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COLLEGE FOOTBALL KICKOFF

WEEK ONE PICKS

Welcome to the 2008-2009 College Football Season everyone. As the saying goes, let's get this party started! Aside from out Key Releases, we'll also try and offer picks on as many other games as we can this year. We have a crew of football handicappers that will tackle these games each week and will offer their insight. Speaking of the Key Releases, they will be posted on the site, of course, but they will go out to our email list first this season. To make sure you get those free plays as soon as they are released, sign up here.

The following picks are for August 28th which will be the first college games played this year. But Week one really kicks off on August 30th when there's a full slate of college games with some big time matchups on tap. Week one and early season games in general can present some great opportunities. These early season games must be handicapped differently than mid to late season games.

Please note, as of this writing, these games are two weeks away. Lot's can happen in two weeks. Lines move, players get injured, stories develope. As a general rule, anytime you have more than a couple of weeks between when the lines are posted and the actual event, you should wait. The chances are, good numbers will still be available on the "right side" in a couple of weeks. This is due in part to the fact that the sharp money, the money being bet by the majority of the pro's, will come in closer to kick off when the limits are raised and more sportsbooks have lines posted.

These lines below are from the first book to post lines each week, Bookmaker.com also known as CRIS.

 

AUGUST 28, 2008

 

Utep +3 over Buffalo - This game opened Buffalo -3 and still sits at Buffalo -3. The Bulls look to be a team on the rise. They won 5 games a year ago, their highest win total this decade and return just about everyone from last years team. So hopes are high in Buffalo. After being the laughing stock of College Football ever since they became a division 1A team, it's now or never if this tem is ever going to get any respect. UTEP, unlike Buffalo, has tasted success this decade. They had 8 win seasons on three different occasions and went to 3 bowl games this decade. With no clear cut obvious edges either way in this one, we're inclined to take the field goal in a game that could go either way.

 

Vanderbilt +3.5 over Miami Ohio - This game opened Miami -1 and the sharps jumped all over Miami pushing the number to Miami -3.5. Those that have followed us over the years know when this happens, we'll only look at the opposite side of the move as that's where the value now lies. There's a saying, don't show up for the funeral if you didn't make the wedding. That applies here. In a nutshell, you can't be successful betting sports if you continuously get the worst of the number. If you lay -3 or -3.5 on a game that was once -1, well, you likely won't be very successful long term. With that in mind, we'll take the +3.5 with a Vandy team, which plays in college footballs toughest conference, and while not producing winning seasons, always manages to be competitive. In recent years, They have knocked off Georgia, come within a touchdown of Florida, beaten South Carolina, and so on. Last year they beat Miami Ohio, at home, 24-13 and while we give Miami Ohio the slight nod here, don't be surprised if that +3.5 looms large.

 

NC ST +11.5 over South Carolina - To be clear, we're high on this South Carolina team this year. While just 6-6 a year ago, they started the season 6-1 and played some close games down the stretch. 6-6 could have easily been 9-3 or so. They return tons of starters from a year ago and with Spurrier entering his 4th year, big things are expected. But Spurrier has started slow, on the scoreboards the previous 3 seasons. In 2005 it was a 24-15 win over UCF in the opener followed by a 17-15 loss to Georgia. In 2006 it was a 15-0 win over Mississippi St followed by an 18-0 loss to Georgia and then in game 3 that year, they only got by Wofford by a TD. Last year it was a 28-14 win over La Lafayaette followed by a 16-12 win over Georgia. Other than Georgia, the teams SC has played early on haven't exactly been power houses and yet, SC has started slow offensively. That may open the back door here for former BC coach Tom Obrien and his Wolf Pack. SC Should be a factor in the SEC this year but the early season rust has us leaning towards the dog here.

 

Wake Forest -12.5 over Baylor - The gap between Baylor and College footballs "good" teams remains large. Jim Grobe has built Wake Forest into one of those "good teams" which has us laying the big number here. The Wake Forest unorthodox offense should give Baylor fits. Defending against it is hard enough, but asking a team like Baylor to do it the first time they take the field this year, could prove to be overwhelming. We don't like to lay double digits but can't make a case for Baylor here.

 

Oregon State -3 over Stanford - No strong play here folks. Flip a coin. Oregon State, obviously, historically, is the much better program. But the Cardinal did manage some big upsets last year including their shocker knocking off USC on the road. But rather than focus on the upsets, what still has to bother Stanford backers is their performance at home against the likes of a terrible Notre Dame team last year or losing at home to a Washington squad that wasn't very good. Those are the performances that lead us to believe Jim Harbaugh still has lots of work to do at Stanford. So, with that in mind, we'll lean towards the more likely, better team. Laying just a field goal, we're basically just asking the better team to win.

 

Middle Tennessee +5.5 over Troy - Revenge is a big motivator in College football. When revenge involves a blow out loss, it can be HUGE. Such is the case here with Middle Tennessee seeking to atone for a season ending 45-7 smack down at the hands of Troy last year. A quick look at each teams body of work a year ago, tells us that while Troy was the better team, they weren't 38 points better. A look at each teams performances against some common opponents shows us the gap was much closer than that. Likewise, the series in general has historically been much closer than last years score indicates, so we'll back Midd Tenn here. With any luck we'll be able to get +6 or better by kick off.

 

We can't stress enough how important it is to use more than one sportsbook and to shop for the best lines. The difference between a winning season and a losing season oftentimes comes down to getting the best lines. We've done the work for you in choosing the best sportsbooks in the business. Whether it's getting a Free Half Point at Skybook or betting into the early lines at Bookmaker.com, the more options you have, the better chance you have to win. Check out the Top Football Sportsbooks!

 

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