College Football Week 1 Picks, Odds, Best Bets, and Analysis
College Football Week 1 is one of the best times to get an edge on the betting market. Get all our picks and analysis here!
College Football OWNS Labor Day Weekend. For most of the year, college football shares the weekend with the NFL. But not on this incredible holiday weekend. This weekend, we get college football for 5 straight days (Thursday through Monday). I consider week 1 of the college football season to be one of the best times of the year for getting an edge over the books. Information is limited on both sides of the equation, and you can try to use that to your advantage. But enough chit-chat. Let’s talk some football!
Please note that the “Probabilities” listed in the graphics are based on a combination of my own formula (using 2021 data), historical trends for similar spreads and odds (per BetIQ.com), and PFF probabilities (per PFF.com). Because 2021 data is used, teams like Cincinnati may be overrated based on the numbers alone.
College Football Week 1 Over / Under Picks
Jay’s Week 1 Picks
Utah vs Florida Over 51 (-110)
This is Jay’s favorite bet of the week! Both teams are returning multiple key starters on offense. On top of that, Florida’s QB Anthony Richardson is a bit of a dark horse for the Heisman. Although he is an unproven player, he has clear arm power and running ability that lends him a high ceiling. Meanwhile, both teams lost a lot of talent on defense. Jay sees all this adding up to a slugfest in the swamp that results in the OVER (maybe by the first half).
Florida State vs LSU Over 51.5 (-110)
386 miles, that is all that separates Florida State and the Superdome, where this game will take place. The short travel distance should help Florida State to put out a good product against LSU. Jay does not like either of the defenses in this matchup, but he is a big fan of Florida State QB Jordan Travis. Additionally, he thinks Brian Kelly will be able to put up some points for the Tigers on the way to the OVER here.
Quinten’s Week 1 Picks
Colorado State vs Michigan Under 61.5 (-110)
During the Jim Harbaugh era at Michigan, the Wolverines have only had two games with a higher total than their week 1 matchup for 2022. Moreover, during the Harbaugh era Michigan has only participated in 20 games (out of 85) that saw 62 or more points scored. Add on that Colorado State was the 98th ranked offense out of 130 in 2021. Even with an upgrade at the QB position, I can feel an UNDER brewing.
Houston vs UTSA Under 61.5 (-110)
Utah State vs Alabama Under 62.5 (-110)
Ball State vs Tennessee Under 68.5 (-110)
SMU vs North Texas Under 68.5 (-110)
Over the last 5-years, games with a total set at 61.5 or more (1,846 games) have gone under 53% of the time. Not that strong of an indicator. However, if we filter that result down to only week 1, the under-rate jumps up to 64%. In 2021, the under hit a whopping 80% in such instances. That sounds strong to me, so I am taking a flyer on a handful of games that have favorable projections for the under and totals at or above 61.5
College Football Week 1 Against the Spread Picks
Jay’s Week 1 Picks
Arkansas -6.5 vs Cincinnati (-110)
Cincinnati saw 9 players get drafted in the past year. That is a lot of starters to lose in one off-season. Especially for a team that is not a recruiting powerhouse like Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, etc. The projections here are heavily based on Cincinnati’s 2021 results, without many strong ways to project for the player replacement. That is where we can find opportunity. Because Vegas runs into the same problems with projecting large-scale changes. This is not as much of a bet on Arkansas as a bet against Cincinnati.
Ohio State -17 vs Notre Dame (-110)
THE Ohio State University, ladies and gentlemen. We are talking about CJ Stroud, TreyVeyon Henderson, and Jaxson Smith-Njigba. This offense will be EXPLOSIVE. And as much as Jay wants to live true to being a Notre Dame podcast, he does not see a way that Notre Dame covers the points.
Western Kentucky -16 at Hawaii (-110)
This is a bet against Hawaii. Last week, Jay said, “Aint no way I am laying 8 points at home against Vanderbilt. Because Vanderbilt’s win total was 2. And Vanderbilt beat the absolute life out of Hawaii last week.” Last week, Hawaii looked like it could be the worst Division 1 football program in the country. And Jay says to FADE Hawaii, hard.
Quinten’s Week 1 Picks
Utah State +41.5 @ Alabama (-110)
Over the last 5-years, teams are 13-8 ATS as 41.5-point dogs or more. Meanwhile, under Head Coach Blake Anderson, Utah State has gone 9-5 ATS, 6-1 ATS on the road, and 4-0 ATS as a road dog. Utah State finished last season with an 11-3 record and a #24 overall ranking. Meanwhile, under Nick Saban, Alabama is 3-8 ATS as 40+ point favorites. The three games that they covered game against Ken State in 2016 (final record of 3-9), Southern Mississippi in 2021 (final record of 3-9), and New Mexico State in 2021 (final record of 2-10). Give me Utah State to cover the massive number in this one.
Louisiana Monroe +37.5 @ Texas (-110)
In the last 5 seasons, teams are 26-17-1 ATS as 37.5-point dogs or more. This bet is as simple as betting on those odds, and my natural bias against Texas as a Texas Tech and Big 12 fan.
Central Michigan +21.5 @ Oklahoma State (-110)
In 2021, Oklahoma State did not win a game by more than 11 points until week 8 against Kansas. That was despite opening the season against Missouri State and Tulsa, who they beat by 7 and 5, respectively. In fact, they have not won their opening game by more than 16-points since 2018. I am going to play the trend here and take the points on Central Michigan.
College Football Week 1 Money Line Picks
Jay and Quinten’s Week 1 Pick
Purdue to Win vs Penn State (+140)
This, right here, is our best bet of the week folks. That is what happens when both of our hosts agree on a pick. It becomes a best bet. We all want to like Penn State this year. But we both ended up on Purdue here. And that has a lot to do with Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell. Over his last 5 games last year (Big 10 conference play), this kid averaged 430 yards, 3.8 TDs, and 0.6 INTs per game. We do not think Penn State’s offense will be able to keep up, and we are BOTH taking the Purdue money line.
Quinten’s Week 1 Picks
Coastal Carolina to Win vs Army (-136)
So what, the Chanticleers have a teal field? I like this team and think they should be able to take care of business against the troops, as unamerican as that may be.
Utah to Win vs Florida (-145)
That is right. I think that a bunch of mountain people are going to travel down to the swamp and somehow win. Utah is very talented, and I think that they find a way to win this game before entering PAC 12 conference play.
Jay’s Money Line Parlay: BYU / Western Kentucky / Florida / Arkansas (+345)
Q’s Money Line Parlay: TCU / Utah / Coastal Carolina / Kentucky / South Carolina / North Carolina State / Georgia / Houston (+900)
Our full reasoning and discussion for every pick listed here can be heard on the podcast. We will be back with more next week, so make sure to tune in! And do NOT sleep on the Lions.