So much for these being shorter. Whoops. I'll save everyone time; here are the break down for some of the top games this weekend, and my picks are at the bottom. Scroll through to find what you want and need, and if you read the whole thing I'm impressed. Thursday night had some really good, or at least interesting, games, so here's hoping that the rest of the weekend slate keeps up. Remember to tune into the Barstool College Football show at 10 am EST on Saturday. Also; a very cordial fuck you to all the Virginia Tech believers and fans. Go Heels and go college football.
Michigan State @ Northwestern, Friday @9pm
Matchup: MSU has won the L2, ending a 3 year NU win streak. The L5 meetings went over.
Michigan State: Mel Tucker was one of the last HC hires, barely had time with team before covid hit. Last year they beat #13 Michigan and #8 Northwestern, but were shut out by Indiana 24-0. They are 32nd in returners on O, and 115th on D. They have rebuilt via the transfer portal. Haven’t named a QB1 (as of Tuesday) between Payton Thorne who closed out the year, and Temple transfer Anthony Russo.
Are 1-4 ATS/SU and the over is 4-1 in L5.
As an underdog are 2-12 ATS, and the over is 4-1. As an away underdog are 1-6 ATS. When an underdog by less than 7, have gone 0-5 SU/ATS, and the L4 went under.
Northwestern: They are dead last in returning production, 32% of the offense is back, and 47% of the defense. Hunter Johnson is QB1. Lost their top RB (by a solid gap) Cam Porter for the season due to injury. Long time DC Mike Hankwitz retired.
Are 9-1 ATS in their L10 games, and the under went 8-2.
Have gone 4-0 ATS/under/SU at the L4 at home. As a home favorite, the L6 have gone under.
When a favorite by less than 7, have gone 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS. When a home favorite by less than 7, the under is 12-1.
The under is 6-1 in the L7 season openers.
#23 Louisiana @ #21 Texas, @4:30pm (opened Texas -14.5)
Matchup: Haven’t met since 2005.
Texas: 120th in returning production. Hudson Card is QB1, offense will revolve around RB Bijan Robinson. OC Kyle Flood was Alabama’s OL coach. co-DC Jeff Choate comes from 4 years as Montana State HC. co-DC Pete Kwiatkowski comes from being Washington’s DC. Last year they were 7th nationally in scoring ppg, but 108th in passing ypg allowed. Need to fix their secondary.
Is 12-5 SU against non-conference teams.
Are 9-1 SU as a home favorite.
When favored by 7+, the over is 10-1, and are 5-2 ATS.
The L5 HC in their first game vs a ranked opponent, lost SU.
Louisiana: 95% in overall returning production, 2nd nationally; 4th on D, 8th on O. Their pass defense was 1st in the SBC, and 6th nationally. QB1 Levi Lewis is back for his 5th year. Have to replace the top 2, load heavy, RBs, but everyone from the WR and TE rotation, and OL is back.
Are 2-20 SU all time against B12 teams, one came last year vs. Iowa State
On a 7 game win streak.
As an underdog, are 4-1 ATS.
Against a ranked opponent, the over is 4-1.
When an underdog by 7+, are 5-0-1 ATS.
#17 Indiana @ #18 Iowa, @3:30pm
Matchup: Iowa has won and covered the L3 meetings, most recent one was in 2018; all 3 went over. (‘14, ‘15, ‘18). Since 2019, in ranked matchups, when the favorite is at home, they’re 34-5 SU.
Indiana: Are 36th in overall returning production. Have WR Ty Fryfogle back, he averaged 90.1 ypg. LB Micah McFadden is one of the best LBs Indiana has had in 30+ years. Is Indiana actually taking a step up, or was the covid year just a fluke? Michael Penix Jr. is back at QB1.
As the away team, are 6-1 ATS. As the away team against a ranked opponent, have covered the L6. As an away underdog, they’ve covered the L7.
When an underdog, have covered the L5, and are 8-1 ATS in the L9. Have covered the L4 games when an underdog by less than 7, and the over is 6-2.
Have covered the L7 games vs. Big 10 teams.
L3 games have gone under, are 4-1 for the under in the L5.
Iowa: won their L6 games, and only allowed more than 21 points once all season. Have a 22 game streak of allowing 24 points or less. Are 98th in overall returning production. Have RB Tyler Goodson back, he averaged 95.25 rushing ypg. QB1 is Spencer Petras.
At home, the under is 7-1. When favored at home, under is 6-1 and are 10-1 SU.
When playing a ranked team at home, the L3 have gone under. Have won their L6 against a ranked team when favored by less than 7.
Are 5-1 ATS in the L6 games.
#19 Penn State @ #12 Wisconsin, @12pm
Matchup: Penn State has won the L4, with the most recent being in 2018.
Penn State: Started 0-5, and finished on a 4 game win streak. Are 56th in overall returning production. Sean Clifford is QB1. Have RB Noah Cain back from a 2020 injury, and WR Jahan Dotson will lead the receivers. For both rushers and receivers, have 4 out of the top 5 of each back this year. Only 1 DL returns, and none of the DEs. The secondary will likely be the strength of the defense.
Won and covered their L4 games.
Have lost their L8 games as an away underdog, and lost their L7 games as an underdog.
When away at a ranked team, the under is 4-1. When an underdog to a ranked team, they have lost the L6.
Just not good on the road, and an under team.
Wisconsin: Their top RB Jalen Berger was dealing with a leg injury during camp. 32nd in returning production. QB Graham Mertz had a good season opener in 2020, then got hit with covid, and wasn’t the same afterwards. Top 3 receivers are back. Defense was 1st in the B10, and 5th nationally in ypg allowed in 2020. Have 8 scholarships RBs.
In their L5 games, Wisco is 1-4 ATS, and 4-1 for the under.
In home games they are 9-1 SU, but are 1-4 ATS in L5.
When favored by less than a TD, the over is 7-1.
#1 Alabama vs. #14 Miami, in Atlanta @3:30pm
Matchup: Haven’t met since 1993.
Alabama: They have to reload on 3 Heisman finalists and an OC. Is this the normal reload for them, or is it more than usual or will Alabama be Alabama? 128th in returning production on offense, 69th on D. QB1 is Bryce Young. RB is Brian Robinson Jr. WR is John Metchie III.
Has won their L19 season openers, and their L10 neutral site openers by 25 ppg.
Alabama is 5-0 SU at the Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Are 10-4 for the over in their last 14 games in August and September.
In the regular season they were 8-3 ATS last year, and 7-4 for the over.
Miami: Biggest question here is if QB D’Eriq King is fully healthy. Star DL Zion Nelson was questionable, but seems healthy for the game, could still not be 100%. Played Clemson (-15) in October last year and lost 42-17. 12th overall in returning production. One of the most experienced OLs in cfb history. Got WR Charleston Rambo from Oklahoma. Lot of dropped passes last year with WRs.
Have lost their L7 neutral site games, and went 1-6 ATS. (were favored in 4)
Are 1-4 ATS as an underdog against ranked opponents.
As an underdog, the under is 9-2.
#5 Georgia vs. #3 Clemson, in Charlotte @ 7:30pm
Matchup: Is at Bank of America Stadium, which is home to the ACC Championship which Clemson has won the L4. Clemson hasn't lost a season opener since 2014 at Georgia. Georgia hasn't lost a season opener since 2013 at Clemson. Clemson needs this more. Georgia won the last meeting 45-21 in 2014.
Georgia: Could be/probably without WR Dominic Blaylock, S Tykee Smith, TE Arik Gilbert, and TE Darnell Washington. At most they won’t be 100%. 126th in returning production on D. Have JT Daniels back at QB1.
Has won their L7 season openers; their last loss was at Clemson in 2013.
At neutral stadiums, are 5-1-2 for the under, and are 2-4 ATS in L6.
Have lost their L4 as an underdog.
Against ranked opponents, the under is 9-3 in the L12.
Clemson: It seems WR Justyn Ross will be back, and pretty close to 100% if not at it. WR Joseph Ngata is unlikely, or at least not 100%. 40th in returning production on D, 122th on O. Starting QB is DJ Uiagalelei.
Are 8-1 SU in their L9 when favored by less than a TD.
In non-conference games are 5-9 ATS.
Since 2019 are 3-5 ATS in non-conference games.
#16 LSU @ UCLA, @ 8:30pm
Matchup: 1st meeting between the teams. Was UCLA that good, or was Hawai’i that bad? Running is big for UCLA, can LSU stop it?
LSU: 104th in returning production on O. Max Johnson is QB1. Have the likely best CB duo in the nation in Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks. Have a new DC after the Bo Pelini catastrophe. WR Kayshon Boutte will lead receivers. Have 5 new coaches on staff. Have been practicing in Houston since the weekend due to the Hurricane.
Has opened against a Pac12 team 4 times since 2004, and have won all 4, but are 2-2ATS.
Orgeron is 15-7SU/14-6ATS on the road during his time at LSU.
Their L3 games went over. In the L5 they’re 4-1 ATS.
UCLA: is coming off of a 44-10 win over Hawai’i. 244 yards rushing and only 148 yards passing. RB Zach Charbonnet, in 6 attempts, had 106 rushing yards and 3 TDs. They limited Hawai’i to 26 rushing yards, and got 2 interceptions off of them. Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a QBR of 41.8 (Adrian Martinez had 52.5 for perspective). 6th overall in returning production, and 3rd on O.
Are 1-3 ATS with non-conference games.
Against ranked teams, the over is 4-1.
When an underdog by less than 7, the under is 6-2.
#9 Notre Dame @ FSU, Sunday @7:30pm
Matchup: ND has won the L2 meetings, most recent was in 2020 at home, 42-26.
FSU: has lost the last 2 meetings against Notre Dame, which were both in South Bend. Is 33rd in returning production on O, but 97th on D. Have Mckenzie Milton as QB (who should be 100%?) as well as returner Jordan Travis, who was a mobile threat. Seems Travis will get more time.
Have lost and not covered their L3 openers.
Are on a 3-9 ATS run.
As an underdog, are 2-6 ATS, and 1-7 SU.
Notre Dame: Is 125th in returning overall production. Brought in Wisconsin’s Jack Coan, who will not be as mobile as Ian Book was. There will be new faces on the OL, in addition Marshall’s Cain Madden as C, and receivers. Have proven RBs, but will a new OL be able to clear space for them? A lot less questions on D, will be led by S Kyle Hamilton. Have Cincinnati’s DC (Marcus Freeman) as their new DC.
Have won their L6 away games, and went 5-1 ATS.
When favored by single digits, are 7-1 SU/ATS, and the L3 have gone under.
Have won 32 straight games against unranked teams.
Louisville vs Ole Miss, Monday @ Mercedes-Benz @ 8pm
Matchup: Never met.
Louisville: Are 111th in overall returning production. Malik Cunningham had 20 TDs and 12 INTs last year. They lost their top 2 receivers (Dez Fitzpatrick & Tutu Atwell) and top RB by 500 yards. Their passing defense was 1st in the ACC and 17th nationally last year, and the secondary needs to be rebuilt this year.
When an underdog by 7+, the under has hit in the L4.
Their L3 neutral site games went over.
Ole Miss: Are 34th in overall returning production. They have an established great offense and top QB, but as great as the offense is, the defense is equally bad. They lost WR Elijah Moore, 1,193 yards, to the draft, and the top returning WR had 417 yards. Need a new star receiver. Lost top tackler to Kentucky. The coaching staff was new in the covid year, so this is their first full off season. Seems there is belief they’ll have a defense of sorts this year. Matt Corral is QB1.
In the regular season last year, were 6-3 for the over.
LL/Texas o58 🔒
- Think both teams are good enough to put points on the board, yet it's early enough in the season to have sloppy defenses. Look at the stats from above, and look at what happened at Ohio State @ Minnesota last night.
- Same situation, lot of great athletes, but early in the year. Don't think that defenses will be buttoned up enough. Plus stats.
- Sprinkle situation. Miami got blown out by Clemson and UNC last year (I know last year is last year, spare me the lecture) and I don't think their defense will have got proportionately better enough to slow down Alabama enough to cover. Plus D'Eriq King seems like he's not 100% healthy.
- Finally picked a side. Think we're overreacting to the Georgia injuries, and just think it is their time. Stats say otherwise, so feel free to read those above, but I just need to put a foot down and pick one. Hope it's a better game more than anything.
- Think there are more questions on the offense on both sides than the defense. Yes DJ is great, but he doesn't have that many proven weapons around him. Clemson's defensive line is LEGIT. Georgia has to reload a lot on defense but they're used to it. Georgia's offense looked good to end the year, but there were some inconsistencies and this is the first game.
Ole Miss -9.5
- Louisville was trash last year and Ole Miss has one of the top offenses in the nation. This was almost my lock.
Penn State/Wisco u50.5
- Going off of the stats on this one.
Texas A&M -28.5
MSU +6.5 ( I got the number early in the week, still think +3.5 isn’t terrible)
Georgia Tech -16.5
San Diego State -31.5
If you gamble on these, please do so responsibly. As always, tweet at me if you have questions or need stats.