Well it’s officially here, the first Saturday of the college football season. We kicked it off Thursday night with South Carolina squeaking out with a win on the road at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt did get the cover as Vegas had them getting a touchdown. BYU hammered the Washington State Cougars to put a damper on the return of Mike Leach. BYU not only won, they got the against the spread victory.
Friday night saw the Tennessee Volunteers look very solid on offense as they disposed of the N.C. State Wolfpack. Also, Michigan State beat Boise State but only by a slim margin. Boise St. got the loss but starts 2012 1-0 versus the spread.
Each week we will aim to beat the Vegas line, which is a hard thing to do. Vegas wasn’t built because people were winning money. Rather, people lose boat loads of cash in an effort to fulfill that rush of walking to the window and cashing that winning ticket.
Although the oddsmakers get it right more times than they get it wrong, there are a few occasions where we, the gambler, may have a slight advantage. It can be a small conference team, an FCS team, or an over/under that may be out of line to what actually is going to happen.
We will use a one through three unit system (1*-3*), where 1* is our smallest bet and a 3* being our biggest.
So, without further adieu, I present our NCAA Football, Against The Spread Predictions:
2* Iowa State +1.5
Year four of the Paul Rhoads era gets underway in Ames, Iowa on Saturday as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane come calling on Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State returns two quarterbacks in Jared Barnett and Steel Jantz, both have battled in fall camp and Barnett is expected to get the call in the opener.
For most who haven’t watched the Cyclones in recent years, their defense, although not highly rated, sports some nice athletes. The linebacker position, in particular, is in good hands, as seniors Jake Knott and A.J. Klein return. Both Knott and Klein were All Big 12 selections in 2011.
What I like most about Iowa State is the fire they play with under Rhoads, who is only 18-20 in three years, but has coached the Cyclones to some big victories.
Even more, Iowa State has won four straight home openers by an average of 16 ppg. and are 12-1 since 1999.
Tulsa returns some nice talent, especially at the skill positions, where they have a ton of speed. But gone is G.J. Kinne, who ran this Golden Hurricane offense for three years. Breaking in a new quarterback is not a good move, on the road, in a hostile environment such as Ames, Iowa.
On a further note, Tulsa is 4-18 in road openers and are just 1-17 since 1997 on the road vs BCS schools.
That’s enough for me, lets start the season off right with a huge Cyclone victory at home, as they win this baby outright.
Freddie Vickers covers the SEC for Rant Sports
Follow Freddie on twitter: @fredvic9