SabreBetrics: Week 10 CFB Betting Guide – Get Right Games

According to Albert Einstein, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” Indeed, it can sometimes take a poor performance on the gridiron to know the true mettle of a team. Outside of a few elite programs that never seem to lose, most teams must routinely deal with remaining motivated following a loss.

From a betting perspective, there can sometimes be value in prioritizing teams that lost in the previous week. Humans are susceptible to recency bias, overemphasizing recently occurring results rather than taking a holistic view of how a season has gone. This week, my focus is on teams that suffered defeats in Week 9 and are looking for the opportunity to “get right.”

Virginia Week 10 Forecast

  • North Carolina -7.5 at Virginia, Over 59.

Virginia’s four-overtime loss against Miami was as about as agonizing of an experience as you can imagine. The game was so deflating that it had me looking up quotes on adversity to share in this article. The Cavaliers’ defense played inspired football, holding an ACC opponent without an offensive touchdown for the second consecutive week. However, untimely drops and poor red zone execution kept the Hoos from finding the end zone as well. With four games remaining, Virginia ranks 123rd nationally in points scored per game. If production continues on its current trajectory, it will be the fewest points scored for the Cavaliers since the 1981 season.

This week’s opponent has no issues scoring points in bunches. North Carolina is undefeated in conference play thanks to one of the nation’s best offenses. The Tar Heels average just under 40 points and 487 yards per game. Quarterback Drake Maye has been phenomenal, throwing for 29 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Thanks to Maye’s accuracy and dynamic vertical threats in receivers like Josh Downs and Antoine Green, Carolina averages 9.7 yards per pass attempt. This will be the most difficult test UVA’s defense has faced all season, and it is unreasonable to expect John Rudzinski’s unit to keep the Heels out of the end zone. However, as good as UNC’s offense has been, the defense has been equally porous. The Heels have allowed over 32 points per game and nearly 481 yards of offense on average to their opponents. Virginia, for all its offensive struggles, should be able to find open space in the Carolina secondary.

North Carolina opened as a 10-point favorite in many sportsbooks. Since then, the line has dropped to 7.5 as sharps jumped at the opportunity to bet on the Cavaliers. Unfortunately, I do not share their optimism. Carolina’s offense has too many weapons, and Virginia has not shown the execution needed to keep up with this much scoring. Heels over the Hoos, 41-20.

Week 9 Best Selections

  • Season record: 22-21-2. After a fourth straight 3-2 week, I am finally back above the waterline for the season. In trying for a fifth consecutive winning week, I am relying on five favorites in “bounce back” spots.

Virginia Tech -3 vs. Georgia Tech: As disappointing as the season has been for Virginia fans, we can take some comfort in watching our in-state rival also struggle under a first-year head coach. Still, I like the Hokies in this spot against Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech has played better in its last two games, almost rallying from 20 points down to against Miami and losing a one-point game at North Carolina State. The Yellow Jackets struggled in Tallahassee last weekend without starting quarterback Jeff Sims. He’s currently listed as day-to-day, and it seems likely that he will return to the line-up in Blacksburg. Even if Sims is back, Georgia Tech averages only 13 points per game on offense and is allowing almost 30 points each outing. There’s value in betting on VPI if you can stomach it.

Kentucky -2 at Missouri: Just over a month ago, Kentucky was a ranked team that would have beaten Mississippi in Oxford if not for an illegal shift penalty that wiped out the go-ahead touchdown. Since then, the Wildcats have lost to South Carolina at home and were annihilated in Knoxville last weekend. I trust in Mark Stoops’ ability to refocus his team for the last month of the season.

Quarterback Will Levis is still one of the top NFL prospects in the country, and the Kentucky defense has been stout against every non-Tennessee opponent this year. That doesn’t bode well for a Missouri offensive line that gives up sacks on 7.5% of passing downs. The kickoff at 11 a.m. local time may also lessen the homefield advantage in Columbia.

Texas A&M -3 vs. Florida: The Aggies have been a punching bag among the national media for the failure to live up to preseason expectations. As fun as it might be to clown on Jimbo Fisher, I think the hype was always a bit premature. Having the number one recruiting class in the country means that you also have a lot of inexperienced players getting meaningful time on the field. Of Texas A&M’s five losses, four have been within a touchdown. Since winning the opening week game against Utah, Florida has had its own struggles. The Gators rank 130th nationally (next to last) in yielding third down conversions. Despite Anthony Richardson’s athleticism, he has struggled to throw the ball effectively, completing only 55% of his passes and throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns. In front of an antsy crowd at Kyle Field, the Aggies will finally break their extended losing streak.

Penn State -13.5 at Indiana: Through three quarters against Ohio State, it looked like Penn State was on its way to one of the season’s most consequential upsets. The Buckeyes pulled through in the end thanks to 4 touchdowns in the final frame. Though the disappointment was palpable in Happy Valley, the performance showed that the Nittany Lions are a legitimate contender in the Big 10. Indiana is not. The Hoosiers rank outside the top 100 in the FBS in yards gained and yards allowed. Penn State’s biggest challenge will be avoiding a flat performance in Bloomington. Based on the team’s 28-point drubbing of Minnesota following a close loss at Michigan, I think James Franklin will have his team ready to play.

Texas -2.5 at Kansas State: One of Saturday’s most shocking results was Kansas State beating Oklahoma State 48-0, the worst loss of the Mike Gundy era in Stillwater. The previous week, the Pokes beat Texas by a touchdown. Given these back-to-back results, it seems surprising that Texas is favored in this road game. As I have long advocated, when a line doesn’t make sense, you should lean in. Wildcats’ starting quarterback Adrian Martinez is still trying to battle back from injury. Texas is coming off a bye and should be well-rested and anxious to redeem themselves with a win over a ranked opponent.

Parlay/Teaser of the Week

  • Season record: 2-7

Even though Utah covered its portion of my teaser, USC couldn’t quite bring it home. A 2-7 record looks grim, but I’m choosing to stay resilient in the face of defeat. For inspiration, I’m hitching my horse to two undefeated teams with a money-line parlay.

  • TCU to win against Texas Tech: The Horned Frogs must feel disrespected by their placement (No. 7) in the first edition of College Football Playoff rankings. Sonny Dykes’ squad has four wins over Top 25 teams, playing a more difficult schedule than Clemson and Michigan. Expect TCU to play with extra motivation this weekend against a Red Raiders team that was just steamrolled by Baylor at home.
  • Georgia to win against Tennessee: The Volunteers have the best offense in the country. Still, the road to the National Championship goes through Athens, Georgia. The Bulldogs have an impressive offense as well, averaging 43 points and 537 yards per game. Georgia’s defense is unlike anything Josh Heupel’s team has faced this year, allowing only 12 points per game (3rd nationally). This is the must-see game of the week.

Random Fact to Impress Your Fellow Tailgaters

As previously mentioned, the College Football Playoff committee released its first set of rankings on Monday. This was the 49th edition of the committee rankings during the seasons. Unsurprisingly, Alabama and Ohio State are the only programs that have been ranked on all 49 lists. However, three new teams made appearances for the first time with Monday’s ranking: Illinois, Tulane, and Oregon State. With the highest ranking among Group of Five teams, the Green Wave is in position to make a New Year’s Six bowl game for the first time since 1940.

SabreBetrics is a Virginia graduate and long-time fan of The Sabre. The opinions expressed in this article are not directly associated with The Sabre and are intended for recreational use only. Sports betting should be a fun activity, not a stressful one. Please do not bet more than you can reasonably afford to lose.