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Week One Lines and Predictions

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Craig T. Smith Takes a Stab at the Week One Lines.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Miami v LSU
Let’s. Get. It. ON!!!!
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

(FULL DISCLAIMER. This article is simply for fun. Chide me, praise me, do whatever. Just know that I’m here to give my two cents and offer a perspective on a game or games that maybe you’re on the fence about. Giving you something to consider that may help you go one way or another. Not forcing you to fork over your money to a sports book. But, of course, if you win, break me off 5%.)

Finally, our national sports holiday is upon us. With a full slate of games and the excitement arriving, it’s time to take a look at lines that make sense, those that don’t, and what might be worth adjusting.

Last week: 1-1-0

A 50-50 start. I mean…..who saw a Hawaii road manhandling of a normally sturdy Colorado State group coming?! Hawaii has been putrid on the road, while breaking in a new quarterback, who looked…..well….pretty darned good. Goes to show that nobody knows hardly anything early on. At least that experienced and talented Wyoming defense showed up on cue.

Lockity Lock of the Week:

UMass at BOSTON COLLEGE (-18)

Don’t care that UMass did in some patsy by 40 or so last week. Boston College is set up for what should be a very good year. It’s the true road game that might just scare me the most on the Canes’ schedule. I don’t see why this line is only 18, so I’ll take BC to roll.

Other lines I like:

Colorado State at COLORADO (-7.5)

Colorado State was a flaming dumpster fire last week. Buffs should win by double digits.

Coastal Carolina at SOUTH CAROLINA (-29.5)

We’ll see if Cocky is as good as everyone says they are. This week, they will be.

WEST VIRGINIA (-10) vs. Tennessee

Anyone watch UT play last year? Sorry if you did. Worst season in the program’s history…literally. Don’t think a new coach with one offseason is going make enough of a difference. Hope I’m wrong. But I’m pretty sure I’m not.

Michigan at NOTRE DAME (-1.5)

Was on the fence on this one a bit, but the game being in South Bend and Michigan losing Tarik Black is the tipping point. The Champions of the West haven’t won a road game against a ranked team since….well, at Notre Dame in 2006. Gimme the Irish.

Oregon State at OHIO STATE (-38)

Let’s face it….anyone could coach Ohio State and they would win this game. Literally, anyone. Dwayne Haskins could be player-coach on the field, and they win. And they have every reason to try to destroy teams this year. Don’t know if they will, but they’re more than good enough to massacre Oregon State.

New Mexico St. at MINNESOTA (-21)

New Mexico State was putrid offensively last week, albeit against an experienced Wyoming defense. Gooooooooophers should keep that Aggie offensive anemia going for another week.

Lines I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole:

Florida Atlantic (+21) at Oklahoma

I got nothing here, y’all. The Lane Train has done nice things in Boca Raton, and FAU gave Wisky a fight last year. But the game is in Norman. That’s a very tough line. Would got FAU with a gun to my head, but makes more sense on a tease.

Indiana (-9.5) at FIU

I don’t know. FIU got spanked on multiple occasions last year, but won 8 games. I also would be hesitant to bet against Butch Davis as that big of a home dog to a pretty good but by no means great program like Indiana.

UNC at CAL (-7)

UNC looks like a team poised to bounce back this year. Likewise, Cal looks like a bowl team this year, given they have 18 (!!!) starters coming back, including QB Ross Bowers, Jr. Still, I wouldn’t give a touchdown to UNC here. Have a feeling they’re going to be more dangerous than they’re getting credit for.

Teaser of the Week (6-point shift)

App State at PENN STATE (-18); BOISE STATE (-4) at Troy

App State might as well be Scrappy State. The little engines from Boone who think they could. The Canes took it to them in Boone, sure, but I think the ‘Eers can stay within 24. 18? I’m feeling Penn State there. And Troy is good enough to give the Broncos a fight at home, but I think Boise is too good and will win a close game.

Parlay of the week

Oregon State at OHIO STATE (-38); UMass at BOSTON COLLEGE (-18); WEST VIRGINIA (-10) vs. Tennessee

When one feels strongly about three lines, get down on all three together…

Underdog pick of the week

CINCINNATI (+15) at UCLA

UCLA has several players out (six, IIRC) and is breaking in a new offensive system. Cincy’s ok and it’s a long trip to LA, but there are too many variables here to bet on UCLA to cover that much.

So, let’s hear it, Canes fam. Tell me why I’m wrong, and what YOU think is going to happen. (And no, I’m not keen on the Canes’ line either. The dreaded three-and-a-hook, me no likey.)