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Texas-El Paso Miners vs. Oklahoma Sooners Odds - Prediction

Texas-El Paso Miners (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time: Saturday, September 2nd, 2017– 3:30 PM ET
Where: Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium - Norman, OK
TV: FOX
by KEITH, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: OU -43
Over/Under Total: 62

The UTEP Miners will hit the road to open their 2017 campaign as they travel to Norman, Oklahoma to square off with the two-time defending Big 12 Champions, the Oklahoma Sooners. UTEP comes in off a 4-8 effort in 2016 and is looking to replace their all-time leading rusher in school history, Aaron Jones. Jones ran for over 1,700 yards in 2016 and thus there is a huge void left in UTEP’s offense upon the graduation of their most pivotal player. Similar attrition has occurred in the Oklahoma offensive ranks but given the line of this market, this contest is more or less regarded as a scheduled loss for Texas-El Paso.

As mentioned previously, the Sooners are looking to replace some exceptional talent which propelled them to a successful title retain in 2016. Among the losses for the Sooners, their two running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, and an essential playmaker in Didi Westbrook. The good news for Oklahoma is that they return a Heisman candidate in Baker Mayfield who lit up the scoreboards for the latter half of 2016. However, the start to the season was very tumultuous as Oklahoma suffered early losses against Houston and at home against Ohio State. According to many, both were games that the Sooners could have and most likely should have won. With this flux in personnel, the Sooners also have to weather the storm of going at 2017 without their long-time mastermind Bob Stoops who retired from the Captain Seat to pave the way for former offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley to take the helm. Riley is adept at managing the offensive end of operations but the question remains how he fares ascending into a head coaching role. This question remains to be answered over the span of the 2017-18 season, but UTEP should not be any means be a query that will stump the Crimson and Cream.

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The good news for UTEP is that they return 15 starters from the 2016 season. Nevertheless, those 15 starters won just four games in their initiatives. With a season-ending injury to their projected starting running back, the Miners will place their best recruit Josh Fields on the gridiron to complement Junior College transfer Ryan Metz who will be at the reins at quarterback. The production of the Miners offense was prolific in the rushing department in 2016. The graduated Jones managed to rush for a sensational 7.7 yards per carry but most of this was attained against Conference-USA opposition. With a newcomer like Fields stepping into a hostile environment such as Memorial Stadium, the ceiling is likely far lower in this contest.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that with a name brand team like Oklahoma you can expect to pay a premium if you wish to take action on them. With all the fanfare surrounding the Sooners and their historic pedigree, it is probable that the point spread in this opening game is inflated. Such phenomenon is always the case with blue chip programs such as Oklahoma, especially when they are at home in what is classed as a tune-up game by public regard. A similar situation took shape last year when Oklahoma opened as a double-digit favorite against Houston. The Sooners would go on to lose the game outright by considerable margins. We are not arguing that UTEP is going to orchestrate an upset but the fact remains that such ludicrous lumber can be covered by virtue of a backdoor alone, after the Sooners have this game well in the bag. Oklahoma has a huge contest on the horizon against Ohio State in the Horseshoe in Week 2, and it is very likely that if they get out to a commanding lead (which they will), they will likely call off the dogs in the fourth quarter to preserve their starters. With all this being taken into consideration, UTEP can rack up a few late scores and come in under this number. It is far better to have the points in this situation as opposed to having to sweat it out hoping that Oklahoma will score enough points to green-up. Take the points.

KEITH’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: UTEP +43

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NCAA Football Week 13 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews with against the spread predictions.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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