Thanks to week zero we started off 2-0 with a nice bloodbank guarantee under in the putrid Florida-Miami game and an easy over in Arizona-Hawaii.
“Tap the vein, boys and girls, tap the vein. My blood-bank guarantee hits. The Florida Gators managed to survive one the drunkest, worst-played college football games I have seen in a long time.”—@ClayTravis pic.twitter.com/StYMAlIxpM
— Outkick the Coverage (@Outkick) August 25, 2019
Now we’re on to week one, where we plan on going 17-0.
This will be the third year we’ve had the picks up early on the Outkick VIP message board. If you love to ride with the Outkick picks — or hate me and want to fade everything that I do — I post my picks Monday on the VIP message board so you can get the earliest numbers possible. Then I’ll post the picks for free here on Wednesday afternoon. This year’s new VIP’s will receive an autographed copy of my new book, Republicans Buy Sneakers Too, access to our VIP events across the nation, a VIP message board, a VIP phone line for my radio show, and other cool experiences, potentially involving the TV show(s), which will be announced on the VIP message board. So make sure you sign up for Outkick VIP today.
Here we go with the picks for week one.
As always, it’s time to get rich, kids.
We’re going 17-0!
Georgia Tech at Clemson -35, now Clemson -37
This is going to be an absolute blood bath for Georgia Tech. In fact, if you’re taking Tech what you’re really hoping for here is Clemson gets up so big so fast that Tech gets an opportunity to backdoor cover late when Clemson has its fourth string out on the field.
I just don’t see that happening, however, because I don’t think Georgia Tech, attempting to run a new offensive system with triple option talent, is going to be able to score very many points against this incredibly fast and athletic Clemson defense.
Add in the fact that the crowd is going to be hyped beyond belief and Clemson wins by 45 or more.
Hop on board and ride the Tigers to an easy win.
UCLA at Cincinnati -2.5
The Bearcats get the Bruins in Cincinnati.
Do you know how often Cincinnati has had a home opening game this big in school history? Never.
That means the environment will be absolutely insane. UCLA is still a year away under Chip Kelly.
Which means the Bearcats win by a field goal or more.
Utah-BYU under 48.5, now 48
What happens when two bitter rivals take the field on the opening weekend of the college football season. Well, we just saw that happen with Florida and Miami. The defenses are ahead of the offenses – except sometimes when it comes to tackling — and it’s frequently an ugly low-scoring game.
Now add in that this isn’t just a rivalry game, but it’s also a battle of religions with Mormon Kyle Whittingham, who played at BYU, leading his infidel Utah Utes program to eight straight victories in this rivalry series.
And how have those eight wins typically played out? With low overall totals.
Five of the eight games have gone under 48 total points and the average score in the eight games has been 46.3.
I think it’s more of the same this year, hop on the under.
Tulsa +22.5 at Michigan State, now Tulsa +22
Michigan State has been wobbly of late and last year that began with the first game of the season when State was very fortunate to survive against Utah State.
Now here comes Tulsa to town for a wacky Friday night game in East Lansing.
Last year Tulsa was competitive against Texas early in the year and they finished off the season fairly strong, meaning they aren’t an absolute tomato can.
That competitiveness continues in East Lansing where Mark Dantonio is desperately trying to prove that he hasn’t lost his mojo. The Spartans are just 13-14 in their past three years of Big Ten games after going 22-2 in the three previous years.
The Spartans get the win, but it’s closer than three touchdowns meaning, cha-ching, you get the win.
Oklahoma State -15 over Oregon State and over 72, now Oklahoma State -14 and 75
Mike Gundy believes in only two things mullets and touchdowns. (And probably Coors Light too, if we’re being honest).
Oregon State is absolutely, positively awful. They can’t stop anyone, not even in the Pac 12.
Hell, they couldn’t even stop Portland State last year, who scored 32 points on them.
The fewest points Oregon State gave up last year in the Pac 12 was 35.
So go ahead and put Oklahoma State down for 55 in this game.
That means all Oregon State needs to score is 21 and you win with ease. Did I mention we’re talking about Oklahoma State’s defense here?
The over is a stone cold BLOOD BANK GUARANTEE LOCK HERE.
Get rich, kids.
Syracuse-Liberty over 66, now 68
What has Hugh Freeze proven time after time? He scores points. What has Dino Babers also proven at Syracuse? He scores a ton of points as well.
So what happens when you bring Syracuse and Liberty together for the opening game of the Hugh Freeze era?
It’s raining points, baby!
(In all honesty, I’m curious how long Hugh Freeze, who will reportedly be coaching from a press box as he recovers from injury, will be at Liberty. I think he hits the ground running with the Flames, starting with this opener against Syracuse.)
Ole Miss-Memphis over 67.5, now 68
They’re going to be walking into the end zone in Memphis.
Mike Norvell wants to send a message to recruits all over the South that his Tigers are good enough to beat SEC opponents. Meanwhile Matt Luke is desperately trying to send his own message — that he’s the guy for Ole Miss.
That means this is an underrated big opening weekend game for both schools. In fact, I actually think Matt Luke has way more at stake here than Mike Norvell.
Neither team trusts its defense at all, which makes sense because both defenses are pretty mediocre.
What’s that mean?
By the end of the third quarter you’ll have your over win.
South Carolina-North Carolina under 63, now 63.5
Mack Brown is back on the sidelines for North Carolina going up against Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks in an intriguing opening season match up for both teams.
The SEC now holds a 19-5 leads in the past 26 season opening games between SEC and ACC teams. That would make you think there’s a strong value here on South Carolina on the money line.
But the Gamecocks are now a double digit favorite, meaning there isn’t much of a payoff there.
While Mack Brown’s flush with the luxury of time, Will Muschamp’s entering into his fourth year at South Carolina, where he’s gone 22-17 overall, 12-12 in the SEC.
Facing some early pressure to win a big regional game, I think Muschamp reverts to what he knows best — defense and takes the air out of this game.
A low scoring slugfest of a game.
It will be ugly to watch for most but not for you, because you’ll have the under.
Bama -33.5 vs. Duke, now Bama -34.5
Alabama has lost four bowl or playoff games under Nick Saban.
In three of the next four seasons they won the national championship.
That suggests that an offseason loss really gets the Tide’s attention.
As if that weren’t enough, Alabama rolls into these neutral site season openers, only failing to cover once in the past seven games, a 2014 competitive game against West Virginia.
I know the Tide has injury and suspension issues, but that may well matter later. For now? It won’t.
My prediction for Duke?
Lots of pain.
Bama by 45 or more.
Northwestern-Stanford under 49, now 47.5
David Shaw’s out of conference Stanford games have gone under 61% of the time.
Pat Fitzgerald’s typical Northwestern teams are gritty, defensive led teams.
So what happens when the best school in the Big Ten and the best school in the Pac 12 go head-to-head battling for gridiron supremacy in academics?
The under hits without a shadow of a doubt.
FAU at Ohio State over 63.5 now 63.5
Lane Kiffin is not rolling into Columbus and playing dead. He’s coming out guns blazing for an opportunity to bring all the nation’s acclaim and attention back upon him.
Meanwhile Ohio State will be breaking in a new coach and a new quarterback. What do both Ryan Day and Justin Fields have in common? A desire to win big early in the season to help quell the doubters.
That means points, lots of points on both sides.
Boom, here we go, the over cashes with ease.
Toledo +12.5 at Kentucky, now Toledo +11.5
Kentucky fans are convinced their ten win season last year wasn’t a mirage.
Unfortunately, it was a mirage.
Toledo can score points and they’ll have some success on Kentucky’s defense, now depleted of the best defensive player in school history, Josh Allen.
Don’t be surprised when it’s a close game in the fourth quarter and while Kentucky wins, Toledo stays inside the number.
Mizzou -17 at Wyoming, now Mizzou -18
Last year Mizzou whipped Wyoming 40-13 in Columbia.
This year, even without Drew Lock, it will be more of the same as this feels like Barry Odom’s best team so far. Kelly Bryant will make his debut in Derek Dooley’s offense, but he’ll be surrounded by a cavalcade of returning playmakers.
The defense will be deeper and more sound, leaving the Cowboys with limited chances to post big plays.
Mizzou by three touchdowns or more.
Georgia at Vanderbilt over 57.5, now 58
When Vanderbilt hired Derek Mason they brought him in for his defensive acumen.
Interestingly, Vanderbilt has been awful on defense of late — while being pretty decent offensively — and I don’t see that changing this year.
The result? Georgia puts up a decent amount of points, but Vandy also scores 20 or more as well as a result of solid NFL talent at wide receiver, tight end, and running back.
Georgia 42 Vandy 21 — and an easy Saturday night over for an SEC season opener.
Auburn -3 vs Oregon, now Auburn -3.5
Oregon desperately needs to win this game to uphold the honor of the Pac 12 and Gus Malzahn desperately needs to win this game to avoid immediately sitting on the hottest seat in college football.
In four of the last five years Auburn has lost five or more games and failed to win more than eight. That ain’t good when you’re in the same state as Nick Saban.
Want an even wilder stat?
Gus Malzahn is just 28-20 in SEC games. Putting that into perspective, Nick Saban has lost just 13 SEC games in 12 seasons. In fact, Saban has only lost 21 games total in his entire tenure at Alabama.
How much better could Auburn do than Malzahn? That’s unclear. But at least Malzahn’s been 5-1 in openers at Auburn.
Make it 6-1 after a win and a cover over Oregon.
Houston vs. Oklahoma, the over 82
It’s Dana Holgorsen vs. Lincoln Riley, let’s not overthink this, take the over, kids.
Yes, even thought it’s 82.
17-0, here we go!
College football season is back and it’s time to get rich.
Respect the picks and let’s roll.