What ten games appear to be the best bets and the best picks against the spread going into the first weekend of Week 1? Here you go. Enjoy.
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And here we go.
Now it’s the first big Saturday – and Sunday and Monday – of the college football season. Now it’s game on with the big games about to get rolling. Finally.
10 Best ATS Picks So Far: 0-0
Starting with a few that didn’t quite make the cut, but are still spicy …
Click on each game for the game preview and fearless prediction.
10. Houston at Rice
LINE: Houston -26, o/u: 55.5
ATS PICK: Houston
Did you see Rice need everything in the bag to get by Prairie View A&M?
No, you didn’t, but the Owls had a rough time dealing with a mobile, multi-talented quarterback and needed a late charge to pull it off. Now they have to deal with D’Eriq King and an even more dangerous offense, along with an improved Cougar defense that should be able to handle a Rice team trying to power the ball.
There’s a chance the Owls have tuned up a bit and will be sharper in their second game … or they’re about to get their doors blown off.
LINE: Indiana -10.5, o/u: 56.5
ATS PICK: Indiana
Nothing changed with the line after QB Brandon Dawkins left the program. He lost the Indiana starting job to Peyton Ramsey, but the number has stayed at 10.5.
This should be a far, far bigger shootout than the 56.5 total would suggest, with a dangerous Hoosier receiving corps about to rip up a shaky Golden Panther secondary.
The Hoosiers might be rebuilding defensively, and they’ll give up 20ish points – but getting to 35-40 points won’t be a problem.
LINE: UCLA -14.5, o/u: 64
ATS PICK: UCLA
The line has gone down from UCLA -16, mainly because the public is skittish from not knowing anything about the Bruins.
Chip Kelly has kept everything hidden and under wraps, and no one quite knows what kind of a team is going to emerge in Pasadena on Saturday night.
It’s Chip Kelly. He’s coaching a talented Bruin team. It’s going to be fine.
The run defense has to prove it can produce, and running game has to rise up, but against a Bearcat team that struggled to score points last year and is mediocre on the lines, the 14.5 just isn’t that bad.
LINE: Ohio State -38.5, o/u: 64
ATS PICK: Oregon State
The money is pouring in on the Buckeyes. The line was at 37 for most of the week, and now it jumped up to 38.5. Oregon State was going to cover the 37, anyway.
The Buckeyes aren’t going to have a problem winning this, but even if it hangs up 50 on the board, they still need to keep Oregon State to under 12 points to pull out the ATS win.
Last year, the Buckeyes rolled at will against UNLV, and won by 32 points. They had no problems against Army, and won by 31.
Ohio State will get up big early, take its foot off the gas, and give up a late score or two.
LINE: Texas -13.5, o/u: 53.5
ATS PICK: Maryland
Before the nightmare that ensues in College Park, the line was hovering around ten – and Maryland was a trendy upset pick.
It still is.
The problems and concerns with Texas are still there. There’s reworking to do, the offense has to be more consistent, and there might just be a bit more rebuilding than Longhorn fans might like.
Maryland has a living, breathing, healthy quarterback again – it could absolutely win this straight up.
So how come it isn’t higher up? It’s Week 1 and this is still a program going through a traumatic offseason. However, watch out for a motivated Terp team to play at another level.