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College Football Betting Picks: Results Against The Spread (Week 0) and 9/3 spread picks

Week 0 means the week doesn't count, right? Overall, it wasn't that bad. After all, I didn't get one "week 0" pick right in 2019. I ended up going heaviest on the UTEP spread and under on Saturday morning. It's a good thing I did. Week 0 is a week for learning things, and learn we did.

First off, when your game starts like this, you know where it's heading. At least I did.

What did this tell me? Well, I knew in this moment that my Nebraska pick, the highest of the week, was doomed. It was the same errors by the same players and the same coaching staff getting outcoached. Bret Bielema remembered the game plan from nine years ago and ran toss sweeps left more than half the plays. If he had any backs the caliber of Melvin Gordon or James White, this Illinois team would have hung 70 on Nebraska too.

We learned that Michigan transfer Zach Charbonnet was a really good player in a really bad system and that he might just be UCLA's missing link. We learned that UConn's offense is painful to watch, but that defense has some heart. They're gonna bust some big spreads against over-hyped offenses this year. We also learned that New Mexico State is the worst FBS team and it's not close. In all fairness, I told you that before the games began.

I promised transparency this year, and you will get it, warts and all. I don't like to be wrong, but I will admit when I am. Here are the results from week 0. Winners against the spread will be in bold. My result will follow.

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CFB Betting Pick Results Week 0

Nebraska (-7.5) at Illinois: MISS!

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 4

I made most of my complaints above, but it doesn't make me any less pissed off. Half the people in my town are on suicide watch. The other half are being monitored by the FBI for the sheer number of death threats made to Scott Frost, Adrian Martinez, and Cam Taylor-Britt. Football is that important in Nebraska and this kind of play is unacceptable. The fans were starting to turn on the prodigal son. There may be no coming back from this for Frost.

Connecticut at Fresno State (-27.5): HIT!

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 3

This was easy money. No, I'm not going to sit here and bag on UConn. I was impressed with the defense, but when the offense is a comedy of errors, it wears on you and wears them down. Don't lose sight of the fact that Fresno could very well be a top-25 team. They are that good.

Hawaii at UCLA (-17.5): MISS!

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 2

It's a good thing I didn't put too much on this. Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a pedestrian game, but the Hawaii defense that allowed an average of 211 rushing yards per game last year is back. They allowed 244 on the ground in this one.

UTEP (-9.5) at New Mexico State: HIT!

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 3

I should have changed this because I ended up hammering it in my Saturday bets. Gavin Hardison threw for 249 yards, 158 of them to Jacob Cowing. Why is this important? It's not. I just figured the guys should get some respect because they may not be mentioned again this season.

 

Now is the time of the week when we tally up the scores. I went 2-2 against the spread and netted a total of 0 points on my picks. So week 0 truly was a zero. Things will start to get interesting this week, starting on Thursday!

The weekly totals follow the bet. Season totals are in parentheses.

1. 0-0 (0-0) = 0
2. 0-1 (0-1) = -1
3. 2-0 (2-0) = 6
4. 0-1 (0-1) = -4
5. 0-0 (0-0) = 0

I still have the 28 points that I started the season with. Whenever the house doesn't have your money, it's a win!

Now we will move on to the pre-Saturday picks. Labor Day Weekend is the one weekend that college football has to itself, and it takes full advantage of it. We have a game on Wednesday, 16 on Thursday, eight on Friday, 57 on Saturday and one each on Sunday and Monday to close out the weekend. That's 84 total games and if you have a good cable package, you can watch most of them.

Unfortunately, only 46 of those 84 are FBS vs. FBS teams. Those 46 are the ones that I will be picking. Ten of those are on Thursday and Friday. Let's get started!

CFB Betting Picks September 3-4 2021:

Temple at Rutgers(-14.5):

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 2

This feels high, but I don't know how many points Temple can score. Greg Schiano is building Rutgers back to where he had it before the NFL came calling. He's the guy that got Ray Rice to go to school there. Schiano has done a similar job, stocking the offense with former UCF and Nebraska QB transfer Noah Vedral and former Wisconsin WR Aron Cruickshank. Isaih Pacheco is also an underrated back. This offense is going to be good, and I see a lot of question marks for Temple. Give me Rutgers, but I'm lowering the bet because of the half.

Boise State at Central Florida(-5.5):

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 2

I have zero confidence in the UCF defense, but Boise heading to the heat and humidity of the Bounce House over Labor Day weekend is going to be quite a shock to the system. Everyone else must be thinking the same thing because the line is slowly creeping upward. Boise returns every skill player from a team that scored 237 points in just seven games. UCF loses Greg McRae, Otis Anderson, and Bentavious Thompson and replaces them with Northwestern transfer Isaiah Bowser. Auburn running backs Mark-Anthony Richards and R.J. Harvey followed Gus Malzahn to Orlando as well. I expect to see a better UCF team this fall, but Boise has three running backs that all run well. I still like the Broncos outright.

South Florida at North Carolina State(-18.5):

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 3

That's a lot of points, but USF only won their opener against the Citadel last year. They only held one other opponent (Cincinnati) under 30 points and lost five of those eight by more than 20 points. This line isn't unwarranted. NC State loses Bailey Hockman, but Devin Leary looked good when he played last year. Running backs Ricky Person and Zonovan Knight are back. So is leading receiver Emeka Emezie. This is a good NC State team. They aren't going to roll USF like the Irish did in last year's FBS opener, but I'll say they still win by 20. Give me the Wolfpack.

East Carolina at Appalachian State(-10.5):

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 2

The line dropped three points and I can't think of a good reason why. Duke transfer Chase Brice will take the reins from Zac Thomas, but the real bread-and-butter of the Mountaineers offense is the run game. Both Camerun Peoples and Daetrich Harrington are back for Appalachian State (though Harrington wont play until conference play opens). That alone is enough to make me take them. Leading receiver Thomas Henningan returning is just a bonus. ECU returns most of the offense that closed 2020 with wins over Temple and SMU, but I think that App State defense will be a little too much. Give me the Mountaineers.

(4)Ohio State(-13.5) at Minnesota:

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 3

I will tell you right now this is too many. I want to pick Minnesota to win outright, but they still have some kind of mental block when it comes to the Buckeyes. Justin Fields is the only guy that threw a pass for the Buckeyes last year. Master Teague returns, but he was beaten out by Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon (who is also playing on Sundays) in the middle of last season. Jameson Williams transferred to Alabama. That's a lot of moving pieces to replace on offense starting against a team like Minnesota. Mohamed Ibrahim might be the best back in the Big Ten(14). Now for the mental part: Minnesota hasn't beaten Ohio State since 2000. The last time before that was 1981. The Gophers have only lost three of the ten games since 2000 by less than 14 points. For those reasons, I wont take Goldy outright, but I do think Ohio State gets tested. Give me the Gophers.

Bowling Green at Tennessee(-35.5):

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 1

Bowling Green is straight up awful, but the Vols almost populated the transfer portal by themselves. Michigan transfer John Milton beat out Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker for the QB job. It's still going to be an ugly game. Tennessee couldn't get out of their own way much of the year, but I'm pretty sure Bowling Green wont score. I want no part of this one. I feel much better about the under than the spread. Give me BGSU, only because I'm not sure Tennessee can score five touchdowns, even against this defense.

(10)North Carolina(-5.5) at Virginia Tech:

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 5

We all know what the Tarheels lost, but Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler is a very good back. He just played for a bad team. I'm more concerned about what Tech lost. Khalil Herbert is with the Bears and Hendon Hooker is with the Vols. Those were the two leading rushers. The Hokies were plagued by offensive inconsistency last year and that will be the case again. Give me the Heels for my lock before Saturday.

Duke(-6.5) at Charlotte:

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 2

Every Duke player that threw a touchdown pass is no longer on the roster. Mataeo Durant is a solid back, and he'll need to be. Gunnar Holmberg did not look good last season. Duke has a couple of good receivers, but I want to see if the QB can get the ball there. Tre Harbison was the best player Charlotte had last year and he's in the NFL. This is going to be an ugly and depressing game (but I'll watch it anyway. I'm an addict. Don't judge). I'm not big on either team, but when in doubt, go with the better coach. That is far and away David Cutcliffe. Give me Duke.

Old Dominion at Wake Forest(-31.5):

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 2

Ouch. That's a lot of points. However, Wake returns QB Sam Hartman, leading rusher Christian Beal-Smith, and Jaquarii Roberson, who is the best receiver you've never heard of. When we last saw the Monarchs, they were riding an 11-game losing streak to end 2019. We don't know much about this team, but I know it isn't any better. I have to take Wake here.

Michigan State at Northwestern(-3.5):

Betting Pick Confidence Factor: 2

This line has dropped off a cliff. The Wildcats opened at -7.5, but the bettors are looking at the same thing I am. Michigan State returns experience. Northwestern has South Carolina transfer Ryan Hilinski at QB and leading rusher Cam Porter. Behind that, they have a lot of questions at receiver. Both teams are well coached and I do think that Mel Tucker is going to lead the Spartans to wins in a couple of games that they shouldn't win this year. I just think it's a lot to ask in week 1. Give me Northwestern at home.



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