College Football

MHJ’s Tough Cover Column: College Football and NFL picks for this weekend 10/8-10/9

Kenya Allen/PressBox

Last week on the Tough Cover Column, we took a break from Football and wrote a very interesting NBA Season Preview, which you can still check out. The shame of it is that I happened to have the best football gambling weekend that I’ve had in a very long time. 7-1 on Saturday on the Tough Cover Radio Show and 12-6-1 on Sunday with a lot of live betting. We are at +50 units in the month of October and we’re only going up! It’s time to get back in the saddle and break down my favorite plays of the weekend. Only 3 plays in the Collegiate ranks but we stretch it out to 7 plays in the NFL ranks. Without any further adieu, let’s get to the picks.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Tennessee -2.5 @ LSU

  • This might be a rat line but I’ll take the cheese.
  • This is such a trap game with a Home game upcoming against the Alabama Crimson Tide. If Tennessee can just get by this game, College Gameday will be in Knoxville and all of the eyes across College Football would be upon Tennessee football for the first time in a long time.
  • I would normally play the LSU side of this bet as a small home dog in an obvious trap spot with a fishy line. But I believe LSU has been given a lot of credit for beating Auburn in a 4 point win as an 8 point favorite. Auburn stinks out loud and that game was tight the whole way.
  • I also believe in this Tennessee team to get by this spot. Josh Heupel seems to have changed the culture in swift order. Hendon Hooker is the type of QB that transcends trap spots and this is an opportunity for him to bolster his Heisman campaign before his REAL opportunity next week.
  • The biggest reason that I like Tennessee in this game is due to when this game is scheduled. Tennessee does not have to go into Death Valley at 7 PM with a stadium full of wasted Cajuns. They get to go and play LSU at Noon and there is a considerably difference in homefield advantage for LSU at Noon as opposed to Night games.
  • Tennessee wins by double digits.

Over 54 Buffalo-Bowling Green

  • One of Sean Brace’s favorite phrases of mine is “There’s Money in the Dumpster” and that’s exactly what we’re looking at here.
  • Bowling Green’s defense is the gift that keeps on giving.
  • All 5 games have went Over for Bowling Green. There is an average of 71 PPG in Bowling Green’s games. Bowling Green gives up 42 PPG!
  • Buffalo games have an average total of 60 PPG and are 3-1 on the Over in the last 4 games.
  • Last year when these teams played, Bowling Green won in a 56-44 shootout. The last 3 games between these two teams have went Over and 5 of the last 6 games between these two teams have went Over. Apparently, when Bowling Green and Buffalo meet up…you take the Over? If this bet hits, this will become an Auto-Bet going forward.

Kansas State -1 @ Iowa State

  • My best bet last week? Fading the biggest fraud in College Football in Matt Campbell. My best bet this week? Fading the biggest fraud in College Football in Matt Campbell.
  • That was displayed in it’s truest form last week when Matt Campbell continued to trot out his inept college kicker instead of trusting his offense and his decision-making cost Iowa State the game and helped me cash my Kansas bets.
  • Under Campbell, ISU has been involved in 19 games in which the spread was within 3.5 points in either direction.. Iowa State is 5-14 in those games.
  • And I’m sticking in the state of Kansas to fade Iowa State. This bet is not only out of pessimism against the Cyclones but I am also incredibly impressed by the Kansas State Wildcats.
  • KState did what KState does every year when they beat Oklahoma and that was obviously impressive. But the reason I’m truly impressed by this Wildcats’ team and think they may be different than they’ve been in years past? The fact that they followed up a big OU upset with a very impressive 9 point victory against, in my opinion, a very good Texas Tech team.
  • Adrian Martinez is in the Top 5 of Heisman odds and he, not to mention stud RB Deuce Vaughn, has been the main reason to believe that this team has a chance to stick around and compete to win the Big 12.
  • K State takes care of business in “Farmageddon”.

NFL

Seahawks +6 @ Saints

  • Geno Smith had the best game of his career last week and I’m done expecting Geno Smith to start stinking again all of a sudden. I think he’s very well set up to succeed with talent like Rashaad Penny, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett around him. Geno Smith is the only QB in the NFL with a completion percentage over 75% with 1,000 yards and 5 passing TD’s. As long as he plays mistake-free football, the Seahawks will keep it close with a run-down Saints team.
  • Only five teams in the NFL have returned home from the UK without a bye week. Every one of those teams was tied or trailing in the fourth quarter the next week. They’re 2-3 ATS, and two of the three favorites lost straight up
  • You would think New Orleans is a tough place to play but the Saints are 2-7 SU/ATS in their last nine home games.
  • I’ll continue betting against the Saints and cashing tickets while I watch the Eagles 1st Round Pick acquired from New Orleans get better and better.

Dolphins -3 @ Jets

  • I am beyond disappointed that we don’t get to watch Tua Tagovailoa continue to mesh with this offense. BUT, that doesn’t mean that I can’t think this line is a bit of a market overreaction to the loss of Tua. The Miami Dolphins happen to have the best Backup QB in recent memory in Teddy Bridgewater, who happens to be a covering machine.
  • Teddy Covers is 43-21 ATS in his career, including 24-6 ATS on the road. In the last 20 years, Teddy is the 5th most profitable QB ATS.
  • The 4 ahead of him? Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
  • Bridgewater has played as a backup QB 18 times in his career, and he is 11-7 SU, 14-4 ATS. He’s won and covered his last 5 starts as a backup dating back to 2019.
  • And oh yeah, he gets to throw the ball to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle
  • Jets haven’t won back-to-back games since December 2020 and I don’t expect that streak to end this week.
  • Dolphins win this game and cover the spread.

Steelers +14 @ Bills

  • Usually, I like to give a bunch of numbers and blabber on about trends.
  • This is an “eye test” pick or a “gut” pick. I was impressed by Kenny Pickett and think he will continue doing a good job at getting the ball to his weapons this week, even against a good Buffalo defense
  • Buffalo has shown some significant chinks in the armor in the last couple weeks and I walked away from that Ravens win extremely unimpressed.
  • Biggest underdog line in over 50 years for the Steelers. They haven’t been more than a 12 pt dog since Super Bowl 30 in 1996
  • I think the Steelers have enough talent on both sides of the ball to hang around within two touchdowns.

Eagles -5 @ Cardinals

  • Since Week 8 of last season, only Patrick Mahomes has a better winning % than Hurts.
  • Kliff Kingsbury NFL Career: Home: 9-17 ATS/Road: 19-7-2 ATS
  • Opponents have outscored the Cardinals, 31-0, in the first quarter this season. Through Week 4, the Cardinals have been outscored, 66-16.
  • I expect the Eagles to jump all over Arizona early and often in this game. This defensive line is just too big for bite-sized Kyler Murray. Eagles get one more easy beat down before a true test next week against Dallas.
  • Jalen Hurts Anytime TD Scorer(+100): The best value bet in sports continues! When will the books learn that this prop needs to be – money every single week? Especially against a Cardinals defense that leaves a lot to be desired. Jalen Hurts has 17 rushing TD’s in 23 career starts. The implied odds are much better than +100.

Cowboys +5.5/ML @ Rams

  • In the last 20 years, Cooper Rush is currently the ONLY undefeated QB ATS(with a minimum four starts).
  • Not to mention, Rush is also the first Cowboys QB to start career 4-0
  • The Cooper Rush Cowboys have me fully believing that this team is the 2nd best team in the NFC and the team that I’m most scared of from an Eagles perspective.
  • I came into this year expecting regression from Dallas, especially on defense. That has simply not been the case. The defense is better than ever and Dan Quinn has that side of the ball playing like one of the best units in all off football.
  • Not only am I all in on this Cowboys defense, this is a tricky spot for the Rams. Sean McVay admitted this week that the Rams would have to run a silent snap count at home due to how many Dallas Cowboys’ fans will take over SoFi Stadium.
  • I don’t just expect the Cowboys to cover the spread here but I expect them to beat a reeling LA Rams squad.

Bengals +3.5 @ Ravens

  • This is the game/line that I’ve talked myself in and out of 100 times this week.
  • But, I’m going to reluctantly put my faith in Zac Taylor and the Bengals OLine. After an abysmal first two performances, their last 2 performances have been pretty clean from the Offensive Line. They have only given up 3 sacks over the last two weeks and this Ravens defense does not scare me.
  • But the main reason that I like Cincy to cover and win this game? Joe Burrow owns the Ravens and the city of Baltimore. The Bengals also scored 41 points TWICE last year against this Ravens defense. The Bengals scored 92 points against the Ravens last year, which is a record for points against a team in a regular season. They also broke the record for yards gained against a team in a regular season.
  • I expect to see more of the Ravens defense we saw against Miami and I expect to see more of the explosiveness we saw last year from Cincy. The X-Factor? Get Joe Mixon going. I think they will.

You can follow Mark Henry Jr. on Twitter (@MarkHenryJr_) and listen to the Tough Cover Radio Show every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Radio The Gambler.

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