The NCAA Division 1 football season begins in earnest this week and with over 40 matchups scheduled from Thursday to Monday, there’s plenty of action for college football betting fans to savor.
This will be a particularly exciting season for American bettors as they’ll be able to bet in states like New Jersey and Mississippi for the first time ever. Just last week, in fact, the first integrated sportsbook outside Las Vegas went live courtesy of SugarHouse.
In honor of the occasion, these are our favorite odds and bets against the spread on Playsugarhouse.com for week one of the NCAA football season.
Last season was truly special for the Black Knights as Army scored 10 wins for just the second time in program history. That run included a 21-17 win over the Blue Devils in West Point that was no doubt the low point of Duke’s season.
Expect the Blue Devils to be out for revenge and looking to make an early statement in Durham against an Army side that must replace a star quarterback.
Utah State is coming off a bowl season and returns 18 starters from that team, but the Spartans are dying to make some noise after the quietest 10-win season in the country in 2017/18.
If Michigan State want to improve, it’s going to take the opener very seriously and that’s bad news for the Aggies. Expect Mark Dantionio’s squad to run away with an easy cover, though Utah State may make the first half interesting.
This pick is more a reaction to the size of the spread than anything else. We would reasonably expect Wisconsin to dominate Western Kentucky as the Badgers are one of the strongest teams in the Big 10.
If the Hilltoppers can do anything to slow down Jonathan Taylor, Bucky’s Heisman hopeful, they have an experienced pass defense that could give Alex Hornibrook trouble.
While Tennessee has yet to announce a starting quarterback for the neutral-site matchup in Charlotte, West Virginia has one of the best in the country ready to go.
Will Grier has gotten boatloads of hype this offseason, especially from us, as a sneaky Heisman candidate. Time to back that up with a big night to kick off the campaign against an SEC defense.
We expect Grier to make Gators fans wish he’d stuck around versus the Vols and beat a pretty small spread considering his talent and weapons to work with.
Alabama usually goes through a little tinkering and brushing off the cobwebs in the first game of the season. This year’s opponent is weaker than most and rebuilding after the loss of Lamar Jackson.
Much like our Western Kentucky pick, this is more about expecting the Tide to come out perhaps a little hungover despite Nick Saban’s best efforts.
We see this year being a little more like 2013’s slog against West Virginia than 2016’s romp over Southern California. Bama should still win, and handily, but that spread is just a little too tantalizing.
Khalil Tate is as electric a talent as you’ll see in college football this season and he’s going to be a thrill to watch likely in every game the Wildcats play.
Many see him as a serious Heisman contender and for that to hold true, we’d expect a convincing takedown of a solid Brigham Young team.
The Cougars have a knack for starting season’s well and playing their nonconference competition tough, but Tate should be too much for the BYU defense to keep it close.
Willie Taggart could end up feeling more at home in Tallahassee than he has at any program he’s worked for thus far. As just the second man to coach the Noles since Bobby Bowden, he’s got big expectations.
That being said, Taggart is a resourceful offensive specialist who’s coaching his most talented roster to date this season. He’s also a player’s coach and bettors can expect Florida State to put in that extra effort to make his home debut a memorable one.
Deondre Francois has got to be itching to take the field after missing almost the entire season last year and should he recapture his Heisman hopeful form, it could be a long night for the Hokie defense.
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