Much was made about my ineptitude when it came to picking college football games before last season, but I believe Taylor Seale’s slightly lighter wallet can attest to my winning record last year. In fact, final tally came to 63-47-1 last season, so you’re making money if you bet with The Otter Room.
Some weeks got a little out of hand last year, so we will be limiting our picks to about 10 games per week.
Indiana vs. #2 Ohio State – O/U 56 – OVER
Week one lines are annually hard to predict, so the -20.5 line is tough to pick. However, former Indiana coach Kevin Wilson is the new offensive coordinator for the Buckeyes and he would love to run up the score in Bloomington. Points will not be an issue.
#10 Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa – O/U 70.5 – OVER
Not touching the line here either, but these teams possess some of the best offenses in the country. Expect a shootout in Stillwater.
Utah (-21.5) vs. North Dakota
This seems like a trap. Granted I know nothing about North Dakota, but 21.5 points seems very small for a PAC 12/Big Sky matchup.
Iowa vs. Wyoming (+11.5)
This is my lock of the week. Every year a Big Ten school falls to a group of five team (more often than not it seems like Iowa is that team) and the Hawkeyes are ripe for an upset. The nation will finally see highly-touted QB Josh Allen against a big-time defense. Not sure if the Cowboys have enough to pull the upset, but they will cover easily.
#11 Michigan vs. #17 Florida (+5)
I felt a lot better about this pick before seemingly half of Florida’s roster was suspended, but until a Big Ten team (other than Ohio State) shows up against an SEC team in a big game, I am going with the SEC. The Wolverines had to replace a ton of talent and their heralded recruiting classes are still too young to make an impact. The Gators speed and defense will be the difference.
#7 Oklahoma (-43) vs. UTEP – O/U 63 – OVER
When in doubt, always go with OU looking incredible against an inferior opponent early in the season. New coach Lincoln Riley will be looking to prove a point and he will not call of the dogs as the Sooners get ready for next week’s matchup with Ohio State.
#15 Georgia vs. Appalachian State (+14.5)
I’ve said that UGA’s winning margin vs. the Mountaineers will be less than their margin of victory vs. Notre Dame next week. It’s not than App State is more talented than the Irish, it’s the fact that Georgia seems to lay an egg every year, especially when there is a marquee game the next week (see: Nicholls State 2016). The Bulldogs will win, but there will be some game pressure in the fourth quarter.
Purdue (+24.5) vs. #16 Louisville
I really liked the hiring of Jeff Brohm and I think the Boilermakers will be one of the most improved teams of 2017, especially on offense. They don’t have the horses to keep up with Louisville for four quarters, but this will be closer than the experts think.
#1 Alabama (-7) vs. #3 Florida State
Until Alabama doesn’t look amazing in a big time opening weekend game, I am rolling with the tide.
#13 LSU (-14) vs. BYU – O/U 47 – UNDER
The Cougars looked very pedestrian a week ago at home vs. Portland State – they ain’t playing Portland State this weekend. I will be shocked if BYU scores more than 10 points against the speed of the LSU defense.