Chase Irle (0-3)
Mizzou (-14) vs. West Virginia
Yeah, I went 0-3 last week. USC losing to UNC was an unbelievable disappointment. Toledo came up just short of a cover, and we saw the Steve Sarkisian effect plague Alabama early. Fade me. But I like Missouri here to bounce back after a dreadfully embarrassing loss to Wyoming. It’s not like West Virginia lit the world on fire against James Madison, winning by only a touchdown and scoring 20 points. The Tigers are at home, they are the better team by a considerable margin, and the public is hammering West Virginia.
Tennessee (-3.5) vs. BYU
Tennesee was a freaking joke last week against Georgia State, losing straight up as 25 point favorite. Now, they are at home playing a BYU team that has to travel across the country after losing to their arch-rival in their season opener. I’m still a believer in Jeremy Pruitt, and if he wants to last in Knoxville, he better know how to get his guys re-focused after a wake-up call last Saturday.
SDSU (+7.5) at UCLA
This is something you’ll see me doing a lot this year. I faded UCLA against the Bearcats (unfortunately, not as one of my locks because I didn’t know too much about Cincy) and cashed in, as Cincinnati won by 10. However, that scoreboard was exceptionally misleading. It should have been a three or four touchdown beatdown. UCLA’s line was dominated on both sides of the football, and their quarterback couldn’t hit water in the middle of the ocean. I don’t know a thing about SDSU, but I know UCLA shouldn’t be a touchdown favorite against any FBS team. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Aztecs won straight up.
Harrison Coburn (1-2)
Close but no cigar would sum up my performance last week. The over on the Houston-Oklahoma game was so close, and Oregon choked big time. But that is the way she goes in the gambling world, so I am going to try to make it up to you all this week.
Auburn -18 vs. Tulane
Love this line. Bo Nix looked like a different QB in the second half of the game, and it should be a cakewalk for him against Tulane. Look for them to run the ball a ton with Whitlow and put an early lead up on the board. I don’t think the Green Wave have much of a chance, and I think Auburn could beat them by significantly more.
Syracuse +2 vs. Maryland
I grew up as a Terp, and I am a fan of new Maryland Head Coach Mike Locksley. However, I still think Syracuse is the better team, so I am going to take advantage of the recency bias, as Maryland put up over 70 points last week. This could finally be the breakout game for Tommy Devito.
Wake Forest -19 vs. Rice
If you aren’t familiar with Jamie Newman, it is about time you were. He emerged as the starter for Wake last year and is poised for a breakout season. He got off on the right foot when he put up over 430 total yards and 4 TDs last week. Now, he gets a cupcake matchup against Rice. I am taking this line before Vegas catches up with this young talent.
Jake Gordon (1-2)
We’re not going to talk about Ole Miss-Memphis, but I still like my USC pick if JT Daniels doesn’t go down. However, my bookie doesn’t give out participation dollars (if you know one who does, point me in his direction).
Georgia Southern (-10.5) v Maine
After a tough loss to LSU in Death Valley, Georgia Southern bounces back against Maine in their home opener in Statesboro. I expect QB Shai Werts to have a bounceback game.
Washington (-7) v Cal (First Half)
I’ve been very impressed with Jacob Eason so far, and I think he takes advantage of the Cal defense. Washington might be legit.
Cincinnati (+17) v Ohio State
This is a bold pick because Ohio State has a track record of blowing out inferior competition, but Luke Fickell’s squad looked sharp in week one and notched 11 wins last season. Maybe he catches 1st-year head coach Ryan Day on his heels and gives the Buckeyes a scare.
Turner Skehan (3-0)
LSU-Texas Moneyline (-240)
Although I am not sure it comes as much of a surprise, LSU did not see many challenges in week 1. All the same- the offense looked efficient, the defense looked aggressive, and the team looked sharp on special teams. Stingley, an LSU newcomer at corner, appears to not only have a future on the outside but also as a return man. It is hard to make too much of week one but Burrow looked more comfortable in the pocket and seemed to have garnered the trust of his teammates. As for Texas- 45-14 doesn’t seem like a contest (and it isn’t) but a look beneath reveals a Texas team that surrendered almost 350 yards through the air. For a team that claimed the moniker “DBU” before the game, this wasn’t sterling. Sure they pitched a shutout for three quarters, but I wouldn’t expect they can keep LSU out of the end zone for so long. Ultimately, screw the points and take the money line. I fully anticipate Austin to be mayhem and although this makes it tougher for LSU, LSU plays in the SEC West. Hard to imagine they aren’t acclimated.
Alabama/New Mexico State under 64.5
This take feels simpler. In his tenure at Alabama, Saban has never covered a 50+ point line (this game is -55). This early in the season, with the struggles Alabama has had with injuries, I would expect a fair bit of rotating and resting for the starters. Notwithstanding the rotating, Alabama is not likely to surrender more than one touchdown to New Mexico State, and Saban isn’t one to run up the score. All this screams- under. Bonus take: I’d take the first half-line pregame. If New Mexico State finds the end zone, it won’t be in the first half. They mustered a single score against Washington State.
Clemson/Texas A&M (+10 first half)
I had the Maryland/Syracuse pick here, but I like to live more dangerously so I will take A&M +10 first half-line. Last year’s game in College Station resulted in a thriller. AM out-gained Clemson and had a real chance of winning heading into the 4th. Granted, Clemson wasn’t starting Lawrence (he did play, though), but the Tigers had a defensive front that sported three returning guys who would be selected in round 1. Mond is a year older, Fisher’s team is deeper, the defense is better and still… this feels like a trap. Clemson remains more proven and talented. Coming off a bad showing last week I expect a bounce back from Lawrence. That is why I am not touching the game line (16.5) and opting for the first half-line.