College Football Picks: Books Getting OVER on us in Week 1 Totals


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College Football Picks: Books Getting OVER on us in Week 1 Totals

Even without record-setting QB Paul Smith, the total in the Tulsa/UAB game is close to 70 this week.

When it comes to college football, I'm an OVER better. I mean, it's not rocket science. In college football, most of the best athletes play on the offensive side of the ball, so there a lot of spots to project high-scoring games. So, I waited patiently for the Week 1 totals to come out and when they did, I was stunned at the numbers I saw.

When Matty and I went to the handicapping seminar this weekend, I thought one of the most valuable pieces of information was when the owner of LVSC, Ken White, said that because of the new rule where the play clock will be started right away instead of when the ball is spotted, he believes we are going to see a lot of high-scoring games this season. Great. For a guy like me who loves to bet OVERS, I would be able to jump on some of these soft totals early in the year, right? Not exactly. There is a reason why White and LVSC get paid a lot of money by sportsbooks to set the line. It's because they are the best at what they do. LVSC didn't bother waiting for the totals to drive themselves up. They came out of the box swinging. They made it so there is almost no value in taking an OVER in Week 1. Check out some of these numbers:

Oklahoma State/Washington State (68) - This was one of the games I was looking at but I projected the total to open at 62. Now it's likely to top 70 by gametime. Sure, most people expect this game to be high-scoring but this is a Hawaii number. Washington State does have a new coach, a new quarterback and a new offensive system that they've struggled to pick up in practice. I think this line offers the least value of any total in Week 1. If they were hoping to drive people away from this OVER, they succeeded in my case.

Wyoming/Ohio (54.5) - Are you kidding me with this one? I despise betting UNDERS in college football but even I have to consider this one. Granted, these two did play a 34-33 game last year and I'm sure that's factored into the line. However, that was one of only two games where the Cowboys topped 30 points last season. Their offense was garbage in 2007 and now they have switched to a POWER RUNNING GAME that focuses on chewing up the clock with their big offensive line and deep stable of backs. Ohio is replacing some key players on offense and is expected to rely heavily on its defense, especially early on in the year. I had this total projected at 48, so again, I was almost a touchdown off.

Nebraska/Western Michigan (63) - Again, I find this number extremely high for a Week 1 matchup. Granted, the Huskers defense sucked last year but on the other hand, Western Michigan's offense was inconsistent in 2007. Plus, Bo Pelini is a defensive minded coach, so not only should the Huskers be improved on the defensive side of the ball this season (How could they not be?) but I expect Nebraska to run the ball a lot more to hide their defensive shortcomings. Again, I had this total pegged at 58, so I was surprised it opened this high.

Tulsa/UAB (68) - Last year these two teams combined for 68 points and that's when Paul Smith was quarterbacking Tulsa. Now the Golden Hurricane must replace Smith and two of their top receivers. UAB had trouble scoring on virtually everyone last year, ranking 105th in the nation in scoring offense at 19.6 points per game. I find it hard to back an OVER of close to 70 in Week 1 with one team replacing an all-conference quarterback and another that has a ton of question marks on the offensive side of the ball.

Those are just a few of the high totals that caught my eye. So, how different are the Week 1 totals this year compared to last year? Well, last season in Week 1 I pounded an OVER in a game that most people thought would be a high-scoring affair. It was the Cal/Tennessee matchup. So, what was the total when that game kicked off, you ask? Try 55. In other words, the same number as offensively inept Wyoming and Ohio this season. As you can see, there is very little value in taking OVERS this weekend. These opening week numbers are so alarming, I may have to start betting UNDERS in college football and God knows I would hate to do that.

  • Thanks Steve. I was shocked when I saw some of these numbers. By the way, are your Beavers going to get it done on Thursday night?





  • I agree Chuck. Bower was a good coach but at times he could be too conservative for my liking. I'm sure he'll get a job next season though.

  • The last few years Bower would SIT on a 7 Point Lead. Run the Ball, Play Defense. It "Bit Him in the ASS" 3-5 times. Fedora's MOTTO "ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK".

  • I agree Chuck. Also, at the handicapping seminar Matty and I went to, a lot of people on the panel like your Golden Eagles as a sleeper team this year. Everyone really liked the hiring of Larry Fedora and said it wouldn't take long for them to be good. I agree. I just want to watch them for a couple of weeks first.

  • TR,

          The Southern Miss/LA.LAF. Total is 53. I predicted 50, I think you said 52. IMO it goes UNDER.

    Southern Miss is going to FEATURE Damion Fletcher. Ragin Cajuns are a RUN First Team.

  • After a childhood dream of watching my Celtics parade down huntington ave i have stayed low key. Early Football season is back and the last month + of baseball is where my money is made so time to strap em up.

    Manny...I loved him. He just had to be a dueche. Im just impartical even though they murdered him in the press over here.

  • Thanks a lot Ace. Hey, where have you been? Mourning the loss of Manny to the Dodgers? lol

  • hey brother. great write up. i love the overs as well but week one looks like under central until the books figure out exactly how much the clock will affect things.