Just because a team is favored by 20 or 40 points doesn’t mean that it will fail to cover the points and, similarly, being favored by 3 or 7 points isn’t a guarantee that the spread will be covered. College football betting lines should be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the strength of the teams involved in a given matchup. For the teams highlighted below, our NCAAF odds appear to offer them great opportunities to cover the spread in their respective Week 1 online college football odds.
Teams That Will Cover No Matter The Spread On College Football Week 1
Indiana Hoosiers (-8.5) vs. Florida International Golden Panthers, Sept 01
Week 1 NCAAF Pick: Golden Panthers (+8.5)
I am well-aware that the Florida International Golden Panthers lost 36-22 to the Hoosiers last year, as quarterback Nate Sudfield threw for 234 yards and a TD and tailback Jordan Howard rushed 27 times for 159 yards, with the defense also picking off a late pass in that game and returning it for an insurance touchdown. Unfortunately for Indy’s fans, Sudfield and Howard are now in the NFL after graduating, so the team will be breaking into some new boom-or-bust players. The Panthers, meanwhile, have their standout QB Alex McGough (2,722 yards, 21 scores against 6 interceptions in 2015) and his top receiver Thomas Owens (9 receptions for 166 yards and 2 TDs vs. Indiana in 2015) back in the fold. To me, this smells of a clear upset, but just to be on the safe side, take the very affordable 8.5 points being offered here.
Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Tennessee Volunteers (-21), Sept 01
Week 1 NCAAF Pick: Mountaineers (+21)
Like many of you, I am already on board in the Tennessee hype train. In fact, I strongly believe that dual-threat quarterback will lead us to a very profitable season, most likely winning the coveted SEC East crown. And with 9 starters returning on both sides of the ball, the Vols will have a heavily experienced group that will offer a lot of balance in the team. That said, I just don’t see the Vols beating the Mountaineers by 20-plus points. For starters, Appalachian State had a pretty good season last year, their second in the FBs, finishing 11-2 overall, and capping their year with a victory over a very good Ohio University team in the Mountaineers’ first-ever bowl game. Next, App State–the preseason Sun Belt Conference favorite–returns with 15 starters from last year, including QB Taylor Lamb and stud running back Marcus Cox, two players that aren’t far off from the talent of Dobbs and his top running back Jalen Hurd. So, while hell will probably freeze before Appalachian State delivers an outright upset over the more fine-tuned Vols, I’d expect the underrated Sun Belters to make a game out of Tennessee to at least cover the spread.
Furman Paladins vs. Michigan State Spartans (-41), Sept 02
Week 1 NCAAF Pick: Paladins (+41)
In their lone game against a Power 5 team in 2015, Furman lost 42-3 to Virginia Tech. With not much changes in the team, Furman looks set for another underwhelming Week 1 performance, and there is no doubt that Michigan State will be winning this game. The problem, though, is that Sparty is returning just 10 starters and Mark Dantonio will be breaking into new players at several key positions such as QB, WR and a number of defensive slots. This type of transition is bound to have a bit of an effect in this game, especially in offense. No doubt, the Spartans will be winnining big, but doing so by as many as 40-plus points doesn’t look likely for Tyler O’Connor and his iffy offense. Plus, with MSU’s next game coming at Notre Dame, the Spartans will most likely be looking to keep its starters healthy, so Dantonio will probably take out his starters once his team builds a comfy lead. That should allow Furman to record one or two garbage scores to ruin this bloated spread.
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Stanford Cardinal (-15), Sept 02
Week 1 NCAAF Pick: Stanford (-15)
Bill Snyder’s reputation as a big-game spoiler preceded him and that’s the main reason many pundits are rooting for K-State to at least grab the points in this game. The problem, however, is that Stanford’s 2016 gold ticket Christian McCaffrey is an unstoppable bulldozer of a player, as was evidenced by his stunning 2015 campaign that saw him break several records en route to a No. 2 finish in the Heisman Trophy voting. All that Stanford needs to do in order to win this game is for Keller Chryst or Ryan Burns–the two competing QBs in Stanford–to hand over the ball to McCaffrey and the star runner will do the rest. And even if K-State defensive coordinator Tom Hayes will have a plan to limit McCaffrey’s game, Stanford’s excellent defense should be more than capable of clamping Kansas State’s lethargic offense that finished 113th in the nation in total yards last season.