The 2016 college football season will be kicking off in top this gear this week, as teams begin their quest for the nation’s top honors at the end of the season. To help us prepare for the games and the whirlwind of activities that will be flooding in the NCAA football betting lines boards, let’s take a look at the college football week 1 game total picks below.
Top 5 Winning College Football OVER/UNDER Picks for Week 1
South Carolina Gamecocks at Vanderbilt, Thursday, Sept. 01
Pick: UNDER 43
South Carolina Gamecocks and Vandy are arguably two of the worst offensive teams in Week 1, so it should probably not come as a surprise that we expect a slugfest when the two meet on Thursday. Vandy averaged just 15.2 points per game scoring last season and the team has barely made any improvements in the offense, meaning you shouldn’t anticipate an all-of-a-sudden offensive outburst from them. On the flipside, the Gamecocks have an anemic offense that ranked among the worst in the SEC last year and a new head coach in Will Muschamp, who is a well-known defense-first type of coach. No way will this game be going above 43 points.
Northwestern State at No. 23 Baylor, Friday, Sept. 02
Pick: OVER 55
We really don’t expect the Demons to put up much of a fight against the Bears. North Western’s offense is weak and the defense isn’t better. Still, we expect a high-scoring contest in this game, largely because the Bears have an exceedingly efficient offense. QB Seth Russell was the most efficient Power Five conference quarterback prior to his injury last season, while Baylor’s offense led the entire nation in scoring (48.1) and total yards per game (616) last year. With Russell and a good number of his attacking pieces like RB Shock Linwood and WR KD Cannon returning in 2016, expect the Demons to receive a relentless shellacking right from the first minute to the dying seconds of their Friday night encounter. And while you are at it, expect a highly likely OVER total. FYI, the total has gone OVER in 5 of Northwestern State’s last 6 games on the road.
Kansas State at No. 8 Stanford, Friday, Sept. 02
Pick: UNDER 48.5
Stanford was one of the best defensive teams in the Pac-12 last season, and things should be more-or-less the same this season for that defense. Meanwhile, Christian McCaffrey had a historic season as he spearheaded Stanford’s offense, so the Wildcats will definitely have their work cut out for them. Even so, Kansas State is returning with eight starters on defense and I highly doubt if this unit will be as bad as it was when it allowed 31.5 points per game last season. With the experience they bring and the fact that Stanford will be breaking into a new quarterback this season, the Wildcats should be able to prevent an offensive explosion from Stanford. Combine that with Kansas State’s middling quarterback in Jesse Ertz and the likely possibility that K-State coach Bill Snyder will have a plan in place to limit McCaffrey’s touches, this game should be able to offer a good UNDER betting value.
No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 15 Houston, Saturday, Sept. 03
Pick: OVER 68
This one really is a no-brainer. You all know what Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield-led offense is capable of doing. You also know that Houston’s Gregg Ward Jr. is arguably the best dual-threat quarterback outside the Power Five conferences. Add the fact that both Oklahoma and Houston had suspect defenses last season when they faced top-notch offenses and some of the vulnerabilities from those defenses haven’t been addressed, I expect this game to be high-scoring back-and-forth affair as both teams score at least 35 points apiece en route to an almost certain OVER total.
Missouri at West Virginia, Saturday, 03
Pick: UNDER 51
Skyler Howard is a talented quarterback and the fact that he will have a wide variety of weapons at his disposal both aerially and on the ground should see him have a productive season. That productivity may, however, be a problem getting out of the gate, as Mizzou returns with one of the best defenses in the country—the Tigers ranked No. 5 in the FBS in scoring defense last season. And to further help our case for an UNDER total in this game, new Missouri head coach Barry Odom is inheriting a pathetic offensive unit from last season, with the Tigers finishing second-last in the country (126th out of 128 teams) in scoring offense a year ago. So, even with the good things we’ve been hearing from the training camp about a new-look Missouri offense, you’d be a fool to believe that this Mizzou offense will be all fixed-up when it takes to the field this week.