Week 1 Picks

Every Thursday, I will be posting the odds for each Big 12 game of the week, along with my prediction for the outcome. I will also try to feature some of the important Top 25 games of the week. So let’s just see how this turns out, shall we?

Marshall @ West Virginia (-25)

Also known as the Friends of Coal Bowl. This rivalry is entering its 7th consecutive year, and it’s been nothing but friendly for West Virginia. The Mountaineers have never lost to Marshall, and this year won’t change that. West Virginia has an average margin of victory of over 20 points per game in this series, including a 34-13 thrashing last year in Morgantown. Expect more of the same this year.

Pick: West Virginia to cover the spread

Tulsa (-1.5) @ Iowa State

The Golden Hurricane travel up to Ames to face off against the Cyclones to see which severe weather storm is more devastating. And this is actually a very interesting matchup, as all Oklahoma State fans can attest to (midnight victory in Tulsa, crushing Friday night loss in Ames). These two teams seem pretty even on paper, so I’m giving the edge to the home team.

Pick: Iowa State to win

South Dakota State @ Kansas

Northwestern State @ Texas Tech

No lines on these two yet. I'm not sure if there will be. I'm thinking it's illegal (at least immoral) to bet against high-school quality teams. However, it should be interesting to see how Charlie Weis fares in his first year at Kansas. It definitely won’t be a banner year for the team, but they can certainly start to turn the program around. The same goes for Tech and Tommy Tuberville’s third season. He’s got a lot of his own recruited players now, so let’s see if he can pull the Red Raiders out of the Big 12 cellar.

Picks: Kansas, TTU to cover (if there's ever a spread posted)

Savannah State @ Oklahoma State

Missouri State @ Kansas State

No lines on these two yet either. I'm just assuming both teams are going to win big. So let’s just sum these two games up real quick. Top 25 teams against Division 4 programs. Only things worth noting in these games: How much did Optimus Kline improve this year? How will Wes Lunt fare in his first high school college football game? Will either of these teams break 70 points?

Picks: OSU, KSU to cover (if a spread is posted)

Wyoming @ Texas (-31.5)

Mack Brown finally chose David Ashe as the starting quarterback, although Brown said they will still be using both of them a lot this year. Which means that neither one is any better than last year. Which means that Texas is going to have another mediocre season. Which means I’m still going to be bitter that everyone thinks they are going to be one of the best Big 12 teams this year. However, none of that should have any affect on this game. Wyoming went 5-2 in the Mountain West last year, losing to Boise State and TCU, and beating all the rest. Which just tells me that they are an average Mountain West team. So as much as I despise the Longhorns’ quarterback situation, and detest the team as a whole, I can’t see Wyoming coming in to DKR and doing much damage.

Pick: Texas to cover the spread

Oklahoma (-31) @ UTEP

This is the game that I’m labeling as my Tricky Blowout Pick of the Week. Don’t get me wrong, UTEP isn’t talented enough to beat OU, even at home (more important question here is why is OU opening on the road? Who planned that horrible scheduling?). However, I don’t think it’s out of the question to see UTEP cover the spread. Their coach has got his kids fired up. And OU has history of poor season openers on the road (BYU in JerryWorld, anyone?). I still think OU wins, but not by more than four touchdowns.

Pick: UTEP to cover, OU to win

SMU @ Baylor (-10.5)

"Man I can’t wait for RG3 to destroy this SMU team! Wait… what do you mean he’s… he can’t be! NOOOOOOOO!"

^^^Said by every Baylor bandwagon fan in the last week. So now Baylor gets to crawl right back into their mediocrity of fighting to get that sixth win of the season and be bowl eligible. That being said, as much as I expect the Big 12 to bend over the Bears this season, I don’t see SMU giving Baylor much trouble. They still have a talented quarterback in Nick Florence, and while Kendall Wright will be hard to replace, Art Briles is doing a better job at recruiting talent down there.

Pick: Baylor to cover the spread

And TCU has the weekend off. They will play next weekend at home against Grambling State (at least they have a great band).

Now for some of the Top 25 games. I’ll run through them quickly, because let’s be honest: I don’t really care unless the big dogs are losing.

South Carolina (-7) @ Vanderbilt

The first football game of the season! And the first point spread cover of the season! Two words: Marcus Lattimore

Pick: (Game)Cocks to cover

Cupcake games where I expect top teams to roll:

Stanford (-25.5) over San Jose State

USC (-42) over Hawaii (by the way, Matt Barkley is my pick to take home the Heisman this year)

Georgia (-38) over Buffalo

Ohio State (-24.5) over Miami Ohio

Florida (-29) over Bowling Green

LSU (-42.5) over North Texas

Oregon (-33) over Arkansas State

Nebraska (-20) over Southern Miss

Florida State (No Line) over Murray State

Arkansas (No Line) over Jacksonville State

Wisconsin (No Line) over Northern Iowa

There are no Appalachian States here. Every ranked team listed here should roll and easily cover. Now on to the biggest games of the weekend:

Boise State @ Michigan State (-7)

Boise State has the right idea here. They know that the Mountain West is too weak to guarantee them a spot in the Championship game with an undefeated record, so they beefed up the non-con schedule. Props to them. It’s just too bad that it’s going to backfire. Michigan State is a hostile environment. And with both teams replacing their legendary quarterbacks, I prefer the new guy at home over the new guy on the road.

Pick: Michigan State to cover

Michigan @ Alabama (-14) [played in JerryWorld in Arlington, TX]

The crown jewel of the opening weekend. I heard Nick Satan Saban say the other day that if his team were going to lose, it would be because of the inexperience of his team. It may also be due to the fact that his contract with the Devil has run out and hasn’t been renewed yet.

Pick: Bama to win, Michigan to cover

Clemson (-3) @ Auburn

Classic ACC-SEC matchup. Clemson is without Sammy Watkins (temporarily) and Auburn is without Michael Dyer (permanently). I still think Tajh Boyd has the skill to lead his team to victory.

Pick: Clemson to cover

Kentucky @ Louisville (-14)

The Big East is still playing football?

Pick: Louisville to cover

Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech (-7.5)

Our first taste of Monday Night Football! Too bad it won’t be very entertaining. You can only run the ball so much before the defense figures out you will never pass. At the rate Georgia Tech plays, I think Tim Tebow will have more completions this season.

Pick: Virginia Tech to cover

Think I’m wrong somewhere? Let me know in the Comments section below. And if I see that lines come up for those few games, I'll go ahead and throw them in here. But above all else, make sure you enjoy one of the greatest weekends of the year.

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