It wasn’t a great week of picks for me last week (11-17). We are going to fix it this weekend. Picking 17 games this week including the first matchup of ranked teams with Miami and Louisville. Follow me on twitter @jasonbelschner.
Boston College at Duke
Boston College plays their first game of the season against a Duke team that put up a much better fight against Notre Dame than expect. Despite Duke’s performance, it is still strange to see them favored over BC by nearly a touchdown.
PICK: DUKE -6 UNDER 51.5
Syracuse at #25 Pittsburgh
A big spread this week for Pittsburgh which I find a little odd. You have to ask yourself, was North Carolina that far off their game last week, or is Syracuse better than everyone gave them credit for? Either way, Pitt wins the game, but Syracuse will be competitive.
PICK: SYRACUSE +22 UNDER 50
Tulsa at #11 Oklahoma State
Both teams are starting their season. For Tulsa, it’s a game their players can’t be looking forward to. Nothing like being blown out to start the season. The Cowboys get a tune up game before they start their Big 12 schedule.
PICK: OKLAHOMA STATE -23.5 OVER 66
Navy at Tulane
Navy got lit up by BYU last week. They allowed over 500 yards of offense and managed less than 200. This doesn’t bode well for their game against Tulane. South Alabama exposed a weakness in their defense, but it was through the air which isn’t exactly what Navy is known for.
PICK: TULANE -6.5 UNDER 48
Liberty at Western Kentucky
Hugh Freeze begins his second season as head coach of Liberty. They managed to win eight games including their bowl game during Freeze’s first season. Western Kentucky poses an interesting challenge for the team as the Hilltoppers are a slightly better team. This could be a big moment for Liberty.
PICK: LIBERTY 14.5 OVER 53.5
#19 Louisiana at Georgia State
The Ragin’ Cajuns made me look stupid last week by upsetting Iowa State and moving into the top 25. I’m going to go with Louisiana this week, so obviously they will far apart. Special teams and defense played a big roll in the upset. They should generate more offense against Georgia State.
PICK: LOUISIANA -17 UNDER 58
South Florida at Notre Dame
This is Notre Dame’s only game this season against a non-ACC team. They came out a little flat last week against Duke, but they finished strong for the win. The Irish is still favored by 26 in this game. It probably comes from USF only putting up 27 points against Citadel last week.
PICK: NOTRE DAME -26 OVER 49.5
#14 UCF at Georgia Tech
UCF likes to claim they are one of the best schools in the nation. Fans even say they won the national championship in 2017, but that is a complete joke. They are a solid favorite over Georgia Tech, but I don’t expect that to go in their favor.
PICK: GEORGIA TECH +7.5 UNDER 59.5
Charlotte at #12 North Carolina
Sam Howell didn’t live up to the hype in the Tar Heels’ first game. He threw two picks in the game after only throwing seven all of last season. Howell still picked up the win, but it wasn’t the dominant performance that was expected. A game against Charlotte should get him back on track.
PICK: NORTH CAROLINA -30 OVER 59.5
Florida Atlantic at Georgia Southern
Georgia Southern struggled their way through a game with Campbell last week. They squeaked out a 27-26 victory against a bad team. Florida Atlantic should pick up an easy win this weekend.
PICK: FLORIDA ATLANTIC -1.5 OVER 47.5
#24 Appalachian State at Marshall
With two of the big conferences not playing this season, it gives room for teams on the cusp like App State to sneak into the top 25. They will push further up in the standings after they get a big win against Marshall this weekend.
PICK: APPALACHIAN STATE -4.5 UNDER 59.5
Troy at Middle Tennessee State
Neal Brown, now the head coach of West Virginia, always kept Troy interesting. Chip Lindsay took over last year and posted Troy’s worst record since 2015, Brown’s first season with the team. Hopefully, Lindsay will make the same kind of turn around.
PICK: TROY -3 UNDER 65
SMU at North Texas
North Texas put up over 700 yards of offense last week. They played a nothing team, but it is still a huge offensive explosion. While they won’t manage the same output against SMU, it will be fan to watch both of these offenses on the field.
PICK: SMU -14 OVER 70.5
#17 Miami at #18 Louisville
This might be the most important game of the season for both of these teams. They each play better teams later in the season. This is important because they have to prove who they are in this game. The team who wins this game push forward with confidence. The loser might flounder to obscurity.
PICK: LOUISVILLE -2.5 UNDER 65
Texas State at Louisiana Monroe
These teams are a combine 0-3. Texas State lost their first two games this season, but they seem to be a much better team than Louisiana Monroe. The Bobcats actually can manage to score points. LA-Monroe was absolutely embarrassed by Army last week.
PICK: TEXAS STATE -6 OVER 63
Louisiana Tech at Southern Mississippi
South Alabama handed it to Southern Mississippi a couple of weeks ago. The Golden Eagles had a week to figure it out before taking on Louisiana Tech. I don’t know if that was enough time to get it done. I’ll take Louisiana Tech outright winning their season opener.
PICK: LOUISIANA TECH +5 UNDER 58
Wake Forest at North Carolina State
I’ve been a sucker for Wake Forest for the past few years. Dave Clawson has done an amazing job as head coach, and I am surprised that a major program hasn’t scooped him up yet. They will pull the upset this week against their in-state rival.
PICK: WAKE FOREST +5.5 OVER 53