Finally, after a long off season we have a full slate of football games to look forward to tonight, Friday night, Saturday night, we even have some games on Sunday and Monday night! Time to bring back our CFB preview each week where we’ll pick a handful of games, give out the spread, break them down, and give out our picks. We’ll keep a running tab all year to see how we do. There’s only one top 25 match-up to talk about, let’s jump right into it.
#14 Utah (-6.5) @ BYU (+6.5) — O/U 48.5 (Thursday 9:15 PM CST on ESPN)
- Ahh the ole holy war we get in week one.
- Utah is bringing back a ton on defense including all starters and reserves from their defensive line.
- Utah is also getting their starting QB Tyler Huntley, and starting RB Zack Moss back from last year who were both injured in November and missed the rest of the season. Both of these guys didn’t play against BYU last year.
- Utah is the favorite from Pac 12 to make a CFP run with what their returning and the favorable schedule.
- BYU hasn’t won this game since 2009. Since 2012 this game has been decided by 8 points or less.
- In their previous eight match-ups, three of their games have gone over 48 points.
- BYU like Utah return a ton of guys on defense that held Utah to under 300 yards of total offense in the game last year.
- BYU return QB Zach Wilson and a good group of WRs that could press Utah’s DBs which is the weakest part of their defense, if you want to call it a weakness.
- BYU also gets a little boost here with it being a home game for them, Thursday Night prime-time game, that place is going to be wild.
- I think Utah wins this game but the streak of one score games continues. I expect this to be a defensive game but Utah gets their starting QB and RB back, who guys BYU didn’t have to deal with last year. BYU +6.5 and under 48.5.
Northwestern (+6.5) @ #25 Stanford (-6.5) — O/U 47.5 (Saturday 3:00 PM CST on FOX)
- These two teams are very similar to each-other which is why I like the under.
- K.J. Costello is a very good QB but not much weapons other than TE Colby Parkinson who is one of the best in the country.
- Stanford loses RB Bryce Love who was great for them but had a down 2018 because of the offensive line play.
- Offensive line play needs to get better if were going to see an old school Stanford team. NW isn’t a team that Stanford will be able to just line up and push around.
- NW has one of the best LBs in the country in Paddy Fisher. DPOY candidate in the Big Ten.
- NW defense was good against the run in 2018, but pretty poor against the pass. That’s where Stanford can attack them.
- NW has anew QB in Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson. But they also have a 5th year senior in TJ Green who has played in this offense. Pat Fitzgerald has been known to play multiple QBs so who knows who we will see in this game. Johnson has more talent than Green.
- Just like Stanford, NW has issues on the offensive line. This game may come down to who can throw the ball better in the 4th quarter.
- Stanford return a ton on their defensive line which is going to cause NW some problems.
- Who steps up on offense at WR for either of these teams? WR Kyric McGowan for NW showed some flashes last year and NW fans would love for him to break out. Michael Wilson looks like the next guy up for Stanford and they also got a big recruit in Connor Wedington.
- I like Northwestern to cover in this game and for the under to hit. These are two shaky offenses and both defenses should be ahead of the offense their playing against. As far as who wins, it’s a toss up to me but I see this being a very close game that comes down to the last possessions. NW +6.5 and under 47.5.
Boise St. (+3.5) vs Florida St. (-3.5) — O/U 54 (Saturday 6:00 PM CST on ESPN)
- As I’m writing this the game is currently still scheduled to be played 6:00 PM on Saturday but Hurricane Dorian could move this game up or maybe they’ll push it back or move it up a day.
- This game is being played a “neutral” site in Jacksonville. In reality this is obviously a home game for Florida St.
- Boise St. has been the darling of college football multiple times in the past so they won’t be afraid of a Power 5 team, especially one that played as bad as Florida St. did last year.
- BSU comes in starting True Freshman QB Hank Bachmeier, a new starting RB, and they also lost their top two WRs from year – and that’s just on offense. They also lost some quality players on defense from last year.
- FSU brought in Kendal Briles from Houston to be their new offensive coordinator.
- FSU is starting Redshirt Sophomore QB James Blackmon who won the job over Wisconsin transfer Alex Hornibrook.
- The best offensive player on the filed will be RB Cam Akers from FSU whose looking to bounce back from last year. He had to play behind the worst ranked OL in Power 5 conferences last year, that needs to improve.
- FSU has experience on their side over Boise State on both sides of the ball. 16 of the top 20 tacklers are back for FSU.
- The weather is a factor here no matter what time they play this game. First of all its going to be hot and humid, something BSU isn’t used too. Secondly if they play this game before the hurricane then there’s a great chance for rain.
- I like FSU to cover and the under to hit. I think FSU has too much talent and their offensive line has to improve. Combine that with everything they have on offense and what Boise State lost on defense, I like FSU to win by at least a TD. FSU +3.5 and under 54.
#16 Auburn (-2.5) vs #11 Oregon (+3.5) — O/U 55.5 (Saturday 6:30 PM CST on ABC)
- This is the biggest opening game of the week and feels like a must win for Oregon if they want to make the CFP.
- Auburn played in this game last year against Washington and came out on top.
- This game pits one of the best positional match-ups you’ll see all year: Auburn’s DL vs Oregon’s OL.
- This game is being played in Arlington, TX at Jerry’s World.
- Oregon’s’ only questions on offense come at WR. They return the most experienced OL in CFB by far, QB Justin Herbert is going to be a 1st round pick, and their two RBs played a lot in 2018 as True Freshman.
- Oregon can beat Auburn if their OL takes control of this game against Derrick Brown and the rest of that Auburn DL. Besides Georgia, Oregon might be the most equipped team in the country to slow that DL down.
- Oregon’s defense should also have the advantage over Auburn. Auburns OL was piss poor last year and until they prove they’re better, you have to assume they are going to struggle against the Ducks defense.
- Auburn is also starting True Freshman QB Bo Nix. Nix is more of the type of QB Gus Malzahn wants to run his offense compared to Jarred Stidham but this is a huge game to throw a Freshman into.
- Nix can attack this Oregon pass defense that gave up 242 YDS/game and 2 TDs or more eight different times last year.
- Who does Nix throw the ball to though? There are questions at WR. Auburn does bring back RBs JaTarvious Whitlow and Kam Martin, but they need the OL to play better.
- I like Oregon to cover and win this game. Oregon is more talented at every unit that Auburn besides on the DL and in the secondary. I think Oregon’s OL is good enough to stifle the boys up front for Auburn and win in a lower scoring game. Oregon +3.5 and under 55.5.