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This marks my third year of doing Underdogs Against the Spread, where I give you weekly winners involving the teams outside the Power Five. I’ll pick five games every week and we’ll keep track of the winning numbers all season. If you’ve been following along, you’re in the green with a record of 72-61-1 the last two seasons.
If you haven’t done so already, check out our favorite over/under win totals for every G5 conference. We will be keeping track of these teams as well.
The first week is always the toughest to gauge as teams have gone through a major overhaul since the last time we saw them play.
With that said, there are still plenty of winning options available in Week 1. Here are the first five picks of the 2019 college football season.
*All lines are according to Bovada and are accurate at the time posted
Utah Utes (-5) vs. BYU Cougars
BYU isn’t a G5 team technically, but we’re including them in this piece due to the slim offerings this week. The Holy War was the regular season finale for both teams a year ago. They won’t have to wait long to continue the rivalry as it’s the season opener for them in 2019. The Utes have won the last eight meetings straight up, and six of the eight wins have been by six points or more. Utah gets at least a touchdown win to tie for the longest winning streak between the two programs.
Colorado State Rams vs. Colorado Buffaloes (-11)
Another Week 1 rivalry here as these two teams will start their seasons in the Rocky Mountain Showdown once again. Last year, the Buffaloes came away with a 45-13 win. Colorado has won four straight meetings by an average of 21.5 points. The Rams have some question marks entering the season so there is no reason to believe Colorado can’t win this game by at least two touchdowns as they will have the best player in the game as receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. should have a monster game.
Eastern Michigan Eagles (-5.5) vs. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
The numbers are in favor of the Eagles as they are 10-3 ATS on the road the last three years, while the Chanticleers are just 3-8 ATS at home over that time span. EMU is also 8-1 ATS in non-conference play the last three seasons.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (+21) vs. Texas Longhorns
All you need to do is look back at how Week 1 has fared for Texas since Tom Herman has taken over as head coach. Sure, Maryland might be a higher quality opponent than Louisiana Tech, but Herman is 6-15-1 ATS as a home favorite. Meanwhile, La Tech is 10-3 ATS in road games over the last three seasons. If you also take into account that Texas has a matchup against LSU the following week, all the pieces are there for the Bulldogs to keep it interesting. Plus, Terry Bradshaw doesn’t think too highly of Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
Fresno State Bulldogs (+13.5) vs. USC Trojans
The Bulldogs are one of the best teams to bet as an underdog. Over the last three seasons, they are 8-0 ATS as an underdog, 11-2 ATS in road games and 8-2 ATS in non-conference games. On the flip side, the Trojans are 7-13 ATS as a favorite and 1-6 ATS in non-conference games the last three years.
Check back with us next week for more and let me know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter. Until next week, SHOW ME THE MONEY!!