College Football 2017 kicks off in full force this week, with FBS squads ready to take the field (fields?) all over the country. Most of the college football-centric media hype is focused squarely on the Alabama-FSU game, fans know plenty of other compelling matchups are out there.
This week and throughout the college football 2017 season, The Grueling Truth will preview a handful of games each week, with tips on possible good bets based on the pointsprads. All pointspreads and other odds are provided by MyBookie, a sponsor of The Grueling Truth Network. For more pointspreads, odds and lines on college football, click here.
(1) Alabama (-7) at (3) Florida State
This is maybe the biggest matchup in the history of College football for week one. The Crimson Tide are favored by seven on the heels of a campaign that saw them lose to Clemson in the CFP National Championship Game in dramatic fashion.
Alabama has experienced a great deal of turnover defensively but return most key offensive players, including the reigning SEC Offensive Freshman and SEC Offensive Player of the Year in Jalen Hurts. Bo Scarbrough may be the key to Bama’s championship aspirations this season: A healthy and productive Scarbrough makes sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts even more dangerous. Concerns about replacing the talent on defense aside, remember that the Tide doesn’t rebuild – they reload.
The Seminoles are coming off a down season but return a solid core that should be able to challenge the Tide. If FSU does win, it will likely have plenty to do with the play of sophomore QB Deondre Francois, who is coming off a very good freshman campaign that offers plenty to build upon.
Prediction: Alabama 31, Florida State 27; take the Noles +7.
(17) Florida (+4) vs. (11) Michigan
Both of these teams face an uncertain 2017 season after losing a large part of their teams last season. Florida and Michigan alike are known for their defenses and have huge question marks at QB. This opening week game shapes up as a defensive battle and I will side with the team that has Jim Harbaugh on its sideline…
Prediction: Michigan 24, Florida 14; take Michigan minus-4
Purdue (+26) vs. (16) Louisville
Lamar Jackson returns to Louisville in pursuit of a second straight Heisman Trophy, and while I do not think he will achieve that goal, he should have another big season.
Purdue is a struggling program that has won a maximum of three games in four consecutive seasons, but is under new leadership: In charge this season is head coach Jeff Brohm, who played quarterback at Louisville. The game will also be played in Indianapolis, which gives the Boilermakers an advantage. In the end, I think Purdue covers the spread but loses handily.
Prediction: Louisville 41, Purdue 20; take Purdue +26.
Wyoming (+11) vs. Iowa
Iowa is great at running the ball, the glaring question entering this game is “Can the Hawkeyes throw the ball?” Wyoming brings a great secondary as well, so can Iowa win this game strictly on the ground?
On the other side, Wyoming can certainly pass the ball, as they will be led by Heisman Trophy candidate Josh Allen, who has the NFL abuzz with his high ceiling at the QB position. Finally, the Cowboys return four of their starting offensive linemen from last year. This is my upset pick of the week: I think the OL gives Allan enough time to beat the Hawkeyes straight up.
Prediction: Wyoming 24, Iowa 23; take Wyoming +11
Georgia Tech (+3) vs. Tennessee
If the defensive front seven can hold its own against Tennessee RB John Kelly, the Yellow Jacket secondary should take over. Last year, the weakness of the Jackets defense was up front. For 2017, they’re an experienced group that has the makings of a very good unit.
When you consider Tennessee is breaking in a new QB, Quinten Dormady, on a big stage and that the receiving corps might be a wee bit iffy early on, Georgia Tech wants the Vols throwing as much as possible.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 27, Tennessee 17; take Georgia Tech +3.
Western Michigan (+27) vs. USC
Western Michigan will not be a pushover: They have one of the better offensive lines in the country and a couple very good RBs. As crazy as it may sound, I expect this game to be competitive for a half before the Trojans take over in the second half behind the running game.
Prediction: USC 41, Western Michigan 17; take the Broncos +27.
Ohio State (-21) vs. Indiana
Maybe the biggest home opener in Indiana’s football history, but the Hoosiers, new head coach and all, will be outgunned.
Prediction: Ohio State 38, Indiana 16; take Ohio State minus-21.
Temple (+18) vs. Notre Dame
Temple lost a lot from last year’s team, but they return what should be an excellent defense. Notre Dame will be looking to save head coach Brian Kelly’s job and, with a tough early season schedule, this might be a pivotal game for the Fighting Irish. Kelly needs this win badly.
Notre Dame 34, Temple 13; take Notre Dame minus-18.
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