We have hit on nearly 60% of games we’ve picked since I started a running total back in 2013. I hope to stay hot this season.
Week 1 is where knowledge, and a little luck, can make or break you. There will be a few big upsets and a marquee player or two will fall to injury. You just want to survive Week 1 in order to get a lot of information for Week 2, where I have historically found value.
We at ‘America’s White Boy’ pick against the spread for all the big college football games on Saturday (September 3rd, 2016) and a few Thursday games. We picked five extra games this week since there isn’t NFL games this weekend. Enjoy!
Notre Dame at Texas (+3) – My pick is Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame didn’t have much trouble with Texas last season. They beat the Longhorns 38-3 in South Bend. That was the beginning of a very long season for Texas. They were God awful on the road, but very competitive at home. Texas head coach Charlie Strong has yet to name a starting quarterback for this game. I have a feeling senior Tyrone Swoopes will probably get the nod over true freshman Shane Buechele. If Swoopes struggles, expect a short leash. I’m picking Notre Dame to cover on the road.
Mississippi at Florida State (-4.5) – My pick is Ole Miss Rebels
The Oxford Eagle is right about one thing, Florida State freshman QB Deondre Francois is a difficult study for the Rebels. He is starting in place of senior Sean Maguire who went down with a foot injury. The Seminoles are loaded with talent, but can they compete with Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly? FSU safety Derwin James will be spying Kelly all day. If Maguire were playing, I’d probably go with Florida State, but I’m thinking this game could be close. I’m taking the Rebels.
Clemson at Auburn (+7.5) – My pick is Clemson Tigers
I have a feeling this line could creep closer to double-digits as we approach kickoff. I just don’t think Auburn is a bowl team this year. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson and RB Wayne Gallman will cause mayhem for the Auburn front-seven. Clemson will be one of the best teams in college football and will cover on the road.
Southern Miss at Kentucky (-7) – My pick is Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Kentucky has been a team in transition the last two seasons. They strung together a few bowl seasons in a row, but never really contended in the SEC. They start this season off with QB Drew Barker starting and former QB Patrick Towles is now a graduate-transfer in Boston College. Kentucky had trouble scoring points late last season and could have trouble keeping up with Southern Miss QB Nick Mullens. This game will be close and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Golden Eagles won this game outright.
Georgia at North Carolina (+2.5) – My pick is Georgia Bulldogs
North Carolina was one of the best offenses in the country for a large portion of last season. It was their defense that failed them late in the year. They come into this season with an experienced offense and a defense that is even weaker than last season. Georgia is a young team, but new head coach Kirby Smart inherited one of the best young defenses in the country. He has yet to name a QB starter, but my money is on true freshman Jacob Eason, but Greyson Lambert could start. Whoever the starter is, he will give the ball to RB Nick Chubb a lot since backup RB Sony Michel is still out with a broken forearm. I’m taking Georgia on the road.
UCLA at Texas A&M (-3) – My pick is UCLA Bruins
This pick ‘might’ be a little biased, but I really like UCLA sophomore QB Josh Rosen. I think he could pick apart the Aggies young corners…if he can stay upright and away from Aggie beast DL Myles Garrett. UCLA has a lot riding on this game. They have a fairly easy schedule the rest of the way if they survive in College Station. They could be favored in every remaining game. I’m picking the Bruins to keep it close and possibly pull off the upset.
LSU at Wisconsin (+10) – My pick is Wisconsin Badgers
This game is being played at Lambeau Field, so Wisconsin will come into this game with a little extra motivation to play. I doubt they will win, but double-digit spreads are hard covers in both the Big Ten and SEC. I love LSU RB Leonard Fournette, but Wisconsin will make him work for his yards. Wisconsin’s defense will have to step up and keep them in this contest as their offense is a little behind the eight ball coming into the year. I’m taking the points.
Oklahoma at Houston (+12) – My pick is Oklahoma Sooners
I wanted to skip this game, since it’s a bit of a risky bet. There aren’t a ton of lines available right now for games this weekend, so I feel like I need to make a pick for this game. I loved Houston last year. They were great against the spread early last season and then again last in the year. Houston QB Greg Ward Jr. is a darkhorse Heisman candidate. He’s a dual threat quarterback with an accurate arm. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield could be the man who ends up winning the Heisman with as many weapons he has at his disposal. I have to pick Oklahoma to cover since Houston has new starters on the offensive line and in the middle of the field on defense. Ward Jr. wasn’t very good last year when he was pressured. The Sooners are going to be a force this season.
Georgia Tech at Boston College (+3) – My pick is Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Oh man, a conference game in Week 1! Boston College played like garbage last season and lost every ACC conference game last season. Their defense played great in a few games against Duke and Wake Forest, but collapsed late in the year. They have Kentucky graduate-transfer QB Patrick Towles taking over the quarterback duties this year. He’s not an elite quarterback, but he’s better than anything BC had at that position last year. I love Georgia Tech’s running attack. Boston College’s defense will still come up short against Georgia Tech.
Toledo at Arkansas State (-3.5) – My pick is Arkansas State Red Wolves
This is when we pick a game with smaller conference teams. Toledo is one of the better road teams in the MAC and I like RB Kareem Hunt, who I expect to have a very good year. Arkansas State is a very well-coached team and bounced back to dominate after their loss at Toledo last season. The Red Wolves will show up to play and it will be one of their biggest home games in recent memory.
Kansas State at Stanford (-14) – My pick is Stanford
Colorado State at Colorado (-8.5) – My pick is Colorado State
Ball State at Georgia State (-4) – My pick is Georgia State
South Carolina at Vanderbilt (-4.5) – My pick is South Carolina
Rice at Western Kentucky (-16) – My pick is Western Kentucky
Indiana at Florida International (+10.5) – My pick is Indiana
Appalachian State at Tennessee (-20.5) – My pick is Tennessee
Oregon State at Minnesota (-13) – My pick is Oregon State
Army at Temple (-16) – My pick is Temple
Missouri at West Virginia (-9.5) – My pick is West Virginia
Western Michigan at Northwestern (-6) – My pick is Western Michigan
Boise State at UL Lafayette (+20) – My pick is Boise State
Bowling Green at Ohio State (-28) – My pick is Ohio State
Miami (Ohio) at Iowa (-28) – My pick is Iowa
San Jose State at Tulsa (-5) – My pick is Tulsa
Sweetbob’s college football picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.