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Even though we haven’t started the dog days of summer yet, it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season and, most importantly, winning some beer money from betting on point spreads. Luckily for us degenerates, the bookmakers at William Hill have already set early lines for most of the Week 1 matchups and are taking bets on them, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Today we’ll break down the spreads from the most notable games coming up on the Week 1 slate, as well as other lines I think could be profitable if you took them as they currently stand.
And before I dispense this valuable gambling advice, you guys should know that I have basically no qualifications whatsoever to do this. Although I did win my friend’s Cover 5 pool for college football last year, which aggregates all point spread picks you make throughout the season, so I have that going for me. Fade these picks at your own risk:
Indiana (-4.5) @ Florida International
How the Hoosiers got tricked into playing an away game against a Conference USA team is beyond me, but it shouldn’t matter in regards to the final score. Despite losing quarterback Nate Sudfeld, running back Jordan Howard, and other offensive talent to graduation and the draft, the Hoosiers should still be able to score at will and make enough stops on defense to beat fucking FIU by at least a touchdown. Also of note, there is a real strong possibility that Indiana will hand the starting quarterback job to a JUCO transfer.
South Carolina (+2.5) @ Vanderbilt
You know things are going to be rough for South Carolina when they’re starting the season off as underdogs to Vandy. Those are the breaks when you hire Will Muschamp as your head coach, though. They were, however, able to beat them last year at home, and it’s not like they’re heading into a hostile environment at Vanderbilt. The Cocks pull off the close upset, and the Will Muschamp era gets off to a wholly uninspiring start.
Western Michigan (+6) @ Northwestern
A lot of people might see this and take Northwestern, who won 10 games last year, over a MAC team without even thinking. But as Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend!” This is a statement game for Western Michigan, who have recruited really well over the past couple years (better than some Big Ten teams even) and are poised to do big things under head coach P.J. Fleck, who I like a lot. I also think Northwestern is not as good as their 10-win season from last year suggests. I like WMU to row their boat over those nerds in Evanston.
LSU (-10) vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field
On one hand, it’s nice to see an SEC team come up north for a change. On the other, Wisconsin just won’t be that good this year. Like their past efforts against top SEC teams, the Badgers will probably hang around for a little bit, only to fade away at the end. That and Leonard Fournette is going to run train on that Wisconsin defense.
USC vs. Alabama (-9) at AT&T Stadium
I do not like USC having to put in a new starting quarterback and immediately throwing him to the lions of the Alabama defense in their first game of the year. This will get ugly.
Notre Dame (-4) @ Texas
A lot of people seem to be thinking this will be a close game, but I’m not seeing that right now. I don’t think it will be like the 35-point ass-whooping the Irish dished out last year in South Bend, but I think the Notre Dame offense will be enough to overwhelm Texas and win by two scores. It pains me to say that because I fucking hate Notre Dame. Have fun with those fans coming down to infest your city on Labor Day weekend, Austinites.
Ole Miss (+6) vs Florida State at Camping World Stadium
What a stupid name for a stadium. Sounds like some place Clark Griswold would take his family. Anyway, I think this will be a close game, and Ole Miss definitely has the upper hand at the quarterback position with Chad Kelly returning to run the offense. Although FSU running back Dalvin Cook will be a Heisman candidate, I don’t know if he alone can carry the offense to a anything greater than a six-point victory..
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