There are plenty of college football games set to rock the nation today. It’s already difficult enough having to pick a game to choose from against the multitude of teams in action, and it’s even more challenging to make picks against the spread. Thankfully, experts are here to guide us in our picks for Week 1 of the college football season. Read on as we take a look at some of the intriguing matchups that kick off the 2015-16 NCAA Football season.
Experts Picks and Predictions for Week One of the 2015-16 College Football Season
|No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech||+13 VT||Virginia Tech|
|No. 2 TCU at Minnesota||+17 MIN||Minnesota|
|No. 20 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Alabama||-12 ALA||Wisconsin|
|No. 4 Baylor vs. SMU||+36 SMU||SMU|
|No. 5 Michigan State vs. Western Michigan||+17.5 WMU||Western Michigan|
|Louisville vs. No. 6 Auburn||-10.5 AU||Louisville|
|Michigan vs. Utah||-4.5 UT||Michigan|
|Arizona State vs. Texas A&M||-3.5 TAM||Arizona State|
|Texas vs. Notre Dame||-10 ND||Texas|
|Bowling Green vs. Tennessee||-21 TEN||Bowling Green|
FOX Sports used WhatIfSports to generate the most likely outcomes of this week’s college football games. WhatIfSports simulates each game 101 times and records the average final scoreline, as well as each team’s chances of victory. Using this method, FOX Sports predicted that most underdogs would cover the spread in the first week of the college football season. In this certain collection of games, all underdogs would end up beating the spread.
[sc:NCAA240banner ]Virginia Tech beating the +13 spread against defending national champion No. 1 Ohio State is one of the more interesting picks. It’s not too difficult to see how the Hokies could give the defending champions fits. They managed to beat the Buckeyes 35-21 at Ohio Stadium in their second game last season. The Hokies are also very tough outs at home, going 5-1 against the spread as home underdogs since 2003.
|No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech||+12.5 VT||Virginia Tech|
|No. 2 TCU at Minnesota||+14.5 MIN||Minnesota|
|No. 20 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Alabama||-10 ALA||Alabama|
|No. 4 Baylor vs. SMU||+35.5 SMU||Baylor|
|No. 5 Michigan State vs. Western Michigan||+18.5 WMU||Western Michigan|
|Louisville vs. No. 6 Auburn||-10.5 AU||Louisville|
|Arkansas State vs. No. 8 USC||-28 USC||Arkansas State|
|UL Monroe vs. No. 9 Georgia||-35.5 UGA||Georgia|
|Texas State vs. No. 10 Florida State||-30 FSU||Florida State|
|Texas vs. No. 11 Notre Dame||-10 ND||Notre Dame|
Brian Leigh of Bleacher Report broke down each game of the Top 25 teams (with the exception of the Eastern Washington vs. No. 7 Oregon game, which has no available spread). Unlike FOX Sports, Leigh picked some of the favorites to beat some big spreads in Week 1. Leigh is big on No. 4 Baylor; he believes that the Bears’ -35.5 point-spread is actually still low.
Leigh makes a good point in picking the Bears. Baylor has won its last six non-conference games by an average of 56.2 points. The Bears don’t have Bryce Petty anymore, but Seth Russell should be a solid starting quarterback after throwing eight touchdowns and just one interception in limited appearances last season. Running back Shock Linwood should also be close to unstoppable in this game after SMU’s rushing defense ranked just 117th in the nation last season.
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|Game||Spread||Dennie Dodd||Jon Solomon||Jerry Palm||Tom Fornelli||Jerry Hinnen||Chip Patterson||Robby Kalland|
|No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech||+11.5 VT||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Ohio State||Ohio State||Virginia Tech||Ohio State|
|No. 2 TCU at Minnesota||+14.5 MIN||Minnesota||TCU||Minnesota||TCU||Minnesota||TCU||TCU|
|No. 20 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Alabama||-10.5 ALA||Wisconsin||Alabama||Alabama||Alabama||Wisconsin||Alabama||Alabama|
|No. 4 Baylor vs. SMU||+35.5 SMU||Baylor||SMU||SMU||Baylor||Baylor||SMU||Baylor|
|No. 5 Michigan State vs. Western Michigan||+19.5 WMU||Michigan State||Michigan State||Michigan State||Western Michigan||Michigan State||Western Michigan||Michigan State|
|Louisville vs. No. 6 Auburn||-10.5 AU||Auburn||Louisville||Auburn||Louisville||Auburn||Louisville||Louisville|
|Arkansas State vs. No. 8 USC||-29.5 USC||Arkansas State||Arkansas State||USC||USC||USC||Arkansas State||USC|
|Arizona State vs. Texas A&M||-3.5 TAM||Arizona State||Texas A&M||Arizona State||Arizona State||Arizona State||Texas A&M||Arizona State|
|Texas vs. Notre Dame||-9.5 ND||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Texas A&M||Texas A&M||Notre Dame||Notre Dame|
|Bowling Green vs. Tennessee||-21.5 TEN||Tennessee||Bowling Green||Bowling Green||Tennessee||Tennessee||Tennessee||Bowling Green|
The seven experts over at CBS Sports are mostly split when it comes to making their picks for this collection of games. But these experts are mostly in unison in picking Notre Dame, Michigan State and Alabama to cover their respective double-digit spreads as favorites.
Dennie Dodd, Jon Solomon, Jerry Palm, Chip Patterson and Robby Kalland are all picking Notre Dame to beat the Texas Longhorns. Both teams have promising young prospects, but Notre Dame has the advantage at quarterback. Malik Zaire was solid in limited action last season, passing for 266 yards and a touchdown and even ran for 187 more yards with two scores. On the other hand, the Longhorns’ Tyrone Swoopes showed inconsistency last season with 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Dodd, Solomon, Palm, Kalland and Jeremy Hinnen are all going for Michigan State to cover the -19.5 spread in its season opener. The Spartans will be banking on the Connor Cook-Josiah Price combination to connect on touchdown passes in this game. Cook has thrown over 46 touchdowns the past two years as the starting quarterback, while Price has caught 10 receiving scores in his career.
Solomon, Palm, Patterson, Kalland and Tom Fornelli are all on the No. 3 Alabama train for the Crimson Tide’s Week 1 matchup against No. 20 Wisconsin. The Tide should deliver for their backers, as they have led the nation in average margin of victory against non-conference opponents (30.9) since 2009. Wisconsin may be tough opponents, though, after holding opponents to score just 20.8 points per game last year (17th in the nation).[sc:NCAA490banner ]
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