College Football Picks (Week 1, 2016): 5-0 (+$1,000)
College Football Picks (2016 Season): 5-0 (+$1,000) College Football Picks (2015 Season): 42-44 (-$560) College Football Picks (2014 Season): 46-39-1 (-$325) College Football Picks (2013 Season): 52-33 (+$3,970) College Football Picks (2012 Season): 45-34-1 (+$2,500) College Football Picks (2011 Season): 36-32-2 (-$390) College Football Picks (2010 Season): 37-31-2 (+$190) College Football Picks (2009 Season): 34-34-2 (-$3,820) College Football Picks (2008 Season): 49-38 (+$3,020)
Penn State at Pittsburgh. Line: Pittsburgh by 5.5. Saturday, 12:00 p.m.
As a disclaimer, don't go nuts with my college football picks. I'm much better at picking NFL games (which is saying a lot). Follow @walterfootball for updates.
Penn State was better than Pittsburgh last week, as the Nittany Lions had a strong second half versus Kent State. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, struggled to put away Villanova, averaging a mere 3.9 yards per play. The Panthers surrendered just 2.6, but were battling a 1-AA opponent. Pittsburgh's offense is insanely sluggish, as quarterback Nathan Peterman doesn't really provide anything downfield, while the offensive line doesn't seem very good at opening up running lanes for James Conner, who is returning from a torn MCL and cancer diagnosis. Penn State has the better running game with Conner not yet 100 percent and consequently should not be an underdog of this many points.
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College Football Pick: Penn State +5.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Akron at Wisconsin. Line: Wisconsin by 24. Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Wisconsin is coming off a huge victory against LSU, which has inflated this spread. It also means the Badgers could be flat, but that won't matter if Akron isn't talented enough to hang. So, are the Zips any good? I think so. Their offense is solid, at least, as their quarterback threw six touchdowns last week. Granted, that was against VMI, but it was an impressive showing nonetheless. The Badgers, meanwhile, were outgained by half a yard per play by LSU despite the win, so a case can be made that Wisconsin is overrated. The sharps seem to agree, as there's a lot of professional money pouring in on the visitor. Three-plus touchdowns is just too many points, so I'll take Akron to cover.
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College Football Pick: Akron +24 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Wake Forest at Duke. Line: Duke by 5. Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
I wagered against Wake Forest last week, grabbing 17 with Tulane. The Demon Deacons won, but failed to cover by a wide disparity, edging out a 7-3 victory. Here's the thing, though: Tulane managed to outgain Wake Forest in terms of yards per play, 4.0-3.2! It's insane that Tulane was nearly a yard better per play than Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are a horrible football team, while Duke is a solid squad that was much more impressive in its 2016 debut, albeit versus N.C. Central. Still, the Blue Devils should be favored by more than a mere five points. I'd make this line around 10, giving us a very appealing five points of value.
College Football Pick: Duke -5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Middle Tennessee State at Vanderbilt. Line: Vanderbilt by 5.5. Saturday, 4:00 p.m.
Like Wisconsin, Vanderbilt is in position for a letdown, blowing a lead and losing at the very end to South Carolina. Blindly betting the opponent in such a situation is not wise, however, as I've learned over the years. There are other factors, including the strength of these two teams, and I have to say that I think Middle Tennessee State is the superior squad. The Blue Raiders went 7-5 last year, covering at Alabama and nearly winning at Illinois, and they are much better now. Quarterback Brent Stockstill went 30-of-36 for 329 yards and five touchdowns last week, leaving the game early because his team was leading Alabama A&M 45-0 - at halftime! Vanderbilt, meanwhile, has the inferior signal-caller - Kyle Shurmur went 8-of-22 for 73 yards last week - and despite the close loss, the Commodores were outgained by 1.3 yards per play.
College Football Pick: Middle Tennessee State +5.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Texas Tech at Arizona State. Line: Arizona State by 3. Saturday, 8:00 p.m.
It feels like the wrong team is favored in this matchup. Arizona State struggled to beat Northern Arizona last week - Northern Arizona! - leading just 13-6 at the end of the third quarter. They ultimately pulled away, but Northern Arizona averaged more yards per play than Arizona State did, as some guy named Case Cookus threw all over the Sun Devils. If Arizona State couldn't stop Cookus, how will they deal with Patrick Mahomes, a very skilled Texas Tech quarterback?