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There were several games that I considered this week as my 5 Best Bets and four of them jumped out at me and that is what I look for when the lines come out. Finding that 5th one has been a challenge and I had a lot of trouble deciding which one to choose. I’m coming off an excellent week as I hit my Lock of the Week for the third straight time and also hit both of my upset specials for the third straight week. Let’s see if I can keep those streaks going as we head to the betting windows this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin at Chicago: This is a game featuring two good football teams that haven’t been overly impressive in the first two weeks. The Badgers opened the season with a loss at home to Penn State 16-10 and then defeated Eastern Michigan (ho-hum) 34-7. Offensively, they are going to run the ball, run the ball, and them mix in an occasional pass. Their defense is tough and physical as ever. The Irish almost blew a game at Florida State in their opener, rallied to beat Toledo, in week 2, and won easier against Purdue 27-13 last week. Offensively, they have been much better than the Badgers. However, their run defense is suspect and running the ball is what Wisconsin does best. Therein, lies the key matchup. Can Notre Dame stop the Wisconsin run game enough to give their offense a chance to win. Wisconsin is a 6.5 point favorite. I think that is too many points to cover.
PAPA DUDES *UPSET SPECIAL OF THE WEEK* Notre Dame +6.5
UCLA at Stanford: Last week, Fresno State knocked the bloom off of UCLA’s rose winning 40-37. Now, they have to go to Stanford and try and rebound this week. I like the Bruins and their offensive firepower but I’m not sold on their defense. Meanwhile, Stanford was just awful offensively in their opener against Kansas State but have bounced back and scored 42 against USC and 41 at Vanderbilt. So, it looks like they have found some answers on the offensive side of the ball. I have some concerns on their run defense as they are allowing 210 yards per game and they will have to stop the UCLA run game. The Bruins are a 4.5 point favorite on the road.
PAPA DUDES PICK: Stanford +4.5
3 OTHERS I CONSIDERED:
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M at Arlington, TX: I like Arkansas in this one at -4.5. I’m very impressed with the Hogs just not fully sold.
Kansas State at Oklahoma State: The Wildcats should beat the spread. Take Kansas State at +6
Colorado at Arizona State: Colorado is awful on offense and Arizona State wants to get back on track after last week. Take Arizona State -14.5
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City: The Chiefs are coming off a tough loss against the Ravens and they haven’t been as impressive as everyone would like them to be. They have struggled immensely on defense, especially against the run. I’m sure that has been a priority this week in preparation for this game, They have also been inept running the ball and that is another issue that has probably been addressed this week. The Chargers are struggling running the ball also and had to depend on 2nd year quarterback, Justin Herbert to win games for them. Defensively, they have a similar problem as the Chiefs in stopping the run. There is no doubt that Kansas City is better and I think they are sitting on a big one at Arrowhead this Sunday. The Chiefs beat me last week but I’m going with them one more time.
PAPA DUDES PICK: Kansas City -6.5
New Orleans at New England: I’m not sure what the Saints are at this point. They whipped the Packers in the opener and laid an egg at Carolina. They were missing 8 coaches, who were out for COVID reasons, and that is a legitimate excuse for playing bad. New England should be 2-0 and have been more consistent and I like Bill Belichick at home in these kinds of games.
PAPA DUDES PICK: New England -3
Philadelphia at Dallas: The Monday night game features an NFC Least matchup between the Eagles and Cowboys. Both teams are 1-1 and this is a must-win game for the Cowboys. It is their home opener, it is Monday Night Football in prime time, it is a game they really need, and they are the better team. So, isn’t it logic, that they win this game. Of course it is. But, they are the Cowboys and they have struggled in these situations. However, I’m putting my reputation on Dallas this week.
PAPA DUDES LOCK OF THE WEEK: Dallas -4
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