Week 1 Expert Betting Picks feature Fresno State at USC

Week 1 Expert Picks feature Fresno State at USC

Fresno State (11-2 SU, 5-8 ATS) may no longer have talented quarterback Derek Carr leading them, but the Bulldogs are still looking to build on their fantastic 11-win season while getting some revenge for their 45-20 loss to the Trojans in 2014 Las Vegas Bowl no matter what anyone else thinks. Click here for more college football betting.

The USC Trojans ( 10-4 SU, 7-7 ATS)   also had a fine season in winning 10 games despite the fact that they finished third in the Pac-12 South division while trying for the fourth-best record in the conference.

Now both teams will look to get their 2014 seasons off to a positive start – at the other’s expense.

Fresno State at No. 15 USC -21
Fresno State takes on a 21 point favorite USC Trojans squad this Saturday for week 1 college football action live on FOX.
Starts: 08/30/2014 7:30PM
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and Coliseum, 3939 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, California

Week 1 Expert Betting Picks feature Fresno State at USC

USC will play its first game under new head coach Steve Sarkisian looking to get a strong performance from quarterback Cody Kessler after watching the now-junior throw for 2,968 yards with 20 TDs and 7 interceptions. The bad news for the Trojans is that they will start two true freshmen along their offensive line this season.

While Fresno State has yet to name its starter for Saturday’s game, head coach Tim DeRuyter says he is confident in both, Brian Burrell Brandon Connette.

Burrell, a junior, has shown great progress this spring and summer and I expect him to start.

"Spring was really my first time trying to take full control of the offense, full control of the team," Burrell said this week. "Derek (Carr) had just left. I knew what my role was as a second-team player. I accepted that. It was a lot different than being the projected starter in the spring.

In addition to playing its area rivals, USC also has to deal with some national publicity surrounding the alleged heroic of senior cornerback Josh Shaw.

Shaw claimed he injured both ankles recently by jumping from a balcony at a family party in order to save his 7-year-old nephew who couldn’t swim. Shaw allegedly landed on concrete from two stories up before dragging himself into the pool to save his family member.

Sarkisian, said he wants more information on the incident but tat it wouldn’t distrait him heading into the new season.

"It’s pretty clear there’s quite a few conflicting stories out there," Sarkisian said after the team’s practice on Wednesday. "Any information we’ve been given we’ve pushed along to campus authorities and we’re going to let this play out. We’re kind of in a holding pattern at this point.

"My main focus is on going out and playing a great game," he added. "I have another 104 football players in that locker room I have to prepare to play on Saturday."

Now, I now the Bulldogs are a team n transition, but they’ve also gone 13-6 ATS in their last 19 road games while the USC Trojans have gone 2-7 ATS in their last nine games against non-conference opponents.

Fresno State is just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against Pac-12 teams and that doesn’t bode well for the Dogs in this one, but USC is just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games against non-conference opponents.

I like the Bulldogs to find a way to keep the final score inside the three-touchdown spread.

In addition to this pick, I also like the Under to play out for O/U Total bettors in this one. The Under is 4- 1 in Fresno State ‘s last five games in the month of August and 5-2-1 in the Bulldogs’ last eight games overall.

The Under is also 3-0- 1 in USC’s last four games against teams from the MWC, 13-3- 1 in the Trojans’ last 17 games against non-conference opponents and a consistent 11-4- 1 in their last 16 games overall.

My Week 1 Expert Betting Pick is Fresno State +22 Points/Under 55 Total Points.

Stanford vs Notre Dame Odds & Predictions Week 5

Bet On College Football – Can Rice Upset Notre Dame In South Bend

The Rice Owls and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will both enter this 2014 regular season opener looking to build on the fine seasons they each had in 2013, but with that said, this contest looks more like a lock selection for college football betting enthusiasts than anything else.

Let’s take an in-depth look at both bowl game hopefuls in this matchup before I offer up what looks like a simple selection on this intriguing contest.

Rice Owls at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 20.5 point favorites over the Rice Owls in the College Football Week 1 betting action.
Starts: 08/30/2014 3:30PM
Notre Dame Stadium, 113 Joyce Center
South Bend, Indiana

Rice Owls Vs Notre Dame College Football Odds

Notre Dame -20.5
Total: 51.5

Analysis: I’m going to get right to the point by saying that I’m a bit shocked that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-4 SU, 5-7-1 ATS, 5-8 O/U) are such huge favorites over a Rice Owls (10-4 SU, 8-6 ATS, 7-7 O?U) team that won more games than the Irish, both SU and ATS.

Not only that, but now, Notre Dame also has to deal with the fallout of a nationally-mesmerizing academic scandal that cost the team four players, with three of them being defensive players.

Head coach Brian Kelly confirmed Tuesday that cornerback  KeiVarae Russell, 2013 leading receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end   Ishaq Williams and backup linebacker   Kendall Moore are all under investigation for allegedly receiving improper assistance from others on papers and homework.

"It does me no good to put a timetable on it. It does me no good to think about what day. I’ve moved on and the process will take care of itself," Kelly said.

The good news is that Notre Dame will have former starting quarterback Everett Golson back on the field this season after he missed all of last year because of academics.

Rice won Conference USA last season with a 7-1 league record, but finished off its 2013 campaign by getting routed by Mississippi State 44- 7 in the Liberty Bowl.

Still, I like junior Driphus Jackson and believe he can help the Owls bid on their fine 2013 season after watching him go 15 for 21 for 264 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-14 win in the 2012 Armed Forces Bowl.

Rice has dropped 21 consecutive games against ranked opponents while allowing an average of 54.3 points in 11 such losses since 2005, but the Owls are also 7-2 ATS in their last nine games against non-conference opponents while the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have gone 4-8-1 ATS in its last 13 home games.

In addition to these ATS facts, you should also know that the total has gone OVER in four of Rice’s L/5 games.

Analysis: Rice and Notre Dame combined to average 58.5 points per game in 2013 while allowing a combined average of 45.8 points per game defensively.

The Over is 4- 0 in the Rice Owls’ last 4 games in the month of August and an identical 4- 0 in their last four games against teams from the Independent Conference.

The Over is a blistering 42- 17 in Rice’s last 59 road games, but the Under is 25- 10 in Notre Dame’s last 35 home games. Still, I like the Over in this one.

My Rice Owls Vs Notre Dame NCAAF Free Pick: Bet The Over at 52 Total Points

Mountain West Conference Preview

Mountain West Conference Preview

Chris Petersen is now the head coach at Washington, meaning that Boise State becomes the most interesting team in the Mountain West Conference.

Boise State has dominated the Mountain West for years. It’s one of the premier football programs in the nation. Without Petersen, will the Broncos continue that domination or will a different team from the competitive Mountain West step it up?

Mountain West Conference Preview

Fresno State Bulldogs – Even though they lost QB David Carr, the Bulldogs return 8 starters on defense. That could help them win the West Division.

Hawaii Warriors – The defense allowed close to 40 points on average per game in 2013. Unless the D improves mightily, Hawaii could be a cellar dweller.

Nevada Wolf Pack – Nevada’s defense will have to improve for it to contend. The unit allowed close to 500 yards per game last season.

San Diego State Aztecs – The road schedule is awfully tough. 8 wins, like what the Aztecs did in 2013, might be asking a lot.

San Jose State Spartans – Veteran defensive coordinator Greg Robinson will have his hands full improving a San Jose State D that allowed 35 points per game in 2013

UNLV Rebels – The fact that UNLV is banned from post-season play means that they probably won’t show the needed fire to win more games than they lose in 2014.

Air Force Falcons – The Falcons’ defense is too dreadful for them to challenge in the Mountain West.

Boise State Broncos – Bryan Harsin, who used to coach the offense at Boise, returns after a stint as head coach at Arkansas State. The Broncos have the goods, with 12 returning starters, to win the Mountain West.

Colorado State Rams – The offense lost a key player in center Weston Richburg, but the Rams offense should be good with QB Garrett Grayson under center.

New Mexico Lobos – Like Air Force, New Mexico’s defense is just too awful for anybody to consider them as a challenger for the Mountain West title.

Utah State Aggies – Replacing four players on the offensive line might be Utah State’s downfall. The team will be decent, but effective offensive line changes take time.

Wyoming Cowboys – New coach Carig Bohl had tons of success as the coach of North Dakota State. Bohl might need a year before challenging for the Mountain West Championship, though.

Mountain West Conference Championship: Boise State vs. Fresno State

Returning 8 starters on defense for Fresno State is a big deal. Most of the teams in the Mountain West rely on high-scoring offenses. The defense adding anything to a team’s chances to win is huge. Fresno State has a more favorable road schedule than San Diego State and Nevada’s defense is absolutely terrible. The Bulldogs will win the West.

In the East, Boise State may have lost their coach, but Bryan Harsin was very effective as the head man at Arkansas State. More importantly, he knows the Boise State program. With 12 returning starters and Harsin’s experience at Boise, the Broncos should do enough to win the MWC West.

The winner between Boise State and Fresno State in the MWC Championship Game should come down to which team plays better defense. Fresno State’s 8 returning starters will be the difference. The Bulldogs should do just enough to squeak out a victory over Boise State.

Pick: Fresno State Bulldogs.