Scully Scouts Four Teams to Fade in College Football Week 1
By James ScullyHandicapper James Scully brings you four, high-profile teams worth fading in College Football Week 1. Let's get you started with some strong picks out of the gate as we ramp up for a big season!
*ATS (Against the Spread) | SU (Straight Up) *PK indicates a pick 'em, or no spread
Fade AUBURN -1.5 vs. Washington +1.5 : Tigers 2-6 ATS in last eight openers and teams in different roles here. Auburn must replace 4 starting offensive lineman and dynamic RBs Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway. Their fortunes hinge upon how they fare in SEC West. Pac-10 favorite Washington (+1.5) looms as a potential playoff team but has no margin for error in college football week 1 considering conference strength. Expect a well-coached squad to be focused for the match-up. Huskies one of the more experienced teams in nation including accomplished duo of QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin. And their defensive front seven is nasty! Chris Peterson led Washington to the college football playoff in 2016 and this will be his best squad yet. Bet Washington +1.5 over Auburn!
Fade BOISE ST -10.5 vs. TROY +10.5: Boise 1-3-1 ATS in last five openers and laying too many points in tricky road game that has makings of a defensive struggle. Broncos finished last year with big bowl win over Oregon but they lose their top WR and will rely on strong defense. Troy (+10.5) concluded last year 4-0 ATS and more importantly, the heart of a stellar defense that led them to a road win over LSU and 11-2 SU record returns with DE Hunter Reese an absolute beast along with studs LB Trey Folsom, DE Marcus Webb, S Ceadrius Rokkard and NT Trevon Sanders. Troy poised for another successful season and in revenge mode after losing at Boise last year. And they’re 6-0 ATS as 9.0+ home dogs! Boise may prove good enough to win in college football week 1, but won’t cover number in hostile environment. Bet Troy +10.5 over Boise State!
Fade NOTRE DAME PK vs. MICHIGAN PK: Irish won 10 games last year and the two times this happened previously under Brian Kelly (2012 & 2015), they’ve failed to cover the next season’s opener. Look for Notre Dame to get better with experience this year but they must replace a pair of first-round NFL picks on offensive line and 5 starters on defense. QB Brandon Wimbush & questionable WR corps may need time to jell but they’ll receive no luxury against outstanding Michigan (pick) defense that returns 9 starters & held teams to 18.8 points last year despite little offensive production. Look for dramatic offensive improvement now that Jim Harbaugh finally has a QB, transfer Shea Patterson (17 TDs & 2,259 yards last year). Wolverines stocked with skill players despite loss of WR Black and they’ve has covered six of last nine meetings versus Notre Dame. Michigan a serious playoff contender this year and makes statement in opener. Bet Michigan PK over Notre Dame!
Fade TENNESSEE +10.0 vs. WEST VIRGINIA -10.0: After winless SEC campaign and failing to cover 9 of 11 games last year, Tennessee in complete rebuild mode and won’t be able to trade points with high-scoring West Virginia (-10) in Orlando. This game promises to get ugly fast. Mountaineers 4-1 ATS in last five openers and coach Dana Holgorsen likes to run up the score, dropping 70 points on Dabo Sweeney-led Clemson earlier this decade. Offensive guru has more firepower than ever with 9 returning starters including pre-season first-team All-Americans QB Will Grier and WR David Sills. West Virginia’s defense will determine how far they go this season but Tennessee’s run-heavy, ball-control offense won’t be able to keep Vols in this game. Bet West Virginia -10.0 over Tennessee!