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College Football Odds Week 1: Picks and Spread Predictions for Top 25 Teams

Jake RillAnalyst IIAugust 29, 2019

Coach Gus Malzahn gives some instruction to players during Auburn's first practice, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Did the first two games of the 2019 college football season leave you wanting more? You're in luck, because Thursday night starts the first full weekend slate of the year.

There will be four ranked teams in action Thursday night, including No. 1 Clemson, the national champions, which will host Georgia Tech. And that's just the start, as there will be at least one game featuring a Top 25 team every day through Monday.

Here's a look at the point spreads (courtesy of Caesars) and betting predictions for the ranked matchups on the first full weekend of the college football season, followed by the three most interesting games to watch.

       

Week 1 College Football Odds and Predictions

Thursday, Aug. 29

Florida A&M at No. 17 UCF (No line)

Georgia Tech at No. 1 Clemson (-35.5)Clemson covers

Texas State at No. 12 Texas A&M (-33.5)Texas A&M covers

No. 14 Utah (-6) at BYU—BYU wins outright

       

Friday, Aug. 30

Tulsa at No. 18 Michigan State (-23.5)—Michigan State covers

No. 19 Wisconsin (-12.5) at South Florida—Wisconsin wins, doesn't cover

       

Saturday, Aug. 31

Florida Atlantic at No. 5 Ohio State (-27.5)—Ohio State covers

Northern Iowa at No. 21 Iowa State (No line)

South Alabama at No. 24 Nebraska (-36.5)—Nebraska covers

Eastern Washington at No. 13 Washington (No line)

Duke vs. No. 2 Alabama (-33.5)—Alabama covers

Idaho at No. 15 Penn State (No line)

Northwestern at No. 25 Stanford (-6)—Stanford covers

No. 22 Syracuse (-18) at Liberty—Syracuse covers

No. 3 Georgia (-22) at Vanderbilt—Georgia covers

Georgia Southern at No. 6 LSU (-27.5)—LSU covers

Middle Tennessee at No. 7 Michigan (-34.5)—Michigan covers

No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 16 Auburn (-3.5)—Oregon wins outright

Miami (Ohio) vs. No. 20 Iowa (-21.5)—Iowa covers

Louisiana Tech at No. 10 Texas (-20.5)—Texas covers

New Mexico State at No. 23 Washington State (-31.5)—Washington State covers

      

Sunday, Sept. 1

Houston at No. 4 Oklahoma (-23)—Oklahoma covers

          

Monday, Sept. 2

No. 9 Notre Dame (-19) at Louisville—Notre Dame wins, doesn't cover

       

Matchups to Watch

No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 16 Auburn

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 31:  Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks looks to pass against the Michigan State Spartans during the second half of the Redbox Bowl at Levi's Stadium on December 31, 2018 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Hen
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

This is the only game between a pair of ranked teams this weekend, and it will likely be one of the more exciting matchups to watch. It should also be a great atmosphere as the teams are facing off at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

The betting line is the closest for this game out of all the Top 25 matchups, as Auburn is a 3.5-point favorite over Oregon. But there are reasons to bet on the Ducks over the Tigers.

Most importantly, Oregon's offense will be led by senior quarterback Justin Herbert, who could be a first-round pick in next year's NFL draft. He likely would have been an early selection in April had he decided not to return to the Ducks.

On the other side, Auburn is starting true freshman quarterback Bo Nix, who will be making his college debut. While he could have an impressive season, this will a challenging debut against one of the best teams from the Pac-12.

Herbert's leadership and experience will lead to Oregon notching a victory, so bet on the Ducks with 3.5 points.

        

No. 14 Utah at BYU

Steve Conner/Associated Press

Utah may have won the last eight games in the Holy War rivalry, but BYU always plays a close game. During that span, the Utes have won by more than eight points only once.

This year, Utah is a six-point favorite for this Thursday night matchup. But BYU will have home-field advantage, and it's looking to notch a quality early win before getting into the rest of its difficult schedule. The Cougars also have games against Tennessee, USC and Washington later on.

Expectations are high for the Utes, as they were picked to win the Pac-12 in the preseason media poll for the conference.

But what better way for BYU to open its season than with a huge statement win right out of the gate?

It's possible the Cougars will score the upset victory. It's more likely this rivalry will feature another game that's decided by a single possession.

So, bet on BYU to keep this game close again and potentially even pick up the win.

     

No. 9 Notre Dame at Louisville

Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

This one is interesting because of the large line Notre Dame has entering the matchup. The Fighting Irish are 19-point favorites on the road, which seems like it could be a bit high.

Louisville may be coming off a 2-10 season, but there are reasons to believe this will be a better year for the Cardinals.

Scott Satterfield has taken over as Louisville head coach, and it's his first opportunity to lead a Power Five program after spending the last six seasons at Appalachian State. The Cardinals have an experienced team, especially on defense, where they return 10 of their 11 starters from last season.

While Notre Dame is coming off a College Football Playoff appearance, the Fighting Irish had more key pieces they had to replace entering this season.

Notre Dame is going to win this game. But with Louisville opening a new era with a Monday home game under the lights, expect the Cardinals to keep this one a bit closer than 19 points.