Does it really get any better than Week 1 of college football?
This year, yes.
To be honest with you guys, this slate overall is kinda weak. We’re lucky Florida State and LSU arrived on our doorstep on Sunday because I’d classify the Saturday games under more of an “interesting” category than “must-watch.”
I guess it’s better than a pretty rough Week Zero where none of the games involved two power five teams. And we all did pretty poorly except for a pair of us. I think my quick math showed only three people finished above .500.
My week ended with a disgusting 2-5 record. Hopefully, I do a lot better this week.
Our two best of Week Zero who will have their names enshrined in our digital Stanley Cup known as the Comment Section Hall of Fame. Congratulations to MexiNole and Topnole who finished the week 5-2. Both of you missed the UMass game (as I think everyone did).
Comment Section Hall of Fame
- Week Zero: MexiNole and Topnole (5-2)
Could you be the next Comment Section Champion of the season? Leave your picks to the 10 games below in the comment section at the bottom of the page. Most correct gets you in the Hall.
As a reminder, this year we have some new and exciting additions including a new podcast, Sharpen the Point, with myself and Chris Tyndall where we talk more in-depth about some of my picks as well as what has our attention on the Daily Fantasy Sports slates on DraftKings that weekend.
Give it a listen if you’re into college football or looking for some interesting conversation around our bets. Think we’ll have some great insight on the broader CFB picture as the year gets rolling. At least, we’ll have fun doing it so hopefully you have fun listening along with us.
Reminder that we are just two guys with keyboards and microphones, not gambling pros, so I wouldn’t call this advice but more insight into our thought processes this weekend. Follow at your own risk.
Let’s get to the ATS and DFS picks. All lines and DFS pricing from our friends at DraftKings.
Brian’s College Football Week 1 Picks
Colorado Buffaloes (+20.5) at No. 17 TCU Horned Frogs (Noon ET, FOX)
Can I interest anyone in a little Deion Sanders to open their college football Saturday? Regardless of where your perception of Deion falls on the love/hate scale, I believe your answer to that question is a resounding yes. Those of you who believe he’s got a great future in this and potentially want to see him in Tallahassee at some point in the future are going to be glued to it. Those of you that think he’s way in over his head and haven’t forgiven him for the Travis Hunter fiasco a few years back are going to be glued to it. Lots of glue apparently. ANYWELL, I think we learned a year ago from LSU that even a talented team built in one offseason can’t click that well in Week 1. I don’t think anyone expects Colorado to be that level good after this and I can’t imagine they’ll look anything like that in their first game. I’ll go with the defending runners-up at home.
Brian’s Pick: TCU -20.5
Virginia Cavaliers (+28.5) at No. 12 Tennessee Volunteers (Noon ET, ABC)
The Volunteers looked to be the surprise SEC team last season and played the part phenomenally. The Vols ended up with Orange Bowl champs with a win over Clemson. In that one, their Heisman contender quarterback Hendon Hooker was out with an injury and backup Joe Milton was everything they needed. I think many people are expecting Tennessee to fade, but I don’t think they’re ready to fall off that hard yet... and it definitely ain’t coming at home against this Virginia team. Note: The DraftKings line is 28, but it’ll be 28.5 for our purposes.
Brian’s Pick: Tennessee -28.5
No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (-30.5) at Indiana Hoosiers (3:30pm ET, CBS)
Ohio State has become one of the most consistent programs in college football. They would’ve, could’ve, should’ve been national champs a year ago as the only team that really seemed to have a chance to beat Georgia. The Buckeyes have to reload at QB and a couple receiver spots, but they still have two of the best running backs in the country and Marvin Harrison Jr. I’m not worried about Indiana slowing them down. Note: The DraftKings line is 30, but it’ll be 30.5 for our purposes.
Brian’s Pick: Ohio State -30.5
UMass Minutemen (+35.5) at Auburn Tigers (3:30pm ET, ESPN)
Chris and I discussed UMass as potentially one of the worst teams in football last week, but they beat New Mexico State in a bit of a stunner. I’d say I wouldn’t ordinarily put this game on our slate, but there aren’t many good choices and I figured I could start the bad blood with my wife’s alma mater (Auburn) early this year. First game of the Hugh Freeze era, maybe closer than the experts think.
Brian’s Pick: UMass +35.5
Boise State Broncos (+14.5) at No. 11 Washington Huskies (3:30pm ET, ABC)
Can we call this the Chris Petersen Bowl or was he not a Washington long enough to get that designation? Either way, I’m shocked to see this spread as low as it is. Washington is one of the preseason darlings. I mean, to be fair, this offense was elite last year in Kalen DeBoer’s first season at the helm. Michael Penix Jr. is an electric quarterback and this again figures to be one of the more fun offense in the sport. That’s why my eyebrow perks up a bit to see such a tight spread here. Not particular close, but close compared to the others. I almost feel like it’s a trap and I guess I’ll gladly lock myself in and throw away the key.
Brian’s Pick: Washington -14.5
West Virginia Mountaineers (+20.5) at No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions (7:30pm ET, NBC)
Is this the year James Franklin wins a big one? He’s had some strong teams in his tenure at Penn State, but the Lions haven’t been able to get over the hump. This year though, might be it. They’ve got all the pieces they’ve had before in an elite running game and a strong, athletic defense. The thing they’ve been missing is a quarterback and they sure seem to believe Drew Allar is the guy to fix it. Sean Clifford, the previous starter, was fine. He was a solid to good college QB, but Allar is a former five-star recruit that has been carefully managed to be ready for this moment. This can either be one of those teams that surprises as a College Football Playoff team over Ohio State and Michigan or crashes and burns spectacularly. What an awesome college football team to experience this year. Let’s start it with fireworks.
Brian’s Pick: Penn State -20.5
No. 21 North Carolina Tar Heels (-2.5) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (7:30pm ET, ABC)
I don’t want to come off as alarmist here, but we might have ourselves an old fashioned shootout in Charlotte. North Carolina’s Heisman hopeful QB Drake Maye vs. South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler who was a former Heisman hopeful at Oklahoma before Caleb Williams stole his shine. It feels almost like a ghost of Christmas future waiting for Drake Maye this weekend. And armed with the power of experience (and what I assume is a better defense and more consistent weapons than UNC), I’m ready to rattle.
Brian’s Pick: South Carolina +2.5
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (+14.5) at UCLA Bruins (10:30pm ET, ESPN)
I will not let the final season of #Pac12AfterDark die on my watch. I’m making you stay up late and lock in on some Rose Bowl football (mostly cause there’s not much better). And who doesn’t love an underdog story to close out Saturday? Anything can happen after dark.
Brian’s Pick: Coastal Carolina +14.5
No. 5 LSU Tigers (-2.5) vs. No. 8 Florida State Seminoles (7:30pm ET, Sunday, ABC)
At this point, I’ve made my prediction on this in about four or five different places (Seminole Wrap, this pod, staff predictions, random interviews, texts with friends). One of those is sure to have reached you by this point. If not, here’s a summary. These are two of the five best rosters in college football. I’m excited to watch them go to war. I think LSU wins it by one or two so it’s Noles +2.5 for the purposes of this article.
Brian’s Pick: FSU +2.5
No. 9 Clemson Tigers (-13.5) at Duke Blue Devils (8:00pm ET Monday, ESPN)
We get to close the weekend with a standalone game of Florida State’s biggest competition for the ACC crown. Will get our first look at whether or not OC Garrett Riley and QB Cade Klubnik will be the answers to the recent offensive gaffes that have held Clemson back recently. I will once again say that I’m surprised to see this number be so low. I do think Duke is better than many my expect (largely based off conversations with my Seminole Wrap co-host Ben Meyerson), but I didn’t expect this lower than maybe 18 points. It once again feels like a trap, but I lean on talent edge in week one. So give me that trap. Note: The DraftKings line is 13, but it’ll be 13.5 for our purposes.
Brian’s Pick: Clemson -13.5
Chris’ College Football Daily Fantasy (DFS) Plays
Saturday DK Main Slate
- Chandler Morris, TCU - $6900
- Michael Penix, Washington - $8400
- Taylen Green, Boise State - $6800
- Jonathon Brooks, Texas - $5300
- Donovan Edwards, Michigan - $6200
- Squirrel White, Tennessee - $5500
- Chimere Dike, Wisconsin - $5400
- Xavier Weaver, Colorado - $5600
Sunday FSU vs. LSU Showdown Slate
- Lawrance Toafili - $5,000
Others to consider
- Keon Coleman - $7,000
- Jaheim Bell - $1,800
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.