Hottest Odds And Picks For 2016 College Football Opening Weekend

Hottest Odds And Picks For 2016 College Football Opening Weekend

Written by on June 10, 2016

We are yet to have a fully definitive picture of the outlook of all teams in FBS, as certain teams are still having roster battles and restructuring their coaching realms in preparation for the 2016 college football season. Nevertheless, after monitoring the offseason news from across the league and scouring the online betting boards for 2016 Week 1 college football spreads, here are the hottest odds and picks we can confidently recommend for bettors looking to have an early bite of the opening weekend 2016 NCAA Football betting action.

Hottest Odds And Picks For 2016 College Football Opening Weekend


KANSAS STATE (+16.5) at Stanford

Christian McCaffrey and his video game-like numbers from 2015, including a school record 2,019 rushing yards, will be returning to Stanford for another season. As the defending Pac-12 champs, Stanford is therefore receiving a lot of backing from recreational bettors that are hooked on the Cardinal’s 2015 campaign. What these bettors don’t realize is that Stanford has undergone a lot of transformation and won’t be the same team in 2016. Veteran quarterback Kevin Hogan and a slew of Stanford playmakers won’t be returning for the Cardinal, so a rebuilding agenda looks more likely than an improved season. This creates an opportunity for Kansas State and other Stanford opponents to have their say in 2016. The Wildcats were troubled by injuries last season, but maintained a healthy level of competitiveness in their games in the beastly Big 12 conference to reach a bowl game. With a new lease of life from the return of healthy starters and an enterprising recruitment in the offseason, the value in this game should be with the Wildcats in the ATS lines.

CLEMSON (-8.5) over Auburn

Forget about those talks regarding Clemson’s loss of defensive end Shaq Lawson and cornerback Mackensie Alexander as none of that will matter against an Auburn team that struggled offensively for pretty much the whole season. Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson and his offense should be able to pick from where they left off in their hearty loss to Alabama in the National Championship Game, considering Auburn’s defense isn’t much improved from a questionable form in 2015. So, even with Auburn getting the home advantage, Clemson should be your favored pick for the win and a cover of the spread.

NEBRASKA (-29.5) over Fresno State

The Cornhuskers were arguably the best 5-7 regular season team last year, something they affirmed by beating UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl for a 6-7 overall finish. Six of the seven losses by Nebraska were by 8-or-fewer points—with most of those defeats coming against good teams. With better investments in the defense and a variety of weapons to exploit offensively, the Huskers should be a much different team in the Big Ten and the entire league, at large. Against an out-of-sorts Fresno State team that barely has anything going on for them, a dominant win by Nebraska looks likely here.

NOTRE DAME (-3.5) over Texas

When Texas played Notre Dame last year in South Bend, the Fighting Irish posted a 38-3 romp over the Longhorns. Texas, fresh off a positive offseason, is expected to be improved and playing strongly at home in Week 1, with revenge on their mind against Notre Dame. The problem, though, is that the Irish were solid in 2015 despite injuries, and could be even better now that the team is healthy. Whether it is Malik Zaire or DeShone Kizer at quarterback in this game, you should therefore expect another comfy win by Notre Dame.

Oklahoma at HOUSTON (+10)

The more this line moves in favor of Oklahoma, the more I am convinced that the public is buying into the wrong team. The Sooners did make the playoffs, but we all saw how that ended when they faced pressure in the CFP semi-finals, underlining their challenged ability to handle pressure. Conversely, Houston compiled a stellar 13-1 season and went on to prove that none of that was a fluke by laying down hammer on the Florida State in a New Year’s bowl game. Oklahoma is well-aware that every win will count in their quest for a 2016 playoff spot, so be sure that Heisman candidate quarterback Baker Mayfield will rally his troops for a strong game. But then again, whatever Mayfield has planned, Cougars quarterback Greg Ward Jr., also a Heisman contender, is well-capable of matching him in a thrilling contest between two talented playmakers. So, even if Oklahoma wins this game, I strongly believe that the underrated Houston Cougars will manage to cover the spread, if not shock the online NCAAF odds entirely by nicking an outright upset over the Sooners.

WESTERN MICHIGAN (+6) at Northwestern

Last year’s 10-3 campaign was an overachievement of sorts for Northwestern, largely because the competition in the Big Ten West division was pretty average. This was affirmed when the Wildcats suffered a 45-6 demolishment at the hands of Tennessee in the Outback Bowl. That overachievement and the projected regression in the team, especially in the defense, sets them up for a tricky Week 1 encounter against a Broncos team that means business. Coming off an 8-win season that was culminated by the first bowl win in the school’s history, the Broncos are sure to enter 2016 as a highly motivated team hungry for success. This should be particularly buoyed by the fact that Western Michigan returns the lethal tandem of quarterback Zach Terrell and wide receiver Corey Davis, along with a 2016 recruiting class that ranked best in the MAC for the third straight season under Coach P.J. Fleck. With due consideration of all that, the Broncos should be among the most lively non-Power 5 teams, starting with this Week 1 fixture that could easily see Western Michigan get the points.