College Football Schedule, Week 1: Best Games to Watch Based on Vegas Data

College Football Schedule, Week 1: Best Games to Watch Based on Vegas Data article feature image

Jan 1, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA;Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh during the first half of the 2018 Outback Bowl against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

  • Notre Dame (-1) vs. Michigan leads our Watchability Ratings for Week 1 and it is the most bet game of the weekend.
  • Auburn (-2) vs. Washington ranks second and figures to be the best early game to watch.
  • Florida Atlantic (+21) is a longshot against Oklahoma but that doesn't mean it won't be an exciting contest.

We get it. You’re an avid college football fan, and you like spreading bets throughout the day. But then you plop down on your couch with a beer at noon to start your all-day binge, and you have remote anxiety.

Should you watch Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech or Washington vs. Auburn? Or will the best game be between lower-level teams like Eastern Illinois vs. Arkansas?

Thankfully, here at The Action Network, we have a solution to your conundrum. We have a wealth of Vegas data on our site, as well as proprietary metrics to measure how good teams are, and thus we can put some data behind which games should capture your attention. Remote anxiety, be gone.

Using four factors, we’ll rank each game on a watchability scale each week:

  1. The spread: A closer spread is better. Who cares about that 40-point blowout?
  2. The total: Maybe you’re a maniac and like watching 3-0 SEC slugfests, but let’s assume that high-scoring games are preferred.
  3. How good the teams are: Using our proprietary metric, we’ll give more weight to, ya know, the good teams.
  4. Public betting data: We have a ton of data on which teams the public is backing, so we’ll factor that in, too.

And there you have it. The Action Network weekly Watchability Ratings.

Let’s run through some of the top games and then I’ll post a table at the bottom with all of the games and where they rank:

1. Michigan at Notre Dame

  • Notre Dame -1
  • Over/under: 47
  • 7:30 p.m. ET | NBC

Michigan has lost each of its last 16 games against ranked opponents on the road, and it will try to buck that trend in South Bend in Week 1. This game has a low total of 47, and it’s likely to be a defensive battle, but it’s the most bet game of the weekend and features the best collection of talent outside of the game below this.

With a weaker evening slate, this is the game to watch. Plus, we have a free props sheet to print out and gamble with your friends!

>> All odds as of 7 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time college football odds and track your bets

2. Washington vs. Auburn (neutral field)

  • Auburn -2.5
  • Over/under: 48.5
  • 3:30 p.m. ET | ABC

These squads combine for the highest collective power rating among all games in Week 1, and it’s the second-highest bet game of the week. The public is very split on these two teams, with Auburn getting just 51% of the 7,701 bets we’ve tracked as of Friday afternoon.

Check out our comprehensive betting guide on this game if you’d like to get a few dollars down.

3. Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech (neutral field)

  • Texas Tech -2.5
  • Over/under: 67.5
  • 12 p.m. ET | ESPN

This game has attracted fewer bets than the two above but it features a close spread of just 2.5 points and actually comes with a high total of 67.5. This game should have offense galore: Ole Miss will struggle to defend, but on offense they have perhaps the most electric receiving group in the nation with A.J. Brown and DK Metcalf. Start your Saturday with this one.

4. Florida Atlantic at Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma -20.5
  • Over/under: 72
  • 12 p.m. ET | FOX

The spread of 20.5 points is high, but that doesn’t mean Florida Atlantic is a bad team: In fact, Lane Kiffin’s squad is tied for the 33rd in our proprietary power ratings. While Oklahoma could get to that three-touchdown spread, the game should feature a ton of points along the way.

You might be surprised to see this game so high up the list, but bettors love this match: It’s currently the third-most bet game of the weekend.

5. West Virginia vs. Tennessee (neutral field)

  • Tennessee -9
  • Over/under: 61.5
  • 3:30 p.m. ET | CBS

This game is the fifth-most bet affair of the weekend, although it features a decent public bet differential. Whether it’s because bettors are low on Tennessee or high on West Virginia, the latter is getting 66% of the bets currently. The Vols are in a rebuilding year, so tune in to see how much damage West Virginia QB Will Grier can do.

The Perfect Saturday

12 p.m. ET: Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech (ESPN), Florida Atlantic at Oklahoma (FOX)

3:30 p.m. ET: Washington vs. Auburn (ABC), West Virginia vs. Tennessee (CBS)

Evening: Michigan at Notre Dame (NBC), Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt (SEC/WatchESPN)

Late night: BYU at Arizona (ESPN), Navy at Hawaii (CBSSN)

All Games