G.W. Gras

Senior Writer for The Bears Brawl and Lead Host of The Bears Brawl Podcast.

The Beating Vegas article is an exclusive writing piece for TheBearsBrawl.Com. It is here where G.W. Gras gives his locks for the College Football weekend, and helps give you the edge to Beating Vegas.

 

East Carolina Pirates +31.5 at UCF Knights

Over / Under 62

If you look at the numbers themselves, this seems like an evenly matched game – but as the spread and common sense would tell you – this is a anything but evenly matched up.

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The East Carolina Pirates have three wins – over Gardner-Webb, William & Mary and Old Dominion. Most of their offenses stats come from the 48-9 whooping on Gardener-Webb, but the truth is, this a team that averages 20.7 ppg. A matter of fact if you take out that 39 point victory the Pirates are averaging 15.2 points per game.

UCF has lost two of their last three games but what’s odd about that is —- that doesn’t happen. UCF had the one point loss to Pitt and a three point loss to Cincy – this puts an end to UCF’s yearly “come on, put us in the playoff” talk.

Thank God.

The Knights are coming off of a bye-week after that three game skid, and are playing host to a Pirates team that is in no way going to be prepared for the speed of UCF.

Source: Michael Reaves/Getty Images North America

The thing about this game is that UCF may very well put up 4 or 5 touchdowns in the first half – making THAT – the first half spread in favor of UCF the real lock – but for arguments sake. . .

The Pick: UCF -31.5

 

 

Ohio State Buckeyes  -25 at Northwestern Wildcats

Over / Under 49.5

The Northwestern Wildcats head coach, Pat Fitzgerald has come under fire this year for having a “less-than-inventive” offensive game plan. Week to week, the offense is more about “don’t lose the game” than “go out and win the game.”

Last season the Wildcats lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big 10 Championship game

45-24 and this season the Wildcats will struggle to get six wins this year. The Wildcats are 1-4 with their only win coming against a non-power five team in UNLV. In their four losses, the most points they’ve been able to muster is fifteen. Even then it was against Wisconsin team that was already up 24-3 in the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats have used two quarterbacks this year and it really doesn’t matter if it’s Hunter Johnson or Aiden Smith – they both complete under 50% of their passes and average a little over four yards a pass.

It’s not as if Northwestern’s running game can make up the difference against this Ohio State rushing defense that holds opponents to 2.4 yards a carry.

The only thing stopping Ohio State from totally destroying Northwestern is that this week’s game could be seen as a “look ahead” game. Ohio State has a game against Wisconsin next week that could very well have heavy implications for the Big 10 Championship and the Four Team Playoff as well.

Source: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images North America

Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins have proven to be the best quarterback / running back combo in the nation. Especially considering that Justin Fields is completing 70% of his passes at nine yards per attempt;  with 18 touchdown and only one interception thrown on the season.

J.K. Dobbins has been averaging 137 rushing yards a game at 7 yards a clip.  Northwestern’s rush defense is holding opponents to an impressive 3.7 yards a rush, but after calculating the SMASH average – Dobbins will still average 5.4 yards a carry.

Ohio State will be coming off a bye-week, which is the only reason why the “look ahead” theory doesn’t scare me away. All the trends point to Ohio State covering – and easily.

The Pick: Ohio State -25.5

 

 

 

Purdue Boilermakers +15 at Iowa Hawkeyes

Over / Under 49

The Hawkeyes were a four point home underdog to Penn State last week and I was tempted for a lot of reasons to to ride with the home dog but thankfully I didn’t. This week they are a fifteen point home favorite against the Purdue Boilermakers, who are in a world of hurt.

Purdue is a team that last year surprised many and beat three ranked teams (Boston College, Ohio State, and Iowa). That Iowa game was a two point win over a then ranked Hawkeyes team, who now are in a pretty nice revenge spot.

The Boilermakers will be without their quarterback Elijah Sindelar and most likely won’t be without star receiver Rondale Moore. Head coach Jeff Brohm even said “He’s out a little while longer,” when discussing Moore’s hamstring injury.

The Boilermakers will not have their starting center on hand either. . .and are hoping that receiver Jared Sparks will be ready to come back.

Source: Getty Images North America

Iowa is coming off two losses – one in the Big House by a touchdown to the Wolverines and the five point loss to Penn State last week.

Quarterback Nate Stanley is completing 61% of his passes this season and is spreading the ball around nicely. The Hawkeyes have 3 players with 24 receptions so far this season. Along with allowing 30 points per game, they are allowing opponents to complete passes at the same rate that Stanley completes them, so he should be comfortable in the pocket all day.

Iowa has a tough schedule ahead, but this Purdue game should help give them momentum going into that stretch.

The Pick: Iowa -15