College football season has arrived, and today’s slate of games serves as an appetizer to next week’s main dish. Given that games are more fun to watch with a little bit on the line, here are my picks for today’s five FBS games. All odds are courtesy of OddsShark.
Colorado State and Oregon State kicks off the FBS season. Colorado State is favored by four points with the over-under at 60.5. The Rams are playing in a brand new stadium, so you can expect an electric atmosphere. While both teams are experienced, Colorado State has an explosive offense which, combined with the new stadium bump, will be the difference in the game.
The OddsShark computer projects a Colorado State 30-18.7 victory. I’m also picking Colorado State to win and cover the four point spread.
BYU is a massive 33 point favorite at home against Portland State. The over-under is set at 58 points. Honestly, I would stay away from this game if you can avoid it. The Tanner Mangum factor makes BYU the pick to cover the spread if you decide to get in on the action.
Hawaii takes one of their longest road trips ever, as they kick off the season against UMass. Massachusetts is favored by two points over Hawaii, and the over-under is 61.5 points.
It seems there is always at least one game each week where the line looks surprising. UMass opening as a favorite against a team they lost to last year is just that. Yes, Hawaii has a long way to travel, but this is something they have grown accustomed to. After winning seven games last season, look for Hawaii to start this season with a road win over UMass.
USF starts the season No. 19, and goes on the road to take on San Jose State. USF is a heavy 21.5 point favorite over the Spartans with a massive over-under of 71 points. Given San Jose State is a home underdog, there is a temptation to go with the Spartans. Then you realize they are over-matched in Charlie Strong’s debut with the Bulls.
Look for USF to run away with this game and cover the spread.
No. 14 Stanford and Rice conclude the first day of college football all the way from Australia. Stanford is the highest ranked team on today’s schedule, and is a 30.5 point favorite over the Owls. The over-under is set at 51.5 points.
While everyone is going to be siding with the Cardinal, look for Rice to hang around for at least the first half. The two teams met last year as Stanford won 41-17. This is a weird, cross-country game, and I like the veteran Rice team to cover the spread even though Stanford wins comfortably.
To recap, here are my picks against the spread for today’s games:
Oregon State vs. Colorado State (-4)
Portland State vs. BYU (-33)
Hawaii (+2) vs. UMass
USF (-21) vs. San Jose State
Stanford vs. Rice (+30.5)