We move ahead in college football to the first full weekend of October in our never-ending battle to beat the sportsbooks.
This week has a varied collection of contests that will likely eliminate some teams from possibly winning their conferences or divisions coming off a loss or what were supposed to be marquee matchups that no longer appear that way.
Our focus is to lock on the games that have added value against the college football odds and let us explain.
UNLV Rebels vs. San Jose State Spartans
Friday, October 07, 2022 – 10:30 PM EDT at CEFCU Stadium
Fresno State and San Diego State were expected to rule the West Division of the Mountain West, with San Jose State and UNLV the next level down. Maybe that will still be the case, but with the Bulldogs 1-3 and the Aztecs 2-3, the winner of this clash can make a bold early conference statement.
UNLV has started 4-1 SU & ATS and while their schedule has not been imposing, consider the Rebels had two total wins in the past two seasons and they have not posted a winning record since 2013. The keys to success have been a No. 29 run defense and a +8 turnover margin.
San Jose State has played a similarly simple slate of games in putting together a 3-1 & ATS mark, allowing only 15.8 PPG. Despite being a pass-first offense that relies more on moving the chains, they have had only one turnover and are +6 in turnover margin.
Following The History
Glad to see the Rebels playing better, but they have a long history of not playing well on the road. Most oddsmakers will add a point to the home team when they host UNLV and the Rebels are 1-9 ATS in road games off a win by 10 points or more over a conference rival.
Coach Brent Brennan has done a great job in six years at San Jose State, and his teams are 10-2 ATS after a game where they committed one or fewer miscues and offer value at -7 in this encounter.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Saturday, October 08, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Acrisure Stadium
Not that people didn’t appreciate the job Frank Beamer did in putting Virginia Tech on the national college football map, it’s that they are now starting to understand that Blacksburg is not a real destination for football players before and after he came.
The Hokies (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) are 110th in total offense and are scoring 18.2 points a game. Put them on the road and the figure drops to 13.5 PPG and that was against Old Dominion and North Carolina, not exactly two programs known for defense.
Pittsburgh (3-2, 1-4 ATS) is back in action after an ugly home loss to Georgia Tech as 21.5-point favorites. The Panthers won the yardage battle by +77, just not the turnover battle at -3.
Pittsburgh Looks To Take a Stance
With ACC Coastal appearing up for grabs again, last week was a bad setback for Pitt. However, Pittsburgh fans are used to a clunker or two from a Pat Narduzzi-coached team.
The Panthers have more than enough offense to run and hide from Virginia Tech as long as they don’t keep giving away the pigskin. The Pitt defense is sound but is prone to allowing too many big plays that set up the opposition to score.
Pittsburgh is 10-2 ATS after a game where they committed three or more turnovers and 9-2 ATS at home against the Hokies and should win by 17 or more.
NCAAF Pick: Pittsburgh -14 (-110) at Bookmaker
James Madison Dukes vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves
Saturday, October 08, 2022 – 07:00 PM EDT at Centennial Bank Stadium
James Madison is extremely impressive in their first foray into FBS football at 4-0 SU and ATS. The Dukes’ winning at Appalachian State raised eyebrows, particularly after being down 28-3 before closing the contest on a 29-0 run.
James Madison has dominated three other foes in winning by 43 PPG with the No. 30 offense in yards gained and No. 2 in yards allowed.
Arkansas State is 2-3, nevertheless, is 5-0 ATS and covered the betting odds versus Ohio State, Memphis, and Old Dominion, all on the road. The Red Wolves ranked only 79th in total offense, yet they have an above-average passing offense that is 56th. How they average 34.6 PPG is being efficient and they are 19th in yards per point.
Arkansas State Has Puncher’s Chance
James Madison opened at -10 road favorite and jumped quickly to -11.5. Maybe the Dukes are that good, but this is a proud Arkansas State football program that isn’t going to roll over, and they are 5-0 ATS at home after beating the spread by 10 or points in the last contest.
For this NCAAF pick, I'm not calling for an Arky State outright upset, just a cover in falling by seven or fewer points.
NCAAF Pick: Arkansas State +11.5 (-110) at Bookmaker
*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.