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2012 College Football Week 5 Predictions: N.C. State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota and More

Since we spend so much time on TSE trying to figure out who to bet on each week, I thought it would be a cool idea to get some of our cappers to list a few games that they are considering betting on this week and give a few reasons why they like a particular side.

Please feel free to join in the discussion and offer your feedback, we would definitely like to hear about how you are viewing a particular side or total.


My list is still pretty long, but here are a few games that I want to review asap.

North Carolina State +2.5

Our ACC capper jimmyshivers and I had a Twitter conversation the other day about this game and one of our main topics of discussion was the “game after” affect of having played Georgia Tech the week before. Unfortunately I don’t have the exact stat readily available, but I remember reading about how teams do not perform well the week after they play a triple-option team, particularly Georgia Tech.

Miami is coming off a very hard fought, emotional OT victory over Georgia Tech last week and they have a big nationally televised game next week against Notre Dame in Chicago. I can see where they may not be 100% focused on the Wolfpack.

Penn State +2

As I point out in my College Football Betting Notes for week 5 these two teams seem to be going in opposite directions in terms of team chemistry and issues. Penn State seems to have moved on from all the off-season drama that surrounded the team and are now back to playing good, hard-nosed football, albeit with a depleted roster. But this Illinois team appears to have some serious issues.

When I saw the Illini play in Tempe they were dominated on both sides of the ball. However I blew that off as being in a bad situation (having to travel out west and play a night game in the desert) combined with the injury to starting QB Nathan Scheelhaase. But after the beating they took last week from defensively challenged Louisiana Tech, I am starting to think this team has some serious issues that won’t easily be remedied in a week or two.

One last tidbit is the way Illinois went about trying to recruit Penn State players immediately after the Nittany Lions were slapped with severe NCAA sanctions. I have a feeling that the Penn State coaches and players haven’t forgotten about that.

Wisconsin – Nebraska UNDER 50.5

On paper this just looks like a knockdown, drag out type of game where points may be at a premium. I also think it is a good matchup for keeping points at a minimum. Wisconsin has been struggling all season on offense and last week starting QB Danny O’Brien was benched. Now redshirt freshman Stave will be making his first road start in Lincoln? That should be tough. The Nebraska defense is nothing special this year, but the Badger offense has struggled all season against a few lesser D’s (Northern Iowa and Utah State).

But the Wisky D has been playing lights out so far this season. They’re allowing 332.67 ypg against teams that avg 383.58 ypg and they are allowing 16.67 ppg vs teams that are avg 21.17 ppg. But more importantly they are only allowing 94 ypg and 2.88 yards per carry rushing vs teams that avg 136.28 ypg and 3.82 ypc. So I believe they will have some success slowing down the Nebraska running game.

Minnesota +7.5

I really haven’t looked at this game in any detail yet, but what caught my attention was the fact that Iowa, a team that has been struggling to score all season (avg 19.75 ppg overall and 18.33 ppg vs FBS competition) is favored by more than a TD.

Based on the last 3 years if my database numbers, teams that avg less than 28 ppg who are favored by a TD or more cover the spread 38.12% of the time. That combined with the possibility of Minnesota being an improved team and I want to at least take a good look at this game.

La Tech -2.5

I like La Tech vs. UVA. I have been on the La Tech train, and I think it might finally be catching up to me, which is why I am somewhat hesitant. This team can score. They are coming off of a strong year last year, with a mature, experienced QB, and a coach that is going to get that $$$. The offense is stellar, and the defense is getting better and better. UVA is good, but not great. They have had some tough losses. Going to school in the VA area, I know this wont be a huge game on the UVA campus, especially with a 2-2 team. Can La Tech score on UVA? I think so. Is UVA offense good enough to keep up with La Tech, even against La Tech’s weak defense? I don’t think so at first glance. Another reason to be weary is UVA has a huge talent advantage (as did Illini vs La Tech, but how many times can they pull it off).

Georgia -13

I also like UGA. I think Tenn got overhyped with some wins over some teams that we are now realizing are not that good. UGA gets back their 2 top 10 draft picks on defense that was already solid. Tennessee is one dimensional. UGA can rush 5 and drop back 6 in coverage and still get pressure to Bray and force mistakes. On offense, UGA is much improved. This may be the best offense they’ve had in years. They run somewhat of a spread, but also have and have a RB in Gurley that can pound the ball. If UGA can hold UT to 20 or less here, I think they cover. Why am I worried? UT goes up 35 17 with 6 minutes left, pulls their defense starters to save up for big game next week for USC (the real, undefeated USC that is) and UT still has Bray in slinging it. UT easily can cover backdoor with their offense if UGA lays down towards the end.

Ole Miss +31 

Once again, I like Ole Miss here getting some points vs. Bama, but don’t love it yet. I still don’t think people realize this is a brand new Ole Miss team, especially on O. Honestly, Bama can probably name their score on offense. I don’t think it will be as bad as the Texas game defensively for Ole Miss since they were missing some starters in that game, but I also think it could get ugly. What I like about Ole Miss here, besides getting 30+ points, is that Bama has let some teams stay close early. This will be the best, most athletic offense Bama has faced to date, and it should challenge this young defense. Why I’m not in love? It’s Bama. If they treated this like the SEC Championship, Ole Miss may not score more than 10 here. Bama is also home. If Ole Miss hits 20, they cover.

ULM -18

ULM I think is in a good spot. This will be their first game out of the lime-light, so they may not care quite as much. Tulane is just horrid though. Ole Miss fumbled 2834293842 times and they still couldn’t score last week. Tulane’s QB will now be playing in his 2nd game of his career, as a true frosh. He was totally outmatched last week. ULM can score, we know that. This play would be a simple fade against Tulane. Can they score on the only decent ULM defense though? Think Tulane needs to be held to under 20, and that will probably happen since they’ve only scored 22 points all game. Also scary now that every game for Tulane is their super bowl, and a chance to play for Devon Walker (Visit here to read/help out).

Ohio State +3 

I know MSU is not as bad as we assume from the ND loss, but I also think we’ve seen enough to know their weakness. If you can contain the freak of nature at RB and make Maxwell pass, you can beat this team. I know OSU doesn’t offer much more on offense either, but Braxton can create, which Mich St. doesn’t offer. Both defenses are good here. Think this is a close game, and if it comes down to which offense do I think can make something happen, I’m leaning on OSU. Urban will be out for a big W here too. Don’t expect OSU to sleepwalk thru this game like they have been doing.


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