School soccer is lastly again.
Whereas Week zero offered a much-needed style, Week 1 is right here to deliver you the products with 4 ranked matchups.
Like we’ve achieved in years previous, each Friday all through the season we’ll spotlight the 5 finest video games of the approaching weekend. This yr, we’ll decide these video games towards the unfold, plus another matchups that caught our eye from a betting perspective.
(Video games on Saturday except in any other case famous, all instances ET)
5. Florida Atlantic at No. 7 Oklahoma (Midday, ABC)
Time: Midday | TV: ABC | Line: Oklahoma -20.5
What does Lane Kiffin have up his sleeve in 12 months 2? His first yr at Florida Atlantic ended with 10 straight wins and a Convention USA title, however his Owls, led by stud working again Devin Singletary, have an incredible check to open 2018: a visit to Norman, Oklahoma.
The Sooners, on the heels of their third straight Massive 12 title, will line up with out Heisman winner Baker Mayfield at quarterback. His substitute, MLB first-round draft decide Kyler Murray, shall be fascinating to observe. He’s an explosive athlete, however will he be anyplace close to as environment friendly within the passing sport as Mayfield?
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The OU protection shall be examined with the Owls, however received’t know who’s taking part in quarterback till kickoff It might be Chris Robison, who landed at FAU after being dismissed by Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley. If he begins, it provides a layer of intrigue to an already compelling sport.
Picks: Sam: FAU +20.5, Nick: FAU +20.5
4. No. Eight Miami vs. No. 25 LSU (Arlington, Texas)
Time: 7:30 p.m. Sunday | TV: ABC | Line: Miami -3.5
Joe Burrow has a tricky job in his first profession begin. The Ohio State switch earned the beginning quarterback job for LSU and is tasked with avoiding the turnover chain in any respect prices. For a lot of 2017, the Miami protection wreaked havoc for opposing offenses, main the nation in sacks and inflicting 31 turnovers complete (third-most within the nation). With seven starters returning, the ‘Canes will look to make life powerful for Burrow, who is way extra cell than his LSU predecessor, Danny Etling.
With the suspension of Ed Ingram, LSU has solely two starters returning up entrance to pave the way in which for an inexperienced group of working backs. That would drive Burrow to go to the air for the Tigers to drag out the upset. One among his prime targets shall be Jonathan Giles, a Texas Tech switch who had 69 catches for 1,158 yards and 13 TDs in 2016.
Picks: Sam: Miami -3.5, Nick: LSU +3.5
3. No. 20 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Florida State
Time: Eight p.m. Monday | TV: ESPN | Line: Florida State -7.5
After such an eventful offseason, Virginia Tech needs to be blissful simply to be taking part in soccer once more. With eight starters to exchange, the Hokies could have a really new-look protection from a personnel standpoint, however it appears silly to doubt longtime coordinator Bud Foster. Nonetheless, heading to Tallahassee to face Florida State shall be an enormous check for an inexperienced group.
Florida State ought to look completely different, too. With Willie Taggart within the fold as head coach, we’re not totally positive what the Seminoles’ offensive assault will appear like, however he has loads of weapons to work with. After lacking nearly all of 2017, Deondre Francois is again as FSU’s beginning quarterback. He has a stud behind him at working again with sophomore Cam Akers. He’ll see loads of carries as FSU seems to be to bounce again from a down 2017 marketing campaign.
Picks: Sam: Florida State -7.5, Nick: Florida State -7.5
2. No. 14 Michigan at No. 12 Notre Dame
Time: 7:30 p.m. | TV: NBC | Line: Notre Dame -1.5
Shea Patterson’s Michigan debut towards Notre Dame in South Bend? Sure, please.
Dynamic quarterback play has been nonexistent throughout Jim Harbaugh’s tenure, and Michigan followers are hoping the Ole Miss switch can deliver some pleasure to the Wolverines’ offense. The previous five-star recruit is immensely gifted however could have an enormous check going into Notre Dame Stadium on a primetime stage.
The quarterback place was a query mark for Notre Dame final fall, too. Brandon Wimbush is among the finest working QBs within the nation, however he accomplished lower than 50 p.c of his passes. The Irish have to exchange two linemen who have been top-10 NFL picks, plus RB Josh Adams, so Wimbush’s enchancment shall be an enormous issue if Notre Dame goes to succeed in its potential. That begins towards an immensely gifted Michigan protection.
Picks: Sam: Michigan +1.5, Nick: Michigan +1.5
1. No. 6 Washington vs. No. 9 Auburn
Time: 3:30 p.m. | TV: ABC | Line: Auburn -2.5
In a yr the place many think about Washington the Pac-12’s prime — and maybe solely — contender for the School Soccer Playoff, there’s so much on the road towards Auburn. You’ll be able to’t write off a complete convention’s CFP hopes in September, however a win over Auburn would go a great distance for the Huskies from a résumé perspective. Plus, it will assist the Pac-12’s résumé after going 1-Eight in bowl play.
Washington returns 17 starters, together with QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin. However crucial returnee might be Trey Adams, who’s getting back from a knee harm to begin at left sort out. He and the remainder of the UW line must be on the prime of their sport towards Auburn’s ferocious defensive entrance seven.
With Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, the Tigers have expertise on offense, too, however the line is a little bit of a query mark. Search for the Huskies to strain the QB early and infrequently.
Picks: Sam: Washington +2.5, Nick: Washington +2.5
Week 1’s finest bets
Military at Duke (-13.5): A triple-option workforce coming off a 10-win season getting two touchdowns is simply too attractive for me to cross up. I believe Duke wins straight-up however Military doesn’t let the Blue Devils run away with it. Choose: Military +13.5
Tennessee vs. No. 17 West Virginia (-10): It could take Tennessee a bit to get going. Jeremy Pruitt’s protection has a stiff check in Week 1 and will preserve the sport comparatively shut. However WVU salts it away with a late landing cross. Choose: West Virginia -10
SMU at North Texas (-4.5): The Imply Inexperienced return 17 starters from a workforce that went 9-5 in 2017. North Texas acquired demolished by SMU a yr in the past however I’m going out on a limb and saying it’ll be completely different in 2018. Choose: North Texas -4.5
BYU at Arizona (-11.5): Khalil Tate and Kevin Sumlin actually looks like the proper match, doesn’t it? Tate was borderline unstoppable throughout some video games final season, and I anticipate him to have an enormous season debut towards BYU. The Cougars ought to be higher than final yr’s 4-9 file, however the protection doesn’t have the pace to hold with Tate. Choose: Arizona -11.5
Ole Miss at Texas Tech (-2.5): With 10 returning starters, Texas Tech’s protection ought to be fairly strong, however that Ole Miss offense simply has numerous expertise. This one ought to be a monitor meet, however I just like the Rebels, with receivers A.J. Brown and DaMarkus Lodge, to choose aside the TTU secondary. Choose: Ole Miss +2.5
UNLV at USC (-26.5): OK, hear me out with this one. I anticipate USC to win and achieve this pretty simply, however I don’t assume the Trojans, with true freshman QB J.T. Daniels making his first begin, will need to present all that a lot on offense with a visit to Stanford in Week 2. UNLV has some actual athletes on offense and will struggle for all 4 quarters. This has backdoor cowl written throughout it. Choose: UNLV +26.5
For Pat Forde and Pete Thamel’s Week 1 picks, take a look at Race for the Case: