The VSiN college football analyst and longtime Gold Sheet handicapper looks at some betting angles for three of Saturday’s games.
Nebraska at Oklahoma: These longtime rivals had many epic battles in the old Big Eight, but haven’t played since the 2010 Big 12 title game, which Oklahoma won, 23-20. Nebraska hightailed it to the Big Ten the next year. Wins over FCS Fordham and a downgraded Buffalo the past two weeks are hardly signals that Scott Frost has turned the corner with the Cornhuskers, and this trip to Norman will provide a more accurate barometer of his progress. But it risks being a bad experience, as Oklahoma is unlikely to ease off the throttle as it did in the opener against Tulane, which cost the Sooners in the polls.
Lincoln Riley’s offense has shown a lot more sophistication and pizzazz under Heisman Trophy hopeful Spencer Rattler, who got back into the groove last Saturday by tossing five TD passes against Western Carolina. Nebraska (+22.5) is not nearly as dynamic with QB Adrian Martinez, who has thrown only four touchdown passes in three games against marginal opposition.
Georgia Tech at Clemson: Will Georgia Tech (+28) even want to show up in Death Valley after its recent results against Clemson? Dabo Swinney and company left a path of destruction in Atlanta a year ago when the Tigers mummified the Yellow Jackets, 73-7. Clemson was more than halfway to 100 with 52 points at the half and Trevor Lawrence was en route to five touchdown passes before Swinney called off the dogs in the second half. That makes a combined 125-21 for Swinney over Geoff Collins’ Yellow Jackets the past two seasons.
ACC sources believe D.J. Uiagalelei will be fine at quarterback as long as he’s not looking at Kirby Smart’s Georgia defense. Uiagalelei regained some confidence while pitching Clemson to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter against South Carolina State last week before taking it easy the rest of the day. With another game under his belt and a bit more confidence pulling the levers, he will present a lot more problems for the Tech defense than Kennesaw State’s option last week. Collins has covered just eight of his first 25 on the board with the Ramblin’ Wreck since 2019.
South Carolina at Georgia: Kirby Smart’s defense has yet to allow a touchdown in two games — UAB got its score last week on a pick-six — so the Bulldogs hardly missed JT Daniels when he sat with a strained oblique. Former starter Stetson Bennett was more than serviceable in relief, with five TD passes in just 12 throws against the Blazers. Smart also doesn’t need reminding that the Gamecocks scored a mighty 20-17 upset as three-TD ’dogs the last time they played between the hedges in 2019.
Replicating that would be a neat trick for new South Carolina coach Shane Beamer, who has infused a bit more spark into the program after the button-downed approach of Will Muschamp, which was reflected in the rally from a 14-0 deficit to a 20-17 win over East Carolina last week. If Smart, now No. 2 in the polls, is really watching the rankings as SEC insiders suggest, it could be dangerous to risk a recommendation on the Gamecocks, even at this stratospheric +31.5.
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