Handicapping College Football to Find the Best Bets in Week 1

James BrownSenior Analyst IAugust 31, 2010

Handicapping College Football to Find the Best Bets in Week 1

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    The college football season starts this week and football fans and sports bettors all over the country are anxiously awaiting kickoff.

    Bet Mania and the Top Ten Online Sportsbooks have posted the latest college football odds on a full slate of games that will be played over a four day span.

    For the college football junkie this is paradise to open the season over a busy holiday weekend.

    Sign up at Bet Mania and contact customer service with the College Football season promo code REGAW and get a free $50 bet to use on any game in college football!

    Here are six best bets for the kickoff to the college football season!

7:30 pm Minnesota at Middle Tennessee (ESPN 2)

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    Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

    7:30 pm Minnesota at Middle Tennessee (ESPN 2)

    Bet Mania Latest Line: Minnesota -3

    The game between Southern Mississippi and South Carolina will get more hype but this game is the one to bet. Minnesota travels to Middle Tennessee to start the season, and news off the field gets the headlines for this game.

    The Blue Raiders enter this game with some bad news.

    They will be without talented quarterback Dwight Dasher who has been suspended by the team for accepting a loan for $1500.  This story is still under investigation and there will certainly be more to come as the story evolves. However this team is more than just Dwight Dasher.

    Sophomore Logan Kilgore should get the call and he threw for 2,512 yards and 22 touchdowns at Bakersfield College last year. He has looked sharp in drills and scrimmages and gives the Blue Raiders an able arm. Kilgore will have some help as running back Phillip Tanner is back and will carry the load to take some pressure off the sophomore quarterback.

    The Golden Gophers are in a rebuilding period. They have to replace nine starters on defense and try to get something out of a rushing attack that managed to finish 111th in the country. They finished last in points and yards per game and it will take more than one game to rebuild this team.

    The Blue Raiders are 11-6 against the spread (ATS) on turf and are excited to play in prime time. The Blue Raiders respond to the off the field controversy and will beat the Golden Gophers.

    Play Middle Tennessee +3

11:00 pm USC at Hawaii (ESPN)

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    11:00 pm USC at Hawaii (ESPN)

    Bet Mania Latest Line: USC -21

    Lane Kiffin kicks off his tenure as head coach with the Trojans when they take on Hawaii Thursday night on ESPN. The big story in the off season for the Trojans was the sanctions levied against the team for NCAA violations. As punishment the Trojans will not be able to play in the post season, but this has not dampened the spirits of the team.

    “The only way we’re going to be able to express ourselves is to win 13 games,” said senior tailback Allen Bradford, who rushed for 668 yards and eight touchdowns last season. “We know it’s going to be difficult this year. We’re playing for a tradition. We’re playing for a school. We’re playing for ourselves.”

    Matt Barkley returns at quarterback for the Trojans and he is surrounded by talent in nearly every position. The offensive line is built for maximum protection and that will open up holes for the running attack and set up the passing game. The Trojans have a ball hawking defense that will take advantage of Hawaii as they try to employ a quick strike offense. They have a new offensive line that will be dominated by the defensive front of the Trojans.

    The Trojans are 9-3 ATS Away when the total is between 49.5 and 52 and Hawaii is just 3-8 ATS as a home underdog of 14.5. The Warriors are out matched in every position on the field and Kiffin is out to send a message. A blowout will send the message that USC is not fading as a national powerhouse anytime soon.

    Play USC Trojans -21

8:00 pm Arizona at Toledo (ESPN)

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    Friday, September 3rd, 2010

    8:00 pm Arizona at Toledo (ESPN)

    Bet Mania Latest Line: Arizona -14.5

    Friday night only has two games on the slate, and one of the more interesting to watch will be when Arizona plays Toledo. Arizona will be the better team when the season comes to an end but head coach Mike Stoops has had trouble in the past getting his team ready. He has struggled to coach his team to a victory in the last five non-conference road openers. Arizona is going through a change in coaching and are inexperienced on defense especially in the linebacker position.

    Toldeo Head coach Tim Beckman, as announced that sophomore Austin Dantin (Tallahassee, FL) will be Toledo’s starting quarterback. Dantin played in seven games, as a true freshman in 2009 and posted decent numbers. He completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 962 yards and four TDs and his comfortable in this offense. Keep an eye out for superstar sophomore receiver Eric Page, as he is arguably the team’s best offensive threat.

    This is another tough spot for bettors willing to lay a few bucks on the double digit favorite. Arizona is 7-20 ATS as a favorite of 10.5 to 21, while Toledo is 11-2 ATS at home in the 1st month of the season. This is a huge spot for a MAC team as they host a PAC-10 team for the first time ever. The fans will be into this game and the Wildcats will struggle in the road opener barley pulling out the victory.

    Play on Toledo +14.5

3:30 Kentucky at Louisville (ABC)

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    Saturday, September 4th, 2010

    3:30 Kentucky at Louisville (ABC)

    Bet Mania Latest Line: Kentucky -3

    On opening day in Louisville you are going to see a complete different team from a year ago. The Cardinals were a horrible team that struggled in 2009 and managed just four wins. Enter a new head coach in Charlie Strong with a winning attitude and a new spread offense. The Cardinals return 15 starters and unveils the newly expanded Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The stadium now seats 55,000+, including 33 new suites and 1,725 club seats for the 2010 season. The crowd will be loud and proud for the opener.

    The Wildcats have a new head coach in Joker Phillips but the same old problems at quarterback where Mike Hartline will get the starting job; for now. Phillips knows thatit’s difficult to prepare for the Cardinals this year. It’s been particularly difficult, Phillips said, to get a grasp on what U of L will do offensively. Last year the defense could not stop anyone and allowed 182.9 rushing yards per game and they lost some of their best players. The defense could even be worse to start the season.

    Louisville has played well against the spread of late going 6-2 out of conference. In a rival turf war game to start the season, the edge goes to the Cardinals and they win big!

    Play Louisville +3

3:30 pm SMU at Texas Tech (ESPN)

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    Sunday, September 5th, 2010

    3:30 pm SMU at Texas Tech (ESPN)

    Bet Mania Latest Line: Texas Tech -14

    The NFL kickoff is still a week away sot this Sunday college football will have center stage. Texas Tech starts a new era has Mike leach was ousted as head coach amid controversy. Tommy Tuberville now takes over and he has the ability to keep Texas Tech in the limelight for years to come. Taylor Potts gets the call at quarterback and Tuberville has already announced that there will be a change in how things are run at tech and that includes the offense. Look for a slower paced offense that incorporates the run more than they have in the past. He has announced that he will not alternate quarterbacks and will pull out all the stops on Sunday.

    June Jones is the head coach at SMU and he brings his high temp offense in town to play the Red Raiders. Kyle Padron is at the helm for SMU and after a year of playing under Jones and learning his system, he is ready to put it to the test in 2010. Tom Mason is the defensive coordinator for the Mustangs and last year switched to a 3-4 defense and it was a brilliant move. The middle of the defense is shored up by stud linebackers Taylor Reed and Ja’Gared Davis.

    Texas Tech is going through too much transition at the moment to rout SMU. SMU is now comfortable in June’s offense and they have a defense that can keep them close in this game. Don’t look for an upset in this game but it will be much closer than the experts think.

    Play on SMU +14

7:45pm Oregon St vs. TCU (ESPN)

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    7:45pm Oregon St vs. TCU (ESPN)

    Bet Mania Latest Line: TCU -13.5

    The No. 24-ranked Beavers face off with No. 6 Texas Christian on Saturday in Cowboys Stadium in what should be one of the better games of the opening week.

    Oregon St has a tandem of talented players in Jacquizz and James Rodgers. They enter this game as the main targets for the Beaver offense and are returning home as they hail from Arlington Texas. The Beavers will have their hands full taking on TCU.

    TCU has serious BCS aspirations and if they want to keep them they have to win this game. QB Andy Dalton leads a safe offense that will grind it out on the ground with Mathew Tucker and Ed Wesley running the ball.

    TCU had to replace some big names on defense but they just reloaded for the upcoming season. TCU’s stout defense will focus on shutting down Jacquizz and put pressure on the inexperienced QB Ryan Katz. This will force the beavers into turning over the ball and be a difference maker in this game. The Beavers are 6-22 ATS in the last 28 games in September giving them a proven track record of starting slow, while TCU is 4-1 ATS in the last five September games.

    TCU wins convincingly in the season opener.

    Play On TCU -13.5

More College Football

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