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Free College Football Picks: Kansas, Virginia Live Road Underdogs

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In this article, Oskeim Sports previews two college football games: Kansas at Central Michigan and Virginia at Indiana. Oskeim recommends taking the Kansas Jayhawks as one of his free college football picks for Saturday, September 8.

Oskeim also recommends taking the points with the Virginia Cavaliers as one of his free college football picks for Saturday.  Oskeim is on a RED-HOT 18-5 (72%) college football run (dating back to last season) after producing 75% WINNERS in Week One!

Kansas (+5) (-110) at Central Michigan

I like to invest on bad teams because they are perpetually undervalued by the betting market.  The betting public focuses almost exclusively on favorites, thereby providing inherent value in taking the points with teams regularly shunned by the market.

The Jayhawks qualify as a really bad team as they are coming off a 26-23 loss to Nicholls in their season opener.  Before overreacting to that defeat, it’s important to note that Nicholls was 8-4 last season, including losing at Texas A&M by only ten points.

Fourth-year head coach David Beaty has a veteran-laden team that won’t overreact to last week’s upset loss. “I’ll tell you this: The sun is going to come up tomorrow, and this team is going to continue to work toward the goals that they have set,” Beaty said following last Saturday’s loss.

When Beaty arrived in Lawrence in 2015, he took over a football program that had just 64 scholarship players.  Despite posting a 3-33 record in Kansas over the last three years, Beaty has reasons to be optimistic in 2018.

First, Kansas welcomes back nineteen starters and is the most experienced team in the nation.  Second, the Jayhawks finished 2017 with a minus-17 turnover margin, which is largely random and points to positive regression this season.

Third, Beaty’s offense returns nine starters to what I believe will be one of the most improved attacks in college football.  Starting quarterback Peyton Bender, who threw a career-high three touchdown passes against Texas last season, won the starting job over the summer and possesses the experience necessary to run Beaty’s “True Air Raid” offense.

Bender is supported by a veteran offensive line that boasts 81 career starts and is regarded as the most improved unit in the Big 12 Conference.  Running back Khalil Herbert has the potential to be the Jayhawks first 1,000-yard rusher since 2013

Herbert should have success against a Central Michigan defensive line that lost two key starters, including 1st-Team MAC Joe Ostman.  The Chippewas return just ten starters from last year’s 8-5 squad and are primed for regression after benefitting from +4 net close wins in 2017.

The larger concern for Central Michigan is on the offensive side of the ball where only four starters return.  Bettors will look at last week’s results and see that the Chippewas nearly upset Kentucky but the box score tells a much different story.

Central Michigan finished minus-16 in first downs, minus-127 in total yards, minus-181 in rushing yards, minus-66 in penalty yards and averaged 5.1 yards per pass attempt and 3.0 yards per rush attempt.

The Chippewas remained competitive due to four Kentucky turnovers (+4 turnover margin), otherwise, the score would have better reflected the Wildcats’ domination from the line of scrimmage.

Finally, my math model favors Central Michigan by less than one point in this game so the point spread is grossly inflated in favor of the Jayhawks.  Take Kansas plus the points as one of Oskeim Sports’ free college football picks for Saturday, September 8.

Oskeim Sports’ Free College Football Picks:

  • Kansas (+5) (-110) over Central Michigan
  • Virginia (+6) (-110) over Indiana