Akron Zips @ ULL Rajin' Cajuns Pick: The Louisiana Rajin' Cajuns are coming out of a bye and I expect they are going to be too much for the Akron Zips who might easily be looking ahead to their game against State rivals Ohio next week. Akron have lost 7 in a row to Ohio and that game could easily be considered the more important one compared with this one against the Rajin' Cajuns especially as the game against the Bobcats is a Divisional one too.
Akron have the capabilities of giving the Rajin' Cajins something to think about as they run the ball effectively, but Louisiana are out of a bye and have to have prepared the Defensive Line for that. The first two games have seen ULL beaten down on the ground, but limiting Akron can at least give them a chance to get their pass rush going against this Offensive Line.
One concern for the Rajin' Cajuns has to be the Defensive Line they are facing- Akron might have one of the stronger Defensive Lines in the nation, let alone the MAC Conference, and they have shown that in their opening games. The Zips are giving up just 2.7 yards per game on the ground although they will be tested by this Rajin' Cajuns rushing Offense that averages almost 7 yards per carry.
I do think the Akron Defense will give them problems up front, but the Secondary hasn't been as effective as the Defensive Line and the looming game with Ohio should take away some of the focus. Coming out of the bye week means Louisiana are well prepared and I like them to cover.
Colorado State Rams @ UTSA Roadrunners Pick: The one big concern in picking the Colorado State Rams is wondering how they can pick themselves up from back to back losses in Overtime. The first was to the Minnesota Golden Gophers but the second was to State rivals the Colorado Buffaloes and it was a game that Colorado State should have won having earned 155 more total yards during the game.
The emotional question mark has to be placed around the Rams, but there are also some questions about the inexperienced UTSA Roadrunners who had just 6 returning starters from last season. However, you can't really judge what they are about this season from their first three games as the Roadrunners scheduled Arizona, Kansas State and Oklahoma State and expectedly lost all three games.
In this game it does look like the Rams will be able to have their way on the Offensive side of the ball and I do expect Colorado State to be in a position to score plenty of points. They should have the capabilities to both run and throw the ball, but turnovers have blighted them with mistakes including Interceptions and Fumbles costing Colorado State a stronger record.
They have the Defensive Line that can limit what UTSA Roadrunners can do on the ground in this one and I like the pass rush to get after Blake Bogenschutz at Quarter Back. The Rams' Secondary have actually played well too and I like the fact that new Head Coaches at this level, who have never coached in the FBS before, have done really well in their first road game.
That is where Mike Bobo of the Colorado State Rams will be this week, while the team are 4-1 against the spread as the road favourite in the last couple of years. The Roadrunners have a big game against Conference and State rivals UTEP next week too and I like the Rams to win this one big.
UCLA Bruins @ Arizona Wildcats Pick: Losing Myles Jack for the season is a big blow for the UCLA Bruins Defense, and a personal one for Jack who looked to be one of the top Draft Picks likely to come out this season. The Arizona Wildcats might be getting back a big Defensive piece in Scooby Wright this week and there are some out there calling for the upset in this Pac-12 South encounter.
UCLA escaped with their unbeaten start to the season last week against the under-rated BYU Cougars, but they are still unbeaten and they have won 3 in a row against the Wildcats. Josh Rosen has played like a Quarter Back with a lot more experience and I think he will be the key to the game because the Wildcats Secondary has struggled in coverage.
Paul Perkins will certainly test the Defensive Line that has played well, but the key is going to be Rosen and whether he is able to make the plays that he has in the first three games.
Without a doubt the biggest question is how the UCLA Defense will play without Myles Jack, but they have been solid so far this season. Losing the inspirational leader in the Linebacker unit is going to be tough to replace, but I like the Bruins to find a way to slow down the Arizona Offense in this one.
I do respect the fact that Arizona have gone 4-0 against the spread as the home underdog since Rich Rodriguez took over the programme, but I think the UCLA Bruins are the better team and can win here.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors @ Wisconsin Badgers Pick: The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are not really the same team when they come off the island and hit the mainland and this is a big game for them against another tough team from the Big Ten. Hawaii were battered at the hands of the Ohio State Buckeyes earlier this season and they have a big Conference game on deck at the Boise State Broncos which makes me wonder how much motivation they have here.
Facing a Wisconsin Badgers team that will also begin Conference play next week might look a good spot with that focus perhaps not there. However, the Badgers have bounced back from their opening loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide and they have won two games in a row by wide margins.
The Defensive unit is one of the best in the nation and they should have enough to shut down what the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are going to try and bring. You have to also think Hawaii won't want to give the Boise State Broncos too much video of any tricks they will be saving for next week and I like the Badgers to limit them on that side of the ball.
I don't think anyone out there is going to confuse the Wisconsin Badgers with an Offensive powerhouse, but they will wear down Hawaii and that looming game against Boise State simply cannot be ignored. Hawaii have also done a little too much travelling over the last three weeks which can wear on players mentally and I think Wisconsin will win this and cover.
Georgia Southern Eagles @ Idaho Vandals Pick: The Sun Belt Conference game between the Georgia Southern Eagles and Idaho Vandals looks a mismatch in Week 4 and I like the favourites to come through and win this one big.
The triple option run by the Eagles is tough to prepare for, although Idaho would have seen it last season and perhaps more aware than some teams might be. It might not matter though as the Vandals have given up 6.8 yards per carry this season on the ground and I imagine the Eagles will have their way on the Offensive side of the ball without the need to throw the ball around too much.
Idaho will have some success of their own when they have the ball in their hands, but I expect Georgia Southern will wear down the Defensive Line and start picking up huge gains as the game develops. Playing catch up might not work too well for the Vandals either as they have given the ball away a little too much while the Offensive Line hasn't protected Matt Linehan as they would have liked.
You can't underestimate the Idaho Vandals who showed some improvement last season despite their 1-10 record, but I think the Georgia Southern Eagles have too much from the triple option and pull away on the road.
USC Trojans @ Arizona State Sun Devils Pick: Last week I picked the Stanford Cardinal to keep things close against the USC Trojans, but I couldn't have predicted they would actually knock off the Pac-12 favourites.
This is a must win game for both the Trojans and the Arizona State Sun Devils who have also dropped a game this season with the loser likely out of the race for the College Football Play Offs.
USC will be playing with revenge having somehow lost to the Sun Devils last season despite having a nine point lead and under three minutes to go in that game. It was a Hail Mary pass at the end of that game with no time remaining that helped Arizona State earn the win and you have to think this USC Trojans team will have had something to prove prior to the Stanford loss which gives them double motivation.
It was the Defensive unit that let USC down last week, but I think they are better than their Arizona State counterparts and I fully expect the Trojans to bounce back. Arizona State might be 2-1, but they were beaten easily by the Texas A&M Aggies and haven't looked that good against overmatched opponents, while the USC Trojans are 3-1 against the spread off a straight up loss.
The Trojans are also 12-1 in their last thirteen opening road games and I think they bounce back from the Stanford loss by showing they are still very much in the mix for a Play Off berth at the end of the season. Unless Arizona State have found something special in the last week, they just haven't looked like they are playing well enough to win this game and I think even the cover looks beyond them.
ULL Rajin' Cajuns - 8 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
Colorado State Rams - 10 Points @ 1.95 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
UCLA Bruins - 2.5 Points @ 1.91 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Wisconsin Badgers - 24.5 Points @ 1.95 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Georgia Southern Eagles - 15.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
USC Trojans - 5.5 Points @ 1.91 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Week 2: 5-4-1, + 0.68 Units (10 Units Staked, + 6.80% Yield)
Week 1: 7-6, + 0.48 Units (13 Units Staked, + 3.69% Yield
Season 2015: 18-14-1, + 2.73 Units (33 Units Staked, + 8.27% Yield)
Season 2014: 75-82-2, - 13.39 Units (172 Units Staked, - 7.78% Yield)