I won’t sugarcoat it: We’re off to a horrendous start in 2022. The subset of picks that I’ve chosen to put on this website has been comically bad.
Why trust me now?
Because this is the week we PUT IT ALL TOGETHER. With data from two weeks, we’re able to start building more accurate profiles for every FBS team and, hopefully, these picks will be less a shot in the dark and more informed by actual evidence.
Let’s go 3-0…
Florida State (-2½) over Louisville
Friday: 7:30 (ESPN)
I’m marching in the parade and carrying the banner for a 10-2 Florida State in 2022. Yes, I know it took some good fortune to win in Week 1 in a de facto road game against LSU. If nothing more, the Noles seem to have their act together. Jordan Travis has been sensational and currently ranks as the fourth highest graded passer in all of FBS, per PFF.com.
Louisville is off to a bit of a mixed start, getting drilled by Syracuse in Week 1 and rebounding with a big win on the road at UCF. Any team with Malik Cunningham is dangerous, but the early stat profile for the Cardinals reads as an offense that is, again, entirely dependent on his success. That was Louisville’s formula last season when it beat FSU 31-23 and Cunningham amassed over 300 yards and 4 total TDs.
I think Florida State has grown into Mike Norvell’s system and is headed for a 3-0 start.
Bet Florida State -2½
Georgia (-24) over South Carolina
Saturday :12:00 (ESPN)
To be clear, the 2022 version of this South Carolina team is leaps and bounds better than it was in 2021. The problem is that the starting point for Shane Beamer was incredibly low. The offensive line, in particular, is in a rough spot, which doesn’t bode well for the Gamecocks as Georgia comes to town.
I’m not going to to overthink this one. Georgia is *probably* the best team in the country at the moment, and their defensive line is going to harrass Spencer Rattler all game long. If Georgia can hang 49 points on Oregon, what will it do against a worse defense in South Carolina? Furthermore, if Oregon’s offense only managed 3 points against the Dawg defense, what can we expect out of a decidedly worse Gamecock offense?
Bet Georgia -24
NC State (-10) over Texas Tech
Saturday: 7:00 (ESPN2)
After some opening week jitters (read: incredible luck) against ECU, NC State remains unbeaten in Week 3 with a nice non-conference test in Raleigh. The Wolfpack felt way more organized in Week 2, and it catches Texas Tech in an obvious letdown spot after a thrilling overtime victory over an in-state rival.
It’s a stretch to me that Tech can fly across the country and take down a veteran NC State squad that is better at most positions. The Red Raiders will score points, but this feels like the kind of game where Donovan Smith’s youth as a passer is exploited by a better defense.
Bet NC State -10