Last weekend may have featured a few games, but this week is where the college football season really gets started. If you followed along the last few seasons, you know I put out a mid-week look at my top picks. Later in the week, I take a longer look at an expanded list of picks against the spread.
There are plenty of marquee matchups this weekend including Alabama taking on Florida State.While we touch on a couple of these matchups, we also want to preview some of the underlooked games. All odds listed are courtesy of OddsShark and subject to change.
This week, I like quite a few underdogs, but do take some shots on two favorites who are sitting in good position.
Here’s a look at my best college football picks for Week 1.
No. 1 Vanderbilt (-3) Over Middle Tennessee
Vanderbilt opens their season on the road against Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders would like nothing more than to beat their in-state SEC foe. The challenge is Derek Mason is slowly building a solid program in Nashville. SB Nation’s Bill Connelly has Vandy just inside the top 60 in the S&P+ rankings.
Middle Tennessee is down at 87, and, while the Blue Raiders have talent, they face an uphill batttle against Vanderbilt. Look for the Commodores to cover the three-point spread against their neighbors.
No. 2 Wyoming (+11.5) Over Iowa
By now, you have likely heard of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, who has a chance to be the top player selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. It is not just Allen, the Cowboys are a talented team coming off a respectable 8-6 season last year.
Wide receiver C.J. Johnson is due for a breakout season. Iowa may end up winning this game, but look for Wyoming to hang around until the end. I like Wyoming against the double-digit spread.
No. 3 LSU (-14.5) Over BYU
LSU and BYU were originally scheduled to play in Houston, but the game was moved to New Orleans after the storm. Living near New Orleans, I know how much of an LSU city it is.
The Tigers now have a massive home field advantage. The Cougars did not exactly instill confidence after a narrow victory over Portland State last week. Look for the Tigers to win big in NOLA.
No. 4 Colorado State (+5) Over Colorado
Colorado State brings a lot of momentum into this rivalry matchup. The Rams defeated Oregon State 58-27 last week. Colorado State has a prolific offensive attack led by wide receiver Michael Gallup who had 11 receptions for 134 yards in the opener.
Colorado lost some key pieces from their talented team last season including quarterback Sefo Liufau. I like Colorado State to not only cover the spread, but win this rivalry matchup.
No. 5 Florida State (+7) Over Alabama
Normally, I steer clear of picking anyone against Bama to open the season. Nick Saban has a phenomenal track record in kickoff games, but Alabama has not faced a team of Florida State’s caliber to start the season. Florida State’s defensive line has the ability to give Jalen Hurts problems.
Deondre Francois survived a season of punishment last year, and managed to look good doing it. With a year under his belt, look for Francois and a strong receiving unit to keep the Seminoles in the game. Alabama may end up winning the game, but not by much. Look for Florida State to cover the seven point spread.