We were a perfect 5-0 in Week 1. We had UGA and VT plus the points and Texas, Iowa and KSU laying points. All easy winners.
Here are my thoughts on the opening week:
I’m not comfortable with big spreads. I don’t even look at them. While it is smart to avoid situations where you aren’t comfortable, it is a mistake to eliminate half the games on the board before the week even starts. I am going to spend a lot of time evaluating games with big spreads next offseason to be better prepared in 2022.
Fading the hyped team from the offseason is always a sound strategy. I threw up in my mouth a little bit every time I heard a media pundit rave about UNC and their all world QB and Saint Mack. That didn’t match reality. Reality is they are a decent team that lost a lot of key pieces off a good team. They are young. They will be fine, but were a terrible situational play in week 1 vs VT. You could make the same argument for Iowa State and Indiana.
Fans make a difference. It was electric in most stadiums this weekend. It made home field more of an advantage than normal – maybe because teams haven’t played with fan noise in a while. I think it makes sense to continue to lean towards home teams in a post-covid world.
Speed kills. This was especially apparent in the K State / Stanford game. It was a complete mismatch at the speed each team played at. While it is very hard to handicap that angle, you can often do so by conference. If teams can’t get separation, they will have a hard time.
Yikes ACC. Media darling UNC lost. Miami got crushed. Duke and GT had ugly losses to FCS teams. FSU fought hard but still lost. The FSU game was especially interesting. It was a clear sucker bet. ND was getting 85% of the betting tickets, and the line went down from 9 to 7. ND was replacing most of the team and on the road. Lots of emotion due to honoring Bowden. That game should have been FSU or pass. No way can you bet ND there…
Bama always covers week 1. By my count they are 12-2 in the last 14 openers ATS. I stayed away from them because I think they were a bit overvalued since they lost everyone off last year’s team. They didn’t lose Saban though. That cat just reloads every year.
There may be an angle to back a new coach in their home opener. Texas was awesome vs a very good Louisiana team. Auburn opened a can in their opener. There is great excitement in a program and the fan base with a coaching change. College football is so emotional. I think that can lead to an edge. Will research more…
I love watching Big Boy Football where teams rely on defense and running the ball. Iowa was a great example. So was Texas and K State. Even my NC State Wolfpack flashed a little bit of that style. Big boy football is reliable and travels well – much more than offenses that rely on gimmicks and scheme.
Returning starters matter – especially early in the season. Sure the game ended in a push, but the Ohio State / Minnesota game is a great example of this. There was such a mismatch on the field talent wise, but experience made a major difference.
It is tremendously hard to handicap a game where a P5 school is playing a team outside the P5. Every year I seem to get myself hurt by picking teams outside the P5 playing up in class but getting a ton of points. It is just too big a gap in talent to handicap. I decided to stay away from those situations this year (at least through one week).
It has been under the radar, but it looks like Chip Kelly is back. Very solid start to the season for UCLA. They have a ton of talent back from a team that was better than their record last season. Also, kudos to LSU fans. Read that they drank the Rose Bowl dry before kickoff. That is right, the concessions stands were cleaned out of beer before the game even started. The SEC – it just means more.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m so excited for Iowa/ISU. Iowa looked awesome vs Indiana. It was a dominate performance. ISU slept-walked through their opener, but it seems like they always do. I think they are the best team in the B12. They are loaded everywhere. This is going to be a hell of a football game.
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