CFB Picks: Unstoppable Clemson
College Football fans have a lot to look forward to this weekend with Saturday full of ranked action. Money lines are inflated for favorites, but there are more than manageable spread plays below that you should look at before kickoff.
Cincinnati Bearcats @ #5 Ohio State Buckeyes (-16), ABC, 12:00 PM:
The Bearcats and Buckeyes meet in a battle for Ohio for the first time since 2004 with Ohio State leading the overall series 14-2.
Ohio State (1-0) scored 28 points in the first quarter and never looked back taking care of business with a 45-21 win over FAU. Sophomore quarterback Justin Fields made a stellar first impression with the Buckeyes completing 18-of-25 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns, adding 12 carries for 61 yards and one touchdown.
Junior running back J.K. Dobbins contributed a solid day on the ground rushing 21 times for 91 yards and one touchdown.
Cincinnati (1-0) opened the season with a solid 24-14 win over UCLA. Dual-threat sophomore quarterback Desmond Ridder lead the way completing 18-of-26 for 242 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, adding nine carries for 34 yards.
Junior running back Michael Warren II was the team’s workhorse carrying the ball 26 times for 92 yards and one touchdown, adding three receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Ohio State is the play at (-16). The Buckeyes should have no issue rolling through the Bearcats at home. Ohio State hasn’t lost at home since Week 2 of 2017 and should overpower Cincinnati.
#12 Texas A&M Aggies at #1 Clemson Tigers (-16.5), ABC, 3:30 PM:
The first ranked on ranked matchup of the afternoon hits when the defending national champion Clemson Tigers host the Texas A&M Aggies.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher leads the Aggies into a potential program-changing matchup with the odds-on favorite to win it all. Texas A&M (1-0) didn’t have much of a challenge last weekend defeating Texas State 41-7.
Junior quarterback Kellen Mond did it all for the Aggies completing 19-of-27 passes for 194 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception while adding five carries for 25 yards and rushing touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Clemson Tigers (1-0) haven’t skipped a beat since last season. Clemson defeated Georgia Tech 52-14 lead by the efforts of junior running back Travis Etienne, who was explosive carrying the ball 12 times for 205 yards and three touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence had an off day completing just 13-of-23 passes for 168 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, but made some plays with his leg rushing three carries for 24 yards and one touchdown.
The pick is Clemson (-16.5). Despite his struggles in Week 1, my expectation is that Lawrence will rise to the occasion and take over the game on Saturday. I can understand why the spread would scare some people away in this ranked matchup, but I like Clemson and the only way to make profit on them will be by the spread so I’m going with my gut and hoping for a late touchdown or field goal to cover.
#6 LSU Tigers at #9 Texas Longhorns (+6.5), ABC, 7:30 PM:
This matchup is hands down the must-watch game of the day with serious College Football Playoff implications on the line.
Both LSU (1-0) and Texas (1-0) were barely tested last weekend but will have a serious wake-up call in this marquee matchup.
The Tigers destroyed Texas Southern 55-3 lead by senior quarterback Joe Burrow, who had a nearly perfect day. Burrow completed 85 percent of his passes (23-of-27) for 278 yards and five touchdowns.
The Longhorns dominated Louisiana Tech 45-14 lead by the play of junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who completed 28-of-38 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns, adding eight carries for 34 yards.
The pick is Texas (+6.5), and I’ll even sprinkle the moneyline at +200. I’m anticipating an airtight game that comes down to the wire which is why my play is the Longhorns with the points. I wouldn’t be surprised if LSU’s defense dominates and wins the game for the Tigers, but with the Longhorns playing in Austin, I like Texas to edge out LSU.