Tiny Nick’s game pick: 9/18

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Locks

NCAA Football (0.5 unit) Coastal Carolina / Buffalo Over 58 (-110): 11:00 a.m. CT on ESPN2

Coastal Carolina appears to be going out of her way to complement her CV with plenty of style points, and now takes her high octane attack on the road against another strong attack in Buffalo.

Whether the Chanticleers’ offensive effectiveness can be kept away from the Smurf Turf remains to be seen, but production to date cannot be ignored. Coastal is 4th in points per game and 19th in yards per game, but allowed a surprising amount of yards for bad opponents – especially on the field where they are 108th in yards allowed. Buffalo is bringing back a lot of attacking talent this year, and the Bulls want to throw the ball behind running back Kevin Marks, Jr. who should find plenty of lanes in this one. Both attacks can and should also be able to throw the ball with experienced quarterbacks and big play receivers, especially in perfect weather conditions.

This should be the best offense Coastal has faced this season and will certainly score on the Chants defense. So if they want to keep winning with big margins to improve their profile, we should see a lot of points here, enough to exceed a moderate total by Coastal’s standards.

NCAA Football (1 unit) Nebraska / Oklahoma over 62 (-110): 11:00 a.m. on FOX

I can’t believe that total is less than the key number of 63. These two teams – Oklahoma in particular – have the ability to go up and down on top of each other and I think they will.

You have to adjust to the opponents somewhat, but Oklahoma’s games so far this season have hit 75 and 76 points, and old issues still plague Sooner’s defense. Most notably, they have struggled with mobile quarterbacks, and that is exactly what they will face with Adrian Martinez in this game. Nebraska will always be attacking oriented under Scott Frost, and I expect there are plenty of ways they can attack this suspicious Oklahoma defense with Martinez and explosive wide receiver Samori Toure.

Maybe that will have to come in garbage time, as I expect Oklahoma to contribute most of the score here. The Sooners appear to be on a mission to atone for their near-meltdown in Week 1, and won’t be afraid to increase the score for a Nebraska team that was one of their biggest rivals. The defenses will be gassed on a hot day in Norman, so Norman could see a ridiculous amount of points.

NCAA Football (1 unit) Ohio State -7 First Quarter vs. Tulsa (-110): 2:30 p.m. CT on FS1

I wouldn’t want to be a team to have to play at Ohio State this week, period. Tulsa represents the proverbial lamb at the butcher’s shop in this game that Buckeyes coach Ryan Day will no doubt use as a good place for his team.

As Ohio State just lost its potentially fatal loss to Oregon, the Golden Hurricane is going through a circular saw. Losing in the regular season is a pretty unique experience for the Buckeyes under Ryan Day, and it can’t be right with him. I expect him to fire his team as he has never shied away from stomping inferior opponents. Tulsa is exactly that and in a rough patch themselves, freshly lost in a rivalry match after previously falling in an FCS school.

To cash that bet, Ohio State will have to start strong, which they really haven’t done so far this season. But the sting of last week’s loss should provide all the motivation they need to end the first quarter with a two-goal lead.

NCAA Football (0.5 unit) Alabama @ Florida +14.5 (-110): 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS

I feel like you need a hazmat suit and a bottle of whiskey to make that Alabama team go missing, but that number and that situation still attracts me.

Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young has looked electric in two games so far, but it’s going to be a whole new experience for him. Playing in The Swamp is tough for everyone, let alone a young QB, and the Florida faithful will be ready for this game in a big way. The Gators also looked much better offensively than I expected and should be able to use their two quarterback system and fast pace to move the ball over an Alabama defense with a few key injuries. I’m concerned about Florida’s ability to stop the Alabama offensive, but they should get help in this department from the crowds as well as the wet and rainy conditions.

Getting two touchdowns plus the hook here opens up a lot of cover possibilities, especially if the weather creates a low-scoring game. There’s no way I’m looking to come up with that kind of number with Alabama given the situation, so I’m going to close my eyes, take the points and have the whiskey handy.

NCAA Football (2 units) Florida State @ Wake Forest -4.5 (-110): 2:30 p.m. on ESPN

Florida State must be completely mentally destroyed after losing their first two games like they did, especially last week against an FCS opponent. Keeping up with these two heartbreakers with a road match to open the ACC game is a really tough place for this Seminoles squad who are still in the process of rebuilding themselves.

Perhaps FSU’s biggest weakness is pass defense, and this game will pit that poor defense against a good sneak attack from Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have the best quarterback in this game, all due respect to the beautiful story of Mackenzie Milton’s return to football. But Sam Hartman and a deep receiving body are poised to take advantage of a Seminole defense that is 121st in passing yards allowed. The Deacs have used their tune-up games effectively to perfect this strong offense and should be ready for this test against the marquee school.

Wake Forest are also the best team overall right now, although the perception doesn’t match that fact when you think about the history of these programs. That perception may contribute to the shorter number here, but hopefully Wake is on the right track and can inflict another defeat on this potentially broken Seminoles team.

NCAA Football (0.5 unit) Auburn / Penn State Under-26.5 First Half (-110): 6:30 p.m. CT on ABC

Auburn wasn’t supposed to be particularly good this year implementing new coach Brian Harsin’s system, and I think they’re overrated after crushing two very inferior opponents.

It’s a White Out game at Happy Valley on national television, one of the toughest environments for a visiting team in all of college football. And while Auburn scored two cupcakes to start the season, it’s an entirely different task for the Tigers and QB Bo Nix who has never impressed me in road games. Needing to execute Auburn’s new offensive system in front of a manic crowd will be tough. This is especially true against the strong Penn State defense which is 8th in opposing points per game and 13th in opposing yards per game.

Penn State may also have a hard time scoring in this one against a good Auburn defense full of SEC talent, just like they did early against a very good Wisconsin defense. This game should be pretty straightforward at the start with Auburn trying to slow things down and cancel out the crowd noise so I like the first half to stay under that number.

NCAA Football (1 unit) Fresno / UCLA State on 62.5 (-110): 9:45 p.m. CT on the Pac12 network

I’m not quite sure what it is with this UCLA team that doesn’t get me to buy into the hype, but I do admit their attack is starting to look like vintage Chip Kelly. The Bruins can score and score at will, having torched LSU’s “college defensive back” for 470 yards and 38 points. Combine that with a still underrated Fresno State offense and I see this game producing fireworks.

UCLA has made a living in defense this season being ultra-aggressive, a strategy that has paid off so far but could be exhibited by this Fresno State team. The Bulldogs have an excellent QB in Jake Haener with the Pac12 pedigree having transferred from Washington. Haener leads the FBS with over 1,000 passing yards already this season and is expected to supplement that number against a Bruins defense that is 107th in passing yards allowed. Fresno also won’t be afraid of UCLA as they’ve already given Oregon much better defense in everything they can handle and have veterans throughout the offense.

I see this more as a back-and-forth affair than most, but whether it does or a blowout ensues, the end zone will be visited frequently.

Degenerate

No degenerate today.

Tiny Nick has 383-278 ATS (+86 units) on his locks since joining Zone Coverage.

Every day he will offer his choices of locks and degenerates. Locks are the games he trusts. Degenerates are fun choices but riskier ones.