Betting College Football Week 1 for Dummies: Trust Alabama to Cover Big Number

Getting you set for the opening weekend of the season with a few betting nuggets!
Oct 15, 2022; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban reacts during
Oct 15, 2022; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban reacts during / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

It's the official start of college football season, thankfully we have survived until this point.

You want to fire in some bets over the long weekend, but with the emergence of the transfer portal and new clock rules, you may be a bit overwhelmed or confused with some developments in the sport. But don't fear, I have the information you need to cash this weekend in Week 1 of the college football season and get off to a hot start this season.

Let's go!

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College Football Betting Impact on Totals

College football changed its rules this season as it relates to the game clock. The clock doesn't stop when a team gets a first down anymore, only in the final two minutes of each half, so there will be a drop in the amount of plays ran for both teams.

In Week 1, we saw about a five play drop across the seven game sample, which was expected heading into the season.

So, with fewer plays, there's fewer opportunities for team's to score. However, I'm not overreacting to this small sample and eyeing a handful of overs this week. You can read my full analysis from earlier this week here. However, here's a snippet.

"So there was a drop in total plays, as expected, but I'm still not overreacting to this and rushing to bet unders. The market knows this and have adjusted accordingly as the Week 1 lines have sat out in the open for several months.

In truth, four of the seven games went under, not an egregious number that shows some market inefficiencies. Even if many will look to the Navy-Notre Dame snoozer that stayed under the total of 49 with the Irish winning 42-3 in one of the slowest games in recent memory, each team had less than 60 snaps, I still find myself eyeing a handful of overs in Week 1."

Trust Alabama as Big Favorites

You're probably saying to yourself, wow Alabama is laying a massive number in Week 1. It makes sense, the Crimson Tide are playing Middle Tennessee State, who doesn't hold a candle to even the backups on Alabama. No way, right? That number is too big.

I'm here to tell you that it's justified, and that the Tide are a good bet in Week 1. Nick Saban-led Alabama teams are a cashcow in 13-2 since he took over as head coach. You can check out my betting preview here as well as every Top 25 game pick against the spread (ATS) in Week 1!

Transfer Quarterbacks Rule College Football

With the rise of the transfer portal, you don't need to sit out a year anymore when you join a new team, players are on the move like never before. Check out this nugget from 247Sports:

"According to 247Sports' projections, 43 of the 69 Power Five starting quarterbacks (62.3%), including Notre Dame, to have transferred at least once in their careers. This is set to be a huge rise from 45% in 2022."

This is only counting for Power Five programs, but there are plenty of other Group of Five teams leaning on new quarterbacks by way of the portal. How will that manifest on the field? It's too be determined, but it will sure to be a talking point for weeks to come as there may be a learning curve for certain signal callers in new situations, adjusting to new schemes.

However, there's also the chance that the player hit the portal to find a more ideal roster that can suit him better, leading to a big jump in production. Keep an eye for transfer QBs in Week 1.

This isn't as much of a betting deliverable, but is still important. Don't worry I have plenty of trends and info for you below.

College Football Betting Trends for Week 1

In addition to the aforementioned Alabama trend, I shared a handful of other numbers that can help you make some informed decisions this weekend.

You can check out how LSU's head coach Brian Kelly has performed in projected close spread games as a favorite as well as how teams that played in Week 0 perform ATS in Week 1 and more!

Here's a quote:

"[Losing games as a small favorite of less than three] this has been a common theme for the former Cincinnati and Notre Dame head coach, losing hotly contested matchups. While his Tigers were an underdog in last season's matchup, the team enters as 2.5-point favorites in this one. However, Kelly's teams are 0-5 against the spread (ATS) when favored by three or fewer."

College Football Best Bets for Week 1

For all the college football betting content you could ever need, head on over to our predictions page for game previews on nearly every contest on the board. You can also check out the Stacking The Box College Football Show for more betting analysis ahead of kickoff!

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!