Fade Material: College Football Week 1 Predictions

Oregon Ducks LaMichael James laughs after drawing a personal foul on the Auburn Tigers in the third quarter in the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game in Glendale, Arizona, January 10, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

I woke up today with an extra spring in my step because I knew it was the first Saturday of the 2011 college football season. But what really got me going was knowing I would once again be providing quality fade material for bettors around the world.

It’s about people helping people, folks.

No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU, 8:00PM ET
The last time Jarrett Lee opened a season as a starting quarterback was in 2006…for Brenham High School. LSU was going to have uncertainty at the quarterback position regardless of whether or not Lee or Jordan Jefferson was named the starter. But where the problem comes in is that Jefferson was assumed to be the starter for months. Now, just weeks before the season, they switch to Lee because of Jefferson’s off-field issues. It’s usually unwise to go against the SEC in a non-conference game but I’m not that bright so I’ll assume the risk. I think LSU’s outstanding defense will tire late in the second half after trying to keep up with Darron Thomas and LaMichael James for most of the game. The Tigers’ D figures to be on the field an awful lot tonight.

No. 7 Boise State vs. No. 22 Georgia
All the talk in this one has revolved around Aaron Murray but I expect Kellen Moore to once again play mistake free. He has all new weapons this year but the Broncos’ offense rarely misses a beat from season to season. Never go against Boise State in their opener or in their bowl game. These types of games might as well be their freaking Super Bowl…

Minnesota @ USC, 3:30PM ET
I like the Jerry Kill hiring for Minnesota, although Tim Brewster didn’t leave him with a very stocked cupboard. We’ll see if his decision to shift MarQueis Gray from receiver to quarterback pans out but either way, I think Minnesota hangs with USC for a second straight year. The Golden Gophers are 5-1 against the spread in their last six road games and 5-1 ATS in their last six games as a road underdog. The Trojans, meanwhile, are 1-5 against the number in their last six home games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games as a home favorite.

San Jose State @ No. 6 Stanford, 5:00PM ET
Stanford has a ton of question marks heading into the season, specifically at receiver and along the offensive line. They also lost three players from its front seven on defense, although with Andrew Luck, Stepfan Taylor and a solid secondary, the Tree shouldn’t skip a beat from last season. Stanford is 5-0-1 against the spread in their last six games as a favorite and 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games. On the other side, the Spartans are 0-5 ATS in their last five games versus the Pac-12 and 3-12 ATS in their last 15 road games.

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