Take Utah St. vs. Tennessee 'Under' for College Football Bet

Jeff Grant

Friday, August 29, 2014 1:08 PM GMT

The Utah State Aggies have developed a reputation of playing hard-nosed defense against premier non-conference opponents, which will lead to a low-scoring season opener against the Tennessee Volunteers.  

Life on the Road
Utah State has dropped 16 consecutive road openers, which is important to consider when making your College Football picks Sunday, but the last four setbacks have been by seven or fewer points.

The Aggies are also a forgettable 1-16 SU all-time against Southeastern Conference opponents, with the lone victory coming at Kentucky in 1970.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 1-3 SU and 3-1 ATS as underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points, with the 'under' cashing in three of those affairs.

 

Time to Open Things Up
Tennessee needs to be respected as a 5.5-point favorite on the College Football odds page, considering it has won 19 consecutive home openers and second year head coach Butch Jones is expecting a sell-out crowd at Neyland Stadium.

Jones has won four of his seven season openers over the course of his coaching career, including a 45-0 victory over Austin Peay as 50-point home favorites last year in his Knoxville debut.

College football handicappers will find that the school is 9-15 ATS since the start of the 2012 campaign.

 

Keeton is Back
Aggies signal-caller Chuckie Keeton missed the final eight games of the 2013 season with a knee injury, but the unit was still able to set single-season school records with 297 pass completions and 1,073 plays.

Keeton is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, as he ranks third all-time with 7,114 yards of total offense, while his 56 career touchdown passes occupies the No. 2 spot in school history.

He’s a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender, but I’m not sure he’s going to be the same type of runner out of the gate this season, as he may elect to stay in the pocket more due to last year’s injury.

 

Inexperience in the Trenches
The Volunteers are the only team in major college football that doesn’t return a starter on the offensive or defensive line, which is a cause for concern in looking to improve upon last year’s 5-7 record.

Tennessee’s season-opening depth chart includes 28 underclassmen on offense and defense—tied for the third-most nationally in that all-important category.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their Week 1 College Football picks, as the Aggies have fallen short of the number in both games as road underdogs of 3.5 to 7 points the previous two seasons.

Free College Football Pick: Under 51.5 at Pinnacle Sports

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