$100 Unit Bettors Profited Over $17,000 Last Season!
Every Pick comes with a 1-5 Unit Rating and Detailed Analysis.
Two Picks from this season below.
Gridiron Players Club CFB (8/26/23)
CFB (2 Picks)
2:30PM est: Notre Dame -20 (2 Units) ✅
This is an overreaction to last year's game that ended 35-32 in favor of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish took a commanding 35-13 Halftime lead and proceeded to play it safe. They ran 16 second half plays for a whopping 18 yards. Against the Navy Triple Option it was about bleeding the clock and it worked, but HC Marcus Freeman wasn't too satisfied with the results. In his own words "You get angry sometimes when you watch it" and “I truly believe we let our foot off the pedal. That’s the one thing that can’t happen in our program.”
It's safe to say Notre Dame won't get too comfortable with an early lead. They're also poised to make a big leap with former WF QB Sam Hartman at the helm. Hartman's thrown for nearly 13K yards and 110 touchdowns in his career. He threw for 3,701 on 63.1% with 38 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last year. Season prior he threw for 4,228 and 39 touchdowns. He's a significant upgrade over last year's starter, Drew Pyne.
They also elevated Gerad Parker from TE coach to Offensive Coordinator. He helped former TE Michael Mayer become one of the greatest TE's in Notre Dame history. He previously served 2 years as OC at WVU from 2020-2021 but never called plays. He's bringing an up tempo offense but Navy has no film to prepare with. Nobody outside of Notre Dame really knows what type of wrinkles Parker is bringing to the offense.
The one thing ND can count on is strong offensive line play. Notre Dame may have the best Tackle duo in all of College Football as they bring back Joe Alt and Blake Fisher. Center Zeke Correll was named on the Pre-season watch list for the Rimington Award (Best Center in CFB). They do start two new guards but with 17 scholarship offensive lineman, they'll plug in nicely between the 3 studs. The Fighting Irish averaged 189 rushing yards per game in 2022. Audric Estime led the way with 920 yards on 5.9 yards per carry and he's back to lead the backfield again.
On the other hand, there are a lot of changes at Navy. Longtime head coach Ken Niumatalolo was let go and Brian Newberry was elevated from the DC position. He brought in OC Grant Chestnut to run his offense. Chestnut spent the last 8 years calling plays for Kennesaw State. They're still going to run the Triple Option but they're going to throw more this season. They're developing a shore to intermediate quick passing game so they aren't solely reliant on play action.
They just don't have a QB. The saying goes something like "If you have multiple QB's, you have no QB". With the job up for grabs, nobody was able to lock it down and the competition will play out through the season. A new offense being installed without a steady signal caller spells trouble. The desire to pass could backfire against a team like Notre Dame.
The Irish have a phenomenal secondary and to be specific, elite cornerback play. Navy does not and will likely never get great WRs. They block 90% of the time and get very little balls thrown their way. An attempt may lead to wasted downs that just benefits the Notre Dame defense. The only times Navy's had success against Notre Dame in years past came from grinding down the Notre Dame front 7.
Part of the offensive change in philosophy for Navy stems from the cut block rule change that came last year. Offensive lineman and stationary backs are only allowed to block below the waist inside the tackle box now. It's a significant change for a program like Navy that features undersized line play. The cut block was a staple for their smaller but quicker lineman. They're now forced to square up and block their overmatched counterparts more often. Simply put, it exploits their weakness even more.
The ND defensive line was one of the best in the country in 2022. They did lose a couple key pass rushers from last season but are loaded with 4th and 5th year guys to replace them. They also have a top 10 linebacker room behind them. They have 3 starters entering year 5 with Notre Dame and return both of their leading tacklers. The Triple Option requires disciplined team defense. The experience at LB is a huge win for the ND defense. Especially since ND and Navy play every year. Shouldn't see many busted assignments by the Irish front 7.
Navy's just outgunned in this one. The ND defense ranked 22nd in total defense a season ago and brings back more starters than they've lost. ND saw massive improvements in its rush defense as the season progressed last year too. There's nowhere to look but up as the Irish enter year two with defensive coordinator Al Golden.
Offensively the Irish should be vastly improved from last year. They had next to no passing game outside of TE Michael Mayer last year. They have an elite passer under center this year that will be able to get the ball outside into the receivers hands. They'll most certainly be able to run the ball against the smaller Midshipmen. They've scored 34 or more in 9 of their last 11 games against Navy and 49 or more in 4 of those. After last season's debacle you can also trust Notre Dame to at least keep trying to pour it on if they jump ahead early.
8:00pm est: San Jose State +31.5 (3 Units) ✅
For starters, USC only beat two teams by 31 points last year and it was Rice and Colorado. Their defense ranked towards the bottom of just about every major category in 2022. They did however excel at taking the ball away, reeling in 19 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. They had a +22 turnover margin as a team. It's highly unlikely they repeat that success, especially with an improved strength of schedule.
They did add a few transfers to help this defensive Unit but they needed a bit more than that. They lost 2 of their best players to the NFL draft. Tuli Tuipuloto was taken in the 2nd round after racking up 21 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. Then CB Mekhi Blackmon was plucked in the 3rd round by Minnesota. Their secondary struggled quite a bit last season and those 2 have a very direct impact on the passing defense.
Offensively the Trojans will undoubtedly be very good with Heisman candidate Caleb Williams under center. They do have 3 new offensive lineman to work in but their starting 5 figures to be one of the best in the nation once again. They did lose WR Jordan Addison and starting RB Travis Dye to the NFL but they're deep at the skill position. The OL is going to go through some growing pains. All 3 of the new offensive lineman just transferred in. It's going to take a couple weeks for them to perform at their best.
The one thing San Jose State's defense was good at last year was getting home. They ranked 7th in the nation in Sacks. They lost their top 2 sack leaders but position coach Joe Seumalo is still there. Teams like San Jose State aren't recruiting top end edge rushers. This is a developmental program and they have a great DL coach.
Their coaching staff remains the same. Brent Bennan enters year 6 as head coach. He completely turned this program around after they went 3-22 in 2017-2018. OC Kevin McGiven enters year 5 as OC and Derrick Odum year 6 as DC. Very important for lesser D1 programs that rely on developing 2-3 Star prospects that will have impacts their Junior and Senior seasons.
Chevon Cordeiro, the Mountain West's leading passer from last year is back under center for San Jose State. He completed 61% of his passes for 2,884 yards, 20 TDs, and just 4 picks. He played for Hawaii in 2021, completing 55.2% of passes for 2,793 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He made a big leap in his first year under OC Kevin McGiven's system and he should only be getting better as he gets more comfortable in year 2.
This is simply too many points to lay. USC has to execute at an insanely high level and then have their backups come in and do the same. If San Jose State manages to score just a pair of touchdowns, USC needs to score 46 points. They only did that twice last year and it came against lowly Rice and Colorado. San Jose State is a better program than they are. This USC offense lost a lot of talent from last year too. They've reloaded and had guys waiting but it's still a lot of new faces.
San Jose State's offense should be able to move the football on USC's starting defense. And if they can't, they will be able to against their second Unit who will eventually come in if this game gets out of hand. It's also week 1 for USC. This is the first time you're taking hits from another team. As much as they want to blow the doors off and get Heisman candidate Caleb Williams off to a fast start, there's a big picture in mind. USC's playoff berth isn't coming down to how much they beat SJS by. Once this games in hand the USC starters will come out. Last year Caleb Williams didn't play a snap in the 4th quarter of their season opener.
This is also the Spartans Super Bowl. They won't play a bigger game on a bigger stage all season. HC Brent Brennan has won their season opener in 4 straight seasons. It speaks to his coaching pedigree and his ability to prepare. While a win is unlikely, Brennan is going to have his guys ready. They're pulling out all the stops and they've had all off-season to get ready.