Finally the day has arrived. Time for Dragon to pay off his mortgage and get back to building the new Dragon’s Lair Compound, funded by gambling. Last week was Week 0 and I was in mid-season form going 2-2 leaving me all square and ready for Week 1. Let’s get to it.
UCLA -25.5 vs. Bowling Green:
The other team in LA has been an afterthought since Lincoln arrived at USC. You got to think that does not sit well with UCLA’s head man Chip Kelly. Feasting on a MAC team that is traveling west is a perfect opportunity for the Bruins to flex their muscles and steal a few local headlines. I also like the over on this one at 56.5. If It’s up to Kelly, Bruins will hit this on their own. The line is shrinking which is a little concerning, but I am all about jumping on it now.
UCLA - 25.5 over 56.6
East Carolina +11.5 vs. NC State:
The Wolfpack are becoming a trendy pick among ACC circles and they should have a good season. However, they were a mess last season when it came to gambling, and I don’t see that trend slowing. A couple quick trends for you, NC State is 4-11 ATS in last 15 road games, toss in they are 5-5 ATS and SU as an AP Top 25 team. It’s early season and I tend to like double digit dogs.
Arkansas -6.5 vs. Cincinnati:
The Razorbacks were college football darlings to start the season last year and then the SEC season kicked in. sUCk were fan favorites all last season and Fickel’s crew had a helluva run. The line has been hammered down from opening at 8, and a lot of people remain in love with the Bearcats. I’m going the opposite here, Arkansas is at home and will have a rabid fanbase ready to show the world they are ready to compete in the SEC.
Oklahoma vs. UTEP Over 57:
Brent Venables is finally taking the reigns of his own program, and you can believe it will be a scene when he leads the Boomer Sooners out on the field Saturday. It’s near impossible to think that OU can improve as an offensive unit, but I do think they will be humming with Jeff Lebby calling the plays. The spread is floating around 30 which is too much for me, but the O/U looks ripe for the taking.
LSU -3 vs. FSU:
Welcome to the Brian Kelly era in LSU. The snake in the grass has moved south and is heading up the capitol of corruption in the Tigers. Mike Norvel is back for year 2 in Tallahassee and I can’t imagine we see anything different. Did I mention this game is being played in the “mutual site” of the Superdome? Yea… I hate giving Kelly any sort of love but this one feels almost too easy.
LSU -3 and the over 50
Utah vs. Florida +2.5:
I love that this game is kicking the season off. Night time in the Swamp the Gators with a new hotshot young coach in Napier who I have no doubt wants to show the world he is ready to lead a P5 program. On the otherside is Kyle Whittingham is rolling into town with his Utah Utes and some old school smash mouth football. I’m of firm believe that Florida was better than their record showed last year at least in terms of talent. I also think Billy Napier bump will be enough along with an eager Gator crowd. Plus Utah has failed me too many times in big moments.
BYU -11.5 vs. South Florida:
Night game in Provo… the Bulls gonna have their hands full. I’d feel better if the line got hammered down another point or two, but 11.5 is not a massive number in this instance.
Virginia -21 vs. Richmond:
The moment some of us have been waiting for, the dawn of a new era welcome Coach Elliot to the big leagues. Last time a UVa coach started their coaching career against the Spiders id did not go well. The Hoos have a lot of questions marks around them. We know what they have at QB and WR, but beyond that there’s questions. How will the offense and defense cope with new schemes? Can a young oline hold up and perform? Will the RB’s feast with a more prominent role? Can the defense stop anyone? All big questions that temper my expectations for the overall performance of this year’s team.
21 is a big number and I know the Hoos offense was rolling last year and put up points, but thanks to the defense those big spreads were difficult to match unless they were playing a significantly weaker opponent. The Spiders are close to that opponent. But this year’s Hoos will be deployed differently than previous iterations. I think a renewed emphasis on the running game will allow the offense to chew up more clock and mean drives will take longer. It also means they could be more effective once in the red zone, something that Bronco led teams struggled with.
Love the Hoos to win this game, but I’m leery to say they cover the 21, with so many questions still surrounding the defense. I really want to pick the Hoos if the line drops bellow 20 I could change my tune.
Hoos win, take the under 58.5.