In the table below, you'll find the Adjusted Thor Line (ATL), a system I devised for determining line value. Check back Thursday for this week’s official plays.
All lines courtesy of PointsBet Sportsbook.
|Day||Away||Home||PB Line||ATL||ATL side||Line value|
|10/2||Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||BYU Cougars||-23.5||-19.1||Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||4.4|
|10/3||Oklahoma Sooners||Iowa State Cyclones||7||6.8||N/A||N/A|
|10/3||TCU Horned Frogs||Texas Longhorns||-13||-10.0||TCU Horned Frogs||3|
|10/3||Arkansas State Red Wolves||Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||3||0.3||Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||2.7|
|10/3||East Carolina Pirates||Georgia State Panthers||-1||-2.2||Georgia State Panthers||1.2|
|10/3||NC State Wolfpack||Pittsburgh Panthers||-14||-8.2||NC State Wolfpack||5.8|
|10/3||Baylor Bears||West Virginia Mountaineers||3||2.3||N/A||N/A|
|10/3||Missouri Tigers||Tennessee Volunteers||-11.5||-6.6||Missouri Tigers||4.9|
|10/3||South Carolina Gamecocks||Florida Gators||-18||-13.7||South Carolina Gamecocks||4.3|
|10/3||UTSA Roadrunners||UAB Blazers||-20.5||-17.3||UTSA Roadrunners||3.2|
|10/3||Memphis Tigers||SMU Mustangs||2.5||1.9||N/A||N/A|
|10/3||Texas A&M Aggies||Alabama Crimson Tide||-17||-10.8||Texas A&M Aggies||6.2|
|10/3||Texas Tech Red Raiders||Kansas State Wildcats||-2.5||-6.2||Kansas State Wildcats||3.7|
|10/3||North Carolina Tar Heels||Boston College Eagles||14||11.0||Boston College Eagles||3.0|
|10/3||South Florida Bulls||Cincinnati Bearcats||-22||-15.4||South Florida Bulls||6.6|
|10/3||Charlotte 49ers||Florida Atlantic Owls||-5.5||-3.7||Charlotte 49ers||1.8|
|10/3||Virginia Tech Hokies||Duke Blue Devils||10.5||14.8||Virginia Tech Hokies||4.3|
|10/3||Ole Miss Rebels||Kentucky Wildcats||-6.5||-0.1||Ole Miss Rebels||6.4|
|10/3||Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||7||12.7||Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||5.7|
|10/3||Navy Midshipmen||Air Force Falcons||6.5||-1.5||Air Force Falcons||8.0|
|10/3||Georgia Southern Eagles||UL Monroe Warhawks||20||14.2||UL Monroe Warhawks||5.8|
|10/3||Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles||North Texas Mean Green||-1.5||2.7||Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles||4.2|
|10/3||Tulsa Golden Hurricane||UCF Knights||-21.5||-17.5||Tulsa Golden Hurricane||4|
|10/3||Arkansas Razorbacks||Mississippi State Bulldogs||-18||-7.5||Arkansas Razorbacks||10.5|
|10/3||Auburn Tigers||Georgia Bulldogs||-6.5||-2.1||Auburn Tigers||4.4|
|10/3||LSU Tigers||Vanderbilt Commodores||20.5||23.1||LSU Tigers||2.6|
|10/3||Troy Trojans||South Alabama Jaguars||5.5||5.1||N/A||N/A|
|10/3||Virginia Cavaliers||Clemson Tigers||-28||-21.6||Virginia Cavaliers||6.4|
|10/3||Oklahoma State Cowboys||Kansas Jayhawks||21||22.8||Oklahoma State Cowboys||1.8|
Wrong team favored?
Air Force Falcons (+7) vs. Navy Midshipmen
ATL: Air Force -1.5
ATL believes the wrong team is favored.
Air Force is opening their season while Navy has already played two games. That would seem to give an enormous preparation edge for Navy.
That’s not how it’s played out early this season, however. Per Brad Powers, teams playing their second game of the season against teams playing their first are 3-14-1 ATS (-7.7 ppg) in 2020. Going all the way back to 2000, teams playing their second game in the above scenario are only 42% ATS.
This seems counter-intuitive. However, it can probably be explained by having current gametape on your opponent while sportsbooks slightly overvalue the team they’ve already seen.
Misleading final scores
UAB Blazers (-20.5) vs. UTSA Roadrunners
ATL: UAB -17.3
UTSA’s 3-0 start is as flimsy as it gets. The Roadrunners snuck by Texas State by three in the opener (43% post-game win expectancy), beat FCS Stephen F. Austin 24-10, and then last week posted the lowest SP+ post-game win expectancy of any team that won (15%) in a fluky two-point win over Middle Tennessee.
UAB’s only loss of the season was a 31-14 setback to Miami. For context, the Hurricanes beat Louisville on the road by 13 and slapped around Florida State by 42 last weekend.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (+7) vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
ATL: WKU -11.7
Middle Tennessee, 0-3, is kicking themselves for not putting away UTSA last week. MTSU was thoroughly uncompetitive in blowout losses to Army and Troy to begin the season, but may have turned a slight corner if the close loss doesn’t decimate morale.
WKU is winless, with an understandable 14-point loss to Louisville and a six-point setback against resurgent Liberty last week.
Pittsburgh Panthers (-14) vs. NC State Wolfpack
ATL: Pitt -8.2
Per ESPN’s Bill Connelly, Pittsburgh benefited from almost 16 points of turnover luck in their three-point win over Louisville last Saturday. With a 32% post-game win expectancy in that 23-20 win, SP+ believes Pittsburgh was last weekend’s second-luckiest outright winner.
The Panthers’ resume isn’t terribly impressive for a top-25 outfit. Win over FCS Austin Peay, 11-point win over a bad Syracuse team, fluky win over Louisville.
NC State got annihilated by Virginia Tech last week, but looked solid in the opening-season win over Wake Forest. ATL believes NC State is getting roughly six points of value against the PointsBet line.
BYU Cougars (-23.5) vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
ATL: BYU -19.1
This line appears a bit bloated. Both teams are 2-0, but BYU has blown out Navy and Troy on television while the Bulldogs beat Southern Miss and an FCS team.
Spotting underdog king Skip Holtz this many points is generally not a good idea.
Georgia Bulldogs (-7) vs. Auburn Tigers
ATL: UGA -2.1
Georgia appears set on turning the offense over to JT Daniels. That’s understandable after the offense sputtered early against Arkansas. But keep in mind that Daniels was only recently medically cleared, and will be playing with new teammates, under a new staff, and in a brand-new offensive scheme.
Even in a vacuum outside of all of that, ATL believes Georgia is getting too much credit, and that this game is closer to a coinflip pick’em scenario.
Mississippi State Bulldogs (-18) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
ATL: MSU -7.5
Mississippi State was the most impressive team in college football last week, with KJ Costello breaking the SEC’s single-game passing yardage record in an upset of defending-champ LSU in Mike Leach’s debut.
That game has artificially blown this line up. ATL believes the Bulldogs should only be around touchdown favorites. Instead, they may be laying close to three touchdowns to the Razorbacks by kickoff on Saturday.
Arkansas played Georgia tough early last week before succumbing to a talent disadvantage in a 37-10 loss.
Georgia State Panthers (-2.5) vs. East Carolina Pirates
ATL: GSU -2.2
On Sunday, Georgia State announced that last week’s game against Charlotte was postponed as a result of human error, COVID-19 tests that were read incorrectly. Four tests of players from last Thursday were misread as positive, leading to 17 others being placed in temporary quarantine via contact tracing. All 21 retested on Friday and came back negative. Thursday's swabs were then retested and also came back negative.
The Panthers looked great in the season opener in losing to SBC power Louisiana in OT on Sept. 19, an easy cover.
Florida Atlantic Owls (-7) vs. Charlotte 49ers
ATL: FAU -4.7
The GSU-Charlotte postponement was Charlotte’s second consecutive game that was pushed back, following a nixed Sept. 19 game against North Carolina because COVID-19 positive tests decimated the offensive line two-deep.
Charlotte covered in a season-opening 15-point loss to Appalachian State on Sept. 12.
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