Utah State +27.5 at Wisconsin
Get used to Wisconsin being a fixture in this year’s Beating Vegas columns. Wisconsin’s talent and schedule all point to a dominant season which should have them in the Big 10 Championship game and hopefully, for them, a playoff birth. This is the kind of game that Wisconsin needed to jump start their season as Utah State has a pretty bleek-to-mediocre outlook for this season. Utah State’s offense will be uptempo but with a weak offensive line and a quarterback that only had 10 touchdown passes last season – this team is nothing more than “lunch” to the Wisconsin defense. Utah’s secondary isn’t bad, but lets be honest – Wisconsin loves to pound the ball and throw the ball over the middle for modest gains. This one should be over at halftime – which means, look at the first half spread of this game and go nuts with that too.
The Pick: Wisconsin -27.5
South Carolina +4.5 vs N.C. State (at Bank of America Stadium in North Carolina)
I remember, not too long ago, when the South Carolina Gamecocks were one of the more exciting teams to watch. They still (in my opinion) have the coolest jerseys in college football (sorry Oregon) and have a loyal fan base, but these here, are the dog days for the Gamecocks. N.C. State on the other hand has been “decent” and with a ton of upside. N.C. State had the most heartbreaking loss of the season when they missed a field goal that would’ve beaten eventual National Champion Clemson and on top of that had a four point loss to Florida State and a three-point loss to Eastern Carolina. With a bunch of starters returning this year, N.C. State should know how to put away teams for good this season – and South Carolina is a team that is usually looking to go to bed early. N.C. State’s seasoned defensive front will dominate the South Carolina offensive line and control this game for the most part.
The Pick: N.C. State -4.5
Texas A&M +4.5 at UCLA
Head coaches Jim Mora of UCLA and Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M are starting out the season on the “hot seat.” They are both talented coaches who won’t stay unemployed for long but they are both at jobs they’d hate to lose. They are both pretty good recruiters and pretty good offensive minds – but their teams are inconsistent. Texas A&M was moving up charts last season until they hit a road block called the Crimson Tide which effectively turned out to be the beginning of a 2-5 run at the end of the season. UCLA was mediocre to start last season but after quarterback Josh Rosen went down they became flat out bad and seemingly uninspired. This year Rosen is looking for NFL scouts to be looking for him and he has all the natural ability to make that leap. This one will be a shoot-out and you’ve got to ride with the better quarterback in this one. Bruins lost this game last year in overtime against the Aggies, in Texas but this year have the pleasure of being the home favorites. UCLA’s running game should be able to hit the outside of the Aggies’ front line which should be all the balance Rosen needs to pull this one out. UCLA by a touchdown – late.
The Pick: UCLA -4.5
With NGSC’s very own Kyle Nash earning himself credentials with UCF and Josh Zimmer covering the University of Minnesota – it’s only right to shed light on these two games real quick.
Minnesota’s defense will dominate Buffalo this week and although twenty-four and half points seems to be a lot at first glance – this may be the only time they’ll be able to clearly overpower an opponent this year. Oregon State and Purdue may seem like easy wins too in the future, but those will be played away from Minneapolis. . .
UCF has to fight off the stench coming all the way from the NFL, considering one of their most prized possessions, Blake Bortles is a lower case “t” away from spelling out the word “bust.” They get to fight off that stench against the Golden Panthers of Florida International that have starters returning on offense that should put up a fight against UCF. UCF’s head coach Scott Frost might be one to look out for AFTER this season, which means expect him to have another good season and eventually leave for a better job. The over in this game is what I’m eyeing at 56.5.
*These are NOT LOCKS – just assumptions : )
Four Game Teaser of the Week: Texas -6.5; UNC Pk, Washington -15.5 and Wyoming +24.
Good Luck and Wager Wisely!