College football is still four months away—sorry to be the bearer of bad news—but at least now we have something new to squabble about, to keep us distracted from stupid, non-football things such as the beach throughout the summer.
Offshore betting outpost 5dimes.eu released early point spreads for the best Week 1 games in 2014, which are, to my knowledge, the first of their kind (h/t Adam Kramer).
Here's a look at what was posted:
|Early Week 1 Betting Lines by 5Dimes|
|Date||Game and Line||Neutral Location|
|Aug. 28||Wake Forest (-7.5) at UL-Monroe|
|Aug. 28||Mississippi (-8.5) vs. Boise State||Atlanta, Ga.|
|Aug. 28||Texas A&M at South Carolina (-9)|
|Aug. 28||Temple at Vanderbilt (-21)|
|Aug. 29||BYU (-14) at Connecticut|
|Aug. 29||UTSA at Houston (-9.5)|
|Aug. 29||UNLV at Arizona (-25.5)|
|Aug. 29||Bowling Green (-6.5) at Western Kentucky|
|Aug. 30||Colorado State (PK) vs. Colorado||Denver, Co.|
|Aug. 30||Penn State vs. Central Florida||Dublin, Ireland|
|Aug. 30||Ohio State (-15.5) at Navy|
|Aug. 30||Rice at Notre Dame (-21)|
|Aug. 30||West Virginia vs. Alabama (-23.5)||Atlanta, Ga.|
|Aug. 30||Oklahoma State vs. Florida State (-13.5)||Arlington, Texas|
|Aug. 30||LSU (-3) vs. Wisconsin||Houston, Texas|
|Aug. 31||Utah State at Tennessee (-6.5)|
|Sept. 1||Miami at Louisville (-3.5)|
Based on the spreads, the least one-sided high-profile games in Week 1 should be Penn State vs. UCF (in Dublin, Ireland), LSU vs. Wisconsin (in Houston, Texas) and Miami at Louisville.
As for the interesting big spreads, Vanderbilt is laying 21 points against Temple in its first game post-James Franklin, Notre Dame is laying 21 points against a team (Rice) that won its conference last season and Alabama is laying 23.5 points with a new quarterback against a team (West Virginia) that beat Oklahoma State in 2013.
Like Kramer, I also find it hard to resist Utah State laying 6.5 points at Tennessee. I know about the Vols' vaunted freshmen and the whole revitalization of Neyland Stadium, but Utah State has been one of the best, most underrated teams in the country in each of the past two seasons. Tennessee has been, well, decent…to put it kindly.
It's important not to take these lines and sit on them. As the market moves, so too will the numbers; if you like something you see (and, of course, if you live in a state that allows sports betting), you'd be wise to scoop it up quick.
Florida State has already been pumped from -11.5 to -13.5 against Oklahoma State, and Kramer thinks the spread could get over 17 (which is a key number in handicapping) by kickoff:
Which early spreads do you think look promising? Sound off in the comments below.