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2014 Week One College Football Picks

Updated on August 27, 2014

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived, the start of college football season. With the opening games of the year just hours away, here are my against the spread picks for week one.

Tulane at Tulsa (-6) Thursday 8:00 PM

Tulsa was a miserable 3-9 last year after going a combined 29-11 the previous three. Thankfully for them, they are playing Tulane, a team they have beaten the last four times they’ve played by an average of 37 points. The spread in this game opened at 3.5 points and quickly moved up to 6. The favorite in the last nine games between these teams is 8-1, I like Tulsa to keep the trend going and cover the 6 point spread against a Green Wave team who vastly over achieved last year and is starting a freshman quarterback on the road. PICK TULSA -6

Bowling Green (-7) at Western Kentucky FRIDAY 7:30 PM

Quarterback Matt Johnson returns at quarterback for Bowling Green after last years record breaking MAC title game in which he threw five touchdowns leading the Falcons to a convincing win against a strong Northern Illinois team. On the other side of the field is Western Kentucky, who surprisingly has had three straight winning seasons, including an eight win season in 2013 with the lovable Bobby Petrino. Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, Coach Petrino has now gone off to Louisville and Western Kentucky signficantly upgraded conferences by joining Conference USA. Last year Bowling Green went 10-4, with three of those losses by a combined seven points, and this could be their best team since Urban Meyer took his first head coaching job there in 2001. Western Kentucky is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games, the losing continues. PICK BOWLING GREEN -7

UNLV at Arizona (-23.5) FRIDAY 10:30 PM

Rich Rodriguez is entering his third season as Arizona’s coach and would like nothing more then to start the Wildcat’s season off with a strong win. Thankfully for him they are playing UNLV to start the season, who shockingly got in trouble for academic issues (how could this happen at a school J.R. Rider went to?) at the end of last season and are banned from postseason play this year. Not the strongest of punishments, as UNLV has been to three bowl games in the past 30 years. Arizona is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven Friday night games and have won thirteen straight home openers and will continue that success against another team having to start a freshman quarterback on the road. PICK ARIZONA -23.5

Penn State vs UCF (-1) SATURDAY 8:30 AM

Bill O’Brien did a miraculous job at Penn State the last two years, somehow keeping the team focused and playing better then most anyone expected. While the NCAA decided to reduce some of the sanctions levied against the team, O’Brien has moved on and the Nittany Lions only return three starters on offense. On the other side of the spectrum, Central Florida returns nine starters on defense to a team we last saw as a BCS buster when they took out Baylor 52-42 in the Fiesta Bowl as a sixteen point underdog. Despite losing quarterback Blake Bortles, I’ll follow my hunch and take the Knights PICK UCF -1

Marshall (-24) at Miami Ohio SATURDAY 3:30PM

Quarterback Rakeem Cato returns to Marshall and will probably break the lofty passing records put up by former Marshall greats Byron Leftwich and noodle-armed Chad Pennington. Marshall has one of the easiest schedules in the country this year and has a legit chance of going undefeated. Winning against a Miami Ohio team that went 0-12 last year shouldn’t be an issue. Marshall is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven non conference games, Miami Ohio is the exact opposite as they are 1-6 in their last seven non conference games. The records continue to go in the same direction PICK MARSHALL – 24

Florida Atlantic at Nebraska (-21) SATURDAY 3:30 PM

Rather then give stats or records against the spread, I’m picking Nebraska, not only because they a flat out much better team and playing at home, but more so because of Bo Pelini. The pressure is on Pelini, with some Cornhusker faithful calling for him to be fired at seasons end and Nebraska not having won a conference title in fifteen years. That’s all well and good, but I’m going with Bo and emotions on this one, as Pelini’s brother Carl was head coach at Florida Atlantic last year but was forced to resign controversially. You don’t mess with the brothers Pelini. PICK NEBRASKA -21

Clemson at Georgia (-7) SATURDAY 5:30 PM

The Tigers/Bulldogs showdown is part of Saturday’s dual main event alongside the LSU/Wisconsin game at 9 PM. If this is anything like last years matchup in Death Valley that Clemson won 38-35, it should be a very entertaining three hours of football. While seven points is a lot to give in a game like this, Clemson is replacing their starting quarterback, a 1000 yard gainer at running back and their two top receivers, including the number four pick in the draft Sammy Watkins. That might be too much to overcome for the Tigers, and I see Georgia continuing their dominant success in home openers (16-1 in last 17) and pulling away in the fourth to beat Clemson and cover the touchdown spread. PICK GEORGIA -7

Washington (-16) at Hawaii SATURDAY 10:30

If you’re looking to recover after a bad Saturday and want to try and bail yourself out with the last game of the day, go with Washington. The Huskies have a new coach (Steve Sarkisian left for USC), are replacing their top skill position players at quarterback, running back and wide receiver. Despite all of that, I still like the Huskies. Hawaii was 1-11 under Norm Chow last year and don’t look to be much better this year and while most think playing on the road their can be tough, the Rainbows are only 5-11 against the spread at home in their last sixteen games, not the most daunting of records. Washington’s new coach is Chris Peterson, who had great success at Boise State over the past eight seasons. He starts off his career off well with a strong win on the road. PICK WASHINGTON – 16

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Thursday’s ‘You have a gambling problem if you bet on this because its on TV’ game pits Wake Forest against UL Monroe. Wake opened favored by four, but the line has since moved six points in the other direction with UL Monroe now favored by two. I was leaning toward taking the Demon Deacons but that line move scared me away ---- Nearly half the games this weekend are played against FCS (formerly called DIV 1AA) opponents. Cal Poly against New Mexico State and Bethune Cookman against Florida International are two that have a legitimate chance of pulling an upset

Good luck this weekend, happy wagering.


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      Johnny Meese 

      4 years ago

      I only owed my bookie the vig! Thanks, Mike!


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