We’re not here to blow smoke up your ass. We know our college football. Five picks a week. Take em, cash in, thank us later. Lets just get to the picks:
Wake Forest (-17) vs. Tulane; 43
Starting off with our first wager of the year on one of the first games of the college football season Thursday night. Wake Forest and Tulane are both coming off 3-9 seasons. As a reader you may say, “Why would I bother with this game?” The answer is simple. Vegas gave this game a 17 point spread because Tulane is historically a bad football team. One team (Tulane) comes from the lowly AAC and the other (WF) comes from the strong ACC. One team lost their head coach (Tulane) while the other has had the same head coach since 2014 (WF).
What Vegas doesn’t want you to know is Tulane hired former Georgia Southern coach, Willie Fritz. At Georgia Southern, they ran a triple option. Wake Forest played one team that ran the triple option last year: Army. Wake won that game 17-14. Army was 2-10 last year with their only wins coming vs FCS schools. Tulane isn’t great, but they are certainly better than Army (they beat them last year). The point of the run around is that Tulane will be running a triple option and Wake isn’t good at defending it. If Wake was playing G.Tech this year then I would assume they will try to actually prepare specifically for the triple option; they don’t. This will be the only team on the schedule that runs the dreaded triple option, and being “lowly” Tulane, i expect the Wake coaches to write them off.
Take the 17 points and know that Tulane’s newly found triple option attack will control the ball enough to ensure the Wake Forest offense can’t pull away. The Pick: TULANE +17
PS – not to mention Tulane’s sick new look…..
Arkansas St (-3.5) vs. Toledo; 64.5
Arkansas State played at Toledo in 2015. They lost 37-7. Arkansas State played Toledo in 2014. They lost 63-44. In those two games, Toledo combined to out rush Arkansas State 534-51. Kareem Hunt, the Toledo RB, has torn up Arkansas State each time they’ve played. This is the third time the Arkansas State coach, Blake Anderson, has faced Kareem Hunt and Kareem must haunt his dreams.
Arkansas State’s offense is good enough to keep up, but i just don’t see it. Chad Voytik came over for Pittsburgh where he couldn’t keep the job. Even if Arkansas State pulls this out, I will gladly take the field goal with the hook. However, don’t be surprised to see the outright upset. The pick: TOLEDO +3.5
Oklahoma (-11.5) vs. Houston; 68
QB Greg Ward Jr of Houston is an absolute stud. Against FSU in the Peach Bowl last year, this kid had his coming out party. 238 in the air. 67 on the ground and 3 TDs. He is a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender this year. This game is being played in NRG Stadium in Houston. NRG Stadium is less than 20 minutes away from the Houston campus. Every Cougar alumni and fan knows this is one of the biggest games the program has ever had. Fans will be out in full force on Saturday and this will practically be a home game for the Cougs.
Greg Ward can be compared to a lesser Deshaun Watson. We all saw Deshaun Watson carve up this Oklahoma defense to end the year last year. Watson ran for 145 and a touchdown vs Oklahoma. I’m not saying this defense will completely stop Baker Mayfield. However, what I am saying, is that Houston should keep this game very close. Houston averaged 40 PPG and almost 500 YPG last season. Houston also went 4-0 straight up and 3-1 ATS against ranked teams last year. This team is just as good in person as they are on paper. I will gladly take the 11.5 points in what should basically be a home game for the Cougars and I wouldn’t be surprised with an upset. The pick: HOUSTON +11.5
Texas A&M (-3) vs. UCLA; 53
I absolutely love the homefield advantage here and it’s why I’m leaning towards the home favorite. Kyle Field is one of the most difficult place to play in the country. I have Texas A&M being a sleeper SEC team and I selected them to go over their Vegas win total of 6.5. The DE STAR for Texas A&M is Myles Garrett and he will be in Josh Rosen’s face ALL DAY. This kid could realistically be the number 1 pick in the draft next year. Yes, he’s that good. And he’s a blast to watch.
Trevor Knight came in from Oklahoma where he could never quite win over the coaching staff. He is a very serviceable QB that will be efficient and effective. He will be able to hit the very good Aggies WR core. If this crowd gets loud enough on defense, Rosen will be shook.The Pac12 has some good home field fans, but nothing compares to an SEC opening weekend of rowdiness. The pick: Texas A&M -3
Washington (-26.5) vs. Rutgers; 54.5
The Washington defense will be as good as advertised. The secondary is one of the best in the nation and the defensive front is well above average. The team is good enough to win the Pac12 this year and we wouldn’t be surprised if they did. Rutgers gave up 275 YPG through the air last year and Washington QB Jake Browning is good enough to pick this secondary apart. Expect the Huskies to get up early in this game and have about a 20 point lead at half. I think they’ll continue to pull away in the second half on the ground as the Rutgers team just isn’t good enough to keep up with this extremely talented team out west. The pick: Washington -26
Leans (no official plays):
Missouri/WVU under 51
Southern Miss/Kentucky Under 63.5
South Carolina/Vandy under 42
Northern Illinois -10
@AngelSteve89 guest selection: Iowa -27.5
Good luck everybody. Tweet those winning tickets at us @AlmostVaristy. Lets start the season off right….