Three top-25 matchups highlight the first big weekend of college football from Thursday Sep. 2 to Monday Sept. 6. For more football picks and college football betting information visit our NCAA Football section.
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No. 24 Oregon State (+13) vs. No. 6 TCU – Saturday 7:45 pm ET
This game is being played in Arlington, Texas. Pac-10 Oregon State still has running back Jacquizz Rodgers, but also one of the toughest non-conference schedules by also playing Boise State. TCU is a legitimate national title contender out of the MWC. The fact they’re giving 13-points shows just how far this program has come.
No. 18 North Carolina (-1) vs. No. 21 LSU – Saturday 8 pm ET
This is the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game from Atlanta, Georgia. ACC North Carolina could have the best defense in the country, but there’s an NCAA probe lingering over the program. LSU is one of six SEC teams ranked in the AP top-25, but many think they’re the worst. Coach Les Miles and quarterback Jordan Jefferson think otherwise.
No. 3 Boise State (-3) vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech – Monday 8 pm ET
This is the biggest game of the weekend and will be played at the Washington Redskins stadium in Landover, Maryland. Boise State is ranked No. 3 in the AP and No. 5 in the Coaches Poll. It seems the coaches like Texas and Florida a bit more. Boise State may run the table to the national title game if they get by Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech is the favorite to win the ACC and has a bruising running back duo of Ryan Williams and Darren Evans. They will certainly try to overpower Boise State in the ground game first. The Hokies have lost many defensive starters and could have major trouble with quarterback Kellen Moore, a Heisman candidate.
Elsewhere around the nation, USC is giving 21-points at Hawaii in its first game since their crippling sanctions. Brian Kelly debuts for his Notre Dame squad by giving 11 points to Purdue.
Kelly’s old team, Cincinnati, is an undervalued team that should give Fresno State trouble (Even odds).
Connecticut looks like a solid value getting three-points at Michigan. If Connecticut wasn’t a relative newcomer to major college football, and Michigan wasn’t a traditional powerhouse, then this spread would be reversed.
College Week 1 – Key Games
Pittsburgh (+3) at Utah – Thursday
USC (-21) at Hawaii – Thursday
Illinois (13 ½) vs. Missouri – Saturday
Colorado (-12) vs. Colorado State – Saturday
Purdue (+11) at Notre Dame – Saturday
Connecticut (+3) at Michigan – Saturday
Washington (+3) at BYU – Saturday
Oregon State (+13) vs TCU – Saturday
North Carolina (-1) vs. LSU – Saturday
Cincinnati (Even) at Fresno State – Saturday
Boise State (-3) vs. Virginia Tech – Monday