College Football Picks: Trio of ATS Bets for Saturday Night

Jordan Sharp

Friday, September 4, 2015 12:10 PM GMT

Our NCAAF Handicappers are diving into the first week of the season. That includes yours truly, so without any further nonsense, here are my 3 best bets for Saturday’s slate of NCAAF Odds. 

Stanford vs. Northwestern
One of the early games on Saturday could be a good one as the 21st ranked Stanford Cardinal heads into Evanston, IL to play Northwestern in their season opener. The NCAAF Odds have the Cardinal as -12 favorites on the road, with a lower total of 47 ½. Although this is the fifth time in a row the Cardinal has been ranked in the Preseason Top 25, they had a disappointing season last year, including a 5-4 SU record in their conference. Even though they came on strong at the end of the season in 2014, the Wildcats actually look like a solid play here as double-digit home underdogs.

As a road team last season Stanford was only 2-4 ATS, and they were even worse as road favorites at 1-3 ATS. The Wildcats on the other hand come into the season with sophomore Justin Jackson primed for a good game here even against the Cardinals defense, and despite them starting a redshirt freshman as their QB, the Wildcats at home should get enough juice for a cover here.

College Football Pick: Northwestern +12

 

Arizona State vs. Texas A&M
In what could be one of the more competitive Saturday night games, the Sun Devils head into College Station, Texas to play the Aggies. The NCAAF Odds for this one are some of the lowest of opening weekend, as the Aggies are -3 ½ favorites, with a total of 70 points. In what could be a shoot out though, I am leaning towards the 15th ranked team here, even on the road. Unlike in the game above, I am fading the inexperienced quarterback in his home opener, and going with an underrated team with everything in place to potentially play for the a shot at the National Championship this season. Beating out USC and Oregon is going to be tough, but the Sun Devils get a chance at both of them this season, and they won’t want to squander a chance at the title with an opening night loss to the Aggies.

The Sun Devils are once again going to have DJ Foster in the mix on offense, and with Mike Bercovici coming in to play QB, the Devils have a chance at this game. Texas A&M was only 1-5 ATS last season when playing at home. Take the points.

College Football Pick: Arizona State +3 ½

 

Texas vs. Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish are another team with National Championship aspirations to start the season, and a win over the Longhorns would put that path in motion here on opening weekend. The odds makers have the Irish as only -9 favorites, and with that kind of value I am all over jumping in on the favorites here at home. The Irish are going to control the ball by running it right up the middle against the Texas defense, and even though they are starting a new quarterback this season after the departure of Everett Golson, the Longhorn defense should not give them enough problems on the road here to worry about that just yet. Expect the Irish to get about 200 yards on the ground in this game or more, and if that’s the case I see them covering.

College Football Pick: Notre Dame -9