Syracuse at South Florida, South Florida by 3 1/2
David: Willie Taggert’s trying to turn South Florida into the boring, but successful teams he coached at Western Kentucky that won in the Sun Belt with a running back and great defense. This isn’t the Sun Belt.
Syracuse 20, South Florida 10
Goliath: Last week, the Bulls switched from their new spread back to their power-running-based offense. That didn’t work. Who knows what they’ll do this week, but the home crowd who have watched them go 6-16 SU since 2012 aren’t very happy.
Syracuse 26 South Florida 24
UTEP at FIU, FIU by 14 1/2
David: FIU turned in Port-o-Potty performances at La. Tech and UMass and still lost by only 10. Now the Panthers return home to face a UTEP team even more recently disappointing and giving up yardage in economy-size packages. Hard to see UTEP winning, but hard to see FIU beating the spread.
FIU 24, UTEP 17
Goliath: So you’re probably saying how can FIU be a two-TD favorite over any Football Bowl Subdivision team? The Miners lost their best player, RB Aaron Jones, to injury,and their defense gave up 414 total yards to a college I’ve never even heard of before, Incarnate Word.
FIU 38, UTEP 13
Rice at FAU, FAU by 4
David: I know Rice has Braddock High’s enrollment. But unless Rice graduates thinned their bettors by forming their own 1-800-AdmitIt chapter, I see no reason Texas’ Conference USA Owls should be four-point underdogs to Florida’s C-USA Owls.
Rice 29, FAU 20
Goliath: Rice Cakes are easy pickings for the big boys, but they are on a 29-16-1 ATS overall run and usually win games against poor passers and against non-Power Five conference teams.
Rice 41, FAU 40
Florida at Missouri, Florida by 5
David: Florida pulled the surprise of last week. As a young team, that means big brontosaurus egg this week or next. Missouri’s pretty defensive numbers got the UConn makeover. If the Gators don’t chomp early, the Tigers might pounce later. But bet the quality.
Florida 31, Mizzou 17
Goliath: This would normally be a flat spot for the Gators, except they lost to the Tigers last year 42-13. The way to hang with the Gators is running the football, but Mizzou’s top rushing output in five games this season is 163 yards.
Florida 24, Missouri 14
Miami at Florida State, FSU by 9
David: Two groups of fans are each unhappy that its team doesn’t resemble the national championship contenders to which they’re entitled. FSU running back Dalvin Cook’s shaky status and the Hurricanes ability to usually play this close mean I’m thinking leave the Seminoles, take the points.
Florida State 28, Miami 24
Goliath: Noles running back Dalvin Cook’s injury status makes this a tough game to predict, but the Canes take care of the ball with only two turnovers and the underdog is 12-4 ATS in the series. In a low-scoring game I’m thinking this game could come down to the last possession.
UConn at Central Florida, Central Florida by 2 1/2
David: Have two teams ever combined for lower national offensive rankings? Maybe Indiana vs. Northwestern in the 1970s Big Two-Little Eight era. UConn is 122nd in offense, 125th in scoring offense. UCF is 127th and 124th, respectively. Line of 21/2? Might not score that.
UConn 7, UCF 3
Goliath: If someone offers you a free ticket to this game, just say no. Knights offense has minus-9 rushing yards the last two games and is dead last in total offense.
UConn 12, UCF 6