Somehow, we have two coaching changes at the FBS level before getting through the month of September. UConn's Randy Edsall retired. Initially, he planned to step aside at the end of the season, then rapidly sped that timeline up. USC's Clay Helton got plain fired. How you factor that into your betting process is for you and your bankroll to consider, but what the team's performance moving forward does to the numbers is another thing.
The Trojans got thumped by Stanford to signal the end of the Helton era, and the composite has them 18th in the country with a 12.86 rating (or 12ish points better than the average college football team). The computer doesn't know what tumult is going on at Heritage Hall right now, but we'll see what happens moving forward with the men of Troy, who do still have talent on the roster to compete from here until the end of the season.
UConn, on the other hand, is in a much worse predicament. You may call my interest niche, but the Huskies started the season rated -23.03 and have sunk like a stone to -30.3 in the span of three games. In a very nerdy way, it's almost like a science experiment to see how low their rating can get. Sure, they may get things going in a slightly more positive direction by rallying around their interim coach to save face, or they may barrel toward something like -40 if they keep losing. Remember—Clemson (currently 22.16) hosts the Huskies in November. We could be talking about a computer-generated 60-point spread in the future. It's things like this that jump out at you when you spend way too much time playing with spreadsheets.
Last week: 18-26-1 41.11%
Season: 40-53-2 43.16%
Composite Best Bets
The process behind the picks is briefly explained in my Week 1 column. Most of the time, the computer spits out something within one or two points of the real line (and at that point, sharp plays and whale plays are what’s moving the line anyway). But if the computer gives something more than three points, it’s worth a second look.
-Boston College (-16) over Temple
-Texas A&M (-28.5) over New Mexico
-USC (-8) over Washington State
-SMU (-13) over Louisiana Tech
-Utah (-7.5) over San Diego State
-Stanford (-11) over Vanderbilt
-UConn (+34.5) over Army
-Buffalo (+13.5) over Coastal Carolina
-Ball State (+7) over Wyoming
-Middle Tennessee (+13) over UTSA
-Auburn (+6) over Penn State
-Utah State (+8) over Air Force
-Tulane (+14) over Ole Miss
The Big Dogs
-Ohio (+20) over Louisiana [Thursday]
-Western Michigan (+15) over Pitt
-Nebraska (+22) over Oklahoma
-Georgia Tech (+28) over Clemson
-Central Michigan (+19.5) over LSU
-Florida (+16.5) over Alabama
-Tulsa (+26.5) over Ohio State
-FIU (+21) over Texas Tech
-South Carolina (+31) over Georgia
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