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Gambling! Week 1 College Football Picks And Lines To Watch

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Just like last season, I will be penning a weekly column where I break down anywhere from 3-5 games from the coming college football weekend from a gambler's perspective. Big line moves, the "too good to be true" spreads and games that are relevant to Buffaloes and Pac-12 fans.

Why am I qualified to discuss betting on college football? Quite frankly, I'm not. But I play a lot and I have been on both sides of the equation so I know enough to be dangerous. I will make picks, but I'm certainly not advising you to take them. I will also make sure and update a season long record here, as scary as that prospect is, so that we can see how terribly I do throughout the year (although last year certainly wasn't terrible). Away we go...

Last season: 24-14
Season record: 0-0

These first few weeks of the season it's always easier to go off of instinct than it is later in the year. It's also hard to judge line moves since there is such an extended time from when the opening line is released to when the game is played. Ah, college football.

All lines according to Vegas Insider as of 9:00 a.m., on 8/29
South Carolina Gamecocks at Vanderbilt Commodores (+6.5) (Thursday)
Well, I hoped to have at least one early game and here it is. 88% of the money has stayed on the Gamecocks while the line has slipped from seven to six and half. This seems to be one of those early season low-scoring SEC games, but the Vandy offense has some real talent this year. How they match-up against an extremely stout USC defense will be the key. Look for South Carolina to win a close one.
The pick - Vanderbilt +6.5

Tennessee Volunteers vs. N.C. State Wolfpack (+3) (Atlanta, GA)
After starting significantly on the Vols side, the action has moved to more of an even split with the line moving from four to three. Tennessee has plenty of options at receiver, but the loss of Da'rick Rodgers will be felt here. Have to go with an improved N.C. State team and the points.
The pick - NC State +3

North Texas Mean Green (+43) at LSU Tigers
LSU will be looking to flex their offensive muscles and North Texas probably won't score much, if at all, but I see this one sneaking in just under that line. With Washington coming in next week, we can hope that the Tigers hold back a bit.
The pick - North Texas +43

Boise St. Broncos at Michigan St. Spartans (-6.5) (Friday)
Well look at that, it's a favorite. This is the instinct pick. The numbers, if anything, say to ride with the Broncos. But more like that Georgia loss than the Oregon win, I don't see BSU's new offense being able to score enough against the best defense in the B1G.
The pick - Michigan State -6.5

What games do you like this week?