I’m going to do things a little different this year. Instead of just giving the picks with a unit amount like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, I’m gonna do 10 games every week and rank them based on confidence. Normally, I bet like two or three games the first week, so I’m sure I’ll be digging out of a hole the rest of the year. Can’t wait. I’m also adding a couple specialty plays this year for those that are in to that sort of thing.
10* INDIANA (+21) over Ohio State
Obviously Ohio State is going to be very good this year, but this is a TON to be giving on the road against a likely bowl team. IU is always in these games at home against the big dogs of the division. They’ve been knocking on the door of winning one of these games and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did it this year. It’s the first “real” game of CFB, it’s a night game in Bloomington, College Gameday will be there for the first time, etc.
The Hoosier D was greatly improved last year under Tom Allen and they have 9 starters coming back on that side, including some big-time players. OSU is experienced, but they do have to replace their top 3 WRs and I’m not sure the passing game will be firing on all cylinders to start the season.
9* Temple (+17.5) over NOTRE DAME
I’m high on the Irish this year, but you gotta walk before you can run. Sure, Temple only has 10 starters back and a new coaching staff, but they were a 10-4 team last year and I don’t think they should be getting this many points against a 4-8 squad that’s replacing Deshone Kizer.
8* Georgia Southern (+35) over AUBURN
I like Auburn this year, but opening up defending the option the first game of the season is a tough task. I’m not saying the Eagles are gonna light them up, but it at least shortens the game and may disrupt the rhythm for Jarrett Stidham’s first game at QB for the Tigers.
7* BYU (+13.5) over LSU
BYU has the benefit of already playing a game. It wasn’t all that pretty in their 20-6 win over Portland State, but still. They didn’t really play that bad offensively, they just didn’t run a ton of plays. Defensively, they were expected to be good up front and that appeared to be true against the Vikings. They’ll need that against Derrius Guice.
6* OKLAHOMA STATE-Tulsa under 74
It’s always dangerous to bet an under with a Philip Montgomery offense involved, but Tulsa has to replace a ton of their skill on that side of the ball. Couple that with James Washington not being at 100% for the Cowboys and I think you see a lower scoring game than one would expect from these two.
5* MARSHALL (pick) over Miami (OH)
I’m not sure what else to say that wasn’t said in the conference previews. I think Marshall is primed for a big bounceback year after last year’s disaster.
4* South Alabama (+24.5) over OLE MISS
South Alabama is a bit of a wildcard for me this year, but Ole Miss is probably the biggest wildcard in the country.
3* Colorado State (+6) over COLORADO
Once again, Colorado State has the benefit of already playing a game. Added bonus: they dominated Oregon State. Given that I was high on the Rams and low on the Buffs heading into the season, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Here’s to hoping Mike MacIntyre is back to sucking.
2* Western Michigan (+28) over USC
I assume the Broncos still know how to row the boat even though their
cult leader coach from last year is gone. The offense has some big questions to answer, but they return a lot from a defense that only gave up 19.8 ppg last year and was really the reason they were able to win at Northwestern and keep close with Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl.
1* MICHIGAN STATE-Bowling Green under 56.5
The Spartan offense looks like it’s going to once again be run heavy and not very good. Should be due for some low totals.
Money Line Parlay of the Week
In the almost two year existence of this blog, I’m not sure I’ve played one bet that fits the namesake. That’s probably due to one non-sober Saturday a few years ago that featured probably five too-many MLP plays. I’ll have one every week and they’ll probably vary in risk/reward.
UCLA, UNC, EMU (+130)
UNC and EMU are both double-digit home favorites. The Heels get Cal, who has a new coaching staff and a new QB. EMU gets Charlotte at home, a team they beat 37-19 on the road last season. I’m not real high on the Eagles this year, but beating Charlotte at home shouldn’t be a problem. UCLA has Texas A&M at home. Not gonna be easy, but they’re slight favorites and talent certainly isn’t a problem. I like the Aggies, but QB is a pretty big question mark.
Teaser of the Week
I’ll also be doing a teaser. Full disclosure: I don’t think playing college football teasers is the best way to risk your money, but people tend to like them. Most of them will probably be three-teamers. Points will vary.
Alabama (even), MTSU (+11.5), Marshall (+7) — +150
We’ll start with a 7-pointer. Any time you can bet Alabama to simply just win the game, it’s a good bet. Obviously, Florida State is a worthy opponent for the Tide, but I’m pretty sure Saban has won every single one of these big neutral-site games to start the year. I think MTSU has a great shot to beat Vandy this week, but I hate the 4.5 point spread and I don’t have big enough huevos to put them in the first MLP. I obviously like Marshall to win this week and the +7 they get with the tease is a nice little protection in case they don’t.
Not Actually Betting, But Sides I’d Take With A Hypothetical Gun To My Head
I wasn’t sure if theoretical, hypothetical, or metaphorical was the right term to use there, so I Googled it and I still have no idea which one is the right one or if any of them are the right one.
MEMPHIS (-27) over Louisiana-Monroe
Memphis has the talent to wreck some teams this year and ULM is one of them, but I’m not sure about the Tiger D just yet and the Warhawks have a lot coming back.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC (+11.5) over Navy
I think the Owls are gonna be good, but they’re already still in transition mode with the new staff and having to defend the option Week 1 only heightens that reality.
Wyoming (+12.5) over IOWA
Iowa has a tendency to have some clunkers early in the season, but the Cowboys have a lot of skill positions to replace and I doubt they’ll have that all figured out at the start of the season.
Maryland (+17.5) over TEXAS
A lot of respect for a program that has 21 losses the last three years.
Florida (+4) over Michigan
I like Florida more than Michigan this year, but it makes me nervous that the Gators don’t really seem close to having the QB situation figured out.
Georgia Tech (+4) over Tennessee
I just don’t like Tennessee this year.
MTSU (+4.5) over Vanderbilt