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Week 1 NCAAF Computer Picks: Houston Set for Impressive Debut in the Big 12


 

We’ve got a massive slate for Week 1 of college football. Here are three valuable bets via our computer’s predictions for the first entire college football weekend.

Picks Summary

 


Louisville Cardinals vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Friday, September 01, 2023 – 07:30 PM EDT at Mercedes-Benz Stadium


The Louisville Cardinals no longer have Scott Satterfield at Louisville, but they brought in Jeff Brohm to keep the program rolling. And it should.

Brohm is 66-44 all-time as a head coach. It’s only Year 1 with Louisville, but the hype is real. The Cardinals added a lot of transfers and look super talented on every side of the ball. Louisville will have Jack Plummer at quarterback. His best season was at Purdue, but he was also a quarterback with California.

They’ve got a veteran quarterback, familiar with the coaching style, who should come in and play at a high level. The entire receiving core is from the portal, too. Jamari Thrash is from Georgia State. He should be the best receiver. They’ve also got Kevin Coleman from Jackson State and Jadon Thompson from Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ defense was sensational last season and should be at least at the top of the ACC this year. They’ll take on a Georgia Tech team that missed a bowl game last year.

They were terrible in the passing game and scored more than 16 points in just five games, but with Jeff Sims at Nebraska, it’s time for Zach Pyron to get his shot. They’ll have more deep threats, but if the offensive line doesn’t hold up, it won’t matter.

I agree with the AI model. Take Louisville to dominate in the opener.

NCAAF Pick: Louisville -8 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook


UTSA Roadrunners vs. Houston Cougars

Saturday, September 02, 2023 – 07:00 PM EDT at TDECU Stadium


The UTSA Roadrunners went 11-3 and 8-0 in the Conference USA last season. The Roadrunners are starting to become a powerhouse name in college football, but now they’ll be playing in the American Athletic Conference.

UTSA is no longer in the Conference USA. That makes life more difficult. The Roadrunners had one of the best offenses in the nation last year. They still have Frank Harris at quarterback, who has been there for many seasons.

However, after hauling in 94 catches and 15 touchdowns, Zachary Franklin is no longer around. The offensive line also struggled at times last year. I’d expect more of the same this season. With less prominent playmakers and an offensive line that isn’t great, UTSA might fall off slightly in a transition year.

Houston also transitioned from the AAC to the Big 12. Think about it. UTSA went to the AAC when Houston left the AAC for the Big 12. Which team would you prefer in an opening-day matchup? Houston went 8-5 overall last season and played much more challenging teams.

Back Houston in this matchup at one of the top sportsbooks.

NCAAF Pick: Houston ML (-105) at Caesars Sportsbook


Old Dominion Monarchs vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

Saturday, September 02, 2023 – 08:00 PM EDT at Lane Stadium


The Old Dominion Monarchs aren’t supposed to be good this year, but neither are the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Old Dominion upset Virginia Tech last year at home, and fans stormed the field. While players have changed on both sides, systems haven’t.

Virginia Tech’s offense was awful last season. They averaged just 19 points per game. Grant Wells will likely start for the Hokies, but if he struggles early, he’ll be pushed out by Kyron Drones, who recently played for the Baylor Bears.

Virginia Tech added an Old Dominion transfer in Ali Jennings, bringing in plenty of other talented receivers, but they’re not expected to play at a higher level, in a more complex division. It’s going to take time.

The secondary is super weak for Old Dominion. You can expect Virginia Tech to do some damage offensively. However, Old Dominion averaged about 250 yards passing per game. They can keep up.

When these two teams collide, Old Dominion is always prepared. Take the Monarchs at +15.5 at the NCAAF odds board.

NCAAF Pick: Old Dominion +15.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook


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