College Football Week 1 Expert Predictions

Posted by Peter Boysen on August 29, 2016 in

Now that Labor Day is approaching, it’s time for the first week of NCAA football action. College football betting makes watching those Saturday contests even more exciting, and thanks to the power conference teams scheduling games against one another in non-conference play, we have some terrific matchups to open the season. Take a look at some of our predictions for Week 1.

Take a Look at the College Football Week 1 Expert Predictions

#15 Houston (+10) over #3 Oklahoma

Last year, it was a loss at Connecticut that kept the Houston Cougars from running the table undefeated — and from the conversation for the College Football Playoff. Given the talent that is returning to the Cougars’ roster, they have an excellent chance to become the first Group of 5 team to make the College Football Playoff, but that march has to begin with a win over Oklahoma. Greg Ward is terrific with his legs and with his arm, and he can jump start all kinds of offense. Dual-threat quarterbacks roasted the Sooners last year, most memorably Deshaun Watson, who ran for 145 yards and a touchdown against Oklahoma when Clemson came back to beat the Sooners in the national semifinal last year.

The Sooners do have Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield at quarterback, and they do sit as the favorite, but since the start of the 2014 season, Houston has entered six games as the underdog — and has beaten the spread each time. Personally, I like the Cougars to win the game straight up, because I don’t think the Sooners will know what to do with Ward from the very beginning. Either way, though, I don’t see this turning into a double-digit win for the Sooners.

Wisconsin (+10) over #5 LSU

Before you write this pick off as insane, remember what happened to LSU last year once they entered conference play. Their SEC foes figured out that if they stacked the box against the Tigers, they could win, and win big. That’s how Arkansas went down to Baton Rouge and pull off a huge rout. The problem was that when opponents keyed on the run, LSU quarterback Brandon Harris could not complete the big passes that his team needed in order to move the ball down the field. So it didn’t matter that LSU had Leonard Fournette (another Heisman favorite in 2016) in the backfield. With the box full of defenders, Fournette saw his gaudy running average drop with each passing week, because the opposition was pinning back its ears just attacking the run. The Badgers have a pesky defense and have a ball-control offense that grinds time off the clock. So if the Tigers lose the ball and Wisconsin takes control of the rhythm, driving up and down the field, this game will stay closer than ten points — and could even pull off the win if they can slow down the Tigers enough. I definitely like Wisconsin to cover — especially with the game being played at storied Lambeau Field — but it will not surprise me to see Wisconsin pull off the huge upset.