We got a little taste of it last week, but it’s safe to say college football is back and ready with a loaded Week 1 betting slate.
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Week 1 CFB betting preview with BetMGM
While “Week 0” had a few exciting games last weekend, college football is back in full for Week 1. All discussed odds are from BetMGM Sportsbook.
Oregon (11) @ Georgia (3) 3:30 pm ET on ABC
After an excellent offseason where Georgia fans enjoyed their first national championship in over forty years, the Bulldogs take center stage against the Oregon Ducks.
A familiar face will lead the Oregon Ducks in Athens – Dan Lanning, the defensive coordinator of last year’s UGA national title team, is the new head coach of the Ducks after Mario Cristobal bolted for the University of Miami.
There are still some question marks before kickoff as Lanning has not announced who his starting quarterback will be. It is a three-man race between Auburn grad transfer Bo Nix, highly touted recruit Ty Thompson, and 4-star, 6-foot-6 Jay Butterfield. Nix is the clubhouse leader, but the other two are not short on talent.
The Oregon offensive line returns four of five starters up front, including four seniors. Although Georgia lost the number one overall pick, Travon Walker and fellow first-rounder Jordan Davis on their defensive line, many experts believe the best one in that bunch is still there in Jalen Carter.
After a historic run on the defensive side of the football, for the first time in Kirby’s tenure at Georgia, the offense may be the strength in Athens. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken did a nice job utilizing a potent run game and solid play-action pass game on the way to the title last season. However, he may feel more inclined to let it rip with senior quarterback Stetson Bennett and standout tight ends Brock Bowers and Arik Gilbert.
Buckle up for this one; it should be a doozy.
UGA -17.5 on BetMGM
TOTAL: 54.5 on BetMGM
Cincinnati (23) @ Arkansas (19) 3:30 pm ET on ESPN
Over on ESPN should be one of the cooler matchups on the weekend. Two pesky programs will square off: each wants to prove that last year was no fluke.
After inheriting a winless SEC team, Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman has done yeoman’s work. In his second season, he won nine games, including a finale victory over Penn State in the Outback Bowl. Arkansas returns star quarterback KJ Jefferson, who should be one of the nation’s better dual threats.
For Cincy, head coach Luke Fickell wants to prove that appearing in the College Football Playoff is the rule for the American Athletic squad, not the exception. One thing to watch for Cincy: they had nine (!!!) players that were selected in the NFL draft. These will be massive hits, including longtime starting quarterback Desmond Ridder and All-American cornerback Sauce Gardner.
You shouldn’t expect much flash in this one, but these will be two of the most well-coached teams in the country.
ARK -6.5 on BetMGM
TOTAL: 52.5 on BetMGM
Utah (7) @ Florida 7:00 pm ET on ESPN
The Utes will head down to the Swamp in Gainesville to take on new head coach Billy Napier in his Florida coaching debut.
Utah was one of the bigger surprises in college football last season, finishing with a 10-4 record and going 9-1 in the Pac-12. They won their first conference title in 2008 while in the Mountain West. The season was capped off with one of the craziest games of the season in a 48-45 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl.
Utah has very high hopes for this season as they return eight starters in their high-powered offense led by dual-threat quarterback Cam Rising.
For everything that went right in Salt Lake City, the inverse happened in Florida. The Gators stumbled to a 6-7 season last year, including just two wins in the SEC. Their season ended disappointingly with a 29-17 loss to in-state UCF in the Gasparilla Bowl.
After Dan Mullen’s firing, Florida made a splash by hiring Billy Napier of Louisiana-Lafayette, who lost just five games in his last three seasons. With Emory Jones on his way to Arizona State, Anthony Richardson will assume the starting quarterback role. Richardson showcased his high athleticism in spurts last season for the Gators.
UTAH -3 on BetMGM Sportsbook
TOTAL: 51.5 on BetMGM Sportsbook
Notre Dame (5) @ Ohio State (2) 7:30 pm on ABC
For the Saturday finale: two blue bloods will clash at the Horseshoe with College Game Day in attendance.
The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame will take on the high-octane offense of Ohio State.
It will be new head coach Marcus Freeman’s first regular season game as the Irish head coach. Sophomore Tyler Buchner will be making his first career start at quarterback. Expect tight end Michael Mayer to be one of Notre Dame’s featured targets. Mayer is considered the best tight end in the land and a consensus first-rounder come next April.
For Ohio State, the Buckeyes went 11-2 with a Rose Bowl win but last year felt somewhat disappointing. Because of an underachieving defense, head coach Ryan Day hired a new defensive coordinator in Jim Knowles. We know what this Ohio State offense is capable of with the odds-on Heisman favorite, C.J. Stroud, at quarterback as well as dynamic wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Expect a lot of points in this one between one of the more exciting teams in the nation.
OSU -17 on BetMGM
TOTAL: 59.5 on BetMGM
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- UFC Fight Night – Paris, Saturday Night
- WNBA Playoffs, Sunday
- MLB, Saturday-Sunday
- NASCAR Cookout Southern 500, Sunday at 6:00 pm ET