The college football season is just around the corner with games in under 40 days. The college season often starts with very few major games and that is again the case this year, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an opportunity to make money betting on bigger spreads.
Florida vs. Miami
We have to target the first prime-time game of the year with Florida and Miami playing in Orlando on Aug. 24. This game is a week before most teams kick off their season, and it should be one of the bigger games in August this year.
Florida burst onto the college football scene again last year and ended as a consensus Top-10 team after struggling for a number of years. Dan Mullen has this team back into SEC championship contention, and I think this is a major game for them to make a statement that they are not going anywhere.
Miami has one of the most interesting rosters in college football, headlined by three legitimate starting-caliber QBs that have not really been able to win the job outright. There is a lot of talent on this team, and I expect them to come out fired up and ready to play on a national stage to set the tone for a bounce-back season.
I like Miami here at +7.5 because I think the talent gap here is much closer than the spread. We have seen Florida have more recent success, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t see Miami make that leap this year. I will lean on motivated talent and the Hurricanes to keep this one very close.
Florida Atlantic at Ohio State
Ohio State adds Justin Fields to a very dynamic offensive scheme and returns eight starters on the defensive side of the ball. They also replace Urban Meyer with an elite offensive mind in Ryan Day. When Day led the Buckeyes last year, they played faster on offense, and I expect to see more of the same moving forward.
A motivated defense should Florida Atlantic in check, and I think that the Buckeyes will be very quick to run up the score in most games moving forward, making them interesting early on in the season. We do not currently have the total on this game, but I would likely take the Buckeyes over at virtually any number based on this spread. I love the Buckeyes at -27.
Duke vs. Alabama
Another year, another high-level non-conference opponent for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide on a neutral setting. I kid, I kid, but really, Duke is not a very good team, and they lost their senior quarterback, Daniel Jones, who was a top 10 pick in the draft.
Alabama will have a lot of turnover, especially on defense, but they are trading five-stars for five-stars, and this is not the spot for you to worry about the youth that will be on the field for Bama. The key here is that Alabama should have plenty of time to throw down the field, and they return one of the best QB+WR groups in the country.
The line here is really big for a Power 5 opponent, but I think that the Crimson Tide will dominate both sides of the ball and eventually blow this one out of the water. I like the Tide to cover the -32 spread in this one.
Northwestern at Stanford
The Wildcats are almost always one of the most disrespected teams in college football to start the season, and this year is no different. Both of these teams are solid, but I think that this game should be closer to a pick ’em than a -6 point spread in favor of the Cardinal.
Both of these teams are well-coached, but I give the Wildcats an advantage in this category, and I always feel comfortable with taking them as dogs against teams that aren’t clearly superior athletically. Give me the Wildcats at +6.