NCAAF Picks, Predictions for Week 10: Stuckey’s 3 Situational Betting Spots on Saturday Night (November 5)
Michael Chang/Getty Images. Pictured: Auburn Tigers linebacker Cam Riley (13).
Week 10 NCAAF Situational Spots ⋅ Saturday Evening
Just as I’ve done every week throughout the college football season, I will share my favorite situational betting spots for this week’s college football games.
Ultimately, the actual spread value still reigns supreme. No matter how great a situational spot may appear on paper, you still have to factor in how much value the number holds. A good or bad spot may sway me one way or the other on a bet I’m on the fence for, but it’s certainly more art than science.
Hopefully, I can help you make one or two of those same tough wagering decisions while sharing some key angles, matchups and injury situations for each particular game.
Depending on your own personal risk aversion level, you may want to sit some of these out if you aren’t comfortable with the quarterback uncertainty in a number of the following matchups.
Last week’s nine spots finished 7-2 with two painful losses on West Virginia (I don’t want to talk about it) and Cal by the hook. That brings the three-week running tally to 22-3, so hopefully we can keep it rolling. Although, it won’t always be rosy results.
I have highlighted nine games once again this week — three from each of Saturday’s major kickoff windows.
This particular article focuses on Saturday evening’s kickoffs (7 p.m. ET or later). Click either of the links below to navigate to my noon or afternoon situational betting spots on Saturday:
Texas -1.5 at Kansas State
I believe it’s time to buy Texas after its bye week while selling Kansas State after the biggest lopsided shutout win over an AP Top-10 team in almost 50 years.
To me, that blowout said more about Oklahoma State than anything. Plus, the Pokes had injuries all over on both sides of the ball.
I also like this matchup for Texas. Unlike Oklahoma State, which simply can’t run the ball, Texas features one of the nation’s best backs in Bijan Robinson. That’s critical against a Kansas State defense that has more holes against the run.
In a battle of two elite backs who spearhead two potent rushing attacks, the Texas defense has a much better shot at containing Deuce Vaughn.
The Horns’ secondary has struggled at times, but Kansas State has a very run-heavy offense that lacks the necessary weapons to really exploit any of those vulnerabilities.
Despite three losses, I still have Texas power rated as the sixth-best team in college football. The Longhorns could easily be undefeated with just a few bounces in its three one-possession losses:
- Lost to Alabama on a last-second field goal after battling multiple QB injuries.
- Blew a 14-point second-half lead in an eventual overtime loss at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders finished 6-of-8 on fourth-down attempts and won the turnover battle, 2-0, which included a rare Robinson fumble in overtime. Texas won the yards per play battle, 7.1-4.8.
- Blew a double-digit second-half lead at Oklahoma State. Texas averaged a full yard more per play but went 0-for-2 on fourth downs and lost a net of 14 points to turnover luck. It also had 14 penalties for 115 yards, while Oklahoma State had zero.
Texas grades out excellent across the board on early downs, which are much more predictive. It’s just been snakebitten in a few high-variance categories, such as late downs, turnovers and penalties.
Ultimately, both squads have very stingy defenses, but I prefer the matchup for the more talented Texas offense. The Horns also have superior special teams and are much fresher (and healthier) post-bye.
Texas should pick up a win in this series for a sixth straight season.
Kansas State beat Oklahoma State, 48-0, covering by 45 points. Ranked underdogs that covered in their previous game by 30-plus points against a ranked opponent have gone 3-14 ATS (17.6%) in their next game, failing to cover by 12.2 points per game.
Auburn +13.5 at Mississippi State
It’s time for our weekly bet on a team that fired its coach after Auburn parted ways with Bryan Harsin earlier this week.
Last week, Charlotte became the latest team in 2022 to pull off a stunning upset with an interim coach, joining Colorado, Georgia Tech and Arizona State. Wisconsin also exceeded expectations in a blowout victory over Northwestern in Jim Leonhard’s first game as head coach. Nebraska was the only team to fall flat.
From what I’ve heard, this move was well-received by the locker room, and the team should rally around interim coach Cadillac Williams. Plus, you can expect a few new wrinkles and looks that Mississippi State won’t have on film.
More importantly, I show value on this number and fancy the on-field matchup.
Auburn has a run-heavy offense that might even increase its run rate with Williams now calling the shots. That bodes well against a Mississippi State defense that has struggled against the run.
Conversely, nobody passes more frequently than Mississippi State, which should be a welcome relief for an Auburn defense that has been gashed by opposing backs throughout 2022.
On the season, Auburn ranks in the bottom 20 nationally in EPA per Rush but has excelled against the pass. That’s massive against the pass-happy Bulldogs.
Yes, the Bulldogs come off of a bye week, but time off historically has hurt Mike Leach offenses by throwing off the timing and rhythm. Last year, Mississippi State scored a grand total of 16 points against Alabama and Texas Tech after extended rest. In the year prior, it totaled 10 points against Alabama and Auburn.
Including bowl games, Mike Leach is just 9-19 ATS (32.1%) with two or more weeks in between games since 2005. He’s the least profitable coach of 461 in this situation over that span. That also includes an 0-4 ATS record when favored by more than a touchdown with three outright losses.
James Madison +7.5 at Louisville
This is your sandwich spot of the week.
The Cardinals are fresh off a beatdown of Wake Forest to extend their winning streak to three. Now, they welcome in a Group of Five team prior to closing out the season with three massive games against Clemson, NC State and Kentucky.
This certainly screams “sleepy spot” for a very undisciplined Louisville team.
Louisville undoubtedly deserved last week’s win over Wake Forest after averaging almost two full yards more per play. However, it did benefit from eight takeaways, bringing its season total to an FBS-high 24. That good fortune has certainly provided a boost to its overall defensive metrics.
Meanwhile, James Madison should come in fully focused following a much-needed bye week after two consecutive losses. The first came in fairly fluky fashion at Georgia Southern in which the Dukes amassed almost 700 yards of total offense.
The second came at home against Marshall with their backup quarterback. You can almost throw out that result without Todd Centeio, who has been one of the best statistical quarterbacks in all of college football in 2022.
The Colorado State transfer actually leads the country in big-time throw rate, per PFF, which also has him graded as the second-best quarterback overall, trailing only Drake Maye.
If Centeio (listed as questionable) can’t play, I will not feel comfortable with Billy Atkins. However, I heard enough optimism to take the risk and back the Dukes, who should also have improved offensive line health after the bye.
From a matchup perspective, James Madison’s run defense is the real deal. It leads the nation in EPA per Rush, Rush Success Rate, Line Yards and Stuff Rate.
Opponents have rushed for an FBS-low 2.0 yards per carry. That’s crucial against a run-first Louisville offense that struggles to consistently move the ball through the air.
Teams favored after an upset win with a 30-plus point cover margin are 11-26 ATS (29.7%) against opponents with extended rest since 2005. For what it’s worth, North Texas (vs. FIU) also falls into this trend.