College Football Picks: Saturday Night Late Game ATS Betting Guide

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, September 3, 2015 6:04 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 3, 2015 6:04 PM UTC

In case you had a rough start betting on Saturday's early college football action, here's a trio of late games to recoup some potential lost money or add to your bankroll.

Texas State at No. 10 Florida State (-29)
If you have followed the few Florida State stories I wrote this summer, you know I expected that Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson would beat out junior Sean Maguire for the right to replace former Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston as the Seminoles' starting quarterback. And that was indeed made official earlier this week. Golson has way more upside as he accounted for 37 touchdowns last year; only seven players in the country were responsible for more points. And only two players in Notre Dame history threw for more yards than Golson's 3,445 in 2014. He was very turnover-prone, however. Texas State is a Sun Belt Conference team that is led by former Alabama coach Dennis Franchione. The Bobcats were 7-5 last season but didn't play a bowl game. They faced one Power 5 team and lost 42-35 at Illinois. Franchione has 12 starters back.


Pick Analysis: The Seminoles are 5-0 under Jimbo Fisher in season openers and averaged 48 points in those games while allowing just 10.6. Florida State is also 12-0 against unranked non-conference opponents at home under Fisher, outscoring foes by 42.3 points per game.
College Football Free Pick: Florida State -29 (-110) at 5Dimes


Eastern Washington at No. 7 Oregon (-34.5)
Obviously no question who wins this game, but the interesting dynamic is that Oregon's starting quarterback is graduate transfer Vernon Adams, who was a superstar at the FCS level with Eastern Washington the previous three years (121 total touchdowns) before arriving in Eugene this summer. Despite being with the team for only a few weeks -- due to a delay in having to pass a math class -- Adams has won the starting QB job, beating out Jeff Lockie, who was the backup to Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota last season. I suppose if any coaching staff knows Adams' tendencies it would be those at EWU. The Eagles are one of the top programs at the FCS level. Behind Adams, Eastern advanced to the quarterfinal round of the FCS playoffs last year with an offense that led the nation in scoring (44.1 points per game) and set school and Big Sky records for points (618), touchdowns (84) and total offensive plays (1,079). So this game is going to be played at a break-neck pace.


Pick Analysis: Small worry that Oregon is looking ahead to next week's showdown at No. 5 Michigan State, but give the points. Oregon beat Portland State 69-0 five years ago in its last matchup with a Big Sky opponent and has averaged 55.1 points in winning 10 straight home openers.
College Football Free Pick: Oregon -34.5 (-120) at Island Casino


Arkansas State at No. 8 USC (-27)
This is your latest game on the schedule with an 11 p.m. ET start time. The Trojans might have their best team since the end of the Pete Carroll dynasty, although I'm still a tad surprised that AD Pat Haden didn't suspend Coach Steve Sarkisian for this game following Sarkisian's drunken performance recently at a pep rally-type event that went viral. USC might have the nation's best pure passing quarterback in Cody Kessler, who completed 69.7 percent of his passes for 3,826 yards, 39 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 2014. He's the biggest reason why USC is the Pac-12 South favorite and a legitimate contender for a College Football Playoff spot. Also keep an eye on electric USC receiver/returner/cornerback Adroree' Jackson. He may well be the most exciting player in college football. He was used as a three-way player in eight games in 2014. So think Charles Woodson, the only defensive player to win the Heisman. Arkansas State is a Sun Belt Conference team that was 7-6 last season, falling to Toledo in the GoDaddy Bowl.  The Red Wolves played two Power 5 teams, losing 34-19 at Tennessee and 41-20 at Miami. This is another up-tempo team as last year ASU broke school records for total offense (6,194), average yards total offense (476.5 yards per game), total plays (1,024), points scored (477) and touchdowns scored (65).  Arkansas State's only previous game vs. a Pac-12 team was a 57-34 loss at Oregon in 2012. ASU hasn't beaten a non-conference foe on the road since 2008 or a Power 5 team since then.


Pick Analysis: Give the points. Red Devils will score their points but probably allow at least 55. 
College Football Free Pick: USC -27 (-105) at Heritage

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