Sports Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle makes his picks from the Week 1 games as College Football returns to America.
College football normally starts off slowly, as the major colleges schedule tomatoes whom they kick around to make them feel better about themselves. But, as Michigan found out last year, they don’t make opening day tomatoes like they used to, and maybe that’s why we’re seeing so many good games in this first week.
The standout game of a very strong weekend is in the Georgia Dome, where Sports Interaction has made Alabama a seven point favorite against Virginia Tech.
That seven points looks very tempting indeed. Virginia Tech is nobody’s idea a pushover, while the line on Alabama has to make allowances for the fact that Alabama is a much more public team than the Hokies. We’ve set the over/under in the game at 38, and I think it could go under. Virginia Tech hasn’t a gunboat offense, but it doesn’t get routed very often either.
The game is on a neutral field too – Atlanta is twice as far from Blacksburg as Tuscaloosa but the schools are getting thirty thousand tickets each. I’m really tempted by the Hokies covering the number in this one.
LSU is a big – more than two touchdowns – favorite in Seattle against Washington. This is surprising, until you look at the stats and realise that Washington have lost fourteen straight games. Fourteen. If Washington covers seventeen points against the Tigers it’ll be like winning the Rose Bowl for them. But Rose Bowls are aren’t easily won, and the Tigers are still smarting from a disappointing year themselves last year. LSU -17.5 points at Washington with Sports Interaction is the pick.
Finally, Illinois looks a good bet against Missouri when they play in St Louis on Saturday. Sports Interaction has priced the Illini as seven point favorites, but chances are they’re better than that – or will be against Missouri, who have some serious gaps to fill in the absence of Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin. The Illini are a little vulnerable on defense, but Missou doesn’t have the weaponry to take advantage. Illinois -7 with Sports Interaction is the final pick of the week.