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College Football Best Bets for Friday, September 2

Best Bets for Friday Night College Football Games
Bill Christy
Written by Bill Christy
August 30, 2022

Thursday night has a larger slate, but getting CFB on the 1st Friday of the season is a treat. Throw in some Power 5 conference teams playing, and you have eye candy for CFB diehards like us.

The Big 10, ACC, Pac 12 and Big 12 will all have teams in action with the Big 10 featuring their 2nd conference matchup when Illinois heads to Indiana. As is the case with any sport and/or any slate, we are searching for value and where we believe we have an edge. And of course, we have found that again on this 1st Friday of the CFB season.

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Virginia Tech Hokies at Old Dominion Monarchs (+8.5)

Braxton Burmeister left the program for SDST and Brent Pry brought in Grant Wells from Marshall whom he announced as the starter last week. He will take over an offense that only averaged 173 yards through the air. Malachi Thomas will do his best to stabilize the offense with a strong rushing attack but there will be a true lack of playmakers for Wells to utilize.

Old Dominion brings back 4 of 5 starters on the offensive line. They will protect the strong arm of Hayden Wolff who will be back under center and brings his 2000+ yards and over 60% completion percentage. The backfield is stacked with Blake Watson (1100 yds & 8 TDs) and Elijah Davis who punched in 6 scores of his own last season.

Live Odds for Virginia Tech at Old Dominion

Best Bet: Old Dominion (+8.5)

The Hokies will be good as the season goes along and certainly in future seasons. However, this 1st game is not going to be an easy one. ODU has veterans all over the offense and will not be pushed around much by a mediocre VT defense. Grant Wells will likely need time to get the offense in a position to grow leaps and bounds above the lackluster numbers from last year and ODU will give him some chances to put up some decent ones here.

The public looks heavy on the Hokies as they are the familiar name here (70% of tickets) however, the line has stayed pretty much in place. We like the home dog here and wouldn’t be opposed to sprinkling a bit on the moneyline as well.

Key Betting Trends

Friday night's matchup may represent the start of a new season for each of these teams, but both carry over some notable trends from last year. Here are four trends we have our eyes on:

  • ODU is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. ACC.
  • ODU is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
  • VT is 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games.
  • VT is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.

Best Bet for Temple at Duke

Temple Owls (+7) at Duke Blue Devils

Mike Elko, the former Texas A&M defensive coordinator, is now running the show for the Blue Devils and will look to improve the weak defense from last season. One way to look at it would be that they have nowhere to go but up.

Offensively the Blue Devils return 4 starters on the offensive line but lost Gunnar Holmberg and Jake Bobo as their 1-2 punch at QB and WR. Defensively last season, Duke allowed nearly 550 yards per game and could not stop anyone. The linebackers could be a decent spot for Elko but that’s about it.

The Owls have new faces all over their offense. Georgia transfer, D’Wan Mathis will get the nod behind center and new head coach Stan Drayton will lean on his knack for getting the most out of his backfields to help lessen the pressure on Mathis. The wideouts have experience and brought in Michigan State transfer, Ian Stewart who should provide more big play ability.

The defense has returners and will be strong up front. The Owls will look to punish new starter Riley Leonard every chance they can and keep him from turning the corner when he gets out of the pocket.

Live Odds for Temple vs Duke

Best Bet: Temple (+7)

We are seeing the line dip a bit from its opening number of 8 and see no reason for us to follow the public here and back the Blue Devils. The defense may be improved but by how much? The bar was set extremely low and with their new faces on offense, we can not trust that coach Elko will have the ship righted in Week 1.

Let’s take the points here and ride the stronger of the 2 defenses in this matchup.

Key Betting Trends

Mike Elko knows that he's got some work to do with this Blue Devils team, and the betting trends point to that fact as well. Here are two key trends that are working against Duke in this one:

  • Duke is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
  • Duke is 1-4 SU in their last 5 games at home.
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