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CFB Week 1 Betting Preview: Tips, Odds & Lines Including Georgia and Ohio State

Our resident NCAAF experts Sam and Matt preview six of this weekend’s big matchups and give their betting tips, focusing on Oregon at Georgia, Cincy at Arkansas, Utah at Florida, Notre Dame at Ohio State, Utah State at Bama and FSU at LSU.

Oregon(11) @ Georgia(3) – 3:30 EST, Saturday 3rd September

Sam’s Picks:

Moneyline: Georgia
Spread: Georgia to cover
Over/Under: Under 54

Oregon’s run defence was gashed against Utah last year – they have a promising offensive line but reigning National Champions Georgia dominate in the trenches & should have enough to move down the field running the ball, opening up the passing game for QB Stetson Bennett.

Matt’s Pick:

Spread: Georgia to cover

In arguably the marquee matchup of week one, Oregon’s new head coach Dan Lanning comes up against the team he was Defensive Coordinator on last year, who will ultimately have too much for the PAC-12 team – National Champs Georgia.

Cincinnati(23) @ Arkansas(19) – 3:30 EST, Saturday 3rd September

Sam’s Picks:

Moneyline: Arkansas
Spread: Arkansas to cover
Over/Under: Under 53

No team is Alabama, that’s obvious. But nonetheless, the Razorbacks will be looking at how Bama ran the ball down Cincinnati’s throat during their playoff matchup last season and thinking they can emulate it. There is still talent on the lines for the Bearcats, but the loss of QB Desmond Ridder to the NFL is huge and Arkansas will look to assert themselves as the game goes on.

Matt’s Pick:

Over/Under: Under 53

After a cinderella run to the College Football Playoff last year, Cincinnati are a team in flux, having lost some of the superstars that led them there. Arkansas are a team on the rise and could be dangerous this year. I see this being a gritty encounter, and the under hitting.

Utah(7) @ Florida – 7:00 EST, Saturday 3rd September

Sam’s Pick:

Moneyline: Utah
Spread: Utah to cover
Over/Under: Under 51.5

It’s rare you’d find Florida as underdogs when playing in the Swamp – that alone makes taking them very tempting and this will be close. But the Gators are a team in transition with it being new head coach Billy Napier’s first game, and whilst there is talent, there are still questions on the offensive side of the ball. Utah brings with it a mean defence as they look primed to make another run at the PAC-12 title.

Matt’s Pick:

Moneyline: Florida

This Utah team could be mean this year, and their first big test will be down in the Swamp. The Gators’ record in Gainesville is very good, and they will be fired up for Billy Napier’s first game in charge. I’m taking the underdogs here.

Notre Dame(5) @ Ohio State(2) – 7:30 EST, Saturday 3rd September

Sam’s Picks:

Moneyline: Ohio State
Spread Pick: Ohio State to cover
Over/Under: Under 59

It seems odd for one team to be favored so heavily ahead of a top five matchup, but after a dream start to his coaching career during the first half of last year’s Fiesta Bowl, the second half proved a big reality check for Head Coach Marcus Freeman. Despite being a defensive mastermind, it doesn’t get any easier for Freeman, with a visit to the Horseshoe and Heisman hopeful CJ Stroud opening the new season. On the other side of the ball, the Buckeye defense should be an improvement upon last year – if Notre Dame can contain a dynamic offense and leave Ohio with a win, they can feel very positive about their new coach and future, but the spread is large for a reason.

Matt’s Pick:

Spread: Notre Dame to cover

Marcus Freeman seems to be doing and saying all the right things as Notre Dame head coach, but now it is time to walk the walk. This Buckeyes offense has the potential to be historically good, and Notre Dame doesn’t even know who their Quarterback is yet. That said, the spread is awfully large, and while I expect Ohio State to win, I think Notre Dame will keep it close.

Utah State @ Alabama(1) – 7:30 EST, Saturday 3rd September

Sam’s Picks:

Moneyline: Alabama
Spread: Alabama to cover
Over/Under: Under 62.5

It’s Alabama and Nick Saban, armed with a Heisman favorite on one side of the ball in Bryce Young and the best defensive player in the country on the other in Will Anderson. I do think they might start to let up around the 50 mark though.

Matt’s Pick:

Spread: Alabama to cover

Alabama with a point to prove after losing in a National Championship game with a Heisman QB returning makes for a dangerous proposition for Utah State. It highlights how good this Crimson Tide team are that I fully expect them to cover the spread here.

Florida State @ LSU – 7:30 EST, Sunday 4th September

Sam’s Picks:

Moneyline: LSU
Spread: LSU to cover
Over/Under: Over 50

Full disclaimer, I am an LSU fan. But the state of Louisana will always produce NFL talent and LSU can still attract the biggest recruits, even if Alabama do snag the occasional 5-star from the state. The greatest season in college football history was followed by two years of poor coaching and questionable decisions on and off the field, but the talent was always there. New Head Coach Brian Kelly is a winner and overachieved with a Notre Dame program with far less than he’ll have at LSU, so I’m going to be a homer with this one.

Matt’s Pick:

Moneyline: Florida State

Honestly, who knows what could happen in this game, this feels like the biggest toss-up of week one. I fully expect Brian Kelly to be a success at LSU, but I just have a feeling a game of this stature has come a bit too soon for his team, and I think Mike Norvell’s Seminoles are a more stable, settled team with 16 starters returning from last year. I’m taking the Noles to win outright.

Upset Pick of the Week

Sam’s Pick: 

UL Monroe @ Texas: UL Monroe to win outright

Because it’s always funny when Texas lose.

Matt’s Pick: 

North Dakota @ Nebraska: North Dakota to win outright

If there’s one thing this Scott Frost Nebraska team excels at, it’s losing games they shouldn’t in one-score games. 

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