College Football Picks – 4 Pack Saturday
by Tommy Lynch, senior college football analyst for Wannamakeabet.com
La Tech -2.5 @ Charlotte 64.5
Our first play will come from the CUSA! La Tech travels to Charlotte as a short road favorite. We are going to be looking at the over in this matchup. These defenses rank almost dead last in the country in points allowed. They have struggled to keep teams out of the end zone since the beginning of the year (Char Points allowed 41.1) & (La Tech Points allowed 41.7). Now neither of these offenses are particularly great but they will have plenty of opportunities against these defenses. Charlotte has been much better on offense with Reynolds under center. Despite some of the low scores they have put up they have moved the ball very well but have just been unlucky with turnovers.
I look for Reynolds to have a big game on senior day. La Tech has gone through the QB carousel this season having started 3 QB’s. Despite that they have been able to put up points with each QB. It appears Parker McNeil will be back for this game and that is a good sign for us as he has played the most this year. The common factor with these teams is that the defenses are terrible and if we can get the offenses to be mistake free, this game should go over the total.
The Pick: Over 64.5 good to 67
Iowa @ Minnesota -3 Total 32.5
This Big Ten matchup features a total of 32.5… for the whole game! This is an important game as both of these teams are alive in the Big Ten West Race. This game features such a low total due to the defenses of both these teams. They both are allowing under 15 points a game! I am looking to take the points with Iowa on the road here. Their offense has been terrible most of the season, they have relied heavily on their defense and special teams.
Although they seemed to have found a little bit of life lately, today will be a struggle. But I trust their defense taking on a backup QB for Minnesota as Morgan looks to be ruled out again. I do not believe Minnesota will be able to just run the ball all game with Ibrahim as they have done with Morgan out. The back-up QB will be forced to throw the ball and that should play right into the hands of Iowa who feast on turnovers. So, in a game that will feature little scoring and a lot of punts, I will take the team that was born to play this style in Iowa. These 3 points could be very valuable in a game that will feature little score.
The Pick: Iowa +3
USC -2 @UCLA Total 76.5
In a complete opposite of the Iowa game, this game will feature a ton of points. The Trojans will take on UCLA in the battle for the prestigious Victory Bell. Both of these teams are still alive for the P12 Title game so this is a big-time game and we should be getting a Pac 12 after dark shootout! USC’s offense has been one of the best in the country averaging around 42 points a game! They did lose Dye at RB last game and that will be a big blow that may force them to rely more on Caleb Williams.
The questions I have about the Trojans are on defense. In their one tough game this year they lost a close game to Utah but allowed 43 points. They have also allowed Cal and Arizona to put up 35+ on them. It is entirely possible that it is due to lack of focus against the smaller teams or I think it may be the lack of depth on defense late into the year. Riley has not been here long enough to build depth, most of the transfers he brought in are starters and there is not much talent behind them and I think that is a concern here.
UCLA also has one of the best offenses in the country coming in averaging over 38 points a game. While their defense will allow points there is one main reason, I like the Bruins here. Their ability to run the ball with DTR and Charbonnet. They feature a very physical run style that could wear down a defense like USC who is thin. There is no question this game will feature points, however late in the game I look for the ability of UCLA to pound the rock and pull off the upset over the Trojans!
The Pick: UCLA +2
UNLV -11 @ Hawaii Total 56
We have to have some action on the Late-night Hawaii game, right? UNLV has not been a road favorite in almost 5 years! Now they are laying a big number on the road. Now to be fair Hawaii is not very good. They had a complete roster overhaul and a new coaching staff was brought in. It has taken some time, but they have actually been competitive against the lower half of the Mountain West late into the season losing a bunch of one score games. UNLV on the other hand is getting healthy with Brumfield back under center and Robbins leading the backfield.
When they both have played this offense takes a step up. There is a very real chance UNLV puts up a lot of points and blows the doors off of Hawaii but I’m willing to take a chance here that Hawaii is starting to put some pieces together and can hang within 10 points in this one. Give me the Rainbow Warriors!
The Pick: Hawaii +11
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