College football started with one game on Wednesday followed up by a light schedule on Thursday. Friday’s schedule is also quite light, but on Saturday, nearly every team will be playing from coast to coast.
The first week of action is equally difficult for bettors and odd makers as both do their past to predict how good or how bad a team will be at the outset.
Odds makers can adjust their numbers while the year progresses, while bettors look over all the trends and decide from there what their best possible bet is.
For odds makers the first week can be either real good or the opposite, very bad. Teams can lose two dozen players to the draft and graduation, but remain powerful making it hard to judge them out of the box.
On Thursday night, South Carolina was expected to defeat the Texas A&M Aggies who were playing their first game without Johnny Manziel. The Aggies ended up routing the Gamecocks 52-28.
On Saturday, all eyes will be focused on the freshman quarterback for Ohio State. The Buckeyes on Bovada and betonline were 16.5-point favorites over Navy to start the week, but once Braxton Miller their starting quarterback was lost to a season ending injury that line shrank to 13.5 points.
J.T. Barrett the redshirt freshman will make his first start for the Buckeyes. The big wonder is will he live up to expectation and can he lead the No. 5 ranked Buckeyes to glory this season. Everyone gets their first glimpse on Saturday.
Another big game on Saturday has the UCLA Bruins coming east to play the Virginia Cavaliers. The Bruins on topbet and sportsbook.com are favored by 22 points on the road.
With Brett Hundley at quarterback and the talented Myles Jack on defense, UCLA will be tough to beat on Saturday. If the Bruins jump out early to a two or three touchdown lead, the game will end up a rout by 35 to 40 points, otherwise Virginia might keep it interesting at least for three quarters.
How much will the Tide roll is another uncertainty entering the new season. Alabama starts a new era without AJ McCarron under center and faces West Virginia.
The spread has bounced between -26 and -27 for Alabama. Observers are nervously awaiting the play of the Tide’s new quarterback, which is still up in the air.
One certainty remains with Alabama however, their defense will once again be very strong.
Baylor faces SMU on Sunday and this game has the highest point total for the week at 73.5. Baylor opened -31 and that has grown to -33. Last season, the Bears scored 69 points or more in each of their opening four games.
Some observers see that total being pushed up to 75 before Sunday arrives.
The season is just starting and already the excitement is taking hold of players, fans, bettors and bookmakers.
Hold on, it should be a fun ride.