The primary week of the school soccer season is lower than two weeks away and the lineup of video games is a feast for bettors able to get getting in 2021. 5 video games on Saturday, Aug. 28, begin the ball rolling with the primary AP ranked teams taking the sector on Thursday, September 2.
Right here’s a take a look at the opening week’s greatest matchups, odds, and picks.
#10 NORTH CAROLINA (-5.5) @ VIRGINIA TECH
If there may be one factor about taking part in in Blacksburg, it’s the Hokies entrance into the stadium as Metallica’s Enter Sandman blasts via the PA system. Entrances apart, Virginia Tech could have its arms full with North Carolina QB Sam Howell and the Tar Heels offense.
Whereas UNC misplaced its high two operating backs and its high receiver from final season, the Tar Heels return all 5 offensive line starters. Howell is projected by many to be the primary quarterback chosen in subsequent 12 months’s NFL draft and presumably even the highest decide total. Howell threw for 3,586 yards and 30 touchdowns a 12 months in the past.
Neither group was excellent defensively final season. Each have been among the many greatest in explosive offensive performs too. North Carolina was truly first within the nation in run performs of 10 yards or extra. The Hokies have been second in “explosive performs” outlined as runs of 10 yards or extra and passes of 30 yards or extra.
Count on each groups to attain, however reaching a complete of 67.5 is a little bit of a stretch this early within the season. The Tar Heels will proceed to construct upon their final two profitable seasons. Again UNC to cowl the 5.5-point unfold.
PICK: North Carolina -5.5 (-110)
#5 GEORGIA vs. #3 CLEMSON (-3)
The most effective sport of Week 1 might be this matchup of top-5 groups to be performed at Financial institution of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The Georgia protection matches up in opposition to a Clemson offense that may begin D.J. Uiagalelei at quarterback. Bear in mind, the Clemson quarterback has two begins underneath his belt already and proved himself in a win over Notre Dame a 12 months in the past.
The Bulldogs have the most effective entrance sevens in faculty soccer. In 2020, Georgia ranked No. 1 within the nation in opposition to the run permitting a mean of simply 72.3 dashing yards per sport. The subsequent closest group, Texas A&M, gave up 92 per sport simply to present you an concept of how dominant the Bulldogs will be up entrance.
Georgia additionally has J.T. Daniels again to grow to be the full-time starter at quarterback this 12 months. He’ll lead an explosive offense that returns receivers Kearis Jackson and George Pickens. Additionally again is main rusher Zamir White (774 yards). The Bulldogs are solely 2-5 ATS of their final seven video games, however their protection has the power to maintain this one shut. There may be worth on the underdog on this one as Clemson turns to Uiagalelei to interchange Trevor Lawrence.
PICK: Georgia +3 (-110)
#9 NOTRE DAME (-7.5) @ FLORIDA STATE
Just a few a long time in the past, a gap weekend Notre Dame-Florida State matchup may have been the sport of the 12 months. The Seminoles, who simply misplaced legendary former head coach Bobby Bowden, will attempt to rebuild in 12 months 2 underneath Mike Norvell. FSU didn’t get pleasure from spring soccer final season on account of COVID-19 and it harm.
This season, Norvell could have former UCF star McKenzie Milton at quarterback. Milton suffered a horrific leg harm however has returned and is the Seminoles greatest quarterback since Jameis Winston. Whereas Milton and the Seminoles could have the benefit of taking part in at residence, the Preventing Irish are simply too good.
Wisconsin switch Jack Coan takes over at quarterback for Notre Dame. The Irish have main rusher Kyren Williams (1,125 yards, 13 TDs) again to take a few of the strain off of Coan. Then, there may be Notre Dame’s current historical past. The Irish have received 32 straight video games in opposition to unranked opponents. That streak will proceed and, with FSU struggling to search out its approach on offense in 2021, Notre Dame will cowl the eight factors.
PICK: Notre Dame -7.5 (-110)
NORTHERN ILLINOIS @ GEORGIA TECH
This matchup will garner no nationwide recognition. The late evening Sportscenter present will seemingly restrict protection of this sport to a rating scrolling throughout the underside of the display screen. Nevertheless, if bettors on the market are listening to sharp betting motion, they’d discover that the sharps injection of cash on this line prompted it to maneuver from -16.5 to -17.5.
Most bettors will seemingly miss this transfer since it is a sport buried within the Week 1 schedule. The transfer leaves the door open for an NIU cowl. Whereas most see the Huskies struggling once more within the MAC, they do return 9 offensive starters and could have former Michigan State QB Rocky Lombardi because the group’s starter. NIU additionally returns seven starters on protection. Count on a low-scoring affair from two groups that averaged fewer than 25 factors a sport final season.
PICK: Northern Illinois +17.5 (-105)