The Texas Tech Red Raiders will face an over/under of six wins. Flickr/
The Texas Tech Red Raiders will face an over/under of six wins. Flickr/

Texas Tech and North Carolina State are far from average this season against the spread.

The two teams are a combined 7-0-1 against the spread, and are 7-1 straight up. The Red Raiders are doing it with another strong offense, winning by an average of 17.8 points per game, and beating the spread by an average of 12.8 points per game.

That’s a stark difference from last season. The Red Raiders covered the spread six times last season, and were in the negative in relation to spread and straight up. The Red Raiders lost by an average of 10.8 points per game last season, and were minus-7.5 against the spread.

The Wolfpack, on the other hand, are continuing an upward trend from last year.

North Carolina State was 8-5 against the spread last year, winning straight up by an average of 3.2 points per game and 0.7 points per game against the spread.

This season, the Wolfpack are undefeated against the spread, all as generally heavy favorites, winning straight up by an average of 34.2 points per game and an average of 13.1 points per game against the spread.

Both teams’ schedules will toughen up a bit this week. The Wolfpack will host Louisville on Saturday as five-point favorites, while Texas Tech will travel to Dallas to face Baylor as 15.5 points underdogs, the third week in a row Texas Tech has been underdogs. It has covered the last two weeks, going 1-1 straight up.

Here are other successes and disappointments in college football.

Arkansas Razorbacks, 1-3 ATS

Remember when everyone was freaking out about Arkansas as a potential team to watch this season in the SEC? That’s gone as well as Auburn’s trek to a national championship.

The Razorbacks are 1-3 straight up and against the spread. The only game Arkansas has won was against UTEP. The Razorbacks didn’t cover in that game, though, and finally reached the win column for covering last week by half a point against Texas A&M.

Not much has gone right for Arkansas. It can’t win at home (1-2) and it doesn’t really do anything extraordinary on offense or defense.

The over/under for Arkansas was 8.5 wins. That seemed steep at the beginning of the season, and we advised heavily toward the under. At this point, Arkansas would have to go undefeated to reach the over. That won’t happen, so this could be one of the easiest winners of the year so far for win totals.

The Louisville Cardinals face an over/under of 7.5 wins this season. Flickr/
The Louisville Cardinals face an over/under of 7.5 wins this season. Flickr/

Louisville, 3-1 ATS

We expect Louisville to be one of the best teams against the spread as the season progresses.

Expectations for the Cardinals have been low since the beginning of the season with so many NFL draft picks leaving the team after last season. Then, Louisville fell down big early against Auburn, before orchestrating a late cover in the opener, and proceeded to lose straight up to Houston.

Despite those early bumps, the Cardinals seem poised to continue to get better. The Cardinals covered at home against Clemson in a 20-17 loss and then stomped Samford 45-3 for another cover.

With such a young team, the more opportunities to be on the field, the better for a Bobby Petrino coached squad.

We’re predicting the first part of the season to be the roughest stretch of the season. Expect the Cardinals to keep getting better and watch for the adjusted spreads in favor of the opposition to be gobbled up by Louisville.

TCU, 1-3 ATS

There wasn’t a team better against the spread last season than TCU.

The Horned Frogs returned pretty much their entire offense after going 11-2 ATS last year. That was slightly better than the Razorbacks at 10-3 last year.

This season has been a different story for the Horned Frogs. The offense is still churning out the yards, but the defense isn’t following suit. TCU is allowing 28.3 points per game this season, which ranks 86th in the nation.

TCU also is suffering from a different perception from oddsmakers. The Horned Frogs are getting the benefit of the doubt based on their performance last season. TCU is still winning by an average of 22.8 points per game. But against the spread, the Horned Frogs are in the negative at 3.1 points per game.

The Horned Frogs will look to get back in the ATS win column this week as two-touchdown favorites against Texas.

The Utah Utes face an over/under of 7.5. Flickr/
The Utah Utes face an over/under of 7.5. Flickr/

Utah, 3-1 ATS

As far as power-five teams go, Utah, despite its one loss against the spread, has been the best against the spread in the nation.

The Utes are averaging a plus-15.5 points per game against the spread, putting it slightly higher than West Virginia at plus-14.2 points.

Utah has been a surprise straight up, too, going undefeated and demolishing the Ducks in Oregon last week. Winning by 42 points as an 11.5-point underdog helps the average against the spread.

The Utes also have impressive wins on the resume, against the already-mentioned Ducks and Michigan, which has rattled off three straight wins and covers since losing the opener against Utah.

A big test will come next weekend. We’ll see if Utah can avoid the major letdown at home against a much-improved California team on Oct. 10.


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