Looking Ahead: Week 1 College Football Parlay
4-Leg Parlay Odds +1279: Turn $50 into $689!
First Leg: USC Trojans (+16.5) @ -110
The Alabama Crimson Tide enter the 2020 season with a slight lack of offensive identity. Alabama moves on from three-year starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, as well as wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III who are all potential first-round picks in the NFL Draft.
Yet, Alabama still returns the team’s leading rusher and receiver. Running back Najee Harris rushed for 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns, and added 304 receiving yards with seven receiving touchdowns. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith totaled over 1,000 yards himself posting 1,256 yards with 14 touchdowns.
The USC Trojans are coming off a solid 2019 season where they finished (8-4) in the regular season and returned to a bowl game after missing the year prior.
Quarterback Kedon Slovis had himself a sensational freshman season, throwing for 3,502 yards, 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Slovis led the sixth highest passing offense in the nation, averaging 335.8 passing yards per game.
Most teams tend to start slowly to begin the season, and although Alabama is usually a well-oiled machine, the coronavirus won’t benefit anyone as teams will be restricted from having spring games and mini camps. My expectation is the 16.5-point spread will be a bit too heavy for the Crimson Tide to cover right out of the gates.
Second Leg: Ohio State Moneyline @ -250
The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off a perfect regular season (13-0) which ended in the College Football Playoff Semifinals with a 29-23 loss to the Clemson Tigers.
Leading the Buckeyes under center for another season is the Heisman Trophy frontrunner Justin Fields. Last season, Fields threw for 3,273 yards with the third most touchdowns in the nation (41), and only three interceptions (one in the regular season).
The Oregon Ducks look to pick up where they left last season after capping off an impressive (12-2) season with a thrilling 28-27 Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin.
However, that’ll be no easy task as Oregon suffers a major loss in four-year starting quarterback Justin Herbert to the NFL Draft.
Despite the loss, the Ducks return the team’s leading rusher CJ Verdell. Verdell has rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season totaling 1,220 yards with eight touchdowns.
Without Herbert, I’m anticipating the Ducks to struggle keeping up with the Buckeyes. Look for Fields to have a huge day, and Ohio State to start off the season strong.
Third Leg: Texas Moneyline @ +170
The national champion LSU Tigers completed a perfect (15-0) season, and put up historical numbers behind the Heisman Trophy winner quarterback Joe Burrow.
Not only will LSU lose Burrow to the NFL Draft, but also the team’s leading rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the second leading receiver Justin Jefferson. The lone key returner for the Tigers is the nation’s leading receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Chase led the nation in both yards (1,780) and touchdowns (20).
Despite coming off a disappointing 2019 season (8-5), there are some major positives for the Longhorns heading into this season as Texas returns starting quarterback Sam Ehlinger, leading rusher Keaontay Ingram and leading tackler Joseph Ossai.
These two teams met last season in a thrilling high-scoring 45-38 win for the Tigers. In that matchup, Ehlinger matched Burrow stride for stride, throwing for 401 yards and four touchdowns with 60 rushing yards and rushing score.
Although the public’s money will most likely be placed on the defending national nhampions, I’m doing the opposite and taking the Longhorns. My expectation is the Tigers will struggle to find enough production on offense without Burrow to keep up with Ehlinger and the Longhorns.
Fourth Leg: Michigan Wolverines (-2.5) @ -110
The Michigan Wolverines felt short of expectations in an underwhelming (9-4) season after losing to three ranked Big Ten rivals - Wisconsin, Penn State and Ohio State -before falling to Alabama in the Citrus Bowl.
Defense was the identity of the Wolverines last season, allowing only (19.5 ppg). Michigan’s silver lining on offense was freshman running back Zach Charbonnet, who rushed for 726 yards and 11 touchdowns.
After winning the PAC-12 in 2018, the Washington Huskies came crashing back down to earth with a fourth-place finish in the PAC-12 North at (8-5).
Washington will have a big hole to fill under center with the loss of quarterback Jacob Eason to the NFL Draft. The Huskies will have to lean on running back Salvon Ahmed who put together his first 1,000-yard season, rushing for 1,020 yards with 11 touchdowns.
The Wolverines’ only losses last season came at the hands of ranked opponents. With that said, talent isn’t the issue for Michigan. I’m anticipating the Wolverine defense will be too much for Washington to handle, and cause the Huskies to struggle keeping up on the scoreboard.