Week Zero brought us two very exciting games filled with everything one would expect from an opening week. There was a lot of excitement coupled with an abundance of bonehead mistakes. Hawaii pulled out a thriller that resembled the finish of the Rams-Titans 1999 Super Bowl. Miami was so close to an upset win, but couldn’t pull it out against a Gators team that wanted to gift them the game. We could only hope every week will provide the same amount of excitement.
Coming in hot to a much anticipated week 1, we finally get to see some of the big boys play. Top tier teams such as Bama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State will all be hitting the gridiron. That being said, Vegas has certainly projected their dominance right out of the gate with some eye popping point spreads. I think this week will provide excellent opportunities for Heisman front runners like Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jake Fromm to pad their stats and get out of the gate quickly.
Boom, right away I have sniffed out some stinky smelling Vegas lines that will have the squares starting out on the wrong foot. Usually you can start off the early season with some solid chalk-type projections. While there are a handful of these layups (Clemson and Bama easy 30 point+ winners), there are a few curious lines that make me believe there could be some real interesting bets being made by the sharps who tend to fade the general public. In this week’s picks, we will be previewing some of these against “joe public” leans.
We started the season on a great note. Not only did I pick the two winners against the spread, my total projections for both games were also correct. Let’s see if I can keep the ball rolling in this week’s larger slate of games.
Clemson -36.5 vs. Georgia Tech – It is pretty crazy to think that what used to be a very close game for decades could be this lopsided, but here is where we stand with the dominant Tigers team of the past few years. Trevor Lawrence is the next Tom Brady and they are filled with monsters on both sides of the ball. Travis Etienne runs wild.
Clemson 49 Georgia Tech 10
BYU + 6.5 vs. Utah – Pretty much everyone has picked Utah to win the PAC-12. This line is curiously closer than expected. BYU is a well coached team that is a lot more talented than people think. Utah wins, but it will be a close one.
Utah 27 BYU 23
Nebraska -36 vs. South Alabama – Scott Frost has the Huskers trending quickly in the right direction. Adrian Martinez is a Heisman candidate. They will want to start the year much better than last year. Expect a much more explosive Nebraska team in 2019.
Nebraska 52 South Alabama 13
East Carolina +17 vs. NC State – The Wolfpack ended the 2018 with a 55 point shellacking of the Pirates. ECU hired Mike Houston from JMU and he will turn the program around quickly. One would think the Pack would crush them again but there is a serious question on the QB position and 8 true freshman are on the 2-deep roster. This game might be closer than anticipated.
NC State 30 ECU 24
Memphis -5.5 vs. Mississippi – Memphis is almost a TD favorite over an SEC school? Must be a misprint? The public is salivating over this one. Memphis has some real talent on offense. I think this is a trap. Very little defense in this one. Ole Miss is 0-6 against spread in last six games.
Memphis 38 Mississipi 31
Boise State +7 vs. Florida State – Sure, the Broncos have a true freshman starting at QB. The Seminoles still have James Blackman at QB and Willie Taggart as coach. Cam Akers will be a bright spot, so they will get a gritty win in the rain but won’t cover.
Florida State 27 Boise State 23
Pittsburgh +2.5 vs. Virginia – I just don’t understand why UVA is not favored by at least six points. I refuse to believe this is a real line. That being said, I must go against everything I believe to be true and take the head scratching home dog.
Virginia 24 Pitt 23
Oregon +3.5 vs. Auburn – Rematch of 2010 BCS Championship. True frosh Nix starting for Auburn. Heisman candidate at QB for the Ducks. PAC-12 needs this game so badly. Tight game, but got to go with SEC to win, but Oregon covers.
Auburn 28 Oregon 27
Season ATS Record: 2-0
Follow Hot Rod on Twitter @HotRodsPicks