Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images
CLEVELAND – The college football season has technically already commenced with “Week Zero” in the books, but Thursday night the real fun begins with 12 games, highlighted by a Big Ten Conference clash between Northwestern and Purdue, No. 21 UCF off of their perfect season visiting UCONN and an interesting non-conference clash between Wake Forest and Tulane. “Picks With Nick” is back for a third season selecting games against the spread in college football and the NFL (for entertainment purposes, of course).
Our picks are made against Las Vegas oddsmakers merely helping create football interactions on Facebook and Twitter, as well as online and on-air content for Newsradio WTAM 1100 and WTAM.com.
Similar to the last two seasons, our goal is to win 53% of our picks against the spread. Las Vegas sports books, give us 11/10 odds or -110, so in order to break even in picking games against the spread (ATS) we must win 52.4% of the games we select. Winning 58% of picks ATS would place you among the most elite sports handicappers in the world. We’ll shoot for somewhere between 53% - 58% again this season.
We are again keeping our college and NFL selections separate, but we will update the results from both weekly with full transparency, seeing how we stack up against Las Vegas oddsmakers. We are coming off back-to-back winning seasons in which we hit 54% ATS in college football and the NFL combined in 2016 and 56% in both combined last season in 2017.
Throughout the season it is important to understand that we will continually update our records in both college football and the NFL, and additionally, Newsradio WTAM 1100 and I do not condone illegal sports wagering. Any information shared on this page is strictly for entertainment purposes, as well as on-air and online content. Visitors reading “Picks With Nick” weekly selections need to understand that this is not a gambling website. WTAM 1100 and Nick Camino do not condone illegal sports wagering.
Week 1 opens tonight, so let’s dive into our full slate of selections against the spread.
Below is our full slate college football picks featuring six selections ATS for Week 1:
Northwestern opens the 2018 season on the road at Purdue for a rare opening week Big Ten conference showdown. Photo by Michael Hickey / Getty Images
Game: UCF Golden Knights vs. UCONN Huskies
Where: East Hartford, Connecticut – Pratt & Whitney Stadium
Kickoff: 7:00 pm ET
Spread (total): OVER/UNDER 75
Nick’s Pick: It feels odd that our first “Picks With Nick” selection for the 2018 season would involve a total, but keep in mind we always try to find value and certain favorable angles. The total for UCF vs. UCONN provides just that. 75 points is a lot of points and while UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton and the Golden Knights could probably hit that number themselves, they won’t. And we don’t anticipate points on the UCONN side of things. A final score of 49-17 feels about right for this one and that would only be 66 total points. Nick’s Pick is UNDER 75 total points.
Game: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Where: West Lafayette, Indiana – Ross-Ade Stadium
Kickoff: 8:00 pm ET
Spread: Purdue -1
Nick’s Pick: Purdue is coming off a tremendous season under now second-year head coach Jeff Brohm, but it doesn’t seem like people are understanding the talent the Boilermakers graduated. Yes, the crowd will be amped to have this game in the spotlight on a national state, but Northwestern is better on both sides of the football, while featuring better speed and athleticism. Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson will be the difference in this game. Nick’s Pick is Northwestern +1.
Game: Oregon State Beavers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Where: Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Stadium
Kickoff: 12:00 pm ET
Spread: Ohio State -38.5
Nick’s Pick: Of course Ohio State wins this season-opening game, even despite head coach Urban Meyer not being on the sidelines. However, all we are concerned about is the spread. So while the Buckeyes are reloaded with talent, the Beavers welcome back plenty of familiar faces including quarterback Jake Luton. Again, the Buckeyes win this game easily, but this scrappy PAC-12 Oregon State squad will keep things close enough to have Ohio State playing its starters into the fourth quarter. Nick’s Pick is Oregon State +38.5.
Brian Kelly and Notre Dame hosts Michigan for a huge Week 1 non-conference showdown in South Bend. Photo by Norm Hall / Getty Images
Game: Marshall Thundering Herd vs. Miami (Ohio) RedHawks
Where: Oxford, Ohio – Yager Stadium
Kickoff: 3:30 pm ET
Spread: Marshall -1.5
Nick’s Pick: I hope I don’t end up sounding like Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson on this one when talking about drafting quarterback Cody Kessler…but, “Trust me on this one.” Marshall is the better team, period. The Thundering Herd, despite being on the road, have more team speed, more athleticism and way more physicality. Nick’s Pick will ride Marshall -1.5.
Game: Michigan Wolverines vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Where: South Bend, Indiana – Notre Dame Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 pm ET
Spread: Notre Dame -1
Nick’s Pick: Michigan finally has a legitimate quarterback in Shea Patterson and Jim Harbaugh’s program finally appears as if it can make a run at the Big Ten title. However, opening Week 1 on the road against a Notre Dame team that brings back loads of talent is a really difficult task. The Fighting Irish have goals of winning a National Championship and Saturday night the country will understand why that isn’t so far-fetched. Nick’s Pick is going with Notre Dame -1.
Game: Miami Hurricanes vs. LSU Tigers
Where: Arlington, Texas – AT&T Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 pm ET
Spread: Miami -3.5
Nick’s Pick: LSU is fast, physical and boast all of the necessary tools to hang around in this game. However, they have some holes on defense and there are plenty of questions surrounding the quarterback position. Both of those are strong points for the Hurricanes who thrive in big game spotlight. Miami -3.5 is Nick’s Pick in this Sunday night clash.
- Nick Camino
Record in college football ATS to date: 0-0-0 (0%)
Record in NFL ATS to date: 0-0-0 (0%)
Total record ATS to date: 0-0-0 (0%)
Note from Nick: All betting lines used will come from The Wynn Race & Sports Book in Las Vegas. The lines can change at any time, but we will only use lines 72 hours in advance and closer. Picks will be made based on the lines when we post.
DISCLAIMER: Newsradio WTAM 1100 and Nick Camino do not accept or place bets. This is not a gambling website. WTAM 1100 and Nick Camino do not condone illegal sports wagering. Any information shared on this page is strictly for entertainment purposes, as well as on-air and online content.