If you're going to bet NCAA Football, you’ll want to do your homework

July 13, 2017 10:34 AM
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It’s time to start doing your research and begin to take a good look at the schedules, conferences, and upcoming rosters to get a head start on college football season. Odds are showing up all over town, and if you’re going to bet, you’ll want to do your homework.

Here’s a look at the Independent teams, and my first college football pick of the season.

Army

The Black Knights go up against Ohio State on Sept. 16 in Columbus.  They have several key players returning this year including QB Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Andy Davidson, LB Alex Aukerman, and DB Elijah Riley.  They won their last three consecutive games in 2016, and last year managed to end a 14-game losing streak to Navy.  Some of the concerns noted in Marc Lawrence's Playbook include concern "anything less than another bowl game will be considered a setback.  You'll want to save the date of Dec. 9 when Army goes up against Navy in a game that is bound to be a thriller, especially if sitting on a 'bowl bubble' going into the game.

To learn more about this team, follow on Twitter @ArmyWP_Football

BYU  

The Cougars went 9-4 last year and are predicted by some to go 9-4 again.  The first game opponent is LSU on Sept. 2, and be sure to note that this game will be played in Houston. BYU's four losses last year were all decided by less than three points, including two by 1.  Imagine if they had won these games?  Among the games to watch out for include Wisconsin, Utah and of course, the one against LSU.

To learn more about this team on, follow on Twitter @BYUCougars

UMass

On Nov. 18 (noon PT) the Minutemen face BYU.  Before that come key matchups against Ohio and Temple as well as the opener against Hawaii on Sept. 2. The team returns QB Andrew Ford, who appeared in 11 games last season and a relatively 'easy' schedule. But it's not going to be easy.  Their first game against Hawaii could be considered a revenge game since lost last year 46-40.

To learn more about UMass follow on Twitter @UMassFootball

Notre Dame

Of all the Independent teams, the Fighting Irish are my favorite to follow.  Maybe because I grew up around folks who either loved or hated this team. Even in my early days when I knew nothing about college football I always knew that Notre Dame was a contender.  Last year, they did not live up to expectations but keep in mind seven of the eight losses were decided by a touchdown.

In my opinion, Notre Dame has a tough schedule.  They take on Temple and then face Georgia in their first two matchups.  The games I'm looking forward to will be the final two against Navy and Stanford.  I just feel that this time ND has something to prove this year, and I'm hoping they can end up on the winning side to finish well over .500.

To learn more about the Irish, follow on Twitter, @FightingIrish

It’s possibly a bit too early to place any sort of crazy wager, but BYU-LSU looks to be an interesting matchup.  Note the game will be played at NRG (formerly Reliant) Stadium in Houston.  Although the attendance for this game might not break the record attendance set when George Strait played The Cowboy Rides Away Tour back in March of 2013, it’s likely to be a packed house.

Many are predicting BYU to come away with at least nine wins this year, and this game currently has preseason No. 14 (AP rankings) LSU sitting as double-digit favorites.  While it might be tough to take a side this early, the Tigers are in the midst of adapting to new coach Ed Orgeron. The Cougars have shown stamina and seem poised for the bright lights.  Lay your money down on the underdog Cougars to cover the number.