The top 10 teams will all be in action this week as the college football season kicks off for most schools across the country. That includes last year’s two finalists, led by the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide facing the third-ranked Florida State Seminoles at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The Crimson Tide are listed as 7-point chalk on the neutral field after falling to the Clemson Tigers 35-31 in last year’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game as a 6.5-point favorite.
There has not been much early line movement on Alabama-Florida State, although some sportsbooks have seen the favorite drop from -7.5. The Seminoles finished third in the ACC’s Atlantic Division last year behind the Tigers and Louisville Cardinals, and they are hoping to get back into the national title picture this season.
Both schools feature sophomore quarterbacks, with Florida State’s Deondre Francois being more hyped for the Heisman Trophy than counterpart Jalen Hurts.
Clemson will be transitioning from Deshaun Watson under center to junior Kelly Bryant, and the defending national champions are massive 40-point favorites hosting the Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday.
The line has moved up about two points at some shops in favor of the fifth-ranked Tigers from the opening number, and they have gone 22-1 straight up in their last 23 home games but just 13-10 against the spread. The Golden Flashes are 0-5 SU versus ACC teams, failing to cover three of the last four dating back to the 2008 season.
The second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes begin the year with a conference game as they visit the Indiana Hoosiers as 21.5-point road favorites. That number has bounced around 21, tempting college football bettors who believe the Buckeyes will win by more than three touchdowns. The Hoosiers have covered six straight in the series.
The fourth-ranked USC Trojans are the lone Top 5 team looking to return to prominence this year. The Trojans finished last season strong and have the early Heisman favorite in quarterback Sam Darnold. USC hosts the Western Michigan Broncos as 27.5-point home chalk and has covered six of seven at home.
The Broncos are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 season openers, coming off a 13-1 campaign that saw their bid at a perfect season end with a 24-16 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Cotton Bowl.