NCAA Football Betting: Top 25 College Football Matchups for Week 1


Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NCAA football betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 1!

North Texas Mean Green (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #1 LSU Tigers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: LSU -43.5, Total: 52

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA – Saturday, September 1st, 7:00 ET

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Watch the weather closely in this game, as there could be some remnants from Hurricane Isaac wreaking havoc on Baton Rouge. Of course, this game could be played in a massive monsoon, and it could be played in perfect weather, and it could be played on the moon. It probably isn’t going to matter all that much. QB Zach Mettenberger will want to make a great debut for the Tigers, and we just don’t see how a Sun Belt team that is going to finish near the bottom of the conference is going to stand all that much of a shot against the No. 1 team in the land.

#8 Michigan Wolverines (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Alabama -13.5, Total: 45.5

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA – Saturday, September 1st, 8:00 ET

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This is the game of the weekend for sure for college football betting fans. The Crimson Tide and the Wolverines are going to be involved in what should be a massive showdown in the Lone Star State, and it will surely have implications on the National Championship picture and the Heisman Trophy race. Michigan really has nothing to lose and everything to gain, so the pressure should be on Alabama, which has had its practice schedule messed up by Hurricane Isaac. It could be quite the interesting tussle if QB Denard Robinson can find himself some space to run around in.

Hawaii Warriors (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #3 USC Trojans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: USC -38, Total: 62.5

Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA – Saturday, September 1st, 8:00 ET

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Hawaii has been able to put some points on the board against USC historically, but this might be a very different situation. This is the game that QB Matt Barkley can get his Heisman Trophy campaign off on the right foot for, knowing that he should be able to shred this team to bits. It is also the debut for RB Silas Redd after transferring from Penn State. Both should have big days, and the Men of Troy should storm out of the gates to a 1-0 start without all that much in the way of resistance from a Hawaii team that just isn’t all that talented.

#4 Oklahoma Sooners (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ UTEP Miners (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma -31, Total: 62.5

Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TX – Saturday, September 1st, 10:30 ET

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Why Oklahoma is playing a road game at UTEP is beyond us, but in the end, it won’t matter all that much. The Miners are at best a middle of the pack team in Conference USA, and that might be incredibly generous to say the least. The Sooners are hoping to prove that their defense has improved, and QB Landry Jones wants to be a Heisman Trophy candidate. Those are the matters that are truly important. Victory should be a given for OU.

Arkansas State Red Wolves (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #5 Oregon Ducks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Oregon -35.5, Total: 68

Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR – Saturday, September 1st, 10:30 ET

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Head Coach Chip Kelly nearly left for the NFL this year, but he is back and has made some interesting offseason decisions about his offense. This should still be a run and gun offense to say the least, but this time around, he is going to run into a team that does have some talent. Head Coach Gus Malzahn is making his debut, and he is going to have a lot of fun building his program around third year starting QB Ryan Aplin. Points should be aplenty in what should be more of an interesting game than this point spread suggests.

Buffalo Bulls (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #6 Georgia Bulldogs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Georgia -37.5, Total: 53

Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA – Saturday, September 1st, 12:00 ET

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The Buffalo Bills could replace the Buffalo Bulls in the second half of this game, and it probably wouldn’t make all that much of a difference. Georgia has itself a strong team this year, and there are going to be some bumps and bruises along the way in the SEC, but this isn’t going to be a challenging game. The Bulls were a one-year wonder under old Head Coach Turner Gill, who parlayed that success into a brief coaching stint at Kansas, but ever since then, neither Gill nor UB have had all that much success. This should be a romp from the start.

#9 South Carolina Gamecocks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Vanderbilt Commodores (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: South Carolina -6.5, Total: 45

Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN – Thursday, August 30th, 7:00 ET

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The season starts with a tough SEC East clash for South Carolina. QB Connor Shaw is battling a bad back, and if he is limited, this could be a particularly challenging game. Vandy is no pushover for sure, as the team has come a long way in recent years. Both of these defenses have the ability to be stout, and there could be long stretches in this game where neither team really has all that much of a chance of getting points on the board.

Marshall Thundering Herd (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #11 West Virginia Mountaineers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: West Virginia -25.5, Total: 65

Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, WV – Saturday, September 1st, 12:00 ET

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This could be the last time that West Virginia and Marshall meet, as it is the end of their seven-year agreement. It has been a completely one-sided affair for the entire duration of the rivalry, even dating back into the 1910s. The Mountaineers have never lost, and that doesn’t look to be the case time this around either. Marshall is a team that could be in a bowl game this year though, so QB Rakeem Cato and the Herd at least have half of a chance of keeping this one interesting for a bit.

#22 Boise State Broncos (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #13 Michigan State Spartans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Michigan State -7, Total: 46

Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI – Friday, August 31st, 8:00 ET

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This is more or less the grand appetizer for the Alabama/Michigan game to go on the next night in Arlington. Still, this is a big time game between two teams that have a heck of a lot to prove. Boise State still has BCS dreams, and it might need to pull off this upset to have a chance of getting the job done. Still, QB Joe Southwick is raw, but so is the new Michigan State signal caller, QB Andrew Maxwell. This is another one of these “season on the line” games for the Broncos, but the Spartans know that their chances of an at large bid in the BCS would probably be up in flames with a loss.

#14 Clemson Tigers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #25 Auburn Tigers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Clemson -3.5, Total: 55.5

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA – Saturday, September 1st, 7:00 ET

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The Tiger tale of the week pits Auburn against Clemson, and this is a game that college football bettors should be watching closely. It could be a great indication as to whether or not the ACC or the SEC really is strong in its middle of the pack this year, and it should also be a good indicator as to how strong this Clemson offense really can be. Auburn isn’t going to be a pushover for sure, but it doesn’t have more than seven or perhaps eight wins in it on the campaign, but it will provide a great challenge for the Tigers, who think that this is the year they can perhaps challenge for the BCS National Championship as an outside contender.

Wyoming Cowboys (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #15 Texas Longhorns (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Texas -30, Total: 51

Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX – Saturday, September 1st, 8:00 ET

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Many forget that Wyoming was a bowl team last year, and one that challenged for the MWC crown for a good chunk of the season. Of course, the squad ended up being no match for the Boise States and TCU’s of this world, but it was still a solid year. Texas is going to be under the gun to compete once again, and it could be a long, uphill battle as the season progresses. This shouldn’t be such a tough start for newly anointed QB David Ash, as he tries to prove that he is the man that should be leading the charge against the rest of the crew in the Big XII for the Horns in 2012.

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Nebraska -20, Total: 53

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE – Saturday, September 1st, 3:30 ET

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Many are going to be jumping on the points with Southern Miss in this one because it was a team that was so good last year. However, a lot has changed, including 11 of the 21 starters and the coaching staff now that Larry Fedora is at North Carolina. Nebraska isn’t the greatest team in the world, but if QB Taylor Martinez can really live up to that hype that was created during his freshman year, the Huskers could be Rose Bowl material this year. This is a pivotal game to put away early, or the Big Red nation could get impatient with Martinez and the offense.

San Jose State Spartans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #18 Stanford Cardinal (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Stanford -26, Total: 51.5

Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA – Friday, August 31st, 10:00 ET

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QB Andrew Luck has moved on, but the Cardinal still figure to at least have an outside chance of contending for the Pac-12 crown this yea. QB Josh Nunes was named the surprise starter for this season, and he has a lot to prove for Stanford. San Jose State is the perfect team to get started with, as this is nothing but a fodder game for the Cardinal that should be long finished being competitive by halftime.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #20 Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Virginia Tech -7, Total: 48.5

Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA – Monday, September 3rd, 8:00 ET

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The two Tech schools of the ACC are going to do battle in what has become a tradition over the course of the last decade or so on Labor Day night. It is the first time that the Coastal Division has had a game with two of its teams in the history of the annual Labor Day game, and that might make this one all the more important. Georgia Tech’s triple option offense has had success in the past against the Hokies, but late in games when matters are figured out and the defense gets comfortable, the Ramblin’ Wreck have had a history of struggling. They’ll need to be good for the full 60 minutes to be able to win this game on the road. The loser might already know that the best it can reasonably do this season is the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Bowling Green Falcons (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #23 Florida Gators (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Florida -29, Total: 48

Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL – Saturday, September 1st, 3:30 ET

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The Gators are going to be using both QB Jeff Driskell and QB Jacoby Brissett on Saturday, as both will get a quarter’s worth of action. Head Coach Will Muschamp really wants to figure out who the man is that will be taking the majority of his snaps this year, though he might never really come to a conclusion. The good news is that this is just a terrible opponent. Florida has won 22 consecutive opening games of the season, and Bowling Green should immediately become victim No. 23 in a row.

#24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Navy Midshipmen (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Notre Dame -15.5, Total: 56.5

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland – Saturday, September 1st, 9:00 a.m. ET

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It feels like forever ago that Navy broke the dastardly 46-year losing streak to the Fighting Irish, but in truth, it was only five years ago that this rivalry became competitive once again. This year, the game is being played in Dublin, the first of its kind in college football, and it should be quite the spectacle. Quite the game though, is a significantly different story. The Irish are going to be without RB Cierre Wood and QB Tommy Rees, both of which have been suspended for the opener. Navy isn’t a great team as it is, but this is a game that the Middies always get up for regardless of what the records of the two teams say.

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Aaron Ryan

Aaron 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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