Welcome back to Spread Options, where we pick 10 games from each week against the spread. We hope to make you some money this year either by following our picks or by picking against them all. You should have an idea of which way to go after Week 2.
Florida International at Central Florida (-17), 6 p.m. ET THURSDAY: UCF returns nine starters on offense and coach Scott Frost is entering his second season with the team. The Knights could challenge for second in the AAC East behind South Florida and beat FIU 53-14 in 2016. Add in some uniform beef in this game and UCF rolls easily.
Charlotte at Eastern Michigan (-14), 6:30 p.m. ET FRIDAY: On the bright side for Charlotte, this won’t be like Week 1 in 2016 when the 49ers gave up eight touchdowns in the first half to Louisville and Lamar Jackson. But Eastern Michigan QB Brogan Roback is pretty good in addition to having a pretty good name. Roback is one of the better QBs in the MAC and could have a big game.
Colorado State vs. Colorado (OVER 66), 8 p.m. ET FRIDAY: Colorado State steamrolled Oregon State in the second half. The connection between QB Nick Stevens and WR Michael Gallup could flourish all season. Meanwhile, Colorado may be even better on offense in 2017 and it’s looking to replace a lot of talent on defense. This could be a shootout.
Wyoming (+11.5) at Iowa, Noon ET: This is your Josh Allen tune-in alert. The Wyoming quarterback and NFL draft darling begins his season on a Big Ten stage and will be touted by a lot of casual college football observers, err “experts,” if he plays well and Wyoming wins. We don’t think the Cowboys do, but Craig Bohl’s team keeps it close before a late field goal wins it for Iowa.
Cal at North Carolina (-11), 12:20 p.m. ET: Cal is one of the worst teams in the Pac-12 and making a cross-country trip for a kickoff at just after 9 a.m. Pacific time. This bet is like betting against a West Coast NFL team going to Buffalo or New York. North Carolina’s offense may take a game or two to gel, but LSU transfer Brandon Harris could have a nice game.
Temple (+18) at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. ET: Notre Dame is going to win this game, but we’re confident that Temple coach Geoff Collins’ will have his defense prepared and keep this game close. Collins, the former Florida defensive coordinator, is making his head-coaching debut and has to replace seven defensive starters. But expect Temple to be disciplined and avoid a blowout.
Appalachian State (+14.5) at Georgia, 6:15 p.m. ET: How fitting it would be if App State won against a major opponent on the road in the opening weekend 10 years after defeating Michigan. Georgia could be ripe for the picking if the Bulldogs’ special teams struggles carry over from 2016 and the team can’t replace Isaiah McKenzie. Georgia wins, but pay close attention to the Sun Belt favorites.
Louisville (-24.5) at Purdue, 7:30 p.m. ET: If Purdue is without quarterback David Blough, things could get ugly in a hurry. Blough says he’s ready to play but is dealing with a right shoulder strain. Meanwhile, Louisville has that Jackson guy. The Cardinals win this game easily, no matter if Blough plays or not.
Florida State (+7.5) vs. Alabama, 8 p.m. ET: The most-anticipated Week 1 game in recent history should live up to the billing. Alabama has some offensive line questions and Florida State could welcome back Matthew Thomas to the team. The linebacker led the team in tackles in 2017 and has missed practice over the last few weeks because of an academic issue. The Tide ultimately wins the game, but Florida State provides much more of a fight than USC did in Week 1 a year ago.
West Virginia (+4) vs. Virginia Tech, 7:30 p.m. ET SUNDAY: Virginia Tech is a contender in the ACC Coastal but it may take some time for that to happen. West Virginia QB Will Grier has had an entire season to learn the Mountaineer offense and has an experience edge over Tech redshirt freshman Josh Jackson, who is making his first start. This could be a fun shootout.
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