Week 1 Primer

MajorWager's Brian Edwards likes Alabama -10 in the first half vs. Miami.

Updated on Saturday, 9/4/21, at 10:52 a.m. Eastern.

We made it! Finally, we’ve had bets and ballgames galore for the last three nights and have three more nights left, including Notre Dame at FSU on Sunday and Ole Miss vs. Louisville in Atlanta on Monday. I’ll be jumping all over the place in this rant, so let’s get going.

Best Games:

  • 1-Clemson vs. Georgia (in Charlotte)
  • 2-Louisiana at Texas
  • 3-Penn St. at Wisconsin
  • 4-LSU at UCLA
  • 5-Indiana at Iowa
  • 6-Alabama vs. Miami (in Atlanta)
  • 7-San Jose St. at USC
  • 8-Notre Dame at FSU (Sunday)
  • 9-Ole Miss vs Louisville (Monday in Atlanta)
  • 10-Fresno St. at Oregon

–Some Week 2 look-ahead lines via DraftKings: Ohio St. -11.5 vs. Oregon, Notre Dame -19.5 vs. Toledo, Penn St. -20.5 vs. Ball St., Iowa St. -5 vs. Iowa, Wisconsin -32 vs. Eastern Michigan, Texas -3.5 (-115) at Arkansas, Michigan -1 vs. Washington, Utah -6 at BYU and USC -14.5 vs. Stanford.

–Eastern Michigan is catching 30-plus points at Camp Randall? EMU has won three consecutive road games against Big Ten foes, winning at Illinois in 2019, at Purdue in ’18 and at Rutgers in ’17. And…

–Due to flooding in the New Jersey area from Ida, Thursday’s Temple at Rutgers game has been moved to Saturday. The Scarlet Knights were up to 15-point home ‘chalk’ as of Friday night.

–San Jose St. is a 14-point underdog Saturday at USC. The Spartans are 9-1 both straight up and against the spread in their last 10 games. They’re 10-3 ATS with three outright wins (at Arkansas, at Army and at San Diego St.) in their last 13 games as road underdogs. Also, San Jose St. owns a 12-3 spread record with three outright victories in its last 15 games as double-digit ‘dogs.

–USC is 7-12 ATS in its last 19 games as a home favorite. The Trojans are 0-5 ATS in season openers during Clay Helton’s tenure.

–Ida has also forced Oklahoma at Tulane to be moved from New Orleans to Norman. The Sooners went from 27-point road favorites to 31.5-point home ‘chalk.’ Even worse for Willie Fritz’s Green Wave squad, it has to relocate to Birmingham for at least the next 4-6 weeks due to the damage the storm caused in The Big Easy. Tulane is really going to miss its two stud DEs that are off to the NFL. Cameron Sample and Patrick Johnson combined for 16 sacks and 23 tackles for loss in 2020.

–Stanford’s secondary is hurting going into Saturday’s opener vs. Kansas St. at Jerry World in Arlington. Two starters, safety Jonathan McGill and CB Salim Turner-Muhammad are ‘out’ against the Wildcats, and both are expected to miss a significant period of time due to injuries. McGill had 17 tackles, three TFL’s and two passes broken up last year, while Turner-Muhammad contributed 17 tackles, one TFL and one PBU. David Shaw’s club will also be without WR Michael Wilson, who had 19 catches for 261 yards and one TD in 2020. Wilson is expected to be out until some point in October.

I’m on the Ragin’ Cajuns to cover at Texas and the Longhorns should be on Upset Alert.

I like three picks on first-half lines for Saturday. I’m on Alabama -10 at a -125 price vs. Miami, Florida -13.5 vs. FAU and Ole Miss -6.5 vs. Louisville (Monday).

–Nothing wrong with getting a little nibble of Alabama -6 and Florida -7 (-105 price) in the first quarter, too. With that said, I could see D’Eriq King getting the ‘Canes a TD in the first quarter, so wouldn’t get too aggressive with ‘Bama in the 1Q.

–These Georgia players are ‘out’ against Clemson: WR Dominick Blaylock, WR George Pickens, TE Arik Gilbert, TE Darnell Washington and DB Tykee Smith.

My preview of the 2021 Gators.

TV SCHEDULE: (all times are Eastern)

Oklahoma at Tulane (ABC, noon)
Penn State at Wisconsin (FOX, noon)
Stanford vs. Kansas State (FS1, noon)
UL-Monroe at Kentucky (SEC Network, noon)
Colgate at Boston College (ACC Network, noon)
Holy Cross at UConn (CBSSN, noon)
Western Michigan at Michigan (ESPN, noon)
Fordham at Nebraska (BTN, noon)
Army at Georgia State (ESPNU, noon)
Fresno State at Oregon (Pac-12, 2:00 p.m.)
Rice at Arkansas (ESPN+, 2:00 p.m.)

Alabama vs. Miami-Florida (ABC, 3:30 p.m.)
Indiana at Iowa (BTN, 3:30 p.m.)
West Virginia at Maryland (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.)
Miami-Ohio at Cincinnati (ESPN+, 3:30 p.m.)
Marshall at Navy (CBSSN, 3:30 p.m.)
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State (ESPNU, 4:00 p.m.)
Central Michigan at Missouri (SECN, 4:00 p.m.)
UMass at Pittsburgh (ACCN, 3:30 p.m.)
Louisiana at Texas (FOX, 4:30 p.m.)
UNI at Iowa State (ESPN+, 4:30 p.m.)
San Jose State at USC (Pac-12, 5:00 p.m.)
Texas Tech vs. Houston (ESPN, 7:00 p.m.)
Oregon State at Purdue (FS1, 7:00 p.m.)
Syracuse at Ohio (CBSSN, 7:00 p.m.)
Georgia vs. Clemson (ABC, 7:30 p.m.)
FAU at Florida (SECN, 7:30 p.m.)
UTSA at Illinois (BTN, 7:30 p.m.)
Northern Illinois at Georgia Tech (ACCN, 7:30 p.m.)
Kent State at Texas A&M (ESPNU, 8:00 p.m.)
Montana at Washington (Pac-12, 8:00 p.m.)
Duquesne at TCU (ESPN+, 8:00 p.m.)
East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt (ESPN+, 8:00 p.m.)
Southern Miss at South Alabama (ESPN+, 8:00 p.m.)
LSU at UCLA (FOX, 8:30 p.m.)
Nevada at California (FS1, 10:30 p.m.)
BYU vs. Arizona (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.)
New Mexico State at San Diego State (CBSSN, 10:30 p.m.)
Utah State at Washington State (Pac-12, 11:00 p.m.)

–I joined the Chris Vernon Show earlier today. If you wish, you can check out my interview starting at the 43:12 mark here.

–I chatted Week 1 games with VegasInsider’s Kevin Rogers for about a half-hour earlier this week. You can out that convo here.

Some more Week 1 conversation with K-Rog here.

–Some tweets with plenty of pertinent intel:

–Circa has South Carolina listed as a 31-point home favorite vs. Eastern Illinois. Zeb Noland, who started camp as a grad assistant, will be the starting QB for the Gamecocks, who are hoping to get starting QB Luke Doty back for next week’s game at East Carolina.

–Western Michigan is mired in a 1-6 ATS slump in its last seven games as a road underdog. The Broncos are catching 16.5 points Saturday at Michigan.

–Kansas RB Daniel Hishaw is out for the season. Hishaw ran for 229 yards and two TDs last year, averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

–Central Michigan head coach Jim McElwain will miss Saturday’s opener at Missouri after undergoing surgery this week on his appendix. Tim Skipper will serve as interim HC.

–North Carolina lost a 17-10 decision at Va. Tech on Friday night as a 5.5-point road favorite. The 27 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 63.5-point total. Junior DE Amare’ Barno was the catalyst for the Hokies, recording six tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one QB hurry. Junior DE TyJuan Garbutt had five tackles and a pair of sacks, while Dax Hollifield, Chamarri Conner and Jermaine Waller had one interception apiece. Conner also had a team-best eight tackles. UNC star QB Sam Howell had defenders in his face all night, forcing him into bad decision on a dreadful night for the Tar Heels, who will look to bounce back in their home opener vs. Ga. St. in Week 2. Howell threw for 208 yards and one TD. In his UNC debut, ex-Tennessee RB Ty Chandler had 66 rushing yards on 10 totes.

–In a back-and-forth affair that featured six different lead changes and four in the final stanza, Charlotte edged Duke 31-28 as a 6.5-point home underdog Friday night. The 49ers avenged a 53-19 loss to the Blue Devils in Durham last season. Charlotte QB Chris Reynolds threw three TD passes and ran for another. He completed 19-of-30 throws for 324 yards and three TDs without an interception. Reynolds ran for 37 yards and one TD on 10 attempts. His 11-yard scoring strike to Shadrick Byrd with 33 seconds left capped the game-winning drive that covered 75 yards in seven plays and took only 71 seconds. The 59 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 60-point tally.

–Kenneth Walker ran for 264 yards and four TDs on 23 carries to spark Michigan St. to a 38-21 win at Northwestern as a three-point underdog Friday night in Evanston. Hunter Johnson threw for three TDs without an interception in the losing effort for the Wildcats.

–You can follow me on twitter at @vegasbedwards.

–Best of luck with your wagers!

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