Last weekend gave us a little taste of college football as Miami and Florida took center stage, but this weekend things get started for real. That means it’s time to start taking a hard look at the full schedule in an effort to make some real money.
The weekend isn’t chocked full of primetime matchups, but that doesn’t limit your ability to make cash if you play the right way. Week 1 can be unpredictable, but there are still four matchups we really like on the board. Read on to discover how you should be investing your money this weekend.
South Carolina -7.5 vs. North Carolina
There’s a lot of optimism in Chapel Hill due to Mack Brown’s return to the sidelines. However, it’s been a long time since he made the Tar Heels relevant. This feels like a game where North Carolina’s bubble might burst in a big way.
The Gamecocks aren’t ready to be legitimate SEC title contenders, but Will Muschamp has done a nice job of elevating the program in short order. His youthful exuberance gives his team a big advantage in this one.
Expect both teams to come out flying high with emotion early, but South Carolina’s ability to grind out yards on the ground will ultimately allow them to secure control of the game. It’ll be tight for a half, but the Gamecocks will take control after that. Look for South Carolina to win by double digits.
Oklahoma State -13.5 at Oregon State
Credit the Cowboys for being up for a legitimate road opener. There are a lot of intriguing neutral field matchups this weekend, but this game takes place in Corvallis.
That might be enough to keep things interesting for a quarter, but Oklahoma State’s offense isn’t going to be slowed down by a pretty weak Beavers defense. Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders should both see time in this one. Each quarterback is going to find a lot of success. 13.5 isn’t nearly enough points to make me think about backing Oregon State. Back the Big 12 over the Pac 12 in this one.
Auburn -3.5 vs. Oregon
Don’t be fooled into thinking either team is truly going to be on the road in this one. The Tigers and Ducks will tangle in Dallas. There will be more Auburn fans in the building due to sheer proximity, but Oregon will have a healthy contingent of support too.
Bo Nix leading the Auburn offense at quarterback as a freshman will get all of the hype coming into the game. The matchup between he and Oregon’s Heisman hopeful Justin Herbert is a great narrative for the media. In reality, this game is going to be decided on the other side of the ball.
Both Auburn’s defensive line and Oregon’s offensive line are strengths for their respective teams. Put your money on SEC defense to control Pac-12 offense at the line of scrimmage. Don’t do anything foolish with the line, but taking Auburn -3.5 should give you a nice payoff this weekend.
Georgia -22 at Vanderbilt
As a rule, we don’t like to give this many points in a conference game. This game represents an exception to that rule. The ‘Dawgs simply have more talent than the Commodores can handle.
Georgia is going to come into this game with bad intentions. Kirby Smart’s team is tired of hearing about how far Alabama is above the rest of their SEC competition. If the Bulldogs want to be taken seriously, they’ll need to do more than just beat a team like Vanderbilt. They’ll need to destroy them with ruthless aggression.
Don’t be fooled into thinking Vanderbilt will have any type of home field advantage either. Georgia fans will invade Nashville in droves. By the time kickoff roles around, it’s going to look like all of Athens made the trip to middle Tennessee.
Vanderbilt might put up a good fight for a quarter or so, but their lack of competent quarterback play is going to sink any chances they have of moving the ball against Georgia’s talented defense. The Commodores will effectively run the ball on some SEC opponents, but that strategy won’t work in this one.
Instead, it will be D’Andre Swift who really shows out and announces himself to the nation as a legitimate Heisman candidate. Don’t hesitate to lay 22 points here. You can even give up more if you want to increase your potential payout.