Free College Football Picks: Friday Night Lights College Football Predictions
Three ranked teams will make their 2018 College Football debut on Friday Night Lights. Michigan State and Wisconsin will represent the Big Ten. Both squads are in a good position to start the season with a win. Yet, the best game of the night will be played in California. Stanford looks for payback against San Diego State. Two teams with high expectations this season meet during Prime Time in the NCAAF week 1. This is must-watch TV.
My college football picks are below and odds can be found at Sportsbetting – Don’t Miss 50% Up To $1000 Bonus. If you have thought about buying sports betting picks you should read our Pay For Picks article and take advantage of our free NCAAF prediction picks instead of paying for them. Let’s focus on the best betting plays of the night. Can Wisconsin cover the spread as a 36-point favorite at home? Can San Diego double-down and beat Stanford for the second year in a row?
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Vs. Wisconsin Badgers Prediction
Let me say it right out of the gate, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are in for a long night. Their number one challenge on Friday is to stop the all-around tailback Jonathan Taylor and the massive Badgers’ offensive line. Wisconsin’s o-line is arguably the best in College Football, and they are set to prove it once again. Taylor established a rushing record as a freshman with 1977 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017. The offense brings back 10 out of 11 starters from last season. The explosive unit averaged 33.8 points per contest a year ago, and it’s aiming for 40 points per game in 2018.
Western Kentucky defense struggled against the run last season. Seven starters return for this campaign, but they need to do a lot better starting in week 1. The Hilltoppers allowed 172.6 rushing yards per game in 2017 and 25 rushing TDs. Only 34 schools out of 130 gave up more rushing scores than WKU. The Oddsmakers at Sportsbetting.ag opened Wisconsin as a 33-point favorite against Western Kentucky. Early action on the Badgers moved the line three points to their side. Wisconsin was a sweet bet almost every weekend last season, posting a 9-5 against the spread record. I can’t say the same about the Hilltoppers. Their 3-10 against the spread record was dreadful, to say the least.
The Badgers are not hiding from the fact that they are a rushing powerhouse in the Big Ten. But one of the reasons they haven’t claimed the Conference Championship is their lack of balance on offense. The task in 2018 is precisely to find a passing game that helps the dominant running attack. It will be interesting to see quarterback Alex Hornibrook having a little more authority passing the ball. He threw for 2644 yards, 25 touchdowns and 15 picks a year ago. If he can limit his interceptions to fewer than 10, the Badgers will be gold.
The matchup on the other side of the ball is just as bad for Western Kentucky. Senior Drew Eckels will make his first career start as a quarterback for the Hilltoppers. His o-line has three sophomores in an all-around inexperienced line. And it’s not as they can run the ball successfully to take away the pressure, either. Last season, WKU averaged 60.8 rushing yards; it was the worst among 130 FBS teams. Did I mention the Badgers defense has allowed just 240.1 total yards per game at the last five home openers? It’s the best number in all College Football. And if you need one more nugget to realize where the play is, just know Wisconsin has won 22 straight home openers.
San Diego State Aztecs Vs. Stanford Cardinal Prediction
Are you ready for a slugfest? Because that’s what San Diego State and Stanford are in for on Friday Night. The Cardinal is looking to avenge an early 2017 loss to the Aztecs. But this time they play at home and as a 14-point favorite. The line moved just half a point after the oddsmakers opened the Cardinal as a 14.5-point favorite. Stanford was 7-6-1 against the spread last season. One of those games where they failed to cover was the 20-17 loss to San Diego State. The Aztecs were a better betting side with an 8-5 ATS mark.
After losing to San Diego State, the Cardinal went on to win eight of the last 10 games in the regular season. The difference maker was the rise of quarterback K.J. Costello. He went on to throw 14 touchdowns and four interceptions from week four to the end of the year. His best showing was against Notre Dame where he obliterated the Irish defense throwing four TD passes. The issue is Costello had hip surgery during the offseason. He will be out there, but there are questions about how good he can be in week one.
The dynamic running back Bryce Love will carry most of the load for Stanford. Love (+800) is second in the Odds to Win the Heisman Trophy, only behind Alabama’s QB Tua Tagovailoa (+700). I’m sure San Diego State defense is aware Love ran for 2118 yards and 19 TDs last season. Their tenacious front seven will be waiting for him. The Aztecs respect Bryce Love, but they are not impressed. Last season they saw their own Rashaad Penny ran for 2248 yards and 23 scores. In 2018, it’s time for Juwan Washington to make a name for himself with Penny now in the NFL.
Washington recorded 759 rushing yards and seven touchdowns touching the ball fewer than 130 times last year. His time to shine has finally arrived. These two teams essentially have the same way to operate. Their defense will make a statement everything they are on the field, and their offense will gas out opponents. Home field advantage should be the only difference between them on Friday Night. I see Stanford coming on top, but San Diego will be right there to cover the spread. Take the points.