Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrate a game tying two point conversion in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at State Farm Stadium.

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Best bets for this weekend in college football, NFL

WWL Newsroom
September 13, 2019 - 11:36 am
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By Tim Zimmer

Last week didn’t turn out the way we wanted — 1-5 against the spread. A backdoor cover and the Steelers showing their road woes once again made Week 1 in the NFL a week to forget. But one week doesn’t make or break a season. So this week, I grinded a bit more to get us some winners in the NFL and college football.

There’s plenty of road teams getting public money this week in the NFL, and if there’s ever a week to overreact its Week 1 of the NFL. While I do like a road dog this week, I think we’ll find some normalcy after an eventful Week 1 Sunday.

1) Chargers @ Lions (+2.5)

This pick is really simple. The Chargers have injuries all over their offense right now and they head across the country to face the Lions in their home opener.

The Chargers announced that tight end Hunter Henry will be out a few weeks with a tibia plateau fracture. Receiver Mike Williams is questionable for the game and even the kicker is limited with a groin injury. Plus, I didn’t even mention their best offensive player, Melvin Gordon, who is still holding out.

Kickoff for this game is at 1 p.m. ET so the internal clocks for Los Angeles will be a little off.  

The Lions, on the other hand, are coming off a tie against the Arizona Cardinals. Matt Stafford looked competent on the road and so expect him to continue having success at home. Detroit won games last season when running back Kerryon Johnson was healthy. Los Angeles almost gave up the lead at home against a Colts team without Andrew Luck. This one comes down to a last second FG. Take the home points.

2) Cardinals/Ravens Under (46.5)

The Cardinals face one of the top defenses in the league this week. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens scored 59 points against the worst team in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins, last week. Don’t expect the same results this week. Both QBs are two of the youngest in the league and I can see both defenses capitalizing off their inexperience.

The Ravens are double-digit favorites so I expect them to win this one, but they’ll have to keep the ball on the ground and away from the Cardinals offense in the second half. Expect the Ravens to get a lead in the fourth quarter and start milking the clock. This could be a 24-10 game. 

3) Vikings (+3) @ Packers

What we saw from the Packers against the Bears on Thursday night wasn’t exciting football to say the least. While the Vikings crushed the Atlanta Falcons last week and did so on the ground. Expect Minnesota to do the same thing in this one. The Packers have no answer for a healthy Dalvin Cook.

On the other side of the field is Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Yes, Green Bay got the win last week but it was not an impressive one. Rodgers hasn’t shown his elite form in a while now and I think adjusting to a new coach and offense will take some time before we see elite Rodgers again. It’s Rodgers vs. Mike Zimmer’s defense and so far Coach Zimmer’s defense has gotten the upper hand during his tenure in Minnesota.

Leans:

Eagles (-1.5) @ Falcons

Saints @ Rams (-2.5)

Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-4)

Jags/Texans Over (43.5)

4) Stanford @ UCF (-9)

This game comes down to mismatches. UCF is loaded with speed while Stanford plays a slower ground-and-pound type of football. The Golden Knights haven’t lost a home game since 2016, when former head coach Scott Frost was in his first season with the team. I do think the return of Stanford quarterback KJ Costello helps, but I don’t think it’ll make a difference.

Stanford also has conference foe No. 15 Oregon next week so the possibility to look ahead to that game makes this a good pick. While I don’t think UCF goes undefeated throughout the season, this won’t be the spot they fall. Golden Knights by 14.

5) FSU @ Virginia (-7.5)

Virginia came into this season as the media darling. So far, the Cavaliers are building off the momentum of their basketball program’s success. They’ve covered in both their games and don’t look to be tested until they meet Notre Dame in a few weeks.

Florida St, on the other hand….

Last week was embarrassing for the program and it’s about to get worse. Willie Taggart is coaching for his job this week and with a loss I could see the Seminoles moving on before the season ends. Anytime a “blue blood” program is vulnerable, the team that’s taking the other end of it usually returns the favor. Cavs win this bid and the Taggart era starts to unravel.

6) Oklahoma State/Tulsa Over (64)

The Cowboys have scored a lot of points in each of their games this season (52, 56). This game should turn into a typical Big 12 shootout as Oklahoma State’s defense is capable of giving up some touchdowns. Tulsa faced one of the best defenses in the country when they lost to Michigan State in Week 1, I expect their offense to turn it around this week.

Also, one of Oklahoma State biggest donors, T Boone Pickens, passed away this week. Pickens was a huge Cowboy fans, so I expect the team to put on a show as they honor the man in which the stadium is named after. The total should end up close to 70-75 in this one.

Leans:
Ohio St (-16.5) @ Indiana

Pittsburgh (+17.5) @ Penn St

1st Half Florida/Kentucky Under (23.5)

Air Force (+3.5) @ Colorado

Arizona St @ Michigan St (-14)

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