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2016 NCAA Football Week One Sleepers Predictions

2016 NCAA Football Week One Sleepers Predictions


It’s that time of the year again. The 2016 NCAA football season goes full swing this week with a torrent games coming our way. You might be having a hard time choosing which games to bet on though. To help you prepare, we’ve gathered a short breakdown of three games we believe underdogs can win or at least cover the spread. Read more about them below.

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NCAAF Week One Sleepers

1. South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Vanderbilt

Where: Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville

Date and Time: Thursday, September 1, 8:00 PM ET

Line: South Carolina (+3.5) vs. Vanderbilt (-3.5) – view all NCAA Football odds and lines


Defense is the name of this game with both the Gamecocks and the Commodores not expected to light up the sky with their passing nor set the field on fire with their rushing. South Carolina appears to be a tasty spread pick in this matchup, as the Gamecocks have a new coach in the accomplished and former Florida coach Will Muschamp. Muschamp should have transformed the Gamecocks into a much better defensive team following a season in which they ranked last in the SEC with 27.5 points given up per contest. Even if that improvement turns out to be minimal for South Carolina’s defense, the Gamecocks should still be competitive in this game considering that they’re up against Vanderbilt’s offense that averaged a pathetic 15.2 PPG in 2015.

Prediction: South Carolina wins and covers.

2. Missouri Tigers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

Where: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown

Date and Time: Thursday, September 1, 8:00 PM ET

Line: Missouri (+9.5) vs. West Virginia (-9.5) – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

Mizzou’s offense was a picture of complete embarrassment last season as the Tigers averaged less than 14 points per game in 2015. It should be better this year with some of Missouri’s key offensive players gaining more experience. Whether that experience will come in handy against WVU is something we’re not counting on, however. Instead, it’s going to be Missouri’s defense that was fifth in the nation in scoring defense with just 16.2 PPG that’ll keep the Tigers in this game, as the Mountaineers are primarily an offense-first program. The Mountaineers put up 34.0 PPG last year. Most of last season’s game changers on defense are back for Mizzou including the likes of Charles Harris and Walter Brady, and tackles Josh Augusta, Rickey Hatley and Terry Beckner so don’t sleep on Missouri shocking WVU.

Prediction: WVU wins but Mizzou covers.

3. UCLA Bruins vs. Texas A&M Aggies

Where: Kyle Field, College Station

Date and Time: Saturday, September 3, 3:30 PM ET

Line: UCLA (+3) vs. Texas A&M (-3) – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

Texas A&M might find itself groping for form offensively, particularly in the air, out of the gate. For one, the Bruins harbor perhaps one of the more underrated defenses coming into the season. Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will handle a unit that should feature a healthy secondary that played a big role in making UCLA rank first in the Pac-12 last season in pass defense with only 203.2 passing yards allowed per game. Of course, Trevor Knight and the Aggies can turn to the backfield but that’s an option UCLA would actually want to see, as Texas A&M’s running game isn’t expected to have as much impact.

Prediction: UCLA wins and covers.

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Written by Rex

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