New year, new blog format. Kind of. I'll still be including the exact same information that goes on Dave, Big Cat, and Rico's sheet for Pick Ems. But I'll also be adding my picks and reasonings as well. I'm try to be more concise with my stats this year, so instead of giving every single thing I could find, I'm going to stick to the top several stats and notes. Hopefully this is better for everyone, and a quicker look through. There isn't much this week so this will be brief. Always feel free to tweet at me if you're looking for stats. But football is so back, so let's get into it.
Nebraska @ Illinois
Matchup: Last year Illinois won 41-23 @ Nebraska. That ended a 4 year Nebraska win streak.
Nebraska: are 9th in returning production on defense, but 96th on offense. QB1 Adrian Martinez is back, after a 2020 regression year. He led the team in rushing last year. Had a new OC in the covid year (not enough time to properly install). They lost their top receiver Wan’Dale Robinson to Kentucky, and there isn’t anyone close to him in production. Where is Nebraska’s head at with all the off field drama? Their offensive scoring and passing was 12th in the B1G in 2020.
L7 games are 5-2 for the under. Since 2019, when favored, are 3-8 ATS.
Adrian Martinez rushed 74.43 ypg last year. Don’t have star receivers so there will be an emphasis on the run game.
When favored, they’re 2-6 ATS, and 2-4 SU.
Illinois: are 94th in returning production on defense. QB1 Brandon Peters is back. New HC Bret Bielema, who has B10 experience as well as working with Bill Belichick. New coach, new fire, and a lot back on offense. There are questions about receivers, but are strong on RBs and OL. They were 3rd in the B10 in rushing ypg in 2020.
Hawai’i @ UCLA
Hawai’i: Went 5-4 in 2020.
Have covered and won their L5 games in Week 0/1, and they were only favored in one of them.
UCLA: has LSU the next week, do they play Hawai’i to their best ability or do they keep the good stuff off tape so LSU doesn’t get a preview? Are 7th nationally in overall returning production. QB1 Dorian Thompson-Robinson is back.
Public bets like the under, money likes the over.
SJS: won the Mountain West conference last year. Went 7-1, and lost to Ball State (MAC winner) in the Arizona Bowl
Their L9 games went 7-1-1 for the under. Covered their L5 home games. Home games are 8-2 for the under.
SUU: Went 1-5 in the spring of 2020. Missing spring data. In 2019 was a big under team, were 7-2 for the under.
UConn @ Fresno
UConn: hasn’t played since the 2019 season, and first time traveling out west. They went 2-10 in 2019, only beating UMass and Wagner. They SUCK.
Fresno: Went 3-3 in 2020. They lost their L4 home games where they were favored. (Are 1-4 SU in the L5 home games, and they were favored in the 4 they lost. In their L8 favored games they went 2-6 ATS/SU.) But when favored by 21+, they haven’t lost a game since 2008.
UTEP @ New Mexico State
NMSU: played 2 games in the spring, went 1-1. One of the worst FBS programs.
UTEP: went 3-5 last year. They finished on a 4 game losing streak, through which they had 6 cancelations/postponements.
Illinois beat them by 18 last year on the road, and I don't have faith in Nebraska. Plus this is Bielema's welcome back party that will have every CFB eye on it since they're the first game of the year. Also with the game being at Illinois, home fields will have a bigger advantage since fans are back.
Hawaii 1st half +9.5
A more risky one, I just think that UCLA will be holding back the fireworks so that they don't show all their cards to LSU. Plus with it being the first game of the year, everyone will be a bit off and take some time to get into the motions. And then for Hawai'i this is their game on the big stage, so they'll be fighting for it.
SUU @ SJS u56
Both teams are under teams. Numbers don't lie.
Adrian Martinez o67.5 rushing yards
He averaged 74.43 rushing ypg last year, and since they have lost Wan'Dale Robinson. While they're waiting for a new star receiver there will be a bigger emphasis on the run game. Plus it's another year older, and hopefully better, for Martinez.
As always, if you're going to bet, please do so responsibly.