Thursday, September 20, 2007

September 22 Predictions

Georgia Tech @ Virginia 12:00 ESPNU
Line: GT -3, 40.5

Georgia Tech comes into this Coastal Division battle looking for their first win in Charlottesville since 1990. Tashard Choice is questionable for this game that could dictate the season for the Yellow Jackets. If they lose, then Tech is looking at another 7-5 season, but a win could again jump start an ACC Championship season.

Why Georgia Tech will cover:
The Jackets were embarrassed last week on national television on both sides of the ball and will be looking to redeem themselves. Even if Choice does not play, Tech has 3 capable backups who can carry the load. QB Taylor Bennett got a lot of experience in the pocket last week and showed he can deliver the ball if given adequate time. Virginia has one of the worst offenses statistically in the ACC. The Cavs have been unable to decide on a QB yet and will be playing a sophomore and a freshman. Jon Tenuta loves young QBs

Why Virginia will cover:
Something is in the air in Charlottesville whenever they play Georgia Tech. The Cavs have used hook and ladders and anything in the bag to pull off wins. The Cavs have been playing better each week and their confidence is riding high. BC made the blueprint on how to beat Tech and the Cavs do have an improving defense led by DE Chris Long. Cedric Pearman has been a surprise at RB and leads the ACC in rushing (over the bally hoed Choice).

ATS Notes:
GT is 10-4-1 ATS in last 15 road games
Under is 12-4 in last 16 road games
Under is 17-5-3 in last 25 UVA conference games
Home team is 8-1 ATS in last 9 games
GT is 5-0 ATS after double digit home loss
UVA is 10-1 ATS in last 11 as home underdog

Georgia Tech has the better talent on both sides of the ball, but there is just something about them in Charlottesville that they cannot shake. Choice will likely be limited and the Jackets are searching for a go to guy at wide out still. However, I think the Yellow Jackets finally get it done this time around. Jonathan Dwyer makes a name for himself with a 100+ yard game.

Georgia Tech Wins, Covers, Over

Georgia @ Alabama 7:45 ESPN

Line: Alab -3.5, 48

An East vs West match up as Georgia travels to Alabama for their first road game of the year. Both teams have faced Western Carolina with similar blowout wins. The Catamounts head coach did say he felt Georgia was more physical and skilled than the Tide. Mark Richt closed practices for the first time in his 7 years in Athens hoping to keep any distractions away from his young team poised for a big win

Why Alabama will cover:
Last week was just the beginning of the Saban era and big wins. The Crimson Tide now has confidence they can come back against a good team. Terry Grant has been a surprise at TB with 5 TDs and this Georgia defense is susceptible to a sound running game (see South Carolina). The crowd will be at fever pitch with College Gameday in town.

Why Georgia will cover:
Everybody kind of forgot about Georgia after their loss to South Carolina as the attention turned to LSU, Florida, and Alabama. This could be Matt Stafford's break out game, but it will important to get Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno involved early. This Tide defense will give up some points as Arkansas came back from 21-0 to take the lead last week.

ATS Notes:
UGA is 2-6 ATS in last 8 conf games
Alab is 8-20-2 ATS in last 30 home games
UGA is 4-1 ATS in last 5 as dog

This is shaping up to be a classic in the SEC with two of the most respected minds in college football. Despite a high scoring game last week, I like this one to be good old fashioned defensive struggle. Watch how composed Bama is early after their big win last week.

Alabama Wins, Georgia Covers, Under

South Carolina @ LSU 3:30 CBS

Line: LSU -18, 46

Spurrier has had some good wins so far at South Carolina (@ Tennessee, vs Florida, @ Georgia), but this could be the big win he has been longing for. Both teams bring in stingy defenses and solid passing games.

Why LSU will cover:
The only TD scored on LSU this season had to be reviewed by replay - that is how good this defense is. On offense, the Tigers have an explosive passing game led by receivers Early Doucet and Brandon LaFell. This game is not at night, but the crowd will still be rocking in Baton Rouge will rattle a South Carolina offense that turned the ball over 6 times against South Carolina State.

Why South Carolina will cover:
18 points is a lot for a top 15 team even if they are playing on the road. Lets also debunk those LSU defensive stats a little as they have played Miss St, Middle Tennessee St, and a Virginia Tech team who has never been known for offense. Spurrier will try to keep the ball out of LSU's hands with a steady ground attack. He hopes to keep it close until the end and get a big play from his defense led by the Brinkley brothers, Jasper and Casper.

ATS Notes:
SC is 8-0 ATS in last 8 road games
Under is 22-8 in last 30 SC road games
LSU is 8-3 ATS in last 11 home games
SC is 5-0 ATS in last 5 as road dog
LSU is 5-0 ATS in last 5 as fav

The only thing keeping LSU from winning is if they come into this game over confident after 3 straight 40+ point wins. However, I think Spurrier can keep this game close into the fourth quarter with a steady diet of Cory Boyd and Mike Davis. LSU just has too much firepower on offense and their defense will create too much havoc in the Gamecock backfield.

LSU wins, South Carolina Covers, Under

Other Games...
Florida is 0-3 in the state of Mississippi since 1994, but the Gators get this one easily over Ole Miss. Clemson will go to 4-0 with a win in the Textile Bowl vs NC State. Two wins a row for the Blue Devis? Don't think so as Duke falls to Navy. BC won't let a letdown game against derail them - BC rolls. Butch Davis returns to South Florida, but it a big underdog to the Bulls. South Florida keeps Davis and North Carolina at the drawing board. Wake Forest gets Riley Skinner back this week just in time to trip the Terps. Auburn hopes using two QBs (Brandon Cox and Kodi Burns) will help the Tigers hold onto the ball against the Aggies of New Mexico State. The Tigers get a much needed win. Tennessee may still be down after the blowout to Florida, but they shouldn't have much trouble against Arkansas State. Another big game in the SEC is Kentucky at Arkansas. Both teams can light up the scoreboard with Wildcats doing it through the air and the Razorbacks on the ground. Arkansas fans will be upset after the Alabama defeat last week and may bring some boos on if the Hogs struggle. Despite the big win last week, Kentucky needs a big win in the SEC and this is first step. However, I like Arkansas to pull out the win in nail-biter.

Last Week: 2-1 SU, 2-0-1 ATS, 2-1 O/U
Season: 7-3 SU, 7-2-1 ATS, 5-5 O/U

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