Bet on Week 1!
With the NBA and NHL seasons complete, we’ve entered the slow portion of the betting calendar. College football is still nearly two months from getting underway, but lines have been posted, and the alert bettor is always on the lookout for value, no matter the time of year.
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A few weeks ago we looked at some underdogs that appear poised to pull off an upset. In this post we’ll look at four teams in position to get their seasons off to a hot start. Lines courtesy of BetOnline.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Texas Tech (-2.5) at SMU
An always potent Texas Tech aerial attack finished second in the nation a year ago, and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury will look to continue that tradition with Michael Brewer under center. Texas Tech returns eight starters to a defense that ranked second in the nation in yards a year ago, so expect that unit to hit the ground running.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs were hit hard by graduation and will trot out a slew of new starters this season. The team lost three starters on the offensive line, and all three starters on the defensive line.
A former Red Raider quarterback himself, Kingsbury gets a national audience for his debut at the helm and he would love to mark his return to the program with a bang.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Ohio State (-33.5) v. Buffalo
Ohio State led the Big Ten in scoring a year ago in the program’s first season under Urban Meyer and they will return nine starters on that side of the ball this season. Expect Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde to put up some gaudy stats before ending their days early. Kenny Guiton showed a year ago that he can keep the Buckeye offense rolling when Miller is on the sideline.
The Bulls had trouble putting up points a year ago and there’s little reason to expect them to do much offensively against the Buckeyes. Buffalo will likely be on the wrong end of a rout in Week 2 as well as a date with Baylor awaits them.
Oklahoma St. (-11.5) v. Mississippi State
Oklahoma State is the last team Mississippi State wanted to open their season against. Mike Gundy’s team can move the ball through the air and that poses a major problem for the Bulldogs. The Mississippi State secondary was a strong point a year ago, but with three starters moving on to the pros the team’s defensive backfield is a cause for concern.
Oklahoma State’s quarterback situation remains dicey, but the team’s receiving corps, led by Josh Stewart, should be rock solid.
Mississippi State struggled when taking the step up in competition a year ago, going 0-5 against bowl teams, and 8-0 against teams that didn’t play the extra game.
Alabama (-18) at Virginia Tech
The Crimson Tide enter this season having lost some key players on defense, but it’s tough to anticipate Nick Saban having any trouble replacing those pieces. On offense, returning starters A.J. McCarron, T.J. Yeldon, and Amari Cooper should have Tide fans quickly forgetting about the departure of Eddie Lacy.
Virginia Tech’s offense struggled a year ago, largely due to a major downturn in the production of quarterback Logan Thomas who took a big step backward in his sophomore season. Virginia Tech averaged 18.5 points per game in their final six contests of the 2012 season. Don’t expect them to mount an offensive resurgence against a tough as nails Alabama defense.
This line has been bet down since it opened, but there’s little reason to expect the Hokies to hang with the Crimson Tide.