CFB Week 1 Picks

Consistency…

Ah. ‘The Secret’ to success (Oprah, you and I both know its much more than mere visualization. Shame on you for such blatant dishonesty). There’s no ability more vital to achieving your maximum potential than reliability. Show me someone that shows up day in and day out, works hard at their craft, and does so with a positive attitude, and I’ll show you someone that’s on course for reaching their goals. When you combine that formula with a person that has superior talent?… That’s when you have the makings for something truly special.

Why am I even doing this?

You may not even give a shit about my existential ponderings. You’re just here for the stone-cold-cash-money-bets. And if you are one of those people, I’m not mad at you. Neither do I take offence. I already assume plenty of you skip my intros and jump right into the GOODS. See, this is all optional. Just like anything in life. You may feel as if you have to do certain things, but you really don’t. In reality, there’s only a handful of things you really have to do (in terms of keeping yourself alive). And you don’t even have to do those things if you don’t want to. For example, if you choose to forgo breathing air and attempt to live underwater as if you’re some humanoid-fish hybrid, you will suffer the consequences of those actions which is death, but that’s still your prerogative to do so.

I digress.

The point of what I’m saying is I don’t write these intros for the people that skip through them anyways. I write them for you, reading these words right now. Because you want to. Because you’re enjoying this. And you’ve come to look forward to reading them every week. All season long baby.

We’re now on the third season of A-Rob’s Money Train (in blog form. Where my followers from back in the YouTube days at?). Two years ago we went a mere less than 0.5 a percentage point away from finishing 55% ATS. Last year we went 88-67-4 ATS for a dirty gross 56.77%. People have come to trust me. But this is a new year. The record has been cleared (actually 1-1 now. Week 0 I gave out Florida -7 (L) and Under 47 (W) on here). As good as last season’s record was, I’m out for blood this year. I’m shooting for 58 percent or bust.

  • On another note, if you haven’t already, take the time to go back to the home page and locate the Betting Guide I wrote over the summer. Its one thing for me to give you winning picks, but its another thing to know how to utilize them correctly. Help me, help you maximize your bankroll this year.

Christmas Morning 

Here’s my personal top 3 favorite College Football weekends of the year:

  1. Opening Weekend
  2. Rivalry Week
  3. Conference Championships

I don’t know if its the fact that I’ve been depraved of the action for lo these many months, or the fact that all my preseason notions will begin to be confirmed or denied, but I do know one driving force behind my feelings:

College Football is still the greatest regular season there is. And the beginning of it carries a hell of a lot more weight than any other sport’s opening week on the planet.

Its all the more glorious when you start off the year growing your bankroll. Let’s. Get. Cash stacks.

UCLA +3 @ Cincinnati (Thursday)

I’m still not willing to crown the AAC as a power conference, but they’re sure as hell a solid step or two ahead of the rest of the Group of Five. There’s a couple spots this week that feature one of their teams as a favorite against a Power Five school, and a couple more may have power programs on upset watch. Cincy has recruited really well for their level, and although their record at the end of the year may not show it (tough out of conference schedule), they may be a better team than last year (11-2). They have a quarterback (Ridder) entering his second year as a starter, a solid defense, and a great little stable of running backs.

However… I like UCLA to cover this game. I will be taking the moneyline as well.

Yes, I’m well aware UCLA is 1-14 in their last 15 road games. BUT PUT ME DOWN AS A CHIP KELLY BELIEVER. Sure, he flamed out in the pros and he’s not the greatest recruiter, but the man knows how to coach College Football. He’s entering Year 2 and I’m expecting a little jump from them. His team returns 19 starters, have another offseason learning his system under their belt, and at the end of last year they were beginning to show improvement. Including a win over rival USC. I like what I’m hearing about Dorian Thompson, who seems to be the prototypical quarterback to run his system.

For as much hype Chip Kelly had when he returned to college ball, he’s flying under the radar this year which is the perfect time to buy them.

Utah @ BYU +6.5 (Thursday)

This line has been moving back and forth all week. It started out at 6. Moved all the way to 5. And now has jumped back up to 6.5. I’m glad I waited for my moment. I’ve liked BYU from the jump. I typically try not to look too hard at opening week lines until its time to pull triggers to avoid being married to an idea too early, but this one is an exception.

Sure, I like Utah a lot on paper. Huntley is a good college QB and that defensive line should be one of the best Kyle Whittingham has ever had. But they are getting a tonnnn of preseason hype. There’s been multiple media members that have pegged them as a playoff team. Is it warranted? Possibly due to their division, but you have to wonder if the team has been reading their press clippings. I’d imagine it’d be hard not to considering they aren’t use to this kind of buzz.

This is the Holy War. A super underrated rivalry in my opinion. And you know BYU is chomping at the bit to get a shot at the Utes in an opener in Provo. They’ve lost eight in a row to them, with multiple including epic collapses. But the majority have been close contests…

BYU has a dangerous quarterback under center. Zach Wilson returns for his Sophomore year after going 18 for 18 passing and 4 TDs in BYU’s bowl win.

Obviously, the majority of the tickets are on Utah here. Let’s fade the public.

Utah State @ Wake Forest -3.5 (Friday)

Y’all remember that time I picked Wake Forest to cover against Clemson? Good times. Watched that one in a bar and downed beers to suppress the overwhelming feeling of regret I experienced just in the opening quarter.

But in all seriousness, I think what Dave Clawson has been doing there is impressive as hell. Keep in mind, this is at a school that has the highest tuition cost of the Power Five schools, is full of preppy nerds, and doesn’t put butts in seats at the stadium. They’ve been to 3 straight bowl games and that right there speaks for itself.

Its a long trip from Logan, Utah to play in North Carolina, and although the Aggies still have Jordan Love, they do have a new head coach and only 2 returning starters on offense.

Purdue @ Nevada +11 (Friday)

I don’t know if y’all have noticed this, but Purdue has not started the season well in their two years under Brohm. They’re 0-2 in the openers, and last year they started off 0-3 (including a loss to Eastern Michigan who has to fudge their attendance numbers to keep their status as a Division 1 program).

Purdue does have one of the most explosive players in the entire nation in Rondale Moore, but they only return 3 starters on offense. They do have Elijah Sindelear at quarterback who’s had his share of game experience.

This just feels like a really weird road spot and I can see this game getting into the fourth quarter. It’ll be one of those you’re like ‘damn, Nevada is giving them a game’, and you’ll end up watching the ending. If Last Chance U’s known knuckle-head Malik Henry had won the starting quarterback job, I would want to fade the shit out of Nevada. But he didn’t, and that has to be taken as a good sign for them. They have some pieces on defense and were able to finish strong last season.

FAU +27.5 @ Ohio State 

We’re just now getting into Saturday’s slate, and we’ll have already wagered on four games. I’m GIDDY.

Geez, here comes A-Rob bets on Lane Kiffin in the opener Part Two. Last year the man’s team made me look like A DAMN FOOL. Lane, here’s your chance to go…

redemption

I realize Kiffin fell flat on his face last season. Some had the Owls as a preseason Top 25 squad. But I believe his team got humbled, and for a C-USA program, they have some talent. Due to the location and Lane Train lure, they are a magnet for Power Five transfers looking to reinvent themselves.

This line opened at 24 and has moved out to 27.5. I’ll look to capitalize on a little reverse line movement. The Justin Fields / JK Dobbins backfield at Ohio State could prove to be just as nasty as it sounds. But as of now, I’m not sold on this particular transfer QB prima donna.

Ole Miss +5.5 @ Memphis 

Props to the Sharks that choose to live on land for scheduling this away game. Apparently, they don’t need to be in the sea, and they don’t need to be in Oxford. Memphis is not an easy place to go win. Just ask Peyton Manning and Josh Rosen. Hell, you can ask Ole Miss themselves. They dropped a game there as recently as 2015 (37-24).

This pick may seem strange considering I stuck Memphis just inside my preseason Top 25. I have them as a dangerous NY6 Group of Five representative, sleeper pick. They’ve lost to UCF in back to back AAC Championship games and bring back a more experienced squad, so this could be their year. They have Brady White (former highly recruited Arizona State transfer) slinging the rock with already one year as the starter for Memphis under his belt.

Yet, despite all that, give me Ole Miss and the points. I’m not even necessarily saying they’re going to win the game outright, but I expect this to be close. Matt Luke is a sneaky good coach and he surrounded himself with two former HCs as his coordinators (Rich Rod OC, McIntyre DC). They lose Ta’amu at quarterback, but replace him with a guy that was very highly recruited in Matt Coral. I’m excited to see him chuck it around the yard behind a decent o-line. Its no secret Ole Miss’s defense was subpar last year, but they bring a lot of pieces back on that side of the ball and I can’t imagine them being any worse.

Georgia State @ Tennessee -26

Here we go again.

An interesting exercise would be to go back and calculate my ATS record over the past two years if you exclude Vol’s games.

But I honestly… don’t even wanna know.

Listen. Georgia State is bad. I’m talking about ‘2-10 against a Group of Five schedule’ bad. How much will Tennessee be improved this year? I honestly don’t know. I think they’ll at least add a couple more wins to last year’s total, but I seem to fall into the hype year in and year out. However, one thing I do gather is that Jeremy Pruitt has instilled some confidence in his squad this offseason. They radiate an aura of newly minted hope and the chip on their shoulder is noticeable. If this team wants to take the next step, it starts with beating the hell out of teams like this one. They had their struggles with lower tier programs last season (ETSU, UTEP, Charlotte), and that can’t continue.

This team needs to come out and make a statement, and this coaching staff realizes it.

Boise State vs FSU -4.5 (Jacksonville)

Speaking of picks I may hate myself for…

For the record, I’m not bought into Willie Taggert at all. I’m not sure what he’s done as a head coach at any of his stops thus far. I certainly wouldn’t interpret them as impressive. Watch, if Boise State ends up winning this game, there could be some serious grumblings building around him and his program.

To be fair, Jimbo Fisher did not set him up for success. He saw the writing on the wall and ran away from his team in Tallahassee as fast as he could. THE MAN DIDN’T RECRUIT ANY OFFENSIVE LINEMAN.

The offensive line is still a major work in progress, but good lord it can’t be worse than last years’. They do have Cam Akers who’s a damn good running back if he can get a little bit of daylight. Blackman won the starting job at quarterback, and if he didn’t I’d fade this team early and often, cause if Alex Hornibrook from Wisconsin wins your starting job, that’s a terrible sign. The team as a whole is expected to feature a lot more depth. At the end of the day, its Florida State. You’d have to try to not bring in talent there.

Also, Kendall Briles is the new offensive coordinator. I don’t think I’ve seen an offense he coaches not produce.

Ultimately this game is being played in Jacksonville, which is a defacto home game for the Seminoles. I swear, if Taggert fudges this one up for us I’m fading him for the rest of eternity.

Auburn -3.5 vs Oregon (Arlington)

Do yourself a favor and pay close attention to the battle that’s about to take place between Auburn’s defensive line and Oregon’s offensive line. Two of the best units in the country. However, I still think Auburn’s D-line is a more known commodity, led by Derrick Brown, who’s an absolute beast in the trenches.

Gus Malzahn, amazingly to me, is somehow on the hot seat. I guess that’s what you get when your in-state rival is ripping off national championship appearances left and right. Its really not fair to him. I think the guy is an above average coach. Especially offensively. And with his back against the wall, he ain’t going down with the play sheet in anyone else’s hands but his own. He reminded people just how potent of a play caller he can be when his offense dismantled Purdue in the Music City Bowl.

Bo Nix won the starting quarterback job at Auburn as a true freshman. In the past, that was a big deal, but now-a-days that’s simply business as usual. He’s highly acclaimed and there’s a lot of buzz about him coming out of camp.

I think Justin Herbert is a fine QB, but how in hell do you only put up 7 damn points in the bowl game when you’re considered to be a future 1st Round NFL Draft pick? I’m not sold on this Oregon team, and I think they’re about to run into a hungry Tigers team that’s use to playing in these types of big games.

Fresno State @ USC -13.5

What is my fascination with USC? Is it the storied history? The fact that they always have talented players? I’m not sure, but here I am backing them again.

Honestly, I like the idea of them debuting an Air Raid system. With the amount of playmakers they have at the wide receiver position, and a quarterback in JT Daniels that’s entering his second year as the starter, the concept intrigues me. Have we ever seen a true traditional power go full gimmick offense like this? Who knows, maybe they start running it up on teams playing this way.

As good as Jeff Tedford is as a coach (two straight 10+ win seasons at Fresno), he’s got his work cut out for him this year. He loses his starting quarterback and only brings back 9 starters total. Playing at USC is a tough spot to break his kids in.

Personal Plug 

If you’re looking to follow my picks throughout the season, here’s some ways you can do so:

Twitter: @AdamRobertson13

Facebook: I have a Facebook group called “A-Rob’s Money Train”, go give it a like

Instagram: @doscappers (my buddy Dingo and I post picks of all sports on there regularly)

Email: If you hit the follow button on the home screen of my site, you can sign up to have all my writing pieces sent to your email directly as soon as I publish them.

FYI: I plan on putting out the college football picks late Wednesday night / early Thursday morning this year. Thanks for reading. Let’s get rich.

 

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