We’re off and rolling with a profitable Week Zero. No one really foresaw Hawaii being that adept at the run-and-shoot this early but it was an absolute joy to watch, even for those of us laying points with Colorado State.
This week will be what our normal card looks like. Sometimes we’ll have the same picks but we’ll try to avoid it to give you MAXIMUM FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
YTD: 3-1 (+6 units)
ONTO THE PICKS
HOOSIER SPECIAL: 0-0 /// Indiana (-10.5) at Florida International (o/u 55)
KYLE’S BET: u55 (2 units)
I was all set to lay the points and go with the Hoosiers until I saw this total. Indiana’s offense is a complete mess until proven otherwise, and FIU has to replace a ton of offensive talent (starting QB, leading rusher, and top WR all gone) against what should be a formidable Hoosier defense. Add in a forecast that calls for rain and we should be golden. IU 27, FIU 13
ALEX’S BET: u55 (4 units)
I agree with Kyle. The oddsmakers are putting too much stake into the idea that Indiana lost everything on defense and will be competent on offense. While both might be true, Tom Allen and Mike DeBord are on the sideline, which is why I don’t see either team breaking 30. IU 24, FIU 10
GAME OF THE WEEK: 0-0 /// Washington (+1.5) v. Auburn (o/u 48.5)
We’re going to decide this each week via DEMOCRATIC PROCESS and the slack channel voted this as the biggest game this weekend, edging out Michigan/Notre Dame.
KYLE’S BET: AUBURN -1.5 (4 units)
While I think the Huskies are going to be pretty good, the facts are they’ve had 4 shots to beat a team that finished in the top-10 of the S&P+ ratings over the last three seasons and they’re 0-4 in those games with an average margin of defeat close to two touchdowns. Coupled with Washington having to come across the country for a “neutral” site, and I like the Tigers, comfortably. Auburn 38, Washington 27
ALEX’S BET: AUBURN -1.5 (2 units)
Atlanta is not very neutral and this feels a lot like the Peach Bowl Washington played against Alabama two years ago. Are the Huskies the class of the Pac-12? Perhaps. Does that mean they belong on the field with the SEC’s best? No. And this Auburn team might very well find itself 10-0 heading into back-to-back weeks with Georgia and Alabama. They’ll get off to a fast start and win by a couple scores. Auburn 30, Washington 17.
FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: 1-1 (+1 unit)
KYLE’S BET: WEST VIRGINIA (-10) vs. Tennessee (5 units)
Pruitt has a long way back from the 4-8 mess he inherited. There are talent issues up and down the roster while WVU has an absolutely loaded starting lineup. The Mountaineers may encounter depth issues as the season wears on, but they’ll be full tilt Week 1. This line seems almost too good to be true, but that’s not going to stop me. West Virginia 39, Tennessee 17
ALEX’S BET: ALABAMA (-24.5) vs. Louisville (4 units)
Louisville may very well go 4-8 or 5-7. And Week One will set the tone for the Cards, who might get their doors blown off by 40. If this game was at [Redacted] Cardinal Stadium, I’d still give the points. If this one doesn’t float your boat, a close second in my book is USC (-26) against UNLV, who might not be able to beat Bishop Gorman to win the Nevada state championship. Alabama 45, Louisville 10
UNDERDOG OF THE WEEK: 0-0
KYLE’S BET: Louisiana Tech at South Alabama (+10) (4 units)
One thing you should know about me is I am really into home dogs and DOUBLE DIGIT home dogs are practically irresistible. South Alabama is going to throw the ball A LOT against a defense that finished 97th in passing defense last season per S&P+. Tech is the class of the C-USA West, but that’s a big number to try and cover on the road. LaTech 31, South Alabama 24
ALEX’S BET: ARMY (+13.5) at Duke (3 units)
S&P and the oddsmakers both project a 13.5-point loss for Army here. But the line seems just a little too big. Last season, Army lost just one game by more than four points, and that was at Ohio State. While they have to find a new starting quarterback, Durham isn’t the most troubling place to find yourself needing to find yourself. Duke 27, Army 21
OVER OF THE WEEK: 1-0 (+3 units)
KYLE’S BET: San Diego State at STANFORD (o48.5) (3 units)
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: While the Aztecs won this game last season, they did so prior to Stanford turning to quarterback KJ Costello. Costello looked like the answer to the Cardinal’s anemic passing offense in the second half of last year and will have plenty of space to operate in as defenses key on Heisman-hopeful Bryce Love. SDSU held Stanford to 17 points last year, I don’t think they’ll pull that off again Also 91% of the money is currently on the under here, never doubt the power of #FadeThePublic. Stanford 41, San Diego State 23
ALEX’S BET: Navy at Hawaii (o61.5) (2 units)
I don’t know if the triple-option can travel several timezones, but if so, this over/under is a no-brainer in the over. Hawaii will put up between 30 and 40 points every week they play and won’t stop anyone. To get a low-60s number is a gift. If Navy can hang 30 themselves, which I expect, this is the over play (aside from the lock that Swick gave you above). Navy 42, Hawaii 38
UNDER OF THE WEEK: 1-0 (+2 units)
KYLE’S BET: Michigan at Notre Dame (u46.5) (3 units)
This has all the makings of a brick fight. What should be two of the best defenses in the country coupled with offenses that like to run the ball gives a nice recipe for some 16-14 gritfest that will prompt Your Dad to text you midway through the second about how this is “real football.” Michigan 21, Notre Dame 20
ALEX’S BET: Coastal Carolina at South Carolina (u57) (3 units)
Will Muschamp’s teams simply don’t score, even against cupcakes. Last season, South Carolina scored 31 points against Wofford, and 17 points against Louisiana Tech. Coastal won’t go to Columbia and put up 17 or 20 of their own. Any game involving the Gamecocks where the over/under is pushing 60 seems like easy money to me. This one will threaten the number late, but won’t quite get there. South Carolina 37, Coastal Carolina 13
BEN RAPHEL’S THIRTY-POINT PLAY: 0-0
BEN’S BET: Western Kentucky (+35.5). This year for my weekly betting column gimmick, I’m going to make a pick for one game that has a ridiculous spread (30 or more points). While I’m not expecting anyone to win outright the way 41-point underdog Stanford did against USC in 2007, I do think these huge lines can make an otherwise boring blowout incredibly fascinating.
This week, I like WKU to cover up in Camp Randall. The Badgers are incredibly good and should win this one just fine, but they only won by more than 35 once last season. I can imagine Paul Chryst pumping the brakes if the Badgers are up by a few touchdowns at halftime, and the Hilltoppers getting a garbage-time score or two to make this one look a little more respectable. Plus, Wisconsin likes to reserve its blowout wins for teams like Indiana.
NOT-YOUR-BEST BETS: OVERALL RECORD (0-1)
Please do not wager large amounts on these. Or if you do and they hit, paypal in bio.
GENTLEMAN’S TEASER: 0-1
THURSDAY NIGHT ACTION! Three legs, six points (+150)
- UCF -23 (+6)
- Northwestern / Purdue u51.5 (+6)
- Wake Forest / Tulane u55 (+6)
THE PEOPLE’S PARLAY: 0-0
- Coastal Carolina / South Carolina (u57)
- Auburn -1.5
- WVU -10
- South Alabama +10
Good luck, cash tickets.