Trio of Totals Picks for First Thursday of Season

pj fleck

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 1:01 PM GMT

Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 1:01 PM GMT

Since the sort of official start of the NCAA schedule was dubbed "Week 0," we continue with a more traditional Thursday night slate to really get the festivities started in college football.

We have six main lined contests among FBS schools Thursday, with a host of other games all weekend to largely be counted on as wins for the larger football programs -- and of course there will be an upset or two and closer than anticipated outcomes. Here, we have a trio of hopefully mouth-watering totals calls against the college football odds and I would like nothing more than have a bust out opening night for you.

 

Buffalo at Minnesota

With new head coach P.J. Fleck, Minnesota will have diversified offense in time but his bread and butter is wanting to have a ground game that punish the opposing team and gain six or more yards a carry. While the Buffalo defense is thought to be better, the other side of the coin is it could hardly be worse against the run and finished 124th last year. Buffalo's Lance Leipold is a good X's and O's coach and his top offensive asset is sophomore QB Tyree Jackson, who 6-foot-7, 245 pounds with a cannon for an arm and better than expected mobility. The Golden Gophers should win this contest handily, with the Bulls scoring in the fourth quarter, making this an 'over' bet for college football picks.

Free NCAAF Pick: 'Over' 50Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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New Mexico State at Arizona State

Todd Graham begins his sixth season under the microscope in the Valley of Sun. After two losing seasons, Graham had to make staff changes to correct having the worst pass defense in the country two years in a row. Enter veteran DC Phil Bennett, who seems to have been everywhere and will try and shore up the defense. New Mexico State, while improved, still only scored 21.9 points a game on the road a year ago. Unless Arizona State scores 60, what Sun Devils fans will be looking for if their team can keep the Aggies under 20.

Free NCAAF Pick: 'Over' 71.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Florida International at Central Florida

Then first-year coach Scott Frost really changed the mindset of the Central Florida program, as it went from 0-12 in 2015 to .500 in the 2016 regular season and a bowl game. Frost added accountability and wanted more precision in all aspects, particularly on defense, where enough speed and talent was available, just not the focus. UCF should be able to dominate Sunshine State partner Florida International in the trenches on both sides of the ball. With the Knights running the ball without much of a passing offense and the Panthers unlikely to have long drives, a UCF win by 37-14 or 35-17 sounds accurate.

Free NCAAF Pick: 'Under' 57Best Line Offered: Bovada

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