Georgia Tech @ Florida State 3:30 PM ET
Play On: Florida State -12.0 (5*)
Geoff Collins begins his 2nd season as the head coach of Georgia Tech. Collins is slowly transitioning his spread offense from the triple option attack that was employed during the Paul Johnson era. The Yellowjackets were 3-9 a season ago which included a loss to Citadel and 6 other defeats by 16 points or greater. They do have 9 returning starters on offense. However, that unit was among the worst nationally in many statistical categories.
Florida State is an experienced team with a terrific young new head coach in Mike Norvell who comes over from Memphis. Norvell has proven to be a brilliant offensive mind and he inherits 7 returning offensive starters. The Seminoles also return 10 defensive starters and that type of continuity is sure to pay dividends early on. Especially when considering the shortened offseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida State finished 6-7 a season ago which marked a second consecutive losing season which was preceded by 42 straight winning campaigns. I look for Florida State to be back on its way to prominence and it starts with an emphatic statement on Saturday.
Any college football conference home favorite of 7.0 to 14.5-points that is playing in their season opener, and they won 6 or more games the year before, versus an opponent who won 4 or fewer games during the previous season, resulted in those home favorites going 5-0 SU&ATS since 1998. More importantly, the average margin of victory in those 5 contests was 33.0 points per game. Bet on Florida State minus the points as a 5* wager.
Houston @ Kansas City 8:20 PM ET
Play On: Over 54.0 (10*)
These teams met twice last season and both games went over the total with a combined average of 68.5 points scored per contest.
This game will feature two of the most exciting quarterbacks the NFL has to offer in Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Watson threw for 3852 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. He added an additional 635 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2 postseason games. That includes 388 yards and 2 touchdowns passing in the AFC Divisional Round 51-31 loss at Kansas City. Watson also ran for 413 yards and 7 touchdowns in 15 regular season games. During 30 regular season starts over the past 2 regular season,
During the past 2 regular seasons, Patrick Mahomes has combined to throw for an astronomical 9128 yards and 76 touchdowns. During that identical time span, Mahomes also ran for 490 yards and 4 touchdowns. Although Mahomes is not the running threat that Watson is, he is still very mobile and has an uncanny ability to extend plays with that attribute.
The Chiefs have gone over in their last 5 home openers and there was a combined 57.6 points scored per contest.
The Texans defense was a huge liability a season ago and that was further exposed in their 2 postseason games against Buffalo and Kansas City. I see nothing to suggest there has been any offseason changes made that would indicate any significant improvement. Houston was 28 in total defense last season while allowing an enormous 388.3 yards per game. Kansas City was in the middle of the pack when it came to defensive statistics.
Since 2008, any NFL home favorite of 1.5 or great that is playing in their first 3 games of the season, and there is a total of 52.0 to 55.5, has gone 13-1 (92.9%) over the total. There was a combined average of 62.6 points scored per game. Bet on this game to go over the total for a 10* Top Play wager.
Rockets vs. Lakers 8:00 PM ET
Play On: Over 216.0 (10*)
The Lakers had a 557-41 halftime lead in the previous game in this series. The Lakers are 10-2 over the total this season after a game in which they led by 15 or more at halftime. Those 12 contests produced a combined average of 233.0 points scored per game. During the last 3 games of this series the Lakers have averaged 113.0 points scored per contest while making a blistering hot 53.4% of their field goal attempts.
The Houston Rockets had an extremely low 655 field goal attempts in their Game 4 loss to the Lakers. Yet, they still scored 100 points thanks in large part to 30-39 free throw shooting. The Rockets previous low for field goal attempts this season was 76 so it is highly unlikely will see anywhere close to the low output they had in Game 4. Houston has connected on an impressive 41.44% of its 3-point shot attempts over the previous 3 games. Bet on this game to go over the total for a 10* Top Play wager.
Play On: Dolphins +7.5 (5*)
After getting off to a horrendous 0-7 start last season in which they were not competitive on most occasions, the Dolphins did not quit on first year head coach Brian Flores and went 5-4 in their last 9 games. One of those 5 victories came in their regular season finale when they upset New England as a 16.5-point road underdog. That Patriots loss cost them a #1 seed and 1st round bye. Miami is 3-2 in their last 5 against New England and all 3 wins came as an underdog of 9.0 or greater. The Dolphins will be in this game throughout and I would not be shocked to see an outright upset. However, I will take the points as an additional bonus. Bet on the Dolphins plus the points for a 5* wager.
Packers @ Vikings 1:00 PM ET
Play On: Vikings -1.0 (10*)
I am not impressed whatsoever with the 2020-2021 version of the Green Bay Packers. The oddsmakers must agree because after a 13-3 2019-2020 regular season their win total this year was set at 9.5. They lack quality depth at wide receiver. I also question their recent draft and the lack of moves to upgrade the roster during this past offseason.
For starters, since 2015, Minnesota has gone an extremely profitable 22-7 ATS as a home favorite of 9.5 or less, and that includes 13-1 ATS in the first 7 games of the season. Additionally, the Vikings are a perfect 5-0 SU&ATS in their last 5 home openers. Considering the small point-spread they are being asked to cover, it makes for an attractive betting value on the home favorite. Bet on the Vikings minus the points for a 10* Top Play wager.
Ross Benjamin NFL Sunday Night 5* Gem ($35)
Ross has an NFL 5* winner on the Sunday night nationally televised game between the Cowboys/Rams (8:20 ET/NBC). Since 2013, Ross is an independently monitored and incredible 99-48 (67%) during the month of September with his NFL pay picks. Close your Sunday NFL wagering day out on a profitable note by purchasing this solid gold pick.
Cowboys @ Rams 8:20 PM ET
Play On: Cowboys -2.0 (5*)
I believe this will be a great season for Dallas under former Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy who takes mover for the ousted Jason Garrett. Despite Dallas going just 8-8 last season and vastly underachieving, they open their 2020-2021 campaign as a road favorite against an opponent who was 9-7 last year. NFL betting history has proven then when these rare types of situations occur, the road favorite has enjoyed a high degree of success. Bet on Dallas minus the points for a 5* wager.