Friday Locks Week 1 | Looking At The Service Academies

Here we go! One of my favorite parts of the college football season is the Heartland Sports writers getting to showcase exactly how much we don’t know about picking against the spread. Regardless, we’re going to give it our best effort and hopefully provide some entertainment while doing so.


South Alabama at Southern Miss -13.5 | With a Senior QB and one the best non power 5 passing offenses last season, I don’t think that South Alabama who went 2-10 last season will be able to slow them down. Especially with the new offensive coordinator Matt Kubik coming from UL-Monroe and being familiar with South Alabama and scoring 30 points on them last season.

Arkansas State at Memphis -19 | Memphis has a prolific offense and a bevy of returning starters. This should be a top 25 team and probably will be sooner than later. I don’t see Arkansas State keeping up. Memphis YUGE

BYU at Navy +1 | After Navy opened as favorites they are now the underdog but I still think that this Navy team will frustrate BYU’s young QB and win outright. 


Memphis -19.5 vs. Arkansas State | The Tigers were determined to prove they belonged with the rest of the 12 win teams a year ago. However, they finished the season ranked 17th in the nation. I think they’ll come out with a chip on their shoulder ready to put on a show against a weaker team in Arkansas State. 

SMU -22 at Texas State | Doubling down on double-digit spreads probably isn’t a good idea. But I like the Mustangs in a blowout victory on the road. 

BYU +1.5 at Navy | BYU seems to be the betting favorite, but I think the Midshipmen will win this game. Navy will be the more disciplined team which will be the difference maker.


Army (-3.5) vs Middle Tennessee | One thing I know is that it’s a difficult task drawing one of the service academies regardless of the time frame. That difficulty is magnified in the opening week of college football play. I’ll take Army to cover nearly every time in this situation.

Navy (+1.5) vs BYU | Using my above argument, I’ll again opt for the service academies to win. Although BYU has familiarity with their opponent, the line initially opened in favor of the Midshipmen. Given the swing, I believe the line shift was caused by bettors.

Memphis (-19) vs Arkansas St. | Earning a spot in the rankings after a stellar start to the 2019 season, I believe Memphis will once again pick up full steam ahead. Running through early opponents, this seems like an easy win for the Tigers on paper.


Middle Tennessee at Army (-3.5) | Am I missing something here? Army had a down season last year, and I get that, but Middle Tennessee was pretty bad. I’m taking the Black Knights here by a touchdown. 

SMU (-22.0) at Texas State | The Mustangs are coming off their best season since 1984, and, well….Texas State won 3 games last year. I suspect SMU will come out with plenty of enthusiasm, and this could be a classic opening week blowout. Give me SMU by 4 touchdowns.

BYU (-1.5) at Navy | The Midshipmen were fantastic a season ago, but their schedule was incredibly weak. BYU consistently plays a handful of solid teams, and they’ve only had a losing record once in the last 15 years. I’m taking the Cougars in this one, even if it is by a narrow margin.  


Army (-3.5) vs. Middle Tennessee | The Black Knights are looking to return to bowl eligibility with new starting quarterback Jabari Laws and 13 returning starters. I’m looking for them to win this game by at least double the spread. 

Navy (+1.5) vs. BYU | On paper this looks like a great matchup which is why the spread is less than two points. However, on the field I like Navy to win big. Look for the Midshipmen to control the clock and chew up yards on the ground in an “upset” win. 

Arkansas State (+19) at Memphis | Bolstered by seven returning starters on defense, Memphis is slated for another big season. However, with a new head coach and no spring ball I think the Tigers could be suspect to letting a lesser team hang around early on. That’s why I like Arkansas State and the 19 points here. 

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