NCAAF Saturday Value Plays: Chalk Could Be Best Value In Week 1

LSU-BYU CFB picks

Willie Bee

Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:24 PM GMT

Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 1:24 PM GMT

New coaches take the reins for a pair of Big 12 rivals, with Texas and Oklahoma each at home and both carrying sizeable chalk on the NCAA football odds to begin the 2017 campaign.

Last Saturday only whetted our appetite for college football; this Saturday is the real deal, and the evening culminates with a couple of marquee games involving SEC teams.

Sports bars around my neck o’ the woods are already buzzing with anticipation for the prime-time battle between Florida State and Alabama, and why not? It’s a legitimate preview for one of the eventual College Football Playoff matchups, the loser still the favorite to win their respective conference and go through the rest of the fixture unscathed. I liked the Crimson Tide -7 about a month ago when I first took a look at the contest, and still do.

Another preview from earlier this summer is the clash in the New Orleans Superdome pitting LSU against BYU. Though the game is inside, we have to keep a watch on the weather since Hurricane Harvey could still muck things up after it already forced the game to be shifted out of Houston. The line has moved about a touchdown from the Tigers -10 at opening up to -16/-17 after the Cougars struggled a bit to beat Portland State last week. The real value might be on the total where I like ‘under’ 48.

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Could Rain Affect Golden Bears & Tar Heels?
Before we get to those two games and after taking in 23 matches combined on Thursday and Friday, we have a couple of Bloody Mary encounters to kick off our Saturday. One of those where I’m finding value takes place in Austin between Texas and Maryland. The noon (ET) boot is carried by FS1 with the Longhorns favored by 18½ at BetOnline.

Tom Herman walked into a plethora of talent at Texas with 17 returning starters from a squad that consistently underachieved under Charlie Strong. Maryland is no slouch with 14 coming back, though the Terrapins struggled against the big guys in the Big Ten. I like Herman and the ‘Horns to try and make a statement in this game with a lopsided rout to open 2017.

If you’ve been following me the last nine years, you know I’m always watching the weather. This weekend is certainly no exception, and in addition to the BYU-LSU game that has already been affected by the devastating storm in the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a system along the East Coast that could impact the game in Chapel Hill between North Carolina and California. Rain is already saturating the area right now and though it tails off come Saturday, it’s going to be a soggy field. Current NCAA football odds have 55½ for the total, and the value is on the ‘under.’

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Sooners Tune Up For Big Week 2 Trip To Columbus
One place that shouldn’t be affected by precipitation on Saturday is Norman where Oklahoma kicks off the Lincoln Riley era by hosting Texas-El Paso. The Sooners are huge 43 point favorites against the Miners, and I suspect Heisman contender Baker Mayfield could have the OU offense clicking with that spread covered by halftime. The question is, will Riley ease off with a big lead and save some players for the matchup next week at Ohio State? Even so, the Sooners should skate to a cover and may even top the 63 point total on their own.

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You can bet SBR will be including that Oklahoma-Ohio State battle on next week’s free college football picks lineup, along with several other tasty games such as Pittsburgh-Penn State and Georgia-Notre Dame.

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