Dragon's College Football Picks Season 4 Week 1

Last Week 3-2
Overall 3-2

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Alright it’s Week 1 and this is not a drill. College football is back. Last week I got off to a solid start with my Week 0 games going 3-2 not too bad given the slim pickings. This week there are more games and more opportunities to make money cause Dragon wants a new house.

Middle Tennessee +40 vs. Alabama
Bama had a down year and they are done, Saban is a broken man and the run is over… In reality 39.5 is a massive number and history has shown us that while Saban likes to flex his muscle he does not run up the score on weak opponents, and he’s not going to leave his guys out there and risk any unnecessary injuries.

Bama has some questions (I use that term loosely) at QB and we will likely see three guys taking snaps on Saturday as the Tide look to find their go to starter. This could cause some hiccups or at least throttle the offense a bit.

Really I’m just hoping Middle Tennessee can find a way to score a TD.
Middle Tennessee St. +40

UNC -2.5 vs. South Carolina Over 64.5
The Tar Heels lost a lot of talent on offense this past offseason. But they still have Drake Maye and he is getting all types of hype from the media, and honestly he deserves it. UNC’s defense is the true problem for the Heels in this game. They were in the bottom 30 last season and they return the core of that same unit. Meanwhile South Carolina finished last season on high thanks to Spencer Rattler finally emerging as the quarterback many thought he would be when he entered college.

There’s going to be points score in this one and I expect a lot of them. I also think there’s just enough of a talent edge for the Tar Heels to squeak out a win.
UNC-2.5 Over 64.5

Florida St. -2.5 vs. LSU
I love the Sunday night game on Labor Day weekend. Last year this was a great game in the Dome and now we get the return match and it’s in the Noles’ backyardish. There is a ton of hype around the 'Noles this season and justifiably so. FSU has a great offensive line and quarterback Jordan Travis could use this game as his introduction to the national spotlight.

LSU will miss Maason Smith on the defensive line. If they cannot get pressure on Travis he will have a field day with the weapons he has around him. Of note, Brian Kelly is 0-5 ATS in his last five games when favored by less than three points. I know LSU and Brian Kelly have this game circled, but if the 'Noles have any aspirations of making a post season run they must take care of business in the opener and I think they do.
FSU +2

ODU +16 vs. Virginia Tech
Old Dominion has had Va. Tech’s number the past two seasons finding ways to over come 6 point and 18 point dogs and winning outright. The Hokies are still trying to find their way in the post Frank Beamer era… damn this is taking forever. There’s rumblings out of Blacksburg that Va. Tech expects to take a step forward this season but I’m not ready to bite just yet. 16 feels like a lot and I’m going with that gut feeling.
ODU +16

Purdue -3.5 vs. Fresno St.
The Boilermakers are starting over Ryan Walters is now the man in charge and Purdue hit the transfer portal for quarterback Hudson Card from Texas. They also brought in OC Graham Harrell from West Virginia to jump start the offense. There’s going to be some growing pains but these are the ingredients for success.

For Fresno St. they will be breaking in a new quarterback with Jake Haener moving on. This line originally opened at -6.5 and it’s dropped, I honestly feel like the shift is due to folks shying away from Purdue now that Brohm has moved on to Louisville. Yes, the Boilermakers need to replace a ton of pieces, but they are still solid. Toss in an early start time and a cross country trip for the Fresno and I like Purdue.
Purdue -3.5

Clemson vs. Duke +13
Who said the ACC is dead? What better way to wrap up the Labor Day weekend than the match up of two football powerhouses. Duke is coming off a 9-win season (I don’t remember that at all.) and they are returning basically everyone. They are at home and with all the country locked in you can believe they are going to put on a show.

Clemson is still the face of the ACC until proven otherwise, but recent history has shown they’ve struggled to put these sort of games to rest. Another year, more changes and questions on offense. This could be a sleepy performance for the Tigers.
Duke +13

Virginia vs. Tennessee Over 56
Finally we get to see the Hoos take the field. There’ are numerous threads on this forum detailing the struggles of this program and the current team, and honestly all of them are accurate. What I will say given how things finished last season, seeing the Orange and Blue uni’s take the field on Nashville will be a welcome sight as we all begin to move forward.

The line has the Vols favored by 28 and that feels about right. I usually avoid big spreads but I have no reason to doubt Milton won’t light up a solid but undermanned Virginia defense. I could go on about Virginia’s offense, but I just don’t know enough about them to provide a good read. I do think they will be improved but the bar is low.

The O/U is set at 56 which feels strangely low. The Vols could hit that over on their own while pitching a shutout. I do think the Virginia offense puts some points on the board to do their part and Tennessee will have no issues picking up the rest of the slack.
O/U 56


Probably doesn’t affect your pick but this game is in Orlando

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What’s the story on Tennessee offense though? Isn’t it old line but green skill positions? Maybe that’s the low O/U

I haven’t really paid close attention since every preview is like “if everything goes right, we might keep this under 5 TDS”, so I’m blurry on the details

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Ah good point. It doesn’t.

That’s pretty accurate. Tennessee is replacing a lot of athletes especially on the outside. They kind of lucked out with Milton playing in a handful of games last season and playing well in those situations including dropping 50+ on Vandy and blowing out Clemson.

The O/U is a little lower likely because of the newness on the offense. But the prevailing thought is Heupel’s offense is built in a way that as long as they have athletes, and they do, the receivers will play well and put up stats. The Vols still have athletes on the edges and a QB with enough experience that he can help put them in good positions and make them look good.

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I like your ODU and Duke picks.

My picks for the week:

UTSA -1.5 Houston (UTSA’s highly productive QB is healthy and back for his seventh(!) season. OL has plenty of experience.)
Toledo +9.5 Illinois (strong defense on both sides - not sure I like the under, but Illinois won’t run away)
Western KY -11.5 South Florida (senior QB in high scoring offense against a 1-11 team last year)
SMU vs. La Tech - over 66.5 (La Tech has already played one game, which will help. SMU can still put up the points. Last year, they and Houston put up 140. Half that seems do-able)


Ok Dragon, I’m going to jinx you. Im going to go with Duke + 13 and FSU + 2 or 2.5… I seen an earlier line that had LSU -2.5 . Has the line changed or is that just the spread from a different bookie?

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The replay situation in this Louisville-GT game is just awful,

30 minutes for just a little bit over 5 minutes of game time. Two weak targeting reviews (one called). Just awful.

Get off my lawn!

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It could be either .5 on that game isn’t much. I pull my lines drom Draft Kings generally speaking. But I’ve been known to shop around

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Ok,. Just wondering if the line was moving because of money going one way but when that happens it’s usually more than a half point

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It could be from money moving. FSU is getting a lot of love here the last few days but looking at it now Draft Kings Ceasars and Bet 365 have it at -2 MGM FanDuel have it at 2.5. I read that as the typical discrepancy between lines makers.

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Hoos line down to 27.5. That Virginia money must be pouring in.


I would like to see them cover but i wouldn’t put the farm on it

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Nah a cover would be great. I do like the over a lot. 56 feels too low esp if Virginia can score any points

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I appreciate ESPN not putting UVA into the absolute last tier in ranking football programs (tier 15 out of 20. The “But the Academics are really good” tier with Northwestern, Rutgers, Indiana and, ugh, Stanford).

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I mean it’s the reality we live in


Bama wins by 49?! Purdue loses on a td with 58 sec left…feeling nervous about this weekend

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still have a shot to break even this week.
It’s early season yet. We’re just finding out about these teams.


Still got some life need Duke to hold on here and give us a good 2nd half.

Agree its very early and with no preseason ir ccan be tough to predict these games.

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I was all on board rooting for Duke until seeing some cocky tweets from Duke people when they were up 6-0. Immediately swung me to the Clemson side.