College Football Picks - Free Weekly ATS Predictions
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An outstanding 99% of the consensus are willing to spot the points to the Falcons and take the home favorites Memphis. For Over/Under markets, the line currently sits at 68.5, despite opening at 61 showcasing that this market has moved by a touchdown and half a point. Traditionally in a situation where we see such heavy leans, a contrarian angle can often be useful and profitable. When nearly all the public are one team, there is a great chance that team is set up for a letdown. Bottom line, Bowling Green’s record is a bit deceiving. Middle Tennessee State is a quality outfit that is a true dark horse for the Conference USA. Middle Tennessee State’s performance against Bowling Green directly reflects that. Let us not forget that Memphis has not beaten anyone of consequence yet this year and this will be a step up in competition. While a shootout may in fact be on the horizon, the stark line movements in Over/Under markets compels us to go under as each team will be entering this contest without the critical playmakers they had at quarterback a year ago when they met at Bowling Green.
Many will be quick to jump on the Gators with their recent dominance in this rivalry, but the time has never been greater to take the Volunteers. Sure, Tennessee could have lost to Appalachian State and they may have had a tough time with the Bobcats but we cannot overlook how they fared against Virginia Tech in Bristol. Tennessee may have been looking ahead to this contest as the Gators are a date circled on their calendar every year. Only this year Tennessee gets them at home with a more experienced quarterback and heightened motivation. The Volunteers despite injuries will come in to this game looking to make a statement and end Florida’s reign of terror. It is likely that Butch Jones will test the poise and moxie of Austin Appleby with his talented defensive line. Florida has already had issues on offense and thus this situation won’t get any easier. The Vols will exploit the Gators’ quarterback predicament and Josh Dobbs will collect a signature win to bolster his resume.
Both of these teams have shown the early ability to put points on the board and I see that once again being the case in Saturday’s matchup. Pitt should be able to keep things close well into the second half, but its suspect defense will be hard-pressed to keep the Tar Heels in check for all four quarters.
North Carolina has gotten the best of things since the Panthers joined the ACC and I like its chances to keep this winning streak alive with another SU win this Saturday at home. When it comes to betting this game, I believe the “best bet” pick is still with the OVER 67.5 on the total line.
So far we have seen 66% of the consensus jump on the Rebels in the early going against the spread. For Over/Under markets, the line currently sits at 60.5. Public perception would dictate that the Dawgs have little chance in this contest. The Dawgs have squeaked by in victories against Nicholls State and Missouri and they had to come from behind to defeat UNC in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic. Nevertheless, the Dawgs match up well with the Rebels because the Dawgs are among the best in the business at defending the pass. Ole Miss is a pass-happy outfit like UNC or Missouri so this fits right in to Georgia’s tool box. The Dawgs were able to curtail the pass when they came from behind against the Tar Heels and Tigers. The Bulldogs smothered the Tar Heels passing attack, holding them to double digit totals and allowing the Heels offense to find the end zone just once early in the second half. A similar story unfolded last Saturday when the Bulldogs allowed just one offensive touchdown early in the second half. Then the rest of the game was all Georgia’s defense. UGA imposed their will, creating five turnovers, three of which were interceptions, ultimately catapulting the Dawgs to triumph. Add in the fact, Ole Miss has blown two twenty-plus point leads and Georgia has overcome double-digit deficits on two occasions and the psychological edge might actually rest with the Bulldogs.
Neither team has been really tested so far in the early part of the season, but the clear edge still has to go to Clemson as the better all-around team. This is a great opportunity for a program like Georgia Tech to make its presence felt both in the ACC and on the national level, but it is still going to be a tall task to actually get it done.
I see this game as a 10-point spread in favor of the Tigers so the current betting line of 9.5 is just low enough for me to go with a “best bet” pick on Clemson to win and cover this Thursday night in Atlanta.
Nearly all are in on the Cards, 95% of the public are with the U of L in the early going against the spread. For Over/Under markets, we have seen some heavy action come in on the over as the market has moved two points where the line currently sits at 74.5. This market is all about the psychological tactics books use to sway public perception. Louisville’s stock is in another stratosphere after their 62-20 thrashing of #2 Florida State. A steady stream of hype and fanfare was due to follow suit. Suddenly, Lamar Jackson’s five touchdowns has positioned him as the current top candidate for Heisman honors and many analysts have begun naming Louisville a College Football Playoff contender. All this off of one game, even if it is an impressive result. On the contrary, the Thundering Herd were humiliated home last week by a heavy underdog in the Akron Zips where the Thundering Herd defense gave up 65 points to a team they were favored by more than two touchdowns against. Results of this magnitude is likely to create this type of an offering. Had the variables been assorted differently, Louisville may have all likely been a slight or marginal favorite as opposed to a heavy favorite against a historically formidable mid-major club. Bottom line, Louisville is a hot play right now and Marshall is in sell mode which affords us the opportunity to take back a plethora of points with a team renowned for their home field advantage and methodical offense.
So far we have seen what me be sharp money come in on the Pokes as the market opened at 10.5. In any shootout, the move is to always take the points especially when that amount is over a touchdown. This market likely reflects last year’s result as Baylor defeated Oklahoma State by 10 in 2015. Nevertheless, both teams have won three times in the last six meetings between the two, showcasing the competitive nature of this series. The points the Cowboys are taking back is most likely chalked up to the Cowboys defense that allowed Oklahoma State to fall to Central Michigan at home in Week Two. While the loss was miraculous, the Cowboys allowed the Chippewas to hang around to hurt them and the result in itself is enough to scare off any takers unless enough points were available for the taking. To the eyes of many, this quantity may not be sufficient. Baylor has not seen a team like Oklahoma State this year in terms of offensive proficiency. The Bears as mentioned have wins over Northwest State, SMU and most recently, Rice. This doesn’t bolster the Bears’ resume very much. The Bears have spotted far more points than they should have been up to this point and given the fact this will likely be a game with over 1,000 yards of offense, we will take full advantage.
An absurd 96% of the consensus are heavily leaning on the Bears. 85% of the public have mirrored the same sentiment on the over for a market currently set at 66 points. Baylor knows they can have their way with Rice and they will likely approach this contest as a scrimmage and prelude to an impactful Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State next Saturday. Baylor will be extra careful not to expose too much of their talent to injury or any other freak occurrences and put this one on autopilot once the game is in hand. This market may seem like a gift in light of last year’s outcome but the markets are sharp when it comes to this game, as it is a prime time match-up featuring a high profile team. Rice is readily capable of accruing a few late scores to keep this one within range and generate a backdoor cover if at nothing else.
You would have to give the slight edge to Florida State right now given its big win on opening day, but the Seminoles are still going to have their hands full trying to contain Jackson. This should actually be a very entertaining game between two of the more potent offensive attacks in the nation.
I think both of these young quarterbacks are in for a big day that should add up to more than a combined 65 points on the scoreboard. That is why my “best bet” pick for this ACC showdown the OVER on the total line.
63% of the public have taken the Wolverines against the spread and overall we have this seen market move 1.5 points since the open. As long as Michigan continues to win games and do so according to expectations, the premiums will continue to be assessed. The Wolverines have a propensity for spotting more points than necessary, even if they have safely covered in the first two games of the season. Colorado’s body of work speaks for itself. The Buffalos are not the same 4-9 team we have seen last year and if at nothing else they are certainly more of a threat to Michigan than Hawaii and UCF. Yet the numbers suggest Colorado is only a couple of touchdowns better than either of the two fallen foes. In 1994, a Colorado quarterback named Kordell Stewart connected with Michael Westbrook on a Hail Mary in the very stadium the Buffs are traveling to this weekend. While the miracle may have been two decades ago, it is certainly a motivational tool for CU. Colorado is not going to enter this contest with any flat feet and perhaps it is Michigan that needs to be weary of who is coming to town.
An astounding 91% of the public have taken the Sun Devils against the spread. Scoring 68 points against Texas Tech is not much of an achievement as the Red Raiders are not a team known for defensive proficiency. In fact, Texas Tech in recent years has had one of the worst defenses in the FBS. The Red Raiders live by the philosophy of outscoring opponents and on many occasions this approach has come back to haunt them more than help them. Last year, UTSA found themselves in a similar situation with ASU’s arch-rival Arizona was spotting an abundant quantity of points. Arizona had trouble putting the Road Runners away and UTSA covered comfortably. The Sun Devils’ defense is far too accommodating and if they continue to play the way they do, any team has a chance of malingering late in to the game. Tossing in eighteen points poises a lot of risk to any taker as a backdoor covers is even plausible for the Road Runners.
This should be a great matchup between two teams that know how to move the ball up and down the field through both the pass and the run. Houston did post that huge upset against Oklahoma, but it is facing a much more familiar opponent this time around, which should work to keep this a close battle right to the bitter end.
I still have the Cougars coming away with the SU win as the better all-around team, but I am taking the eight points and the Bearcats in what I see to be a seven-point game.
A heavy amount of the consensus are on the Canes as the line has already moved half a point since open. Nevertheless we continue to see the Mountaineers frequently undervalued in pivotal games of circumstance, the Tennessee outing serving as a great source of evidence to back this hypothesis. The Mountaineers are a dangerous team and the combination of Marcus Cox and Jacob Lamb is a difficult riddle for any team to solve. Getting these two at home complemented by an opposition with inconsistencies on both offense and defense and we have a situation take shape where an upset can be imminent. Miami better look over their shoulder as they enter Boone because they are rightfully on upset alert. App State has a passion for slaying giants such as Miami, look no further than what almost happened two weeks ago and what has transpired historically. While the Hurricanes have a propensity for action by namesake alone, the Mountaineers as we have highlighted are frequently undervalued in these scenarios. This game can further reinforce that notion. Don’t be shocked if the Mountaineers win this game outright.
Both of these teams come into this game with more questions than answers following a less than stellar performance against a much weaker opponent. The Hokies appear to have the edge in terms of overall form, but the Volunteers still have the clear edge in overall talent.
I would look for a big dose of the ground game from both of these teams on Saturday night which should work to keep the scoring rather low. I will give Tennessee the SU win and the Hokies the cover, but my “best bet” pick is the UNDER on the 54.5-point total line.
69% of the consensus have their money on the Tar Heels. Nevertheless it is hard to decipher which North Carolina team will show up. Any resemblance of the outfit that took the field Saturday against Georgia could spell disaster for the Tar Heels. At this point it is hard to determine how disenfranchised the Tar Heels are after they blew a ten point lead and watched Nick Chubb run over, under and through their defense. UNC’s secondary will certainly be tested by an experienced quarterback that is not taking his first snaps at the collegiate level like Jacob Eason was for Georgia. The Heels had the luxury of knowing Georgia was going to come out at them with the run, now they are not so fortunate. Additionally, the Illini get the Tar Heels in Champaign, where they have scared opponents of all calibers and pulled off upsets while they were at it. Expect the defense to stay at home in this one, as this game will likely be a shootout. With this being said, substantial points in a potential shootout and the over in a falling market are the academic plays in this match-up.
73% of the public have sided with the Cyclones in the early going. An important factoid worth taking in to consideration is Iowa’s recent struggles at home against the Cyclones and their propensity for let downs when they are heavily favored. When spotting double-digit point margins in this rivalry series, looking back over ten years, the Hawkeyes are 1-3 ATS when they are spotting more than ten points. In two of these aforementioned scenarios the Hawkeyes lost straight-up as a 13.5 point favorite in 2014 and as a 17.5 point favorite in 2007. Coming in off the disparaging defeat against Northern Iowa, this venue seems like the ideal set up for the Cyclones to take Iowa down yet again. Iowa State is not afraid of Iowa. Iowa State has shown no fear in the past and they have won the last aforementioned two in Iowa City resorting to theatrical field goals to seal the win. Nevertheless, the Cyclones have the competitive edge because they know they can win in Iowa City. Entering this contest with the second largest cushion of points in the last ten years, the upside is bountiful in taking the Cyclones against the spread as their stock is at its lowest currently.
61% of the public are with the Wolf Pack. ECU and North Carolina State is one of the most unnoticed yet robust rivalries in all of college football. No statistic showcases how balanced this series truly is other than the fact both teams have won three and lost three in the last six meetings between the two sides. Two of these contests were settled in overtime as regulation was not enough for these two teams to foster a result. In contests of this nature, home field advantage is everything and for that reason the edge lies with East Carolina. If the market is keen to throw in points along with taking the host, we will simply have to opt in and take the Pirates with the points. Very simply, ECU and NC State should be considered on a toss-up on a neutral field. Place the two teams at either’s home field and the host should probably be spotting the points not taking them. ECU may win this one outright but if at nothing else this contest will likely be settled with a field goal.
90% of the consensus are on board with the Tide as the line has moved 2 points since open. Spotting four touchdowns to an offense responsible for scoring 44.5 points per game in 2015 is a very hazardous endeavor. While there was much speculation as to how Western Kentucky would proliferate the numbers in the wake of quarterback Brandon Doughty’s graduation, the Hilltoppers have answered any scrutiny in magnificent fashion. Not only has the Hilltoppers offense admonished critics, so has the defense which had to replace 10 starters. Western Kentucky is not going to treat this contest as a paid loss or scheduled defeat. WKU will look to make as much of an example of Alabama’s defense as possible and once again we champion the fact that giving anytime like this, this amount of points is extremely dangerous. The Hilltoppers are not strangers to playing in SEC environments as they went 1-1 in 2015 against both Vanderbilt and LSU.
A remarkable 93% of the public is on the Tigers and willing to spot the points. The line has moved 2.5 points since open and it is not imperceptible to assume the Red Wolves may find themselves given three touchdowns in this one. When at Jordan-Hare, the Tigers are almost always an overvalued team. Previous to their result against Clemson on Saturday, the Tigers have covered just one time in their last five home games and this cover was by the incremental margin of half-a-point when they lost to Mississippi 27-19 in October of 2015. Arkansas State cannot be written off due to one poor outing in Week One, this is the same team that started 1-3 in 2015 and marked off eight in a row to catapult them to the New Orleans Bowl. With the continuous steam rolling in on the Red Wolves, players may find themselves with more breathing room than anticipated by kick-off and given the fact this is the same Auburn team that almost lost to Jacksonville State at home last year, anything is possible.
Both teams showed the ability to move the ball downfield against an outmatched defense in their season opener, but in this matchup Louisville has just too much firepower behind Jackson at quarterback.
Laying double-digit points in a conference matchup on the road does come with some degree of risk early in the season, but the Cardinals are at the top of the food chain in the ACC against a Syracuse team that is still a couple a seasons away from being competitive as this level. Take the Cardinals to win both SU and ATS on Friday night as my “best bet” pick in this game.