BlackJack’s Week 1 College Football Plays: Huge Opening Weekend For Harbaugh, Michigan

BlackJack’s Week 1 College Football Plays: Huge Opening Weekend For Harbaugh, Michigan article feature image

Rich Ostenski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chase Winovich

  • BlackJack Fletcher has four plays for the weekend, including Michigan on the road in South Bend to face Notre Dame (-1) on Saturday night.
  • BlackJack is also eyeing two matchups down South: Miami (-3.5) vs LSU and Washington vs Auburn (-2).

We’ve made it, baby!

We suffered through the long summer slog, and now football is back in our lives. It’s a beautiful thing. This weekend is the first full weekend of college football, and brother, we have some FANTASTIC games.

It’s time to start this season on the right foot and grab some wins. Let’s do this thing and take care of business. These are the weekend games I’ve got my eye on.


Michigan at Notre Dame (-1)

A huge matchup on the slate for Week 1 will occur in South Bend as this rivalry is renewed one more time. This is an enormous game for Brian Kelly and Jim Harbaugh, as they look to make their way to the College Football Playoff for the first time.

These are also two pretty evenly matched teams so, for me, this comes down to a few main factors.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jim Harbaugh

First, Michigan returns 10 starters on defense for a unit that was very good last year and should be even better this year.

Second, the Wolverines now have Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson at quarterback. While we aren’t quite sure what to expect out of Patterson, he has to be better than what the Wolverines had at the position last year. I think those factors are enough to give the edge to Michigan here.

THE PICK: Michigan +1

Texas (-13.5) at Maryland

I bet this game a while ago when the line was 10.5, but I still like it at 13.5. These are teams going in opposite directions. Texas is rebuilding around head coach Tom Herman and looks poised to have a good season.

College football-betting-picks-texas longhorns-2018-odds-futures-preview
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tom Herman

Maryland, on other hand, is a team in total disarray. The Terrapins suffered the tragic death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair this spring, and now investigations consume the program and the university.

Also, after reading through the articles written about the team, it seems Maryland’s players are generally unhappy and upset with the direction of the football program.

THE PICK: Texas -13.5

Washington at Auburn (-2)

This is a huge Saturday afternoon contest between two top-10 teams.

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Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jake Browning

I generally favor the SEC in games such as this one, but Washington is the exception. The Huskies return Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin and are facing an inexperienced Auburn defensive front.

Chris Petersen always has his teams ready to play, and I like them even better in underdog spots. I like the Huskies outright, but the points are there if you want them.

THE PICK: Washington +2

Miami (-3.5) at LSU

The Hurricanes started last year on an incredible roll before faltering down the stretch in a big way. Their losses to Pittsburgh, Clemson and Wisconsin exposed some of their shortcomings offensively, and much of that fell on the shoulders of quarterback Malik Rosier.

LSU Tigers nose tackle Ed Alexander (95) celebrates with linebacker Devin White (40) after a sack against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half in the 2018 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium.
Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LSU Tigers nose tackle Ed Alexander (95) celebrates with linebacker Devin White (40) after a sack.

I expect the Canes to struggle with the size and speed of the LSU roster. Miami should be able to keep this close for a while, but ultimately, I think the Tigers will prove too much to handle and get the job done.