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Week Zero Lines and Picks

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Four teams breaking in new quarterbacks + early season uncertainty = gut picks

Wyoming v UNLV
The Pokes will have to rely on a solid defense to help break in a new QB.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Well, it’s Week Zero of the college football season. For the overzealous college football fans and gambling degenerates, it’s as much a holiday as any other. The long offseason is finally over, and here at SOTU, I’ll be reviewing lines that I like (and don’t like) each week.

So here we are. Unlike last year, when Stanford mauled Rice in Australia, we don’t have a Power 5 conference team on tap this weekend. Obviously every week hereafter there will be a lot more games than this week, since there are only two games between Group of 5 teams that even have a line posted. Also, wagering the first week or two of the season is often taking a completely uneducated stab in the dark. No one really knows how new starters will handle the limelight, how new coaches/coordinators/schemes will work, etc. That all being said, there are a few interesting notes this Saturday (all lines via VegasInsider.com)………

Hawaii at Colorado State (-14): Like LSU – Miami, this game features a pair of teams that mirror each other in a number of ways. Probably even more so. Both teams are returning only nine overall starters – four on offense and five on defense. Both teams are breaking in new quarterbacks and will be looking at Pac 12 transfers as possible solutions. But the game is in Colorado Springs, Hawaii has been a porous road team, and this is just a gut feeling. Rams -14.

Wyoming (-4) at New Mexico State: The line has shifted from Wyoming -5.5 to -4, which is a bit surprising to me given the talent of Wyoming’s defense, which returns 8 starters. Both teams are breaking in new QBs, as the post-Josh Allen era begins for the Cowboys. Home dogs tend to scare me, but I’d lean towards the overall talent on defense as giving Wyoming a slight edge here. Cowboys -4.

Lines I THINK I like for Week 1:

Boston College (-18.5) vs. UMass

West Virginia (-10) vs. Tennessee

Notre Dame (+1.5) vs. Michigan