We are back for another Tuesday column. I've got to say, writing this was a journey. It seemed like every time I started writing about a game college hoops game last night, I would check back and find out it was canceled. This results in us having quite the mediocre slate.
But sometimes the Lord gives even though he seems like he is taking away. With postponements in the football slate, we now have the unique double header of Tuesday night football. Without further to do, let's get to the picks - a rare Tuesday night football column, with some college hoops mixed in as well.
All point spreads are provided by our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Seattle at Los Angeles
Spread: Los Angeles (-7)
Our first Tuesday football game came in Los Angeles. Truthfully, not sure how many LA fans are going to make it to SoFi Stadium on a Tuesday. Most of them should settle into their seats by halftime. The Fox camera crew is going to have to work those camera angles.
In terms of the game, LA benefits from NFL relaxing Covid procedures. LA will get back Jalen Ramsey, Darrell Henderson, Odell Beckham among others from the Covid list. At one point LA was up to 29 players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, they're now down to 18. They also have two extra days of rest after playing at Arizona last Monday night.
Meanwhile, Seattle is coming off a comfortable road victory against Houston. After winning two straight they may have something to prove. But with Beckham back, this is an extremely tough matchup for them. Seattle ranks 28th in passing DVOA while LA ranks 4th in passing DVOA offense. LA put up just 26 points on Monday, but they had 476 yards of offense. They should be able to stretch the field and be able to get completions with ease. Cooper Kupp's ability to line up outside or in the slot is a major problem. If Seattle focuses attention on Kupp, they still have positive matchups with Van Jefferson and Beckham on the outside. Jamal Adams continues to struggle in coverage for Seattle. So we will see if Seattle commits to using Adams in blitz packages, still making them vulnerable in the back end.
On offense, Seattle has found its mojo back with Russell Wilson. While this has traditionally been a difficult matchup for Seattle, I think they can find some success here even without Tyler Lockett.
So, I’m leaning over this one.
The pick: Over 47
Washington at Philadelphia
Spread: Philadelphia -8.5
The Washington Football team quarterback situation is quite intriguing, to say the least. Neither Taylor Heinicke nor Kyle Allen has passed his Covid test, meaning that Garrett Gilbert will be starting at quarterback. That news is updated as of 4:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
With that said, the one area where I break this game down is the Philly offensive and the Washington defense will be playing strength on strength. Philadelphia throws out the third best rushing DVOA in football, and they will be playing against the seventh best rushing defense. In addition, Philly is converting 66.77 percent of his red zone conversions into touchdowns while Washington is allowing teams to convert 33 percent of its conversion into touchdowns. Really you have to ask yourself, can Jalen Hurts cover over an 85 margin, not just against, but any team in general when the running game isn’t blowing through the defense. To me, the answer is no.
On top of that, Philly is just 1-4 straight up at home this year. I think Philly wins the game, but I’ll take the points with a gritty Washington Football team.
The pick: Washington +8.5
Oakland vs Michigan State (at Little Caesars Arena)
Spread: Michigan State -10
One of the most underrated annual non-conference college basketball series. The Grizzlies and Spartans have played each other every year since 2013. While the Spartans have won every one of those meetings, it’s great to see a mini “rivalry” between power conferences and mid-major schools. While Greg Kampe has lost 19 straight to Tom Izzo, I think he has a chance to break the streak here. Oakland actually has an advantage in the backcourt with guard Jalen Moore. Moore is in the Top 25 nationally in assist to turnover ratio, he is averaging nearly 14 points per game and averages nearly two steals. Tyson Walker is fine and has upside but Michigan State ranks 298th in turnover percentage.
For Michigan State, Marcus Bingham will probably have his way against Oakland’s smaller lineup. Oakland’s Jamal Cain is a worthy adversary averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Oakland has already beat Oklahoma State and took West Virginia down to the wire. I think they will put a scare into the Spartans here.
The pick: Oakland +10
Kansas at Colorado
Spread: Kansas (-10)
I have one word to handicap this game, elevation. Boulder sits at 5,328 feet above sea level. Have you seen the Wizard of Oz? Kansas is flat like a pancake. With the way Kansas likes to run, it’s going to be hard to play that type of style. The air is different up there. I think we can see a shock to the system early.
We have also seen teams struggle to play true road games. And this is Kansas’s first true experience. The crowd should be rocking. Colorado has Evan Battey to throw at David McCormack. I think Colorado controls the tempo of the game. Colorado got off to slow starts in their last two top matchups against UCLA and Tennessee. However, I don't see that happening here. Take the Buffalos to give Kansas a game at home. Simply too many points.
The pick: Colorado +10
Tropical Smoothie USA Frisco Bowl:
UTSA vs San Diego State
Spread: San Diego State (-2.5)
Both teams have resoundingly exceeded expectations this season - the two high-quality teams come in with a combined record of 22-3. UTSA is looking for a 13-win season in its 10th season as an FBS program while playing in a bowl game for the third time. The Roadrunners' only blemish this season was when they were routed 45-23 by fellow Conference USA member North Texas in late November. While San Diego State is also looking for a milestone victory as the program chases win No. 12. The Aztecs failed in their first opportunity when they were steamrolled 46-13 by Utah State in the Mountain West championship game.
Both teams have the same winning formula, run the ball, win the field position with the punting game, and play good defense. It is going to be a battle, and I can’t wait to watch it.
The Roadrunners have been great against the spread going 7-1 against teams with a winning record over the past two seasons. They can get to play a bowl game that is about a 3-hour drive away from campus. The Roadrunners lose record setting running back Sincere McCormick. But his absence caused the line to move two points in SDSU's favor. No line should move that much for a running back, creating value on the Roadrunners side. I simply think UTSA is the more balanced team.
San Diego State presents one of the worst passing attacks in the FBS (121 out of 130). UTSA's glaring weakness is defending the pass (104th ranked nationally). Like we said SDSU won’t be able to exploit that. UTSA is more balanced on offense, and they will be playing with the home crowd on the Roadrunners side. It will be 54 degrees in Frisco, which doesn’t sound bad- but it’s not ideal for college kids that spend a majority of time in San Diego. Give me UTSA to grab an historic 13th season win.
The pick: UTSA +2.5
Follow Austin Montgomery on Twitter @AMontgomeryLive
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