The college football season is closing in fast with a little over a month before the 2015-16 season kicks off. Week 1 of the schedule is a tune-up take for most programs, however, there are some marquee matchups right out of the gate – games that will immediately shape the playoff picture. Here are the biggest games to bet in Week 1 of the college football season:
Michigan Wolverines at Utah Utes (-5.5)
New Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will be looking to make a splash for Maize and Blue and Big Ten bettors are expecting the Wolverines to put forth their best effort. However, this is a tricky road trip especially when you consider how Michigan will battle the altitude in Salt Lake City this early into the season, when conditioning is still a work in progress.
Texas Longhorns at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-10)
Two of the most storied programs in college football don’t waste anytime eliminating one from playoff contention. Texas enters Year 2 under Charlie Strong, so familiarity should breed success early on. The Longhorns are looking to pick up the pace on offense, but that isn’t enough to trim this spread below double figures.
Wisconsin Badgers at Alabama Crimson Tide (-10.5)
Alabama enters 2015 with less pomp and circumstance as previous seasons, which makes the Crimson Tide very dangerous. Is that “lower profile” enough to make Alabama a valuable wager? The Tide have been horrific in non-conference contests in the past, taking a 3-12-1 ATS non-conference skid into this massive showdown with Wisconsin.
Ohio State Buckeyes at Virginia Tech Hokies (+14.5)
The lone blemish on the Buckeyes’ championship season was their 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech in Week 2 of the schedule. You can believe Urban Meyer will use that as motivation in this rematch in Blacksburg, which will be rocking with the school postponing classes on the Labor Day Monday. That half-point hook on a two-touchdown spread makes the Hokies look mighty tempting.
Arizona State Sun Devils at Texas A&M Aggies (-3)
This should be one of the more entertaining games of Week 1. Arizona State is a sleeper in the Pac-12, backed behind a trio of talented rushers and promising passer Mike Bercovici. The Aggies have QB Kyle Allen, who showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman, and lured defensive coordinator John Chavis away from LSU to shore up the stop unit.