Three months before the season’s first game kicks off, college football lines for Week 1 are open for business at the South Point sports book.
“The bettors are lined up to play,” said book director Chris Andrews, who posted lines Thursday on 43 games, with an initial wagering limit of $1,000 per game. (The first two hours drew a handle of about $70,000, Andrews said.)
The numbers were announced on Brent Musburger's VSiN show, "My Guys in the Desert."
The season opens Aug. 26, when Colorado State is a 2-point home favorite over Oregon State, before powerhouse teams coached by Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer take the spotlight.
Alabama, a 35-31 loser to Clemson in the national championship game in January, is in action on Sept. 2, the season’s first full Saturday. The Crimson Tide open as 4-point favorites over Florida State on a neutral field in Atlanta.
Clemson, which lost quarterback Deshaun Watson as a first-round NFL Draft pick, raises the curtain on a new era. The Tigers open as 40-point favorites over Kent State.
“I have Ohio State rated No. 1, and Alabama No. 2,” Andrews said.
The Buckeyes open as 21-point favorites at Indiana on Aug. 31.
In a marquee Big Ten-Southeastern Conference matchup, Michigan is a 3-point favorite over Florida at Arlington, Texas.
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is seeking to become the first Heisman Trophy winner in back-to-back years since Ohio State running back Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975. The Cardinals are 27-point favorites over Purdue in Indianapolis.
Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold is the early Heisman favorite. The Trojans opened as 19-point favorites over Western Michigan, and early play on USC moved the line to 20.5.
After a 4-8 finish and a quarterback change, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly enters the season under pressure in South Bend. The Fighting Irish opened as 11-point favorites over Temple before the number was bet to 12.
Oklahoma, which returns star quarterback Baker Mayfield, is the biggest favorite on the board by laying 48 points to Texas-El Paso.
Oklahoma State and Boise State were the biggest movers after the first hour of betting. The Cowboys were bet from 10- to 17-point favorites over Tulsa. The Broncos were bet from 5- to 11-point favorites over Troy.
Hawaii, Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Utah State, Boston College, Iowa, Marshall, Akron, Nevada, Louisiana State and Maryland were other sides that attracted enough play to force minor line adjustments.
“Last year’s schedule in Week 1 was one of the best ever,” said Vinny Magliulo, VSiN oddsmaker. “The fact that these games are going up at the end of May will really jump-start the wagering handle. These games will see a lot of action today, through the weekend and throughout the summer.”
The South Point’s opening lines (home team in CAPS):
Saturday, Aug. 26
COLORADO STATE 2 Oregon State
Hawaii 1 MASSACHUSETTS
South Florida 25 SAN JOSE STATE
Stanford 38 Rice @Sydney, Australia
Thursday, Aug. 31
Ohio State 21 INDIANA
MINNESOTA 31 Buffalo
MEMPHIS 23 Louisiana-Monroe
ARIZONA STATE 26 New Mexico State
Friday, Sept. 1
EASTERN MICHIGAN 12.5 Charlotte
Washington 33 RUTGERS
Navy 21 FLORIDA ATLANTIC
WISCONSIN 37 Utah State
NORTHERN ILLINOIS 2 Boston College
Colorado Off Colorado State @Denver
Saturday, Sept. 2
MICHIGAN STATE 18 Bowling Green
IOWA 11.5 Wyoming
Miami (Ohio) 8.5 MARSHALL
CLEMSON 40 Kent State
Massachusetts Off COASTAL CAROLINA
PENN STATE 39 Akron
Louisville 27 Purdue @Indianapolis
NEBRASKA 19 Arkansas State
CENTRAL FLORIDA 21 Florida International
NORTHWESTERN 28 Nevada
ILLINOIS 11 Ball State
OKLAHOMA 48 Texas-El Paso
NORTH CAROLINA 14 California
MISSISSIPPI 22.5 South Alabama
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 19 Western Michigan
Louisiana State 8 Brigham Young @Houston
TEXAS 23 Maryland
NOTRE DAME 11 Temple
AUBURN 36 Georgia Southern
GEORGIA 11 Appalachian State
Kentucky 13.5 SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
Houston 17 TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO
North Carolina State 8 South Carolina @Charlotte
OKLAHOMA STATE 10 Tulsa
Michigan 3 Florida @Arlington, Texas
Vanderbilt 10.5 MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Alabama 4 Florida State @Atlanta
BOISE STATE 5 Troy
Sunday, Sept. 3
Virginia Tech 5 West Virginia @Landover, Md.
UCLA 4 Texas A&M
Monday, Sept. 4
Tennessee 3 Georgia Tech @Atlanta