Several top teams will be replacing their starting quarterbacks when the Week 1 college football schedule continues on Saturday. No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Clemson are among the teams that will be taking on that task this weekend. Caesars Sportsbook has Alabama slated as a 19.5-point favorite against No. 14 Miami, while the Tigers are three-point favorites against No. 5 Georgia in the list of Week 1 college football odds. Ninth-ranked Notre Dame is a 7.5-point favorite against Florida State in the Week 1 college football spreads for Sunday.
The first week of the season can often provide the most value, as oddsmakers are still formulating their numbers. What are some of the best Week 1 college football predictions? Before making any Week 1 college football picks or bets, be sure to see the latest college football predictions from SportsLine's proven model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters Week 1 of the 2021 season on a 57-37 run on all top-rated college football picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Top Week 1 college football predictions
One of the top college football picks the model is recommending for Week 1: No. 16 LSU covers as a 2.5-point favorite at UCLA on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Tigers might not be the same team that won the title in 2019, but they should be better than the one that stumbled last year. Their defense should be improved under new defensive coordinator Daronte Jones. He will have two of the best cornerbacks in the nation at his disposal in Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks.
UCLA is overvalued following its 44-10 win over Hawaii in Week 0. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson only completed half of his passes for 130 yards and now he has to face Stingley Jr. and Ricks. The model is expecting LSU to win this game by more than a touchdown, creating plenty of value on this line. LSU covers this spread in well over 60 percent of simulations, while the under (65) hits almost 60 percent of the time.
Another one of the college football predictions from the model: No. 18 Iowa (-4) covers against No. 17 Indiana. The Hoosiers lost wide receiver Whop Philyor, and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is coming off a knee injury. Iowa will run the ball with star running back Tyler Goodson, who is working behind another strong offensive line. Quarterback Spencer Petras should have success against a bad Indiana secondary.
The Hawkeyes return most of their key defensive players, so they should be able to control this game on both sides of the field. SportsLine's model is projecting Iowa to cover this spread in more than 50 percent of simulations. The model is also expecting the under to cash more than 60 percent of the time, as Iowa is going to slow the game down with its strong rushing attack.
How to make Week 1 college football picks
The model has also made the call on who wins and covers in every other game on the Week 1 college football schedule, and it's calling for a national title contender to go down hard. You can only get every pick for every game at SportsLine.
So what college football picks can you make with confidence? And which national title contender goes down hard? Check out the latest college football odds below, then visit SportsLine to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned $3,600 in profit over the past five-plus seasons, and find out.
Week 1 College football odds (via Caesars)
Here are the college football lines for some of Week 1's most notable matchups
Saturday, Sept. 4
Alabama vs. Miami (+18.5, 62)
Indiana at Iowa (-3, 46)
Georgia vs. Clemson (-3, 51.5)
LSU at UCLA (+2.5, 66)
Sunday, Sept. 5
Monday, Sept. 6