After such an uncertain beginning, college football is well on its way and quickly nearing the end of the season. COVID-19 issues remain across the country, but this weekend’s slate has stayed in tact better than those of the last few weeks. Week 13 is rivalry week in the SEC and will provide us a better picture of the landscape in the ACC, Big 10 and Big 12. There are a lot of good games that will be full of action, so let’s get started!
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For every dollar that you deposit, BetMGM will double it! Once you’re signed up, it’s time to look for some value. We went 0-3 (including the bonus pick) last week which puts us at 5-5 on the season. It was a rough week and perhaps we flew too close to the sun. That’s alright, but we have to bounce back. Let’s slow it down and take a real hard look
Here are two games that will stay tight through all 60 minutes and could see an upset by the underdog:
Kent State vs. Buffalo
Saturday, November 28, 2020 — 12:00 p.m. EST at UB Stadium
Why Kent State will win:
Quarterback Dustin Crum and the Golden Flashes are legit. The offense has posted back-to-back games with 62 or more points and is averaging 616 total yards per game. It has to be noted that the last three games have been against the combined 0-9 Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green and Akron, but it’s still impressive. Crum is hitting more than 75 percent of his passes and leads the nation in completion rate.
— #MACtion (@MACSports) November 18, 2020
34-year-old head coach Sean Lewis is the youngest in the FBS and spreads the ball around really well. Four wide receivers have four or more catches per game and three running backs are averaging at least 60 yards rushing per game. He gets his offense to the line of scrimmage and moves quickly, sitting No. 17 in the country in seconds per play. When Kent State gets roling, it’s hard to stop.
On defense, it’s not entirely the same story, but when your offense is as explosive as it is, that’s okay. The Flashes allowed 472 yards and seven touchdowns rushing to Bowling Green and Akron, two of the worst teams in the country, and ranks 124th against big plays. However, they fly to the ball and create chaos in the backfield, ranking first in Sack Rate and 14th in Havoc Rate— a stat that combines the cumulative number of tackles for loss, interceptions, fumbles and passes defensed and divides them by the number of plays.
Why Buffalo will win:
The Bulls began the year as the favorites to win the MAC and have begun 3-0 behind 44.3 points per game. Buffalo’s offense touts one of the best running backs in the nation, but he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Jaret Patterson is leading the FBS with 170.3 rushing yards per game, and set a school record last weekend. He went wild for 301 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries against the bad Bowling Green bunch. As the top back, Patterson is averaging 7.2 yards per carry and his backfield counterpart Kevin Marks is breaking for 6.2 yards per run alongside him.
— #MACtion (@MACSports) November 18, 2020
It is clearly a run-first offense, but has been less one-dimensional as in recent seasons. Despite attempting the MAC’s least pass attempts per game (18.7), quarterback Kyle Vantrease is connecting for 10.8 yards per attempt. If the offensive line, which had all five of its starters from 2020 return this season, can continue its success, it will be hard to stop the ground game.
Kent State’s offensive numbers are inflated due to a small sample size against bad opponents, but as is the case to almost the same extent for Buffalo. Both offenses are still powerful enough to move the ball against one another, and the pace will determine who comes out victorious. The Flashes move as one of the faster teams in the nation while the Buffalos are one of the slowest at 112th. Points will not be at a premium, and the team with the ball last could be in a position to pull this one out as the clock dwindles.
The real decider here will be Kent State’s defensive line’s ability to get after the quarterback against Buffalo’s stellar offensive line. If they can neutralize the two backs to some extent on early downs and force the home team to pass, the Flashes will win.
Pick: Kent State Moneyline at +220 or Kent State +7.5 at -110 on BetMGM Sportsbook
Penn State vs. Michigan
Saturday, November 28, 2020 — 12:00 p.m. EST at The Big House
Why Penn State will win:
The Nittany Lions became the first team to be ranked in the preseason Top 25 and begin the year at 0-5. It’s not for a lack of trying. James Franklin has himself a good team in Happy Valley but can’t seem to catch a break. Inopportune turnovers, silly mistakes, penalties and insurmountable first-half deficits leave Penn State winless.
However, the offense moves the chains. The passing game, but for a few bad reads and inconsistencies early in the games, has been fine and the run game rolled for 245 yards or more in the last two road games. On the line, there have been struggles, but it’s still a group that can get push and drive its legs to open up holes or hold a firm pocket for quarterbacks Sean Clifford and Will Levis.
The defensive front has been productive and continues to get in the backfield. To win this, or really a game this year, Penn State will have to come out in the first half and play as well as it has in the second half of its many unsuccessful comeback bids this season.
Why Michigan will win:
Jim Harbaugh is on the hot seat and Michigan needed triple-overtime to beat Rutgers last weekend. Things are not going as expected in Ann Arbor and the outlook for this season is bleak. However, Cade McNamara has replaced Joe Milton at quarterback and provided a much-needed offensive spark, so there is room for optimism. McNamara is expected to start against Penn State and is completing 67.4 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and no interceptions.
He doesn’t have much experience and Saturday will mark his first real test against a team that is better than its record suggests. Perhaps more importantly, the Wolverines don’t turn the ball over, while their opponents do.
Lord help me for I am sinning again. I’m taking Penn State in this one. They can’t fail us again, right? It’s essentially a pick ’em at this point, but having the security of a missed extra point or fluke one-point loss is nice. It’s going to be a close one from start to finish and the winner will be determined by which team got its defense under control best. The Nittany Lions make a late stop to get the ball back and score the game-winner.
Pick: Penn State +1.5 at -110 on BetMGM Sportsbook
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