College Football Week 1 Betting Odds, Picks, and Trends


The first full slate of games is finally here as Week 1 of the college football season has arrived. There’s some terrific value on the board as the majority of teams across the country embark on their campaign. We’re using every tool we can to start rolling our profits in 2021. 

Over the last three years, I’ve found veteran teams more reliable than their peers within the first three weeks of the college football season. Week 1 is a dangerous time for big favorites. We often see uncomfortable winning margins as teams try to figure out their own identity or play youngsters.

We’ve made our Week 1 picks based on the meaningful trends and best values on the board. Check out our breakdown of each of our top plays.

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Alabama Crimson Tide at Miami Hurricanes (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday)

(Alabama -18.5, O/U 61, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Coming off a massive departure of talent this offseason, the Alabama Crimson Tide have reloaded and are about to face a premier opponent in Week 1. The Miami Hurricanes are a legitimate team capable of producing a Heisman Trophy candidate and competing for the ACC crown. They’re a team I’m buying for the season.

But this is a bad matchup for Miami. The Crimson Tide may start slow, but their running game will own the trenches and this game will swell into a blowout as usual. Few teams can deal with what Nick Saban can scheme up with a full offseason to plot. 

Still, I can’t wait to see how D’Eriq King plays off a torn ACL in December. He’s an amazing playmaker who can keep Miami in this game as long as anyone. 

Best trends: Alabama has covered eight of their last 10 spreads and won their last 20 September games. Each of their last five Week 1 games has been a cover. Miami has failed to cover four of their last six games and five of their last six against an SEC foe. 

Best play: Alabama -18.5 (-105) and Over 61 (-110)

Boise State Broncos at UCF Knights (7 p.m. ET Thursday)

(UCF -4.5, O/U 68, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Two premier Group of Five teams face off to start the season. Boise State is looking to get back to their power status and UCF wants to become a real national title threat again. Both teams have fun aspects to their roster makeup but there’s a clear difference in talent.

Boise State has a grinding offense that lacks big explosiveness at the playmaker positions. Gone are the days of a dominant rushing attack, and quarterback Hank Bachmeier must be more dynamic. At least their defense was fantastic last year and can effectively slow the UCF offense.

UCF has a dynamite offense with quarterback Dillon Gabriel dropping deep bombs all over the field. Will new head coach Gus Malzahn adapt to what has worked for a long time at UCF? I think it’ll take time for the offense to roll even if UCF wins this battle. 

Best trends: Boise State has failed to cover the spread in four of their last five games but has gone over in five of their last seven games. UCF hasn’t covered the spread in seven of their last night games but have hit the over in their last five September games. 

Best play: UCF -4.5 (-115) and Under 68 (-110)

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Indiana Hoosiers at Iowa Hawkeyes (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday)

(Iowa -3.5, O/U 45, DraftKings Sportsbook)

I think I’m the biggest advocate for Indiana entering the season. I’m banking on Michael Penix’s increased efficiency after a strange dip in 2020, and that helping the run game be more consistent. For my projections to come to fruition, both aspects must occur.

The Hoosiers have a great returning cast on defense to compliment a wonderfully talented quarterback. They’re facing an Iowa team with a similar profile but lacking the overall high-end talent. 

Iowa has a limited quarterback but above-averaging running game. Lead rusher Tyler Goodson is one of the best in the conference and Indiana must sell out to slow him. 

This game has a low total I’m avoiding because it’s well set. I’ve been skeptical Iowa can produce enough offense to win big games, and feel Indiana is a more talented team. I’m playing the big swing with the moneyline.

Best trends: Indiana has covered eight of their last nine games and has won six of eight. They’ve won once in their last eight games against Iowa. Iowa has covered five of their last six games, but the total has hit the under in seven of their last eight home games. 

Best play: Indiana ML (+150)  

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