It wasn’t quite the start I was hoping for in my ATS picks for week one. But all things considered, hitting .500 also isn’t the worse imaginable scenario to open up the year. We’ll keep a running tab of my record throughout the year in the lede of each week’s picks.
Crabbs’ Week 1 CFB picks against the spread (game winners in bold)
Florida State vs Alabama (-7.0) – Win
Maryland (+18.5) vs Texas – Win
North Carolina State (-5.0) vs South Carolina – Loss
Wyoming (+12.0) vs Iowa – Loss
Last week: 2-2
Season to date: 2-2
(-3.5) #23 Texas Christian Horned Frogs @ Arkansas Razorbacks (Fayetteville, AR)
An SEC team getting 3.5 points at home vs. a middle tier Big XII opponent? Sign me up for that. I think Arkansas’ propensity to run the football will shorten this game quite a bit, which has the potential to accentuate any errors made by TCU QB Kenny Hill.
The Razorbacks have the personnel up front to physical pound on a smaller, faster defense; giving them what I believe is a distinct advantage in ball control.
(+7.5) #5 Oklahoma Sooners @ #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (Columbus, OH)
I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I think the Sooners not only cover the spread, I think they win this game outright against Ohio State. The battles of note? The Ohio State defensive line will pose a massive challenge to the Sooners. And JT Barrett has to make this happen with his arm against the Sooners defense.
So why do I lean Oklahoma? I trust Baker Mayfield more to win this game than I do Barrett. The Ohio State front seven will force Mayfield to try to beat them with his arm. I think he can do it. On the other side, experienced RB Mike Weber is banged up, leaving stellar freshman JK Dobbins to carry the load. He’ll get his, but will it be enough?
(+5.5) #15 Georgia Bulldogs @ #24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (South Bend, IN)
This line opened up at +6.5 to Notre Dame. Like the Oklahoma/Ohio State match up, I like the Bulldogs to not only cover the spread here but take the game straight up. I understand Bulldogs fans are licking their wounds after losing QB Jacob Eason in the season opener. But the team didn’t skip a beat, taking a 31-0 lead against App State before yielding 10 in the final quarter.
Notre Dame looked good boat racing the Temple Owls as well, but I don’t think they’ll necessarily have an answer for the rushing attack of the two headed monster that is Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. The Irish have some big play weapons and a versatile passer in Brandon Wimbush, but I think Georgia can mask those players enough with their team speed to make the difference.
(-9.5) #17 Louisville Cardinals @ North Carolina Tar Heels (Chapel Hill, NC)
There were few elements that stopped the Cardinals offense against Purdue, other than the Cardinals’ own self inflicted wounds. And I don’t see much in the way of resistance on the opposing offensive unit, especially after dropping the season opener to the Cal Bears.
Lamar Jackson was terrific last week, I think that will continue going forward as well. His ability to beat defenders with both his arm and legs will make LB Andre Smith rue the day he chose to publicly call out Jackson, asserting that “he’s not going to beat us at all”.