Last season: 82-24 straight up, 37-50-4 ATS
I had a pretty great year in 2013, going 94-17 straight up and 54-39-2 ATS. Last year? Not so good. I never felt like I got a good handle on things last year, but I think I've got a better grip this time around. At least, I feel like I have a better handle until I only get two picks right tomorrow.
As always, the spreads come from the Yahoo pick 'em game (there's still time to sign up!).
Georgia (-35.5) over UL-Monroe 38-7
Despite ULM going 4-8 last year, none of its three losses to SEC teams (LSU, UK, Texas A&M) came by more than 34. I'm expecting a lot of running from the Bulldogs, which should keep the clock moving, and an inefficient UGA pass game that will lower the possibility of a massive blowout. UGA doesn't break a sweat, but it doesn't win by 50 either.
Arkansas (-33) over UTEP 63-13
Bret Bielema loves to run up the score. He gets a chance in Week 1.
Auburn (-10) over Louisville 35-20
I know the whole deal about Bobby Petrino teams making leaps forward in their second seasons, but he lost a fair amount from last year. It could be close for a while, but I expect AU to pull away in the second half.
Tennessee (-21.5) over Bowling Green 37-17
The Vols are definitely the better team, but this is the first time in a while that they've really got expectations on them. I expect something of a jittery start that doesn't quite cover this spread.
Kentucky (-17) over UL-Lafayette 44-20
The Cajuns don't have a great history of hanging within 17 of Power 5 teams (or Boise State) the past two years, so give me the high scoring 'Cats.
Arizona State (+3.5) over Texas A&M 45-41
I think ASU has a real shot to win the Pac-12 South, and I think it roughly is now what A&M will be next year. The Sun Devils more or less being a year ahead of the Aggies will carry the day, but a TAMU win wouldn't surprise me at all. This one should be close.
Florida (-37) over New Mexico State 59-6
Look, I can tell you more about UF's offensive issues than you can tell me. That said, NMSU is desperately bad. It gave up 56 to LSU's busted jalopy of an offense last year (the team scored 63 thanks to a defensive TD). This will be like when the Gators scored 65 on Eastern Michigan to start off 2014. It'll be a lot of points on the board that ultimately don't mean much.
Alabama (-10.5) over Wisconsin 27-10
This is an awful matchup for the Badgers, with Bama's front seven probably being the best in college football. This game won't be remotely fun to watch for any reason other than watching the Bama fans' reactions when nine straight incompletions follow a Derrick Henry 70-yard TD run.
Mississippi State (-20) over Southern Miss 40-13
This game would have "underdog cover" written all over it with MSU being on the road and having new faces all over everywhere, but USM just isn't good at all. Plus, Dak Prescott does a lot to make up for all those new faces.
Ole Miss over UT-Martin 42-0
Missouri over SEMO 30-10
LSU over McNeese State 66-13