Well, well, well. Here we are in the City of Sin, Las Vegas. When LSU lifted the national championship in January 2020, no one thought we would have had the off season like we have had. Football wasn’t anyone’s first thought. But we’ve made it, and the most unpredictable summer imaginable is behind us. Football is back.
Kesh (@Keshy6), is here to help you beat Vegas and will be a regular feature of the for 5 Yard College team this season.
His first piece looks ahead to this week’s College Football slate, sprinkling a bit of Vegas in there and giving his predictions on each game from the Top 25.
Tulsa @ Oklahoma State -21.5
It’s the first game of the year for both teams as Oklahoma State welcomes Tulsa for a non-conference battle. If Oklahoma State wants to have any chance of competing for the Big 12 championship this year they need to get off to a good start in their home opener. There is one name you need to know: Chuba Hubbard. He is, in my opinion, the best running back in the Big 12. If he remains healthy, Hubbard will lead OSU to a big win to get their season off to a flying start in Week 3. Tulsa has to decide whether to stop the run or the prolific passing game of OSU. They won’t be able to do both so OSU -21.5 is a lock for me.
Austin Peay @ Cincinnati -33.5
Cincinnati will start their season hosting Austin Peay, who are already 0-2 following a blowout loss against Pitt last week. Unfortunately for Austin Peay, the pain continues this week. The floodgates remain open, and Cincy get off to a flying start. Expect them to pile on the points against a feeble Austin Peay team.
Louisiana -17 @ Georgia State
Louisiana will go to Georgia State following an upset victory against Iowa State last week. For the first time since the 1940s, they are ranked in the top 25, and deservedly so. They not only covered the spread but won outright. They piled on the points in the second half as if the Rajin’ Cajuns were the favourites. Georgia State will be fresh, but this may come as a disadvantage. This will be a tough game to call. Louisiana will be on a high after their emotional win last week, but will that be a hindrance to them? Close one in Georgia, but I’m taking Louisiana on the money line.
Syracuse @ Pittsburgh -22
Syracuse looked quite the defensive front during the first half of last week’s game against UNC, until it all fell apart. UNC Quarterback, Sam Howell, is a name to remember, and I don’t believe Pitt has the firepower UNC does. Syracuse covers the spread, but Pitt continues their winning ways and wins outright.
South Florida @ Notre Dame -26
ACC new boys Notre Dame got off to a winning start with an impressive win against Duke last week, but it wasn’t the prettiest of performances. Both teams are 1-0 with USF coming off a win against Citadel, but going into Irish Country is a different story. Notre Dame wins big here, risky pick but ND covers the spread and then some.
Charlotte @ North Carolina -27.5
I mentioned his name before and I’ll mention it again, Sam Howell will be a force to be reckoned with. It took until the second half of last week’s game for UNC to really get going but once they started, they were fluid and scored touchdown after touchdown with relative ease. Charlotte was in a dogfight with App State last week which surprised a lot of people. UNC will be a different prospect to deal with. If the Tar Heels get off to an early start, they roll to a big win and cover the spread.
UCF -7.0 @ Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech came away with a surprising W at Florida State last weekend but UCF will be a different opponent. This will be a hard fought battle but without seeing UCF in action yet this season I can’t judge how they will look on game-day. Take UCF on the money line, but this could go either way.
Appalachian State -3.5 @ Marshall
App State looked a bit shaky last week against Charlotte but they will have looked at the tape and resolved many of their issues. Marshall won 59-0 in Week 2, but they’ll come back to reality when they welcome App State. The Mountaineers will walk away with the W with their strong running game. App State covers.
Citadel @ Clemson -44.5
Clemson and Trevor Lawrence welcome Citadel this weekend. Dabo Swinney has a choice between his amazing passing game or incredible running game. Pick your poison coach. This one is going to get nasty, early. Clemson may be up 30+ by half time and may choose to play their backups in the second half which could mean a back door cover for Citadel. Even these Clemson backups will want to shine, so don’t be surprised if you see a 50 burger here. Clemson big W, but do they cover the spread? I’m not sure. 45 points is a big ask, even in college football.
Miami @ Louisville -2.5
The only battle of two ranked teams this week is between the Hurricanes ans the Cardinals. Numbers 17 and 18 go head to head in the game of the week. I’m surprised Louisville has come out as early favourites in Vegas, be sure to keep an eye on this line as I believe it will move more towards Miami. This game is too close to call, but it is one to watch as two exciting ACC teams go at it. Vegas has the over/under at 59.5, if you are going to have something on this game, I would hammer the over as this one could get spicy.
What are your predictions for Week 3? Drop your comments below!
Saturdays are for rushing, too.