The college football season is almost here. We’re getting you ready for kickoff with our daily betting predictions, odds analysis, and expert insight to help you win your NCAA football wagers this fall. Today we look at the Alabama adding another top recruit on defense, while two other top programs lose key defensive players, and we have to wait a little longer to see Michael Irvin II at Miami.
Kaho is Alabama-Bound
One of the top defensive players in this year's college recruiting class is reportedly joining the No. 1 team in the nation. Standout linebacker Ale Kaho is expected to enroll at Alabama, just two days after being granted his release from Washington. Huskies coach Chris Petersen didn't elaborate on Kaho's reason for leaving the West Coast, saying only that Kaho is "going through some stuff and needs to be closer to his family." Kaho, a former five-star linebacker, was ranked first at his position by 247Sports and is expected to be eligible to play for the Crimson Tide immediately.
Kaho's presence will only bolster Alabama's chances of winning the national championship. The Crimson Tide, who are 26-point favorites in their season opener Sept. 1 against visiting Louisville, are installed at +225 to win the national title.
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Gustin Going Down
USC could be without one of its top defenders for the first two games of the season. Outside linebacker Porter Gustin has undergone surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee and is expected to be sidelined for two-to-five weeks. That timetable could have him back in time for the start of the season – or it could leave him out of action for the Trojans' home game against UNLV on Sept. 1 and its road tilt with Stanford on Sept. 8. Gustin dealt with biceps and toe injuries that limited him to just four games in 2017, but he led the team with 13 tackles for loss as a sophomore in 2016.
The Trojans opened as high as -28 for their Sept. 1 encounter with the Rebels, but that line slipped to -25 at most books Wednesday. USC is the second favorite to win the Pac-12 this season at +400.
Irvin on Ice
Miami tight end Michael Irvin II will have to wait a little longer to start adding to his family's collegiate football tally. The son of former Dallas Cowboys great Michael Irvin is expected to miss up to four months after suffering an MCL injury that will require left-knee surgery. The junior Irvin was tabbed for an increased role this season following the departure of 2017 starter Chris Herndon; Irvin had just nine catches for 78 yards in 12 games last season. The former three-star receiver prospect likely won't return in time for the regular season but could appear in a bowl game.
Miami opened as a three-point underdog for its Sept. 2 season opener at LSU, but most books have moved off the magic number and are offering the Hurricanes +2.5. Miami is a +333-dark horse to win the national championship.
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LSU Down Another LB
Louisiana State's defensive line is already taking plenty of hits, and the regular season doesn't start for another three weeks. After already suspending Ed Ingram for a violation of unspecified team rules, the Tigers announced earlier this week they have suspended fellow linebacker Tyler Taylor after he was arrested in Georgia for his alleged role in a pawn shop burglary last January. Taylor, who faced multiple charges – including felony conspiracy to commit a crime – played in 13 games (including five starts) last season as a freshman and was expected to compete for a starting role in 2018.
LSU could see its 2.5-point edge over the Hurricanes shrink even more if its linebacker depth is eroded any further. Despite the suspensions, the Tigers remain a +333 option to win the national title.