Pick City is 12-9 in college football this season, and this could be a dangerous week as 11 nationally ranked teams hit the road. We have six college football plays, but follow us @BettorTakeCover on Twitter and Bettor Take Cover on Facebook for more potential plays on Saturday morning.
Friday, Sept. 22
2* Arizona +4
A little #Pac12AfterDark on Friday night sounds like the best way to start off a college football weekend. This is an important game for Rich Rodriguez as he is looking to match last year’s win total of three games. The last year hasn’t been fun for Arizona football, but this is a good spot for them as they have beaten Utah in four out of the last five meetings and two straight times in Tucson. The Utes haven’t shown much this season, and Arizona’s defense was impressive even in a 19-16 loss to Houston. As Brent Musburger would say… the underdog is howling, and we like the Wildcats on the money line for the upset. The Pick City Pick: Arizona 26, Utah 24.
Saturday, Sept. 23
5* Georgia/Mississippi State Under 48.5
Our first five-star play of the year is the under in the battle of the Bulldogs in the SEC. Georgia had the No. 16 defense in the country last year, and they returned 10 starters on that side of the ball. They held Notre Dame to 19 points in a road victory two weeks ago, and only gave up 10 points to a solid Appalachian State squad the opening week of the season. Mississippi State’s defense, led by new defensive coordinator and former Georgia DC Todd Grantham, held LSU to only seven points this past weekend. They’re allowing only 9.3 points per game so far this season. The under has hit 13 of the last 16 home games for Georgia, and Mississippi State has played under the total six of their last eight games played in the month of September. Georgia will lean on their run game and their defense to protect true freshman Jake Fromm. This will be a low scoring, SEC style slugfest. The Pick City Pick: Georgia 20, Mississippi State 17.
3* Alabama -18.5
Vanderbilt is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alabama’s defense has received a lot of criticism for giving up 391 yards to a good Colorado State offense. Colorado State has averaged 480 yards per game so far this season and while facing three Power 5 opponents. The Tide were also down five linebackers in that game, and three of those five will be back this week for the SEC opener at Vandy. The Commodores are averaging 346 yards per game and have faced only one Power 5 opponent this year. They gave up 201 yards rushing on six yards per carry last week to a one dimensional Kansas State team. The offense only managed 270 yards total (65 yards rushing) against Kansas State as well. News flash: Alabama isn’t Kansas State. Vanderbilt will have a very tough time scoring at all against this motivated focused Alabama defense. The only way they score a touchdown will be if their defense or special teams can score or set them up deep in Alabama territory. Vandy’s defense will be able to compete and keep it fairly close in the first half. Their defense will be on the field the entire game though and will eventually wear down as the game goes on. The Pick City Pick: Alabama 31, Vanderbilt 3.
3* Florida State/N.C. State Under 52
This pick is based off of two key factors: One, the Florida State defense is a top five defense in the country. Two, Florida State true freshman James Blackman is making his first career start against a solid N.C. State defense. The Noles have not played since their opening week loss to Alabama, and Florida State’s defense held Alabama to 269 total yards in that game. The under has hit seven of the last 10 games overall for Florida State. Jimbo Fisher will lean on the running game and let his defense control the game to help his true freshman quarterback. The Pick City Pick: Florida State 24, N.C. State 20.
3* Florida/Kentucky Under 44
Kentucky has played three games this year and all three have gone under 44 points. Both of these teams have very good defenses and the Florida offense has been pathetic. Florida and Kentucky both want to run the football, and that plays into the strengths of these two defenses. The Cats held a good South Carolina offense to 13 points and 54 yards rushing on the road last week. The under is 7-2 the last nine Florida games overall. The under is 12-4-1 the last 17 Kentucky games overall. This will be another ugly low scoring SEC slugfest. The Pick City Pick: Florida 20, Kentucky 16.
The Diet Cole Special: 2* Michigan State +4
The Diet Cole Special failed to deliver last week with Kansas State, but it’s still 1-1 this year. It was almost San Diego State as a 3.5-point road favorite at Air Force, but this Michigan State spot was just too good to pass up. Mark Dantonio could have another losing season and I’d still consider him one of the best coaches in college football. The Spartans haven’t exactly played stellar competition, but they’ve looked improved through two games. Dantonio had a week off to prepare for this game, and I think the Spartans come out with something to prove after last year’s abysmal 3-9 season. Michigan State has been a home underdog four times since 2014, and they’re 4-0 against the spread in those four games. The Pick City Pick: Michigan State 27, Notre Dame 24.
College Football Teaser of the Week
A three-team, 10-point teaser pays out -110. So, you’d risk $110 to win $100, and you have to win all three games to win. The Pick City College Teaser of the Week is 1-1 this season.
Michigan -1/2 (from -10.5 at Purdue)
Penn State -2.5 (from -12.5 at Iowa)
Oklahoma State -2.5 (from -12.5 vs. TCU)