I have started joining the Jox Player’s Club each week with Ryan Haney and Lance Taylor to give some insight on the games I’m liking each week in addition to the games they pick regularly.
You can hear the Player’s Club on Jox 94.5 at the following times:
Thursdays 7-8 pm
Fridays 8-9 pm
Saturdays 8-9 am
The lines below are as of this posting, September 5 at 2:25 pm.
Week 1: 2-2
Week 2: 3-1
If you want to follow other picks I make in college football, NFL, or any other sport, follow me on the Action Network app – myaction.app/jlunce
Week 2 Picks
Ohio State (-15.5) vs. Cincinnati – Justin Fields looked really good in the opener against Florida Atlantic. Ryan Day has also yet to lose a game as head coach (counting his three interim games) and he covered twice as a double digit favorite. Cincinnati beat UCLA, but UCLA is not a good team and Chip Kelly has lost whatever magic he had at Oregon. I feel like Cincinnati is a little overvalued here. Maybe people are looking at this game differently with Ohio State giving up a fair amount of points to FAU in the final three quarters (outscored 21-17), but it was over from the get as Justin Fields went off in the first quarter to put the game away early.
This line has dropped from -17 to -15.5 so far this week because I think people are giving Cincy and FAU more credit than they deserve. That’s not to say Cincinnati isn’t a good team, but a good team by Group of 5 standards, not college football playoff standards like Ohio State lives by.
The Buckeyes didn’t have that killer instinct, but they have noted this week in practice that they weren’t happy with the way they took their foot off the gas, and took plays off after feeling comfortable. I think they come out and start strong again, but don’t take their foot off the gas and cover the 16.
Result – WINNER!
Colorado (+4) vs. Nebraska – I have never been a big believer in Scott Frost at Nebraska. Last year didn’t go well for him, and despite the win in Week 1, struggling against South Alabama isn’t the way to start. They had three non-offensive touchdowns and had to get numerous turnovers to hold off multiple South Alabama drives. South Alabama had one of the worst defenses in the country last year, but held Nebraska to only two touchdowns offensively.
I’m honestly kind of shocked Nebraska is favored by 4 because I think Colorado can win the game outright. I am not alone as it’s been bet down from Nebraska -7.5 to -4.
If the line got any lower, I might not would take it. But the Mel Tucker era started off well with a big win over rival Colorado State. They were +4 in turnover margin, turning the ball over 0 times. Nebraska only won because they were +2 but that was 5 turnovers for South Alabama and 3 for them.
I just don’t believe that Scott Frost can be a high level coach and is better served at a group of 5 school, much like someone such as Charlie Strong.
Result – WINNER!
Syracuse (+2) at Maryland – This line opened with Syracuse as a slight favorite (as high as -4 some places), now it’s shifted to Maryland as a favorite. I think people are overvaluing Maryland for beating a MEAC team in Howard that went 4-6 last year. Josh Jackson looked good in his first game at Maryland after transferring from Virginia Tech…but it’s Howard. I also think people are looking at Syracuse only winning 24-0 over a Liberty team that had their coach in a hospital bed.
Syracuse is ranked for a reason, even though Maryland is at home.
Let’s not forget that Maryland looked great in their season openers the last two years against Texas and ended up having losing records each year. Within the first few weeks of the last two seasons, Maryland beat a ranked Texas team, then lost by 28 points to UCF in 2017, then lost to Temple by 21 points in 2018.
The Texas games show they can win big games, but they also lose plenty of them too. Just because everyone jumped on Maryland as the underdog to flip the line, doesn’t mean I am.
Result – I don’t want to talk about it
Lock of the week
Texas A&M (+17.5) at Clemson
This was a close game last year with Clemson squeaking out a win 28-26, even though I know it was in College Station. Trevor Lawrence struggled a bit and Kelly Bryant actually had to help win the game. Trayveon Williams is gone, but he didn’t do much in this game, and neither did Travis Etienne really. Some big pieces are back and some big pieces are gone for each team. I feel like 17.5 is way too much.
Plus, Jimbo Fisher has beaten Clemson or stayed within 10 points in a loss every time he has met Clemson in the past decade (except for his final year at FSU).
Clemson doesn’t blow past opponents often early in the season:
2015 – Struggled against Louisville Week 3
2016 – Struggled against Auburn and Troy in week 1-2
2017 – Struggled against Auburn week 2
2018 – Struggled against A&M week 2
So we will see what happens, but I like the Aggies to cover.
Result – AGGIES ALWAYS COVER (both NMSU and A&M!)