The first college football game of the season is on August 27 when Abilene Christian takes on Georgia State, but the following day is the one where it all really begins. On Thursday, Aug. 28, we’ve got 14 games on the schedule before 7 games taking place on Friday. Then, on Saturday, Aug. 30, the College Football Season hits the ground running with a full slate of incredibly interesting college football betting match ups. See below for the top four betting games in College Football Week 1!
Taking a Closer Look at the College Football Week 1 Odds and Picks
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
When: Saturday, Aug. 30 at 3:30 pm ET
Betting Line: Alabama -25.5
Analysis: Is West Virginia really that bad? Yes, they are. They went 3 and 9 against the spread last season and they’re 1 and 6 in their last 7 neutral site games. Baylor hung 73 on the West Virginia defense last season. Alabama’s offense isn’t as good as Baylor’s but, then again, Alabama plays against tough defenses in the SEC. The Crimson Tide should be good for at least seven touchdowns in this contest, are 8 and 2 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games, and will be looking to make a statement.
I hate laying close to 26 points, but this is Alabama versus West Virginia on neutral ground. The Tide will roll.
Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide
Clemson Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs
When: Saturday, Aug. 30 at 3:30 pm ET
Betting Line: Georgia -7.5
Analysis: This is one of the better matchups in Week 1 with Clemson traveling to Georgia to take on the Bulldogs. Georgia is favored, but based on trends it’s difficult to see the Dogs covering versus the Tigers. Clemson is 8 and 3 ATS in their last 11 road games. That’s a stunningly impressive sports betting stat to consider. While the Tigers are killing it against the spread on the road, Georgia is 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 home games. Both teams can score, Georgia averaged 36.7 points per game last season while Clemson averaged 40.2 but Clemson had the somewhat better defense. Things can change quickly when it comes to personnel in college football and trends don’t ever tell the whole story, but Clemson has no problems on the road while Georgia appears to have a ton of problems just covering spreads since the Dogs went 3 and 9 ATS in 2013.
I’ll take the 7.5 points in this game. Clemson has a good shot of upsetting Georgia straight up. Once the moneyline odds come out consider a few bucks on the Tigers to get the season started with some big profits.
Pick: Clemson Tigers
Arkansas Razorbacks at Auburn Tigers
When: Saturday, Aug. 30 at 4:00 pm ET
Betting Line: Auburn -21.5
Analysis: Everybody’s gaga over Auburn again and why not? From a football betting perspective it doesn’t get any better than a 12 and 2 ATS record to mirror their straight-up record. But the Tigers only beat Arkansas 35 to 17 last season. Could this be the season where former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema gets the Arkansas program on track? His first season in the SEC was a disaster. The Razorbacks finished the season at 3 and 9. Bielema better hope that his style begins to work at Arkansas or he’ll be out of a job.
The 21.5 points seems like a lot, but Arkansas just doesn’t appear to match up well with Auburn’s speed and this game does occur in Auburn meaning that the Tigers’ fans will be out in full force. Arkansas does have a massive offensive line. Unfortunately, that offensive line won’t mean much because Auburn is all about scoring on you and Arkansas’ defense just isn’t good enough to keep Auburn from putting up 40 in this game.
Bielema will try and control the clock; it won’t matter. Auburn should start the season out with a victory and an ATS cover.
Pick: Auburn Tigers
Wisconsin Badgers vs. LSU Tigers
When: Saturday, Aug. 30 at 9:00 pm ET
Betting Line: LSU -4
Analysis: The line opened at LSU -7. Lots of dollars have gone onto Wisconsin, meaning that there are plenty of bettors out there thinking that the Badgers have a shot against LSU. This game should be a fun one since both teams averaged 200 yards rushing per game in 2013. The Badgers are 4 and 1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games while LSU is 2 and 5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. What’s interesting is that the Tigers are 45 and 0 straight up in their last 45 non-conference games. So, even though they don’t often cover the spread, they do win the game outright. That makes this a tough game to handicap since the odds are LSU -4 from LSU -7. The truth is that LSU will probably win the game, but I don’t like giving up 4 points.
I think Wisconsin is good enough to keep this one to a field goal. Wisconsin is the play ATS, but LSU will win. So, if you don’t bet it right now and the line drops further, say to LSU -2, then I’d probably switch and go with the Tigers. Either bet Wisconsin right now or pay close attention to the line if you favor LSU and hope that it drops further to Tigers -2.
Pick: Wisconsin Badgers at +4.