It's the official start of the college football season, and every team will look to get off to a hot start on opening weekend.
Let's get you ready for a unique college football Week 1 that starts on Thursday and ends on Monday by breaking down how all top 25 teams are going to do against the spread. Can sports bettors trust the most notable names in the sport to cover spreads both big and small, on the road and at home?
Here's our picks against the spread (ATS) for all top 25 matchups in Week 1:
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Tennessee Martin vs. No. 1 Georgia Prediction and Pick
East Carolina vs. No. 2 Michigan Prediction and Pick
Pick: Michigan -36.5
The Wolverines were fourth in defensive line yards last season and graded out top 15 in success rate on both sides of the ball last season and dominated lesser competition in non conference play.
Here's how Michigan did against non conference foes in 2022: beat Colorado State 51-7, beat Hawaii 56-10 and beat UConn 59-0. I expect a similar score on Saturday afternoon lay it.
Read more about this matchup here!
No. 3 Ohio State vs. Indiana Prediction and Pick
PICK: Indiana +31
Middle Tennessee State vs. No. 4 Alabama Prediction and Pick
PICK: Alabama -39
No. 5 LSU vs. No. 8 Florida State Prediction and Pick
PICK: LSU -2.5
Nevada vs. No. 6 USC Prediction and Pick
PICK: Nevada +38
West Virginia vs. No. 7 Penn State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Penn State -20.5
If the Mountaineers had a defense that reflected any level of competency, I’d be willing to take a look at betting on them to cover as underdogs in this spot, but I don’t think that’s the case. They gave up 6.1 yards per play last season, which ranked outside the top 100 in the country.
More importantly, they gave up 4.3 yards per carry and now they have to face one of the best one-two punch backfields in college football in Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen.
Penn State wins this one in impressive fashion and I’m more than willing to bet on them to cover the spread.
No. 9 Clemson vs. Duke Prediction and Pick
PICK: Clemson -13
Boise State vs. No. 10 Washington Prediction and Pick
PICK: Washington -14
Rice vs. No. 11 Texas Prediction and Pick
PICK: Rice +35
Virginia vs. No. 12 Tennessee Prediction and Pick
PICK: Tennessee -28
[Virginia quarterback Tony] Muskett will try to lift up this Cavaliers offense, but for a unit that is bottom 10 in returning production, it's going to be tough sledding. Virginia was bottom 10 in EPA/Play last season, and while Tennessee's defense struggled overall last season, this is still an aggressive pass rush that was top 20 in tackles for loss. The team should get to Muskett at will.
I'm going to lay it with Tennessee, a team built to win by margin against inferior opponents.
Tennessee State vs. No. 13 Notre Dame Prediction and Pick
Florida vs. No. 14 Utah Prediction and Pick
PICK: Florida +4.5
Portland State vs. No. 15 Oregon Prediction and Pick
Southeast Missouri State vs. No. 16 Kansas State Prediction and Pick
Colorado vs. No. 17 TCU Prediction and Pick
PICK: Colorado +20.5
Since there are a ton of moving pieces in this one, I'm going to opt to take the Buffaloes at over 20 points. We don't know the gap between the two teams heading into this one, and while the gap may be large, it may not be this large. TCU is transitioning both offensive coordinator and quarterback, it's a different fit than the explosive offense that stunned Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Meanwhile, Colorado simply has to be better in 2023, especially on offense with the injection of talent of Sanders and Hunter. The team was 112th in EPA/Play and 124th in success rate, so I know I can bank on improvement, while TCU may be in for a step back.
With all that being said, I'll take the underdog with uncertainty all over.
No. 18 Oregon State vs. San Jose State Prediction and Pick
PICK: San Jose State +16.5
Buffalo vs. No. 19 Wisconsin Prediction and Pick
PICK: Wisconsin -27.5
Arkansas State vs. No. 20 Oklahoma Prediction and Pick
PICK: Oklahoma -36
No. 21 North Carolina vs. South Carolina Prediction and Pick
PICK: North Carolina -2.5
Mercer vs. No. 22 Ole Miss Prediction and Pick
New Mexico vs. No. 23 Texas A&M Prediction and Pick
PICK: Texas A&M -38
South Alabama vs. No. 24 Tulane Prediction and Pick
PICK: South Alabama +6.5
Last year, Tulane was 20th in yards per play at 6.3, but South Alabama wasn’t all that far behind with 5.6 yards per play which ranked 51st. Tulane allowed 5.1 yards per play (31st) and South Alabama allowed 5.2 (39th). These teams are a lot more similar than it would seem with Tulane ranked in the Top 25, so I’ll take the points with South Alabama.
Utah State vs. No. 25 Iowa Prediction and Pick
PICK: Utah State +24.5
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!