Time for the first round of picks against the spread here at HP. Remember, these are the 10 games I see as the best plays of the week. All lines this week courtesy of Bankrollsports.com. Picks are bolded.
UCLA (-16.5) at Rice — The Jim Mora Jr. Era gets off to a rousing start thanks to an opportunistic defense. Bruins 31, Rice 10.
Washington State at BYU (65 points) — I like for a lot of points to be scored in this one, but for BYU to have too much experience in the end. Take the OVER. BYU 42, WSU 28
San Jose State (+25.5) at Stanford — This has all the makings of a sluggish outing for Stanford and the Spartans are no slouch. Stanford wins, but it’s not easy. Stanford 27, San Jose State 17.
Northwestern (-2) at Syracuse — I like for Kain Colter to have a big game in this one and get Northwestern off to a good start on the season. Northwestern 28, Syracuse 20.
Illinois (-10) vs. Western Michigan — I think Nate Scheelhaase takes well to the new spread offense at Illinois and the Illini slow down Alex Carder just enough to get the cover. Illinois 38, WMU 26.
Clemson (-3.5) at Auburn — Even without Sammy Watkins, Clemson has too much firepower. Auburn is still working out its offense, so I like the ACC Tigers. Clemson 31, Auburn 17.
Michigan (+14) vs. Alabama — I think people are taking Michigan too lightly and overplaying Alabama as an invincible team. Michigan is not chopped liver and will be competitive in this one. Alabama 23, Michigan 20.
Arkansas State at Oregon (69 points) — Oregon alone should produce at least 50 points on this point total. And Arkansas State should be able to score, too, so take the OVER. Bet of the week. Oregon 59, Arkansas State 28.
Georgia Tech (+7.5) at Virginia Tech — It’s just so tough to prepare for the Georgia Tech offense and VTU still has some kinks to work out on its offense, so I see a tight game here. Virginia Tech 20, Georgia Tech 17.
Baylor vs. SMU (58 points) — This should be another high-scoring affair, so take the OVER on this one, but I like the Bears to come out strong in the post-RG3 era. Baylor 48, SMU 31.