WagerWire Report: Smash or Fade? CFB Edition Week 3

Another great weekend of college football is in the books and there were more than a few surprises. One that most would not consider a surprise though, was the outcome of my week 2 upset prediction. Last week I stuck my neck out for the Arizona Wildcats to win outright in a matchup against Mississippi State in the late game Saturday night. The game started how I thought it would with Arizona keeping it close. With an 18-10 score heading into the half, it was still anyones game. Mississippi State proved to be the superior team in the end as they ran away with it in the second half, but the Wildcats left a lot on tape to build on. The question for me now is not "if" the Wildcats will break out of their shell, it's "when." This Arizona team is still very much a work in progress as we learned, but I look for them to rebound sooner rather than later.

Heading into week 3, I'm turning my attention to Texas Tech vs. North Carolina State. Much like my underdog ML pick last week, Texas Tech is also double digit dogs; Just barely though as the spread is set at 10.5. There's a lot safer picks this week, but with my personal record in upset predictions at 1-1 for the year, I'm looking to bounce back in a big way. Tech should most certainly be a lock to cover this 10.5 point spread, but will they win outright? I think they can and here's why.

Texas Tech (2-0) @ North Carolina State (2-0)

7:00 PM ET Saturday September 17th ESPN2

Texas Tech hasn't found much success playing on the road over the last 18 games. Actually, statistics say they've compounded one of the worst road records in college football at 2-16. Despite what we know about Texas Tech's complications while traveling, football is a "what have you done for me lately" kind of sport. In their last 3 games played, dating back to December 28, 2021, Texas Tech has gone 3-0, outscoring their opponents with a combined 130-47 point score. When focusing on the last three games played for Tech, this defense has only given up an average of 64 yards on the ground and 254 yards through the air. Now there's no doubt that NC State is of a higher talent level than these last 3 opponents for Tech, (Houston, Murray State, Mississippi State), but if there was a time for The Red Raiders to get hot and get things clicking it's now. Texas Tech got hit by the injury bug a bit this season already, including Quarterback Tyler Shough who went down with a collarbone injury in week 1 against Murray State, but this is nothing new for Tech as they've faced this problem before. It's next man up for Red Raiders nation and Donavan Smith showed he has what it takes yet again last week against Houston, to step in and win the tight ones when called upon just like he did last year. This is certainly going to be a game that doesn't reflect a 10.5 point spread. Both teams play incredibly physical football, and the formula is quiet similar. Run the ball well and play good defense and you win. Much like any football game at any level, you start getting too cute and sloppy with the football, you lose. With that being said, I believe the team that wins the turnover battle on Saturday will win this game, and I like The Red Raiders chances. They've come out on top in both games this season with 1 more turnover created than turnover's lost, but the key here is for Donavan Smith to take care of the football. Smith threw 3 picks last week but I would expect that the focus this week will be on limiting those turnovers and I believe he can. He finished last year with a 7-2 touchdown to interception ratio and despite the 3 interceptions last week he still has a 6-3 touchdown to interception ratio this season. I believe the 3 interceptions last week was an outlier rather than a normality but that is still yet to be seen. So this week, with a chance to go 2-1 in my upset predictions, it's Red Raider nation that I'll hang my hat on. Texas Tech ML for (+305) and I'll take the over here which is set at 55.5 (-110).

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Betting lines sited from Sports Betting at oddshark.com

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