Free College Football Picks For Today 8/27/2019
Middle Tennessee St vs. Michigan Pick Prediction 8/31/2019
Middle Tennessee St at Michigan—College football pick is Michigan Wolverines -33.5. Wolverines though struggling against upper echelon teams have been able to blow out the lesser teas in their schedule. Last year it was a 49-3 win to Western Michigan, by 46 to Nebraska, 35 to Penn St and 35 to Rutgers. This is an experienced team on offense with eight starters back with four returning to the offensive line plus the tight end. Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson returns for his second season with Michigan so there should be a production bump up. Under Jim Harbaugh the Wolverines have been an elite defensive team. Under Harbaugh Michigan has held their opponents to an average of 281 yards per game or fewer. They do have five starters returning on defense, but Harbaugh has turned this defense to a reload not rebuilt program. In 2017 Michigan had only one starter back on defense yet they still held their opponents to 18.8 points and 271 yards per game. Would have looked at Middle Tennessee St had they been experienced. But they are not returning only five starters on offense and six to the defense. Blue Raiders have to replace a four year starter at quarterback. The Blue Raiders haven’t announced a starting quarterback as there are a trip competing between a couple of sophomore and a JC transfer from Los Angeles. Last season with eight starters back on each side of the ball the Blue Raiders dropped at 35-7 decision at Vanderbilt and lost 49-7 at Georgia. In their bowl game the Blue Raiders were blown out by Appalachian St 45-13. Play Michigan -33.5.
Houston vs. Oklahoma Pick Prediction 9/1/2019
Houston at Oklahoma—College football free pick is Houston Cougars +23.5. Former West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen takes over this program that averaged 44 points and 513 yards per game. A season ago the Cougars were bringing back only five on offense yet they still put up those big numbers. The team returns eight starters back from that offense including starting quarterback D’Eriq King with his starting running back and wide receivers. Of these five playmakers, four are seniors and one is junior. The defense is experienced but they will be facing an Oklahoma offense with many new faces in the starting lineup. A benefit for the Cougars is Holgorsen knows his opponent very well from his days in the Big 12 as these teams face one another every season. Oklahoma has lost quarterbacks in back to back seasons high in the NFL draft in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murry. Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts takes over. Sooners only return one starter to their offensive line with many first year starters at wide receiver. The Sooners defense struggled as this unit in 2018 allowed 33 points and 454 yards per game with 294 yards passing. They fired their defensive coordinator after six games last year in Mike Stoops. Alex Grinch was a co-defensive coordinator at Ohio St and was hired this season. There are eight starters back on defense but this is a program that has given up a lot of yards and points the past three seasons. Sooners lost to Texas and was taken to overtime by Army in the regular season last year. Houston generates enough offense to cover this huge number. Play Houston Cougars +23.5.
Notre Dame vs. Louisville Pick Prediction 9/2/2019
Notre Dame at Louisville—Free pick Notre Dame and Louisville to play under the total of 57 points. It was a bad Louisville team last season with a 2-10 overall record. The offense was poor as the Cardinals posted only 19 points and 353 yards per game last season. Louisville scored only three against Virginia, 10 to NC State and 10 to Kentucky. Their passing game averaged only 53.3% completion rate. Jawon Pass is the leading contender to return as starting quarterback. This is an experienced Cardinals defense that returns ten starters so there should be improvement on that side of the ball. Notre Dame breaks in a first time starting center and running back. Ian Book returns as quarterback. Fighting Irish got off to slow starts offensively last year posting 24 points against Ball St and 22 to Vanderbilt all at home. Fighting Irish defense was strong last year giving up an average of 18.2 points per game. They return six starter this season but in 2017 with seven starters back the Fighting Irish held opponents to 21.5 points per contest. Fighting Irish does have experience in their secondary.
South Carolina vs. North Carolina Pick Prediction 8/31/2019
South Carolina vs. North Carolina—College football pick is South Carolina Gamecocks -9. Game is played on a neutral field in Charlotte. Head coach Will Muschamp enters his fourth season with the team. They do return seven starters on offense including senior quarterback Jake Bentley and senior running back Rico Donole. The offense did show improvement last year as the team put up 30.1 points and 426 yards per game. The run game moved up to 4.5 yards per attempt. Defensively they still held opponents to 27.2 points per contest. There are also seven starters returning to the Gamecocks defense. It was a poor season for North Carolina in 2018 finishing at 2-9. Tar Heels defense struggled allowing 34 points and 448 yards per game. Also, seven starters on offense and defense. True freshman Sam Howell will start at quarterback. His center is a sophomore and also a first year starter. Will be a tough spot against an SEC defense. Head coach Mack Brown returns to coaching since retiring after the 2013 season. That is a lot of time away from coaching as the 67 year old returns on the sidelines. Play South Carolina -9.
Northwestern vs. Stanford Pick Prediction 8/31/2019
Northwestern vs. Stanford—College football free pick is Stanford Cardinal -6. Tough spot for Northwestern to open with only six starters returning on offense and six to the defense. Wildcats break in a first year at quarterback and three to the offensive line. On defense both tackles are first year starters and are inexperienced in the secondary. There is a competition at quarterback between T.J. Green and sophomore Hunter Johnson. Exiting quarterback Clayton Thorson was the all time passing leader at Northwestern. There will be some drop off. Stanford does return junior quarterback KJ Costello. This is a program that has defended well giving up 22 points or fewer per game in seven straight seasons. This is not an experienced team but their numbers have not dropped that much under David Shaw with heavy turnover in his system. Play Stanford -6.
South Alabama vs. Nebraska Pick Prediction 8/31/2019
South Alabama vs. Nebraska—College football pick is South Alabama Jaguars +36. Tough to lay these many points with Nebraska. Team is coming off a 4-8 season returning only six starters on defense. Cornhuskers defense last year surrenders 31 points and 434 yards per game. The run defense was poor allowing five yards per rush. Jaguars return eight starters on offense including four to their offensive line. Tra Minter the South Alabama leading rusher returns for his senior season. Jaguars generate enough offense to cover this huge number. Play South Alabama +36.
FAU vs. Ohio St Pick Prediction 8/31/2019
FAU vs. Ohio St—College football free pick is Florida Atlantic +27.5. FAU sophomore Chris Robison is a candidate to return to start. He should see a bump in production in his second season under Lane Kiffin. Owls do return seven starters on offense including many playmakers in the passing game. This is an inexperienced Ohio St team on offense returning only four starters on offense. Their defensive numbers got worse last year as the Buckeyes surrendered 25.5 points and 403 yards per game. Only one starter returns to the offensive line for sophomore quarterback Justin Fields who transferred from Georgia. Florida Atlantic scores just enough to cover this big number. Play FAU +27.5.
Akron vs. Illinois Pick Prediction 8/31/2019
Akron vs, Illinois—Free pick is Akron Zips +17. First year head coach Tom Arth takes over as head coach for the Zips. Team has experience on offense returning seven starters including quarterback Kato Nelson with all of his receiving corps. Tough to back this Illinois program coming off a 4-8 season as Lovie Smith enters his fourth season with the school. Fighting Illini will start Michigan starter Brandon Peters. Illinois defense was atrocious giving up 39.4 points and 508 yards per game last year. Just can’t lay these many point with the Fighting Illini. Play Akron +17.
Indiana vs. Ball St Pick Prediction 8/31/2019
Indiana vs. Ball St—College football pick is Indiana Hoosiers -16.5 Hoosiers beat the Cardinals at home last year against the Cardinals 38-10. They start Michael Penix at quarterback. He returns from injury but had some good performances throwing for 322 yards at Ohio St and 345 yards against Purdue. Ball St struggled through a 4-8 season last year. They suffered three home losses last year included a 42-21 defeat to Eastern Michigan. Drew Pitt is a first year starting quarterback for the Cardinals as Riley Neal transferred. As a backup last year, he saw limited work throwing nine touchdowns but eleven interceptions. Play Indiana -16.5.
Toledo vs. Kentucky Pick Prediction 8/31/2019
Toledo vs. Kentucky—College football free pick is Toledo Rockets +12. Toledo named senior Mitch Guadagin as the starting quarterback for Saturday. In limited action last year the signal caller threw for 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. This is an offense that averaged 444 yards and 40 points per game. Rockets have been to a bowl game in all three seasons under head coach Jason Candle. Kentucky loses a lot from last season returning six on offense and four to the defense. Gone is the Wildcats workhorse running back Benny Snell who averaged five yards per carry or greater in every season with Kentucky. All four Wildcats in the secondary are first year starters which could be an issue as this good passing attack from Toledo. Wildcats did fail to cover both non-conference games at home to mid-majors in Central Michigan and Middle Tennessee St. Play Toledo +12.