NCAA

Week 3 CFB Picks: Trust Vegas, not your head

orgeron-lsu-usat.jpg
USA Today

Week 3 CFB Picks: Trust Vegas, not your head

Every week, the boys in the desert come out with lines on football games.

Every week, we think we can beat Vegas. 

This is your weekly reminder... Las Vegas is smarter than you.

Hawai'i (3-0) at Army (1-1) 

Is that Colt Brennan? No. It's Cole McDonald. Through three games, the Rainbow Warrior QB leads the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns (13). If you stayed up late on Labor Day weekend, you watched McDonald (and his awesome hair) torch Navy's secondary for 429 yards and six touchdowns. With three wins, Hawai'i has already matched its win total from 2017.

After opening up the season with a 20-point loss at Duke, Army responded by rushing for 449 yards against Liberty en route to a 38-14 victory.

The triple option is always challenging to prepare for but the Rainbow Warriors faced it just two weeks ago.

This seems like a pretty evenly matched game. I think most people would lean towards Hawai'i getting the win.

Wait. What? Army is -7?? How is that possible?

Kickoff is at noon ET on Saturday in West Point, NY. That's 6 a.m. Hawai'i time! The last time Hawai'i played a noon ET kick was in 2016. The result? A 63-3 loss at Michigan.

The play: Army -7

Vanderbilt (2-0) at #8 Notre Dame (2-0)

On Labor Day weekend, Notre Dame impressed the college football world with a 24-17 win over the Mighty Michigan Harbaugh’s. Last Saturday, not as impressive. The Irish needed to recover an onsides kick to ensure a 24-16 victory over Ball State. Yes, you read that right. To ensure a 24-16 victory over Ball State. Notre Dame was a five-touchdown favorite! QB Brandon Wimbush looked quite shaky against the Cardinals throwing three interceptions and no touchdowns. (If you were wondering, Ball State was picked to finish last MAC West Division.)

Vanderbilt hasn’t been really tested yet but the Commodores have been impressive in wins over Middle Tennessee State (35-7) and Nevada (41-10).

Notre Dame is a two-touchdown favorite this Saturday. Why will the Irish win by double digits against Vanderbilt when they haven’t done that in either of the first two games this season?

Two reasons.

  1. ESPN’s Paul Finebaum put Notre Dame on upset watch
  2. US News ranked Vanderbilt (#14) higher than Notre Dame (#18) on their most recent “Top Universities” list

If that isn't enough motivation... I don't know what is?

The Play: Notre Dame -13.5

#12 LSU (2-0) at #7 Auburn (2-0)

Nothing like an early season SEC West showdown.

Both LSU and Auburn followed up impressive Week 1 victories (LSU over Miami, Auburn beat Washington) with blowout wins over FCS opponents.

So doesn’t Auburn -10.5 seem rather high? The public seems to think so. They love the Bayou Bengals to cover.

Let’s try to think this one out.

The home team has won this matchup each of the last five years. Advantage: Auburn

The last two years this game has been decided by less than a touchdown. Advantage: LSU

LSU’s QB Joe Burrow is making his first career road start. Advantage: Auburn

Gus Malzahn wears sweater vests. Advantage: LSU

Ed Orgeron says he has 8-10 energy drinks per day. Advantage: ???

The math seems pretty even. I think it comes down to this…

Vegas knows something we don’t.

The Play: Auburn -10.5

Other games to make money on 

#21 Miami at Toledo (+11.5)

Rutgers (+2.5) at Kansas

Florida State (-3) at Syracuse

Georgia Southern (+31.5) at #2 Clemson

#17 Boise State (+1.5) at #24 Oklahoma State

Missouri at Purdue (+5.5)

New Mexico at New Mexico State (+3)

#10 Washington at Utah (+5)

#23 Arizona State at San Diego State (+5.5)

 

Old Dominion stuns No. 25 Syracuse, pulls off Carrier Dome upset

old_dominion_syracuse_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Old Dominion stuns No. 25 Syracuse, pulls off Carrier Dome upset

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- B.J. Stith felt it necessary to apologize to his Old Dominion teammates at halftime Saturday after going scoreless and committing five turnovers against Syracuse.

"I made up my mind I couldn't let my guys down," Stith said. "I took full responsibility. No points, five turnovers. I said, `Look, I apologize for how I played in the first half. I'm going to step it up in the second half. Let's do it.' That's exactly what we did and didn't look back."

No apologies were needed after the game.

Stith scored all of his 18 points in the second half on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 at the foul line, and Old Dominion rallied to stun No. 25 Syracuse 68-62.

It was Old Dominion's first win over a ranked team since beating VCU 73-67 in 2014 and the Monarchs' first road win over a ranked team since defeating Georgetown in 2006.

"Number one, (Stith) was self-aware because he was right," Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones said. "In the second half, he wasn't trying to do his own thing. He stayed within the game plan. He got a couple of baskets and a couple of assists, found other guys and played stronger."

Xavier Green had 15 points and Marquis Godwin added 11 for the Monarchs (8-3), who trailed by 13 points late in the first half and by 11 early in the second before rallying for their sixth straight victory.

"What this game showed is that we can play with, if not better, than any team in the country on any given day," Stith said. "To come here into the (Carrier) Dome is a big-time win."

Said Jones: "I don't know what it will do for the program, but it's a certainly good win for our basketball team. Syracuse is a good team. A top 25 team. Doing it in this Carrier Dome. This program is a storied program."

After Elijah Hughes made a 3-pointer to put the Orange (7-3) ahead 39-28, Old Dominion went on a 13-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Goodwin that tied it at 41 with 10:19 remaining.

"We made a couple of adjustments (in the second half) but it was more about the players' mentality, playing with toughness and being strong with the ball," Jones said. "We stuck to the script a little bit better. We got the ball in some, it was hard to do, but we got it into the high post and were able to manufacture some baskets from there."

Syracuse pulled back ahead and led 50-46, but a jumper by Godwin and a 3-pointer by Ahmad Carter put the Monarchs on top again. Syracuse went ahead 53-51 with 4:15 to go, but that was the Orange's last lead of the game.

Three foul shots by Stith and five straight points by Green extended the Monarchs to a 59-53 margin with under three minutes to go. Six points by Stith down the stretch sealed the upset.

Tyus Battle led Syracuse with 23 points on just 5-of-14 shooting. Hughes had 15. Oshae Brissett had just nine, going 3 of 11 from the field.

Syracuse shot just 33 percent from the field for the game and 8 of 22 from 3-point range.

For the Orange, the offensive struggles were familiar. But something new was added against the Monarchs: missed opportunities at the foul line. Syracuse missed 12 of 34 free throws.

"We're not making anything," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We missed so many key shots. Playing at home, you have to make those shots. You can't miss 12 free throws."

Syracuse closed on a 12-3 run to take a 33-23 halftime lead. Battle, who scored 13 in the first 20 minutes, accounted for eight straight points during the run.

"We have to focus on every free throw," Brissett said. "We're a good free-throw shooting team, but we just haven't been able to find it the last two games."

BIG PICTURE

Old Dominion: The Monarchs are flying high. Six straight wins and a huge comeback at the Carrier Dome give Old Dominion momentum heading into its matchup with in-state rival Richmond.

Syracuse: Frank Howard isn't himself and Syracuse won't go far if its point guard doesn't contribute.

CENTER OF ATTENTION

Syracuse centers Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe accounted for zero points and seven rebounds.

GREEN WITH ENVY

ODU's Green entered the game hitting 38 percent from 3-point range. He was 3-of-4 Saturday.

DESPERATE TIMES

Syracuse will be desperate for a win over No. 14 Buffalo on Tuesday. A defeat would damage the Orange's NCAA Tournament chances.

UP NEXT

Old Dominion travels to Richmond Wednesday.

Syracuse hosts Buffalo on Tuesday.

MORE NCAA NEWS:

Oral Roberts at Richmond College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

oral-roberts-richmond-usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Oral Roberts at Richmond College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Winners of two straight, Richmond plays host to Oral Roberts to try and get a third consecutive victory.

The Golden Eagles, on the other hand, have lost three in a row and will be looking to get back to winning ways when they visit the Robins Center in Richmond, Va. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

Oral Roberts at Richmond How to Watch

What: Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at Richmond Spiders
Where: Robins Center, Richmond, Va.
When: 4 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder)

Oral Roberts at Richmond Preview

Conference: Summit League (Oral Roberts), A-10 (Richmond)
Record: 3-9 (Oral Roberts), 4-5 (Richmond)
Last Game: 80-64 loss at Missouri 12/7 (Oral Roberts), 82-47 win vs. Coppin State, 12/5 (Richmond)
Leading Scorers: Emmanuel Nzekwesi, 15.1 ppg (Oral Roberts), Grant Golden, 19.9 ppg (Richmond)