October has arrived which means the conference conflicts become incredibly more entertaining, especially when you know what is at stake.
For those of us who spend hours looking over the NCAAF odds trying to formulate college football picks, this is, even more, the case. After letting the odds bake like bread, here are the contests that have arisen as value picks.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Mississippi Rebels
Saturday, October 01, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
We have a battle of unbeaten in the SEC as 4-0 Ole Miss hosts 4-0 Kentucky. The Rebels (2-2 ATS) feature one of the top running games in the country which ranks 4th, averaging 280.8 yards a game. Mississippi is far from one-dimensional and also adds 207 yards passing.
Despite its record, the Wildcats (3-1 ATS) average less than 100 yards a game rushing. However, that is a bit fictitious because less than mobile quarterback Will Levis has -91 yards in sacks and another -37 yards rushing, which depletes the total considerably. Levis makes up for it by throwing the pigskin where Kentucky averages 296 yards passing.
Breaking Down the Details
Ole Miss has won the past two meetings by three points or less and we’re expecting that to continue in a thrilling game.
You should note, conference home favorites of 3.5 to 10 points like Ole Miss, which average 230 or more YPG rushing, facing a team that averages less than 100 YPG rushing, are an abysmal 3-22 ATS.
Normally, the stronger running team would have a spread of 13 or more points, thus, other factors come into play for a lower number and underdogs cover.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Florida State Seminoles
Saturday, October 01, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Doak Campbell Stadium
There will be a train of thought that Wake Forest (3-1 SU & ATS) will be down after losing to Clemson at home in overtime. That perception is not wrong, just not necessarily accurate.
The Demon Deacons are a veteran group led by QB Sam Hartman and they won’t dwell on such a setback, with so much still to achieve with Clemson clearly beatable.
For all the negative talk coach Mike Norvell had to listen to in Tallahassee, he believed in his plan and Florida State is 4-0 (3-1 ATS). The Seminoles now have better football players who care about winning, instead of worrying about the supposed NFL futures.
Norvell has recruited his way, weeded the discontents, and is turning Noles football back into a Top 25 program.
Don’t Sell the Deacons Short
We are impressed with Florida State, nevertheless, the role of favorite is new to this squad against better competition and not everyone can immediately adjust to being the hunted.
The Seminoles at -7 at Doak Walker is not a role they have thrived at 6-16 ATS (a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points), while Wake Forest is 13-4 ATS after allowing 31 points or more in two straight games.
Toss in a total of 65.5 and the Deacs are 14-5 ATS when the total is between 63.5 and 70.
NCAAF Pick: Wake Forest +7 (+100) at Heritage Sports
SMU Mustangs vs. UCF Knights
Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at FBC Mortgage Stadium
Note: This game was moved from Saturday to Sunday because of Hurricane Ian.
It is the AAC opener for both clubs and each is looking for a good start in conference action trying to stay even with Cincinnati, whom both teams will get at home later this season.
SMU (2-2, 1-3 ATS) once again has a dynamic passing offense with QB Tanner Mordecai as the triggerman. The Mustangs rank 5th nationally, chucking the pigskin at 353 yards a game, and Mordecai has an unstoppable favorite target in Rashee Rice (34 catches).
The issue for the Ponies is a smallish defensive front that allowed 206 YPG rushing versus three FBS foes. The offense also has 10 turnovers in 16 quarters.
Central Florida (3-1, 2-2 ATS) has a more balanced attack that is 24th in total yards (480 YPG) and 5th in rushing (274 YPG). The Knights show up at 19th passing yards allowed, yet, that feels a little phony after they were torched for 314 by Georgia Tech.
UCF Has Edges That Matter
The Knights running game should be able to control the tempo at “The Bounce House”. The pass rush will be extra important for UCF and if they can make enough stops and cash a couple of Mustangs turnovers, they should cover the -3 points.
Additionally, the Knight's confidence should be high in Orlando, where they are 5-0 SU and ATS vs. SMU
NCAAF Pick: UCF -3 (-108) at Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.