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College Football Week 1 Locks: Three Easy ATS Picks

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in College Football

Updated Mar 27, 2020 · 10:43 AM PDT

Oklahoma Sooners' chuckwagon.
OU's odds to gallop into the four-team College Football Playoff have improved during the offseason. Photo by John Silks [CC License].
  • We have three iron-clad deadbolt LOCKS for week 1 college football
  • These three games either have upside-down betting lines or just silly lines

Week 1 of college football is (almost here) and, we’ve circled three against-the-spread picks that seem too good to be true.

NCAAF Week 1 Locks


Home Team* Away Team Pick
Oklahoma (-20.5) FAU (+20.5) FAU (+20.5)
Auburn (-3.0) Washington (+3.0) Washington (+3.0)
Texas Tech (-2.0) Ole Miss (+2.0) Ole Miss (+2.0)

*The Auburn/Washington and Texas Tech/Ole Miss games are neutral site games

Florida Atlantic University (+20.5) at Oklahoma

11-3 2017 RECORD 12-2
Lane Kiffin HEAD COACH Lincoln Riley
11th 2017 S&P+ Rank 9th
31st 2018 S&P+ Rank 9th
+80000 Average Nat’l Title Odds +1950
+10000 Sportsbook 1 Playoff Odds +400

The line has moved slightly since we last wrote about this game, but it still stands out. Florida Atlantic went on an incredible run last year and established themselves as one of the best teams in the country. Oklahoma lost an all-time great quarterback without whom they would have gone 9-3. I understand completely that Oklahoma will very likely win this game, I just think that FAU’s offense is going to keep up.

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Why’s this line so out of control? Because Oklahoma is a huge brand name in college football, and FAU isn’t. Florida Atlantic only started playing football in 2001, so when they take on a blue blood the betting line is sure to get wonky. However: they’ve done great things under head coach Lane Kiffin, and they’re looking to make history with this upset.

Washington (+3.0) vs Auburn

10-3 2017 RECORD 10-4
Jake Browning STARTING QUARTERBACK Jarrett Stidham
5th 2017 S&P+ 10th
4th 2018 S&P+ 5th
+1350 Average Nat’l Title Odds +2650
+220 Sportsbook 1 Playoff Odds +450
Chris Petersen HEAD COACH Gus Malzahn

This game is being played at Mercedes-Benz stadium, so it’s almost a home game for Auburn. That said, you’ll notice that Washington has better odds to win the national title/make the Playoff. That’s because they’re one of the best teams in the country, and it’s not clear why they’re the underdog in this game. Could it be that PAC-12 teams are perennially underrated in out-of-conference play?

Ole Miss (+2.0) at Texas Tech

Ole Miss
Texas Tech
6-6 2017 RECORD 6-7
Jordan Ta’amu STARTING QUARTERBACK McLane Carter
42nd 2017 S&P+ 58th
25th 2018 S&P+ 47th
+80000 Average Nat’l Title Odds +65000
N/A Sportsbook 1 Playoff Odds N/A
Matt Luke HEAD COACH Kliff Kingsbury

Ole Miss is under NCAA sanction and a lot of scrutiny right now, so it’s difficult to bet on them. However, NCAA sanctions didn’t stop them from being a measurably better team than Texas Tech last year. The Rebs did lose Shae Patterson to Michigan, but Jordan Ta’amu is more than good enough to beat Texas Tech.

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Texas Tech has problems of their own! Despite a defense that will very soon get Kliff Kingsbury fired, the Red Raiders are also searching for a suitable quarterback. All air raid teams rely on preternaturally talented quarterbacks, and McLane Carter just isn’t all that. He’s consistent, and probably the best choice, but still leaves something to be desired.

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