College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for key games in Week 1 Friday

The Week 1 action continues Friday night with eight more games to whet your appetite before the full slate of Saturday college football coverage begins. While the second of five straight days of college football is light on ranked teams – only No. 15 Michigan State is represented in the pre-season AP Top 25 – he still has a lot to follow in terms of storyline across the country.

Teams from four of the five Power Five conferences will be in action, though only the Big Ten interdivisional rivals Illinois and Indiana will face each other in a conference match. All in all, there’s enough football to take up two, three or even four screens given the busy slate at the 7pm kick-off. Night owls can enjoy coverage that will extend past midnight with TOS and Colorado play until the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the evening for college football coverage from the opening kickoff. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games on Friday of Week 1.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

Featured game | Michigan State Spartans vs. Western Michigan Broncos

7 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Michigan State was an entertaining team to watch last season because they had an explosive offense with a terrific point guard in Kenneth Walker, and they combined that with a secondary that couldn’t cover anyone. Walker is gone, but the offense should still be able to move the ball against the Broncos, and most of that secondary remains intact. There are also new transfers on the defensive side of the ball, and there could be some issues as this unit gels in the first game of the season. Sparty could get 45 on his own. Choose: Over 54.5 -Tom Fornelli

Featured game | Old Dominion Monarchs vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

7 p.m. | ESPNU, fuboTV (Try for free) — After winning its last five regular season games last year to qualify for a bowling game, Old Dominion brings back extensive starting experience for Year 3 of the Ricky Rahne era. Virginia Tech is playing its first game under new coach Brent Pry, and it doesn’t look like an instant rebuild. Considering the Monarchs lost by just 14 on the road to the Hokies in 2019 in a 1-11 season, they seem like a safe bet to keep this one at home until the end now that the program is a lot more solid. Choose: Old Dominion +6.5 –David Cobb

Illinois vs. Indiana

Featured game | Indiana Hoosiers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

8 p.m. | FS1, fuboTV (Try for free) — Each team has an advantage that they are looking to exploit in this game. Indiana hasn’t announced its starting QB and has new coordinators. That means Illinois hasn’t been able to prepare for this game with any certainty of what it will see. Also, Illinois played Saturday last week and had to prepare a game plan for Wyoming before turning around on a short week to play a road game against the Hoosiers. Meanwhile, Indiana has been able to prepare for Illinois all offseason and now has a game movie he can dissect. Of course, what Illinois has to offer is that it has a game under its belt. It’ll be interesting to see how that impacts the game. I don’t have a great read of how this one will play out, but my gut tells me neither team blows the other out of the water, so taking the points with the Illini is the most attractive option. Prediction: Illinois +3 -Tom Fornelli

TCU vs. Colorado

Featured game | Colorado Buffaloes vs. TCU Horned Frogs

10 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Horned Frogs are entering a new era under the leadership of Sonny Dykes, but don’t expect too much of a bump in his early days. Colorado has lost seven games by two or more touchdowns in 2021, and it likely has no answer for what should be a dynamic passing game headlined by a potential first-round receiver. Quentin Johnson. TCU will play it safe and lead their talent to a blowout victory. Select: TCU-8 –Shehan Jeyarajah

What college football picks can you confidently make in Week 1, and which heavy favorite will fall hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread – all from a proven computer model that has brought in nearly $3,600 in profits over the past six-plus seasons – and find out.

Leave a Comment