CFB betting lines out for Week 1 games
The excitement of Week 1 is always enhanced by some of the marquee matchups that come along with the start of the college football season. With one more year of a four-team College Football Playoff, some of these games will set the landscape for the season and shed some light on the legitimate contenders for a championship.
But, we also have games that will set the trajectory of the campaign for teams that are looking to reach new heights or capitalize on recent successes. There are also a bunch of paycheck games where big underdogs will try to play the role of Cinderella, while also cashing big, fat stacks for the athletic department.
There’s something for everyone in Week 1 and DraftKings Sportsbook has odds up for the Labor Day Weekend action.
Here are the betting odds for the top five games of Week 1:
(odds from DraftKings as of May 22, 3 p.m. PT)
LSU Tigers (-2) vs. Florida State Seminoles (Orlando)
Sunday night in the Sunshine State brings us a monster game between LSU and Florida State. Led by QB Jordan Travis, the Seminoles put together an 11-2 campaign to put Florida State football back on the map and back in the preseason top 10. This is one of two huge September tests that will determine whether or not FSU has a chance at making the College Football Playoff. The other is the game at Clemson on Sept. 23.
For LSU, who could walk into Orlando as a quasi-neutral site favorite, this game also sets the tone of the season after a 10-4 showing in Brian Kelly’s first year at the helm. Senior QB Jayden Daniels has a boatload of talent and last year’s game was a battle down to the wire in New Orleans that ended with a Florida State victory on a blocked extra point attempt. This game just keeps getting bigger and bigger with the preseason hype for these two teams and it should only increase as kickoff approaches.
South Carolina Gamecocks vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (-1.5) (Charlotte)
Hearing “Duke’s Mayo” probably sends Shane Beamer into a frenzy, after the Gamecocks coach got a mild concussion from having a cooler of mayonnaise first bounced off of his head and then dumped all over him followed his team’s bowl game win over the Tar Heels to conclude his first season in Columbia back in 2021. Fast forward and South Carolina is on the verge of becoming a legitimate threat to Georgia’s throne with QB Spencer Rattler back and some strong recruiting classes to close the gap with Palmetto State rival Clemson.
To get the season off on the right foot, a retooled defense has to solve QB Drake Maye, who many consider to be the second favorite for the Heisman and possibly the second overall pick behind (the other) USC’s Caleb Williams. Maye and the Tar Heels do have a new offensive coordinator in Chip Lindsey after Phil Longo bolted for Wisconsin and heavy losses on both sides of the ball. For two teams looking to set the tone, this game is exactly that.
Boise State Broncos at Washington Huskies (-14)
The Chris Petersen Bowl is a much bigger game for Washington than it is for Boise State, as the Huskies do have some College Football Playoff hopes in Year 2 of the Kalen DeBoer regime. Michael Penix Jr.’s return video was celebrated within the locker room and the Huskies are willing to challenge themselves with this game against Boise and a road tilt in East Lansing before Pac-12 play begins.
It was a little bit of an up-and-down year for the Broncos last season, but they run the ball as well as anybody in the country thanks to dual-threat QB Taylen Green and had a top-10 defense last season. It will be a good test for both teams here and a stunner could put Boise State back on top of the mantle as a mid-major powerhouse in college football.
Colorado Buffaloes at TCU Horned Frogs (-20.5)
This doesn’t look like the most competitive game on paper, but there will be a palpable buzz in Fort Worth for the Colorado debut of head coach Deion Sanders. TCU will also have to try and find a new starting QB after last year’s National Championship runner-up hero Max Duggan moved on to the NFL. There are a lot of moving parts for this game and one of them could be the scoreboard, as the Buffaloes hired former Kent State head coach Sean Lewis, who is known for pushing the tempo and his offensive genius.
QB Shedeur Sanders has a bunch of brand-new players to work with after following his dad from Jackson State and, oh, yeah, he played his high school ball 40 minutes east of Fort Worth at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill. For TCU, Chandler Morris will likely get the first crack at quarterback with a team that has a new OC in Kendal Briles and a ton to replace from last year’s squad.
Clemson Tigers (-11) at Duke Blue Devils
Monday Night Football features Clemson and Duke, as the NFL waits a few more days to get going. The Blue Devils were one of last season’s biggest surprise teams, as first-year head coach Mike Elko led the team to a 9-4 mark and a Military Bowl win over UCF. In the era of the transfer portal, Duke held on to most of the top contributors, a testament to the culture Elko has built in Durham and the leadership of QB Riley Leonard.
It will officially be Cade Klubnik’s turn to run the Tigers offense, albeit under a new OC in Garrett Riley, who led TCU to the National Championship Game. The Tigers have a lot of questions to answer, despite tons of talent on both sides of the ball, but the loss of DC Brent Venables had a big impact on last year’s squad. After losing to rival South Carolina for the first time since 2013 and no-showing in the Orange Bowl against Tennessee, it seems like the Tigers need to make a statement here.
Week 1 College Football Betting Lines
Here are the lines for the other Week 1 games:
NC State (-16) at UConn
Kent State at UCF (-31.5)
Nebraska at Minnesota (-7.5)
Florida at Utah (-9.5)
Louisville (-8.5) at Georgia Tech
Miami (OH) at Miami (FL) (-17.5)
Central Michigan at Michigan State (-14.5)
Stanford (-10.5) at Hawaii
Coastal Carolina at UCLA (-14.5)
Utah State at Iowa (-20.5)
Toledo at Illinois (-8.5)
California (-6.5) at North Texas
Texas State at Baylor (-24)
Akron at Temple (-10)
Ohio State (-28) at Indiana
Texas Tech (-14) at Wyoming
Louisiana Tech at SMU (-15.5)
South Alabama at Tulane (-6.5)
Washington State (-16) at Colorado State
UMass at Auburn (-39.5)
Fresno State at Purdue (-6.5)
Buffalo at Wisconsin (-22.5)
Army (-7) at UL Monroe
Nevada at USC (-36.5)
Rice at Texas (-34.5)
Middle Tennessee at Alabama (-37)
Sam Houston at BYU (-23.5)
Northern Illinois at Boston College (-9.5)
New Mexico at Texas A&M (-37.5)
Arkansas State at Oklahoma (-33.5)
Bowling Green at Liberty (-12.5)
UTSA at Houston (-2)
South Florida at Western Kentucky (-14)
Old Dominion at Virginia Tech (-14)
Ball State at Kentucky (-26)
Virginia at Tennessee (-27)
East Carolina at Michigan (-36.5)
West Virginia at Penn State (-18.5)
Oregon State (-16) at San Jose State