Best bets for this weekend in college football, NFL

WWL Newsroom
September 06, 2019 - 5:06 pm

By Tim Zimmer

It’s finally here! The NFL season if officially underway and college football is into its second week. Now that sports gambling has grown across the nation with 13 states allowing it legally, NFL and college football picks have become more and more popular. So this season, I’ll be giving away three NFL and college football picks along with some leans and likes.

1) West Virginia @ Missouri (-14)

Last week was not a good week for the SEC East. While the SEC is getting ragged on by the national media for its performance last Saturday, deservingly the SEC East went (3-4) overall compared to the SEC West which finished (6-1). Now you’re probably thinking, well would you go back to a team that just lost to the Wyoming Cowboys 37-31.

It’s simple, Missouri isn’t as bad as we think. The Tigers blew-up in the 2nd quarter allowing 27 of the 37 points. Now they’ll face a West Virginia team with a new head coach, Neal Brown, after Dana Holgorsen left the program for Houston. The one player I like in this game is the transfer from Clemson, QB Kelly Bryant. Bryant threw for over 400 yards last week on the road and they’ll be back home on Saturday which I think will have the team feeling more comfortable.

Overall, I just don’t think the Mountaineers are very good this season. They won 20-13 last week at HOME against the FCS school of James Madison. I do think Missouri could still win 8-9 games this season so even with a double-digit spread, the Tigers offense will be too much to handle in this one.

2) Miami (-4.5) @ UNC

Last week may have been UNC head coach Mack Brown’s biggest win since the 2005 Rose Bowl when Texas and Vince Young knocked off USC. Coach Brown was even quoted after the game saying, “This will be the happiest team in the county tonight.” after the win vs South Carolina.

Miami, on the other hand, had a week off after facing the Florida Gators to kickoff off the college football season. They’re rested and coming into Chapel Hill to face a team that’s still taking in the delights of victory from last Saturday. I think this is a perfect let-down spot for the Tar Heels. Miami is hungry for their first win of the season with new head coach Manny Diaz.

And speaking of Coach Diaz, he may have some revenge on his mind after he was fired by Mack Brown as the defensive coordinator of Texas in 2013 after a poor performance against BYU. Ironically, it was Saints QB Taysom Hill who rushed for 257 yards of BYU’s 550 in that game which led to the axe.

Miami is the more talented team in this game, and I saw enough from Jarren Williams to give me enough confidence to lay down the points.

3) Oregon St @ Hawaii (-6.5)

This is a game you’re going to have to stay up late to watch. Kickoff is set for 11pm CT time but that doesn’t mean you can’t win some money. Hawaii games are perfect because it gives you the last opportunity make up for all your losses on the day or continue the hot streak into NFL Sunday.

If anyone stayed up after the Miami-Florida game two weeks ago, you would have seen Hawaii knock off a Pac-12 opponent in Arizona. They’ll have another opportunity to do it again this week when Oregon St comes to the island.

Arizona was picked to finish somewhere in the middle of the Pac-12 this season, and now the team that was predicted to finish in last place comes in after Oklahoma St hung 52 points on them. The Beavers have won a combined 3 games the past two seasons. I don’t see them coming close here. Hawaii brings in a premiere offense led by QB Cole McDonald. The Warriors should be able score often and start the season 2-0 with both wins against the Pac-12.

College Football Leans:

Florida International (-7) vs Western Kentucky

UCF (-10.5) @ FAU

Buffalo (+29.5) @ Penn St

Vanderbilt (+7) @ Purdue

Texas San Antonio/Baylor OVER (58)


4) Redskins @ Eagles (-10)

One of the favorites to make it back to the Super Bowl, the Philadelphia Eagles should start their season off with an easy victory over possibly one of the bottom five teams in the NFL. I like this play, even with a big number, not only because Wentz is fully healthy, but the Redskins are a team on the downward trajectory.

Washington lost 7 of their last 9 games last season and now bring in a new QB Case Keenum with rookie Dwayne Haskins looking over Jay Gruden’s shoulder. I don’t think the Redskins will have the firepower on offense to keep up with the Eagles.

5) 49ers/Bucs OVER (50.5)

Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers travel across the country to take on the new look Bucs coached by Bruce Arians. The one thing I really like about this game is that both head coaches have offensive-minded philosophies. The Bucs were in plenty of high scoring games last season and the addition of Devin White isn’t going to pay dividends for the defense just yet. My lean was to take the 49ers on the road here, but the smart play here is the over. Both teams allowed over 27 points a game in 2018 and it’s going to take some time for those defense to improve.

6) Pittsburgh (+5.5) @ New England

Sunday Night gives us a big time matchup between two of the teams that have Super Bowl or bust expectations each season. Four of the last five meetings have been determined late in the 4th quarter which is why I see the same happening again Sunday night.

Tom Brady is now 42 years old and it’s looking like the Patriots offense may go into a ground and pound philosophy to keep #12 healthy for another postseason run. I think the Steelers defense grew as the season went on last year, enough to keep them in games when Big Ben struggles.

Speaking of struggles, Roethlisberger has a past of struggling on the road. Going back to last season, the Steelers lost their final three road games including against Oakland Raiders. But with this being the season opener, I think the possibility of a road letdown is unlikely. 5.5 points is too many in what I think will go down to the final possession. 

NFL Leans:

Bills (+3) @ Jets

Falcons (+4) @ Vikings

Rams/Panthers UNDER (50)



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