Georgia-Clemson, LSU-TCU, Virginia Tech-Alabama Highlight 78-Game Opening Weekend

100-Unit Knockout Launches College Football Season Thursday Night - Get Entire Season For Just $199

Georgia-Clemson, LSU-TCU, Virginia Tech-Alabama Highlight 78-Game Opening Weekend With 43 Games On National TV  

Jets, Bills, Jaguars, Raiders Finished Before Season Begins And Eagles Might Join Them

By Kelso Sturgeon 

The long-awaited 2013 college football season begins Thursday, launching an opening weekend with 78 games - 43 of them on national television - highlighted by three marquee showdowns Saturday when Georgia plays at Clemson while LSU and TCU and defending champion Alabama and Virginia Tech meet on neutral fields.

Georgia, my pick to win the national championship, is a 2-point favorite in Death Valley, where Clemson is 24-4 the past four seasons and 54-14 the past 10. The game kicks off at 8:05 EST Saturday and will be televised on ABC.

LSU and TCU will get it on at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the Tigers are 4-point favorites in this one that will begin at 9:05 EST on ESPN.  Alabama and Virginia Tech meet in Atlanta's Georgia Dome and the Crimson Tide is a 19.5-point favorite, with this one also on ESPN, beginning at 5:35 EST.

I intend to come right out firing Thursday, with four standout plays.

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The Opening Thursday Night Schedule
(Home Team In Caps)

SOUTH CAROLINA (-11) over North Carolina (ESPN)
MINNESOTA (-14) over UNLV (Big Ten Network)
BOWLING GREEN (-3.0) over Tulsa (ESPNU)
CENTRAL FLORIDA (-21.5) over Akron
UTAH (-2.5) over Utah State (FOX 1)
Mississippi (-3) over VANDERBILT (ESPN)
FRESNO STATE (9.5) over Rutgers (ESPNU)
USC (-21.0) over HAWAII (CBS Sports) 

So Called "Smart" Money Shows On Hawaii

The big bettors came out of the dark Monday morning and took a major stand on a Hawaii team that went 3-9 last season and that faces powerhouse Southern California in its opener. At sunup USC was -22.5, where it had been all week, and 15 minutes later was -21, a drop of 1.5 points.

The question here is whether this is a legitimate move by the wiseguys or just a manipulation to attempt to middle the game. If the sharps are down on Hawaii +22.5 and can get the number down another half point to -19.5, they can lay that number and shoot for the moon.

The bottom line: if these folks are down on Hawaii +22.5 and USC -19.5, they can get 20-1 for their money if the game falls on 21. If that does not happen, they are out but the vigorish on one side.

My position is to wait and see where this goes.

Other betting action showed on Tulsa against Bowling Green, Utah against Utah State and Rutgers against Fresno State. BG dropped from -3.5 to -3, Utah from 3 to 2.5 and Fresno State from -10 to -9.5. Since all these moves were around key numbers it remains to be seen whether the money is legitimate or part of a manipulation move.

Bettors need to be forever reminded 50% of all line moves in college win and 50% lose. That is why one must make an effort to get to the bottom of each move and separate the wheat from the straw.

Four NFL Teams Done Before Season Begins

Quiet before the storm? As far as the National Football League goes, there is none and that does not bode well for four teams - the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders. Unless my eyes deceived me, the Philadelphia Eagles might join that list.

The quarterback fiasco in the Jets camp is beyond anything I have seen in years. If Mark Sanchez does not recover quickly from a needless shoulder injury - one brought about because of the stupidity of coach Rex Ryan - the team will have to go rookie Geno Smith (West Virginia) who is about as ready to play in the NFL as am I.

The quarterback situation in Buffalo is the same as in New York because of quarterback injuries. The Bills will most likely start rookie E.J. Manuel (Miami) who will quickly learn the vanilla defenses of the pre-season will look quite different when the games count.

Jacksonville has no legitimate NFL quarterback, the Oakland Raiders are simply a mess from top to bottom and I liked little that I saw with the Philadelphia Eagles in the pre-season.

More on all this later.

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