WHOO HOO! We are just a mere 60 days and change away from my favorite season — fleecing Vegas. In some fairness, I do like writing these pieces too. Consider it pro bono for my peeps.
So, with 8 weeks staring us in the face before CFB season begins, I am pleased to give you these preliminary lines of the opening week, Week 0 / Week 1.
These aren’t speculative props either; they’re actual games you can wager on as of this moment via SportsBetting.ag.
Without further ado, here are the spreads for the first 50 games of the season involving FBS matchups.
Saturday, August 28
Nebraska at Illinois (+9)
Hawaii at UCLA (-10.5)
UTEP at New Mexico State (+10)
UConn at Fresno State (-27)
Thursday, September 2
Temple at Rutgers (-11.5)
Boise State at UCF (-3.5)
East Carolina at Appalachian State (-13.5)
USF at NC State (-16.5)
Bowling Green at Tennessee (-27)
Ohio State at Minnesota (+14)
Friday, September 3
North Carolina at Virginia Tech (+6)
Old Dominion at Wake Forest (-35)
Duke at Charlotte (+7.5)
Michigan State at Northwestern (-7)
Saturday, September 4
Western Michigan at Michigan (-14.5)
Army at Georgia State (-4)
Stanford at Kansas State (-2)
UL Monroe at Kentucky (-27.5)
Oklahoma at Tulane (+21)
Penn State at Wisconsin (-4)
Rice at Arkansas (-23)
Fresno State at Oregon (-20.5)
West Virginia at Maryland (+4.5)
Indiana at Iowa (-4.5)
Miami Ohio at Cincinnati (-19)
Marshall at Navy (+3.5)
Alabama at Miami (+18)
UMass at Pittsburgh (-36)
Central Michigan at Missouri (-11)
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State (-29)
UL Lafayette at Texas (-14.5)
San Jose State at USC (-17)
Oregon State at Purdue (-7.5)
Texas Tech at Houston (+7)
Baylor at Texas State (+10)
Syracuse at Ohio (PK)
Akron at Auburn (-34.5)
UTSA at Illinois (-7)
Florida Atlantic at Florida (-24)
Northern Illinois at Georgia Tech (-13.5)
Georgia at Clemson (-3.5)
Southern Miss at South Alabama (PK)
Kent State at Texas A&M (-29)
LSU at UCLA (+5)
BYU at Arizona (+10)
Nevada at Cal (-2)
New Mexico State at SDSU (-28.5)
Utah State at Washington State (-11.5)
Sunday, September 5
Notre Dame at Florida State (+9.5)
Monday, September 6
Louisville at Ole Miss (-7)
I know that this is wildly inappropriate, since we’re nowhere near the season’s beginning. But, I will go ahead give you three freebies, including the Mortal Lock of Labor Day.
Take Arizona +10 over BYU as your ‘Dog. There is a lot of rebuilding to be done in Provo. And while the defense and running game will be very good, the passing game is an unknown quantity. Also factoring into this is that BYU does not travel well, spread-wise. For all of the hubbub about the Cougars last year, it was a team that could get shut down by athletic teams. Despite being mired in a bit of a funk, Arizona has a faster, stronger, more talented roster next to BYU (even if it is not necessarily a better team). This one will be a lot tougher than you think, and likely a touchdown game either way — but double digit road favorites? Nah, gimme the Wildcats. BYU 24 Arizona 23
Miami (OH) +19 at Cincinnati is your Mortal Lock— The Bearcats lose almost no one off a very talented team that had every right to at least marginally be considered for a playoff spot last season. As usual, Cincy will be keyed by its play-action passing, power running, and one of the nastiest secondaries in the country. The pass-heavy Redhawks have a nice little defense and air attack for the MAC, but will find little success either stopping the Bearcats or moving the ball through the air. Luke Fickell has tended to be very unkind towards low-midmajors, and will stoically grimace as his team stomps a ragged red hole in Miami’s rumpus. Cincy 38 Miami 13
Louisville +6.5 vs. Ole Miss — I’m high as a kite on Ole Miss’ prospects this year. The defense can only improve and the offense will be just as lethal as ever. Both teams are still rebuilding after a pair of disastrous prior coaching hires, so what we see this year will be a lot closer to Satterfield and LMFK’s eventual product, though not quite up to spec. Still, it still should be a good game, and it’s one that, at the end of the day, will be won by the Rebels with superior line play and far too many turnovers by the Cardinals, whose OL is a war crime and who “led” the nation in turnovers committed for most of last season. I don’t see UL improving enough in either dubious area o to back off that assessment. Take the Rebels giving a touchdown.
(Almost) Giving Away Money
As the season nears — after rosters and injuries and depth charts are sorted out — we’ll have a breakdown of a few of these Labor Day and Week Zero games in our first keepsies Giving Away Money.
For now, those who want even more winners, then permit me to shill (Almost) Giving Away Money, my Patreon site where I do about another dozen or so algorithmic picks every week...with well over 70% efficiency. Degenerate gamblers won’t spend a better $5 a month.
Care for a sample of the in-depth analysis you get? Please note, in AGAM, I predicted that Alabama would devastate OSU by not just going after the corners, but by attacking them underneath, and scheming to take it directly to the Buckeyes’ lineback corps.
How did that work out? RIP, Tuf Borland.
There are other reasons, involving the eyeballs, to be bullish on the Tide. OSU’s secondary has been average-to-downright bad at times this season, in terms of efficiency. And, frankly, even Clemson’s offense — one that puts the ball on the perimeter — was a much friendlier one than the matchup the Crimson Tide presents. Alabama’s does not play to OSU’s strength, which is that perimeter speed. Instead, Alabama’s will work on underneath on a linebacking corps that is much more efficient at cleaning up running plays than chasing players like DeVonta Smith. It is a well-coached unit to be sure, but the OSU secondary is talent-thin next to the players they will be facing tomorrow. Shawn Wade particularly looks to be in for a long night. And, if OSU — lacking their best interior run-stuffer — opts to play two-deep, then Najee Harris will eventually have his due. This says nothing of the effect that motion does on scheming, or the emergence of Billingsley in the intermediate passing game.
Simply put: In a modern game where you needn’t stop offenses, you need merely slow them down, this remains a very bad matchup for the Buckeyes.
That Erik guy is pretty smart. You should give him money.