College football is finally here and so are those iconic lines from Las Vegas! Here are some last-minute notes and updates to take note of.
With the season just beginning to kick off, there are hardly any injuries to report. There are, however, some suspensions you need to know of (or be reminded of), which seem to becoming an integral part of the game.
As for some line changes, there are a ton of them early in the season! There are a couple that could swing your way if you pay close attention.
Be sure follow this series each every Saturday morning during the college football season.
In the marquee game of the weekend, the line opened at Boise State -3.5 against Georgia.
Boise State is ranked No. 5 in the country and is playing a virtual road game in Atlanta against the No.19 Bulldogs. Georgia has been gaining momentum in the betting lines, pushing the present line to Boise State -3.
With the recent news that the three Broncos will be without their starting safety, a wide receiver and a back up defensive tackle, Georgia certainly gets a bump. A redshirt freshman will now be trying to monitor the Bulldogs' elite signal caller, Aaron Murray.
This is a tough game to call, which is why the lines have been so stable. It's likely the most popular game to bet on, simply because it will be watched by so many people.
It's too tough for me to call. I'll save my money and just enjoy a great game.
Here's the game that has some injuries/suspensions you need to know about.
Jordan Jefferson, regular starting quarterback for the LSU Tigers, has been suspended for the first game. Jefferson is far from a consistent starter, but he's the best Les Miles has. Jarrett Lee, who has been yo-yoed in and out over his career in Baton Rouge, will start.
Wide receiver/do-everything player Russell Shepard is also suspended. While not nearly as important as Jefferson, Shepard is capable of making huge plays at any time, and the loss of him certainly hurts.
The line opened at Oregon -4 and has surprised me and slid to Oregon -3.5. The Ducks return quarterback Darron Thomas and Heisman hopeful LaMichael James. I'm all over -3.5
The line of Notre Dame vs. South Florida is one you might want jump on.
If you caught it early on, it's likely you took Notre Dame -10 at home, a friendly line. Apparently, that's what a lot of people have done in Vegas as the line has made the Irish a bigger favorite at -11.5
Still, Notre Dame has outside shots at making it to a BCS Bowl, and South Florida managed just a 3-4 record in the weak Big East conference in 2010.
This line is getting close to where it should be, but it's not there yet.
If you're going to hone in on one game's lines, it's going to have to be Stanford versus San Jose State.
Stanford, the No. 7 team in the country, opened as 30 points favorites at home. They return All-American Andrew Luck and a number of starters, but have a new coaching staff after Jim Harbaugh took the San Francisco 49ers job down the street.
Over night, the bets rolled in for San Jose State +30, causing the line to shrink to 28.5 in less than 24 hours. I was in at Stanford -30, so I'm all-in at Stanford -28.5. If it gets any smaller, I'll sell my car for some extra funds.
The Alabama Crimson Tide lost a ton of talent last year, but they still figure to be a great team in 2011.
They make a habit out of winning huge games to start the year–Clemson in 2008 and Virginia Tech in 2009–and relished a cupcake like San Jose State in 2010, whom they beat by 45.
The line opened with 'Bama being 35 point favorites and has increased to 38.5. That's a ton of points, but Nick Saban's crew is perfectly capable.
Lines rarely get above 40, even when they should. This is one of those cases.
Why put such a ho-hum game in this list? Because I think it's a speculative pick that could turn out huge in your favor!
The Indiana Hooisers (where two of my family members went) haven't been a good football program in decades. Ball State can't say much more than that, but I recall an early top 25 ranking just a few years ago for them.
Indiana is improving more than Ball State and is favored by six. The outright payout for Ball State is an astounding +200! That $2 for every $1 wagered. Hey, why not throw a dime Ball State's way?
I'm not even sure the Hoosiers will score six all game.
After a big BCS National Title, the 2011 Auburn Tigers are picked by many SEC analysts to finish 5th in the SEC West division, besting only the Ole Miss Rebels.
Still, they garnered a No. 23 ranking and the betting line honors that, favoring the Tigers by 23. Betters recognized the weaker 2011 Auburn squad and push it down to 23 after opening at 24.
Utah State went 4-8 in 2010, and isn't going to be winning any huge games like this one any time soon. But can they stay within 23 points of Auburn? I think so.
After an offseason filled with turmoil, Ohio State is getting a lot of love from the Vegas lines. They opened as favorites over incoming Akron by about 25 points, but that spread has skyrocketed to 32.
The Buckeyes lost their iconic head coach, starting quarterback and top wide receiver to scandal, suspension and the NFL. They are ranked No. 18 in the country, which is well-earned, but this line is awfully high.
If Ohio-natives continue pushing their beloved team up higher, I'll have to get in on it.