NCAA Football Odds Biggest Games in 2015: Week 1-3
Following one of the most exhilarating football seasons in history, College Football betting enthusiasts have their eyes fixated on the new season and what it has to offer. With nearly 130 teams in the league, a whole lot of conferences and twice as many divisions, it’s hard to narrow down the biggest games of the league in just one article. So, rather than one lengthy write-up on the entire year, we’ll break down the biggest games of the 2015 NCAAF season in a series of three-week breakdowns. That said, here’s the first edition of our series, focusing on the biggest college football games in 2015 between Week 1 and Week 3.
Taking a Sneak Peak at the NCAA Football Odds Biggest Games in 2015: Week 1-3
WEEK 1 (SEPTEMBER 3-7)
TCU vs. Minnesota, September 3, Pick: TCU
Trevone Boykin returns at the center for TCU with all his top targets, leading an offense that averaged 46.5 points per game (second-best in the league). Meanwhile, the Gophers no longer have the heart and soul of their offense in RB David Cobb, so even with Minnesota will be enjoying home advantage, there’s no way the Horned Frogs will be losing this game.
Michigan vs. Utah, September 3, Winning Pick: Utes
Jim Harbaugh makes his debut against the Utah Utes team that has similarly done a number of changes in the coaching ranks. A road win by the Wolverines would be a great start for Harbaugh, but that doesn’t look likely, not when the Utes will be enjoying the untamable services of QB Travis Wilson and 1,500-yard rusher Devontae Booker.
North Carolina vs. South Carolina, September 3, Pick: South Carolina
The two Carolina rivals get to lock horns at the start of the season, as North Carolina (leading the series 34-18-4) seeks to continue its dominance in the rivalry. Even so, South Carolina has won the last two meetings, creating an interesting scenario in terms of making college football predictions. Looking for a safe bet? Take the Gamecocks to use their good enough and balanced team to claim a win.
Alabama vs. Wisconsin, September 5, Pick: Alabama
After Alabama’s National Championship ambitions were crashed by a Big 10 team, they start their season against another Big 10 opponent in the name of Wisconsin. Both teams have lost a ton of key talents, and Paul Chryst is making his debut as the new Badgers coach, meaning the game comes with a number of uncertainties. Still, Alabama rarely loses at the start of the season, so don’t expect it to happen this year.
Arizona State vs. Texas A&M, September 5, Pick: Texas A&M
Houston will be the venue for this Power Five conference matchup between the Sun Devils (Pac-12) and Aggies (SEC). This could be a dicey game, but with QB Taylor Kelly and WR Jaelen Strong unavailable from Arizona State’s 10-win team in 2014, I’m inclined to trust the Aggies and their experienced squad (led by QB Kyle Allen in the offense and DE Myles Garrett in the defense) to carry the day.
Auburn vs. Louisville, September 5, Pick: Auburn
Here’s another Power 5 showdown pitting the ACC (Louisville) and SEC (Auburn) in a mouthwatering clash. Expect Louisville’s resolute defense to keep the scores close, but Auburn’s explosive offense should be able to escape with a victory.
Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech, September 7, Pick: Ohio State
The defending national champions travel to Virginia to face the only team to beat them in 2014. An enthralling Monday night matchup should be in the offing, with the Hokies’ defense frustrating the Bucks’ offense, but the superior experience and talent in Ohio State will probably lead the Bucks to victory.
Other Big Week 1 Games to Watch Out For
- Washington at Boise State, Sept. 4, Pick: Boise State
- BYU at Nebraska, Sept. 5, Pick: BYU
- Texas at Notre Dame, Sept. 5, Pick: Notre Dame
WEEK 2 (SEPTEMBER 10-12)
Oregon vs. Michigan State, September 12, Pick: Michigan State
Arguably the best non-conference matchup in 2015, the meeting between Oregon (a perennial national contender over the recent years) and Michigan State (a long-standing football powerhouse) is guaranteed to be a cracker of a clash. If the game was to be played on a neutral ground, I’d go with Oregon, but being that the showdown will be in Michigan, I have no option but to side with Connor Cook and the Spartans for the W.
Oklahoma vs. Tennessee, September 12, Pick: Tennessee
After dominating Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl, the Volunteers will be starting the season against an Oklahoma team that is expected to be a surprisingly good team. And rightfully so, the Sooners will be favorites to get the win, but after watching the Vols improve commendably in 2014, I believe an upset win will be possible in favor of Tennessee.
LSU vs. Mississippi State, September 12, Pick: Mississippi State
Mississippi State’s QB Dak Prescott is one of the best throwers in the league, and after leading the then-unranked Bulldogs tow a 34–29 triumph over #8 LSU in Baton Rouge, he’ll be looking to repeat the same performance in 2015. But prior to last season’s win, LSU had dominated their rivalry, winning 14 games in a row over the Bulldogs, so there’s a strong chance for the Tigers to bounce back. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs still have immense talent and this game will be played in Mississippi, hence another win for Prescott and Co. looks more likely.
Other Big Week 2 Games to Watch Out For
- Utah State at Utah, Sept. 11, Pick: Utah
- Boise State at BYU, Sept. 12, Pick: Boise State
- Iowa at Iowa State, Sept. 12, Pick: Iowa State
WEEK 3 (SEPTEMBER 17-19)
Clemson vs. Louisville, September 17, Pick: Clemson
After posting four back-to-back 10-win seasons, it is clear that Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers are here to stay. Making matters worse for Louisville, the Tigers have a solid offense led by Heisman Trophy candidate Deshaun Watson and are paced by returning starters from last year’s Nation-leading defense. So although Louisville has the potential to put up a strong front in their backyard, a win looks most likely in favor of Clemson.
Florida State vs. Boston College, September 18, Pick: Boston College
Boston College proved to be a real test to a very good FSU team in 2014, and with the Seminoles coming into 2015 with a number of losses on both sides of the ball, this will be a perfect opportunity for the Eagles to stick it to Florida State. So although Jimbo Fisher’s team will still be good, it wouldn’t be surprising if Boston College recorded an upset win here.
Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame, September 19, Pick: Georgia Tech
In 2014, Georgia Tech proved capable of measuring up to big opponents, including big-game showings against FSU and Mississippi State. With most of the team’s starters from last season returning in 2015, the Yellow Jackets (coming off an 11-win season) should thus be able to take care of the Fighting Irish, who aren’t as competitive as they were a couple of seasons back.
Auburn vs. LSU, September 19, Pick: Auburn
After blowing out LSU 41-7 last season, the Tigers will be entering this matchup with a lot of motivation of recording another win. Importantly, this game could prove to be a key deciding factor in the race for the SEC West title race. With the game set to take place at the Death Valley, it doesn’t look like we will be seeing another blowout win in favor of Auburn. Still, with not much for LSU to go with in quarterback play, a win for LSU fans will be hard to come by.
Ole Miss vs. Alabama, September 19, Pick: Alabama
Alabama’s new-look offense will have its first biggest test of the season, going against the Rebels and their vaunted Land Shark defense, including the feared defensive combo of Robert Nkemdiche, Marquis Haynes, Isaac Gross and C.J. Johnson. Playing at home will provide some cushion for Nick Saban and his players, led by QBs Jake Coker and David Cornwell, but it’s definitely going to be one hell of a bumpy ride for them. Expect a very closely-contested match.
Other Big Week 3 Games to Watch Out For
- Nebraska at Miami (FL), Sept. 19, Pick: Miami
- South Carolina at Georgia, September 19, Pick: Georgia
For previews of other big games of the season, be sure to check out our college football section, where we’ll have sequels containing predictions and picks for the remaining weeks.=