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September 16, 2019

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College football by the odds: Handicapping every game on the board

Mandalay Bay Race & Sports Book

Christopher DeVargas

A look at the Mandalay Bay Race & Sports Book, Friday, Sept. 22, 2018.

Not a single game between Football Bowl Subdivision teams will go uncovered in Talking Points this season.

That’s the goal anyway as, for the second straight season, I’ll set out to handicap the entire slate of college football each week. Betting with a level of volume anywhere near that high is unadvisable, which is why I separate picks into three categories — plays, leans and guesses.

Lines are always the best available at press time in Las Vegas on the chosen side.

After a slow start last year, I heated up and finished with respectable records — 376-345-14 overall including 47-31-1 on plays. Topping those will be tough but gives us something to shoot for.

Read below for picks on the first two games and enjoy the first official day of football.

Florida minus-7 vs. Miami in Orlando, Fla., over/under: 46. Roll the dice or play the odds? Talking Points will always attempt to do the latter, and in the first case of the season, that means siding with the Gators. The Hurricanes could be great this season if everything breaks right while the Gators are a much more proven commodity, which makes this line look a little short. Play: Florida minus-7.

Arizona minus-11 at Hawaii, over/under: 73. Both teams have quarterbacks explosive in their own way — Hawaii’s Cole McDonald and Arizona’s Khalil Tate — to pair with experienced yet previously underachieving defenses. Much like Miami, it’s hard to know whether to trust either of them but only one is being asked to lay double digits after traveling 3,000 miles. Guess: Hawaii plus-11.

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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