I respect people who can look at the (approximately) one million college football games over the next few days and avoid the temptation to fire off a parlay.
If you're one of those people, salute. If you're not, then you've come to the right place. There's so much value oozing on the board this weekend that I can barely contain my excitement. College football is back, baby!
It's only right we throw a massive parlay party in celebration.
Best College Football Parlay Picks for Week 1
Illinois +1 (-110) vs Indiana
With respect to my man Ben Heisler, Indiana was horrible last year. The Hoosiers lost eight straight games to close 2021, covering the spread just once in their final nine. With an offense that lacked explosiveness and a rushing defense so bad that even my chicken legs could have probably picked up 100 yards, things were bleak.
That's a problem against Illinois star running back Chase Brown, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and picked up 151 with two touchdowns against Wyoming in Week 0. Illinois ranked fifth in rushing play explosiveness last season and feature a stellar, deeply experienced offensive line that will cause problems for Indiana all night.
The Fighting Illini are 7-2-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 contests. Look for them to stay hot thanks to Brown and an overwhelming advantage in the trenches.
Louisville -4.5 (-112) vs Syracuse
There's a big "X" on my calendar where "September" once was. Now, it just says "Malik Cunningham Season."
After throwing for 2,941 yards last year with over 1,000 rushing yards and 39 total touchdowns, Cunningham gets to play behind the best offensive line he's ever had. When you're posting comparable numbers to Lamar Jackson, you're pretty darn good.
Syracuse's inexperienced defensive line will allow Cunningham all the time he needs to carve up the Orange. He threw for four touchdowns and ran for another in last year's dominant victory, and I expect even better numbers this time.
In the last two matchups between these teams, Louisville won by a combined score of 71-3. Look for the Cardinals to improve to 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games as favorites thanks to a marvelous 2022 debut for Cunningham.
South Florida +11.5 (-110) vs BYU
This line moved a bit in our favor after I picked South Florida +12 last week, but there's still ample value on the Bulls against a BYU team that historically struggles in the brutal Florida humidity.
BYU is 1-8 all-time in the state of Florida, including an upset loss in 2019 here in quarterback Jaren Hall's first career start. South Florida brought in transfer quarterback Gerry Bohanon to lead the offense, and he already beat the Cougars a year ago.
Bohanon matches up well against BYU's weaknesses. The Cougars ranked 109th in FBS in sacks in 2021, so they need to blitz to generate a pass rush. Well, Bohanon wrecks blitzes, and the Bulls return as much experience as any team in America.
I'm backing South Florida to cover as a home underdog for the sixth consecutive game, and the Bulls may even be worth a moneyline sprinkle.
College Football Parlay for Week 1
The "Embrace Temptation" Parlay (+591)
- Illinois +1 (-110) vs Indiana
- Louisville -4.5 (-112) vs Syracuse
- South Florida +11.5 (-110) vs BYU
Bang, bang! Our first parlay of what hopes to be a wildly profitable and enjoyable college football season. Odds of +591 pay out $147.49 on a $25 bet, and I'm confident we'll be dancing with dollars come weekend's end.
The BetSided team has previews and actionable content for all the big games this weekend, so be sure to add some of your favorite picks to the parlay if you're feeling dangerous.
College football is finally back. Best of luck, let's get after it!
Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.