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Lowell's Locks: Week One

September 2, 2021
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Welcome back, college football! It’s been a long off-season, but we finally get some real football on the TV this week, and not whatever those week zero games were. There are some massive games with major implications, and I’m going to give you my thoughts and picks on all of them. Let’s go!

Thursday, September 2nd

#4 Ohio State (-14) at Minnesota:

This is actually a tough first test for Ohio State, who is trying to replace Justin Fields with a redshirt freshman quarterback in CJ Stroud. Luckily for him, he’ll have a lot of weapons to work with, particularly in wide receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. However, the Gophers bring back a bevy of talent with 20 of 22 starters returning, 10 on each side of the ball. The Golden Gophers feel a little undervalued coming into the season because of a down, strange season for them last year. I see the Gophers slowing this game down with running back Mohamed Ibrahim and forcing an interception or two off Stroud to push Ohio State deep into the fourth quarter.

Lowell’s Lock: Minnesota covers +14

Friday, September 3rd:

#10 North Carolina (-5.5) at Virginia Tech:

North Carolina has high expectations coming into the third year of Mack Brown. The Tar Heels are another team bringing back a ton of talent (18 total starters) along with a Heisman candidate in quarterback Sam Howell. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, seems like they’re on the fence with head coach Justin Fuente after three straight mediocre seasons. This feels like a statement game for North Carolina. If they are who we think they are, this one shouldn’t, or maybe even can’t, be close.

Lowell’s Lock: UNC covers -5.5

Saturday, September 4th

#19 Penn State at #12 Wisconsin (-5.5):

This should be one of the bigger slobberknockers of the weekend. Graham Mertz showed flashes of being a special quarterback last season, while ironically, the running game struggled at times. Penn State brings back Sean Clifford at quarterback, and he had his moments as well. Both teams should play some great defense. This one will come down to which quarterback can move the sticks in critical spots, and which team gets the running game going. Give me the Badgers at home to cover.

Lowell’s Lock: Wisconsin covers -5.5

#1 Alabama (-19.5) vs. Miami in Atlanta

Alabama lost a ton of talent to the NFL draft, but that’s never seemed to stop them before. They go from the experienced Mac Jones at quarterback to the freshman Bryce Young, who they expect to be elite in year one. Miami is actually the more experienced team here with 19 starters coming back, including quarterback D’Eriq King. With all that said: Nick Saban does not lose openers with Alabama, and almost always wins while covering the spread (12-1 ATS, 13-0 straight up). I'm not willing to bet against that now.

Lowell’s Lock: Alabama covers -19.5

#5 Georgia vs. #3 Clemson (-3) in Charlotte:

Now this will be fun. College Gameday. Two elite defenses. Two quarterbacks expected to be in Heisman contention. This one will come down to two things: The lines of scrimmage and coaching. Both teams will likely struggle running the ball, so which team do you trust to pass the ball better? Clemson has won in these big games before, while Georgia consistently falters. Expect DJ Uiagalelei and Justyn Ross to have big days together against a Georgia secondary that has some questions and lead Clemson to a late win.

Lowell’s Lock: Clemson covers -3

 

Lowell’s Locks

  Weekly Results Season Results
Week 1 0-0 0-0
Week 2    
Week 3    
Week 4    
Week 5    
Week 6    
Week 7    
Week 8    
Week 9    
Week 10    
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Lowell's Locks: Week One

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