College Football Picks Against the Spread: Week 1, 2014

(Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)

(Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)

Each week during the College Football season, I will be picking five games against the spread. I will select at least one underdog, that i believe can win outright. This game will be the Upset Alert of the week. I will also track my picks over the season to measure how I’m doing.

Georgia -7.5 vs Clemson

Georgia will get this home and home series, back in the friendly confines of Sanford Stadium. I expect the outcome to be look vastly different than last seasons match up. It has been 50 years since Georgia opened consecutive seasons with losses. Gone from Clemson are Sammy Watkins and Taj Boyd. While Vic Beesley should be a difference maker for the Clemson defense, Hutson Mason, Todd Gurley and the Georgia offense will simply be too much to handle. Georgia will win by two touchdowns.

Chik-Fil-A-Kickoff-Game-300x137Alabama -26 vs West Virginia

Another neutral site game, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta, Georgia, will feature the Alabama Crimson Tide and the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Crimson Tide come into this game as one of the favorites to win it all. They ended last season poorly against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl and will want to remind everyone the dominance they posses. Alabama will put the hurt on the Mountaineers. This game will be over quickly and they will cover the spread with ease.

Oklahoma State +17.5  vs Florida State

This game will be an interesting match up for the defending national champions. Coach Mike Gundy and his Oklahoma State Cowboys welcome the Seminoles into Stillwater. The Cowboys spread, uptempo offense should cause enough problems to keep them in the game. The Seminoles are replacing a good amount of key contributors. While I think Jameis Winston and company have enough talent to leave with a victory, I believe it will be closer than some think.

lsuwiscLSU -5 vs Wisconsin

In what may be the best game of Saturday’s slate, the Texas Kickoff Classic will feature two National Championship contenders in the LSU Tigers and Wisconsin Badgers. It will be a neutral site game in Houston, Texas. This game will be a terrific match up featuring a physical Wisconsin team against an super athletic LSU team featuring talented freshman. This game will come down to which can impose their style. I expect the Tigers, the more talented team to win by a touchdown or more.

**Upset Alert**

California +11 at Northwestern

After a disappointing first season under Sonny Dykes, the Golden Bears look to rebound in 2014. Sophomore quarterback Jared Goff has a full year of experience under his belt plus an off season to digest the new scheme. Northwestern started hot in 2013 including almost beating Ohio State, but faltered down the stretch going 1-7 after losing Venric Mark to injury. Mark, Northwestern only All American, has now transferred. Kain Colter and Dan Persa, who ran the Wildcats offense last season, have both moved on. Not only will the Golden Bears cover the spread but they will win outright. Check out my college football futures column, where i featured three teams who have enticing odds to win the national championship come seasons end.

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