Our first big college football Saturday has finally arrived, and brings us a tremendous slate of games. We’ve been pounding the futures market all summer, and while I feel great about the positions we’ve locked in there, it’s time to sweat some games and get some immediate payouts. Here are the five plays that I’ve locked for Saturday’s card.
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With the spread on this one moving to 14.5, I wrote this one up as an alternative spread, as the -120 juice isn’t too much to lay. These programs are going in complete opposite directions. Greg Schiano helped this team grind to a 3-6 record in 2020, going up against a very tough schedule. The 2021 squad should be able to build on that momentum, returning 21 of those 22 starters. Meanwhile, Temple was dreadful in 2020, and hasn’t shown any type of improvement. This isn’t a UConn level team, but the Owls are pretty darn close. I look for a statement here from Rutgers in a dominant home win with margin.
A lot of sharp bettors that I’ve spoken to, particularly in the local market of Las Vegas for the Wolfpack, seem to really like this spot for Nevada. That list includes Matt Youmans from VSiN, who dished out this play on the Unreasonable Odds podcast — speaking of which, go follow us on Twitter now: @UnreasonableOdd. The cap here is simple on my part, we’re taking the NFL caliber QB and a well-rounded Wolfpack roster to play a tight one against PAC-12 competition. Cal is solid defensively, but I’ll give the advantage to the Nevada offense. I don’t think the Bears will have what it takes to keep up offensively.
I have to tip my cap to “The Wizard of Odds,” Kenny White for putting me on this one. I promote DraftKings on Sportsmap Radio on Wednesday nights on a national show called “The Diehards.” We’ve been having Kenny on each show to talk college football leading up to the season, and so far the results compared to his magazine have been pretty strong. Kenny has Utah State winning this game OUTRIGHT against Washington State. Perhaps a bit ambitious, but getting 17 and the hook is clearly too much to pass up on here. This is a bit of a perfect storm, as White is high on Utah State, but also way down on Washington State, who he thinks could go 2-10 this season.
UCLA is getting a lot of hype here, and did exactly what I was hoping for in Week 0. The Bruins came out at home and throttled Hawaii, which has shrunk the number on this showdown against the Tigers from -4 to -2.5. Recency bias is taking over here. Beating Hawaii doesn’t mean UCLA has turned any corners. Yes, it’s a very veteran team, but Chip Kelly’s track record still speaks for itself. Speaking of recency bias, people want to remember the awful 3-5 start from LSU last season. That was to be expected, bringing back just two starters from the 2019 Championship team that had 14 players go in the NFL Draft. The 2021 Tigers return 18 starters — nine on each side of the ball. This team finished 2020 with two big wins over Ole Miss, and as a 23-point underdog at The Swamp against Florida. UCLA’s crowd in Week 0 was embarrassing, giving the Bruins zero home field advantage. LSU rolls.
If you’ve followed my content (mostly in podcasts) you know that I backed Georgia +3.5 in this game. I made that decision a month ago, and have made a rare decision to completely reverse course on a game now that we’re here. Clemson has a good chance to be the better team on both sides of the ball, and this “neutral” field game is being played in Charlotte — where the Tigers have won four straight ACC Championship games. Georgia does have some injuries popping up all over the field during camp. While the majority of the Bulldogs are going to play, this isn’t the type of game you want to be banged up for. While Justyn Ross (Clemson WR1) is rumored to have tweaked an ankle, I’m expecting him to be out there for this one. The Bulldogs’ WR1 George Pickens won’t suite up for this one, still recovering from an ACL tear. While Georgia is known for its defense, this Clemson defense has the edge, and could be its best yet. With advantages on both sides of the ball, and essentially some form of home field advantage, I have to side with the Tigers here. Of course Georgia wants to make a statement, but this Clemson team is looking for revenge off a couple off tough losses to end 2020.
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