Week 1 Primer

Calvin Ridley and the Crimson Tide return to Jerry World on Saturday night to take on Southern Cal as a double-digit favorite.

Calvin Ridley and the Crimson Tide return to Jerry World on Saturday night to take on Southern Cal as a double-digit favorite.

Published on Thursday, 9/1/16, at 4:23 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Friday, 9/2/16, at 11:46 a.m. Eastern.

–Toe meets leather tonight!

–I’ll be on the Chris Vernon Show in Memphis at 12:40 p.m. Eastern on Friday.

My preview of three Saturday showdowns, including Wisconsin vs. LSU, UNC vs. Georgia and Alabama vs. Southern Cal.

My picks are off to a 3-0 start. All totals so far, including Cal-Hawaii ‘over’ last week and a pair of ‘unders’ last night (South Carolina-Vandy & Minnesota-Oregon St.).

My season package.

–My season win totals and future plays:

Iowa +140 to win Big Ten West: 5 UNITS
Florida +400 to win SEC East: 1 UNIT
Iowa ‘over’ 9 (-115): 2 UNITS
Washington St. ‘over’ 7 wins (-140): 2 UNITS
Texas Tech ‘over’ 6 wins (-140): 2 UNITS
Auburn ‘under’ 7 (-120): 3 UNITS
Navy ‘over’ 7 (+125): 1 UNIT

–Why am I so bullish on Iowa this year? It’s all about the schedule, as I explain here in my Big Ten West preview over at VegasInsider.com.

–Minnesota will most likely be without three key offensive weapons tonight at home vs. Oregon St. RB Shannon Brooks (foot), TE Brandon Lingen (shoulder) and WR Eric Carter (ankle) are each listed as ‘doubtful.’ Brooks rushed for a team-best 709 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 6.0 yards per carry last season. Lingen hauled in 33 catches for 428 yards and three TDs, while Carter had 23 receptions for 255 yards and one TD. The Gophers are favored by 13 at most spots. UPDATE: Minnesota won 30-23, failing to cover the number as a 13-point home favorite. I cashed a winner with ‘under’ 56.5 points.

My preseason Power Rankings.

My preview of Friday’s action over at VI.

My picks for Friday are here and then you can get Saturday’s winners right here.

My predictions for the Pac-12.

–After an indefinite suspension that caused him to miss spring practice and then some, Florida star WR and special-teams ace Antonio Callaway will play in Saturday’s opener vs. Massachusetts. The Gators are 36.5-point home ‘chalk’ at most books.

–Florida cornerback Teez Tabor (formerly known as Jalen) is No. 16 on Mel Kiper Jr.’s preseason Big Board. Tabor is suspended for Saturday’s opener versus the Minutemen.

–Florida WR C.J. Worton is ‘out’ vs. UMass due to an ankle injury.

–Georgia head coach Kirby Smart made news Thursday morning by naming Greyson Lambert as his starting QB for Saturday’s opener vs. North Carolina at the Ga. Dome. Lambert beat out five-star true freshman Jacob Eason, who was a commit to Mark Richt that Smart was able to convince to stick with UGA. Eason arrived early from Washington (state) for spring practice and will likely see playing time against the Tar Heels.

**Note #1: I was recommending Texas A&M ‘over’ 6.5 wins at a -130 price in late June and July. If you can get the Aggies at ‘over’ 7 at a reasonable rate (-130 or cheaper), I’m all about it for 2-3 units. However, most books have increased the juice on ‘over’ 6.5 wins into the -180 range (and as high as -210 at Sportsbook.ag). I don’t like the play at that expensive price.

**Note #2: I was also recommending Duke ‘over’ 5.5 wins in late June and July. I already played it and I’m stuck with it (and that’s OK, as I trust David Cutcliffe). However, with QB Thomas Sirk ruled out for the season last week due to an Achilles injury, I’m no longer suggesting this play, though I do still think the Blue Devils will find a way to get to six wins.

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