Week 1: National Preview and Gambling Picks
As I said earlier, it’s pretty tough to make predictions for Week 1. We just don’t know a lot. But I’ve made my SEC predictions (both outright and against the spread where applicable), and I’ll also be posting weekly previews of every Top 25 vs. Top 25 matchup. For what it’s worth, if a matchup was covered by the SEC Preview, I’ll be copying and pasting.
If you have the interest, I’m going to track all my SEC and Top 25 match-up picks with The Action App (which is also where I’m getting the lines). You can follow my action here.
Lastly, I will be using the AP Poll for rankings.
3:30 p.m. #6 Washington vs. #9 Auburn (-2) (in Atlanta) (ABC)
I previewed this game at length with a blog post and a podcast from the perspective of a Washington fan. As I mentioned on the pod, however, my prediction came from my heart not my head. To be clear, I’ll be cheering for Washington in this game, attending with UW alums and even wearing my Washington Jacob Eason jersey. But I think Auburn is going to be too physical for this Washington team. I trust Jarrett Stidham more than I trust Jake Browning in isolation, but I also think Auburn’s front-four will disrupt a very experienced Husky offensive line.
Picks: Auburn straight-up and Auburn -2
7:30 p.m. #14 Michigan (-1) at #12 Notre Dame (NBC)
It’s a huge red flag if you’re a major college football program and I say, “I trust Brian Kelly more than I trust your head coach.” But somehow we’re there. I don’t trust Jim Harbaugh as far as I can throw him when it comes to big games. It’s baffling to me that the Wolverines are ranked 14th in the preseason poll despite having five games that seem like they should be losses:
- At #12 Notre Dame
- Vs. #4 Wisconsin
- At #11 Michigan State
- vs. #10 Penn State
- At #5 Ohio State
I think there’s this assumption that all these Big Ten teams are about even, but Harbaugh has yet to lead the Wolverines to a finish of better than third in their own division. Further, he’s 1-7 against teams ranked 12th or better. That’s not a good thing for a dude who is about to play on the road against #12 Notre Dame. And I’m not real big on Shea Patterson.
My picks: Notre Dame straight-up and Notre Dame +1
7:30 p.m. #8 Miami vs. #25 LSU (+3.5) (in Dallas) (ABC)
This is a tough one for me. I don’t really trust Coach O and as a Georgia fan, I don’t have a whole lot of inherent confidence in Mark Richt heading into a big game. I think both teams will be fairly nasty on defense and I think this could be one of the worst quarterbacked games of the opening weekend. For some reason, though, I like Miami in an ugly game. Evil Richt is seemingly alive and well in south Florida, and he likes swampy games (even if they’re in Arlington, TX).
Picks: Miami straight-up and Miami -3.5
8:00 P.M. #20 Virginia Tech at #19 Florida State (-6.5) (ESPN)
I’m pretty big on this Florida State team and I think Virginia Tech is going to take time to replace lost talent on defense. But 6.5 points is tough here. I think Cam Akers is ultimately the difference maker for Florida State, but this is a game with two teams with a lot to prove, and I’m not real comfortable with either pick (but I refuse to hedge!).
Picks: Florida State straight-up and Florida State -6.5
That’s all I got/