NCAAF Odds

College Football Week 1 Odds

Duke at Alabama

Aug 31, 2019

Duke odds

Everybody now has a better idea of how good quarterback Daniel Jones was for the Blue Devils in the past three seasons, and his replacement will be redshirt senior Quentin Harris, who got two starts last season as an injury replacement. His task will be made more difficult because of an offensive line that projects to start a true freshman at right tackle and a redshirt freshman at left tackle.

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Alabama odds

Nick Saban always has his team ready for these season-opening, neutral-site nonconference games — probably even more so this season as the Tide wants to wash away the taste of a 44-16 loss to Clemson in the national title game. Tua Tagovailoa is back to led a big, fast, scary offense and the defense has its usual share of potential All-Americans, such as lineman Raekwon Davis and linebacker Dylan Moses. About the only question on either side of the ball is the second inside linebacker spot next to Moses.

 

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Georgia at Vanderbilt

Aug 31, 2019

Georgia odds

Only Alabama and its run of national championship appearances can overshadow what Georgia is doing in the Southeastern Conference. In three years in Athens, Kirby Smart is 32-10 and the Bulldogs again look like a juggernaut with depth on both sides of the ball thanks to repeated gold-star recruiting hauls. After going 11-3 in 2018, UGA has five players named to the preseason All-American team. That doesn’t include NFL prospect quarterback Jake Frohm, who had 30 TDs and six picks in 2018.

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Vanderbilt odds

Outscored by Georgia 86-27 in the past two meetings, Vandy is a three-TD dog at home for a reason. A big one: a silky soft run defense scorched for 5.0 yards per carry last season. To make noise in the opener, it’s going to take a special effort from whomever Commodores coach Derek Mason decides is the best bet at quarterback.

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Florida Atlantic at Ohio State

Aug 31, 2019

Florida Atlantic odds

Quarterback Chris Robison turned in an uneven performance as the starter in 2018 in a 5-7 season, and then was embroiled in offseason legal troubles that kept him out of spring ball. Reinstated to the team before fall camp, he impressed in scrimmages to earn the likely nod in the opener. Star running back Devin Singletary is gone, with bruising Alabama transfer BJ Emmons set to make his debut in what should be a committee approach in the backfield.

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Ohio State odds

The season rests on the arm and legs of Georgia sophomore transfer quarterback Justin Fields. The former No. 2 recruit in the nation flashed some of his dual-threat ability as a backup to Jake Fromm last season, and now the immediately eligible transfer has the job all to himself with little behind him on tjhe depth chart. Coach Ryan Day, taking over for Urban Meyer as head coach, should lean plenty on running back J.K. Dobbins, who no longer has to split carries with now-departed Mike Weber and should post big numbers to keep some pressure off Fields.

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Georgia Southern at LSU

Aug 31, 2019

LSU odds

The biggest story in Baton Rouge this offseason was the overhauled offense installed by Joe Brady, the former New Orleans Saints assistant and passing game guru who plans to utilize the spread offense. It’s a change from LSU traditional pro-style sets, and Georgia Southern’s undermanned defense should be a pliable test for starters.

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Georgia Southern odds

The Eagles led the nation last season with a plus-22 turnover margin because their quarterback — Shai Werts – had zero interceptions while rushing for 15 touchdowns and producing 25 total scores. LSU is again loaded in the front seven.

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Middle Tennessee at Michigan

Aug 31, 2019

Michigan odds

It’s all about speed for Michigan, with coach Jim Harbaugh pushing tempo and big plays. Shea Patterson is back at quarterback and the primary triggerman for the Wolverines but new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has some plays ready for backup Dylan McCaffrey, a redshirt sophomore. The meal ticket for Michigan will remain a power-running game and five backs could get touches.

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Middle Tennessee odds

Ranked opponents put up 83 points (allowed 30) against Middle Tennessee last season with Georgia taking down the Blue Raiders 49-7 and Kentucky winning 34-23. But defense should be the strength of this team. MTSU coach Rick Stockstill summed up the benefit of his program playing this game in Ann Arbor thusly: “1.6 million (dollars).” The Blue Raiders will put the ball in the air, and more often than not to wide receiver Ty Lee, the NCAA active leader with 213 catches.

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Louisiana Tech at Texas

Aug 31, 2019

Louisiana Tech odds

Quarterback J’Mar Smith does a little bit of everything for Louisiana Tech, and junior wide receiver Adrian Hardy does enough to be circled by opposing coordinators each week. The overall firepower isn’t what it once was for coach Skip Holtz, but he brings an experienced offensive line and tricky scheme to Austin for the primetime affair.

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Texas odds

Being favored in an opener under coach Tom Herman has meant precious little to the Longhorns, who dropped each of the past two kickoff games to Maryland. If Texas can’t find a healthy ballcarrier – starter Keaontay Ingram will try to play through a nagging knee injury, it could be the Sam Ehlinger show. Then again, Louisiana Tech has experience and swagger in the secondary.

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Oregon vs Auburn

Aug 31, 2019

Oregon odds

The lone matchup of Top 25 teams in Week 1 gives the Ducks a chance to make a revenge score for the program. Auburn won a national title game matchup in 2011, the only meeting ever between the power schools. Oregon is still about those points – 38.3 per game with quarterback Justin Hebert behind center. The Ducks have speed on defense to rattle Auburn’s new QB.

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Auburn odds

Auburn is going with a true freshman quarterback – Bo Nix – for the first time since 1946, entrusting a five-star recruit with the reins in a national spotlight opener. That has a little bit to do with the boatload of talent on the Tigers’ defensive line, which helped Auburn average 2.92 sacks per game last season. They’re led by defensive tackle Derrick Brown.

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Eastern Washington vs Washington

Aug 31, 2019

Eastern Washington odds

The Eagles are an FCS powerhouse known for their offense and their quarterbacks, and they have another good one in Eric Barriere. He took over in the sixth game of last season due to injury and ended up passing for 2,450 yards and 24 touchdowns while also rushing for 613 yards and eight scores. With 10 starters back on offense, EWU will test a Washington defense that returns only two starters.

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Washington odds

The Huskies have been the best program in the Pac-12 in the past few years because it has had the best defense in the league to accompany a low-frills offense. In steps Georgia transfer quarterback Jacob Eason, who has the pro-model profile and high ceiling that predecessor Jake Browning lacked. Another physical line — led by tackle Trey Adams — will be valuable early while the defense develops the next wave of stars, such as defensive back Myles Bryant.

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Idaho at Penn State

Aug 31, 2019

Idaho odds

The Vandals dropped down from the FBS level to the FCS in 2018, finishing with just four wins while being hammered by Fresno State (79-13) in their opener and Florida (63-10) in their finale. Quarterback Mason Petrino, the son of head coach Paul Petrino, is back after passing for 1,863 yards but might split reps. Jeff Cotton and Cutrell Haywood are a nice receiving duo. But nothing indicates much change on defense, which allowed 5,008 yards in 11 games in 2018.

Penn State odds

Sean Clifford, a former four-star recruit, won the starting quarterback job after Tommy Stevens bolted for Mississippi State after spring practice. His development will be intriguing, as will that of running back Ricky Slade, taking over for Miles Sanders. Defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos (20 tackles for loss last season) should be a force in the opener. Look for two sophomores — receiver KJ Hamler and linebacker Micah Parsons — to become big-time stars in 2019.

Tulsa at Michigan State

Aug 30, 2019

Tulsa odds

Tulsa likes its two-headed attack at running back — Shamari Brooks and Corey Taylor II — combined for 1,813 rushing yards last season — although those guys will be running into the teeth of last season’s No. 1 rushing defense in the country. Quarterback Seth Boomer started the final eight games last season, although coach Philip Montgomery wasn’t saying if he’s been good enough in camp to hold off Baylor transfer Zach Smith.

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Michigan State

Coach Mark Dantonio shuffled his offensive coaching staff and has kept mum on any schematic changes, which lends an air of mystery to what was a miserable attack last season that accounted for 32 total points in its last four games. Brian Lewerke is 15-10 as a starting quarterback, but his 2018 TD-to-interception ratio (8-to-11) doesn’t inspire confidence. This defense, though, is lights out, led by linebacker Joe Bachie and end Kenny Willekes.

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Wisconsin at South Florida

Aug 30, 2019

Wisconsin odds

Jack Coan won the quarterback job over true freshman Graham Mertz and has experience as an injury replacement, including throwing for 515 yards vs. Miami in a bowl victory last season. What the Badgers really like to do, though, is pound with running back Jonathan Taylor, who rushed for 2,194 yards last season. Wisconsin’s offensive line isn’t quite as experienced as usual, although center Tyler Biadasz is another pro prospect.

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South Florida odds

The offense fell flat late last season but there is talent here for first-year coordinator Kerwin Bell, who led Valdosta State to last season’s Division II championship and 52 points per game. Bell, a former quarterback at Florida, figures to push the pace in his spread offense. Senior quarterback Blake Barnett, who spent time at Alabama and Arizona State before landing at USF, is a returning starter who threw for 2,705 yards last year. Running back Jordan Cronkrite ran for 1,121 yards in 2018.

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Miami-Ohio at Iowa

Aug 31, 2019

Miami-Ohio odds

An 0-4 record in the all-time series doesn’t beckon confidence in the upset-minded RedHawks, especially considered coach Chuck Martin still hadn’t made a call at quarterback early in the week and his top back and blocker from last season are gone.

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Iowa odds

If it’s Kirk Ferentz’s group – and it is – of Hawkeyes, expect the tried-and-true ground and pound attack with a stable offensive line paving the way for interior runs and high-percentage throws to backs and tight ends. There is a little bit of big-play flair on the roster, but Iowa is going to hammer nails with its running backs until the RedHawks prove they can stop it.

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Northern Iowa at Iowa State

Aug 31, 2019

Northern Iowa odds

Northern Iowa will need redshirt freshman quarterback Will McElvain to be special in his debut. The game will have special meaning for the Des Moines native, as he was planning to walk-on at Iowa before signing with the Panthers. He has a prime weapon in All-Missouri Valley Conference tight end Briley Moore, and this is a team that has some defensive chops. Cornerback Xavior Williams picked off four passes last season for a team that was seventh in the FCS in turnover margin and shut out three foes

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Iowa State odds

Sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy is the only one of the Big Three on offense to return — running back David Montgomery and receiver Hakeem Butler are off to the NFL — but it says something about what coach Matt Campbell has built that the Cyclones are still considered strong-enough timber to challenge in the Big 12. Iowa State will focus on the strength of both lines, along with standout linebackers Mike Rose and Marcel Spears Jr., while finding ways on offense to help Purdy, who set a school record with a 169.9 passing efficiency rating last season.

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Syracuse at Liberty

Aug 31, 2019

Syracuse odds

Quarterback Eric Dungey is gone after passing for 2,868 yards but the Orange are coming off their first winning season since 2013 and their first 10-win season since 2001. Coach Dino Babers expects sophomore Tommy DeVito to excel, but it might not happen immediately. He’s not untested entirely, having played in eight games last season.

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Liberty odds

Liberty draws a home opponent from a Power 5 conference and its first home game at 25,000-seat Williams Stadium against a ranked foe.

Liberty was 6-6 last season in its FBS independent debut. Now with a new coach in Hugh Freeze, expectations are for a major improvement.

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New Mexico State at Washington State

Aug 31, 2019

New Mexico State odds

Nearly five-touchdown underdogs, New Mexico State has many weaknesses and not a lot of reason to believe an upset could be coming in Pullman. Experience and athleticism should be improved, but coach Doug Martin’s bunch coughed up 41.3 points per game last season.

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Washington State odds

The unveiling of quarterback Anthony Gordon, who has five career pass attempts, figures to be a major storyline. Head coach Mike Leach is confident he’ll put up the type of numbers expected of QBs in this system, and that’s due to seven other offensive starters returning for a team that fell just shy of 40 points per game last season.

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South Alabama at Nebraska

Aug 31, 2019

South Alabama odds

The Jaguars gave up at least 48 points in five games last season, when they went 3-9, and the outlook isn’t much rosier, even with a good-looking player such as defensive end Tyree Turner (10 TFLs last season) up front. Cephus Johnson, who was 7 of 19 passing last season, takes over at quarterback, although other signal-callers might get thrown into the mix vs. the Huskers.

 

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Nebraska odds

The expectations are for the Huskers’ offense to fly in the second year under coach Scott Frost. Adrian Martinez is a the perfect dual threat to lead the spread attack, and he’ll be a Heisman candidate if he can lead Nebraska to a big season. The status of sophomore running back Maurice Washington (legal trouble) was up in the air early in game week, although the raves have poured in for his co-starter, Dedrick Mills, a former Georgia Tech runner coming off a huge season at Garden City (Kan.) Junior College.

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Northwestern at Stanford

Aug 31, 2019

Northwestern odds

Coach Pat Fitzgerald isn’t saying who will replace 53-game starting quarterback Clayton Thorson — either Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson or senior TJ Green. Maybe both will play against Stanford and test their arms against star Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo. Northwestern, like the Cardinal, is often meat-and-potatoes, with a running game led by Isaiah Bowser (864 yards in the final eight games last season) and a solid defense fueled by end Joe Gaziano and linebacker Paddy Fisher. The Wildcats have won 36 games in the past four seasons.

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Stanford odds

K.J. Costello looks the part at quarterback — tall, strong-armed, smart. He earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors last season and led the conference in passing efficiency. This isn’t quite the usual ground-pound Stanford offense, unless Cameron Scarlett turns into a workhorse back. There are questions at receiver, too, after losing JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Trenton Irwin, but some things never change — Stanford has a stud at tight end in 6-foot-7 Colby Parkinson.

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