I'm not going to beat around the bush. Last week was terrible. The Six Pack went 1-5 to destroy the good feelings of our 3-1 record in Week 0. Not only did I miss on the Lock of the Week, but Florida State and North Carolina made sure the Games of the Week didn't go our way -- at least when it came to wagering.
It was not how I wanted to start the season with our first full slate, but it happened. Let's flush it and move on. It is not the first time I've gone 1-5 in this column, nor will it be the last. That said, it's not a common occurrence, either. The Six Pack has gone 5-1 or 6-0 far more often than 1-5. I go into this week expecting a 6-0 to get us out of the hole.
We have some great games from which to choose, so I'm excited to dive in. The Games of the Week are obvious -- more on those below -- but there are some interesting lines and point totals to dissect elsewhere.
Odds via SportsLine consensus.
Games of the Week
No. 11 Texas at No. 3 Alabama: These two played in a wonderful matchup last season, and I'm hopeful we get another tight affair this time. For those who don't remember the 2022 version, Alabama struggled to move the ball all day until the fourth quarter, when quarterback Bryce Young put together his best drive of the game to set the Crimson Tide up for a go-ahead 33-yard field goal with 10 seconds left. Another critical factor in the game? The first-quarter shoulder injury to Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers, who was on fire before being knocked out of the game. Texas still nearly won with backup Hudson Card, but the Tide survived 20-19.
That's why I'm optimistic about Texas' chances this weekend, even with the game in Tuscaloosa. Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe looked great in last week's win over Middle Tennessee, but there's a sizable gap between the Blue Raiders and the Longhorns. In my opinion, Texas has the better quarterback in this battle, which is rather important in a football game. Also, if Ewers goes down again, I have plenty of faith in his backup, Maalik Murphy. I give Alabama a significant edge on the defensive side of the ball, but I've seen good offenses beat great defenses way too many times to believe the Longhorns won't move the ball in this matchup. Even if Alabama wins, it'll have a hard time pulling away. The Pick: Texas +7.5 (-115)
Nebraska at No. 22 Colorado: OK, so here's the thing: in Deion Sanders or this Colorado team yet. While the Buffaloes put up some epic numbers in last week's upset over TCU, the hype and surprise overshadowed some deficiencies. First of all, TCU was just as good offensively as the Buffs; the Colorado defense did not get many stops. Second, Colorado could not run the ball at all, and that could be a concern down the road.
All that said, I also saw the Cornhuskers last week. Wouldn't you believe it? They were in position to win a game, but shot themselves in the foot multiple times late and lost. Crazy! I'm not super confident in the Huskers right now, and even if this line took a massive swing -- look-ahead lines from the preseason had Nebraska as a touchdown favorite here -- I have to look at what the universe is telling me. Sure, the numbers may say Nebraska, but this is Colorado's first home game under Sanders after pulling off that upset last week. Do you want to bet against those vibes and that atmosphere? I don't. The Pick: Colorado -3 (-110)
Lock of the Week
UCF at Boise State: Last week, I took Boise State against Washington and got crushed. It's fine. Washington had a top-tier performance. That happens. I still believe Boise State is the best team in the Mountain West. I also believe this line to be a massive overcorrection. Boise State is a home underdog for only the second time since 2001 (when the Broncos lost 41-20 to Washington State under first-year coach Dan Hawkins).
Since then, the only other time Boise State has been a home dog was in 2021. The Broncos were field goal dogs to a Fresno State team led by quarterback Jake Haener. The Broncos were only 4-4 and had been a disappointment, but do you know what happened? Boise State won 40-14. Boise State is 112-14 straight-up at home on the blue turf since 2003. I repeat: 112-14. And you're going to give me points? Against a UCF team that has gone 5-6 on the road under Gus Malzahn and is 4-7 against the spread in those games? OK! Thanks! The Pick: Boise State +3.5 (-110)
Under of the Week
No. 23 Texas A&M at Miami: If you're betting the spread in this game, I have to assume you're out of your mind. How you can look at Texas A&M or Miami over the years and convince yourself, "Yeah, this is a team I'm going to trust," boggles my mind. And I say that as somebody who told you to bet on Texas. Against Alabama.
Anyway, as I look at this matchup, I know the offensive changes at Texas A&M have been the focus of the offseason, but I like what I've seen from this team defensively. I also liked what I saw from the Hurricanes on the defensive side of the ball. They looked deep and talented up front to pair with a solid secondary. Toss in two of the most conservative coaches on the planet, and this strikes me as a sluggish affair. The Pick: Under 51 (-110)
Bounceback of the Week
Purdue at Virginia Tech: It was not an excellent debut for Ryan Walters at Purdue, which lost at home to Fresno State 39-35. Considering Walters' background as a defensive coordinator, the Boilermakers' inability to get stops is a concern. However, Purdue did score 35 points itself, and that offense will also make the trip to Virginia Tech.
I'm not high on Virginia Tech this season. The Hokies were able to exorcise some Old Dominion demons (Old Demonions?) last week, but I don't trust quarterback Grant Wells. He's fun to watch because he's a chaos agent, and chaos agents are entertaining. However, it's not wise betting on them, particularly as favorites. Lane Stadium has not been the boost it once was for the Hokies, who are 15-18 ATS at home over the last five seasons and only 10-12 as home favorites. The Pick: Purdue +3 (-108)
Automatic Fade of the Week
Memphis at Arkansas State: An important part of betting college football in any season is identifying an awful team and betting against them every week. It won't work every time, but it'll win often enough throughout the season that you'll make money in the end. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this season's auto-fade is Arkansas State. We didn't include them in the column last week, and I can't guarantee I'll have them every week in the future. Just know that whether it's in here or not, I'm betting against it.
It's just a bad situation. Butch Jones was hired to replace Blake Anderson and has fallen on his face. The Red Wolves are 5-20 under Jones and only 2-14 in the Sun Belt. There is no reason to put any faith in this team until it finally moves on from Jones or he pulls a rabbit out of his hat. The Pick: Memphis -21.5 (-105)
Games of the Week
Lock of the Week
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