The college football season has started, with a handful of games played last week, but this coming Saturday serves as the official Week 1 of the season. It is a full slate of games on tap and the schedule has some absolutely amazing matchups for us to watch and wager on. The game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers is the pick of the bunch and is sure to see a lot of betting action, but there are countless others that you can play, too. In the lead up to the opening weekend of action, we are going to do all we can to deliver some picks that we hope will be winners. The opening few weeks of the season are always tough to handicap, but we are going to give it our best shot. For the purposes of this piece, we are picking three games against the spread along with their NCAAF odds, so let’s get right to it.
2021 College Football Week 1 ATS Picks to Wager On
Alabama Crimson Tide (-19) Vs Miami Hurricanes
The defending National Champions will head to Atlanta for the opening weekend and a neutral site game against the Miami Hurricanes. The Crimson Tide come into the new season with a ton of holes to fill on both sides of the football, but the reality is that this is nothing new to them. Alabama is able to consistently recruit the best players in the nation, making it seem as though reloading and winning is something easy to do. The size of the spread here might make some people nervous, but Alabama is on a run where they have covered in 5 straight opening week games. They are also 8-2 ATS in their last 10 overall. Miami has been able to cover the spread in 4 of their last 6 games as an underdog, but I just don’t see them hanging with the Tide in this one.
Indiana Hoosiers at Iowa Hawkeyes (-3 ½)
There is nothing like a good conference matchup to get the ball rolling, and this one looks to be one of the games of the week. Indiana is in tough in the Big Ten East, as they have Ohio State and Penn State to contend with there. Things are a little more forgiving in the West, which is where Iowa plays, but they are already looking up at Illinois, who took out Nebraska last weekend. At first glance, you have to say that Indiana looks like a good bet, as they have covered the spread in 8 of their last 9 and are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 versus conference foes. Iowa does not have a great Week 1 record against the spread, but they are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 overall. I am leaning towards the home team.
San Jose State Spartans at USC Trojans (-14)
The PAC 12 was hit hard by COVID last year, but the problems with the conference go back further, as they are now making a habit of not sending a team to the playoffs. The USC Trojans are looking to remedy that this year and have a chance to get out to a quick start against San Jose State. The Trojans have met the Spartans 4 times and have won by an average of 28 PPG. They have not been a particularly good bet against the spread in the month of September, but I think USC gets a comfortable win here and covers the spread.