College football week 1 predictions and picks against the spread
Finally, college football is back!
Although the big named teams have yet to take the field, it is just good to be talking football once again. In the first week of the season, it is important to take your time looking for value. Choose the best sportsbook and make informed wagers when you make your College football week 1 predictions and picks against the spread. Remember, patience and money management will make for a profitable season!
South Alabama vs Southern Mississippi
All eyes will be on the Thursday night football game showcasing South Alabama vs Southern Mississippi. Although another game has already been played, this is technically the first game of the season. Southern Miss is the better team which is why sportsbooks have listed this team as a double-digit favorite. However, they are going to miss key players like end Jacques Turner, linebacker Racheem Boothe and safety Shannon Showers who all opted to transfer this season. The Golden Eagles are sloppy with the football and always turn the ball over. It is difficult to bet on a team that can’t hold onto the ball, especially if they are double-digit favorites.
The smart money came in South Alabama. Steve Campbell starts his third season as the coach of the Jaguars and this is a very well-coached team. They can run the ball as they were 54th in the nation in rushing offense last season. This beefy offensive line will be able to open up lanes against a tough Golden Eagles run defense. Running the ball successfully is key to this game and it will take time off the clock.
The Golden Eagles are 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in the last six games on Thursday night football. The Jaguars are 4-1 ATS in the last five games as an underdog and in the last five games overall.
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Middle Tennessee State vs Army
Watching the service academy football teams can be a bit boring, especially if you are not a fan of running the football. That is what you can expect when the Army Black Knights tussle with the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders on Saturday. Army will have an edge in this game on the ground.
The Blue Raiders do not return a starter on defense, that plays in the front seven. This team allowed over 190 yards rushing per game last year which equates to over five yards a carry! They have to replace seven of the top tacklers from last year and that is hard to do and be ready for the opener. They have had plenty of time to prepare for the triple-option that the Black Knights will run. The problem is that you have to be defensively disciplined if you want to stop this type of offense. That does not happen with very young players.
Army will control the clock and tire out the Middle Tennessee defense. Army has success early in the season as the Black Knights are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games in September. The Blue Raiders are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in September and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Army wins this game.
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BYU vs Navy
Another service academy will play a big game in the first week of college football. The Navy Midshipmen will have a tough task as they face the BYU Cougars on Monday night. This will be a contrast of offenses as Navy loves to grind it out on the ground and BYU prefers a wide-open passing attack.
BYU is very experienced and they have a solid defense that can match up against the run. They are very deep at linebacker and will have the reserves to avoid getting tired against the constant ground game. On offense, the Cougars received bad news when tight end Matt Bushman was lost for the year due to injury. Zach Wilson leads the team at QB and this will be his third year. He is comfortable with this offense and will be protected behind a deep and talented offensive line.
The Midshipmen are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five versus Independent teams and will have to replace a quarterback that led the team in rushing. This is a disciplined team and this game will be close, but in the end, the Cougars will win.
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