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Lock 'Em Up: Best Bets for Week 3 Slate

After what seemed like a bottomless dive to the bottom of statistical research, find out why I'm so high on the Utah State Aggies for our 'lock of the week.'

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100%. Blemish-free. Unscathed. Go out strong and never return to MnB.

Last week's rendition of 'lock of the week' dealt with the Washington State Cougars getting two points on the road versus Rutgers. My plan, maliciously devised, was to use the public perception and back-stab those low-lives en route to victory. I mean, Washington State off a home loss to Portland State, in no way would any figure saddle up to back the Cougs.

But that's why Week 2 offers the luxury of buying low on teams with perceived minimal value. So with every special teams touchdown for Rutgers came a blossoming ulcer stationed smack-dab center in my gall bladder, but thankfully, quarterback Luke Falk marched down the gridiron with a shade over a minute left, hooking up with wide receiver River Cracraft for a game-winner, ultimately kicking the season off right.

Lock of the Week

I certainly find a sense of tranquility once I jar from the shackles of Big Ten odds.

Now that the unbending noose has been yanked from the depths of my jugular, the time calls to exhale a breath and gloss over the national scale.


For the best bet on the board, I'm converging on a west coast tussle.

Utah State at Washington

Time: Saturday, September 19th (5 ET)

Line: Washington -5.5, 44.5

To provide the notion that Utah State's offense reflects a stagnant turtle running the mile in gym class would be classified a subtle understatement. Head coach Matt Wells must be locked in his room blaring emo music because his unit has shown little spark, and it reverberates off the score sheet: a 12-9 win versus Southern Utah to shatter open the 2015 campaign followed by a 24-14 loss to the hands of Utah.

So Utah State should perhaps opt to just hang up the cleats and forfeit Saturday's match up in Washington, huh. The numbers surely don't say so. Since Wells seized supervision of the Aggies in 2013, Utah State's averaging 38.4 points per contest following a loss. On the road, 43 points per game. And in those seven encounters following defeat, the Aggies are a flawless 7-0 to the team total over. Don't catch my drift? Oddsmakers, while establishing a game line and total, offer point totals for each affiliate as well. Utah State's digit currently sits at 20.5.

In the previous seven, the Aggs have surpassed that number in each occurrence, and the yards per game differential? Eye-popping.


Utah State Result

Rush, Pass YPG

Total YPG

Utah State After Loss

Rush, Pass YPG

Total YPG

L 26-30

173, 314

487

W 52-20

217, 360

577

L 14-17

106, 179

285

W 40-12

253, 267

520

L 14-31

186, 211

397

L 23-24

127, 221

348

L 23-34

137, 211

348

W 45-10

337, 155

492

L 7-38

100, 144

244

W 40-20

311, 116

427

L 14-21

145, 268

413

W 35-20

136, 321

457

L 13-16

100, 106

260

W 34-20

178, 226

444

L 14-24

117, 256

373

?

?

?

Avg YPG in Loss

350.875

Avg YPG After Loss

466.4286


The offense has seemingly flourished, relished, dazzled and feasted in this situation, and I'm not sure the Washington defense is a genuine bunch. Sure, surrendering just 16 points at Boise, but let's remember that head coach Chris Petersen would have had his right arm surgically removed in exchange for a road victory versus his former branch.

Chuckie Keeton at quarterback provides the necessary jolt to jump start the offense, and the Aggies also welcome back wide receiver Hunter Sharp, along with a couplet of offensive linemen.

Let's get our cookies.

Pick: Utah State Team Total Over 20.5


Additional Plays

Louisiana Tech at Kansas State

Time: Saturday, September 19th (3 ET)

Line: Kansas State -9

So the ever so potent attack in Kansas State is laying near double-digits to a Skip Holtz-coached team in Louisiana Tech and the public's wiping the drool from under its lips at the Wildcats. Surprise, I'm leaning heavily the other way.

K-State merely provides weapons on the outside to fully suffocate a capable team like La Tech, even it does represent the Conference USA. The slow tempo and lack of flash my work in the Bulldogs' favor, given the blue and red were strictly lacerated by Western Kentucky's aerial attack last Thursday.

Now Holtz receives an extra day of prep for Kansas State's offense(?) and is a perfect 5-0 against the spread as an underdog since gaining control in Ruston. The Wildcats don't have enough firepower in my opinion to surpass a double-digit edge, and I'll gladly roll on the points.

Pick: Louisiana Tech +9

East Carolina at Navy

Time: Saturday, September 19th (3:30 ET)

Line: Navy -3.5, 58

East Carolina barely escapes The Swamp and now has to prepare for the triple-option blueprint on the road? Tough sledding. Eerily similar to Justin Thomas and Georgia Tech, Keenan Reynolds has mastered the scheme and could haul a mediocre Pirates defense into all sorts of shambles on Saturday.

Do that and ECU should revert to its helter-skelter, high-tempo offense to answer back. I can see an excess flurry of scoreboard lighting in this one.

Pick: East Carolina-Navy Over 58