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It’s college football gambling season and I’m here to make you filthy rich with my brilliant and genius-laden weekly Wednesday picks. This is the tenth year in a row on Outkick that I will be publishing at least ten winners every weekend. Now as you all know I’m not the kind of guy to brag or draw attention to himself, but if you’d played every one of my college football gambling picks over the past ten years you would be almost exactly as wealthy as you were if you’d never gambled at all.
But this is the year when we go full Biff from Back to the Future 2 and play like the sports almanac is already in our possession.
With that in mind, let’s get rich kids, it’s time to go 11-0:
Ball State at Tennessee -35 and the over 68.5
Tennessee may score 100 points in this game. I know that hasn’t happened in the modern college football era, but Josh Heupel is Steve Spurrier without the visor or the nervous sideline tics. This Volunteer offense will be unstoppable* in year two under Hendon Hooker. And the defense can’t stop anyone. Did you watch Purdue in the Music City Bowl? Their quarterback was less mobile than Keith Olbermann after his 48th consecutive covid shot. Which means points — and maybe even mustard bottles — will rain down aplenty at Neyland Stadium tomorrow night.
The Outkick 360 will be broadcasting live from Old City Sports Bar in Knoxville from 3-6 pm eastern on Thursday before this game kicks off and I’ll be on with them live at five eastern. So if you’re going to be in town for the game, you can come hang out with us there.
We’ll be starting off our weekend with a double win on the Vols and the over.
*Alabama and Georgia will stop it, but no one else will.
West Virginia +7.5 at Pitt
This is the one of the best rivalries in all of college football and I’m glad it’s back this year after over a decade of not being played.
Pitt is replacing the first quarterback taken in the NFL draft and one of the best receivers in college football. Meaning I think things start off slow for the Panthers on offense. Meanwhile in rivalry games I love to take an underdog if they’ve got over a touchdown to spare here.
Let’s burn some couches, boys!
West Virginia loses by three, but covers the number.
Penn State at Purdue +3.5 and the over 52.5
Two of the most enigmatic Big Ten teams of recent years have been Penn State and Purdue. The Nittany Lions and the Boilermakers can beat the best teams in the country one week and lose to bad teams the next week. Year after year.
It’s pretty difficult to forecast these teams with any kind of regularity at all.
So what happens when they go toe-to-toe in a season opener?
I’m rolling with Purdue to get the cover and this game to go back and forth all day long in a scoring fest.
Pencil me in for a 38-35 finale.
Who wins? Who cares, you win both bets either way!
Utah at Florida +2.5
This is my favorite game of the opening weekend because you have so many narratives colliding. You’ve got Kyle Whittingham, potentially with his best Utah team ever, traveling to the Swamp for a brutally hot and steamy early season game against an SEC opponent. It’s just the sort of national game that Utah generally loses. Meanwhile we’ve got Billy Napier making his debut in Florida after what feels like a whirlwind, did that really just happen, wait Dan Mullen got fired?, season at Florida.
Seriously, there are going to be casual college football fans who put this game on and are in disbelief that Mullen’s gone.
So what happens here?
Ultimately I just come back to Anthony Richardson, who I believe is the best player on the field for either team. I don’t know what in the world happened between Richardson and Mullen, but with a fresh start I think Richardson is electric this season.
And that starts at home against Utah.
Ultimately, you give me the Gators at home in a night game against a team traveling across the country that doesn’t play in environments like this very often and I’ll take them every time.
The Gators pull off the outright upset, but I’ll take the 2.5 in my back pocket.
Cincinnati at Arkansas -6.5
The bloom comes off the Bearcats rose as Arkansas, who I believe will impress again this season, puts a beatdown on Cincinnati right out of the gate.
Look, Luke Fickell’s team deserves a great deal of credit for managing to make the playoff last year. That’s a tremendous accomplishment. But what happened in that playoff game? Alabama exerted its physical will, rushing for 301 yards to Cincinnati’s 74.
Since that game the Bearcats have lost quite a bit of talent and this Razorback team, which was probably a year ahead of schedule, should round into form well here.
Give me the Hogs by double digits.
Troy +21.5 at Ole Miss
The Matt Corral era is over at Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin will have to work his offensive wizardry with a new signal caller. Personally, I think Corall was one of the best players in college football last season and I don’t think he’ll be easily replaced by Ole Miss.
The Rebels were a .500 team with an average quarterback last year.
Meanwhile Troy is the perpetual SEC upstart, the team that rolls into town and has a lead in the second quarter and you think, “Hey, maybe they’re really going to pull this one off!” It’s like the vintage JP games back in the day every season for Troy.
And then they fade. Unless they’re playing LSU.
They won’t fade so bad that they don’t cover this year.
Give me the Trojans plus the points here.
Oregon vs Georgia, the under 53.5
I mentioned earlier Dan Mullen getting fired as a huge shocker last year, especially if you’d said it was going to happen in September. But who would have predicted that Kirby Smart’s defensive coordinator, Dan Lanning, would head to Oregon after Mario Cristobal bolted for Miami? And that Georgia would finally not choke and win a national title so that now we’ve got a blood feud in Atlanta this weekend — the Ducks roll in to town to play their first game since UCLA and USC pulled the rug out from underneath the feet of the Pac 12 and the Dawgs celebrate their national title back in the peach state.
So what happens here?
I think Kirby Smart and Dan Lanning have a good ole fashioned defensive battle. No one knows this Georgia offense, its players and its schemes better than Lanning. Meaning he’s able to slow things down quite a bit.
The Bulldogs win, but it’s an ugly, low scoring affair.
Call it 28-10, Georgia, meaning you cash the under with ease.
FSU +3.5 vs. LSU
Let’s be honest, no one has any idea what’s happening in this game.
Brian Kelly, aka Nicolas Cage from Con Air when it comes to Southern accents, has his recruiting class rolling on the Bayou, but what did Coach O leave behind in terms of ready talent, especially with a brand new signal caller to break in.
Meanwhile Florida State fans have zero faith in Mike Norvell, but it feels like he’s actually got the program back on solid footing. Maybe? Hell, I don’t know either.
So I’m going to take the team that’s already played one game on the theory that you make your most improvement from game one to game two. Give me the Seminoles as the underdog to cover.
And can we reschedule this game in four years when both these teams may be back to full strength again? I’d love to see them play then.
Clemson at Georgia Tech +22.5
I know everyone believes Clemson is going to bounce back to excellence this year, but I’m just not sold on the Tigers at quarterback. Remember, Dabo dominated with Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence back to back. Credit to him for getting guys this good to Clemson in the first place, but last year was ominous for Tiger fans.
Now you’ve lost your long time defensive coordinator and your offensive coordinator and you’re playing against a Georgia Tech team in year four with Geoff Collins. This is a game that Tech has to be competitive in to start year four at home.
And I think they will be.
Give me the Yellow Jackets to cover the big number.
There you have it, boys and girls, it’s time to get rich and go 11-0.
See you in Knoxville tomorrow.
And then I’ll be on the road all fall for big games all over the South with Big Noon Kickoff on Fox every Saturday from 10-12 eastern.
I’ll be in Austin next week for Alabama-Texas and then down to Auburn for Penn State-Auburn the week after. I can’t wait to get rolling.
Especially since we’ll all be filthy rich.