BETTING WITH DRU EPISODE 2
BETTING WITH DRU
Intro: Welcome Podcast listening world to Episode 2 of Betting with Dru. You can find all my content on the Start of an Era Channel via Apple podcasts or on spotify. The website for the show is Startofanera.com. Im your host here to deliver my weekly thoughts and opinions on sports bets for the upcoming weekend. Coming up on the podcast, College football part 2 of Week 1 is officially here and I give my opinion on the odds and spreads for these games with some analysis. I give my advice on parlay’s for baseball games I trust over the weekend.
First College football was great to have back last weekend but now the sexy Power 5 schools are playing this weekend, and nothing is better than the joy of watching football come back into our lives except hopefully a Kendrick Lamar new album soon. Let’s begin with the matchups, odds and spreads:
Western Michigan vs Michigan (-16.5) -110 67.5
The Western Michigan Broncos journey across state to open the season as huge underdogs against the Michigan Wolverines at the Big House. Michigan finished 2-4 last season while WMU had a flipped version of that at 4-2. The Wolverines obviously underperformed, and now with QB Cade McNamara at the reins they hope to have finally figured out the position that has seemed to have plagued them for years. The skill position players are above average, the line is solid, and the defense has loads of potential.
The Broncos are also an extremely talented and experienced team, returning over 80% of their starters. Their offense was elite last year (16th overall in the nation) but the other side of the ball was concerning, as they gave up at least 27 points in every game but one last fall. The talent margin between these schools is just too big to ignore, even if WMU is a solid squad. It might be a game for a half, but Michigan should take over. The Broncos are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games, and bettors should expect that trend to continue. The Wolverines should win by 3 or more scores.
My picks Mich -16.5 & U 67.5
Tulane vs Oklahoma (-31.5) -110; 66.5
Number-2 ranked Oklahoma opens their season against the Tulane Green Wave at home. This game was originally scheduled to be in New Orleans at Tulane, but with the devastation from Hurricane Ida, it was moved to Oklahoma. The Sooners went 9-2 last season and missed the college football playoffs. They will look to return to the playoffs for the 5th time in 6 years, and compete for a national championship under 5th-year head coach Lincoln Riley and Heisman Trophy favorite Spencer Rattler. The Sooners are loaded with 5-star recruits in every position and they always have a great offense, but this year they are shaping up to have a high-caliber defense as well. They have Alex Grinch at defensive coordinator returning for his 3rd season and he has completely changed their defensive culture.
Tulane went 6-6 last year under 6th-year head coach Willie Fritz. They are returning multiple starters on both sides of the ball and will look to make another bowl game and possibly win the strong American Conference. Oklahoma averaged 43 ppg last season, allowed 21.7 ppg, and went 7-4 against the spread. Tulane averaged 34.7 ppg last season, allowed 28.1 ppg, and went 7-5 against the spread. On paper that seems pretty close except Oklahoma was playing Big 12 powerhouses like Texas and Iowa State, whereas Tulane was playing Memphis and UCF. It would be totally understandable if Tulane is distracted with many of their players and players’ families in the Louisiana area affected by the hurricane. Expect Oklahoma to win this in decisive fashion and cover the spread easily.
My picks Oklahoma -31.5 (-110) & O 67.5 (-110)
Fresno State vs Oregon (-20.5) -106; 63.5
Fresno State is coming off of a 45-point win in their Week 0 opener against UConn. Fresno State’s offense picked up where it left off in 2020 with explosive plays and the ability to score from anywhere on the field. QB Jake Haener threw 3 TDs and the Bulldogs gained a total of 538 yards. While their offense performed as expected against a weaker team, their Week 1 game in Oregon will prove difficult as the Ducks boast one of the deepest offenses in the country.
The Ducks landed senior QB Anthony Brown from Boston College, who threw for 4,700 yards during his BC tenure, through the transfer portal and he has no shortage of talent to throw to this season. The Ducks’ WR corps is led by Devon Williams who averaged 19 YPC last season and senior Jaylen Redd who led the 2020 team in receptions and this group will be a problem for secondaries all season. In addition to the aerial threat, the Ducks’ RB combination of CJ Verdell and Travis Dye will be difficult to contain as both RBs can run and catch out of the backfield as well as anyone in the country. They are running behind an O-line that returns all 5 starters from their 2021 Fiesta Bowl appearance. With Oregon’s tremendous depth, they have hopes for a CFP berth, which will be motivation to run up scores against lesser teams, including Fresno State. Given the talent level on Oregon’s sideline and legitimate playoff hopes, expect the Ducks to light up the scoreboard and cover the spread.
MY PICKS: Oregon -20.5 & O 63.5 -106
Miami OH vs Cincinnati (-22.5) -108; 49.5
It’s not exactly a household name, but the battle for the Victory Bell between Cincinnati and Miami (OH) is college football’s longest standing non-conference rivalry. This year’s installment pits the MAC champions from two years ago against a Cincinnati team with aspirations of making the College Football Playoff. The Bearcats were a failed 3rd-down conversion away from an undefeated campaign in 2020, and return 82% of their offense, which averaged 37.5 points and 451 yards per game a season ago. Boasting a stout secondary and a front seven with NFL talent across the board, Cincinnati should have very few question marks defensively. On the other side of the ball, quarterback Brett Gabbert led Miami to a 2-1 record in 2020, but the 2019 MAC champions were extremely limited against a much weaker version of Cincinnati in their most recent matchup. Replacing two all-conference offensive lineman won’t help matters, especially in an opener against a team that focuses on dominating in the trenches. The Redhawks do bring in one of the best pass-rushes in the nation from a season ago, but they’ll need to tighten up their woeful pass defense to compete with the Bearcats’ weapons on the perimeter.
Behind veteran quarterback Desmond Ridder, this should be the best offense the Bearcats have had in Luke Fickell’s tenure. Cincinnati is currently slotted at No. 8 in the AP Poll, and anything less than a New Year’s Six bowl would feel like a disappointment. The Redhawks could easily end up contending in a wide-open MAC East this season, but Cincinnati will undoubtedly be looking to make a statement in their opening contest. Take the Bearcats.
MY PICKS: Cincinnati-22.5 (-108); O 49.5 (-110)
Alabama vs Miami (FL) (+19.5); 61.5
Alabama’s size and experience will be a major factor in this game. Three offensive linemen turned down the NFL to continue playing under Saban’s regime, including #1 rated OT in the 2022 NFL draft, Evan Neal. True freshman Bryce Young will be taking snaps under center as former Houston Texans HC Bill O’Brien steps into his new role as OC of the Tide. Often compared to Russell Wilson with his 5’11” stature and ability to be mobile outside of the pocket, Young threw for 156 yards in nine games behind NE Patriots Rookie QB Mac Jones. Expect him to throw many more this season with receivers including true freshman Agiye Hall and sophomores Slade Bolden, John Metchie, and TE Jahleel Billingsley. Senior RB Brian Robinson will also have some serious shoes to fill after an unforgettable season by Najee Harris in the 2020 season. On the defensive side, Alabama has the most experienced D-Line in over 4 years after losing only Christian Barmore. The rest of the defensive frontline returns for yet another season, while adding a highly valuable asset to their secondary by the name of Henry To’o To’o, who recorded 148 tackles in his two years at the University of Tennessee. This is one of the best defensive units in the country. Be prepared for the Crimson Tide to cause serious damage this season.
On the other side of the ball, Manny Diaz will be coming into his third season as the Hurricanes’ head coach. The former Mississippi State DC will also be making the sideline calls for Miami’s defense. The Canes return four of their starting defensive backs and are adding key players such as USC transfer Bubba Bolden, Georgia transfer Tyrique Stevenson and Florida Gatorade POY James Williams. OC Rhett Lashlee and the Hurricane’s offense picked up an elite transfer from Houston by the name of D’Eriq King. With his time at Houston, King threw for 2,686 yards and ran for 538 yards. He will have plenty of targets to choose from with five receivers returning this season including Mackey Finalist Brevin Jordan, Michael Harley, and Will Mallory who was two-time National TE of the week last season. The Hurricanes also add a dangerous Oklahoma transfer by the name of Charleston Rambo. Alabama plans to come back once again for another dominant year in the 2021 season. This match could likely end in Saban making a statement to the country since the Tide has been rumored to be “down” this season. Expect Alabama to come back from Atlanta with a big win in the books, but the question in this game will be whether Alabama wins by two touchdowns or three, so take the spread now while it is still under 20.
MY PICKS: Alabama -19.5 (-110) & O 61.5 -110
Northern Iowa vs Iowa State (-31.5) -102; 49.5
The Northern Iowa Panthers come to Jack Trice Stadium for a regional rivalry against the Iowa State Cyclones. The Panthers had their fall season moved to this past spring where they finished 3-4, averaging just under 20 ppg on offense and allowing 15 ppg to opposing teams. Theo Day and Will Mcelvain have battled for the starting quarterback position and both of them could struggle against this Cyclone defense. The Panthers are led on defense by linebacker Spencer Cuevlier. He led the team in tackles this past spring (71) and will try to slow down the Iowa State offense.
Iowa State comes into the season after an 8-2 finish in 2020. Quarterback Brock Purdy will look to improve an offense that put up 436 ypg and 33 ppg last year in the Big 12. Along with Purdy, 9 other starters return including star tight end Charlie Kolar. Kolar is one of the top tight ends in the nation, so expect Purdy to target him early and often. The offensive line will look to continue its dominance from 2020 and Breece Hall should be able to run all over this Panthers defense after he finished with 1,400 yards in 2020. Now, the defense. After being regarded as the #1 defense in the Big-12 in 2020, they return 12 of their top 15 tacklers. Led by the reigning Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year, LB Mike Rose, this defense should cause issues for the Panthers early and often. Take Iowa State.
My picks: Iowa State -31.5 (-102) U 49.5 (-106)
Kent State vs Texas A&M (-28.5) -110; 67.5
Texas A&M is looking to make the playoffs and has national championship aspirations in their 3rd year under head coach Jimbo Fisher. They open the season against a high-powered Kent State offense. The Aggies went 9-1 last year against all SEC opponents and barely missed a chance at the playoffs. They averaged 32.6 ppg with Kellen Mond at quarterback. This season they will be replacing Mond, now of the Minnesota Vikings, with freshman quarterback Haynes King, who has talent but hasn’t played a snap in college. On the other side of the ball their defense is where they really shine. Their defense allowed only 21.7 ppg, which was the 28th best in the country. Most of their defense is returning and this is a make-or-break year for Fisher.
Kent State went 3-1 last year in a shortened COVID season, but had one of the best offenses in the country. They averaged 49.1 ppg, which was number 1 in the country. They are a fast-paced spread offense that looks to score quickly and often, but they have not seen a defense like Texas A&M. Look for this game to go back and forth early but A&M should quickly get their defense shored up and shut down the Flashes.
My picks: Texas A&M -28.5 (-110); O 67.5 (-110)
We are blessed for tis the season of not only football happening this weekend but we still got baseball going on. My favorite Saturday parlays.
OVER THE WEEKEND PARLAYS
o BOS, LAA, NYY, SEA, COL (won 9 of last 10 with Marquez pitching) & TBR
o NYY, TOR, TBR, MIL, CWS & LAD
I would like to thank all the listeners for joining me today, if you have any questions or any fantasy topics you want me to discuss just submit them on the website; start of an era.com Next episodes I will be going over my NFL week 1 picks, college football week 2 picks and Baseball picks. So listeners please rate/review the podcast and Ill be back soon to bless your ears again.