College football Week 1 predictions: Georgia won’t cover

Last year, The Profit opened by giving out Georgia (+1000) as its nationwide championship decide. In this unusually top-heavy year — of a sport already lengthy outlined by unequal alternative — no lengthy shot has a lot of a shot. 

Only twice previously seven years has a staff with +1000 odds or longer received the nationwide championship. In the playoff period, no champion has come from exterior the top-10 preseason favorites. LSU (2019) was the one winner exterior the highest 5. 

Georgia is best positioned than 128 groups to win all of it once more, however a staff returning fewer than half of final year’s starters isn’t going to change into the primary back-to-back champion in a decade. The highway to repeating will start with extra bother than sportsbooks are suggesting. The opener in opposition to Oregon (+17.5) presents a matchup in opposition to a coach (Dan Lanning) who spent the previous three years working Georgia’s protection, a quarterback (Bo Nix) who spent three years beginning within the SEC, an offensive line returning all 5 starters and different game-changing expertise from a staff which ought to return to the Pac-12 title recreation.

MICHIGAN (-30.5) over Colorado State

The Wolverines have important holes to fill after final year’s long-awaited Big Ten title, however Jim Harbaugh’s offense must be even higher this season. A loaded offensive line ought to have little bother successful virtually each battle within the trenches, clearing the way in which for the most effective floor recreation within the Big Ten to place up 300-plus dashing yards. 

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BOSTON COLLEGE (-7) over Rutgers

Greg Schiano’s quarterback competitors conjures up little perception that final year’s One hundred and twentieth-ranked offense will out of the blue obtain respectability. The Eagles have the sting on either side of the ball, however profit most with a wholesome Phil Jurkovec — a possible first-round draft decide — again underneath middle. 

Cincinnati (+6.5) over ARKANSAS

Hopes are unusually — and deservedly — excessive in Fayetteville with KJ Jefferson and a strong supporting cast again after placing collectively Arkansas’ finest season in a decade. The Bearcats shouldn’t be missed, although, even after dropping 9 gamers — together with Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner — to the NFL draft. The back-to-back AAC champs nonetheless have the convention’s finest staff and coach (Luke Fickell), and haven’t lost a regular-season recreation since 2019. 

Jake Renfro anchors the offensive line for Cincinnati.
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OKLAHOMA (-31) over Utep

For the primary time in seven years, the Sooners weren’t chosen as the favourite within the Big 12 preseason ballot. For the second straight year, the prediction shall be unsuitable. Yes, Oklahoma lost Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams to USC — plus, Spencer Rattler to South Carolina — nevertheless it nonetheless has the league’s most full staff, led by former UCF standout QB Dillon Gabriel. A brand new period will result in the college’s finest protection in years, headed by longtime Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. 

Utah (-3) over FLORIDA

If you’d like a playoff decide with upside, the Utes (+500) are among the many finest performs out there. Seventeenth-year coach Kyle Whittingham, final seen throughout a three-point loss to Ohio State within the Rose Bowl, returns expertise, confidence and stability from the reigning Pac-12 champs. The Swamp isn’t sufficient to offer coach Billy Napier the sting in his first recreation with a roster that went 6-7 final season and lost a number of high quality gamers. 

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Utah State (+41.5) over ALABAMA

This season’s nationwide champions (sorry, spoiler) open in opposition to a non-Power Five opponent for the primary time in 11 years, however the Aggies are higher than their model. They received 11 video games final season and convey again eight starters — together with quarterback Logan Bonner and his complete offensive line, however excluding Alabama switch/receiver Xavier Williams — from an offense that ranked twenty second nationally. Or, Bama shall be bored by the third quarter. 

OHIO STATE (-17) over Notre Dame

Marcus Freeman was dealt a nasty hand to begin his first season as head coach. An complete offseason isn’t sufficient time to develop a plan to cease Heisman Trophy favourite C.J. Stroud, who’s a protected wager to steer the Buckeyes again atop the Big Ten. The Irish are 1-7 of their final eight video games in opposition to top-10 groups and have lost their previous 10 highway video games in opposition to top-10 groups by a mean of 18 factors. 

C.J. Stroud.
C.J. Stroud is a prime title to observe within the Heisman race.
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Louisville (-4.5) over SYRACUSE

During back-to-back dropping seasons, the Cardinals beat the Orange by a complete of 71-3. Dual-threat Malik Cunningham will pad his stats once more, as Garrett Shrader offers Syracuse followers the identical uneasy feeling of uttering the brand new title of their residence discipline. The JMA Wireless Dome simply rolls off the tongue. 

Boise State (+2.5) over OREGON STATE

The second season underneath Andy Avalos ought to go a lot smoother. An elite protection that surrendered lower than 20 factors per recreation brings again eight starters, whereas senior quarterback Hank Bachmeier ought to bounce again after battling a knee harm final season. The Beavers are 0-4 in season openers underneath coach Jonathan Smith. 

LSU (-3) over Florida State

Brian Kelly’s transition to a brand new sideline received’t be almost as awkward as his transfer to the Deep South. The New England native and longtime Notre Dame coach’s fake Southern accent wants work, however Kelly’s incapability to win a nationwide title — one thing solely 4 energetic coaches can declare — unfairly minimizes his skill to amass the fourth-best win share amongst all energetic coaches. He inherits sufficient expertise and expertise to take down one other former juggernaut — which hasn’t posted a successful season since 2017 — in a de facto residence recreation in New Orleans. 

Clemson (-21.5) over GEORGIA TECH

During an inevitable down season — even Alabama missed the playoff in 2019 — by which its offense ranked 98th within the nation, Clemson nonetheless completed with 10 wins. Dabo Swinney returns a dominant protection with the potential to be the nation’s finest, whereas quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is extra prone to appear like the five-star freshman sensation than the rationale for final season’s step again. We are just one year faraway from him being thought of the front-runner to be the No. 1 general NFL draft decide in 2023. 

Best bets: Purdue, Cincinnati, Boise State
2014-21 report: 1,030-970-19

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