It’s the first Saturday of the year and there’s a huge betting menu of games to pick from. We’ve rounded up our three favorites in terms of totals, so here’s a look at what we’re playing.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Auburn Tigers
We’ve got a huge number in this games but that’s mostly based on the Tigers and their brand name. Yes, under Gus Malzahn, they have a prolific offense. However, Louisville has a fairly solid defense and they are going to do a decent job of slowing down the Tigers. They won’t stop them but they’ll slow them down. As for Louisville, their offense is challenged and they only have one returning starter along the offensive line. Auburn is anxious to prove that their defense is improved – especially with Will Muschamp running the show – and this is a good opportunity to make that happen. The perception of this game is to be a high-scoring affair but the reality is that it should be an under.
College Football Pick: Under 57.5 at Bovada
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Texas A&M Aggies
This is a neutral site matchup that has all the makings of a shootout. The Texas A&M defense was in complete shambles last season and it’s questionable if they’ll be any better in 2015. John Chavis is likely to turn them around but it could take some time. The Sun Devils have a very balanced offense that can run it inside, throw and be effective with play-action. They should be able to do whatever they want. On the flipside, the Aggies should be able to keep up. Kyle Allen is a quality starter and he has lots of good receivers to work with – maybe the best in the country. And they’re going up against a Pac-12 defense; we all know that the Pac-12 isn’t known for defensive play.
I’m looking at both teams being in the late 30’s or early 40’s in terms of scoring. This should be a back-and-forth, entertaining affair with lots of points. Take the over.
College Football Pick: Over at Bodog
Virginia Cavaliers vs. UCLA Bruins
We’re looking at a matchup here where the Bruins are starting Josh Rosen at quarterback, who is a true freshman, going up against a Virginia team that doesn’t have much punch to their offense. Although the Bruins are loaded in most places on their roster and Rosen is very talented, I expect them to ease in Rosen. The Cavaliers strength on defense is the backfield with guys like Quin Blanding and Maurice Canada, so UCLA might opt to run the ball a little instead of putting it all on Rosen’s arm right off the bat.
In terms of Virginia’s offense, they aren’t a very competent unit and they need to run the ball to survive in this matchup. They aren’t going to be able to do that effectively as the Bruins are very stout up the middle. Look for UCLA to be around the 28-point range and Virginia to be in the 10-14 point range at the end of the day.
College Football Pick: Under at 5Dimes