It’s felt like an eternity since we were able to watch real, live football - spring practices and scrimmages notwithstanding. And while Week 0 only allows us a small taste into what the rest of the year has in store for us, nonetheless, it’s here and you can bet we’ll take whatever we can get to hold us over. As with every season, there are some similar storylines already shaking out, with new ones beginning to emerge. But we’ll save those thoughts for another time, because right now, all we care about it making ourselves some money. So, with that, I present us just two games to wager on this week. Let’s see what we’ve got.
Nebraska vs. Northwestern Under 51.5
Have you ever watched the football games take place in other countries, when we send teams over? For your sake, I hope not. But I have. And, spoiler alert, the teams always play like it’s the first time they’ve ever seen a football. The product is garbage almost every time. So why do we think two of the lower-tier Big 10 teams will reach 52 combined points in Ireland? I sure as heck don’t think that’ll be the case. Nebraska’s record should be much improved this year, but starting out Week 0 in another country against another Power 5 team doesn’t necessarily scream out “Points” to me for their offense in game one. And speaking of offenses, Northwestern as a team finished 125th out of 130 in points per game last year. They barely have enough players to put out on the field on that side of the ball. That’s also the reason I lean Nebraska -11 as well. But here, we’ll stick with Under 51.5 as our play.
Vanderbilt -8.5 at Hawaii
This game fascinates me. On one hand, you have the worst team in the SEC traveling thousands of miles to paradise on Earth. On the other, you have a Hawaii football team who was essentially run by a dictator last year, resulting in unprecedented amounts of turnover at multiple levels. I believe I even read somewhere that they return less than 30 percent of their player production, combined with a new head coach who’d previously never been more than a positions coach at the Division One level. Now, I know this is the kind of plot where movies are made of: where the former Hawaii football player comes back years later as the head coach to save the desperate program in disarray. But the movie can begin writing itself next year. This entire season for them will be about rebuilding and ensuring the football program survives to see brighter days. All of this is why I believe Vanderbilt goes into the Rainbow Warriors’ stadium and beats them by two-plus touchdowns. Go ‘Dores, and you’ll likely never hear me say that again.
Written by Alex Hill