College Football Handicapping Picks Week 1 Part 1


This article contains only our free plays of the week. Let Year 11 of our term as handicapping Kings commence. Enjoy!

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Virginia Tech (-9.5) VS. EAST CAROLINA: Virginia Tech has been one of the most consistently solid football teams in the nation for the last five plus years and that should continue again this year as they will beat up on a weak ACC. First up is an East Carolina team that was decent last year. The Pirates are very good on both lines but losing RB Chris Johnson will hurt the offense tremendously. Tech has its own offensive question marks with QBs Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor vying to be the number one passer. They also return only four starters on defense but this team always churns out top units on that side of the field and should do so again. This has the makings of a very sloppy game as both teams try to find some rhythm on offense. East Carolina is a very good underdog under coach Skip Holtz as they are 17-6 ATS in that predicament. The final score should be right around that number as we figure on a 27-17 score so our advice is to stay clear. THE PICK: PASS

SOUTH CAROLINA (-13.5) VS. NC State: South Carolina once again will attempt to get Da’Ball Coach back into the spotlight with one of the best defensive units in the country. 10 starters are back to a unit that was very well last year despite injuries to LB Jasper Brinkley and CB Captain Munnerlyn. The key is for QB Chris Smelly to take the next step this year and not hold onto the ball as he did at times last season. The running game is solid and if Smelly can become a downfield threat, 픽스코어 then great things could be in store for this group. NC State on the other hand is a team that is still trying to work out the kinks after struggling early in losing their first five games of 2007 under coach Tom O’Brien. They rebounded to win four of six but there are still issues in the running game and the offensive line. This doesn’t bode well for redshirt freshman QB Russell Wilson who needs all the help he can get against Spurrier’s solid D. The only problem is the fact the Gamecocks qualify in some negative betting angles so be careful with the backdoor cover. Slight endorsement to South Carolina here. THE PICK: South Carolina (-13.5)

Wake Forest (-12) VS. BAYLOR******BEST BET

USC (-19.5) VS. VIRGINIA******STRONG OPINION

Boston College (-9.5) VS. Kent State: The Eagles of Boston College could be overlooked this season after losing QB Matt Ryan to the NFL but this team still has a very solid defense to fall back on. LB Brian Toal and DT B.J. Raji return after sitting out last season and they should form the anchor for their unit. Chris Crane takes over at QB and there will surely be some growing pains along the way but BC returns most of their receiving unit which will help early on. For Kent State, their big advantage is at the QB position with Julian Edelman who will team with RB Eugene Jarvis to eat up large chunks of yards on the ground. The Golden Flashes will need to run so they can keep a less than decent defense off the field. BC has a solid run defense which should be enough to sway the edge in their favor and allow Crane the opportunity to use his solid receiving corps to put up points. The on-field scenarios all favor BC and we expect them to get off to a good start here. THE PICK: Boston College (-9.5)

Clemson (-5) VS. Alabama (at Cleveland)*******STRONG OPINION

PITTSBURGH (-12.5) VS. Bowling Green*****BEST BET

NORTHWESTERN (-11.5) VS. Syracuse: This is a tough game to call as both teams struggled mightily last season, especially Syracuse. The Orange are giving head coach Greg Robinson one more shot to right the ship but once again looks to be undermined by one of the worst defenses in D-1. Northwestern has their issues on defense so expect a high-scoring game in this one. The key here is that the Wildcats are 0-5 ATS as a home favorite under coach Pat Fitzgerald. This is too many points to lay between two bad teams who can score. THE PICK: Syracuse (+11.5)

LOUISVILLE (-3.5) VS. Kentucky: This is another game that is giving us headaches as both teams have major question marks coming into the season. For Louisville, there is a huge hole in the receiving corps which will make things tough for new QB Hunter Cantwell. Cantwell has all the physical tools to succeed but not having any help on the perimeter will offend to a stall early. For Kentucky, the Wildcats must move on from the Andre Woodson era and they will try to do so with Mike Hartline who like Cantwell, has the physical attributes to be good. Unlike Cantwell however, Kentucky boasts a nice crop of WRs. The difference here is that Kentucky has the look of a better-than-average defense and that will be key here against a green opposing QB with little receiver help. If Kentucky were home this would be a slam dunk pick but the road angle plays against them somewhat. Ideally, you should avoid this game but if you must then take the points based on the fundamental angles favoring the road team here. THE PICK: Kentucky (+3.5)

RUTGERS (-5.5) VS. Fresno State*******STRONG OPINION

BIG 10

WISCONSIN (-26.5) VS. Akron: This is a huge spread for Wisconsin here at home against an Akron team that was done in by a pathetic offense. QB Chris Jacquemain has much more to work with this season however so some improvement is sure to result. I think the biggest problem the Zips will have is on defense, specifically the run defense. Akron is undersized on the D-Line and will have major trouble with a Wisconsin team that loves nothing but cramming the ball down your throat. The passing game will struggle however as both potential starters Allan Evridge and Justin Scherer don’t do much to impress. Based on that notion, it is very difficult to support giving up that many points to anyone when your passing game looks to be shoddy, especially early on. Take the points. THE PICK: Akron (+26.5)

INDIANA (-20.5) VS. Western Kentucky******STRONG OPINION.

MICHIGAN (-3.5) VS. Utah: Utah is being disrespected here as this was quietly one of the better teams last season. The Utes won 8 of their last 9 and look to take another step forward this season behind the play of QB Brian Johnson. Both defenses grade out about the same but the major point to consider here is the fact that the Wolverines are breaking in both a new coach in Rich Rodriguez and a new offensive system that focused on a whole lot more running and much less passing. Rodriguez is almost forcing this offense on a unit that doesn’t have the personnel to fit it and that could spell doom against a very solid Utah team. This game is a huge bargain and you should take the points and run. The only reason this is not the BEST BET is the lack of a fundamental or strategic indicator favoring the home team but it’s still a solid play. THE PICK: Utah (+3.5)

 


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