It's tough to gaze upon the glowing lights of any sportsbook board in Las Vegas without feeling that rush of adrenaline, that twinge of excitement that may lead to an abundance of wagers. At the moment, here are seven plays we're taking to the window.
Last week: N/A
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Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (0-0, 0-0 road) at Bowling Green Falcons (0-0, 0-0 home)
When: Thursday, 7:00pm ET Bowling Green in 2012: 8-5 SU, 8-5 ATS
Analysis: Eight offensive starters return for a Tulsa offense that ranked ninth in the nation in rushing last season (245.7 yds/gm) and 30th in scoring (34.7 pts/gm), while nine defensive starters are back for a Bowling Green squad that ranked sixth in the nation in total defense in 2012 (296.6 yds/gm). Take note that while Bowling Green's defense was tops in the MAC last season, this same unit surrendered an average of 27 points per game against bowl teams in 2012.
Notable Trends: Tulsa is 13-5 ATS over their last 18 road games while Bowling Green is 2-5 ATS over their last seven non-conference matchups.
Pick: Tulsa (+3.5)
#24 USC Trojans (0-0, 0-0 road) at Hawaii Warriors (0-0, 0-0 home)
When: Thursday, 11:00pm ET The Trojans roll in this one.
Notable Trends: USC is 4-1 ATS over their last five games played in the month of August while Hawaii is 2-8 ATS over their last ten home games.
Pick: USC (-23)
Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-0, 0-0 road) at SMU Mustangs (0-0, 0-0 home)
When: Friday, 8:00pm ET SMU in 2012: 7-6 SU, 8-5 ATS, 6-6 to the OVER
Analysis: SMU scored 30.5 points per game last year, brings back senior signal-caller Garrett Gilbert and hired Hal Mumme this past offseason to implement elements of the prolific "Air Raid" to the Mustangs' Run & Shoot offense. Texas Tech scored an average of 37.5 points per game last season (20th in the country) and hired Johnny Manziel tutor Kliff Kingsbury to replace the departed Tommy Tuberville (Cincinnati). Take note that eight starters return for a Red Raiders defense that gave up 50 or more points four times last season while surrendering an average of 45 points per game over the team's final seven contests.
Notable Trends: The OVER is 5-1 in Texas Tech's last six road games.
Pick: OVER (59)
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0, 0-0 road) at Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0, 0-0 home)
Note: This game will be played in Atlanta, Georgia.
When: Saturday, 5:30pm ET On the other side of the field sits a Virginia Tech team that averaged only 25.1 points per game last season (81st in the nation) and is a paltry 7-18-1 ATS over their last 26 games. Roll Tide (by enough to cover the spread).
Notable Trends: Alabama is 10-4 ATS over their last 14 non-conference games while Virginia Tech is 2-7-1 ATS over their last ten non-conference games.
Pick: Alabama (-19.5)
#12 LSU Tigers (0-0, 0-0 road) at #20 TCU Horned Frogs (0-0, 0-0 home)
Note: This game will be played in Arlington, Texas.
When: Saturday, 9:00pm ET LSU returns only three starters from a defense that ranked 12th in the nation in scoring last season (17.5 pts/gm) while TCU brings back nine players from a defensive unit that surrendered just 22.6 points per game in 2012 (30th in the country). Take note that the under is 4-0 in TCU's last four non-conference matchups.
Notable Trends: The UNDER is 7-1-1 in TCU's last nine neutral site games.
Pick: UNDER (49.5)
Nevada Wolf Pack (0-0, 0-0 road) at #21 UCLA Bruins (0-0, 0-0 home)
When: Saturday, 10:00pm ET The rookie HC has his work cut out for him in Week 1 when you consider the fact that Polian has the country's 99th-ranked scoring defense from a year ago (33.8 pts/gm) going up against a sophomore quarterback in Brett Hundley who completed an impressive 66.5 percent of his passes as a freshman last season.
Notable Trends: Nevada is 4-11-1 ATS over their last 16 non-conference games while UCLA is 10-3 ATS over their last 13 games against opponents from the Mountain West Conference.
Pick: UCLA (-20.5)
Ohio Bobcats (0-0, 0-0 road) at Louisville Cardinals (0-0, 0-0 home)
When: Sunday, 3:30pm ET And yes, this is the same Louisville team that is 2-5 ATS over their last seven games on fieldturf and who defeated only two opponents (Missouri State, Temple) by more than 20 points in 2012.
Notable Trends: Ohio is 5-1 ATS over their last six non-conference games while Louisville is 7-15 ATS over their last 22 home games.
Pick: Ohio (+21)
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