The first week of the season is always a tricky thing to gauge because so many teams are just getting back into the swing of things, but I’m pickin’ ‘em no less.
If you want the lines I’m referencing, just check vegasinsider.com and keep in mind I am only referring to the spread and not outright winners.
1. Georgia (-1.5) at Clemson:
I hate picking games where my alma mater has so much on the line because, let me be honest, I’m superstitious. However, I truly feel that the Tigers ability to stop the run will be the story of this game. If they can withstand the push of both Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall for four quarters, Georgia is going to have their hands full; look for both Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome to play an important part in this one.
The Lady’s Pick: Georgia
2. LSU (-4) at Texas Christian:
This is a tough one because, in my opinion, there are a few question marks LSU on defense; they have talent, but it’s inexperienced. And then there’s the new offensive coordinator for LSU, Cam Cameron, has Zach Mettenberger learned enough between the Clemson loss and now to be effective at the position? Is Jeremy Hill going to play—Les Miles ain’t talkin’. Too many questions. However, with Les Miles, you have to figure he’s always going to have a few tricks up his sleeve.
The Lady’s Pick: LSU
3. Boise State at Washington (-3.5):
It’s time for Washington to be significant. Sarkisian has had time to build, the Huskies have a new stadium, a more up-tempo offense, and this ain’t the same Boise State team that beat them in Idaho last season. The loss of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will sting, but I think the Huskies can find enough offense to win and the defense should be able to make enough stops to keep Boise from assaulting the scoreboard.
The Lady’s Pick: Washington
4. Ohio at Louisville (-20):
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is hearing Heisman chatter, and after the way the Cardinal’s defense handled Florida last season, a lot of people are seeing BCS Championship possibilities for them this season; Charlie Strong obviously has the Cards headed in the right direction.
20 is a big number to cover on a team that has two major time offensive weapons in QB Tyler Tettleton and RB Beau Blankenship, but I’ve seen enough of the Cardinals defense to feel good about their ability to stay disciplined and make plays to limit the damage Tettleton and Blankenship can do.
The Lady’s Pick: Louisville
5. Penn State (-8.5) at Syracuse:
Penn State is back! Or at least that’s the message we keep hearing, right? I don’t know if that’s actually true or not, but I do know that neither Syracuse, nor Penn State have made a definitive decision on a quarterback yet. That, to me, means the game will come down to which defense can give up the least amount of big plays. Syracuse should come into this game loose and ready to play, where the Lions will likely feel the pressure of new expectations after an eight win season in 2012.
The Lady’s Pick: Syracuse
The Other Five (My Picks are in Bold):
6. Auburn (-15.5) vs. Washington State
7. Arkansas (-10.5) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
8. Florida (-23.5) vs. Toledo
9. Mississippi State (+13.0) at Oklahoma State
10. Western Kentucky (+4.5) vs. Kentucky