- Collin Wilson gives out nine of his best college football bets for Week 1 of the regular season.
- He's backing a few underdogs on Friday night and hammering the main slate Saturday with some more dogs.
CW9 was born before The Action Network was formed in October of 2017. If you are unfamiliar with the column, this is my blank canvas to give nine selections for the weekend’s college football slate.
The column finished 65-51-5 in 2017, with the roughest week coming in Week 1 (3-5-1). Week 7 began a trend of six wins per week, as I got a feel for each team’s identity.
The first three weeks of college football are all about fact-finding as most teams plow through nonconference play.
Injuries, situational spots and explosiveness will be identified by October, allowing us bettors to get bigger shots down the road. In short, practice good money management early on.
Let’s get to the picks!
Subscribe, unsubscribe, rate, download twice, and listen once to the The Action Network Colleges Podcast. All data below as of Thursday evening.
Friday Night Lights
San Diego State at Stanford
- Spread: Stanford -14
- Over/Under: 48.5
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV channel: Fox Sports 1
All I have been told this week is that Stanford has revenge on its mind for this contest. But this might possibly be the worst revenge spot of the season, as last year’s 20-17 Aztecs victory did nothing to keep the Trees from winning the Pac-12 North.
Stanford QB K.J. Costello did not play a snap, Bryce Love averaged 14.2 yards per carry but had only two attempts in the fourth quarter, and San Diego State had three drives of nine plays or more in the second half.
Last year’s game was sandwiched between USC and UCLA for Stanford. This year’s San Diego State game precedes a September schedule that includes USC, Oregon and Notre Dame.
With Costello’s health dominating headlines this offseason, it’s not crazy to think that Stanford’s main goal is to get everyone to Week 2 healthy.
Play On: San Diego State +14
Colorado State at Colorado
- Spread: Colorado -7.5
- Over/Under: 65.5
- Time: 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday
- TV channel: CBS Sports Network
The line movement for this game all started when Colorado State was down 37-7 to Hawaii during the third quarter of Week 0 last Saturday. This line sat at 6 all summer, but trickled to 7.5 after the Rainbow Warriors’ victory.
The Action Network’s power ratings make this game Colorado -5.5, while S&P+ puts this around -1.5 for the Buffaloes. There may be a bit of overreaction in the market to a Rams team that ranked dead last in returning production.
Colorado did not improve in Week 0, and will deal with returning production issues of its own. As our Colorado season preview points out, this defense ranked outside the top 100 in efficiency.
College football teams generally improve in their second game, and that’s where we find Colorado State.
Play On: Colorado State +7.5
Saturday Morning Mimosas
Texas at Maryland
- Spread: Texas -14
- Over/Under: 53
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV channel: Fox Sports 1