Football betting: A look at college football's opening week

Football betting: A look at college football's opening week

While most of college football's elite squads are involved in projected mismatches to begin the season, there are a few contests that should be quite competitive. The marquee attraction will be on Labor Day night in Landover, Maryland when 5th-ranked Bois

2010-08-25

While most of college football's elite squads are involved in projected mismatches to begin the season, there are a few contests that should be quite competitive. The marquee attraction will be on Labor Day night in Landover, Maryland when 5th-ranked Boise State will square off against 6th-ranked Virginia Tech. The Broncos have gone undefeated in each of the last two regular seasons but haven't had to face a team like the Hokies during the stretch.

While Virginia Tech's fans won't have to travel far to watch the matchup, Boise State is a 2.5-point favorite in the battle. Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore fired 39 TD passes in 2009 to lead the offense. The Hokies counter with running back Ryan Williams. He burst on the scene to rush for 1,655 yards as a freshman in 2009. Another top 25 battle will highlight the schedule on the first evening of the season on Thursday, September 2nd.

The 15th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers will head west for a matchup against the 24th-ranked Utah Utes in Salt Lake City. The home team is a 3.5-point choice in the game. While dynamic running back Dion Lewis (1,799 yards in 2009) is back for the Panthers, the club will have to break in a raw quarterback to replace Bill Stull. Utah would like to make a statement against a Big East squad before moving over to the Pac-10 in 2011.

The football betting will really get cranked up two days later in the first Saturday of the year. There will be 29 booked games on Saturday, September 4th. A couple of top 25 contests will top the slate. In Atlanta, the 16th-ranked LSU Tigers will line up against the 18th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in an SEC-ACC battle. Both teams are expected to have two of the better defenses in the country. Each squad has some question marks on offense heading into the opener. The Tigers are a narrow 1.5-point favorite in a game that should draw plenty of football betting interest.

At Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, 7th-ranked TCU will make the short trip from Fort Worth to take on the 22nd-ranked Oregon State Beavers. The Horned Frogs had a perfect regular season in 2009 before falling to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. The Beavers are a 13.5-point underdog in the opener. The club will have to go with an untested quarterback after the graduation of quarterback Sean Canfield. The top 4 teams in the initial top 25 poll of the season are overwhelming favorites in the first week of the season.

Top-ranked Alabama will begin its national title defense at home against the San Jose State Spartans. As a 39.5-point favorite, Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram who’s line at www.sportsbook.com has him listed as the early favorite to repeat as Heisman winner at +350, and his teammates will likely have this game wrapped up by halftime. On the opening Thursday, the 2nd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will host the Marshall Thundering Herd. Behind star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State is a 29-point favorite in the contest.

With the Buckeyes possibly looking ahead to a matchup on September 11th against 13th-ranked Miami-Florida, Marshall could pull out a cover in the second half. On Saturday, the 3rd-ranked Florida Gators will move on from the Tim Tebow era in Gainesville against the Miami-Ohio Redhawks. Against a team that won just a single game in 2009, Florida has the right opponent to break in new starting quarterback John Brantley. The Gators are a 34.5-point favorite in the mismatch.

After coming up short in last year's BCS title game, the Texas Longhorns will open the 2010 campaign at Reliant Stadium in Houston against the Rice Owls. The former Southwest Conference rivals are clearly on different ends of the college football landscape. in 40 meetings since 1966, Rice has been able to post just a single win against Texas. Sophomore quarterback Garrett Gilbert will try to continue the recent signal-caller success (Vince Young and Colt McCoy) for the Longhorns. Texas is a 28.5-point favorite against the overmatched Owls.

There are a couple of other top 10 mismatches on the opening Saturday involving a pair of Big 12 schools. 8th-ranked Oklahoma is a 32-point choice over Utah State in Norman while the 9th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers are expected to cruise in Lincoln as a 35.5-point favorite over a Western Kentucky squad that has lost 20 consecutive games.


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