SportsTalkATL Staff College Football Gambling Locks: Week 1

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In case you missed it, we went live on Twitter and YouTube last week to announce that our College Football weekly gambling locks are back this year. We also covered our Week 0 picks. Did we know the names of five total players that participated in last week’s festivities? Absolutely not, but that didn’t matter because we all turned out pretty decently.

Chase Irle led the way with a 4-1 mark. I (Jake Gordon) finished above .500 at 3-2, and Alex Lord brought up the rear as the only person to finish below .500 at 2-3. There will be a lot more action this week, and hopefully, the fellas can keep it going. As we did last week, we will also be going live on Twitter and YouTube to discuss the slate in detail and hand out all of our locks, so join us tonight, but you kind find all of our picks right here too.

Chase Irle’s Locks (@IrleChase)

Season Record: 4-1

Alabama (-10.5 First Half) vs. Miami

The Miami hype is overrated every year, and as much as I hate to say it as an LSU alum, the same cannot be said for Alabama. They come out and perform every season no matter how many guys they lose on both sides of the ball. I expect them to reload again and take care of business in the first half against Miami.

Minnesota vs. Ohio State (Under 63)

I expect Minnesota to come out strong against Ohio State. They probably don’t have the talent to hang for the full 60 minutes, which is why I’m staying away from the spread, but I like the under. The Golden Gophers defense should be much improved; they will come out strong against a big opponent at home in primetime, and it’s supposed to be a rainy night.

Louisiana Lafayette (+8) at Texas 

This just feels like the kind of game the Ragin’ Cajuns from Louisiana could win straight up. Texas is always overhyped, and that’s going to be even more apparent with a new coach. I like Texas to skate by, but it will go down to the wire.

Clemson (-3) vs. Georgia

I’ve been a big Kirby Smart fan, but they will have to prove it to me before I trust them again. They haven’t been able to hang with the big boys since their magical 2017 run to the National Championship, and Clemson might just be the big boy of college football these days. Like Alabama, they reload, and they should have a sour taste in their mouth after last season ended. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game isn’t as close as people expect. Take the Tigers.

LSU (-3) at UCLA

C’mon guys. GEAUX TIGAHS.

Marshall (-2.5) vs. Navy

A guy on Twitter gave me this pick, and I’m riding with him. He gave me a winner last week, too.

Jake Gordon’s Locks (@cantguardjake)

Another season is upon us, and after I cruised to a smooth 34-15 record for the 2020 regular season, I’m ready to get back to the grind and give you guys some winners.

Ohio State (-14) @ Minnesota (and Under 63)

I love Ohio State in openers; they always seem to come out ready to set the tone. I think PJ Fleck has a nice team up in Minnesota, but they’re still not up to par with Ohio State. Expect the Buckeyes to start the season off on the right foot. By the way, heavy rain is expected, so I’ll take the under here as well.

Alabama (-18.5) v. Miami

Nick Saban is 12-1 ATS in regular-season openers at Alabama and perfect ATS in neutral-site openers at 9-0. Miami may keep it close for a half, but I’m taking Nick Saban to make it 10-0 — especially in Atlanta.

Georgia (+3) v. Clemson

I typically don’t bet on my own team but give me my Dawgs for the sake of the locks.

LSU (-3) @ UCLA

Chip Kelly looked pretty good as a play caller in the team’s opener against Hawaii, but I’m not sold that UCLA is up to par with LSU just yet. I think they’re an improved team, but this is a game LSU should win pretty handily.

Notre Dame (-7) v. Florida State

The rare Sunday College Football game. I don’t know what Florida State has done this offseason to warrant them having a chance against Notre Dame. I’m typically bearish on the Irish, and while they lost some pieces this offseason, I think they will roll Florida State.

Ole Miss (-9.5) v. Louisville (and Ole Miss o34.5)

I actually think Scott Satterfield is a pretty solid coach, but Matt Corral is going to make some noise in 2021 in Oxford. I like Ole Miss to get it done here and put up a ton of points in the process.

Alex Lord’s Locks (@GeauxSportsTalk)

Season Record 2-3; What can I say? It was Week 0!

1H Alabama (-10); Alabama (18.5) v. Miami

The first-half spread might be a bit more in jeopardy if new-starter Bryce Young needs a few drives to settle in with his new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. Still, Nick Saban is an outstanding 10-0 in neutral-site openers, and the Tide don’t rebuild; they just reload. I feel more confident in the game spread, but I think this offense doesn’t skip much of a beat with a bevy of fresh faces.

Louisville v. Ole Miss (-10)

The Rebs are the better team on paper, but the Ole Miss defense is going to be poor again this year. Lane Kiffin has his own recruits on the team now and will surely put together one of the most high-powered offenses in the league. After being disrespected and left off the AP Top 25, expect Ole Miss to come out with some fire in their heart.

LSU (-3) v. UCLA

UCLA thrashed Hawaii last week, but we won’t know how much that means for quite some time. Though their ground game and defense have improved, they won’t have near the success against LSU that they had against Hawaii running the ball because of an experienced group up front for the Tigers, which will force Dorian Thompson-Robinson to complete some tough passes against Derek Stingley and Elias Ricks, two of the best cover corners in college football. DTR completed just 50% of his attempts last week, which won’t work against a loaded Tigers defense.

Texas v. Lousiana-Lafeyette (+8)

Horns down? Texas is back? ULL consistently pumps out NFL-caliber players, and Texas is beginning a new chapter under Steve Sarkisian and freshman quarterback Hudson Card. The Ragin’ Cajuns have won the Sun Belt three years in a row, and they’re primed for another conference championship after returning most of their starters. I would even be tempted to sprinkle the money line. UT is officially on upset watch.

UCF v. Boise State (Over 67.5)

Hank Bachmeier returns to Boise for his third season under new offensive coordinator Tim Plough, who will ask him to throw much more than last year. The Broncos return many of their offensive starters, including four linemen and one of the better receivers in the country — Khalil Shakir. UCF’s secondary is suspect, but UCF is impressive on the offensive side of the ball. Gus Malzahn and Dillion Gabriel will form one of the better downfield passing offenses this season. So I fully expect fireworks, take the over.

Blaine Irle’s Locks

Season Record (0-0)

Auburn (-37) vs. Akron

Akron’s won one game since 2019. There are cupcake games, and then there is Akron. Auburn rolls.

Baylor (-13.5) vs. Texas State

Dave Aranda’s bunch is going to take a big step in the right direction this year, and Texas State is their first victim.

Georgia vs. Clemson (Over 51)

These two quarterbacks take over the show at some point in this game, making it go well over this number

Northwestern (-3) vs. Michigan State

Pat Fitzgerald GANG.

Wisconsin vs. Penn State (Over 50)

Turner Skehan’s Locks

Long offseason. Lot to think about. For those of you who faithfully bet my picks, I’m sorry. Being positive is the basement. This year, we’re coming for it all.

Minnesota (+14) vs. OSU

There isn’t a ton to say. Chase likes this pick as well, he’s just a little too timid to bet it; thinks it’s too early to put it on the line for Fleck and the boys. I have no such reservations — call me Cheyenne. Let’s ride the mighty Gophers to a triumphant +14 cover.
UGA vs. Clemson (Over 52)
Expect it to be a close game, and there’s a lot on the line. To me that means score, score, score. I have an admitted bias against unders because no matter how certain they feel, they always backdoor me and so, maybe, potentially, that’s informing this pick, but either way, o50.5.
Florida (-23.5) vs FAU 
Florida lost a ton of offensive firepower to the league but seems very excited about the emergence of Emory Jones. That coupled with some strong recruiting classes should give UF plenty of guns for FAU. Three years removed from Kiffin, I wonder if the roster talent and recruiting effect have subsided. My bet is yes. With 72% of the money on UF, this isn’t a contrarian bet but even the public has to win once in a while.
LA Tech (+24) vs MSU
Mike Leach is a unique character, but the way in which he might be *MOST* unique is that he might be the only person better on Twitter than in real life. His bits, his memes, his schtick, all high caliber stuff. The kinda caliber you could find in Kabul (thanks Biden?). His team at MSU? More like a water gun. Maybe Leach will right the ship, but my bet is Twitter won’t be the only place he’s laughable this year. Not an endorsement of LA Tech, but 24? I ain’t giving it up.
Alabama vs Miami (Under 62)
I had to wrap up with a pick from my Tide. Despite my trepidation, I’m taking the under. Even just writing this, I feel like the room is getting smaller and smaller, but damn, that’s a lot of points. Unlike the last few years, Alabama’s proven strength coming into the season is on the defensive side of the ball. They return basically everyone on defense except for Surtain, Barmore and Moses. They have tons of young secondary and d-line depth (a fair number of those guys played rotationally last year) and gained Henry To’oto’o via the transfer portal. I don’t see Saba surrendering more than a handful of points to the Hurricanes with seven months to prepare. Confidence level: 9.

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