Complete Betting Guide and Winning Favorites for NCAAF Week 1

Complete Betting Guide and Winning Favorites for NCAAF Week 1

Written by on July 24, 2017

With the start of the 2017 college football season almost a month away, ‘play time’ is completely over and done with. Now that it’s time to really get down to business, there’s no better place to start than at the very beginning of the NCAAF Week 1. If you want to know which teams are going to be sure-fire straight-up (SU) winners, which ones will cover the spread (ATS) and which games look like locks to either play over or under their respective Week 1 totals, then consider your ticket punched. I’ve got the goods on a handful of Week 1 matchups that should help you get your 2017 regular season college football betting campaign off to a positive start – and hey – if you want to send some of your winnings my way, well, a friend in need is a friend indeed. Okay, all attempts at humor aside, let’s rock and roll people.

Analyzing The Complete Betting Guide and Winning Favorites for NCAAF Week 1


Straight-Up, No Chaser

Stanford at Rice

When: Saturday, August 26, 9:00 PM Where: Allianz Stadium, Moore Park TV: ESPN NCAAF Odds: Stanford -33.5 Analysis: The Stanford Cardinal may have lost do-it-all superstar Christian McCaffery, but they’re still light years better than the Rice Owls and have absolutely no shot of losing their regular season opener whatsoever. Rice went 3-9 last season and gave up a jaw-dropping 37.3 points per contest defensively while putting up a modest 25.2 points per game offensively. While Stanford lost three games (10-3) and never really contended for the PAC-12 title, the Cardinal were still one of the nation’s best defensive teams under head coach David Shaw and finished the season ranked a stellar 18th in points allowed (20.4 ppg). Stanford may not cover the insane point spread in their opener, but they’re a lock to win outright! NCAAF Week 1 Pick: Stanford 35 Rice 14

Ohio State vs. Indiana

When: Thursday, August 31, 7:00 PM Where: The Rock, Bloomington TV: ESPN NCAAF Odds: Ohio State -20 Analysis: Look, while I’m not real fond of head coach Urban Meyer, I do love dual-threat signal-caller J.T. Barrett and I recognize that Meyer has built Ohio State (11-2 SU, 6-7 ATS) into a perennial national powerhouse. With that said, the Buckeyes are the ‘super easy’ pick to beat the hell out of a pitiful Indiana Hoosiers (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS) squad that lost more games than they won a year ago, including their 38-17 road loss against the Buckeyes. While Ive got Barrett and the Buckeyes as a straight-up winner in their opener against Indiana, I say, don’t be surprised to see them cover the spread as virtual three-touchdown favorites. NCAAF Week 1 Pick: Ohio State 35 Indiana 14

Utah State at Wisconsin

When: Friday, September 1, 8:00 PM on ESPN Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison NCAAF Odds: Wisconsin -34 Analysis: I’m a big believer in Paul Chryst and the Wisconsin Badgers and I believe they will challenge for the Big Ten title in 2017, particularly if they get some competent play out of the quarterback position. Utah State went an awful 3-9 a year ago and has absolutely no chance whatsoever of upsetting the far superior Badgers no matter where they play.

ATS Winners

Maryland at Texas

When: Saturday, September 2, 11:00 AM on FS1 Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin NCAAF Odds: Texas -17 Analysis: I’ll get right to the point by saying that I’m completely enamored with Texas head coach Tom Herman and I believe he’s going to put the Longhorns back on the national map in a big way in no time at all. Having said that, I’m also going to urge you to back the Maryland Terrapins to cover the spread as 17-point road dogs simply because it’s an early season matchup that looks like a classic ‘trap’ game if you ask me. Texas will likely be a lot better as the season progresses   as opposed to early on. I know the Terps went 1-6 ATS on the road a year ago, but I’m backing them to get it done in the Lone Star State in Week 1. NCAAF Week 1 Pick Temple Owls +15.5 Points

Temple vs. Notre Dame

When: Saturday, September 2, 2:30 PM on NBC Where: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame NCAAF Odds: Notre Dame -15.5 Analysis: I know the Temple Owls lost an excellent head coach in Matt Rhule after he bolted to take the job at Baylor, but the North Philadelphia-based team still has plenty of talent and made a great addition by hiring Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins as their new head coach. I’m thinking a solid defensive effort by the Owls will be good enough to at least be able to keep the final score respectable against a Notre Dame team that won a pitiful four games a year and enters the 2017 campaign with question marks at quarterback. While I don’t see the Owls getting the outright upset, I do expect a closer-than-expected finish against the Fighting Irish, which will start the ‘Brian Kelly’ must go’ chants in South Bend. NCAAF Week 1 Pick: Temple Owls +15.5 Points

Over the Rainbow

Texas A&M at UCLA

When: Sunday, September 3, 6:30 PM Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena TV: FOX Analysis: I like the Over in this Week 1 opener seeing as how Texas A&M averaged a stellar 34.5 points per game last season to rank 34th in scoring while UCLA gave up a generous 27.5 points per game to rank 59th in points allowed. The Bruins should be able to put more points on the board in 2017 as quarterback Josh Rosen has more experience and maturity while Texas A&M has always scored the ball well under head coach Kevin Sumlin no matter who’s been under center. If the Total for this matchup stays under, let’s say, 65 points, play the Over people! NCAAF Week 1 Pick: Over the Total

How Low Can You Go?


When: Saturday, September 2, 8:30 PM Where: NRG Stadium, Houston TV: ESPN Analysis: The BYU Cougars put their opponents on straight, ‘lockdown’ last year in limiting the opposition to just 19.5 points per game to finish 14th nationally in points allowed. LSU was even better in limiting their opponents to just 15.8 points per game defensively to rank fifth nationally in points allowed. While I’m expecting a fairly modest Over/Under total for this Week 1 matchup, I’m still going to urge you to play the Under if only because both teams’ offenses almost assuredly won’t be firing on all cylinders in Week 1, while both defenses get out of the gate with fantastic efforts. NCAAF Week 1 Pick: Play the Under

Game of the Week

Florida State +6.5 vs. Alabama

When: Saturday, September 2, 7:00 PM Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium TV: ABC Analysis: I know Alabama is a perennial powerhouse and enters the 2017 season as the prohibitive odds-on-favorite to win the national championship (again), but I’m going to urge you to back Florida State to get the stunning win over the Tide in Week 1 for one big reason. I fully believe that Jimbo Fisher now has the perfect blueprint to beat the Tide after watching Clemson nearly take down the Tide in the national title tilt two years ago and actually do so this past national championship. The Seminoles have a gifted and very mature dual-threat signal-caller in Deondre Francois much like Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and I believe Florida State has enough elite talent at every other position to not only hang with, but actually beat the Tide. In a very worst case scenario, I like Florida State to cover the spread as near, touchdown underdogs. NCAAF Week 1 Pick: Florida State 31 Alabama 28