Cue music: “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
It’s the first full week of college football, which means it’s time to…BRING ON THE DOGS!
Every team is starting off fresh. Freshmen want to make their mark, seniors want to make their last year memorable. There are new schemes, new coaches and everything is so darn exciting!
A new season also means uncertainty, nerves and nonconference games.
Most of these teams have rarely, if ever, faced each other. Which is how, voila — Liberty University (+7500) takes out Baylor in the opener last year.
According to Bet Labs, there have been at least five major upsets — +5250 money lines or higher — since 2015, and four of them came in the first two weeks of the season.
Lower that number to +2000 and there have been 19 major upsets. All but five came in the first couple weeks of the season. I should note that since Bet Labs takes its data from Pinnacle, not all the ridiculously large lines are included in the data, including my Howard University bet against UNLV that cashed at a whopping +26500. The Bison were a 45-point underdog, but who needs points?
As I’ve written about before, if you’d taken every single dog at +5000 or higher since 2006 for $100, you’d be up more than $9,000. This isn’t a great idea unless you have literal money to burn, but the point remains that it CAN happen.
Do I realistically think in my heart of hearts that Austin Peay is going to beat Georgia at +26500, Oregon State comes close to beating Ohio State at +12500 or Western Kentucky ekes by Wisconsin at +8500?
Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I still took all of those bets, but my guess is I’ll know the bet is long dead by the middle of the first half.
Another great thing about these early season games? Learning that new schools exist and have football teams.
Look no further than Shorter University. No, really. The Hawks are playing Samford and I took them at +30000. Needless to say, if you’re going to bet on a longshot, go Shorter.
I’ve picked a few of my bets to on the more high-profile games like Louisville vs Alabama. Bobby “Motorcycle” Petrino’s Cardinals are +2250 and I mean…it’s possible. The two teams haven’t played each other since 1991 and I mean…it’s Louisville, not Liberty, and who doesn’t want to see Bama go down in game one, right?
Next we have Texas San Antonio playing Arizona State. The moneyline is only UTSA +1000, and I say “only” because by my definition of huge dogs, this doesn’t really fit, but it’s still big — in addition to me being a Wildcat and wanting to see ASU lose and lose badly.
The Sun Devils also have new coach Herm Edwards, and either his new approach is either going to be disastrous for ASU, or fantastic, and I lean toward disastrous, especially in the Sun Devils’ first game. This will be fun to watch (hopefully).
Lastly, there’s Abilene Christian, a +11000 dog to Baylor, and I’d like nothing more than to see Baylor go down in flames to a big dog again.
Now that I’ve taken pretty much every big dog this first weekend — highest odds are Furman vs. Clemson and VMI vs Toledo, both +47000 — I can already tell that one of these 30-plus teams is going to tease me and make me think I have an actual chance — only to crush my dreams in spectacular fashion. Now that I think about it, it could present a good opportunity to live bet if that happens…
OMG (insert water drop emojis 3x) now I’m even MORE excited!
So yes… YES! That’ll be me digging through the internet to find a stream to the +33000 Kentucky Christian vs Lamar game. Let’s go squints eyes Kentucky Christian Knights!
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on her research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.