Weekly R & R: NCAA Football Week One

By Ronald Cabang (@you_capper) & Rex Eastwood (@REast_Eazy)


Welcome to this week’s Weekly R & R where we, Rex and Ronald, will provide our best bets every week in college football. Our consensus plays combine Rex’s power rankings model and Ronald’s SDQL system’s to find a perfect match, we’ll also provide our own personal picks with analysis as well. 

Picks: Consensus Picks | Ronald’s Picks | Rex’s Pick

Consensus Plays

Oklahoma St. vs Oregon St. (+14, 74)

8/30 8 p.m. EST

Oklahoma State’s offense will be led in partner with Mike Gundy by Sean Gleeson, their new Offensive Coordinator. They are looking to introduce run-pass-option sets into the offense that will suit Spencer Sanders, their new starter. Coupled with the spread attack, the offense should remain clicking where they ranked 13th overall in scoring (38 ppg). 

Oregon State ranks 3rd overall in defensive retention, that should be a good thing, right? Well, the players returning did not produce last season. Their returning production is projected to be a bottom 30 FBS team. Oklahoma State’s high power offense will take advantage of that. 

Under center for the Beavers is Jake Luton. An injury filled career, he will be looking to establish himself for a third time. 

Rex’s projections have the Cowboys favored by 20 points. 

Keys to the Game:

  • OK St. stopping the run. If they can make Oregon St. one dimensional, the Cowboys defense stepping up will be an added boost. 

Consensus Pick: OK St. -14 (-105). OK St. is 5-0 ATS in week one as favorites of less than 3 touchdowns under Mike Gundy

Fresno St. vs USC (-13.5, 52.5)

8/31 10:30 p.m. EST

Fresno State will rely on their backbone of a defense against USC. They allowed 14 points per game last season. They will look to build upon that as they return 3 of 4 starters on the defensive line. The Bulldogs can create havoc in the backfield against a weaker USC offensive line. 

USC will be bringing back their starting quarterback in JT Daniels and their top 3 receivers from last year. Though last year’s team recorded their lowest points per game in years, their new offensive scheme focusing on the passing game should fix that issue.

Jeff Tedford, Head Coach, can out scheme Clay Helton, but an outright win will prove to be too much. Rex’s projections have this game closer to an 8.5 point spread. 

Keys to the Game:

  • Fresno St. establishing the run. Balanced offenses proved to give USC fits last season. 
  • QB hits and sacks on JT Daniels. The Bulldogs are losing some of the players behind the 84 passes defended last season. 

Consensus Pick: Fresno St. +13.5 (-105).


Rex’s Plays

South Florida vs Wisconsin (-12.5, 57.5)

8/30 7 p.m. EST

South Florida has a chance to outplay their weight class with a home win versus Wisconsin. This game has a chance to get ugly. The Badgers will dominate both sides of the line. Thus, Jonathan Taylor will run wild on the Bulls. I do not expect them to let off the throttle either. With Wisconsin dominating the time of possession, USF cannot afford drives without points. The talent discrepancy between their offense and Wisconsin’s defense should prove to be too much. The Bulls offensive line looked disheveled during their 6 game losing streak. Squandered opportunities, sacks and turnovers will let this game get out of hand.

My projections have the Badgers favored by 17 points and a 2 touchdown win is more than manageable. Expect USF to lose their 7th game in a row. 

Key to the Game:

  • The battle at the line of scrimmage. Wisconsin’s ability to dominate both sides does not bode well for USF. 

Rex’s Pick: Wisconsin -12.5 (-105). Wisconsin is 14-4 ATS since Nov 01, 2014 as a road favorite.

Oregon vs Auburn (-3.5, 55.5)

8/31 7:30 p.m. EST

What is expected to be the game of the week, let’s get some action. Bo Nix, true freshman quarterback, faces off against the veteran, Justin Herbert. The Tigers offense has the potential to be lethal. Their strength is the running game and Nix’s dual threat ability adds a new wrinkle. Getting into a groove may not be an issue against the Oregon defense. They return 71% of their defensive production that allowed 28 points per game, excluding the bowl game.

On the flip side, Derrick Brown and the defensive line going up against 5 returning Ducks on the offensive line could dictate this game. Herbert has weapons around him so limiting his time will be critical. Auburn would much rather have a slow and drawn out game while Oregon will be looking to fly up the field.

My projections have Auburn as a touchdown favorite. Back the Tigers in Nix’s first career start. 

Keys to the Game:

  • Oregon’s OL versus Auburn’s DL. Auburn will need to get to Herbert early and often to disrupt his rhythm. 

Rex’s Pick: Auburn -3.5 (-105). The Ducks are 3-10 ATS since Oct 08, 2016 as an underdog.

Notre Dame vs Louisville (+20, 55)

9/2 8 p.m. EST

After an uninspiring 2-10 season, Jawon Pass returns under center for Louisville. His struggles last season forced Dwayne Ledford to simplify the offense. He is hoping Scott Satterfield, new Head Coach, will rejuvenate the offense. Additionally, their defense is a large cause for concern. Ranking 128th overall in points per game, large steps will need to be taken to be competitive again.  

None of this sets up well for the Cardinals against a veteran Notre Dame team. They rank 14th overall in returning production. Ian Book and the offense should get off to a hot start. The Fighting Irish should look to dominate the game throughout, hungry off their embarrassing defeat in the Playoffs.

Until Louisville shows any signs of life, they will be a consideration to fade against far superior opponents like Notre Dame. 

Keys to the Game:

  • The accuracy from Jawon Pass. With the Irish returning 3 of 4 in their secondary, Pass cannot afford any mistakes. 

Rex’s Pick: Notre Dame 1H -10.5 (-110).


Youcapper Picks

Colorado State vs Colorado (-13, 56)

8/30 7 p.m. EST

First year head coach, Mel Tucker brings a strong defensive mindset to this team, while the return of QB Steven Montez, WR Laviska Shenault, and a more experienced offensive line should make this one of their strongest offensive units in years. 

The Rams are 0-3-1 against the spread and 4-0 to the under against the Buffaloes under head coach Mike Bobo. The Rams are also 0-6-1 against the spread in neutral field under coach Bobo. Even with QB Colin Hill back in the mix for the Rams, their offensive and defensive lines will need to have dramatically improved from last year to keep this game close. 

Keys to the Game:

  • The Rams offensive line will need to play extremely well to protect QB Colin Hill in his first game back from a major injury. 
  • How did Mel Tucker’s defensive mindset influence a unit returning only four starters?

Youcapper’s Pick: Colorado -13 (-105), Under 61.5 (-105) **This play was tweeted in mid-August

South Carolina vs North Carolina (+10.5, 63.5)

8/30 13:30 p.m. EST

The Tar Heels will be starting a true freshman in Sam Howell and even though they will be bringing back seven starters on offense they are still an inexperienced group. Expect the Tar Heels to focus on the run game. New defensive coordinator, Jay Bateman takes over a defense returning seven starters and will look to improve after giving up 34.5 points per game last year.

The Gamecocks also bring back seven starters on both sides of the ball. Their offense will be improved, but their defense should be noticeably stronger with their top two tacklers coming back from last year. Even with both teams expecting to score a lot more points this year, I think a total of 63 is just a little bit too high.

Keys to the Game:

  • The Gamecocks linebacker group will need to contain the Tar Heels running attack.
  • How will true freshman, Sam Howell, adjust to the college game?

Youcapper’s Pick: Under 63 **This play was tweeted in mid-August

Texas vs Louisiana Tech (+20.5, 55.5)

8/31 8 p.m. EST

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger shouldn’t have trouble moving the ball too much in this game against a Louisiana Tech defense implementing a new scheme with many new players. Ehlinger has some great weapons on the outside with seniors Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay. Johnson is DraftScouts #1 ranked senior wide receiver and will likely draw attention from two Bulldog defenders who will also have a chance to play in the NFL, corner Amik Robertson and safety L’Jarius Sneed.

The Bulldogs led by coach Skip Holtz are no slouches. They bring back senior QB J’Mar Smith and one of the best, if not the best wide receiver in the C-USA, in Adrian Hardy. Their offensive line struggled mightily last year giving up the 33 sacks and allowed the offense to average only 5.4 yards per play. They might have issues against the Long Horn’s deep, athletic defensive line.

Keys to the Game:

  • How quickly can the Louisiana Tech adjust to their new defensive scheme against an elite team?
  • Will J’Mar Smith get the protection, time he needs to get the ball in Adrian Hardy’s hands? 

Youcapper’s Pick: Texas -21 **This play was tweeted in mid-August

Recap

Consensus Plays: 0-0-0 

Ronald’s Plays: 0-0-0

Rex’s Plays: 0-0-0


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Disclaimer – Blindly tailing these bets is not recommended, please do your own research. The decision to fade or follow is ultimately yours. Good luck!

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