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
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
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.
out the Top Football Sportsbooks!