Picks for 9/23/23
12:00 PM EST
Florida State -2.5 over Clemson (win)
Clemson will always have a great football team, but they are different from the elite-level team we expect them to be each year. Clemson QB Cade Klubnik is still learning to play, as the team’s success relies significantly on him. The running game for the Tigers will always be good, but the FSU defense has the talent to slow them down. Florida State returns duel-threat quarterback Jordan Travis and has an outstanding offensive line. The FSU receivers are also stacked, so the Noles should put up a lot of offense. The Seminoles are better on both sides of the ball and should get a huge road victory today. Take Florida State.
3:30 PM EST
Texas Tech -5.5 over West Virginia (loss)
Texas Tech was better than WVU last year in the BIG 12, and they have put more separation into that margin this season. West Virginia will be without starting QB Garrett Greene this afternoon. The Mountaineers already have an inexperienced group of wide receivers consisting of many transfer players, so they need help doing much in the air. New Offensive Coordinator Chad Scott must pull off a miracle today or run the ball over 40 times. Duel Threat Tyler Shough has a lot of experience as the quarterback for Texas Tech and has an outstanding offensive line to protect him. The Red Raiders have good running backs and great wide receivers. I believe the Red Raiders are better on both sides of the football and should get a big road win. Take Texas Tech.
7:30 PM EST
Missouri -6.5 over Memphis (win)
Missouri’s signature win over Kansas State last week has given them the confidence to play anyone. Remember, Missouri is an SEC team playing an American Conference today. Brady Cook has been great so far this season; the running game has done its job, as has the offensive line and receivers. Memphis lost their top five receivers from a year ago and brought in a lot of new faces from the transfer portal. Seth Henigan is a good QB but will be tested today against a very good Memphis secondary. The Memphis secondary is a mess and should be exposed today. Memphis has yet to play difficult talent and will have their hands full today. Missouri is better on both sides of the ball and should contact the road win. Take Missouri.
7:30 PM EST
Ohio State/Notre Dame Under 55.5 (win)
Tonight’s game between two top-ten teams will be electric. Taking the UNDER was boring in the past, but now the clock moves very fast. With the clock not stopping after a first down, putting up many points takes a lot of work. I considered taking Ohio State, but the Under has better value. Notre Dame needs quality receivers, as they lost their best playmakers to the NFL draft. QB Sam Harman is a future first-round pick, but he needs better talent from his inexperienced receivers this early in the season to win a big game. The Notre Dame defense is elite, and if they win today, it will be because of them. Both teams have new offensive coordinators, so mistakes or indecisiveness should help keep this a low-scoring game. Buckeyes QB Kyle McCord needs to be more elite to take control of a big game. Look for both teams’ defenses to be ahead of the offenses. Take the Under.
8:00 PM EST
UCF +4.5 over Kansas State (loss)
UCF would love to make an instant splash in the BIG 12 today. The Knights are a talented team that always has the fastest guys on the field. Both QBs today are injured. John Rhys Plumlee is dealing with a leg injury at UCF, and Will Howard is a game-time decision for the Wildcats. UCF backup Tommy McClain has experience and is a duel threat. The backup for the Wildcats is a freshman. The Wildcats will also be without their best running back today, as Treshaun Ward is inactive. Kansas State lost their top two receivers from a year ago and should struggle today. UCF returns every wide receiver except Ryan O’Keefe and should find open receivers today. The Kansas State secondary is a mess, as none of the cornerbacks had experience coming into this season, and the safeties only have one guy who started a year ago. The total combined interceptions coming into this year was zero. Look for the Knights to show their team speed on both sides of the ball and to get a big win to open up their BIG 12 career. Head Coach Gus Malzhan can win big games. Take UCF.