It’s almost time to crank up the volume on your favorite college fight song and don the colors of your team. The 2016 college football season is right around the corner, just as we were all about to pass out from football withdrawal. The Week 1 online college football spreads are already up, and that means we can start to break down some of the big games from the opening week. We have already posted a piece about a trio of the best picks for Week 1, but for this piece, I want to look at some of the bigger games. There are plenty of those in the opening week of the season, as teams are out to impress the Playoff Committee early on. Remember, there is a good chance that these spreads will change over the next couple of weeks, so keep checking back for updated odds.
College Football Week 1 ATS Winning Favorites
Georgia (-3) vs North Carolina
You have to go all the way back to 1971 to find the last time that these two teams hooked up, which makes this one all the more intriguing. Adding to the drama is the fact that the Kirby Smart era will be kicking off in Georgia, and expectations are high in Georgia Bulldogs nation. This is a bit of a risky pick, as Georgia may be without both Sony Michel and Nick Chubb at RB, and the QB position is still up in the air. I like 5-star sensation Jacob Eason to get the start under center, and this kid will be chucking it all over the field. Taking Georgia ATS here.
USC (+10.5) vs Alabama
The defending national champions are in for a tough start to the season against the USC Trojans, which makes me believe that the current spread is a little too generous. I certainly like Alabama to win, but this is a team with some question marks on offense, specifically at the QB position. I see this as more of a grinding things out type of win, with the margin of victory more likely in the 4-7-point range.
Wisconsin (+9.5) vs LSU
This is another game where I believe that the spread is just a little too high. These are a pair of teams that play hard hitting, defensive football, which leads me to believe that points are going to be very hard to come by here. I expect this to be a low scoring affair, and I actually would not be surprised to see this game coming down to a last second field goal.
Notre Dame (-5) vs Texas
This is one game where I am actually a little surprised to see the spread set so low. When these two teams met last season, it was the Fighting Irish who came away with a comfortable 38-3 win. Notre Dame haven’t fallen off that badly, and Texas have not made a huge improvement. It may not be the same type of blowout this time around, but I don’t think the Irish will have any problem covering that spread.