Posted on May 31, 2017, by Travis Pulver
The NBA Finals are about to start. The MLB season is underway, and the NHL Finals are in progress. It is safe to say the sporting world is quite busy right now. There is more than enough action to satisfy fans—but that isn’t going to stop many from thinking about what they love most.
It may seem like it is weeks away—because it is. But the weeks will quickly turn to days, and before you know it, the fight song of our favorite team will be playing, the school colors will be flying, and it will be time to figure out who can beat the spread.
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For those that can’t wait—you are in luck. The point spreads for the first week of the college football season are already available. If you are looking for quality football games, chances are slim you are going to find many worth watching.
Then again, when you consider how long it will have been since we have watched football, anything becomes must-see-tv!
Week One is a little unique in that it actually lasts nine days and runs from August 26 through September 4. If you are only interested in marquee matchups—you will not find one until the second Saturday of the week, and there are only a couple.
But the week wraps up with a pair of good ones on Sunday and one that has a lot of potential Monday night. Home teams are in all caps, and the favored team is listed first (spreads courtesy of South Point sports book).
Saturday, Aug. 26
COLORADO STATE 2 Oregon State
Hawaii 1 MASSACHUSETTS
South Florida 25 SAN JOSE STATE
Stanford 38 Rice @Sydney, Australia
It is too soon to tell if anyone is going to be a lot better or worse than they were last year. But if we want to judge these games based off last year’s squads—Colorado State should be able to handle Oregon State, Hawaii should crush UMass, Charlie Strong’s new team should crush San Jose State (and cover the spread), and Stanford will have no trouble with Rice.
If you want help deciding which one to watch—well, none of them are probably going to be entertaining. But with the Stanford-Rice game being played in Australia it could be interesting to see how they fill air time during a dull game.
Thursday, Aug. 31
Ohio State 21 INDIANA
MINNESOTA 31 Buffalo
MEMPHIS 23 Louisiana-Monroe
ARIZONA STATE 26 New Mexico State
Ohio State-Indiana could be interesting. In years past, the Hoosiers have managed to play well against the Buckeyes. Ohio State will have JT Barrett behind center, but he will have some brand-new skill position guys to break in. Should they struggle and Indiana come out hot, it may be hard for the Buckeyes to cover 21 points.
As for the rest—Minnesota will crush Buffalo, Memphis will win easily over Louisiana-Monroe, and Arizona State will be fun to watch this season but not against New Mexico State. The Aggies are just plain terrible.
Oh—and expect everyone to cover the spread.
Friday, Sept. 1
EASTERN MICHIGAN 12.5 Charlotte
Washington 33 RUTGERS
Navy 21 FLORIDA ATLANTIC
WISCONSIN 37 Utah State
NORTHERN ILLINOIS 2 Boston College
Colorado Off Colorado State @Denver
Washington-Rutgers could be fun to watch if Jake Browning can get on track with his wide receivers early on. Navy should be able to run over Florida Atlantic with ease. Wisconsin will roll over Utah State. Colorado and Colorado State could end up being a good, close game.
Once again—expect all spreads to be covered.
Saturday, Sept. 2
MICHIGAN STATE 18 Bowling Green
IOWA 11.5 Wyoming
Miami (Ohio) 8.5 MARSHALL
CLEMSON 40 Kent State
Massachusetts Off COASTAL CAROLINA
PENN STATE 39 Akron
Louisville 27 Purdue @Indianapolis
NEBRASKA 19 Arkansas State
CENTRAL FLORIDA 21 Florida International
NORTHWESTERN 28 Nevada
ILLINOIS 11 Ball State
OKLAHOMA 48 Texas-El Paso
NORTH CAROLINA 14 California
MISSISSIPPI 22.5 South Alabama
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 19 Western Michigan
Louisiana State 8 Brigham Young @Houston
TEXAS 23 Maryland
NOTRE DAME 11 Temple
AUBURN 36 Georgia Southern
GEORGIA 11 Appalachian State
Kentucky 13.5 SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
Houston 17 TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO
North Carolina State 8 South Carolina @Charlotte
OKLAHOMA STATE 10 Tulsa
Michigan 3 Florida @Arlington, Texas
Vanderbilt 10.5 MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Alabama 4 Florida State @Atlanta
BOISE STATE 5 Troy
There are only a few games worth watching, but there are other teams that will be interesting to follow. How will Houston fair under new head coach Major Applewhite? It will be just as interesting to see how his former boss, Tom Herman, does in his first game with Texas. Other teams that will be interesting to follow, but should have no trouble earning a win, include Clemson, Louisville, Penn State, USC, and LSU.
As for the good games…Michigan-Florida could be fun to watch but only if the Florida offense can be productive. They were terrible last season and will have to improve by leaps and bounds to move the ball against a very good Michigan defense. Florida’s defense will keep this one close for maybe a half, but Michigan will pull away in the second (and win by 10 points).
The one must-see game of the week—Alabama-Florida State—will make you forget about the terrible games you watched earlier in the day.
Alabama has some bodies to replace on defense, but they always do and always manage to find the next superstar. It will be interesting to see what affect Lane Kiffin’s absence has. The talent is there, but will the play calling? Florida State is chock full of talent but will need to replace Dalvin Cook if they are going to win. It will either be an excellent game that Alabama pulls out in the fourth quarter or one the Crimson Tide win from the start.
Sunday, Sept. 3
Virginia Tech 5 West Virginia @Landover, Md.
UCLA 4 Texas A&M
Both games could end up being very good. Virginia Tech and WVU will both have excellent defenses once again, but it remains to be seen what they will have on offense. There is more hope for WVU’s offense with former Florida quarterback Will Grier expected to earn the job for the Mountaineers. With that in mind, look for West Virginia to win.
Last season, no one expected the Aggies to beat the Bruins. But the A&M defense stymied UCLA’s offense until the fourth quarter. But this year, the Aggies defense is not going to have as much firepower, and they have a huge question mark at quarterback. A weaker Aggies defense will also have to deal with a more seasoned Josh Rosen.
There are too many question marks for Texas A&M. Look for UCLA to cover.
Monday, Sept. 4
Tennessee 3 Georgia Tech @Atlanta
Great things were expected of Tennessee last season and by and large—they disappointed. Georgia Tech isn’t exactly an exciting team, but they know how to win and do what they do well. Both teams have some key spots to fill, but Tennessee has more. The Volunteers will need a lot of young guys to step up if they are going to start the season with a win.
Bet with caution on this one, but if you must, lean towards Georgia Tech pulling out the win.