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Week 1 College Football Odds, Picks & Previews

Aug 23, 2021 EST

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The preseason top 25 will emerge in a few weeks, as well as updated totals for early-season games based on depth charts, the potential of fall camp injuries and any late summer to transfer portal arrivals that could change the complexion of a team. Given what we know about the teams in the top tier coming out of spring practice, don’t expect too many surprises during opening weekend.

But there’s always a chance at an upset, or a team perhaps not getting the respect they deserve and being overlooked for another.

North Carolina vs Virginia Tech 

Here’s a scary game for the Tar Heels straight out of the gates, going to a venue they’ve only won at twice since 2004. Lane Stadium is a raucous environment when the Hokies have a pulse and coach Justin Fuente would love to seize some of the momentum toward his program in this pivotal ACC Coastal clash. North Carolina’s Sam Howell will start his Heisman campaign in a big spot and it could end before it begins should the Tar Heels fall victim to the upset. It’s hard to see this one ending in lopsided fashion given the time Virginia Tech has to prepare for a top-flight offense.

OTL WinTrac Computer Game prediction:
North Carolina 27, Virginia Tech 23

Ole Miss vs Louisville 

Anyone in the mood for more college football on Labor Day? Shift your attention to Ole Miss third-year sophomore quarterback Matt Corral, who completed 201 of 282 passes (71.3%) for 2,995 yards and 27 touchdowns to 14 interceptions in nine games last season. He added 105 rushes for 469 yards (4.5 average) and four touchdowns. He is arguably the SEC’s top returning quarterback. Scott Satterfield intends on bringing Louisville back to respectability after the Cardinals fell short of expectations last season, but this is a difficult matchup defensively to start things off. The safer bet here is taking the over in what should be an exciting game.

OTL WinTrac Computer Game prediction:
Ole Miss 48, Louisville 34

UCF vs Boise St

How many of you have UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel on your Heisman list? Probably not as many that should. Gus Malzahn inherits a talent-rich offensive unit left in Orlando by Josh Heupel, starting with No. 11 under center. If Malzahn continues UCF’s tempo-driven spread, Gabriel should flourish. Boise State has a new first-year coach as well and a win at the Bounce House would be sizable. The Malzahn era starts off with a bang Gabriel posts four touchdown passes and over 300 yards of total offense against the Broncos.

OTL WinTrac Computer Game prediction:
UCF 35, Boise State 24

Get the TOP College Picks for Week 1


Saturday, August 28

· UTEP (-10) at New Mexico State

· UConn at Fresno State (-27)

· Nebraska (-9) at Illinois

· Hawai’i at UCLA (-10½)

Thursday, September 2

· Temple at Rutgers (-11½)

· Boise State at UCF (-3½)

· South Florida at NC State (-16½)

· East Carolina at Appalachian State (-13½)

Note: The game is at a neutral site…Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

· Bowling Green at Tennessee (-27)

· Ohio State (-14) at Minnesota

Friday, September 3

· North Carolina (-6) at Virginia Tech

· Duke (-7½) at Charlotte

· Old Dominion at Wake Forest (-35)

· Michigan State at Northwestern (-7)

Saturday, September 4

· UL Monroe at Kentucky (-27½)

· Western Michigan at Michigan (-14½)

· Penn State at Wisconsin (-4)

· Stanford at Kansas State (-2)

Note: The game is at a neutral site…AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

· Oklahoma (-21) at Tulane

· Army at Georgia State (-4)

· Rice at Arkansas (-23)

· Fresno State at Oregon (-20½)

· Alabama (-18) vs Miami

Note: The game is at a neutral site…Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

· Marshall (-3½) at Navy

· Indiana at Iowa (-4½)

· West Virginia (-4½) at Maryland

· Miami (OH) at Cincinnati (-19)

· Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State (-29)

· Central Michigan at Missouri (-11)

· UMass at Pittsburgh (-36)

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