NCAAF Week 1 Betting Guide
College football is back, and it’s beginning to look like déjà vu all over again as Clemson and Alabama jockey for the top two spots in the nation. Both teams will be in action this week along with 164 other top Div 1 programs as the NCAA kicks off its first full slate of games. We’ve got you covered with hard-hitting insight and analysis on some of the most eagerly anticipated grudge matches as well as the latest trends and storylines from across the U.S.
|Oregon (0-0)||+3.5 (-110)||+140||O 56.0 (-110)|
|Auburn (0-0)||-3.5 (-110)||-170||U 56.0 (-110)|
Oregon enters this early, pivotal matchup with plenty to prove as a fringe contender for the AP Top-25. They finished outside of the rankings last season 9-4 SU coupled with a dismal 5-8 ATS record. The Ducks hope to improve on their offensive ranking, but there were glimpses through last season where they averaged 25.8 points per game.
The star of the show will be Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert who is posting top-10 odds in the 2019 Heisman futures at +2000, well behind the +250 co-favorites of Trevor Lawrence (CLEM) and Tua Tagovailoa (ALA). Herbert has been long touted as a potential first overall pick when he decides to enter the NFL Draft, but bettors will want to see him produce massive wins before they go all-in on Oregon.
Justin Herbert is looking to make some big plays this season, just like this 50-yard strike 🚀
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) August 16, 2019
Bo Nix starts under center for Auburn as a hype-worthy freshman. The incredibly talented five-star recruit will have a big learning curve, and Oregon’s defense might provide him opportunities. It’s fair to say, however, that he is still a relative unknown especially when compared to a college veteran like Herbert.
The always pesky Auburn Tigers will naturally receive support as an SEC team. However, neither program has fared well in non-conference play. The Ducks are 1-4 ATS when playing out of the Pac-12, while the Tigers are just 3-7-1 ATS when playing non-SEC opponents. This game will also be hosted on neutral territory at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
Herbert is getting the biggest stage possible to showcase his talents. He better come through for Oregon’s sake. Auburn will make his 2019 season debut as difficult as possible.
|Northwestern (0-0)||+6.5 (-110)||+185||O 46.5 (-110)|
|Stanford (0-0)||-6.5 (-110)||-225||U 46.5 (-110)|
The beat on Stanford has always been relatively straightforward: they are great against bad teams, and iffy against elite teams. However, the 2019 Cardinal are in the midst of an identity crisis after Bryce Love departed for the NFL. Without a star tailback in the mix for the first time in a while, Stanford will rely heavily on the capable arm if quarterback K.J. Costello.
Defense will be a sore spot for the Cardinal, and they are looking down the barrel of a gauntlet schedule that includes USC, UCF and Oregon in the first four weeks. The expectation is that Stanford will take a step back at some point this season. It could be as early as Week 1.
Those of you that wagered on NCAAF action in 2018 know that the Wildcats can be a stealthy play thanks to a very productive defense that allowed just 23.2 points against (41st) while surrendering 390.9 total yards on average. The Wildcats also finished a strong 9-5 SU overall with a favorable 7-5-1 ATS.
— Northwestern On BTN (@NUOnBTN) August 22, 2019
Lifting Northwestern’s hopes for this season will be a potential star quarterback in Hunter Johnson, who transferred from Clemson. He’s still competing with T.J. Green for the starting gig, but both passers will benefit from a supporting cast that is loaded with talent on both sides of the football.
The question is whether you back the team that has an established quarterback and a weaker supporting cast, or the better program that still hasn’t decided on their starter.
|Utah State (0-0)||+3.5 (-110)||+145||O 63.0 (-110)|
|Wake Forest (0-0)||-3.5 (-110)||-175||U 63.0 (-110)|
The Utah State Aggies were one of the delightful surprises of the 2018 campaign, finishing at No. 23 in the AP Top-25 while rewarding their brave backers with a remarkable 11-2 SU and 10-3 ATS season. They were one of the best bets in all of college football and will be in the spotlight for much of this season from a spread-busting standpoint.
There’s been an incredible amount of turnover on the team, especially when it comes to the offence. Quarterback Jordon Love returns to anchor the attack after throwing for 3,567 yards and 32 touchdowns last season. But most of his offensive line, and skill position threats, all graduated to the NFL.
Jordan Love will have PLENTY of dangerous weapons this fall.
— USU Football (@USUFootball) August 9, 2019
The Deacons are a dangerous team on paper, but the results have been less than desirable on the field. They are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine home games and are facing an upstart Utah State team that has gone 5-0 ATS when playing out of conference. Wake Forest found a gem in head coach Dave Clawson, who has worked miracles off the field. Key injuries across the board have depleted depth.
Utah State will be hard to pass up as a road dog in this game as they look to wreak havoc on the Mountain West Conference.
NCAAF Betting Trends
Looking to get the season started on the right foot? These were the safest bets in college football in 2018.
- Favorites won 77% of the time SU
- Home favorites won 81% of the time SU
- Away favorites won 70% of the time SU
- Road dogs covered the spread 51% of the time
- Washington State was 11-2-0 ATS
- Louisville was 1-11-0 ATS
- Oklahoma hit the Over 78% of the time
NCAAF Week 1 Featured Games
We’ve narrowed down the 14 remaining games you can’t afford to miss from college football’s first full week.
|Georgia Tech at #1 Clemson||Thur, August 29||CLEM -33.5||60.0|
|Texas State at #12 Texas A&M||Thur, August 29||TAM -34.5||57.0|
|#14 Utah vs BYU||Thur, August 29||BYU +6.5||47.0|
|Tulsa vs #18 Michigan State||Fri, August 30||MSU -21.5||46.5|
|#19 Wisconsin vs South Florida||Fri, August 30||USF +10.5||57.5|
|Florida Atlantic at #5 Ohio State||Sat, August 31||OSU -26.5||63.5|
|Eastern Washington at #13 Washington||Sat, August 31||N/A||N/A|
|Duke at #2 Alabama||Sat, August 31||ALA -30.5||62.5|
|Idaho at #15 Penn State||Sat, August 31||PSU -36.5||58.5|
|#3 Georgia at Vanderbilt||Sat, August 31||VAN +20.5||57.5|
|Georgia Southern at #6 LSU||Sat, August 31||LSU -25.5||60.0|
|Miami (OH) at #20 Iowa||Sat, August 31||IOWA -20.5||50.0|
|Middle Tennessee at #10 Michigan||Sat, August 31||MICH -29.5||54.0|
|Houston at #4 Oklahoma||Sat, August 31||OKLA -26||80.0|
NCAAF Betting Basics
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 23, 2019
Matt Leinart has officially boarded the Trevor Lawrence hype train. The former Heisman winner and two-time All-American was practically salivating earlier this week on Fox College Football while discussing Lawrence’s intangibles. The Clemson QB achieved a 157.2 passer rating during his first season with the Tigers
W/out naming SEC, here is Jim Harbaugh’s quote in John U. Bacon’s new book in Chapter 32 titled “Hard to Beat the Cheaters” pic.twitter.com/uaU9yMKKwf
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 22, 2019
Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh ruffled some feathers this week with this not so subtle dig at the SEC. For the record, Harbaugh has compiled a 2-2 record against SEC teams since 2015.
Ryan Day on his conversations with Justin Fields: “You can’t go out and try to be what Dwayne was in game one. You can’t go out and try to be what J.T. Barrett or Braxton Miller was. You got to be yourself.”
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) August 19, 2019
Justin Fields has big shoes to fill at Ohio State, but Day is doing his best to temper expectations for the sophomore QB. The 20-year-old field general threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns last season at Georgia before transferring.
Three and Out
There’s a new No. 1 in the polls with Clemson ascending to the top spot. Here are three quick talking points you need to know:
- This is the first time in four seasons that Alabama has not been ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason Top 25
- Only 12 teams have started and finished at the No. 1 spot over the course of a full season since 1950
- This marks the ninth time in school history that Alabama has begun the season No. 2 in the rankings
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