College Football Picks: Saturday NCAAF Betting Value Pack

Doug Upstone

Friday, August 30, 2013 6:27 PM GMT

It is the first big college football Saturday of the year. Here are some games that were on my original board a week ago. Let's check out the current betting odds for our college football picks.

Northern Illinois at Iowa 3:30 ET BTN

The Iowa football program is in reverse and it is likely to continue this season. Kirk Ferentz has done a wonderful job in Iowa City, but is not recruiting at previous levels and the team lacks speed across the board.

Northern Illinois played in the Orange Bowl earlier this year and comes with the confidence of knowing they can compete with anyone, especially a team they should have beaten last year. The offense has QB Jordan Lynch back and all five offensive linemen.

I would not make a major play, but I would rather have the points than give them in an even matchup. (Possibly wait till Saturday to catch +3.5)

College Football Free Pick- Northern Illinois +3

[gameodds]6/240973/?r-1=19-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky  7:00 ET  ESPN News

This is an interesting confrontation of Commonwealth State competitors with many ways to view outcome. Both teams have new coaches which alone has to create doubt for each unit.

Western Kentucky is the more veteran team and on the upswing after two winning seasons. Kentucky has more total team talent, yet it is impossible to ignore the Hilltoppers are 13-1 ATS as underdogs, explaining in part why they have fallen from +7 to +4.5 for this neutral site contest.

Though line value has been lost, this looks like a three-point contest and I’ll snap up the points.  

College Football Free Pick- Western Kentucky +4.5

[gameodds]6/238938/?r-1=19-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State  3:20 ET  ABC/ESPN2

Houston will be the site for this SEC/Big 12 confrontation and the stakes will be high for conference pride with these two universities. Oklahoma State is the favorite to win the Big 12 and offense is seldom discussed as problem with coach Mike Gundy in the room. Clint Chelf is the established quarterback and he will toss the leather to the league’s best wide receivers. The Cowboys changed defensive coordinators and will look to turn up the pressure.

At what point does Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen tire of trying to move ahead in the loaded SEC West? The Bulldogs are competent enough to be in anybody’s Top 45, which is another minor bowl appearance. QB Tyler Russell directs the MSU offense which should move the ball.

Cannot overlook Okie State is 30-14 ATS handing out double digits and in a subset of this angle, they are 15-5 ATS as a betting odds favorite of 10.5 to 21 points.

College Football Free Pick- Oklahoma State -12.5

[gameodds]6/238931/?r-1=19-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Nevada at UCLA  10:00 ET  PAC12N

Former head coach Chris Ault twice replaced Nevada football coaches as the athletic director with himself and he was right on both occasions as being the right person for the job. This will not be the case this time as he’s officially retired (I think) after 28 years in Reno. His replacement, Brian Polian has never been a head coach at any level, period.

ant again with Jim Mora Jr. immediately making an impact. He demanded the existing players give more effort, he recruited well and Brett Hundley is a good looking quarterback.

The Bruins are 15-4 ATS in lidlifters and Nevada is 1-13 SU in road openers. This could get ugly.

College Football Free Pick- UCLA -21

[gameodds]6/238947/?r-1=19-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Boise State at Washington  10:00 ET  FS1

Boise State captured 11 games last season, but it was a difficult club to read compared to the past and this year’s bunch will start in similar fashion. The Broncos offense was the poorest in head coach Chris Peterson’s 12-year association with Boise State and the defense somehow managed to bail them out, allowing 15.8 points a game with a less talented group. The roles will be flipped to begin 2013, with QB Joe Southwick needing a quick start to help a reformulated defense.

This is expected to be Steve Sarkisian’s best Washington club, with 17 returning starters. The offense will ignite if QB Keith Price plays as well as he did two years ago and the defense improves with a pass rush.

These teams met in the Las Vegas Bowl last December and the Huskies out-gained Boise State by 40 yards, but had two crucial turnovers in losing 28-26 as four-point underdogs. This will be the reopening of Husky Stadium and the building will be electric. The Broncos deserve consideration for their 22-11 ATS non-conference road record, but it will not be enough against revenge-minded Washington. so we should keep that in mind when making our College Football Picks.

College Football Free Pick- Washington -3 at bet 365

[gameodds]6/238948/?r-1=19-349-192/us[/gameodds]