Free College Football Picks for Saturday's Full Lineup of Games
by CarbonSports - 8/29/2014
The first full Saturday of college football action is here and that means bettors are ready for all-day football action with 40+ games to choose from. Saturday CFB betting boards can be a bit intimidating to a new bettor, but if you do your homework and avoid the pitfall of trying to get action down on a ton of games, betting college football can be very profitable. I've gone through the first Saturday board of the season and have found two underdogs that are up against perennial powerhouses that should surprise many.
Pick #1: West Virginia +26 (-110)
The Mountaineers start the season against the class of college football the past 8+ years in Alabama. Nick Saban's Crimson Tide are always a threat to lift up that crystal football in early January as their program doesn't rebuild it just reloads. Every year it seems the Tide loses 5+ starters to the NFL draft and this season was no different, but it will be different in a lot of ways.
First off, four-year starter QB A.J McCarron is gone to the NFL and QB changes for a successful college football program always seem to be tough. Senior Blake Sims should get the nod for Saban's team this year but junior Jake Coker transfered over to Alabama last year and will see some playing time at some point this year. The rest of the offensive weapons basically remain the same with WR Amari Cooper, Christion Jones and RB T.J Yeldon all returning as there is no shortage of talent on this team. However, the Tide have a freshman LT Cam Robinson jumping into a starting role this year and sophomore Alphonse Taylor is going to be starting at RG. For a program that loves to run a pro-style offense and pound the ball through the trenches those are some HUGE changes for Alabama to get comfortable with and it might take some time for this offense to completely find it's rhythm.
West Virginia has some new faces their offensive line as well and are looking to rebound from a disappointing 4-8 SU year in 2013. QB Clint Trickett is back and they've got 14 guys on offense (including Trickett) who started at least one game last year. 2013 was a rebuilding year for West Virginia as a lot of young guys got thrown into the fire right away and while the results didn't come through for them last year, going through all those wars will only help them this season.
The Mountaineers were only 3-8 ATS last season but all three of those ATS victories came when they were double digit underdogs. They were actually getting double digit points in four games a season ago so a 3-1 ATS mark is nothing to shake your head at. This team has a tendency to keep games close when they aren't expected too thanks to their ability to put up points, and while the defense is still suspect, many of those young guys on the back end are returning this year and will have an impact.
Finally, with the excitement of football being back and bettors having full bankrolls once again, there will be no shortage of love of the brand name of Alabama in this one. However, with a new QB out there asking them to win by four TD's is too much in my opinion and I have no problem taking these points. In those three ATS wins as double digit dogs last year West Virginia lost by nine points (+21), nine points (+19.5) and won by three (+10.5) so it's not often that this team got their buts handed to them when many expected it would happen. That's like the case on Saturday as Alabama's margin of victory will be under three TD's.
Pick #2: Oklahoma State +18.5 (-105)
Last year's National Champion from Florida State is expected to cruise through their schedule again this year and are one of the favorites to win it all. Heisman winning QB Jameis Winston is back to lead the Seminoles again and it's tough to argue with how much talent Florida State has. They'll like be double digit favorites in every game they play this season (barring a Winston injury) and it begins with a neutral site game in Dallas against Oklahoma State on Saturday night.
Everyone knows about how good Florida State is and are running to the window to bet them as heavy favorites. There is no denying the talent they have on both sides of the ball, but I don't think many out there have thought about the potential "championship hangover" these players may have now that they've climbed the mountain top. Over 80% of the bets on this game already have come in on the Seminoles and it's forced the line to move off it's 17.5 number to it's current position.
However, Mike Gundy's Oklahoma State program has always been known for it's ability to score points by the bucketload and although he's got some new recruits in the starting lineup this season, the Cowboys will relish this underdog role. They understand that no one expects much of anything from them against the defending champs, but they will have a bit of a home field edge being much closer to Dallas than the Seminoles are and that crowd will get rowdy if Oklahoma State is still within striking distance in the 2nd half.
Not only did Florida State win it all a year ago, they were one of the best ATS teams in the land with a 10-3 ATS mark. Bettors are banking on that to happen again this year, but it's rare for any program to follow up a great year ATS with another one. Part of that is because oddsmakers adjust their lines accordingly knowing that these teams will get more love from bettors the next year and it's hard to argue with the fact that there might not be another team in the country that will get more love then the Seminoles this year. Chances are there will be a lot of SU wins but ATS losses for Florida State at these inflated numbers this year and I believe that will start with Week 1. Waiting until kickoff might be your best option with this OK State team as this line could climb even higher across the key numbers of -20 or -21, but somehow, someway the Cowboys will make sure this game finishes with a 17-point spread or less.
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