Recap on the season to date... 6-3 in the colleges after James Madison, Rutgers, Ole Miss and SMU won against the Vegas number, as 67% is very solid!
Our goal in this column is 60%. It takes approximately 55% winners to make money, so we are thrilled to have given out 2 winners for every loser to date. This week sees the NFL get underway and we will dip our toes into those waters as well. Now on with the show...
Nebraska - 3 1/2 over Colorado The Cornhuskers return many more starters than the Buffs, including electric QB Martinez, and are looking for payback after CU spoiled their season opener last year!
Texas A&M + 17 1/2 vs Clemson The Aggie's have a stellar dual-threat QB of their own in Kellen Mond, and Jimbo Fisher has never taken a team into Death Valley that has lost by more than 17 points. The Tigers only won by 2 points last year at College Station.
Southern Miss + 17 vs Mississippi State The Golden Eagles feel this is their best team in years, while the Bulldogs are missing all-everything QB Fitzgerald and several stalwarts off their vicious D this year. Huge rivalry game for little brother Southern Miss anytime they get to play Miss State or Ole Miss.
Virginia Tech - 28 over Old Dominion With just 6 returning starters back for ODU, and barely getting past tiny Norfolk State last week, can you say revenge? The Hokies name the score versus the Monarchs, avenging last years monumental upset!
Texas Tech - 34 over UTEP Arguably the WORST team in college football pays a visit to Lubbock Texas this week. To make matters worse for the Miners, they are a running team and look to fall behind early and often to the pass happy Red Raiders. Montana State had some semblance of a passing game but still got hammered by 35 last week, with Tech still throwing late in the game on their final possession.
Texas + 6 1/2 vs LSU Tom Herman has 11 outright upsets in his college coaching career as an underdog, including last year in their bowl game vs mighty Georgia. The Longhorns have a plethora of unproven young talent, but they should still be able to hang with the generous points given by Vegas here playing at home in front of 100,000 fans. Although the Bengal Tigers should prevail, look for an absolute war that comes down to the final possession, just like Oregon and Auburn last week!
Penn State - 28 over Buffalo The Bulls travel into the Nittany Lion's den with a very suspect passing game. This is coach James Franklin's best defense, bar none during his coaching regime at Penn State. One dimensional teams tend to get pounded in Happy Valley before 100,000 plus!
BYU + 3 1/2 vs Tennessee The Cougars and Vols both return 16 starters, but the difference is, UT looked completely unprepared and out coached by the 26 point underdog Georgia State Panthers last week! BYU will not feel sorry for them in the least, as they had their own beat down to endure in their annual Holy War game versus Utah, making it 9 straight wins for the Utes in that rivalry. Take the points with BYU, as they've had an extra week to prepare and the Cougars are not running a new offense, unlike the Volunteers who are on their 6th offensive coordinator out of the past 5 years.
Buffalo + 3 vs N Y Jets One could make the case the wrong team is favored here, but I digress. The Bills love to travel to the Big Apple and always give the Big City teams (Jets, Giants) fits in NYC, as evidenced by their woodshed whupping over the fly-boys last year here, 41-10! Much better defense and the points should carry the day for Buffalo.
Baltimore - 6 1/2 over Miami Take John Harbaugh and his veteran coaching staff over a completely new coaching staff for Miami. Add in the fact that former Heisman winner, QB Lamar Jackson, is returning to his old high school stomping grounds (Pompano Beach) and will want to put on a show for all his family, friends and fans! Looks to be too tall a task for a rebuilding Dolphins team against the defensively ferocious Ravens.
Minnesota - 3 1/2 over Atlanta Even if the Falcons sign their mega-star receiver Julio Jones this week before game time, he will show significant rust. Atlanta has gone back to their roots and brought in Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator again. Matt Ryan had his finest days at QB under Koetter's previous tutelage and stint. Nevertheless, prefer to stay with the ATS numbers here as the Falcons are just 4-12 on the road the past two years and 1-7 last year, while the Vikings are a sparkling 19-5-1 as a home favorite! Matt Ryan and Atlanta's offense will have a HUGE year, but hopefully starting the week AFTER they sign Julio Jones in the second game of their season.
Tennessee + 6 vs Cleveland Pump the brakes on the most hyped team in recent memory over the off-season. Baker Mayfield may have won the Heisman but is NOT the second coming of Brady/Manning/Rogers/Brees, et al... This Titans team has won 9 games in each of the past 3 years and they are anticipated to continue the Browns opening season woes, as they are just 1-18 in season openers since they returned to the NFL in 1999. Granted, Cleveland has enjoyed a major infusion of talent at the skill positions, but are STILL woefully short in offensive line talent since the retirement of all-time great Joe Thomas. Take the points here.
Houston + 7 vs New Orleans Everyone in the football universe knows the Saints got robbed out of their rightful place in the Super Bowl last year! However, most don't know that they have started 0-2 in 2014, 0-3 in 2015, 0-3 in 2016 and 0-2 in 2017. Could 2019 result in a hangover from that devastating playoff loss to the Rams last year? Take the Texans plus the points here and hope for a repeat result in getting out of the gate slowly!