The College Football season is finally here and our free College Football Picks are out for Week One! We have hand-picked the five best games of the week, previewed them and found our best College Football bets for this weekend’s action.
Look below to find our College Football Picks for the five best games of this week’s schedule!
Saturday, September 4th
#12 Wisconsin vs #19 Penn State – 12pm EDT
We start off with two disappointing sides from 2020 but have plenty of excitement and promise heading into this season. Both Wisconsin and Penn State are returning their quarterbacks, along with six other offensive starters and at least seven defensive starters. That is some incredible repetition and will hold both sides in good stead, but who is the best play in this one?
The Badgers are currently giving up 5 ½ points in the spread, which is worrying given that they finished last season going just 1-4 ATS in their last five games. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions finished the year going 4-1 ATS and are getting points. While that does make you lean towards Penn State in this one, Wisconsin’s defense is a scary prospect. The Badgers come in with their defense ranked 11th in the country, which is very impressive and a testament to their ability to keep players on the roster.
However, we are taking Penn State with the points. Penn State hasn’t lost back to back opening games over the last 20 years, and after losing last year’s opener, we expect a better showing in this one. They may not be able to win this clash, but given how close it is, we will take the underdog with the points.
#1 Alabama vs #14 Miami (Fla) – 3:30pm EDT
The best team in college football opens their season on a neutral site against the 14th ranked Miami (Florida). With the Crimson Tide having plenty of player turnover during the offseason, along with getting a new offensive coordinator, you’d expect the Hurricanes to have a chance in this one, especially with a 19.5 point spread.
When you consider that three of Alabama’s first four games last season saw them win by less than the spread set out for them in this one, Miami could be the way to go. But do you want to bet against the defending National Champions? The Tide are 24-12 ATS as double digit favorites over the last five seasons, are 10-0 SU in neutral site openers, with six of those being against the ACC.
With the amount of weapons that they have both returning and coming into the program, Alabama has a top three defense and a top five offense this season. They may just have too much for the Hurricanes to handle and should stamp their authority all over this one.
College Football Pick: Alabama -19.5 (-110)
Last year’s CFP Top 4 looks a lot different at QB 👀 pic.twitter.com/uOgdl8VW60
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 2, 2021
#3 Clemson vs #5 Georgia – 7:30pm EDT
The matchup of the weekend sees #3 Clemson take on #5 Georgia. This is going to be a very tight contest with both sides fronting incredible defensive lines whilst also loving to control the ball. This will be an interesting test for Clemson, being it is their first game in five years without both Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.
Lawrence has left big shoes for D.J. Uiagalelei to fill and he has to do it against a defensive line that might be a bit better than his offensive line. The Bulldogs have plenty of promise and should put a heap of pressure on Uiagalelei, testing him from every angle and level of the field.
While there are some questions over Clemson’s QB, there aren’t as many about J.T. Daniels. He looked right at home behind center to finish last season and is a Heisman frontrunner for a reason. However, Clemson does have the #1 ranked defense heading into this weekend. The difference is, the Bulldog’s offensive line can be trusted more, giving Daniels more time to work his magic. This is a close one but the Bulldogs with the points looks to be the play. Ideally this gets out to a field goal or more and then it is a big play, but happy to take it as it currently lies.
#16 LSU vs UCLA – 8:30pm EDT
An intriguing matchup in the sense that UCLA comes in with a game under their belt already while this is LSU’s first. The Bruins took care of Hawaii last week, dominating on both sides of the ball, but the Tigers are a much tougher assignment and that may show in this one.
UCLA got 184 years and four touchdowns on 19 combined carries from Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown while their defense held Hawaii to just three points in the first half. However, Dorian Thompson-Robinson went just 10/20 for only 130 yards and a touchdown, and may be vulnerable against an LSU side that has plenty of prospects, especially defensively. They have plenty of future NFL hopefuls on their defense and should be able to restrict UCLA’s running game, putting more pressure on Thompson-Robinson and he may not be able to handle it.
UCLA does bring winning form into this one, especially with LSU going just 5-5 last season but the spread is only 2.5 points and based on the names and abilities that both teams bring into this clash, the Tigers should be winning by a lot more than that.
College Football Pick: LSU -2.5 (-112)
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 28, 2021
Sunday, September 5th
#9 Notre Dame vs Florida State – 7:30pm EDT
We finish of the weekend with the Florida State Seminoles hosting the #9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame has claimed the last two over Florida State in convincing fashion, putting a lot of pressure on Jack Coan, who is taking over behind center from Ian Book.
Coan came across to the Fighting Irish from Wisconsin after battling an injury last year but took them to the Big Ten Championship Game and the Rose Bowl in 2019. He seems to be the perfect replacement for Book, being able to control the game and make consistently good plays for the offense. Coan is also boosted by the fact that Notre Dame’s best running back from last season, Kyren Williams, is returning and will be able to help him settle into the offense nicely.
Looking at Florida State, they have named co-starters which will be confusing for their offense and leaves more uncertainty than it gives answers. Especially when you are going up against a defense that is ranked 12th in the country and has the likes of Kyle Hamilton at safety, who is looking like a real NFL prospect. While the spread is currently over a touchdown, the Fighting Irish should still be able to cover in a convincing win.
College Football Pick: Notre Dame -7.5 (-102)
*Odds correct at the time of publishing.
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Image by: Brayden George