South Carolina is 22-15-1 as a home favorite under Spurrier, 9-5-1 last two years; they’re 11-7-1 vs spread in last 19 non-SEC games. Gamecocks have two quality QBs, one a thrower, one a better runner- they play conference rival Georgia next, likely will hold some tactics back for that bigger game. Tar Heels have a quality senior QB but lost three starters on OL; they’re 15-9 vs spread in last 24 non-ACC games, but are 2-4-1 in last seven games as an underdog.
Minnesota (-8) won 30-27 at UNLV LY, outgaining Rebels 478-275; Gophers are 1-4 vs spread in last five tries as double digit favorites with two SU losses. UNLV is 4-15 in last 19 tries as a road dog; they finally have good QB in soph Sherry who had rough debut vs Gophers LY (16-35/116). Minnesota has all five starters back on OL but have soph QB with only seven starts- they’re 7-11 in last 18 games as a home favorite.
Tulsa-Bowling Green both have senior QB’s, but Falcons’ QB has 35 career starts, Tulsa’s only 18; Hurricane won last meeting 33-20 (-17) in 2010, after waxing Falcons 63-7 in a bowl three years before that. Tulsa covered seven of last nine as a road dog; they’re 20-15 in last 35 non-league games. BG is 6-5 as a home favorite under Clawson; they’re 9-9 in last 18 non-MAC tilts and have four starters back on OL (Tulsa has two).
Central Florida (-24) waxed Akron 56-14 LY; teams split six games in series, with four of six decided by 14 or less points. UCF is 21-12-1 as a home favorite since '05; they've got their QB back with three starters on OL, while Zips have new QB this year in Bowden's second year. Since 2004, Akron is 15-18-1 as road underdogs. UCF covered 13 of its last 21 non-conference games.
Utah State (+7) beat Utah 27-20 LY, its first win in last 13 series games, but Anderson is HC at Wisconsin now; Aggies have four senior starters on OL and prolific junior QB Keeton (21 starts) back- they've lost their last six visits here, but covered four of last five-- they're 14-2 vs spread in last 16 games as road dog. Utah is 17-14-2 as home favorite since '06; since '08, they're 11-9-1 in non-league games. Utes have soph QB and three new starters on OL. State ia 15-5 vs spread out of conference.
Underdogs are 20-10 vs spread in Ole Miss' last 30 road games; over the last decade, Rebels are just 4-12 vs spread as road favorites. Vanderbilt won four of last five games with Ole Miss; road teams won four of the five games; teams split last two meetings here. Both teams have veteran OLs and their QB back. Vandy is 4-1 as home dog under Franklin, after being 8-18 from '04-'10. Commodores are 11-2 vs spread at home under Franklin. Underdogs covered four of last five series games.
Fresno State was 6-0 as home favorite LY, after being 3-18-1 in that role before DeRuyter got to town ('06-'11); Bulldogs have senior QB with 26 starts, three starters back on OL. Rutgers is 15-7 in last 22 tries as road dog but is just 11-17 in last 28 non-league games. Knights have QB with 18 starts and veteran OL. Fresno is 11-9 vs spread in last 20 non-league games. Fresno (+3.5) won 24-7 at Rutgers in '08, only previous meeting.
USC hasn't named starting QB, which shouldn't matter here, but they're inexperienced under center, and have Pac-12 opener vs Washington State next. Trojans are thin because of probation, but have four starters back on OL- they're 7-17 in last 24 tries as road favorite after being 0-5 LY-- they're 2-9 vs spread in non-league games under Kiffin. Hawai'i fired its new OC during summer, a red flag, especially with an inexperienced QB; they covered once in last five tries as home dog. USC won last five series meetings by average score of 56-21.
Michigan State won its last four games (3-1 vs spread) with Western Michigan, with three of four wins by 24+ points; last meeting was in 2010. Spartans were 0-6 as home favorites LY, are 20-30-1 in that role over last decade- they do have senior QB (13 starts) and four starters back on OL. Broncos are 8-13-1 as road dogs since ’08, 9-13-1 out of conference since ’07; they lost four starters on OL and have senior QB who has only eight career starts.
This will be Florida Atlantic’s Super Bowl, getting to play Miami week before ‘canes play Florida; teams haven’t met. Owls were 8-2 as dogs LY, after being 13-28-2 as road dogs from ’05-’11. Its certainly a road game but not a road trip for FAU, which has a new QB and three new starters on OL. Miami has senior QB (17 starts) and all five starters back on OL, so they’re looking for big things this year. ‘canes 5-5 as home favorites under Golden, 20-34 if you go back to ’03- they’re 5-8 vs spread in last 13 non-league games.
Texas Tech won last seven games with SMU, with six wins by 14+ points, but teams haven’t met since ’07; first game as Tech coach for former NFL QB Kingsbury, whose Red Raiders are 11-3-1 as road favorites since ’07, 8-4 out of conference since ’10. Mustangs have senior (25 starts) QB but three new starters on OL; they’ve covered six of last seven tries as home dog, with home side covering 12 times in last 16 games where SMU was an underdog. SMU is 11-8 in last 19 non-league games. Tech has new coach, new QB, three new starters on OL; road opener has to be at least a little dicey.
Louisiana Tech had great year LY, going 9-3 then getting snubbed for bowl, but they lost 15 starters and HC Dykes from LY, so now Skip Holtz takes over program that covered six of last seven tries as home dog, nine of last 12 non-league games. Holtz’ teams are 20-9 vs spread in last 29 games as road dog at UCF/ECU. NC State is 9-4 as home favorite since ’10, but 3-7 in last ten non-ACC games; they’ve got new coach, new QB and six new starters on both sides of ball.
Iowa outgained Northern Illinois 268-201 in narrow 18-17 (-9) win LY, Hawkeyes’ 4th straight series win (other three by 10+); since ’06, Iowa is 16-20 as a home favorite- they’re 15-18 in last 33 non-league games, 3-6 in last nine. NIU has new coach and seven new starters on defense, but also senior QB (14 starts) and all five starters back on OL; they covered eight of last 11 tries as road dog, are 14-17 in last 31 non-MAC games. Iowa has new QB with three starters back on OL.
BYU has new QB, only 44 returning starts on OL; they lost seven starters on defense, but are 14-8 vs spread in last 22 road games, 15-13 in last 28 as a road favorite. Virginia has 16 starters back, including four (three seniors) on OL but a new QB; they’re 3-9 in last dozen games as home dog (2-6 with London), 1-7-1 in last nine non-league games. Teams haven’t met since 2000, when they split pair of close, high-scoring games, with road team winning both.
Extremely young Virginia Tech team; 27 of 71 players on travelling squad are playing first college game here, vs Alabama squad that covered seven of last eight games on neutral field and is 16-11 in last 27 non-SEC games. Tide lost three starters on OL (only 39 starts back) but have senior QB (27 starts) and seven starters back on defense. Tech has senior QB (also 27 starts); they covered only one of last four as a dog and since ’06 are 10-19-3 vs spread out of conference. Bama (-6.5) beat Tech 34-24 in opening game here four years ago.
Troy won three of last four games with UAB; Blazers lost last two visits here, 24-24/27-14. Three of last eight series games were decided by one point, with average total in last three, 60.7. UAB is 8-7 as road dog since ’10, 7-5 in last 12 non-league games; they’ve got four starters back on defense, a soph QB (8 starts) and a date at LSU next. Troy lost four starters off its OL but has senior QB (36 starts); Trojans covered only twice in last dozen tries as a home favorite.
Cincinnati has whole OL (83 starts) back from LY with three senior starters and two QBs who have started games; they’re 8-5 in last 13 games as home favorite, 8-4 in last 12 non-league games. Purdue has eight starters back on defense and three starters back on OL (52 career starts) but only two other offensive starters back- their QB has only six career starts. Since 2006, Boilers are 15-12 as road underdogs. Both teams here have new head coaches.
Former Louisville/Arkansas coach Petrino is new HC at Western Kentucky, which has four senior starters on OL but junior QB with only one career start; Hilltoppers were amazing 16-5 vs spread as underdog under Taggart (now at USF)- they beat Kentucky 32-31 LY, despite being outgained by 50 yards- they had three previous losses vs UK, all by 10+ points. Petrino is 14-10 vs spread in last 24 games as underdog. New coach for Kentucky, which covered four of last five as road favorite and is since ’07 is 15-10 vs spread out of SEC.
Since 2008, Mississippi State is 4-13 vs spread as a road underdog, covering once in last eight tries; they’re 8-13 in last 21 non-SEC games. Bulldogs have senior QB (17 starts and all five starters back on OL (108 career starts), which gives them edge here, over Oklahoma State team that is 9-4 vs spread in last 13 non-league games; they’ve got a senior QB with only five career starts and three starters back on OL (38 career starts). Teams haven’t met since ’99; figure Houston site helps OSU, which recruits Texas more than Miss State.
Syracuse has new coach, new QB, three soph starters on OL; since ’08, they’re 19-28-1 as road dogs, but 13-7-1 in last 21 non-league games. Syracuse lost 28-7/55-13 in last two games vs Penn State (‘08/’09) happier times for Lions. PSU also has new QB but has 8 starters back on offense, three on OL; they were 6-1 as favorite LY, are 11-3 as road favorites since 2008. You figure crowd in NJ would be split, but Orange played USC here LY and game drew poorly, so PSU should have crowd edge.
Clemson has senior QB (27 starts) and four starters back on OL (64 starts); they’re 24-4 SU at home under Swinney, but since ’08 are 0-3 as home underdogs. Tigers-Georgia are old rivals playing for first time in decade; Dawgs have nine starters back on offense, with whole OL back and senior QB (41 starts) but only three back on defense-- 10 of 22 kids on Georgia’s defensive 2-deep depth chart are playing first college game (8 true frosh), bad news vs Clemson offense. Since ’09, Georgia is 7-3 as a road favorite; they’re 9-10 in last 19 non-SEC games.
LSU/TCU both have senior QBs, though Pachall (17 starts) missed LY for Horned Frogs and Mettenberger now has NFL coach (Cameron) as tutor; TCU has nine starters back on defense- they’re 12-7-1 in last 20 games as underdog, but are just 3-11-1 in last 15 non-league games. LSU is 23-31 vs spread in last 54 games as a favorite, 9-14 in last 23 non-SEC games. 7-5-1 on neutral fields under Miles. LSU lost seven starters on defense and two on OL. Each team has only one senior starter on OL. Dallas site is very close to TCU, but LSU fans travel very well.
Boise State (-5) nipped Washington 28-26 in Vegas Bowl LY, even though Huskies outgained them by 40 yards on chilly day in desert. Broncos have senior QB (13 starts) and five senior starters on OL (only two returning starters, 52 starts); they’re 3-1 as road dog under Peterson, 18-7 vs spread out of conference. U-Dub is 7-5 as home favorite under Sarkisian, 8-7 out of conference; they’ve got four returning starters (all juniors) on OL and senior QB (26 starts). Hard to give Peterson points, given his (84-8 career mark as Boise coach).
Northwestern has 8 starters back on offense with senior QB (20 starts) but only two starters back on OL (40 starts); since ’08, Wildcats are 3-7-1 as road favorites, but they’re 9-5-1 in last 15 games out of conference. Cal has new coach, new QB, three new starters on OL; since ’04 they’re 2-8 vs spread as home underdogs, 14-17 in last 31 non-league games. Wildcats lost seven starters on defense- they won wild opener 42-41 at Syracuse LY. Dykes worked wonders at Louisiana Tech, but this is just his first game at Cal.
-- Maryland is 3-0 vs FIU, with average score 27-16; Panthers are 7-5 as road dog since ’10, 13-11 in last 24 non-league games. Terps are 2-5 as home favorite under Edsall.
– Miami OH lost last four visits to Marshall by average score of 38-27; Red Hawks are 4-7 as road dogs under Treadwell (8-13 since ’09). Marshall is 5-9 in last 15 games as a home favorite.
– Oklahoma chose younger QB over runner Bell; they’re 25-15-1 as home favorites (9-9 in last 18) but have Big X rival West Virginia up next. ULM has terrific senior QB (36 starts), four starters back on OL; they’re 5-3 in last eight games as a road underdog.
– Southern Miss is on third HC in three years after going 0-12 LY; since ’05, they’re 18-21 as home favorites. Texas State has four starters back on OL for former Bama coach Franchione, who is 3-4 as road dog at TSU
– Rice has senior QB (22 starts) and all five starters back on OL (86 starts); they were 4-0 as road dogs LY. Since ’09, Texas A&M is 13-9 as home favorite- Manziel is suspended for first half of this game. No iidea how Aggies will respond to the circus surrounding him.
– Toledo has senior QB (14 starts), four starters back on OL (78 starts); they’re 9-3 in last 12 games as road dogs. Florida plays Miami next; they’ve got junior QB (12 starts) and 104 returning starts on OLK- they’re 11-13 in last 24 games as a home favorite.
– Malzahn’s first Auburn team has highly-touted JC QB making debut here; they’re 17-22 as home favorite since ’05, 14-22 out of SEC and are very thin on defense. Washington State has junior QB, four starters back on OL in Leach’s second year there- Coogs are 16-12 vs spread in last 28 games as an underdog.
– Since 2005, North Texas is 4-11 as a favorite, but they’re 3-1 as a home favorite under McCarney. Idaho is 12-10 as a road dog, 13-8 in last 21 non-league games.
– Wyoming covered 15 of last 19 tries as road dogs, but Nebraska has four senior starters on OL and senior QB (38 starts). Huskers are 17-16 as home favorite under Pelini; they pounded Cowboys 38-14 (-21) LY.
– New Mexico was 3-0 as favorite under Davie LY; he has four starters (107 starts) back from OL but has young QB (4 starts). UTSA covered five of its six road games LY; they’ve got four junior starters on OL (83 career starts).
– New coach for Nevada, which has junior QB (20 starts); they’re 9-7 in last 16 games as road dogs. UCLA has soph QB (14 starts), four starters back on OL but no seniors—they’re 3-5 in last eight games as home favorite, but 19-11 in last 30 non-league games.
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