College Football Picks: Shopping for Line Value in Week 1

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College Football Picks: Shopping for Line Value in Week 1

 
The Michigan Wolverines are only a 3-point favorite at home in Week 1 over Utah.

There are many different ways to break down games. But one thing I think we all look for in our college football picks is line value. For instance, I visited a couple of books today and saw that Florida is up to 38. I liked the Gators originally but if that line gets much higher, they are almost forcing me to take Hawaii due to the tremendous line value you get with the Rainbows. Heck, if Hawaii scores 17 points, Florida will need to almost top 60 to cover. That's good value in my opinion. So, as Week 1 approaches, I've pinpointed some games I think represent good value. Let me make one thing clear: I'm not making selections right now on these games. These are just some lines I like and I'll be watching over the next couple of days to see if they move in my direction.

Ohio +12 - I know Ohio is replacing some people on offense but who in the hell are the Cowboys to be laying 12 points? Wyoming had a miserable end to the 2007 season and their coach, Joe Glenn, is on the hot seat. I had this line at around eight and now it's up to 12 in some places. The Cowboys have a new starting quarterback in sophomore Dax Crum and they are going to a more power-based rushing attack this season. That doesn't sound like a recipe for covering a big spread to me. Wyoming has a strong front seven on defense and maybe they shut down the Bobcats offense. However, I think there is some solid value here with Ohio.

Syracuse +11 - I've said it before and I'll say it again: Some teams just shouldn't be double-digit favorites. I like this Northwestern squad but they actually have some pretty high expectations this season. That's not a great spot for them. Syracuse is terrible, make no mistake about that. However, with the way the Wildcats play defense, I think the Orange have a chance to stay in this game by running the ball with their deep stable of backs. I haven't decided yet if I have the balls to put money on Syracuse but I think there is good value with this line.

Michigan -3 - Poor Michigan. I hear their talent level is similar to Rice these days. Or at least that's what you would think when reading all the stuff saying that this is a lost season for the Wolverines. Whether you think Michigan is in trouble or not, this line should be a touchdown in my opinion. No one is saying that Michigan is going to go out and score 30 points in Rich Rodriguez's first game but don't forget, the Wolverines have one of the Big 10's most experienced defenses. Is it really hard to fathom that Michigan's defense will dominate this game, while their big offensive line wears down Utah's defense? I know Michigan is a bit of an unknown right now, but the Wolverines laying only three points in the Big House is the best value of Week 1 in my opinion.

What games do you guys think represent the best line value of Week 1? Again, maybe you don't like the play enough to bet it but where do you see some value in this weekend's lines?

  • Tommy, as I recall TCU was considered to be a possible BCS buster last season (they had the 2nd ranked D in '06 with 8-9 guys returning), and they ended up finishing 5th in the Mountain West.  I can't for the life of me see how the Horned frogs can be a touchdown favorite on the road vs a better team.  It makes no sense.

  • UL Lafayette +10.5 or 11...So Miss is installing a spread attack and haven't even decided on a starting QB for this game yet. Rajin' Cajuns finished 7th in the nation in rushing last year and So Miss replaces their entire defensive line. Oh yeah, the Golden Eagles have a look-ahead to Auburn on deck and are 0-6 as DD favs last 6.

  • I'm going to stay away from Utah/Michgan but I actually like Utah to win SU.

  • I don't understand that New Mexico line myself Chad. Not only is it at -7 but it's been going up. I like the Lobos as well.

  • New Mexico as a 7 pt home dog to TCU is great value IMO since I think New Mexico can win this game outright.  And call me crazy, but I'm taking a hard look at Utah St +12.5 v UNLV