Day Two of the college football season has three national cable contests with three favorites looking to make a strong impression. We have selected three of tonight's matchups for our betting purposes, as we believe that each hold great value for our College Football picks.
Western Michigan at Michigan State 8:00 ET BTN
Michigan State has 16 returnees back in the fold for 2013, yet questions abound coach Mark Dantonio’s squad. The offense was pathetic last season outside of running back Le'Veon Bell, which places the pressure on quarterback Andrew Maxwell. The second-year starter will need to improve upon his 52.5 percent completion percentage and it would help a great deal if the Spartans receivers did not lead the Big Ten in drops again.
Michigan State returns seven starters from a group which was fourth in the country in total defense (274.4 YPG) and ninth in scoring (16.3 PPG allowed) last season. Sparty will have to find some answers in the defensive line, however, the linebacker position is well-manned by Max Bullough.
Western Michigan has a new coach in P.J. Fleck and only has 10 starters to work with to begin the season.
The Broncos lack the speed and skill to play with Michigan State and installing new systems only complicates matters. It might not be in a burst, but the Spartans wear down Western Michigan.
College Football Free Pick- Michigan State -28
According to preseason prognosticators from college football magazines, Miami of Florida might soon have the alumni proudly flashing the ‘U’ symbol again, being the college football odds favorites to win the ACC Coastal.
This journey begins against a school not too far away in Florida Atlantic. The Hurricanes offense might be a potent as any in the ACC with 10 starters returning, which includes triggerman Stephen Morris, who threw 21 touchdowns and had just seven picks. Miami averaged a couples clicks past 440 yards last season and brings back the entire offensive line along with top receiver Phillip Dorsett (58 catches) and running back Duke Johnson, who was second in the conference in rushing.
Miami also returns 10 defensive starters, which is not necessarily good news since they allowed 30.5 points a game, the worst in school history.
The Owls were improved in their second year under coach Carl Pelini. Their 3-9 record might impress few, but they were 8-3 ATS. Pelini welcomes back 15 starters, unfortunately, one is not the quarterback and JC transfer Melvin German III is the presumed starter.
The Canes are doling out around 32 points and Florida Atlantic is susceptible to the run after finishing 102nd against rush last season. Miami gains nothing from running up the score against the fellas from Boca Raton and the Owls swoop in under the number.
College Football Free Pick- Florida Atlantic +32
After three ordinary seasons, Tommy Tuberville flew the coup from Lubbock which might turn out to be a blessing. It has been mostly tumultuous for Texas Tech, who is ready for tranquility and they brought in one of their own, former quarterback Kliff Kingsbury, who takes over the Red Raiders program after a successful stint with Texas A&M as an offensive coordinator.
Kingsbury has to develop the next great passer for Texas Tech and his top candidate is Michael Brewer, for a team which was second in the country is passing yards. The first-year coach also has other spots to fill in the offensive line to afford his quarterback protection.
The Red Raiders welcome back six defensive players, which is more than they can say for their defensive coaches, as Matt Wallerstedt will be the fifth different defensive coordinator in five years at Texas Tech.
SMU moves up to a presumed better conference, but does it really gain anything? The Mustangs make the switch to the AAC with other former C-USA teams, but does it help the program?
Garrett Gilbert returns after a yo-yo season and coach June Junes is expecting greater reliability this season from his quarterback. The Mustangs were abysmal against the pass a year ago allowing 278.2 yards per contest. Without three of its best pass rushers from a year ago, this could spell real trouble against Texas Tech who will bring the offensive pressure.
Texas Tech has slipped down to a five-point road favorite, with the total a 60. With SMU 1-10 ATS at home when the total is between 56.5 and 63 and lacking the speed to stay with Red Raiders pass catchers, the home team tumbles, losing its 15th in a row to fellow Texans.
College Football Free Pick- Texas Tech -5