Oregon State at Minnesota College Football Week 1 Expert Pick

Written by on August 31, 2016

Last season was a disaster for the Oregon State football team under first-year coach Gary Andersen, but things are looking up, at least a bit, entering 2016. The Beavers open the season Thursday night at Big Ten team Minnesota, which is a solid home favorite in college football betting.

How To Bet Oregon State at Minnesota College Football Week 1 Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Thursday, Sept. 1, 9 PM ET
Where: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
TV: Big Ten Network
Opening NCAAF Lines: Minnesota -13 (55.5)

Why Bet on Oregon State?

The Beavers were 2-10 overall and 0-9 in the Pac-12 last year. The wins were over pushovers Weber State and San Jose State and OSU lost by at least 10 points in every other game except for a 17-13 home loss to Colorado. OSU’s season-ending nine-game losing streak was the school’s longest since dropping 10 straight in 1995 and the Beavers didn’t win a game in the conference for the first time since 1997.

The Beavers are once again one of the most inexperienced teams in the country. OSU enters the season with 15 seniors on the active roster, which ranks as tied with Washington State as the second-youngest team in the Pac-12 behind USC with 14. It is tied as the 13th-fewest seniors in the nation.

OSU has a new quarterback in Utah State transfer Darell Garretson. Garretson started 11 games in 2013- 14 with Utah State, completing 63.1 percent of his passes for 2,586 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He is familiar with OSU's spread offense, as he worked with new Beavers quarterbacks coach Kevin McGiven while at Utah State. All but two teams in the Pac-12 had more than 2,500 passing yards last season. Oregon State was the only one to not even muster 2,000.

Oregon State will pursue its fifth straight non-conference winning record. The Beavers won all three non-conference (non-bowl) games in 2012 and again in 2014 while they posted a 2-1 record in 2013 and 2015 season. Over the last 149 games, Oregon State is 51-15 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, 11-40 when committing more and 16-16 when even.

Andersen was the coach at Wisconsin in 2013-14. He went 2-0 against the Gophers with a 20-7 win in Minneapolis in 2013 and a 34-24 win over the 22nd-ranked Gophers in 2014.

Why Bet on Minnesota?

The Gophers were just 5-7 last regular season but got a waiver to play in a bowl game and beat Central Michigan in it. This is the first full season as head coach for Tracy Cleays. The team went 2-4 under him last year after Coach Jerry Kill had to retire due to health problems.

Minnesota has one of the better returning QBs in the Big Ten in Mitch Leidner. He has played in 35 career games (20-15 record) and started 29 (16-13 record). Leidner has rushed for 1,129 career yards and 23 career touchdowns (second most in school history for a quarterback) and has passed for 5,118 yards (sixth most in school history) and 28 touchdowns (eighth most in school history). Last year, he set a program record for a junior in completions (242) and passing yards (2,701).

The Gophers open without injured running back Shannon Brooks, last year's leading rusher. Brooks rushed 119 times for 709 yards (fourth-most ever for a freshman) and seven touchdowns; his seven scores covered 75, 71, 40, 38, five and three yards (twice) as he became the first Gopher since Laurence Maroney in 2005 to have four touchdown runs longer than 35 yards in one season.

Minnesota has only have 13 seniors/graduate students on its roster. Those 13 represent the third smallest group of seniors/graduate students in major college football (Kentucky has 11, Penn State and Baylor have 12). Of those 13, only three play on the offensive side of the ball in quarterback Leidner, receiver Drew Wolitarsky and offensive lineman Jonah Pirsig.

The Gophers are 2-1 all-time against Oregon State and all three of the previous games have been contested in Minnesota. The most recent meeting between the schools was in 1981 when Minnesota posted a 42-12 home win in 1981.

My Expert Pick

Beavers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
Golden Gophers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
Under is 4-1 in Golden Gophers last 5 non-conference games.
Under is 5-2 in Beavers last 7 non-conference games.

Love the under on NCAA football lines. Take Minnesota.
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