College Football Predictions, Picks, Odds: Florida State over LSU between value plays in Week 1

Finally, the complete slate of college football games is upon us, as virtually every program in the country hits the field in Week 1. With so many games on the board, opportunities for astute players quickly jump off the rosters.

The entire opening week of the season can be chaotic as bookies and players alike try to get a sense of the seemingly random lines. No. 2 Ohio State is ranked a 17-point favorite over No. 5 Notre Dame, for example, despite the high ranking of the Fighting Irish. On the other hand, Florida State is a three-point underdog against LSU despite entering Year 3 under coach Mike Norvell. By the time Tuesday rolls around, the national rankings could look very different.

Finding value takes many forms for the best. Finding an underdog with the potential to win and delivering an inflated moneyline win is a gold standard. However, identifying teams that can pull off late coverage or a favorite that can stretch a lead beyond the lane can also result in gains. If the time is right, we could even delve into plus/minus plays with advantage.

Heading into Week 1, the lines are all over the map with a number of favorites playing against overmatched opponents. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any value plays to be found. Let’s examine five games where you can win unexpected money.

When: Friday, 8 p.m. ET | Where: Memorial Stadium – Bloomington, Indiana

featured game | Indiana Hoosiers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

The Illini blew out Wyoming 38-6 in Week 0 thanks to 151 yards and two touchdowns from running back Chase Brown. Meanwhile, the defense held the Cowboys to just 30 yards through the air, so there are a few things to feel good about. Indiana probably won’t be as bad as the miserable 2-10 campaign it put together last season thanks to a solid transfer class that could help turn the program around. However, Illinois is a physical and professional program that seems ready to take another step. Perhaps most importantly, Illinois has already fixed all the problems from the first game; Indiana, on the other hand, has to find its legs in the sea against a team that already has a win under its belt. The Hoosiers are just a little favorite at home and the line has already thinned, so get as much money as you can. Pick: Illinois ML (+110)

When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET | Where: Snapdragon Stadium – San Diego, California

He could also start Saturday’s value plays with the hottest pick of the weekend. It’s hard to ignore what coach Jedd Fisch is building in Tucson. The Wildcats brought in quarterback Jayden de Laura, the former Pac-12 freshman of the year, from Washington State and UTEP transfer receiver Jacob Cowing, who had 1,354 receiving yards in 2021. Additionally, the Wildcats they added several Power Five defensive transfers and a handful. of elite recruits from Southern California. Of course, the Aztecs will open a new stadium on Saturday and emotions will run high after a Mountain West championship game last year, but the Wildcats might be under the radar enough to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the first weekend. of week. I’m going with everything to the money line. Pick: Arizona ML (+196)

When: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET | Where: Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Florida

featured game | South Florida Bulls vs. BYU Cougars

Finding value in a double-digit favorite is contradictory, but BYU might be the most underrated school in the preseason AP Top 25 and a 12-point line barely captures the difference between these two teams. The Bulls went 2-10 and lost seven games by 10-plus points in 2021. On the other hand, BYU is 21-4 the past two seasons and is among the national leaders in returning production. What, exactly, about this game screams close? More than 30% of the money is in South Florida to cover, and the line has moved in the direction of the Bulls since it opened. Getting $100 back from a $110 investment in BYU is one of the safest bets you’ll make this weekend. If you can get even higher odds with a line under 20, jump on it. Choose: BYU cover (-110)

When: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET | Where: JMA Wireless Dome — Syracuse, New York

The Cardinals are entering a breakout season under coach Scott Satterfield, but the Oranges are a perfect appetizer to open the year. Syracuse went 5-7 last season with an embarrassing 41-3 loss to the Cardinals, and it’s headed in the wrong direction. However, Louisville remains less than a one-point favorite. Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham had five touchdowns on just 25 total touches against Syracuse last season. He expects fireworks and a cover. Pick: Louisville Cover (-110)

Florida State at LSU

When: Sunday, 7:30 pm ET | Where: Caesars Superdome – New Orleans, Louisiana

featured game | LSU Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles

LSU was ranked No. 8 in the recently released 247Sports Talent Composite and boasts a top-tier title-caliber ratio. But what all those recruiting stars hide from bettors is a program that is still in the early stages of finding its identity. There’s a new quarterback in town, a new secondary and 10 NFL Draft picks from a 6-7 team that couldn’t afford to lose. On the other hand, Florida State has the huge advantage of having already played a warm-up game against Duquesne, which they won 47-7. Quarterback Jordan Travis looked good, and three different running backs punted for 100 rushing yards. Over 85% of the money goes to LSU, but Florida State directly is a way to make decent coin. Choose: State of Florida ML (+130)

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