Keep Houston Press Free

College Football, Week 2 and NFL Football, Week 1 — This Weekend's Best Bets

The first full football weekend of gambling is here, college and pro!
The first full football weekend of gambling is here, college and pro!
Photo by Jack Gorman

I think Week 1 of this college football season may have forced me to an executive decision, a decision which will affect content over however many more years that I continue to make weekly picks. I believe I may now wait until at least Week 2, if not longer, to give out college football picks.

There are just too many variables injected into college football even WITH recent data (that's why we routinely see at least a few double digit dogs win every weekend) to be making picks and calling them "best bets" when there's so much roster turnover and teenage shakiness to account for, as well. Unfortunately, I DID make picks this past weekend, and I lost money. Tragic for all of us, if you followed me into the abyss.

The good news is that I am primed for a Week 2 (and Week 1 in the NFL) bounce back, so let's dish out six more, shall we?

MICHIGAN -26.5 over Western Michigan
As soon as the final gun went off in the Notre Dame win over Michigan this last weekend, I made a note to myself to bet on Michigan this coming weekend, knowing full well the Wolverines would want to take out their frustrations on whomever they were playing. The victim will be Western Michigan, but that -26.5 number looked pretty big. So I did some research on WMU's 55-42 loss to Syracuse in Week 1. Here's what I found out — Syracuse was up 34-7 at the half and then the game just turned into a big, careless mess in the second half. So when the game mattered, Syracuse destroyed WMU. I realize I am counting on Harbaugh's offense to get it in gear, but this feels like a "get well" game and Shea Patterson's first win as a Wolverine QB.

Arizona +4.5 over HOUSTON
Like Michigan, Arizona had a rough first week of the season in the first game of the Wildcats' Kevin Sumlin Era, losing at home to BYU in a game that the road team controlled from start to finish. Even worse, it appears the the only person who can shut down Heisman candidate QB Khalil Tate is his own head coach, as Sumlin only ran seven designed rushes for arguably the nation's most dynamic running quarterback. Ed Oliver was great, as expected, in the Coogs' Week1 win over Rice, and he will be a problem for Tate. I don't want to make too much of Houston struggling with Rice for most of the afternoon, and they may very well win this game. However, I'll take the more desperate team getting points, even on the road, in this one.

TCU -20 over SMU
Gary Patterson has himself another classic Patterson Horned Frogs squad, which means an athletic, physical defense with some underrated skill guys on offense. The big difference this season with the Toads is that they've upgraded their quarterback play, going from inconsistent Kenny Hill to encouraging Shawn Robinson. The Mustangs are in for a major rebuild under Sonny Dykes — they lost 46-23 against North Texas last week — and there really won't be a home field advantage on SMU's campus.

BRONCOS -2.5 over Seahawks
The Broncos had one of the worst quarterback situations in the league last season, with Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler. I'm not the biggest Case Keenum guy, but he is a massive upgrade over those two clowns. The downfall of the Pete Carroll Seahawks is upon us, as the offensive line is still not very good (Duane Brown, notwithstanding) and will have their hands full with Von Miller and rookie Bradley Chubb. Seattle is on the road, too, where they're a different team than they are in Seattle. At under a field goal, I love this line.

Texans +7 over PATRIOTS
I'll have my full preview on this one tomorrow, but I'll just say that the Texans take their best roster of the O'Brien Era to take on a Patriots team whose roster has Swiss cheese style holes everywhere. I'll have an exact prediction tomorrow, but I am taking the points on a max bet for me. Maybe I'm too close to the situation, but I like Deshaun Watson in this spot.

RAVENS -7 over Bills
Nathan Peterman is the Bills starting quarterback....

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Not much left to say there. Ravens by 20.

Last Week: 2-4
Season Record: 2-4 (33.3%)

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.