and with the total hovering around 56 and a point spread at -18 favoring the Buckeyes, that suggests a score of 37-19.
To compete, Wisconsin has to keep the vaunted Ohio State offense to 30 points max and likely less to have a shot at an upset.
Wisconsin Has a Shot, But it Feels Like a Long One
Notre Dame gave Wisky the blueprint, get super physical in the trenches with Ryan Day’s team, and don’t get behind the chains using running backs Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi. Quarterback Graham Mertz will have to be a great decision-maker and on target with his passes.
Though we can make a solid case for the Badgers, just not sure if they have enough offense to keep pace with ball-chucker C.J. Stroud.
The Ohio State defense has held three teams 85 yards below that average, along with holding them to 14.3 PPG. With Ohio State 11-3 ATS off a home win by 17 points or more, they win by 20 against the college football odds.
NCAAF Pick: Ohio State -18 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Saturday, September 24, 2022 – 8:00 PM EDT at Memorial Stadium
Kansas State presumably got caught looking ahead to this battle with Oklahoma, losing to Tulane 17-10 as 13-point home favorites last Saturday, despite having a 2-0 turnover edge.
The Wildcats have been rough for the Sooners in Norman, with a 5-6 SU record and 8-3 ATS mark. This is especially true the past three years with K-State 2-1 and 3-0 ATS.
The secret sauce for coach Chris Klieman’s crew has been a brilliant pass offense or a domineering run offense. However, this Kansas State club doesn’t match up as well this season.
Kansas State Has No Pass Offense
The Wildcats are 127th in passing yards, even below noted running teams like Army and Navy. Kansas State does have the No. 12 run offense at 239 yards a game, but coach Brent Venables’s run defense permits just 2.8 yards per carry.
The Sooners are more sound on defense, and if the offense gets up by 14 points and the visitor has to throw, go with Oklahoma, who is 10-2 ATS playing against a team with a winning record since 2020.
NCAAF Pick: Oklahoma -13 (-105) at PointsBet