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Week 1 Rankings, Odds, Picks And Pro Predictions


Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first Saturday of the 2018 college football season is finally here. The initial batch of these Week 1 games begin at noon ET, kicking off a slew of matchups that will jump start this much anticipated new campaign. While many powerhouse programs have scheduled soft opponents to open the year, there are still a number of star-studded showcases on the slate. One of the biggest games of the day involves a pair of schools currently ranked high in the AP Top-25 Poll, with No. 6 Washington taking on the No. 9 Auburn in the annual Chik-Fil-A Kickoff Game. Both the Huskies and Tigers are amongst the favorites to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff field (you can find a full list of odds for every major contender by clicking here) and earning a statement victory today will greatly boost the victor’s chances of accomplishing that goal.

The Auburn-Washington clash would normally make for a top draw in Week 1, but outside of eastern Alabama and Seattle, this game is being overshadowed by the renewal of one of the sport’s great rivalries. All eyes will be on No. 12 Notre Dame and No. 14 Michigan when they take the field tonight in primetime. This marks the first Fighting Irish-Wolverines showdown in three years and the 43rd all-time meeting between these historic squads. Expect no shortage of excitement and intrigue as these two national championship hopefuls duke it out to notch a critical "W" out of the gate in 2018.

The schedule for college football’s opening Saturday is already action-packed, but fans—especially those of big time programs set to engage in lopsided affairs against cupcake foes—can add to the excitement by placing a wager on some of these contests. Sportsbooks have released lines on just about every game today, with odds ranging from too-close-to-call pick ‘ems to spreads of nearly 40 points. With so much college football action on tap for the first time in months, trying to identify which teams make the most sense to wager on can quickly become overwhelming. If you are seeking advice on how to bet these openers, you’ve come to the right place. Pro handicapper Jon Price of SportsInformationTraders.com has provided his best bets for the start of 2018 college football season. Before getting to the Vegas expert’s top predictions for Week 1, have a look at a full schedule for every Top-25 ranked team that includes start times, TV info, live stream coverage and updated odds. You can also check out quotes from star players and coaches, relevant Tweets and more for Saturday’s marquee matchups.

College Football Week 1 Rankings, Viewing Guide And Odds

Time (ET) Matchup (Spread) TV
Saturday, Sept. 1
12 p.m. Oregon State at No. 5 Ohio State (-38.5) ABC
12 p.m. Florida Atlantic at No. 7 Oklahoma (-21) Fox
12 p.m. Southern at No. 16 TCU (OFF) Local
12 p.m. No. 23 Texas (-13.5) at Maryland FS1
12:20 p.m. Furman at No. 2 Clemson (OFF) Local
3:30 p.m. Austin Peay at No. 3 Georgia (OFF) ESPN
3:30 p.m. No. 6 Washington vs. No. 9 Auburn (-2.5) ABC
3:30 p.m. Appalachian State at No. 10 Penn State (-24.5) Big Ten Network
3:30 p.m. Tennessee vs. No. 17 West Virginia (-9.5) CBS
4 p.m. UNLV at No. 15 USC (-26.5) Pac-12 Network
6 p.m. No. 22 Boise State (-10.5) at Troy ESPNNews
7:30 p.m. No. 14 Michigan (-3) at No. 12 Notre Dame NBC
7:30 p.m. Stephen F. Austin at No. 18 Mississippi State (OFF) ESPNU
8 p.m. Louisville vs. No. 1 Alabama (-24) ABC
8 p.m. Bowling Green at No. 24 Oregon (-32) Pac-12 Network
Sunday, Sept. 2
7:30 p.m. No. 8 Miami (-3.5) vs. No. 25 LSU ABC
Monday, Sept. 3
8 p.m. No. 20 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Florida State (-7.5) ESPN

College Football Odds Via BetDSI Sportsbook

Games can be streamed via WatchESPN, FOX Sports Go and NBC Sports Live

CFB Week 1 Saturday Tweets And Quotes

Washington vs. Auburn

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn discussed his program’s recent misfortunes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium—having lost to Georgia in the SEC Championship and UCF in the Peach Bowl last season—and thinks that Washington will put up a great fight today (via Power of Dixieland):

That was last year. From a coach’s standpoint, every year is different, and this is the first game of the season. Obviously, we like playing there because that’s where they play the SEC Championship and of course that’s our goal every year. So we are looking forward to playing there and playing one of the top teams in the country. I know a lot of people have (Washington) as a popular pick to be in the final four and I think that’s well deserved when you look at them. Yeah, we are glad to be playing in Atlanta again.

Of course you hear a lot from the media, and I get that question a lot. And I’m sure fans think about that but really from a player-coach standpoint it’s a new year, and we’re playing one of the best teams and we’re playing right down the road in a place where we play the championship game. So we need to play well — we need to play well to win. But don’t get caught up too much in all of that. Every game is big, but it’s a new year.

Chris Fallica noted some concerning trends regarding Auburn playing ranked opponents on the road:

Brandon Marcello found that Washington insisted that the roof at the Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta be closed for this contest:

Peter Burns unearthed the specific reason as to why the Huskies wished to keep the elements out of the equation today:

Washington quarterback Jake Browning, going into his fourth year as his team’s starter, previewed the defense he will go up against on Saturday (via 247 Sports):

Good front seven, play very physical. Got some experience in the back end. (Jamel Dean) is a really good corner. I think (Javaris Davis) is pretty good too. All across the board, they’re pretty physical and play hard. Kind of like our defense, they’ve been good for a long time and that’s no mistake.

Matt Brown pointed out that the Tigers are involved in three of the five total games this season between preseason top-10 schools:

Lars Hanson tweeted the depth chart for both programs involved in the Chik-Fil-A Kickoff Game:

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh thinks that this rivalry should return to an annual one, as it was most recently from 2002 through 2014 (via 247 Sports):

It makes a lot of sense. We’ll get on a bus, we’ll go to South Bend — it will be like a 2 1/2-hour drive — and they can do the same when they come here. It makes a lot of sense… I feel good about it. I feel good about renewing the rivalry. I feel good about being in game week. I feel good about starting the season.

Kyle Rowland reminded everyone that the Wolverines haven’t won a road game against a ranked opponent in over a decade, one of the most bizarre streaks of ineptitude in college football:

Lou Holtz, the former Notre Dame coach who won a national title for the school in 1988, will be in attendance at the opener:

Douglas Farmer believes that the foot injury that Michigan sophomore receiver Tarik Black suffered caused the spread on this game to swing rather significantly (it has since shifted back in favor of the Wolverines as of Saturday morning) :

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly had high praise for his team’s new starting left tackle Liam Eichenberg (via AP News):

Liam’s a ferocious, physical player, but he’s going to be challenged over there. He’s playing against one of the best players in the country. So he’s got to know that there’s going to be some times that he’s going to struggle and that we have got his back. That our job to help him out at times and get a tight end over there, get a back over there.

Pete Sampson broke down the ramifications of the Fighting Irish losing defensive back Shaun Crawford to a torn ACL

Chris Balas spoke with Wolverines running back Karan Higdon on whether or not there are similarities between his program’s defense and the one he will face on Saturday:

Colin Cowherd doesn’t think Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh should have many detractors:

 

CFB Week 1 Saturday Pro Picks

Washington vs. Auburn

Pick: Auburn -2.5

Prediction: Auburn 24 – Washington 21

 

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Pick: Notre Dame +3

Prediction: Notre Dame 23 – Michigan 20

Value Bet: Alabama vs. Louisville

Pick: Alabama -24

Prediction: Alabama 44 – Louisville 17

“>

Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first Saturday of the 2018 college football season is finally here. The initial batch of these Week 1 games begin at noon ET, kicking off a slew of matchups that will jump start this much anticipated new campaign. While many powerhouse programs have scheduled soft opponents to open the year, there are still a number of star-studded showcases on the slate. One of the biggest games of the day involves a pair of schools currently ranked high in the AP Top-25 Poll, with No. 6 Washington taking on the No. 9 Auburn in the annual Chik-Fil-A Kickoff Game. Both the Huskies and Tigers are amongst the favorites to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff field (you can find a full list of odds for every major contender by clicking here) and earning a statement victory today will greatly boost the victor’s chances of accomplishing that goal.

The Auburn-Washington clash would normally make for a top draw in Week 1, but outside of eastern Alabama and Seattle, this game is being overshadowed by the renewal of one of the sport’s great rivalries. All eyes will be on No. 12 Notre Dame and No. 14 Michigan when they take the field tonight in primetime. This marks the first Fighting Irish-Wolverines showdown in three years and the 43rd all-time meeting between these historic squads. Expect no shortage of excitement and intrigue as these two national championship hopefuls duke it out to notch a critical “W” out of the gate in 2018.

The schedule for college football’s opening Saturday is already action-packed, but fans—especially those of big time programs set to engage in lopsided affairs against cupcake foes—can add to the excitement by placing a wager on some of these contests. Sportsbooks have released lines on just about every game today, with odds ranging from too-close-to-call pick ‘ems to spreads of nearly 40 points. With so much college football action on tap for the first time in months, trying to identify which teams make the most sense to wager on can quickly become overwhelming. If you are seeking advice on how to bet these openers, you’ve come to the right place. Pro handicapper Jon Price of SportsInformationTraders.com has provided his best bets for the start of 2018 college football season. Before getting to the Vegas expert’s top predictions for Week 1, have a look at a full schedule for every Top-25 ranked team that includes start times, TV info, live stream coverage and updated odds. You can also check out quotes from star players and coaches, relevant Tweets and more for Saturday’s marquee matchups.

College Football Week 1 Rankings, Viewing Guide And Odds

Time (ET) Matchup (Spread) TV
Saturday, Sept. 1
12 p.m. Oregon State at No. 5 Ohio State (-38.5) ABC
12 p.m. Florida Atlantic at No. 7 Oklahoma (-21) Fox
12 p.m. Southern at No. 16 TCU (OFF) Local
12 p.m. No. 23 Texas (-13.5) at Maryland FS1
12:20 p.m. Furman at No. 2 Clemson (OFF) Local
3:30 p.m. Austin Peay at No. 3 Georgia (OFF) ESPN
3:30 p.m. No. 6 Washington vs. No. 9 Auburn (-2.5) ABC
3:30 p.m. Appalachian State at No. 10 Penn State (-24.5) Big Ten Network
3:30 p.m. Tennessee vs. No. 17 West Virginia (-9.5) CBS
4 p.m. UNLV at No. 15 USC (-26.5) Pac-12 Network
6 p.m. No. 22 Boise State (-10.5) at Troy ESPNNews
7:30 p.m. No. 14 Michigan (-3) at No. 12 Notre Dame NBC
7:30 p.m. Stephen F. Austin at No. 18 Mississippi State (OFF) ESPNU
8 p.m. Louisville vs. No. 1 Alabama (-24) ABC
8 p.m. Bowling Green at No. 24 Oregon (-32) Pac-12 Network
Sunday, Sept. 2
7:30 p.m. No. 8 Miami (-3.5) vs. No. 25 LSU ABC
Monday, Sept. 3
8 p.m. No. 20 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Florida State (-7.5) ESPN

College Football Odds Via BetDSI Sportsbook

Games can be streamed via WatchESPN, FOX Sports Go and NBC Sports Live

CFB Week 1 Saturday Tweets And Quotes

Washington vs. Auburn

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn discussed his program’s recent misfortunes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium—having lost to Georgia in the SEC Championship and UCF in the Peach Bowl last season—and thinks that Washington will put up a great fight today (via Power of Dixieland):

That was last year. From a coach’s standpoint, every year is different, and this is the first game of the season. Obviously, we like playing there because that’s where they play the SEC Championship and of course that’s our goal every year. So we are looking forward to playing there and playing one of the top teams in the country. I know a lot of people have (Washington) as a popular pick to be in the final four and I think that’s well deserved when you look at them. Yeah, we are glad to be playing in Atlanta again.

Of course you hear a lot from the media, and I get that question a lot. And I’m sure fans think about that but really from a player-coach standpoint it’s a new year, and we’re playing one of the best teams and we’re playing right down the road in a place where we play the championship game. So we need to play well — we need to play well to win. But don’t get caught up too much in all of that. Every game is big, but it’s a new year.

Chris Fallica noted some concerning trends regarding Auburn playing ranked opponents on the road:

Brandon Marcello found that Washington insisted that the roof at the Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta be closed for this contest:

Peter Burns unearthed the specific reason as to why the Huskies wished to keep the elements out of the equation today:

Washington quarterback Jake Browning, going into his fourth year as his team’s starter, previewed the defense he will go up against on Saturday (via 247 Sports):

Good front seven, play very physical. Got some experience in the back end. (Jamel Dean) is a really good corner. I think (Javaris Davis) is pretty good too. All across the board, they’re pretty physical and play hard. Kind of like our defense, they’ve been good for a long time and that’s no mistake.

Matt Brown pointed out that the Tigers are involved in three of the five total games this season between preseason top-10 schools:

Lars Hanson tweeted the depth chart for both programs involved in the Chik-Fil-A Kickoff Game:

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh thinks that this rivalry should return to an annual one, as it was most recently from 2002 through 2014 (via 247 Sports):

It makes a lot of sense. We’ll get on a bus, we’ll go to South Bend — it will be like a 2 1/2-hour drive — and they can do the same when they come here. It makes a lot of sense… I feel good about it. I feel good about renewing the rivalry. I feel good about being in game week. I feel good about starting the season.

Kyle Rowland reminded everyone that the Wolverines haven’t won a road game against a ranked opponent in over a decade, one of the most bizarre streaks of ineptitude in college football:

Lou Holtz, the former Notre Dame coach who won a national title for the school in 1988, will be in attendance at the opener:

Douglas Farmer believes that the foot injury that Michigan sophomore receiver Tarik Black suffered caused the spread on this game to swing rather significantly (it has since shifted back in favor of the Wolverines as of Saturday morning) :

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly had high praise for his team’s new starting left tackle Liam Eichenberg (via AP News):

Liam’s a ferocious, physical player, but he’s going to be challenged over there. He’s playing against one of the best players in the country. So he’s got to know that there’s going to be some times that he’s going to struggle and that we have got his back. That our job to help him out at times and get a tight end over there, get a back over there.

Pete Sampson broke down the ramifications of the Fighting Irish losing defensive back Shaun Crawford to a torn ACL

Chris Balas spoke with Wolverines running back Karan Higdon on whether or not there are similarities between his program’s defense and the one he will face on Saturday:

Colin Cowherd doesn’t think Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh should have many detractors:

 

CFB Week 1 Saturday Pro Picks

Washington vs. Auburn

Pick: Auburn -2.5

Prediction: Auburn 24 – Washington 21

 

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Pick: Notre Dame +3

Prediction: Notre Dame 23 – Michigan 20

Value Bet: Alabama vs. Louisville

Pick: Alabama -24

Prediction: Alabama 44 – Louisville 17

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