Top 12 Picks for Week 1 College Football 

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TwinSpires Staff

August 30th, 2018

by DS Williamson
Check out my Top 12 games for Week 1 College Football betting, quick hits style!

Thursday, Aug. 30th 

#23 Central Florida Knights -23.5 over Connecticut Huskies Although Central Florida is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games, more handicappers favor the Connecticut Huskies to cover. New Knights’ coach Josh Huepel didn’t change much, which is why even though most handicappers favor UConn, I like UCF. The system works and the Knights are a team that simply pays out.

Friday, Aug. 31

San Diego State Aztecs +13 over #13 Stanford Cardinal San Diego State upset Stanford 20-17 last season. Last season’s results made no impression on handicappers who favor the Cardinals to cover. I like how the Aztecs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games even though they’re 6-13 ATS in their last 19 versus the Pac-12. I also feel 13 points are too many to give to a quality team like San Diego State.

#7 Wisconsin Badgers -35.5 over Western Kentucky Hilltoppers I hate laying so many points in Week 1 college football betting, but Western Kentucky allowed at least 27 points to last season’s final 7 opponents. The Hilltoppers are also 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games, 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games on fieldturf, and 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games overall.

Saturday, Sep. 1

#3 Ohio State Buckeyes -38.5 over Oregon State Beavers Ohio State must play without coach Urban Meyer. Although most handicappers feel Meyer’s absence helps Oregon State, I take the opposite approach. I believe Meyer’s absence motivates Ohio State to play to their coach’s standards. Also, the Buckeyes are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 versus Pac-12 teams.

#21 Texas Longhorns -13 over Maryland Terrapins Maryland upset Texas 51-41 last season. Most handicappers, including me, doesn’t expect a repeat performance. Maryland is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games while Texas is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.

#5 Oklahoma Sooners -21 over Florida Atlantic Owls Handicappers are all over Oklahoma to cover the 3 TD spread versus Florida Atlantic. Oklahoma lost Baker Mayfield. That’s one of the few pieces they lost. Not only that, but the Owls are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 versus the Big 12.

Tennessee Volunteers +10 over #20 West Virginia Mountaineers Handicappers lean towards the Volunteers covering versus West Virginia on Saturday. West Virginia has trouble covering spreads at neutral sites as they are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 neutral site games. The Vols are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels +26.5 over #15 USC Trojans -26.5 Most every handicapper favors USC, but the trends all favor UNLV. The Runnin’ Rebels are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games while USC is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games. USC starts a freshman quarterback who might need a game to become comfortable. The Trojans are handing UNLV way too many points.

Cincinnati Bearcats +15 over UCLA Bruins UCLA opened at -16.5. Any time a spread moves a point or more, you can bet big money is involved. Cincinnati and UCLA are both rebuilding this season. The Bearcats and Bruins are a combined 5-18 ATS in non-conference games. I almost always favor the dog when it’s not clear who has the advantage on the field.

#14 Michigan +1 over #11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh clamored for the Wolverines and Irish to resume this rivalry, and he got his wish. This is such a great matchup to get excitement up for Week 1 college football. Michigan should have one of the top defenses in the nation while Notre Dame has questions at quarterback. The Irish are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 versus the Big Ten. Advantage Michigan.

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide -24.5 over Louisville Cardinals Most handicappers want the points on Louisville because Bama coach Nick Saban doesn’t play the “run up the score” game. Alabama is 3-0 ATS in their last 3 first games of the season, though, which is why I’m willing to lay the 24.5.

Arizona Wildcats -11 over BYU Cougars Trends won’t matter when Arizona battles BYU because both teams went through so many changes after last season. What does matter is that new Zona coach Kevin Sumlin might have the bests dual-threat quarterback in college football. Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. Because of Tate, the Wildcats should be at least a -14 favorite. This is a great value play in Week 1 college football betting, so don't look the gift horse in his mouth. Shove money in it instead.