The College Football season is finally here and it is time to make some Week 1 picks against the spread. Week 0 as it has been dubbed was a great appetizer, but nothing beats a full Saturday slate following Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and company getting everyone ready.
I will be here each and every week of the College Football season to hopefully hand out some winners. I may not pick the biggest games each week but the goal is to find value and stack paper.
So, who do I like for Week 1?
Tennessee Volunteers +10 vs West Virginia Mountaineers
The first week of the college football season always provides some interesting matchups including some neutral site contests all over the country. The Mountaineers and Volunteers head to Charlotte, North Carolina for this neutral site contest. West Virginia is getting all kinds of publicity and public love this offseason. Will Grier is a Heisman Trophy contender and West Virginia is getting buzz as a Big 12 title contender.
That hype has caused this line to open too high. Jeremy Pruitt takes over a Volunteer team that was an absolute tire fire under Butch Jones. They are however, not void of talent. While I don’t expect the Vols to challenge in the SEC, they should be better.
Another little nugget per CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli, since joining the Big 12, the Mountaineers are 1-9 ATS (against the spread) in neutral site games. I’ll gladly take the Vols and the points in this spot.
Troy Trojans +10 vs Boise State Broncos
The Boise State Broncos are a popular sleeper pick by many pundits including a dark horse College Football Playoff team. That said, I am going to be on the Trojans in this spot. Troy is at home and getting 10 points. As of Thursday, 60% of the money is on the home team despite only 40% of the bets coming in on Troy. I expect Boise State to win this game but I think it will be much closer than the 10 points Troy is spotted.
UNLV Runnin Rebels +26.5 at USC Trojans
Week 1 often draws a ton of love for for well known teams with nationwide fan bases and this game is no different. The Trojans are a good football team that should be in contention for the PAC 12 South and potentially the College Football Playoff. That said, it’s time to fade this public ass team. Take the Rebels plus the points.
The Trojans lost Sam Darnold, Ronald Jones, and Deontay Burnett on offense. There are still some questions about how good of a coach Clay Helton is. USC will also be starting true freshman JT Daniels in the spot.
While all of that makes UNLV a compelling road underdog, the thing that catches my eye the most is the crazy difference between the tickets and money. Despite getting 45% of the bets, the Runnin Rebels are getting 90% of the money in this contest.
I expect SC to win comfortably at home but I will take close to 4 TDs with the road dog.