Ladies and gentlemen, the numbers are in, and the CBS Sports HQ newsletter is ready to declare that, yes, today is Friday. Finally. Seriously, it’s been a week, hasn’t it? We’ve made it through mostly intact, though, and we’ve got an exciting weekend of action coming our way.

Not only do we have three college football games tonight — and I have picks below for two of them — but we’ve also got a full slate of college football on Saturday. And when I say full, I mean in the 2020 sense where, sure, some games have been postponed, but the Pac-12 is back! That means, for the first time all season, every FBS conference will have played games this week. And, as if all of that isn’t enough, we’ve also got another Sunday of the NFL, as well as an entire weekend of soccer.

And we can bet on all of it! And we will! Today’s newsletter has picks for college football, NFL football, and soccer football! While nobody else wants to do it this week, I’m am declaring all of us winners this weekend, and I’ve got some winners (fingers crossed) waiting for you below. But before we get to them, let’s catch up with what’s been going on in the world of sports this fine Friday afternoon.

All right, let’s dive headfirst into the weekend.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

No. 9 BYU at No. 21 Boise State, 9:45 p.m. | TV: FS1

The Pick: Boise State +3.5 (-110): When I first saw the line for this game, it caused my eyebrows to raise. Boise State, a team known for the blue turf and how dominant it is on it, was a home underdog. I understand BYU has been phenomenal this year, but still, Boise State… a home dog. I couldn’t remember the last time it had happened, so I did some research. Only once since 2010 (2018 against Fresno State) has Boise been an underdog at home. Fresno came into that game at 8-1, with its only loss being to Minnesota. Boise won that game, 24-17.

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Tonight, BYU comes into Boise with a 7-0 record. It has won those seven games by an average of 31 points per game. It has a QB in Zach Wilson who is generating both Heisman and NFL Draft buzz. Sound familiar? I like this BYU team a lot, but while it’s been smacking teams upside the head all season, it hasn’t played much of a schedule. The seven teams the Cougars have beaten are a combined 20-28 on the season. Take out the BYU losses, and they’re still only 20-21. You could argue about who the best team BYU has faced in 2020 is, but there’s no argument who it will be after tonight. I’m taking the points, but there’s a real chance Boise State wins this one outright. 

Key Trend: Boise State has won all four meetings against BYU in Boise.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model has been digging through all the possible outcomes of tonight’s showdown in Boise and has a couple strong leans of its own.


💰 The Picks

🏈 College Football

San Jose State at San Diego State, 9 p.m | TV: CBS Sports Network
The Pick: San Diego St. -9.5 (-110) — 
Over the years, taking the under in a San Diego State game has proven to be just as warm and inviting as putting on your favorite pair of slippers. Unfortunately, I worry the slippers are wearing out. Through two games of the 2020 season, San Diego State is scoring 36 points per game. Now, it’s defense has still been outstanding as always, but even if there are questions about SDSU’s first two opponents (UNLV and Utah State could prove to be very bad), the results don’t seem fluky. Tonight the Aztecs are facing a San Jose State team that’s off to a hot start itself, picking up wins against Air Force and New Mexico. But while the Spartans offense has looked good under transfer QB Nick Starkel, it hasn’t faced a defense of this caliber yet, and I expect it to struggle tonight. That said, the total is only at 48, and the Aztecs look too explosive to risk an under. However, I do like them to cover the spread, especially if I can get it below 10 points.

Key Trend: San Diego State has covered six of the last seven meetings.

Want more college football picks for Saturday’s games? Read my weekly picks column, The Six Pack. I have picks for Georgia/Florida as well as Clemson/Notre Dame and others.

🏈 NFL

Broncos at Falcons, Sunday 1 p.m | TV: CBS
The Pick: Falcons -4 (-110) — 
The Broncos had an unlikely comeback win against the Chargers last week. Denver trailed 24-3 and wound up winning 31-30 despite being outgained on the evening by over 130 yards. That’s strange, but it’s also something the Chargers are great at doing. In this spot, Denver is playing another team known for blowing leads, but I trust the Falcons here more than I would the Chargers. First of all, this game is in Atlanta, and secondly, Matt Ryan isn’t Justin Herbert. I’ve been impressed by Herbert and love his potential, but he is still a rookie. Ryan’s a proven vet going up against Drew Lock, who can be anything from amazing to awful on any given play. However, what’s incredible to me and one of the reasons I’m big on Atlanta is that the Broncos have covered five of their first seven games despite turning the ball over on 17.6% of their offensive possessions. They can’t keep getting that lucky playing so poorly.

Key Trend: The Falcons are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams with losing records.

Dolphins at Cardinals, 4:25 p.m | TV: CBS
The Pick: Cardinals -4.5 (-110) — 
Miami won Tua Tagovailoa’s debut against the Rams, 28-17, in a surprising upset. However, what that result overshadowed is that the Dolphins won because their defense forced four Rams turnovers. The Rams ran 92 plays to Miami’s 48. When Miami’s offense was on the field, it averaged only 3.0 yards per play, and Tagovailoa completed only 12 of his 22 passes for 4.2 yards per attempt. Oh, and now the Dolphins will be without Myles Gaskin. And while the Dolphins defense has been great against the pass (it ranked 3rd in DVOA), it’s the worst rush defense in the NFL (32nd in DVOA). So now a Dolphins team that can’t stop the run and has a rookie QB making his first career road start will be facing an Arizona offense that ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing DVOA. It’s also an Arizona team coming off a bye. Tua might be the future, but Kyler Murray is now. I’m backing Kyler and the Cards.

Key Trend: The Cardinals are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games.

⚽ Premier League

Liverpool at Manchester United, Sunday 11:30 a.m | TV: Peacock
The Pick: Liverpool (+245) — 
I have a couple of thoughts in play here. First, I mean, it’s not scientific or anything, but how often do you get a chance to take Liverpool at this price? I mean, come on! It’s calling to me like the sirens called to Odysseus. Second, and most importantly, I’m not convinced Manchester City are as good as we’ve grown accustomed to Manchester City being.

If we look at Man City on an xG-per-match basis in the Premier League, the side is averaging 1.33 xG per match. That ranks 10th in the league. Even outside the Premier League, Man City have hit the 2.0 xG mark only once, and that was against an outmatched Olympiacos in the Champions League. Now, compare that to a Liverpool side that has played 10 Premier League and Champions League matches and exceeded an xG of 2.0 in seven of them. Defensively, plenty has been made of Liverpool’s defensive problems, understandably with Virgil Van Dijk, and now Fabinho out injured, and Jurgen Klopp’s side is allowing an xG of 1.42 in league matches, which isn’t great. Especially not for Liverpool. Man City has been much better at 1.18, but I’m not convinced that’s enough of a gap to make up for City’s lack of attack to this point. At least, not often enough to ignore the price I’m getting on Liverpool here

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The richest horse race in North America, The Breeders’ Cup, runs Saturday at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., when a world-class field competes in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Post time is 5:13 p.m. ET. The Bob Baffert-trained Improbable is the 5-2 morning line favorite, followed by Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law (3-1), Maximum Security (7-2), Kentucky Derby winner Authentic (6-1) and Tom’s d’Etat (6-1).

Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg is fading Tiz the Law, saying his best races are behind him. He’s not using Tiz the Law on any of his tickets.


💸 The DFS Rundown

Quarterback

Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans — Nobody has paid much attention to the Texans since they fired Bill O’Brien. Still, those who have been realize how well Deshaun Watson’s been playing. He’s gone over 300 yards passing in each of the last four games and has thrown 11 touchdowns in that span. This week he’s getting a Jacksonville team that he threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns against last month and is in worse shape now than it was then. I like Watson’s chances of having another big game this Sunday. While I don’t expect Watson to have the highest ownership amongst QBs in the main slate if you want to pivot off what could be a popular choice, I love Kyler Murray against Miami as well.

Value Running Back

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears — This is very much a contrarian play. If you’re playing cash, I would suggest going with a much safer option like Dalvin Cook or James Conner. If you’re playing a large tournament, Montgomery could be the difference between cashing and making real money. The Bears offensive line is a mess, and that’s a legit concern, but the Bears offense will also be missing Jimmy Graham. Graham has been a significant weapon for the Bears in the red zone. With him out of the game, it could lead to more red zone carries for Montgomery. Plus, Montgomery will get plenty of touches. He always does. So at his price, he’ll allow you to spend up elsewhere, and if he does find the end zone, it’s a big boost to your lineup.

Full lineup advice

SportsLine’s team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS, and Jacob Gibbs was ranked as one of the nation’s most accurate Fantasy experts last year. Plus, use SportsLine’s all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.


🏈 Saturday College Football Parlay

A four-leg parlay that pays +227

  • Michigan -150
  • Cincinnati -600
  • Minnesota -280
  • Fresno State -420

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