Pick Analysis: NCAA Week 6

Marshall -6.5

We like the stingy defense of Marshall tonight as the Herd gallops into LT Smith Stadium in Bowling Green, KY. We are not buying all the talk of fading The Herd because they haven’t played since 9/19. Defense wins games and Marshall has a great one.

In their last matchup they stifled the uptempo Appalachian St. 17-7 , then in their opener they pounded E. Kentucky into submission 59-0. We expect the Marshall to improve to 3-0 ATS.

Marshall puts up an average of 500 yards in offense, while the Hilltoppers a poultry 288.

Last week W. Kentucky slipped by the  anemic Middle Tenn. State 20-17 for their first win. That doesn’t build much confidence in the locker room.

Rumor has it Coach Holliday received the call from the boys with the crooked noses, and they are expecting the solid cover. So are we.

-Tony Luciano, RSP Contributor

Boston College +6.5

With the low total of 43, bookmakers are looking for a defensive battle at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill. It’s worth noting all of the Eagles games have been under the total this year.

Last week, BC played the potent NC Tarheels tough at home,  falling short 26-22 but easily covering the +14.5 bookmaker line. We think the sharpies in Vegas have this line all wrong again. On paper it may look like a Pitt mismatch with the injury riddled rough and tuff Pitt defense. But, not so fast ….

In their shocking upset loss at home last week, Pitt was torched through the air by NC State , 336 yards and 4 tds, … now here comes the pass happy BC Eagles. I read somewhere,  Pittsburgh native and Notre Dame transfer, Phil Jurkovec was seen on campus licking his chops thinking about how he was going to air it out against his hometown Pitt cats.

RSP experts couldn’t agree more particularly with Phil playing behind that massive Mt. Rushmore OL.

According to the Post-Gazette,  Pitt could be without several key players on Saturday, star freshman WR Addison, DL Camp and OLB Bright as the injuries continue to pile up for the Panthers.

On top of all that bad news, Pitt will go on the road for the first time this year, still stinging from an upset loss and their jettison out of the Top 25. Lots of sad faces on that bus,  that’s for sure.

Our RSP model actually has BC winning this game 21-20, both teams should put up decent numbers because of the two guys taking the snaps …but we like efficient BC points per yard better.

The more disciplined Eagles are less penalized than Pitt and they should get an extra possession based on the Model’s turnover metrics.

We like Boston College in this spot to keep it close and possibly send the Pitt squad back to the hills with another upset loss.

-Lou Ricca, RSP Contributor

NC State +9.5

Bookmakers continue to disrespect The Wolfpack by establishing Virginia as an eye-popping 9.5 chalk.  This is the same Cavalier team, who just got pounded by Clemson, and will now have to limp back into Scott Stadium and take on a State team that is brimming with confidence.

Smart bettors know the trouble teams have after trying to avoid a Clemson’s beat down in the previous week.

Our Model has us running to the window to lay the cash on this solid NC State cover machine. Let’s go ahead and put the Cavaliers on Upset Alert right now.

NC St. already has thumped an uptempo Wake Forest squad and then last week winning outright against a tough Pitt team on the road. In our opinion ,  bookmakers again will be getting their ears snipped making the Wolfpack a live dog.

All 3 of the Wolfpack’s games have soared over the number so we don’t worry whether they can score points in this contest. Vegas has set the total at 61,  while State averages 33 a game we see the making of a back and forth game with the little guy kicking one through the posts at the end.

Both teams will run nearly 80 plays each and both score at the same rate according to our Model.

So take your coin and join RSP and back NC State +9.5 as they  keep it close with the sword-less Cavaliers.

– Vic Bunta, RSP Contributor

Texas Tech +13

RSP loves Texas Tech in this spot and are ready to take advantage of an inflated line. Iowa State had a huge win over Oklahoma last week and the Red Raiders are coming off a loss where starting quarterback Alan Bowman was sidelined with a leg injury. But it is actually those two factors that play right into our hands as a double digit dog.

The biggest win for the program in 40 years is great, but with big wins come big hangovers. It is not easy to bounce back the following week especially with an opponent that has their backs against the wall looking for their own big win. The Cyclones have given up 30+ points in all 3 of their games this season and have gotten into shootouts the past 2 weeks vs TCU & Oklahoma. The offense has been solid since laying an egg week 1 vs Louisiana, but the defense has allowed teams to stick around. The last two weeks the Cyclones have given up a combined 700 yards & 6 touchdowns through the air. They have also given up 49 first downs with 31 of them being converted through the air. This bodes well for the Red Raiders as they love to air it out and are more than comfortable in shootouts.

Texas Tech has lost two tough games the last two weeks but in both games they held the lead in the 4th even though they were the dogs. Last week in the Little Apple, starting QB Alan Bowman exited the game in the 2nd quarter with a leg injury. He is questionable for this week as we write this, but as we saw last week backup QB Henry Colombi can hold his own. In fact, Colombi entered the game down 14-0 and led the Red Raiders back to a 21-17 lead in the 4th before Kansas State put the game away late with a long touchdown run. Colombi threw for 244 yards and added another 40 on the ground…in just 3 quarters of play. Given Colombi’s success last week on the road, there is no reason to think that the Red Raiders wont be able to move the ball and score on the Cyclones no matter who starts at QB on Saturday. As for the defense, they actually showed a lot of improvement last week vs Kansas State. They held the Wildcats to a little over 200 yards passing & had kept the running game in check until they gave up a long TD run late in the 4th quarter.

We expect this to be a classic Big 12 shootout with the Red Raiders having enough firepower against a susceptible Cyclones defense to keep it close and cover the double digit spread.

– Jackson Morgan, RSP Contributor

Louisville -4

We love Louisville coming off a bye week in this spot. Louisville lost a tough one at Pitt 2 weeks ago 23-20 but managed to push at +3. If you bought the hook to 3.5, as you always should, the the Cards cashed for you vs a tough Pitt D. We expected more of the same in this contest. Our RSP Model likes Louisville to put up between 31-35 points against this GT defense. GT will give up plenty of chunk plays down the field to this talented Louisville receiving corp. Look for Louisville to dominate the points per play category as the GT defense has problems with uptempo, efficient offenses. The Cardinals should be able to take advantage of an undisciplined GT team that averages over 50 yards of penalties. In addition, GT loves to turn the ball over and Louisville should win the turnover battle, leading to quick scores and favorable starting field positions. 

GT has had their share of issues scoring points. Look for more of the same Friday night. The RSP Model has them scoring between 21-25 points as this Yellowjacket offense has only put up 16 points against a horrible Florida State defense, 23 against UCF, and 20 against arguably the worst team in the ACC in Syracuse. Their freshman QB has throw 8 picks on the year and although has shown spots of brilliance, he can often make poor decisions with the ball. Match that with GT struggles in the kicking game and it’s TDs or nothing for the Yellowjacket offense. Louisville defense will be up to the task winning the battle in points per play and yards per point statistics having played much better competition than GT. 

We expect Louisville to get back on track in ACC play with an easy cover on the road. 

– Mike Forbis, RSP Contributor

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