Sunday, August 13, 2017

College Football Trap Games For Week Zero/One

Every week in college football, there is what we call the "trap game". It's a game where a favorite should win, and in some cases handily, but there is an element of shock always apparent. Here are our first trap games for the 2017 season for week zero and week one, ranging from 8/26 through 9/4:

Oregon State at Colorado State (8/26)
Which Team Faces the Trap: Colorado State
The Rams are opening up a brand new on-campus stadium against the Beavers, and expectations are high. The game has been sold out for weeks, so expect the environment to be rowdy. If the Rams are too distracted by the new facilities, the Beavers, who showed some signs of life last season, could swoop in and ruin the party.

Hawaii at U Mass (8/26)
Which Team Faces the Trap: Hawaii
U Mass is absolutely terrible. Hawaii turned a corner by winning seven games last season. The Warriors don't do well when traveling across country, but should be an overwhelming favorite to win this game, but yet Vegas does not see them as that. Hawaii should be a 7 point favorite, but are showing up as a PK in some places.

Tulsa at Oklahoma State (8/31)
Which Team Faces the Trap: Oklahoma State 
James Washington may not be healthy for OSU. Tulsa lost a ton of stars after last season, but they have the talent to move the football on a team that did not play great defense last fall. Could this be the Central Michigan game of 2017 for the Cowboys?

Colorado State vs. Colorado @Denver (9/1)
Which Team Faces the Trap: Colorado
The Buffs won the PAC-12 South last season, but have lost some talent on both sides of the ball. Emotions are always high in this game. If the Rams are coming off of a home opening win, they may have the edge here on emotion alone.

Cal Poly at San Jose State (9/2)
Which Team Faces the Trap: San Jose State
The FCS Mustangs are a power/option running team, which makes the best Spartan defender, Andre Carchere, into a run stopper when he is a first rate pass stopper. If Cal Poly can control the tempo, we may have our first FCS upset of an FBS team in 2017.

Wyoming at Iowa (9/2)
The Trapped: Iowa
Iowa is almost a two TD favorite, but that discounts the ability of Cowboys QB Josh Allen, and what could be a surprising Wyoming defense. Remember, Iowa lost at home to North Dakota State last season at home.

Maryland at Texas (9/2)
The Trapped: Maryland
People are buying into the Tom Herman hype at Texas, but are totally discounting DJ Durkin and the Terps. That would be a mistake. Maryland could be a great bet on the spread, and could steal an upset as well.

Youngstown State at Pitt (9/2)
The Trapped: Pitt
The Penguins are the reigning FCS runner-up, while Pitt is moving on to Max Browne at QB, and has no James Connor. Pitt has traditionally struggled against early season supposed cupcake games, and YSU is looking for a huge get early.

Temple at Notre Dame (9/2)
The Trapped: Notre Dame
The Irish are a big favorite in the season opener as they try to bounce back from a massively disappointing season. The problem is that the Irish may not deserve that much love. Watch this game closely as it pertains to the future of Brian Kelly as head coach of the Irish.

Eastern Washington at Texas Tech
The Trapped: Texas Tech
EWU is an FCS power, and an offensive juggernaut, and really could play in just about any Group of 5 league. Texas Tech can't play all. The Red Raiders could end up being in for a huge surprise here.

James Madison at East Carolina
The Trapped: East Carolina
I am outright favoring JMU to win this game as the defending FCS champs actually outclass the Pirates across the board.

South Alabama at Ole Miss
The Trapped: Ole Miss
With all they have going on, the Rebels are a 24 point favorite against the team that beat Mississippi State last season. I'm not buying it, and neither should you.

Northern Iowa at Iowa State
The Trapped: Iowa State
The Cyclones could be the most improved team in the Big 12, but if they find a way to trip up against the UNI Panthers, projections could quickly change. ISU has historically had some struggles against their FCS rival.

Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee
The Trapped: Vanderbilt
The Commodores are a minor favorite here, but MT is the better team coming into the season, especially on offense. Watch the passing game of  the Blue Raiders, which should be the difference.

BYU vs. LSU at Houston
The Trapped: LSU
The Cougars return their star QB from 2015 in Tanner Mangum, and may have a sneaky good run game.  The real battle will be the battle between LSU RB Darius Guice and the BYU defense. LSU is getting too much point spread love here.

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