Crystal Ball Betting Predictions for College Football Week 1

Posted by Jordan Walterss on June 9, 2016 in

We are less than three months away from the beginning of the college football season and players around the country will begin reporting to their official training camps in a few weeks — summer workouts are currently ongoing. Here are a few NCAA football betting predictions for the opening week of the season.

Crystal Ball Betting Predictions for College Football Week 1

Luke Del Rio Will Be Florida’s QB

Despite some really shaky quarterback play last year after Will Grier was suspended — he has since transferred — the University of Florida won the SEC East title before getting dominated in the conference title game by Alabama. The Gators still haven’t decided on their starting QB this year, but it’s looking like Luke Del Rio has the edge for the opener on Sept. 3 against UMass. The Gators are 37.5-point favorites on NCAA football lines.

Del Rio was the best quarterback in Florida’s spring game. Del Rio finished 10-of-11 passing for 176 yards, two touchdowns and a gaudy passer rating of 285.3 while engineering the game’s first four scoring drives. While Jim McElwain was not ready to hand Del Rio the job, UF’s second-year coach acknowledged the red shirt sophomore has a leg up. Del Rio is the son of Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio.

The 6-foot-1, 216-pound Del Rio, a 2013 recruit, received an offer from Colorado State when McElwain was the Rams’ coach. Del Rio passed on that offer and others to walk on at Alabama. He spent the 2013 season with the Crimson Tide before transferring to Oregon State, where he was on scholarship and served as the Beavers’ backup QB in 2014. But after Mike Riley left Oregon State for the head coaching job at Nebraska, Del Rio decided to transfer to Florida and sat out last year.

Del Rio is battling Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby and true freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask. Del Rio will be the guy barring injury.

Western Michigan Will Scare Northwestern

One interesting Week 1 game features Western Michigan, a team that many believe will win the Mid-American Conference this season, visiting Northwestern. The Wildcats are currently 7-point favorites on NCAA lines.

WMU won more than seven games in a season twice between 2001-13, and the Broncos have now done it in back-to-back seasons under coach P.J. Fleck, a rising star. If the Broncos hadn’t allowed two second-half scores against both Bowling Green and Northern Illinois last season, they would have played for a MAC championship.

The program’s rise has been fueled by the staff’s efforts on the recruiting trail, leading to three classes in a row ranked as the MAC’s best, according to most recruiting services. And WMU returns a 3,500-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher from each of the last two years, a 1,400-yard receiver, four starters on the offensive line from last year’s team. Quarterback Zach Terrell, with 32 career starts, returns for his senior year after throwing for 3,526 yards, 29 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season. The Broncos’ top two rushers from a year ago —sophomore Jamauri Bogan (1,051 yards, 16 TDs) and junior Jarvion Franklin (735 yards) — both are also back. As is All-American receiver Corey Davis, the active leading receiver in FBS with 3,785 career yards.

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Northwestern is coming off a special season in which it won 10 games. But a 45-6 loss to Tennessee in the Outback Bowl was a sober reminder of how much better Pat Fitzgerald’s program can become, as NU was out-gained 420-261. The Wildcats were the Big Ten’s worst offensive team last year and probably will be again.

Take the college football spread in this game on Western Michigan — an outright upset is possible.