Welcome to the SportsTalkATL Podcast’s College Football Gambling Locks program. Few sports are more intriguing to gamble on than college football. There’s nothing more satisfying than waking up after a Friday night, plopping your ass on a couch, and rooting like a degenerate for Liberty to cover three touchdowns against Syracuse at noon. It’s a lifestyle, and if you’re anything like us, you cherish every second of it. So as a part of the new college football coverage we are introducing this fall: we bring you our weekly gambling locks. The four members of the SportsTalkATL Podcast will come up with three picks each week, placing 100 dollars on each one of them. We will be keeping track throughout the year, and you will have the chance to see how we do. In the article, we will briefly explain each selection, but we will go even further in-depth on the podcast each week.
Auburn (-3.5) vs. Oregon
Oregon is a trendy pick for the playoffs this season, but I think Kevin Steele’s defense stands tall and Auburn has success running the ball. I wouldn’t take the over in this game, either (55.5)
USC (-13.5) v Fresno State
Fresno has replaced almost everyone from their starting lineup that they rode to two bowl games. Men of Troy by a couple TDs.
Ole Miss – Memphis: Over (67.5)
Points, points, and more points. Memphis and Ole Miss will trade blows all game. This may be one where the last team with the ball wins.
Alabama First Half Line vs. Duke (-20.5)
This has been a trendy pick because Alabama notoriously blows teams out in the first half before taking their foot off the pedal. I assume Vegas is going to catch on, but this line is too small for me to pass. Alabama is loaded on offense, and I don’t see anyway Duke slows them down. Fresh off an embarrassing loss in the National Championship Game, I see the Tide scoring 35 in the first half, which means Duke will have to score more than two touchdowns against Bama’s defense to cover. I don’t see that happening. I understand Bama will be without their two starting running backs, Devonta Smith, Dylan Moses, and Terrell Lewis. In the SEC Championship, that might matter; it won’t against Duke.
South Carolina (-9.5) vs. North Carolina
If South Carolina is going to have any hope this year given their ridiculously tough schedule, they are going to need to take care of business in a neutral site game against the lowly Tar Heels. Muschamp has been excellent in season openers since taking over the Gamecocks and picked up a seven-point victory over NC State in this very same Belk Kickoff Game two years ago. That NC State team was much better than this UNC team, and I think this has the opportunity to be the best squad Muschamp’s had since coming to South Carolina.
Toledo (+11.5) at Kentucky
Toledo opened as a 13.5 point dog and have already been bet down to 11.5 for a good reason. The Wildcats are coming off a historic ten-win season, and I expect them to be competitive at times again in 2019, but this is a far worse group than they had last year. Toledo, on the other hand, is expecting big things this season, and an opener against an SEC opponent should be enough to have their full attention. Not to mention, Kentucky is 0-4 ATS in their last four season openers. I don’t think it’s out of the question that Toledo sneaks out a win, but I’ll take the points all day here.
Oklahoma vs. Houston over 82.5
Yea, that is a high total. But given the situation, I have a hard time seeing fewer points scored. Jalen Hurts joins a high-powered Oklahoma offense powered by Lincoln Riley. Hurts may not be Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray, but there is no doubt that he will benefit from the scheme change. On the flip side, we all know Oklahoma’s defense has been swiss cheese in recent years. Facing D’Eriq King will be a massive challenge for them. He accounted for 50 total touchdowns last season in just 11 games. This should be a high-scoring thriller, and while Oklahoma will win, it will be worth the watch.
Oregon +140 vs. Auburn
This one boils down to QB play. Bo Nix certainly looks talented, but he will be starting as a true freshman for Auburn. My money is on the senior ending up as the first overall pick in Justin Herbert. He will still have to get acclimated to his group of receivers that have been banged up, and his top receiver is a transfer. But Herbert came back for his senior year for a reason, and he is going to come out with a vengeance in what projects to be Saturday’s biggest game.
Syracuse -18 vs. Liberty
Liberty made some headlines when they hired Hugh Freeze as their head coach. Unfortunately for him, he is going to have to build a program from the bottom up, and his recent health issues are unfortunate as well. I don’t think Liberty will have much of a chance against Syracuse, who emerged as the surprise team in the ACC last season. Now, they will bring in sophomore Tommy Devito as their QB, and it could honestly provide them with another boost for 2019 as they look to improve from their 10-3 record. This is a team heading in the right direction. Take advantage while Devito is not a big name in college football. He will be on full display week 1.
South Alabama (+36) at Nebraska
The hype train around Nebraska is real; I’m just not sure they are deserving of it yet. Eventually, Scott Frost will have this program up and running like it was in the old days, but I don’t think they win by more than five touchdowns in their season-opener.
Virginia (-2.5) at Pittsburgh
The Cavaliers are one of my sleeper picks in the ACC. They were a good team last year, defeating South Carolina 28-0 in the Belk Bowl. Now, they return most of their defense and a senior quarterback in Bryce Perkins. They should start their year off right with a win by at least 3+ in their season-opener.
Kent State at Arizona State (under 60.5)
The Sun Devils lost a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball. I could see this game being close for a while, and because of that, I think it sneaks under by a touchdown or so.