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7 winners -3 losses
3 out of 4 in the College Football Playoff
The best gambling season of the year is upon us, fall brings us combinations of all 4 major sports and weekends are an action lovers dream come true. There is no sport this handicapper can get your more winners on than College Football. We are going to give you some future advice mostly today, but also some general handicapping advice to carry you all year long. We’ll also break down the five major conferences and take a look at who will take down this year’s College Football Playoff!
Couple pieces of advice for general weekly betting in College Football. There is always a lot of games, and it’s a long day. Wake up, do your early morning research and make 3-5 picks and bet them strong. The biggest mistake that bettors make, and we’ve all done it, is bet in waves. Meaning, you make your picks for the early noon picks, then wait for those results and bet the 3:30 ET kicks and down the rabbit hole we go. This strategy can kill you because if the noons go badly for you, then you end up chasing all day. Make your picks, close out your betting app or leave the sports book, and enjoy the day. Let your smart picks play out and you’ll be consistently successful over the long run.
Let’s talk about what you should be looking for on a week to week basis. Something to understand when it comes to College Football in general, there are too many games for the sports books to handicap them all properly. NFL from week to week only has a handful of games, and they’re all bet heavily in Vegas. So each game is analyzed and the lines are extremely difficult to beat. However, in College Football, some of the lines they set and forget. Chances are, there isn’t going to be a ton of action on the noon kick Akron vs. Northwestern game. They’ll set the line based on how the general public will view the game, and there won’t be enough money placed to move it. This is where you have the advantage. If you’re betting the prime time Michigan vs. Notre Dame match up, the books have handicapped that as closely as they would for an NFL game. Take the time each week to pick two or 3 match ups that aren't broadcast on a major TV network, see if you can find what would be a surprising mismatch. That’s what college football is all about. Conferences and teams play such different styles of offenses and defenses, you’ll see some odd combinations that you’ll never see in the pro game. Want an example? Here ya go; I have made more money over the years betting against Oregon in their prime years than I’ve made betting on or against any team in my entire career. Seems strange, Oregon had a phenomenal run in the Pac 10/12 for over a decade. I made money, betting against Oregon when they played a big out of conference match up or bowl game against teams with size along the defensive line and speed in the back 7. Oregon’s offensive scheme required a slightly undersized offensive line, and their scheme also required great timing. They consistently struggled to block against top teams from the Big Ten or SEC, and in conference teams like Stanford and USC at their peak. The betting public loved Oregon, consistently in the top 10 or 15 in the country, they had an exciting style of offense, things your average bettor drool over. They succeeded in the Pac 10/12 because defense was always undervalued in that conference. But against the big dogs, they were easy money.
Now let’s make some money on some futures.
This is a cakewalk for Clemson folks. I wouldn’t advise anyone with value as a long shot. While Miami and Virginia Tech are on the rise with some strong coaching hires the last few years, they aren’t in Clemson’s league yet. Florida State is still recovering from a disaster in 2017 and a coaching change of their own. They’ll be back before you know it, but again, not in Clemson’s league as of yet. Clemson is one of a small class of program that has recruited on par with Alabama, and their playing in a conference half as strong as the SEC. That all being said, there is still money to be made in this conference this season. Let’s take a look.
Miami Under 10 wins -125 - WIN
This might be my favorite over under on the board. Miami is without question, the most overrated team in CFB. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’ll likely win 8 to 10 games and might even finish in the top 25. But they’re solidly in all top 10 preseason rankings, and considered a legitimate national title contender. They are anything but. Last season they survived in plenty of games they had no business winning, and navigated their way through an easy schedule to a 10-0 start. They then lost to an awful Pittsburgh team, got embarrassed by Clemson in the ACC championship game, and lost to Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl in a virtual home game.
Boston College Under 6.5 wins EV - LOSS
This is tough because I like what Steve Addazio has done at BC and I think they have a good team this year. My fear is they just don’t have enough solid wins on the board for me to think they get 7 or more. The only given on the schedule is Holy Cross, and while not a gimmie I think they likely get a win against UMASS in the opener. Outside of that a lot of games I would consider winnable or a toss up are on the road. They go to Wake, Purdue, NC State. They also are unlucky as they have all 4 of the ACC’s pre season ranked teams on the schedule, and are all played in 4 consecutive weeks down the stretch. Miami, Va Tech, Clemson and Florida State, simply a brutal stretch, and those 4 games are sandwiched between two home games against Louisville, and rounding out with an improving Syracuse program. To me, too many things will need to break the Eagles way to get to 7 wins.
In my opinion this is the best conference in the Country for the second year in a row. Problem is as opposed to the SEC or ACC who are top heavy, the Big Ten is deep. I could see a scenario where they are again left out of the CFP with a 2 loss Champion. Ohio State is the cream of the crop here, but I do see value in Wisconsin, PSU and Michigan futures as winning the big ten title. As talented as Dwayne Haskins is, he’s green, and I believe the controversy with Urban Meyer will continue throughout the year, which could be a distraction.
Michigan State Under 8.5 +120 - WIN
We’re getting a price here which I like. I also think Michigan State is wildly overrated and they have 6 loseable games, 3 of which I think are virtual lock losses to Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State. MSU is a classic tale of people looking at a successful season, loads of returning starters and anticipating a title run. The fact that they’re over under is set this low for a preseason top 10 team should tell you Vegas has similar thoughts. Michigan State is overrated for a multitude of reasons. They’re coming off a 10-3 season and a bowl win over Washington State, and had huge wins over Michigan and Penn State in the regular season. What people forget about those two big wins were both were played in insane weather conditions (the penn state game featured a 4 hour weather delay, huge advantage for the home team), and both games had some fortunate bounces/calls go their way. They were thoroughly embarrassed by Ohio State and Notre Dame, and I think those games are much more indicative of the talent level on that team then the two previously aforementioned victories. I think they were very fortunate not to finish last year 7-5 or 6-6.
Iowa- Over 7.5 -125 - WIN
I don’t mind laying the price here. Iowa not only plays in the weaker west division of the big ten, they avoid 3 out of the 4 powers of the east in the regular season. They do have to go on the road to PSU, but will not play Ohio State, Michigan or Michigan state. Their other 3 toughest games, Iowa St, Wisconsin and Nebraska all will be played at Kinnick Stadium. Look for Iowa to get to 9 wins this year.
You are going to hear a lot of hype around Texas and West Virginia this year, but despite the loss of Baker Mayfield this is still Oklahoma’s conference to lose. Kyler Murray is a phenomenal athlete at Quarterback, and Oklahoma’s run game will be improved. I think Texas will under achieve again, as they just don’t have the right signal caller to run Tom Herman’s system just yet. West Virginia will start strong, but fade late as their November schedule is absolutely brutal.
Iowa State over 6.5 Wins -130 - WIN
The out of conference schedule is very manageable with the only difficult test being a trip to Iowa which will be a toss up. This team will continue to improve under coach Matt Campbell, and should be able to navigate through this schedule with 7 or 8 wins without a problem. The schedule features only 4 games against ranked opponents, 2 of which are at home. With 4 nearly sure wins against South Dakota State, Akron, Baylor and Kansas, it’s not tough to see this over coming through.
Texas Under 8.5 -105 - LOSS
We’ll have a pretty good idea of where we stand on this bet by the first week of October. The first 6 weeks are an absolutely brutal stretch and the schedule gets a bit easier from there. They have to travel to Maryland, although technically it is a neutral site game, and Maryland beat them in Austin last season. They’re home to Tulsa followed by USC, TCU, at Kansas State and then the Red River Rivalry in Dallas against OU. They’re really going to need to come out of that stretch 4-2 or 5-1 to have any realistic expectation of them finishing the year at 9-3 or better. Texas is still a year away under Tom Herman.
USC will be starting a true freshman at QB. UCLA will be going through the transition to Chip Kelly’s style of offense. Oregon is going through their 2nd coaching change in as many years, Arizona and Arizona State both have new head men, while Washington State is in their first year post Luke Falk era. Who didn’t we mention? Stanford and Washington. Both have great coaching, both play strong defense. Washington returns Jake Browning at Quarterback and many have them in the CFB Playoff. While I’m not as bullish about their chances, I do think getting Stanford at home and avoiding Arizona and USC on the schedule this year will lead to them winning their division, and the Pac 12 title game.
Utah over 7.5 -130 - WIN
I LOVE this bet. Utah has a very winnable OOC slate, and they get Washington, Arizona, USC and Oregon all at home. With an always strong defense and Tyler Huntley returning at quarterback, I have a very difficult time seeing this Utah team not getting to at least 8 wins.
Stanford Under 8.5 -125 - LOSS
This is going to sound hypocritical because I really like Stanford this year. But their schedule is absolutely brutal. They get a sneaky San Diego State and a road trip to Notre Dame as two of their three out of conference match ups, they go to Oregon, and 3 of their final 3 games are on the road at Washington, at Cal and at UCLA which is particularly challenging because the Bruins will have a full season of Chip Kelly’s coaching and playbook under their belt. As much as I like Bryce Love, he was banged up a lot last year and injury issues at running back don’t tend to get better with age. Look for Stanford to underachieve this year.
The SEC enjoyed their reign as the premier conference in college football for over a decade. While I do believe the Big Ten has taken that back and will again this season, I believe the SEC is in a position to be as strong as ever very soon. Dan Mullen will be a good fit at Florida and get the program back on track, I think Joe Moorehead was a fantastic hire for Mississippi St, South Carolina is rising fast and it won’t take long for Jimbo Fisher to make Texas A&M a contender again. This year however, the power is all in the West with the exception of Georgia. Look for Georgia to be in Atlanta again, and they very well could be 12-0 entering that game. Georgia’s most difficult battle of the year will be Auburn once again, but with revenge on their minds and this year’s contest being in Athens, I see the Bulldogs coming out on top.
Alabama is still the best of the west, but they’ll once again be tested. However, with both of their toughest matchups in Auburn and Miss St. being at home, I think it’s very possible we may see an undefeated Alabama take on an undefeated Georgia in what would be the most anticipated SEC title game in recent memory.
Florida over 8 wins -120 - WIN
I think Mullen will make Florida relevant again. Remember, he was Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator during their most successful years in Gainseville, and it’s not a tough argument to make that Miss State was a better program than Florida during the years he was there. Their schedule is favorable, and while I could see a push here with them finishing 8-4, I think 9 wins is possible if not likely, and more than 4 losses are hard to find on this schedule. They play 4 ranked opponents, two of which I believe Florida has similar talent levels to, and they will be favored in the other 8 games.
Auburn under 9 wins -115 - WIN
Similar to Florida, I think it’s possible we deal with a potential push here, but also similar to Florida I have a lot easier time seeing Auburn with more than 3 losses than less than 3. Auburn has a brutal schedule, starting right off with a Neutral site game against #6 Washington, they get a ranked LSU at home and then they play 3 ranked SEC teams on the road, #18 Miss State, #3 Georgia and #1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl. For you to lose this bet, you have to believe they have to win at least 1 of those games on the road, beat a more complete and better coached Washington team to start the season AND avoid more land mines along the way, like a sneaky difficult game at Ole Miss in mid October, and a battle at home with Texas A and M the first week in November, when they might be looking ahead to Georgia the following week.
I think despite their top 10 preseason ranking, this Auburn team will disappoint.
Playoff Picks- Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma - 3 out of 4!!!
Don’t adjust your eyes, this is a repeat of last year’s final four. Let’s break it down.
Clemson I believe is a clear cut top 3 team in the country and I simply think in a down ACC they will cake walk to the final 4. Realistically, even if they suffer a blemish during the regular season which I don’t think they will, they should be impressive enough through the entirety of their schedule to earn a trip to the playoff with an ACC title game victory.
Oklahoma is an interesting case here. I personally do not believe they are a top 4 team in college football. But we’re picking who’s going to make it, not who are the best 4. I think Oklahoma will benefit from a very down year in the Pac 12, and a Big Ten that is so strong they are all knocking each other off. Oklahoma could go 11-1, win the big 12 title game and have an impressive enough resume to get in over a 2 loss Big Ten champ, and a 1 loss Pac 12 champ, and that’s how I envision this going down.
As stated above, I believe Georgia and Alabama will get to Atlanta unscathed, and assuming that game is not a complete blowout one way or the other, I think you’re going to have a hard time keeping the loser out as the 4th team.
When it’s all said and done, look for Clemson to take home the title for the second time in 3 years under Dabo Sweeney. Their defensive line will be simply too much for anyone, Alabama included, to handle.
Other teams to consider- Ohio State to me is without a doubt one of the 4 most talented teams in the country. But given recent distractions with HC Urban Meyer, along with a brutal big ten slate that includes trips to Penn State and Michigan State, a game vs. TCU in Dallas and a potential rematch with Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game it’s an incredibly difficult road to the playoff for the Buckeyes. That being said, they’re talented enough to get it done if things fall right.
Penn State- Like Ohio State, Penn State has a brutal slate. The difference is, Penn State gets the majority of those games at home. Penn State lost 2 games by a TOTAL of 4 points last year, winning even 1 of those two would have likely sent them to the CFB Playoff. If PSU can knock off the Buckeyes in Happy Valley in late September there is a very real path for them to make the final 4. But while I believe their schedule sets up more favorably, and I love senior QB Trace McSorley, I’m not sure the supporting cast, particularly on defense, is there for the Lions to make it to Indianapolis and win the Big Ten.
Wisconsin- While I believe Wisconsin is the Big Ten’s 4th best team, they have a pretty simple road to the final 4. Their OOC schedule is nothing to speak of, and they only play two ranked teams all year. They avoid Ohio State and Michigan State, but do have road trips to both Michigan and Penn State. If they can split those two, and take care of business in the Big Ten west they would enter the title game at 11-1, facing off against what will likely be a top opponent from the east. A victory in that spot in my estimation would be enough to get Wisconsin in.
Washington- Realistically, I think any Pac 12 team would need to run the table to get in, which is why I don’t see Washington moving on. The Pac 12 has been viewed as the weakest of the power 5 conferences, and they did themselves no favors in Bowl Season, winning only 1 game and getting handled in premier match ups. That being said, I do expect Washington to win the Pac 12, and it isn’t difficult to see a scenario where they do so with only 1 blemish, Washington is not a bad pick. The opener against Auburn is a huge one for not only themselves, but for the Pac 12 in general.
Thanks for reading and make sure to check back weekly as we will be featuring MONEY BACK GUARANTEES all year long and always remember IF YOU DON’T BET, YOU CAN’T WIN!