Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2013 NCAA football betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 1!
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Alabama -20.5, Total: 46
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA – Saturday, August 31st, 5:30 ET
The Crimson Tide are starting what should be another huge run at the National Championship this season. Head Coach Nick Saban has built up a dynasty, and there is no doubt that this is going to be a fifth straight season with a trip to the National Championship Game as long as there aren’t any major slip ups. Alabama is the real deal, and Virginia Tech is going to be in for a long, long day. The Tide are 7-1 ATS in their last eight neutral site games, and they are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games played outside of the SEC. Virginia Tech might be a decent team this year under senior QB Logan Thomas and an improved defense, but the truth of the matter is that the Hokies are only 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall, and they are just 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 outside of the SEC. This should be a romp.
Buffalo Bulls (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Ohio State -36, Total: 56
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH – Saturday, August 31st, 12:00 ET
The Buckeyes quietly have the longest winning streak in the nation after going 12-0 last year, and they are going to roll to a 13th straight win this week against Buffalo as well. UB is just one of the many schools from the MAC who are getting paid to get their butts kicked this week, though the Bucks do have a history of at least remotely screwing around in games like this one. QB Braxton Miller has a Heisman Trophy to go win this year, and he is going to want to pad his stats in games like this one. OSU is 1-4 ATS in its last five non-conference games, but it is 21-10 ATS in its last 31 home games and is 5-1 ATS in its last six against MAC schools. The Bulls are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games, and about all that they can say for this one is that they have a huge number on their side to start with from the oddsmakers.
Nicholls State Colonels (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #3 Oregon Ducks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Oregon -62, Total: Off
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR – Saturday, August 31st, 4:00 ET
Laughable. That’s all that this one is going to be for the Ducks. The only question is whether the post-Chip Kelly era is going to get off to as flying of a start as we all expect it to. This is not just one of the most laughable point spreads that we have ever seen at -62, but it is easily the biggest of the week and will likely be the biggest that we see all season long as well. The argument could be made that a huge spread is justified, but perhaps not quite a number this big. The last time the Ducks played an FCS school, they beat up the Missouri State Bears 56-7 in 2011. Last season, Nicholls State took the trip up to Corvallis late in the season and was trashed 77-3 by the Beavers. The team was also crushed by Tulsa 66-16. Oregon closed out the year with a 7-1 ATS streak in 2012, capped by a 35-17 win over the Kansas State Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl.
#5 Georgia Bulldogs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #8 Clemson Tigers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Georgia -2, Total: 72
Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC – Saturday, August 31st, 8:00 ET
The biggest game of the week for sure. Clemson is going to try to prove that this is the year that the team can make a run at the National Championship. There will be other opportunities for Georgia regardless, but it is a big statement game for the SEC as well. A win in this one, and that takes care of one of the many threats to the crown. An SEC vs. SEC National Championship Game is a distinct possibility this year, and UGA is out to prove that it can go on the road and beat a Top 10 team. The Tigers beat LSU in the Chic-Fil-A Bowl last year to start what might be a Heisman Trophy campaign for QB Tajh Boyd, but of course, fourth year starter, QB Aaron Murray is out to put his stamp on the Heisman campaign as well. Georgia is 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 against ACC teams. The Tigers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 overall, but they are only 2-5 ATS in their last seven games outside of the ACC.
Rice Owls (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #6 Texas A&M Aggies (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Texas A&M -28, Total: 71.5
Kyle Field, College Station, TX – Saturday, August 31st, 1:00 ET
The big question in this one is whether QB Johnny Manziel is going to be suspended for any findings about accepting money for autographs during the 2013 offseason. If so, the first frosh to win the Heisman Trophy will be deemed ineligible and won’t be able to be at Kyle Field for the opening game of the year. If we had to guess though, Johnny Football will be out there, and he’ll be tearing apart a Rice defense that has a history of being as effective as sieve. Amassing over 400 yards of offense and seven touchdowns isn’t out of the question for Manziel. These two teams met 1995, but they used to have an annual rivalry in the Lone Star State. This one won’t be close, though. Rice, to its credit, did cover all four of its non-conference games last year, but the Aggies have covered seven games in a row against Conference USA foes.
North Carolina Tar Heels (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #7 South Carolina Gamecocks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: South Carolina -11, Total: 56.5
Williams Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC – Thursday, August 29th, 6:00 ET
You would figure that North Carolina and South Carolina would have a big time rivalry going on with their proximity to one another. In fact, this is just the first time the two have met since the 2007 season. UNC isn’t a ranked team, but it is a dangerous one for sure with the experience of QB Bryn Renner leading the way. That said, this would be the biggest win of Renner’s career if he could pull this one off on the road against a Top 10 team. Carolina has had success on Thursdays, covering four straight games in primetime, but this is a much different challenge. The Ol’ Ball Coach, Head Coach Steve Spurrier has his sights set on a National Championship this year, and he has a schedule that should really help him out when it comes to the BCS rankings. SC is 5-1 ATS in its last six against the ACC and 7-2 ATS in its last nine at home, and this is the game of the night for sure on the first night of the season.
Ohio Bobcats (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #9 Louisville Cardinals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Louisville -20.5, Total: 58
Papa John’s Stadium, Louisville, KY – Sunday, September 1st, 3:30 ET
The newly formed AAC only has one team in the Top 25 in the country, and Louisville is the only chance that the conference has of taking a team to the big time this year. After beating Florida in the Sugar Bowl last season, the Cards have to be thinking that they can take down anyone in America. However, they are going to have to run the table if they want to have any chance to win it all. QB Teddy Bridgewater is a Heisman Trophy frontrunner for sure, but he isn’t a lock by any stretch to make it to New York, especially if even one game for the Cardinals is lost. Ohio isn’t a pushover of a team. This was a club that was talking about potentially crashing the BCS last year after starting at 7-0, but losses in four out of five to end the regular season ended all of that. Louisville is only 7-15 ATS in its last 22 home games, and this is a dangerous game for sure against a team that is 5-1 ATS in its last six outside of the MAC.
Toledo Rockets (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #10 Florida Gators (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Florida -23.5, Total: 56.5
Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL – Saturday, August 31st, 12:21 ET
Last season, Florida had a history of really screwing around with these teams that it had no business screwing around with. The team trailed until the last play of the game against Louisiana Lafayette, it only finally managed to put away Jacksonville State in the fourth quarter. Bowling Green hung around all game long as well, and other teams that should have been beaten easily like Missouri and Vanderbilt stuck around, too. The bottom line is that Toledo isn’t going to be out of this game at any point necessarily, especially knowing that QB Jeff Driskel hasn’t taken a single hit since having an emergency appendectomy two weeks ago. UF failed to cover its last four home games of last season, and this one doesn’t necessarily look all that promising either.
Temple Owls (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Notre Dame -30, Total: 52.5
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN – Saturday, August 31st, 3:30 ET
This edition of the Golden Domers isn’t nearly as good as the edition that went to the National Championship Game last season in shocking fashion. Notre Dame is a good team still, in spite of the fact that QB Everett Golson was kicked off of the team and LB Manti Te’o and others graduated. Head Coach Brian Kelly still has a team that can compete and perhaps get to a BCS bowl game, though the National Championship Game for the second straight year is ridiculously farfetched. Temple is a dud team waiting to happen. The club failed to cover five of its last six games of last season. Notre Dame only went 1-4 ATS in its last five games at home, and this is a humongous number for a defensive-minded team to try to cover, especially this early in the season.
#12 Florida State Seminoles (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Pittsburgh Panthers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Florida State -10, Total: 49
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA – Monday, September 2nd, 8:00 ET
This is the type of game that Florida State seems to lose every single season. See: NC State in 2012. That was a primetime game that the Noles seemed to be ready to put away before choking in the second half. The Panthers are playing their first game in ACC play, and they are going to want to make a good first impression. There would be no such thing as a bigger impression than to beat the perennial favorites in the conference. QB Jameis Winston was named the team’s starting quarterback this year, and he has the same type of freshman hype that belonged to QB Johnny Manziel early on in his redshirt freshman season. The Noles finished out the year with five straight failed attempts at covers to end the regular season, and they are 0-6 ATS in their last six road games. The Panthers covered their last four at home, but they are just 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 games played in the month of September.
#13 LSU Tigers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #20 TCU Horned Frogs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: LSU -4, Total: 50.5
Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX – Saturday, August 31st, 9:00 ET
The SEC has yet another chance to flex its muscle and put yet another team in the Top 10 in the country on the first Saturday of the season. LSU is no stranger to playing games here in Arlington, as it did so two years ago when it beat up Oregon with QB Jarrett Lee at quarterback. Now, it’s up to QB Zach Mettenberger, who has a year under his belt now as the starting quarterback. TCU is out to prove that it is legit at this point as well in its second year of playing big boy college football in the Big XII. The Frogs though, are 0-6 ATS in their last six neutral site games and are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall. LSU is only 3-7 ATS in its last 10 though, including getting beaten in the Chic-Fil-A Bowl last season by Clemson. The difference? This might be the biggest regular season game in the history of the TCU program, and Head Coach Gary Patterson has a knack for winning games like this one.
Mississippi State Bulldogs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #14 Oklahoma State Cowboys (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma State -12.5, Total: 60
Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX – Saturday, August 31st, 3:30 ET
The Cowboys are never afraid to take their high-powered offense against anyone in the nation, and this is a relatively stern test for early in the season. Okie State is taking on what might be the 10th best team in the SEC in Mississippi State, but don’t take the Bulldogs lightly. QB Tyler Russell is back, and he has a strong team around him. The Dogs have a horrendous schedule in front of them, but they are going to be one of the best 6-6 type of teams in America this year. Head Coach Mike Gundy hasn’t settled on a starting quarterback at this point, and once again, he is likely going to be shuffling signal callers in and out of the lineup, but it hasn’t hurt him at this point and probably won’t hurt him in this game either. The Pokes are 4-1 ATS in their last five overall, and they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 in conference. MSU is only 1-5 ATS in its last six overall, 2-6 ATS in its last eight outside of the SEC and 0-6 ATS in its last six played in August.
New Mexico State Aggies (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #15 Texas Longhorns (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Texas -42, Total: 58
Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX – Saturday, August 31st, 8:00 ET
The Longhorns are expected to be a heck of a lot better this season than they have been in years past, and many think that they are fringe National Championship contenders as well. We aren’t sure that we should jump that far, but there are a heck of a lot of returning players from last season’s squad that have a lot to prove. This game though, will prove absolutely nothing. New Mexico State was one of the worst FBS teams in America last season, and that will be the case once again this year as well. The Aggies are 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games, and they are winless from an ATS standpoint in their last five tries against Big XII schools. Texas though, is only 9-19-1 ATS in its last 29 home games, and it has a big six-touchdown mountain to climb in this game to cover the spread.
Louisiana Monroe Warhawks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #16 Oklahoma Sooners (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma -23.5, Total: 59.5
Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK – Saturday, August 31st, 7:00 ET
No one is going to rest on the Warhawks this year after they went on the road and beat Arkansas last season. Of course, the Hogs ended up being a joke and a half when push really came to shove, but that should take nothing away from the efforts of the Sun Belt reps. The Sooners have been privy to upsets like this one in the past, and there is a real question at the quarterback position. QB Trevor Knight beat out QB Blake Bell as the starting quarterback for the time being in Norman, and we aren’t so sure that was the best decision. We’ll have to see how things pan out. You can tell that the oddsmakers aren’t so sure about the Sooners either, as they should be at least 30-point favorites over a Sun Belt team, one would think. The Warhawks are 7-1 ATS in their last eight on the road, but OU is 6-1 ATS in its last seven against the Sun Belt.
Central Michigan Chippewas (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #17 Michigan Wolverines (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Michigan -31.5, Total: 52.5
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI – Saturday, August 31st, 3:30 ET
The Chippewas haven’t been to the Big House since 2006, but this is an instate rivalry that dates back quite a long time when push comes to shove. Of course, the squads are nowhere near on the same level, though CMU will at least come into this one with some confidence, covering and winning their last four games of the season, including a bowl game upset of Western Kentucky. Better than that? Central Michigan is 6-2 ATS in its last eight against the Big Ten. Michigan is 5-1 ATS in its last six against the MAC and 11-5-1 ATS in its last 17 games outside of the Big Ten, so the Big Blue Nation has reason to be smiling, even laying nearly five full touchdowns. This should be the start of a great season in Ann Arbor, as QB Devin Gardner begins what could be a Heisman Trophy campaign.
Wyoming Cowboys (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #18 Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Nebraska -28, Total: 65.5
Lincoln Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE – Saturday, August 31st, 8:00 ET
Two seasons ago, Nebraska went on the road to Laramie and beat the Cowboys 38-14. Now, it’s time for Wyoming to return the favor and head to Lincoln, something that they are going to be doing twice in the future to make up for that one game at home. The Cornhuskers know that the Big Ten title is there to be had this season, though it isn’t going to be an easy road. This is a game that should be nothing but a short hurdle for QB Taylor Martinez and the gang, as the Cowboys just don’t have it at this point. However, Wyoming is 18-6 ATS in its last 24 road games, and that’s undeniable, even considering the fact that Nebraska is 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight games played here in front of the Children of the Corn.
#19 Boise State Broncos (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Washington Huskies (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Washington -3.5, Total: 52.5
Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA – Saturday, August 31st, 10:00 ET
There are few that really believe that Boise State has a legit chance to run the table this year, but this is a big game for QB Joe Southwick to try to get his team rallied around. The Broncos did win this game last season in the bowl game 28-26, and this is a return trip to Seattle in what should be a great game. The one game that these two played here in the past was in 2007, and U-Dub pulled off the upset 24-10 that day. This is a classic case of an unranked team being favored over a ranked team, and the likelihood is there that Washington is going to be replacing the boys from the Smurf Turf in the Top 25 in this one. The Huskies have covered five straight at home, and that might very well cancel out the fact that Boise State is 23-8 ATS in its last 31 games on the road. This is one of the unheralded games of the day that you aren’t going to want to miss when the big games are said and done with on Saturday.
Nevada Wolf Pack (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #21 UCLA Bruins (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: UCLA -19.5, Total: 66.5
Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, CA – Saturday, August 31st, 10:00 ET
The Bruins are hoping to get out of the blocks in strong for this year, as they only have three non-conference games to play. They have one of the stronger returning quarterbacks in the Pac-12 in QB Brett Hundley, who could be a fringe Heisman Trophy contender this year. Head Coach Brian Polian is going to be replacing the legendary Chris Ault, and he is keeping true to the traditions of the Pistol attack in Reno. The team his only 4-11-1 ATS in its last 16 non-conference games, and this is a tough matchup, knowing that UCLA sees the Pistol in practice every single day with Hundley running it. That’s the allure of playing against Nevada. Figure out the Pistol, and you’re going to get yourself an easy win. This one might not be an exception for the Bruins.
#22 Northwestern Wildcats (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Cal Golden Bears (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Northwestern -6, Total: 58
California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA – Saturday, August 31st, 10:30 ET
Can you believe that the Wildcats won 10 games last season? Believe it or not, they did, and they have a bunch of returners this year as well. Going to the Rose Bowl isn’t completely out of the question, especially if Ohio State ends up in the National Championship Game. This is a tough start to the season having to go out to the West Coast to take on Cal, though it’s nothing new for a Northwestern team that likes to play against middling big conference schools in non-conference play. Last year, the Golden Bears were one of the few to give Ohio State a real challenge in the Horseshoe, and that won’t be lost on Northwestern. Though Cal did finish with five straight ATS defeats, it has covered four straight against the Big Ten. Northwestern though, is 12-1 ATS in its last 13 games overall, including going 6-1 ATS in its last seven on the road.
Massachusetts Minutemen (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #23 Wisconsin Badgers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Wisconsin -44.5, Total: 53
Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI – Saturday, August 31st, 12:00 ET
Poor UMass is only here to get its butt kicked, and it is the biggest underdog of the day in games featuring a pair of FBS teams. Then again, saying that the Minutemen are an FBS team is a bit of an overstatement, knowing that they are probably the worst of the programs that are playing major college football right now. Wisconsin has high hopes for this season, but the truth of the matter is that this is probably the fourth or fifth best team in the Big Ten this year. Still, this is a game that should be a huge blowout, even though the ATS trends don’t really support either team all that much. The Minutemen are 0-5 ATS in their last five games played out of conference. Wisconsin though, is 0-6 ATS in its last six outside of the Big Ten.
#24 USC Trojans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Hawaii Warriors (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: USC -22, Total: 53.5
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI – Thursday, August 29th, 11:00 ET
USC is going to end up with another game this year due to the fact that it is playing at Hawaii in this one. It’s definitely not the first time that these two are going to be playing each other in recent history. The Trojans took out Hawaii both in 2012 and 2010, but both games were covered by the Warriors. Remember that Hawaii Head Coach Norm Chow is coaching against his former team. That isn’t going to make that much of a difference in this one, knowing that there is a huge talent gap between these two teams. Hawaii has covered four of its last five against the Pac-12, but it is just 5-14 ATS in its last 19 games overall. The Trojans have failed to cover their last seven road games, and they are going to end up with problems at the quarterback position after their chosen boy, QB Matt Barkley moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Eastern Washington Huskies (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #25 Oregon State Beavers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Oregon State -28, Total: Off
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR – Saturday, August 31st, 6:00 ET
Eastern Washington is one of these teams that find a way to pull off an upset or two every single season against FBS teams, so Oregon State would be wise not to rest on this team by any stretch of the imagination. The Beavers though, are rock solid this year. They are rounding out the Top 25 at this point, though they finished out the year alternating wins and losses in their last eight games. One of those games though, was a 77-3 win against Nicholls State, the last time that Oregon State played against an FCS team.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.
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