College Football Week 1: Early Lines, Odds & Predictions (2022)

Drake Maye

Here’s an early look at College Football Week 1 lines, odds, and predictions for how things will go this week.

*Note: ATL stands for “Adjusted Thor Line,” and ATT stands for “Adjusted Thor Total.” Projected totals are based on 2021 data and do not account for personnel or schematic changes (ie bring that with you to your handicap)

CFB FD CTA




Away
Home
ATL
Spread
Difference
ATT
Total
Difference
Day
CST


Central Michigan
Oklahoma St.
-16.2
-20.5
4.3
49
59
-10
Thursday
6:00


West Virginia
Pittsburgh
-17.8
-7.5
-10.3
60.5
51.5
9
Thursday
6:00


Ball St.
Tennessee
-32.9
-33.5
0.6
62.5
67.5
-5
Thursday
6:00


Penn St.
Purdue
3.4
3.5
-0.1
45
54
-9
Thursday
7:00


Louisiana Tech
Missouri
-11.4
-19
7.6
73.5
58.5
15
Thursday
7:00


New Mexico St.
Minnesota
-35.4
-37.5
2.1
60.5
55.5
5
Thursday
8:00


Western Michigan
Michigan St.
-30.3
-20
-10.3
61
55.5
5.5
Friday
6:00


Virginia Tech
Old Dominion
9.5
8.5
1.0
45
50.5
-5.5
Friday
6:00


Temple
Duke
-5.8
-6.5
0.7
60
52
8
Friday
6:30


Illinois
Indiana
3.1
-3.5
6.6
42
47.5
-5.5
Friday
7:00


TCU
Colorado
15.2
10.5
4.7
56.5
55.5
1
Friday
9:00


Texas St.
Nevada
0.6
-4.5
5.1
66
55
11
Saturday
4:30


Buffalo
Maryland
-17.3
-22.5
5.2
66
63
3
Saturday
11:00


Colorado St.
Michigan
-32.3
-27.5
-4.8
57
58.5
-1.5
Saturday
11:00


Rutgers
Boston College
-5.7
-7.5
1.8
44.5
48
-3.5
Saturday
11:00


North Carolina
Appalachian St.
3.9
1.5
2.4
67.5
57
10.5
Saturday
11:00


North Carolina St.
East Carolina
12.7
11
1.7
58
56
2
Saturday
11:00


Bowling Green
UCLA
-24.7
-24.5
-0.2
62
57.5
4.5
Saturday
1:30


Cincinnati
Arkansas
-1.0
-5.5
4.5
58
52
6
Saturday
2:30


Oregon
Georgia
-11.1
-17.5
6.4
57
51.5
5.5
Saturday
2:30


Arizona
San Diego St.
-4.4
-6
1.6
44
47.5
-3.5
Saturday
2:30


Tulsa
Wyoming
4.1
4.5
-0.4
44
45.5
-1.5
Saturday
2:30


UTEP
Oklahoma
-30.1
-31.5
1.4
64
56
8
Saturday
2:30


Houston
UTSA
5.9
4
1.9
65
61.5
3.5
Saturday
2:30


Troy
Ole Miss
-17.3
-22.5
5.2
58
57.5
0.5
Saturday
3:00


Brigham Young
South Florida
14.5
11.5
3.0
62
58.5
3.5
Saturday
3:00


Florida Atlantic
Ohio
4.0
3.5
0.5
48.5
49.5
-1
Saturday
5:00


Middle Tennessee
James Madison
-0.5
-6.5
6.0
56
57
-1
Saturday
5:00


Rice
USC
-28.6
-34.5
5.9
60.5
64.5
-4
Saturday
5:00


Utah
Florida
5.9
2.5
3.4
60
50.5
9.5
Saturday
6:00


Miami (OH)
Kentucky
-15.5
-17.5
2.0
54
51.5
2.5
Saturday
6:00


Army
Coastal Carolina
-3.6
-2.5
-1.1
60.5
54.5
6
Saturday
6:00


Liberty
Southern Miss
4.7
3.5
1.2
47
50.5
-3.5
Saturday
6:00


Massachusetts
Tulane
-26.4
-29.5
3.1
63.5
59.5
4
Saturday
6:00


Utah St.
Alabama
-42.6
-40
-2.6
71
62.5
8.5
Saturday
6:30


Memphis
Mississippi St.
-14.9
-14.5
-0.4
60.5
57
3.5
Saturday
6:30


Georgia St.
South Carolina
-8.1
-12.5
4.4
46
56.5
-10.5
Saturday
6:30


Notre Dame
Ohio St.
-19.7
-17
-2.7
74
58.5
15.5
Saturday
6:30


SMU
North Texas
10.0
10.5
-0.5
68
68.5
-0.5
Saturday
6:30


Louisiana-Monroe
Texas
-39.1
-38.5
-0.6
69.5
66.5
3
Saturday
7:00


Louisville
Syracuse
6.6
4
2.6
58.5
58.5
0
Saturday
7:00


Boise St.
Oregon St.
-1.6
-3.5
1.9
56.5
57
-0.5
Saturday
9:30


Kent St.
Washington
-23.5
-21.5
-2.0
56.5
60
-3.5
Saturday
9:30


Western Kentucky
Hawai’i
12.0
13.5
-1.5
80.5
64
16.5
Saturday
10:59


Florida St.
LSU
-0.6
-3.5
2.9
55.5
51.5
4
Sunday
6:30


Clemson
Georgia Tech
23.9
21
2.9
47.0
48.5
-1.5
Monday
7:00

 

College Football Game Previews & News

Virginia Tech (-8.5) at Old Dominion
ATL: VT -9.5

Virginia Tech projected starting RB Malachi Thomas has been out with some kind of leg injury for a few weeks. The Hokies will roll with a platoon of Jalen Holston and Keshawn King in Week 1 against the Monarchs.

Virginia Tech’s offense may struggle early on. Marshall transfer QB Grant Wells takes over as starter behind an offensive line that has four true freshmen on the two-deep. And Virginia Tech’s receiving talent is bottom-20th percentile in the P5, perhaps even bottom-10th.

Meanwhile, ODU is sneaky-stocked in skill talent with G5 stars RB Blake Watson and TE Zach Kuntz. Kuntz is the best tight end in America that nobody knows about.

Auburn vs. Mercer
ATL: N/A

Auburn QB T.J. Finley beat out fellow transfers Zach Calzada and Robby Ashford in the competition to replace Bo Nix. Auburn coaches have talked about Finley’s improvement this offseason and believe he has the firmest grasp of new OC Eric Kiesau’s system.

We likely won’t get much useful information from this matchup against an FCS team, but, in general, Auburn is a team to closely monitor early in the season. The boosters aggressively came for HC Bryan Harsin’s job over the spring but missed.

While Harsin survived, the ice has only gotten thinner under his feet since the departure of the AD who hired him, Allen Greene. Will this squad rally around Harsin? If they do, would Harsin use a bounce-back season to court job offers back out west, perhaps a Pac-12 opening in the next cycle? Or will things go the other way? If they do, they’ll unravel quickly, and Harsin may not survive the regular season.

Duke (-6.5) vs. Temple
ATL: Duke -5.8

New Duke HC Mike Elko tabbed Riley Leonard as starting QB. Leonard beat out Jordan Moore in the competition to replace Gunnar Holmberg, who transferred down to FIU to run Mike MacIntyre’s first offense.

Leonard hasn’t shown much in limited looks as a passer (37-of-62 for 381 yards, 1/1 TD/INT), but the high school shooting guard has flashed more mobility than he was given credit for coming out of high school. Duke will take offense from any source it can get it from this fall.

Michigan (-27.5) vs. Colorado State
ATL: Michigan -32.3

Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh announced incumbent starting QB Cade McNamara will start the opener against Colorado State, while JJ McCarthy will start Game 2 vs. Hawaii. Harbaugh says the permanent starter will be announced leading into Week 3.

I can’t recall a camp battle being resolved this way. But it may have been necessary to keep both in the fold during an unprecedented offseason of player movement. McNamara offers the Wolverines high-floor cost-certainty, while McCarthy was a top-25 overall recruit who would ostensibly raise the ceiling of the offense while lowering its floor.

As for this game, we have no idea what to expect from early-on Colorado State, which remade its coaching staff and roster over the offseason. HC Jay Norvell’s Rams should be better than Steve Addazio’s Rams in pretty short order, but they’re unlikely to be competitive right out of the chute. Particularly in this matchup against a Wolverines team that went 5-1 ATS as 14-plus point favorites last year.

Texas A&M vs. Sam Houston State
ATL: N/A

Texas A&M QB Haynes King beat out LSU transfer Max Johnson and five-star freshman Connor Weigman for the starting quarterback job.

King also won the job out of camp last year but was knocked out with a season-ending injury in Week 2 after a strong performance in the opener against Kent State. With Johnson breathing down his neck, King’s leash won’t be terribly long. But things don’t figure to get interesting until the Miami game in Week 3.

North Carolina (-1.5) at Appalachian State
ATL: UNC -3.9

UNC QB Drake Maye looked good in his debut, going 29-of-37 for 294 yards and five TD while rushing for 55 yards in a 56-24 win over a Florida A&M team missing numerous contributors to eligibility issues.

While the Heels’ offense looks like it’s going to be solid, the defense looks like it’s going to be bad again. I bet the under on UNC’s win total this summer and am feeling good about the early returns on that. ATL is showing a little line value on UNC here, but I need to see how the Heels’ defense holds up against a decent offense like this before I can put troops at risk by investing in them.

Five early-week spreads of interest

Pittsburgh (-7.5) vs. West Virginia
ATL: Pitt -17.8

Wow, talk about an overlay! My system is showing double-digits of point value on the Panthers in the annual Backyard Brawl rivalry game. Simple explanation, really: I’m higher on Pitt and lower on West Virginia than the market.

Pitt cannot win in the same way it did during last season’s 11-3 resurgence. Round 1 QB Kenny Pickett, Biletnikoff-winning WR Jordan Addison, OC Mark Whipple, and WR coach Brennan Marion, the four men most responsible for the incredible year-over-year surge in passing output, are all gone.

But Pitt’s replacements for Pickett and Addison – portal adds QB Kedon Slovis (former USC starter) and ex-Akron WR Konata Mumpfield (96th percentile separation rate against single coverage, per PFF) – were well-reasoned. The rushing attack should be better this fall, with a deep stable of backs returning. That won’t make up for all the regression coming on the passing side, but it’ll make up for some.

Additionally, Pitt’s defense should be better. It returns seven starters from a unit that ranked No. 2 in sacks per game and No. 5 in EPA/run last season. The 2021 unit finished No. 29 SP+. This year’s looks should be top-25.

In short: Pitt’s contingency plan for expected regression jives with me. West Virginia’s does not.

The Mountaineers are 16-17 over HC Neal Brown’s three-year tenure after last season’s 6-7 step-back. Brown pushed out OC Gerad Parker and former starting QB Jarret Doege over the offseason and replaced them with Air Raid guru OC Graham Harrell and former USC/Georgia QB JT Daniels. Those swaps were fine, but Brown could not prevent WR1 Winston Wright from fleeing to Florida State in the portal, and his RB room is unproven.

The biggest concern is the defense, a unit that has saved a sagging offense the past few years. This time around, WVU loses its top-five tacklers and only returns four starters. There are particularly big questions in the secondary, which is being remade from the ground up. I see West Virginia as a 3-9 or 4-8 team that fires Brown. The market sees West Virginia as a coinflip to go bowling.

Missouri (-19) vs. Louisiana Tech
ATL: Mizzou -11.4

Louisiana Tech o4.5 wins was one of my favorite overs in the G5 this summer. New HC Sonny Cumbie should get the passing offense off the ground quickly. The two guys battling for the QB job (Matthew Downing and Parker McNeil) played for him at past stops, the WR corps is stacked, and the blindside protection unit on the left side of the line is top-notch for the G5.

If LTU’s passing offense is indeed ready for primetime this weekend, it’s not going to have trouble moving the ball on this terrible Missouri defense. The Tigers finished outside the top-100 in both rushing and passing YPA allowed last fall.

LTU’s defense is also going to greatly improve upon last season’s No. 118 SP+ finish with eight starters back. And while Missouri has a new offensive toy to play with in five-star WR Luther Burden, it would be a surprise if that unit improved upon last season’s No. 52 SP+ finish after losing workhorse RB Tyer Badie to the NFL.

I believe the Bulldogs have a much stronger shot at bowl eligibility than the market does. And I think there’s a better shot Missouri goes 4-8 than the 6-6 the open market leans towards.

Indiana (-3.5) vs. Illinois
ATL: Illinois -3.1

This was a really surprising opening number. Particularly following Illinois’ season-opening blowout win over Wyoming. Illinois looks a bit improved over last season. Indiana, on the other hand?

The offense might be rotten again. Former Mizzou QB Connor Bazelak is a downgrade on a healthy Michael Penix. The RB room remains barren. The WR room has become so. The defense could be middle-of-the-road, but it’s going to have to figure out what looks to be a weak front-seven to get there.

I believe the wrong team is favored here. I like the Illini.

TCU (-10.5) at Colorado
ATL: TCU -15.2

TCU was tied with USC for the biggest jump in my power rankings from the end of last year to the beginning of this year. Last year’s team had two primary issues, the passing game and the defense. Both should be much improved in 2022.

TCU QB Max Duggan, the starter for most of last season, finished No. 19 in the FBS in turnover-worthy throw rate and No. 73 in adjusted accuracy. QB Chandler Morris is a much better fit for new HC Sonny Dykes’ Air Raid offense. And TCU has the personnel to take to the air-based attack quickly, with one of the nation’s best receiving corps and a potential top-25 OL.

Last year’s TCU defense gave up 10.7 PPG more than it gave up the year before. With eight starters returning on that side of the ball, the Horned Frogs will likely be closer to its 2020 number (24.2) than 2021 (34.9).

While TCU returns 18 starters and ranks No. 9 in Phil Steele’s returning experience chart, Colorado was crushed by transfer portal defections. The Buffaloes lost 23 players to the portal (which I believe led the nation). HC Karl Dorrell was forced to play defense in the portal, signing guys just to plug ever-expanding defection holes.

Last year’s Buffs stunk. This year’s version will definitely be worse. I see a 1-11 or 2-10 season coming, and I don’t think Dorrell survives all 12 games.

There’s value on TCU at this number.

Arkansas (-5.5) vs. Cincinnati
ATL: Arkansas -1

The market spent the summer focusing on Cincinnati’s losses, notably QB Desmond Ridder (R3), RB Jerome Ford (R5), and WR Alec Pierce (R2) on offense, and CB Sauce Gardner (No. 4 overall), CB Coby Bryant (R4), S Bryan Cook (R2) and EDGE Myjai Sanders (R3) on defense.

Perhaps not enough was made on the amount of talent HC Luke Fickell brought in and the ready-made replacements already on hand due to Fickell’s development system. Fickell added a top-25 recruiting class and multiple impact transfers to plug holes. Former Cincy signee QB Ben Bryant was re-imported from EMU to compete with four-star Evan Prater. RB Corey Kiner, a local kid who originally signed with LSU, leads a deep stable of backs.

The market doesn’t seem to be making as much of Arkansas’ losses. WR Treylon Burks is gone, and only four starters return on defense. It’s possible that the offense and defense could both be in for a slight step backward.

My system feels that this is too many points, projecting this game as closer to a pick ‘em. The market is still feeling it out, and Vegas is going to allow it that opportunity after opening this number in a dead zone.

This is not an early-week bet for me, but I will be monitoring both sides closely these next few days to try to ascertain if indeed there’s value to be had in a contrarian play backing the Bearcats.

CFB FD CTA

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College Football, Picks

Author: Albert Clark