College football is almost fully back. Let's get into some betting picks I have for Thursday's slate.
Boise State at UCF (Over 66.5, UCF -6.5)
The line for this matchup opened at four points favoring UCF. It has now moved to 6.5 on most books with many bettors in on UCF, 74 percent to be exact. UCF is 3-6 ATS against Boise State in matchup history. Boise State is 3-4 ATS in matchup history. This game will be close, but which side is a toss-up. For me, the spread is too high for me to touch.
However, there will be points scored in this matchup.
You have to think the weather will play a factor in this matchup with Boise State traveling down to a hot and humid state of Florida, which can benefit UCF's offense as the game moves into the second half.
The total opened at 72.5 and has continued to drop. You can get it as low as 66.5 on DraftKings. The totals have gone over in three of the last five contests for both teams.
Despite the total dropping, this non-conference matchup should provide a fun one if you like offense. Boise State's defense ranks outside the top-40 and UCF added five Power Five transfers at the skill positions on offense, which will spell trouble for the Broncos secondary.
If I had to choose the spread, I'd lean UCF, but I'll take my chances on the over.
Wagner at Buffalo (Buffalo -43.5)
Buffalo is coming off a season in which they went 6-1 and earned just their second bowl win in program history. They will open the 2021 season against a Wagner team that only played two games in 2020 and got outscored 43-7 between those contests. Wagner went 1-11 in 2019 and hasn't won a game since September of 2019.
Buffalo averaged 43.4 points per game while allowing 21.9 points per game in 2020.
Wagner won't come close to that average tonight, however. Buffalo is 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games. I'm willing to ride that against a team that has one win in two years.
Ohio State at Minnesota (Minnesota +14, Under 62.5)
The Justin Fields era is over at Ohio State, meaning there is a new quarterback under center for the Buckeyes. No. 4 Ohio State should still be in the running for a College Football Playoff bid by season's end, but this is Week 1 and the Buckeyes haven't had time to gel yet. Advantage Minnesota.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan is 18-8 as the starter. Stud running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who led the Big Ten in rushing yards, attempts, touchdowns, and all-purpose yards last season, returns for Minnesota as well.
This game seems to be set for a run-heavy contest if Minnesota can control the clock with Ibrahim. On the other end, Ohio State has one of the top wide receiver groups in college football with Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. They combined for 93 receptions, 1,452 yards, and 13 touchdowns last season.
That was with Fields as the quarterback. This year, it's five-star recruit C.J. Stroud.
With it being the first game of the season, there's no telling what the Ohio State offense will do. They likely win this road game, but I think the Gophers keep it close with the ground and pound game and kill the clock in the process.
That's tonight's bets. I'll be back tomorrow for the Friday slate.